The Power of Jesus’ Name
1. Diversity and Unity
As Paul and Silas continued their work in Philippi, they cast the demon out of a fortune-telling slave girl and were therefore beaten and imprisoned for taking away the source of money from the girl’s owners. At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and praising God in their cell, when a great earthquake shook open all the doors and loosened everyone’s chains. As the jailer was about to kill himself, Paul stopped him. Affected by the love and grace demonstrated by Paul and Silas, the jailer was converted.
The church of Philippi started with a businesswoman, an unnamed slave girl and a jailer. John Stott once said, “The head of a Jewish household would use the same prayer every morning, giving thanks that God had not made him a Gentile, a woman or a slave. But here were representatives of these three despised categories redeemed and united in Christ. For truly, as Paul had recently written to the Galatians, ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’” Knowing that the name of Jesus sets all free indiscriminately, Paul overcame human barriers and shared the gospel with those individuals.
2. Roots of Joy
Though in the midst of a brutal prison, Paul and Silas sang praises to God. They sank the roots of their joy into the Lord himself, not the circumstance. As Christians, we are facing troubles as everyone else. The only difference is that we have God to come to.
Prayers and praises shift our focus away from our problems unto God and His sovereign power. They remind us that God is on His throne and He is in control. Through praise, we are enabled to surrender ourselves to His divine purpose. Praise is also a declaration of faith by which we declare the greatness of our God.
What could cause you to lose your song? 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV) writes, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
3. What must I do to be saved?
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household” (Acts 16:31 NIV). The power of Jesus’ name brought peace and hope to the jailer. Even in the fiercest storm, God is still there. He is always there. Don’t lose your song.