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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Rattled (05/09/13)

TITLE: When Chains Fall Off, Lives Are Changed
By Kathern Nemec


Following an unruly episode of spiteful accusations, a frenzied public uprising with mob violence, beatings and unjust imprisonment, Paul and Silas could have angrily rattled their chains in protest, but they didn’t. Instead, they prayed and sang praises to God in the darkest hour of the night, within earshot of all the prisoners. Paul and Silas were physically bound, but the stocks and chains could not bind their spirits.

“Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” (Acts 16:26, NKJV)

The destructive earthquake and the rattling din of every prisoner’s chains falling off must have been deafening. Fearfully aware that he would be held responsible for the commotion that took place in the darkness of his watch, the trembling prison guard was about to take his own life when Paul yelled out to him that no one had escaped.

That event marked a before and after in the life of the prison guard. Desperately asking Paul and Silas how to be saved, they jumped at the opportunity to lead the frightened guard and his entire family to faith in Jesus; they were all saved that very night. (Acts 16:28-34, NKJV) Unlike the chaotic event that took place in the prison just hours earlier, no chains rattled. Each family member was unshackled; they were set free from the bondage of their past, and their lives were forever changed.

Without the kind of racket made by the chains of all the prisoners that dark night in Philippi, our chains of sin, of addictions, of our past, of anxiety, of condemnation, fear and inner turmoil all fall off when we believe in Jesus. As in the case of the prison guard and his family, our darkness silently turns into light, our confusion is replaced by peace and we experience freedom that only Christ can give. He came “to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound”. (Isaiah 61:1, NKJV)

Christ brings freedom; chains fall off without a sound and lives are changed forever. Just ask the jailor of Philippi!

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This article has been read 207 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Richard Hicks05/18/13
Great reminder. Your words kept my attention. Keep writing.
Genia Gilbert05/21/13
This piece shows depth of thought and a good spiritual application. Good job
C D Swanson 05/21/13
Great job, this is a wonderful approach to the topic. God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/21/13
I really enjoyed this devotion. You did a nice job of explaining it and using the Scriptures to back up your message.

The first line was a tad long and complicated for me. I worry that it might overwhelm some readers. Maybe toning it down just a bit or spreading it out might help. For example: Following a public riot, being beaten unjustly,and then thrown into jail, Paul and Silas could have rattled their chains, instead they allowed God to make a statement for them.
It's still a powerful and intriguing line but I cut out a lot of the adverbs and adjectives. Often you can pack more of a punch with action verbs.

I can really feel your passion and desire to share the message with others. You have a knack for pulling the reader in and really letting me feel the passion rise up from the page and grip my heart. This genre is obviously one that you have a special gift for. You also did a nice job of writing on topic while delivering an important message.
Judith Gayle Smith05/23/13
Wonderful! Praise YHWH! Congratulations!