Paul and Silas were going to the place of prayer by a river in Philippi when a slave girl began to follow them. She had a spirit to predict the future and, day after day, she followed Paul and the others saying, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved” (Acts 16:17). Paul grew so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her,” and it did. When the owners of the slave girl realized they had lost their way to make money, they dragged Paul and Silas to the authorities and said they had advocated unlawful customs for the Romans in the city.
Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten and thrown in jail. The jailer put them in the center cell and locked their feet in stocks. At midnight Paul and Silas were singing and praying while the other prisoners listened. A violent earthquake rocked the jail and opened the cell doors. The jailer drew his sword and was about to kill himself when Paul cried out, “Don’t do that! We are all here.”
The jailer called for lights and fell at the feet of Paul and Silas. “What must I do to be saved?” he asked. “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved–you and your household,” they said (Acts 16:31). The jailer washed their wounds and fed them. Paul and Silas baptized the jailer and his family.
THINK ABOUT IT
Do you believe God can use evil for good? That’s what He did in Philippi. Paul became so troubled by the rantings of the slave girl following them, that he turned and delivered her from the spirit of fortune telling. You might wonder what’s so bad about what she did, but she was paid to lead people to trust her stories. God, however, wants us to believe Him and trust Him instead of people. He even uses sin in our lives for good. When we meet a person who is going through something we have, we can witness to them that we have experienced their pain and how God showed His love to us and helped us.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Thank you, Father God, for Jesus. When we are tempted to look to another person or power besides You, help us to refocus on Jesus and His sacrifice to save us from our sin and give us eternal, abundant life with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.