The Deliverance of Paul and Silas

Read Acts 16:25-34

“And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed” (v. 26).

In the 1950s, Chinese Pastor Li was arrested and sentenced to hard labor in an iron mine. During that winter in Northeast China, the temperature dropped to minus twenty degrees. The work was backbreaking. The rations were meager. Three months after arriving at the camp Pastor Li died.

When Mrs. Li and the children heard the news, they lost hope. Mrs. Li could not get a job because she had to care for the small children. Finally, the oldest child, a twelve-year-old girl, went to the prison to ask the director for a job. She told him of her father’s innocence and the present situation her family faced. The director realized the truth and had a moment of compassion.

He took her to the area were 3,000 prisoners were mining below the surface. “Do you see this red button? A siren will sound if it is pushed. Never push it unless you are told to do so. This is your job.”

One afternoon she heard a voice. “Push the button!” She was confused. The command was repeated. Again she saw no one. A third time she heard the urgent voice, “Push the button NOW!”

She realized it must be the Lord, so she pushed the button. The siren sounded deep in the mine. Men poured out of the mine. The prison director came running from his office angrily demanding why she had pushed the button without his order. Just as the last of the 3,000 men emerged from the mine, a strong earthquake shook the ground. The mine collapsed.

When it was finally quiet, every eye turned toward the little girl. Climbing on a fruit box, she said, “The Lord Jesus told me three times to push the emergency button, and finally I did. Jesus loves you and saved your life today. Now, you need to repent of your sins and give your lives to him!”

Upon hearing this, the prison director and all three thousand men fell to their knees asking God to forgive them of their sins. (L Gayle Woods)

*God has many ways to deliver His people.*

This devotional is the Saturday, January 13, 2018 entry of Opening the Word.

Delivering the Demoniac

Read Mark 1:23-26

“And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him” (v. 25).

You never know what or who you may see at church! I remember D. P. Denton telling of the time he stood up to preach at Mascot, Tennessee and saw the barrel of a shotgun poking through the double doors of the church. Although Denton was a brave man, he determined to keep moving while he preached. When he finished the gun was gone.

In our text, Jesus went to church only to be met by the devil! It seems strange that the demons would have permitted this man to go to church, knowing that Jesus was going to preach. Capernaum was not a large town, and Jesus’ arrival in town the night before seems to have been a clear signal that He would be preaching in the synagogue the next day. Still, the man and the demons that possessed him were there. But when they saw Jesus, they were terrified! Jesus, on the other hand, was quite calm. He knew the power that was in Him.

No one knows what a day will bring. We may come face to face with the devil — even at church. But we can know that the power of the resurrection works within us. And with that confidence we need not fear any obstacle. (Gordon Snider)

I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide. — John Ernest Bode

Oh God, whatever comes my way today, may I know you are with me!

This devotional is the Friday, January 29, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.

The Demoniac Released

Lesson 9 - January 31, 2016

Focus Text: Mark 5:1-15, 19, 20

Central Truth: Christ has power to deliver those bound by Satan.

Objective: By the end of this lesson my students should be able to list at least one sinful habit from which God has delivered them or from which He will deliver them.

Lesson Outline: 

  1. The Picture of a Demoniac (Mark 5:1-9)
  2. Delivering the Demoniac (Mark 5:10-15)
  3. Instructing a Follower (Mark 5:19-20)