16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
I once heard a bishop preaching say, “I know life is hard, but here is the wonderful privilege that we all have, the freedom to choose our hard. Marriage is hard, but divorce is hard too. Getting up early every day to go to work and tend to your own business is hard, but being broke is hard too. Staying healthy and taking care of our bodies is hard, but being sick is hard too. Being studious is hard, but being dumb is hard too. Being good looking is hard but being ugly is hard too. Living for Jesus is hard, but the consequences of not living for Jesus is hard too.” God blessed you with freedom, so you have the power to choose your hard.
God sent me here today to remind you that you have been blessed with the gift of freedom. The freedom to choose your hard, the freedom to choose how you use your voice, the freedom to choose your thoughts, the freedom to choose your response, the freedom to choose your influence, the freedom to choose surrendering to God over the world. I believe that God wants you to know that there’s opportunity in freedom, there’s power in freedom, there’s growth in freedom, and there’s transformation in freedom. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. This month, stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1 NIV). You have freedom, so carefully decide on how you choose to use it throughout the month of November.
We honor you for being our King. Thank you for blessing us with your word which provides an overflow of wisdom, instruction, foresight, and understanding. Thank you for freedom God. Freedom through your one and only son Jesus Christ. This month we pray that you continue to give us strength to be able to recognize our freedom no matter where we are or what we may face. You have blessed us with the freedom of choice. You have blessed us with the freedom to pray for ourselves and others. You have blessed us with the freedom to be light in the midst of darkness. You have blessed us with the freedom to choose our hard. You have blessed us with the freedom to use our voices. You have blessed us with the freedom to learn. You have blessed us with the freedom to love. You have blessed us with the freedom to serve. You have blessed us with the freedom to totally surrender to you. You have blessed us with the freedom to have a relationship with you. Let us walk through the month of November always knowing that we have freedom. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
Acts 16:16-40 NIV (the story of Paul and Silas in prison)
Galatians 5:1 NIV