Tag Archives: annoyed

An Exorcism, Riot, and Jail

16 One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune-telling. 17While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, ‘These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.’ 18She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And it came out that very hour. 19 But when her owners saw that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market-place before the authorities. 20When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, ‘These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews 21and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt or observe.’ 22The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates had them stripped of their clothing and ordered them to be beaten with rods.23After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. 24Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. (Acts 16:16-24, NRSV)

So Paul got annoyed and told a spirit to leave a young woman. And when this happened she could no longer tell the things others couldn’t, and her owners now couldn’t make any money off of her.

But rather than be happy that she was free from the spirit that held her captive, they were upset at the loss of their income.

Where would you be in this situation, happy for the young woman or made at the loss of your income?

Why do we do the things we do, for the things we get from doing them or allowing them to happen, or do we live our lives to show the love God has for all of us?

What can we do to allow God to move more through our lives?


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Words of Liberation from the Bush

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’“God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations. Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying: I have given heed to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. I declare that I will bring you up out of the misery of Egypt, to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ (Exodus 3:1-17, NRSV)

What would you do if you saw a bush on fire and it was not actually burning?

And then if that isn’t enough, a voice comes out of the bush, and it is God and God is telling you to go back to a place you fled from because of something terrible you did there.

And God is telling you to go and do something you really don’t want to do and you think you are not capable of doing.

What would you do?

I believe God does speak to us today just like this. And we are so busy or so annoyed or so insert action word here that we miss it. We miss God trying to tell us something.

All of us have our burning bush. What is yours?

And the real question is will you go?


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heap what?

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:9-21, NRSV)

We are not to repay evil for evil, but we are to love our enemies.

We are to pray for those who revile us.

We are to bless those who curse us.

We are to live in harmony with one another.

For by doing this we leave space for God to work in the lives of those who seem to be against us.

And in so doing this we heap burning coal on their heads!

Now that would just down right hurt! Burning coals on your head would not be a pleasant experience and in the whole grand scheme of things is truly worse than any revenge I believe any of us could come up with. Plus think of it in this way. Most people expect you to retaliate, in fact that is probably why some of them lash out in the first place. And if you do not retaliate, they will be confused and annoyed. By not doing what they expect, but loving them in-spite of their hate, we are doing what God has done for us!

God confuses us by loving us in-spite of our doing what we shouldn’t.

So confuse them and heap burning coals on their heads!


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