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Summary: Releasing the Shackles. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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• 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.

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