I had the privilege of recently visiting the ancient city of Philippi in Greece. This is the place where the apostle Paul founded the first Christian church in Europe. It is also here that the first person came to be a follower of Christ in Europe. Her name was Lydia and she was saved and then baptized. I was actually able to visit the place where she was baptized in the Gangitis river.
Paul visited Philippi at least two other times. From Rome he wrote to this church the book of Philippians. This book contains some of the most famous passages in the Bible (1:6, 2:5-11, 3:12-14, 4:13). Paul’s joy for the Philippian church is evident in his letter where he encourages them to live a victorious Christian life.
It was also in Philippi that Paul and Silas were beaten and arrested. I saw the jail where they were imprisoned. Paul had cast out of women a spirit of divination. But when her masters realized they could no longer use her to make money they dragged them before the rulers and accused them of being troublemakers.
At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing when Acts 16:26 says, “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” A small earthquake happened at just that exact place. The power of God set them free from jail!
When this happened, the jailer drew his sword to kill himself since the prisoners were going to go free. But Paul stopped him and the jailer said to Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” and Paul responded, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”
The same power of God is available today to anyone who needs it. People in prison are still being saved. In fact, there is a great movement of men who are being trained for ministry while in prison.
God is still setting people free from any kind of bondage. Today so many have various addictions that keep them bound. It might be alcohol or drugs. It may be pornography or shopping. Whatever it is God can set you free. I have heard so many stories through the years of how when someone is saved God delivers them instantaneously from their bondage.
The power of God is real. And it is available to anyone. Even if you have spent years being bound up God can set you free. What God did for Paul and Silas He will do for you.
About Rick McDaniel
Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through www.highimpactchurch.tv. McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of six books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.
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