Summary: Nothing is more powerful than a Christian living and sharing his faith. God shows us this here.
Acts 16:25-34. It is the most powerful force on the face of the earth. And it is also the most under-rated. It can cut through rock. It can move houses and trees and cars. It can rearrange landscape. Take it away, and everything dies. Add it, and things come to life. What is it? It's water. We see it every day and use it every day and it doesn't seem all that powerful, until you see a news story about a flood or tsuanami destroying part of the world.
There is something else even more powerful than water, and it's you. A Christian living and sharing his or her faith - this can be the most powerful force on the face of the earth. And the reason why is because of God working in you and through you.
We see this power in our lesson for this week, the story of Paul and Silas in prison in Philippi. They were living and sharing their faith. They were in prison, singing hymns to God and praying, and the other prisoners were intently listening to them. Imagine what those prisoners must have been thinking! And then they saw experienced something unforgettable. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake - this wasn't a slight tremor that you can barely feel. The ground was moving up and down - all over the place. The foundations of the prison were shaken, the Bible says. At once the prison doors flew open. Instead of the roof caving in on them, they felt the chains on their hands and their feet come off.
What was happening? The prison was holding 2 Christians who were living and sharing their faith, and God decided to prove a point. He wanted to show people that what these two guys were singing about and praying about was true. The other prisoners were so filled with fear and awe that none of them tried to escape. All of these miracles are very impressive, but none of them are as impressive as the miracle that was about to take place…
Of all people, the prison warden became a Christian. We'll talk more about him tomorrow, but as for today, he heard Paul and Silas tell him to believe in the Lord Jesus, and he would be saved. He listened to them as they spoke the Word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. And a miracle took place - he became a believer in Jesus Christ, just as much a believer as you and I today.
They say that hardest thing to change in all the world is the human heart. You can change houses with power tools. You can change landscape with bulldozers. You can change the way you look with plastic surgery. But to change the human heart - it is the hardest thing in all the world to.
But what happens when Christian lives and shares his faith? Nothing can stop that. God worked through Paul and Silas, and the jailer at Philippi completely changed. Instead of locking Paul's feet into wooden stocks, he washed Paul's wounds, the Bible says. Instead of pushing Paul down the stairs into a dungeon, he brought Paul into his house, and he even set a meal before him. The jailer at Philippi came into contact with the most powerful force on the face of the earth - a Christians who was living and sharing his faith. And when that happens, anything can happen, because God is working.