July 26th

"The crowd joined in attacking them (Paul and Silas), and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with many rods.  And they had inflicted them with many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.  Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in stocks.  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them."  Acts 16: 22-25

Paul and Silas were in the temple praying, and a slave girl that was possessed by a demon comes in.  Paul sees what is going on in this girl and delivers her from this demon.  The owner of this slave is upset because of this girl being set free.  They bring Paul and Silas to the magistrates and they were arrested, beaten with rods.  (A violent punishment that they would take metal rods and beat the person and many times they would not be able to walk again).  They take Paul and Silas and throw them into inner cell and place their feet in stocks.  Can you imagine the pain and discomfort that they were in.

We think we have it bad today!  We need to realize that we may face persecution, and trials, and heartache in these last days, simply for following Jesus.  We cannot be surprised by what is going on in our world.  We are clearly told in the Bible of what the end times are going to be like. 

But....what is going to be our response when these things come into our lives, world?  Look at what Paul and Silas were doing!

They have been beaten, thrown into jail, placed into stocks and they are PRAYING, WORSHIPPING AND SINGING TO GOD!  They are focusing on the Lord in the most difficult times of life.  They are praying!  Do we pray when we are going through the difficult times of life?  They are worshipping and praising God in the condition that they were in!  Do we praise and worship God when we are facing things that are so difficult in this life?

This is what it means to offer up a sacrifice of praise and worship!  When life is lousy and we go through thing that we will continue to pray, and praise the Lord!  Today, we need to just begin to praise and worship the Lord and allow Jesus to be magnified in our situations!

"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!"  Today, I praise You in spite of my circumstances, feelings, and problems!

Lord, help me to know Jesus the way that Paul and Silas knew You!

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