Summary: In prison some things were happening. 1- the church was praying 2- the angel was working 3- the apostle was waiting
INTRO.- ILL.- A man who had been caught embezzling millions from his employer went to a lawyer seeking defense. He didn’t want to go to jail. But his lawyer told him, "Don’t worry. You’ll never have to go to jail with all that money you have." And the lawyer was right. When the man was sent to prison, he didn’t have a dime.
Prison vs. Work
* IN PRISON...You spend the majority of your time in an 8x10 cell.
* AT WORK....You spend most of your time in a 6x8 cubicle.
* IN PRISON...You get three meals a day.
* AT WORK....You only get a break for 1 meal and you have to pay for it.
* IN PRISON...You get time off for good behavior.
* AT WORK....You get rewarded for good behavior with more work.
* IN PRISON...A guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
* AT WORK....You must carry around a security card and unlock and open all the doors yourself.
* IN PRISON...You can watch TV and play games.
* AT WORK....You get fired for watching TV and playing games.
* IN PRISON...You get your own toilet.
* AT WORK....You have to share.
* IN PRISON...All expenses are paid by taxpayers with no work required.
* AT WORK....You get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.
* IN PRISON...You spend most of your life looking through bars from the inside wanting to get out.
* AT WORK....You spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.
* IN PRISON...There are wardens who are often sadistic.
* AT WORK....They are called supervisors.
Prison might be better than some work places but I still don’t want to go there!
Peter was imprisoned for doing something good. Most of the time people go to prison for doing bad things. Peter was spreading the gospel of Christ and was imprisoned for it, but apparently, he took it in stride, knowing that anyone who would follow Jesus would also be persecuted.
John 15:19-20 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ’No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also."
In one sense, we’re all in prison. How so? There are all kinds of prisons. The prisons of doubt, fear, disbelief, greed, lust, anger, jealousy, power, etc. All these and more have imprisoned us at times. We are a prisoner to these desires or emotions. Some of these are so powerful that they keep us from living the abundant life that Jesus talked about.
What are we to do when we know we’re imprisoned and can’t get out but want out? We look up. Jesus is the only person who can make things right when things go wrong!
PROP.- While Peter was in prison some things were happening. 1- the church was praying 2- the angel was working 3- the apostle was waiting
I. THE CHURCH WAS PRAYING
5So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. THE CHURCH WAS PRAYING.
ILL.- One day the minister visited a hard-working farmer who was in his congregation. The minister marveled at the change in the farm, from dilapidated buildings and poor, worn-out land to modern, brightly-painted buildings and rich, abundant cropland. “My, Bill,” said the minister, “the Lord and you have certainly worked wonders with this farm.”
“Yes,” replied the farmer laconically, “but you should have seen the place when the Lord had it by Himself.”
Sometimes in life we humans think we are pretty good at what we do. In fact, we might even wonder what the Lord could do without us. WRONG! It’s the reverse of what we should be thinking. It should be: what would we do without the Lord’s help in life?
We don’t get anywhere in life that is good without the Lord’s help and blessing! Some people don’t believe this but I am convinced of it. Therefore, it seems only natural that we need His help every time we turn around.
We shouldn’t open our eyes without offering a prayer of thanks to Him. We shouldn’t take a drink of water to our lips without saying "thank you, Lord." We shouldn’t ingest one bite of food without giving thanks. We shouldn’t receive one paycheck from anyone without praising God for it. IF IT’S GOOD, IT’S FROM THE LORD!
Now likewise, when life gets tough we need to seek Him, seek His will, His blessing, His help, His grace. I’m saying that we should be a praying people! The church should be praying. We should be praying privately and congregationally. In church and out of the church. Anywhere and everywhere. Driving, etc.