Summary: Releasing the Shackles. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Sometimes we use the expression an “acid test.”
• This term originated during times when gold was widely circulated.
• Nitric acid was applied to an object of gold to see if it was genuine or not.
• If it was fake, the acid decomposed it; if it was genuine, the gold was unaffected.
“There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of one candle....”
Paul and Silas:
• Refused to let the darkness of their circumstances;
• Put out the light of Christ in their hearts and minds.
• It may have been midnight in the jail;
• But Paul & Silas had the light of Christ to illuminate them.
• They may have been bound by shackles,
• But their spirits were certainly free!
• Prayer and praise are powerful weapons;
• God responded by sending an earthquake to shake up the prison.
(3). The owners are imprisoned by their own greed (vs 19:
• These owners do not care about the girl’s well-being,
• They are not concerned about exploiting her and making a profit off her.
• They certainly are not pleased by the fact she is now mentally whole and well.
• They care only for their wallets! They are imprisoned by their greed.
• Leo Tolstoy once wrote a story about a successful peasant farmer;
• Who was not satisfied with his lot. He wanted more of everything.
One day he received a novel offer.
• For 1000 rubbles, he could buy all the land he could walk around in a day.
• The only catch in the deal was that he had to be back at his starting point by sundown.
• Early the next morning he started out walking at a fast pace.
• By midday he was very tired, but he kept going, covering more and more ground.
• Well into the afternoon;
• He realized that his greed had taken him far from the starting point.
• He quickened his pace and as the sun began to sink low in the sky,
• And he began to run,
• He knew that if he did not make it back by sundown;
• The opportunity to become an even bigger landholder would be lost.
• As the sun began to sink below the horizon he came within sight of the finish line.
• Gasping for breath, his heart pounding,
• He called upon every bit of strength left in his body
• And he just managed to stagger across the line just before the sun disappeared.
• He immediately collapsed, blood streaming from his mouth.
• And in a few minutes he was dead.
• Afterwards, his servants dug a grave.
• It was not much over six feet long and three feet wide.
• The title of Tolstoy’s story was:
• How Much Land Does a Man Need?
• When someone asked J.D. Rockerfeller how much does it take to satisfy a man;
• Her replied “A little bit more than you have”.
Twice in this story (verses 16&19) we are told how the men viewed the girl:
• She was nothing more than a money making machine;
• And they would make sure she stayed that way.