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January 2, 2017

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The Prisoners Heard Them

"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake." Acts 16:25-26

What a blessed release comes to us when we recognize the source of our sufficiency, the fountainhead from which the refreshing waters of life flow, when we stop "striving to be" and simply turn our all over to the Lord. This is one of the most difficult things we face as believers. For some reason, we continue to think WE must make it happen when the Lord stands by waiting to make it happen.

First, He must have the resignation of our weakness and inability committed to His ability. He must "be" and He must "do" in our lives the things that make us instruments of praise to glorify Him. Our efforts are like notes of discord--harsh, loud, disruptive, and completely out of tune. We must lay the whole of our lives into the hands of the Master, for His use and under His control.

Paganini, the world-renowned violinist, was the featured artist at Carnegie Hall. The hall was packed with excited and enthusiastic music lovers who appreciated the artistry of this master violinist, acclaimed around the world for his musical genius. He appeared on stage and after the applause, quietly placed his instrument under his chin, only to make the alarming discovery that it was not his treasured Stradivarius. He excused himself and went to his dressing room to retrieve his famous violin, only to find that someone had stolen it and replaced it with a cheap replica. After a moment of shock and reflection, he returned to the stage and told the audience of his misfortune. Then he said, "Ladies and gentlemen, with this cheap secondhand fiddle, I will show you that the music is not in the instrument, but in the soul." He then began to play as never before, and that secondhand violin poured forth music that completely enthralled the audience. They were captivated by the music from the master. The applause after seemed endless with excitement and appreciation!

Servants of Christ are challenged--amidst the trying conditions and discords of life, the discouragements and disappointments--not to let the "music" resounding from our lives be conditioned by external things that we encounter from day to day. The music will be a "melody born in the soul" when we surrender our efforts of striving and struggling to the ONE who can turn them into songs in the night and songs of praise that ONLY HE CAN PRODUCE! The Lord is longing to use you AS YOU ARE, but under the MASTERY OF HIS ARTISTRY!

Was it not the experience of Paul and Silas? Bound in stocks of confinement in a dark and dingy prison, beaten with many stripes, but rejoicing in the Lord, they lifted up their heart in songs of praise. Was this their doing? No, it was the Spirit of the Lord manifesting His life through them! His strength made a reality in their weakness, His comfort in their concern, His freedom in their confinement, and His victory in their defeat. The Lord was in control! The results were glorious. The Lord wants to take the secondhand residue of our lives and make something beautiful, a melody of praise that will glorify Him. But HE must do it; WE can't. Place "your fiddle" in the MASTER'S HAND. LET HIM PRODUCE ETERNAL MUSIC FROM YOUR LIFE!

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-01-02


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