Summary: We must live in such a way that people can see Jesus in us.
Praise in the Dungeons of Life
November 8, 2009 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: We must live in such a way that people can see Jesus in us.
Focus Passage: Acts 16:22-34
Introduction: The citizens of Feldkirch, Austria, didn't know what to do. Napoleon's massive army was preparing to attack. Soldiers had been spotted on the heights above the little town, which was situated on the Austrian border. A council of citizens was hastily summoned to decide whether they should try to defend themselves or display the white flag of surrender. It happened to be Easter Sunday, and the people had gathered in the local church.
The pastor rose and said, "Friends, we have been counting on our own strength, and apparently that has failed. As this is the day of our Lord's resurrection, let us just ring the bells, have our services as usual, and leave the matter in His hands. We know only our weakness, and not the power of God to defend us."
The council accepted his plan and the church bells rang. The enemy, hearing the sudden peal, concluded that the Austrian army had arrived during the night to defend the town. Before the service ended, the enemy broke camp and left.
I. Praise, not complaints
a. In good circumstances, it is easy to pray and sing
b. Choosing to pray and sing in bad circumstances:
i. Philippians 4:4 NASB Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
ii. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NASB pray without ceasing;
iii. James 1:2-3 NASB Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, (3) knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
iv. Proverbs 3:5 NASB Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
II. God is worthy of worship
a. God is in control Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
b. Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
III. Opportunity to Witness
a. The prisoners were listening
b. The jailor ran to them