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Summary: ARE THERE BURDENS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE FREE FROM? THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THE CARES OF OUR LIVES, THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS SEEM TO BE BINDING FOR US. NOW I ASK, ARE THERE ANY BURDENS OR SITUATIONS THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE FREE FROM?

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DO YOU WANT TO BE FREE

ACTS 16:16-40

STARTING QUESTIONS:

ARE THERE BURDENS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE FREE FROM?

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FREE FROM DEBT? I KNOW I WOULD! WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FREE FROM RESPONSIBILITY? AT TIMES I KNOW I WOULD! WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FREE FROM OBLIGATIONS LIKE GOING TO WORK AND THINGS LIKE THIS? I KNOW AT TIMES I WOULD!

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THE CARES OF OUR LIVES, THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS SEEM TO BE BINDING FOR US. THEY CAN FEEL LIKE A HEAVY LOAD ON OUR SHOULDERS, A LOAD THAT WE CAN’T SEEM TO EVER LESSEN.

I REMEMBER SEEING A COMMERCIAL ON TELEVISION FOR A PAIN RELIEVER, ROBAXIASIN OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. IN THE COMMERCIAL, THERE IS A GREEK GOD WITH THE WORLD ON HIS SHOULDERS. HE’S FEELING THE WEIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY FOR CARRYING THE WORLD, AND HE’S FEELING THE PAIN THAT WEIGHT CAN BRING.

NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING ELSE THAT HAS TO BE DONE AT WORK, ALWAYS A REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT AT OUR HOUSE, ALWAYS ANOTHER BILL TO PAY.

SOMETIMES THINGS ARE GOING WELL AND WE HAVE MANY OF THE CARES I’VE MENTIONED IN ORDER, AND THE UNFORSEEN HAPPENS TO DISRUPT OUR LIVES. IT COULD BE A HEALTH ISSUE, OR SOME OTHER TRAGEDY THAT WE JUST CAN’T PREPARE FOR, BUT WE FEEL THE WEIGHT OF.

IT IS A CERTAINTY, THOUGH, THAT AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER, WE WILL FACE BURDENS OR SITUATIONS THAT WE WISH WE COULD BE FREE FROM, AND IN REALITY, KNOW THAT WE CANNOT. SO THE NEXT QUESTION THAT MUST BE ASKED IS THIS:

ARE THERE ANY BURDENS OR SITUATIONS THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE FREE FROM?

THIS MIGHT SOUND LIKE A SILLY QUESTION. THIS WAS HOWEVER, THE EXACT SITUATION THAT PAUL AND SILAS FOUND THEMSELVES

IN WHEN HE WAS AT PHILIPPI.

LET’S LOOK AT THE BACKGROUND OF THIS PASSAGE:

THE BOOK OF ACTS IS A BOOK OF EVANGELISM. IT IS AN EXCITING BOOK THAT CHRONICLES THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH, AND THE LIVES OF THE GREAT APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL.

THE CONVERSION OF THE PHILIPPIAN JAILOR IS THE FIFTH CONVERSION MENTIONED IN THE BOOK:

1. ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH

2. SAUL OF TARSUS

3. CORNELIUS

4. LYDIA

AND NOW WE HAVE ONE OF THE MOST UNLIKELY OF ALL CANTIDATES FOR CONVERSION A JAILOR, OR SOMEONE WE WOULD REFER TO AS A PRISON WARDEN.

WHAT A UNIQUE SITUATION. IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN IN THE PAGES OF SCRIPTURE. WE HAVE A PRISONER SHOWING A PRISON GUARD HOW TO BE SPIRITUALLY FREE. YOU GOTTA LOVE IT!!!

NOW WE ARE FACED WITH THE QUESTION: HOW DID PAUL AND SILAS WIND UP IN PRISON?

THE SHORT ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS, THEY WOUND UP IN PRISON BECAUSE THEY CAST AN EVIL SPIRIT OUT OF A WOMAN.

WHY WAS THIS SO BAD. DIDN’T JESUS CAST OUT MANY EVIL SPIRITS OUT OF PEOPLE? HE WASN’T ARRESTED WAS HE WE WOULD THINK, AND WE WOULD BE WRONG. THERE WAS A TIME WHEN JESUS WAS CHASTISED, JUST AS PAUL AND SILAS HERE WERE FOR CASTING OUT DEMONS. CONSIDER THIS PASSAGE.

MARK 5:17: “Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.”

JESUS HAD JUST COME TO THE AREA AND WAS MET BY A MAN FILLED WITH DEMONS. THE DEMONS SAID HIS NAME WAS “LEGION” FOR THEY WERE MANY. THE EVIL SPIRITS RECOGNIZED JESUS FOR THEY CALLED HIM BY NAME. JESUS IN TURN ALLOWED THEM TO GO INTO A HERD OF PIGS THAT THEN RUSHED INTO A NEARBY LAKE AND WERE DROWNED.


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