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A Sacrifice of Praise!

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Will You Sing Praises to God in Your Darkest Hour?

Hebrews 13:15-16 Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. 16Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy [of the church [a]as embodiment and proof of fellowship], for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Acts 16:24-26 He, having received [so strict a] charge, put them into the inner prison (the dungeon) and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the [other] prisoners were listening to them, 26Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the very foundations of the prison were shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were unfastened.

Reflection: Paul and Silas were placed in the inner prison, the dungeon. The conditions were less than favorable and their feet were fastened in stocks! There was no room service, internet connection or a seven course meal waiting for them. Yet the bible says about midnight as Paul & Silas were praying and singing hymns to praise God the others prisoners were listening to them. Now I can just imagine what the other prisoners were thinking. Ok, who are the new dudes & why on earth are they singing? However, Paul & Silas knew their God and they knew that a sacrifice of praise could be lifted up to Him. Suddenly there was a great earthquake and the very foundations of the prison were shaken, the doors were opened & everyone,not just Paul & Silas, were set free!.

Today I want to share with a true story about a woman in prison. I want to show you how God can use you if you be faithful & obedient to reach out to others. I walked into the lab office, & signed in. The person at the front desk said, I'll be right with you. I no sooner sat down in the empty waiting room & the door opened! In walked a woman probation officer with a young blonde haired woman in her mid 20's, in an orange jumpsuit. The young woman was holding something in her hands as she took a seat in the waiting room. I was sitting across from her when I saw the  black & white sonogram picture in her hands. I spoke to her and said "is that a picture of your baby"? She looked up at me and said "I just found out I'm having twins today, a boy and a girl, then she dropped her head and said "now I've messed everything up by being in jail".

It was then that the nurse came out and said she was ready for me. I silently asked the Lord to please let me continue to witness to this woman when I came back. I felt a release in my spirit that he was going to let me do that. Then nurse looked quickly at the woman's paper work, than at the probation officer and said "oh, my it looks like your going to be here for awhile, I need to draw several vials of blood from her". Well there you go, she'll be here when I come out.

I returned to the waiting room and found her still sitting there on the couch. Her probation officer was standing arms lengths away from her. She was not hand cuffed, but I wanted to make sure that it was Ok to approach her, so I politely asked her probation officer If that would be alright to talk to her. I had favor. I walked over & sat next to her and found out her name. Her name was Marybeth. I said "Marybeth Do you know that God loves you & has a wonderful plan for your life". She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said "I sure hope so"! I said Marybeth if you were to die today could you say beyond a shadow of doubt you know for sure that you would go to heaven? She was still holding that picture of her twin babies in her hands. She looked up from the picture with tears in her eyes and said "no, I don't know" I prayed with Marybeth to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord & Savior & she did!

Sometimes we don't see God working behind the scenes in our lives. God knew the exact timing of this woman's arrival. He also knew that once I saw her that I would know that he had sent me on a divine appointment today. All I had to do was be obedient to follow through. I also prayed with Marybeth because she told me that she believed that they were going to release her next Thursday, for favor with the officials & that she would get out of prison. Once again I am awed & so blessed to have been in a place today at a time when God could use me! He lead me to speak to someone who needed to know that not only that God loved her, but that her life would be forever changed from this day forward!

 

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