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Sermon July 18th – Sermon Notes – Praise God

Message title:  Give Praise – Actions 16:16-30

 The Big Idea for message:  Giving our Lord praise, is something that we should be doing regularly. As seen by Paul and Silas we should give praise even when things are looking really bad.  

 Intro:  Most of the time I am walking through the factory at work by myself, you will find me whistling. There are a couple different worship songs that I regularly whistle as I walk. That is when everything is going good.

 After all the second half of James 5:13 tells us ‘Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.’

  When stress roles in whether it is work related or life is throwing me for a loop, I stop whistling. Sadly when life gets me down, my initial reaction is to stop praising the Lord.

 Tie In:  Does anyone else do this? Are you happy praising the Lord when things are good?  It is easy to praise God when we are feeling good, when we are happy.

 What about when things are not going as planned?

How about when you are in a bad mood?

When you are feeling depressed?

When you are doubting what you are supposed to be doing?

When you doubt your abilities?

When you feel your heart is hardened towards something?

Worst of all when you feel lost?

 What do you do then? Does the song you were singing soften, does it go away, it is something that gets forgotten. Are you like me, full  of praise when everything is good but lose it as soon as things get rocky?

 Scripture: 

The question before us today is what does God’s Word tell us about offering praise? Is it something we only do with we are happy or everything is going our way? Or is it something that we need to do no matter what our circumstances are?

 We can find many verses in the Bible talking about praise.

 Hebrews 13:15

15Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.’

 Continually offer Praise, does not matter how things are going. We are to praise God during the good and the bad. Praising God here is not only the singing of songs, but also declaring God’s name and His character. In other words sharing what God has done for us, with each other and those who do not know Him.

 We are to praise God all the time during the good and the bad by singing songs and declaring His goodness.

 In the book of Acts we get a great example of a couple of men who have had a rough day, yet they choose to praise God.

 Acts 16:16-26

16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

 19When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

 22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

 25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.

Verse 16

Think about it, Paul and Silas were on their way to a place of prayer. They were going to church. Sounds like a nice day to me.

 Verse 18

They are then harassed by a slave girl who has an evil spirit in her and Paul casts it out. Sounds like a real good thing if you ask me. So after they do this good deed, their day of worship and prayer is interrupted.

 Verse 22-23

Talk about things turning bad.

 Anyone see the movie Passion? Well Paul and Silas just received a beating similar to what Jesus endured and then they were thrown into jail.

 Verse 24

If things weren’t bad to begin with they just got worse.

 Inner Prison – they did not have a window to look out, in reality they probably had no light what so ever. Room with no light and no real air flow, except through the door when it was open. This is the place reserved for the worst criminals.

 Stocks – wooden beam designed to stretch their legs. This was not needed, there was no escape from the inner prison. Putting their feet into stocks was really a form a torture.

 So far we find Paul and Silas beaten severely, placed into the darkest, dingiest, cell in the prison, and now they were being tortured with their feet in stocks.

 What started out as a nice day, with them going to church, has turned down right horrible.

 If we were in this situation we might:

            Question God?

            Given up?

            Be full of self doubt?

            Be depressed?

            Felt lost?

            Definitely be in a bad mood!

 While we might have felt this way Paul and Silas did not!

 Verse 25

Here they are imprisoned and being tortured and they are praying and singing hymns!

 It almost seems like they were thinking, hey we were on our way to pray and praise God when all this happened, let’s do it! Can hear them saying something like ‘Whatever comes Lord, we surrender it to you.’

 Verse 26

They worshipped God above all things, and God answered them. God moved in a miraculous way. Not that they were necessarily praying for release, otherwise they probably would have run at the first chance.

 They were praying and praising God regardless of what was going to happen.

 Lets read what happens next.

 Verses 27-34

27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

 29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

 31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

 Paul and Silas had plans on praising God when things were good and praised Him when things went bad. This is a great example for us. We need to always praise God! He knows what is around the corner and we praise Him for what is coming.

 We should – Carry a Song in Our Heart, God WILL Set Us Free!

 Application: 

 I mentioned things that might stop us from praising God, but if we choose to praise Him during those rough times He will use it to change us.

 When things are not going as planned? God will show us His plan.

When we are in a bad mood? Singing praises changes our mood.

When you are feeling depressed? God will remind us of something to be thankful for.

When you are doubting what you are supposed to be doing? God will show you what you were made to do.

When you doubt your abilities? God will show you the truth.

When you feel your heart is hardened towards something? Praise softens your heart.

Worst of all when you feel lost? God will show you the way.

 Going Forward:  So what do we need to do?    

 We need to remember to, Carry a Song in Our Heart, God WILL Set Us Free!

 As we read earlier:

Hebrews 13:15

15Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.’

 I would be willing to bet that each of us has a song or two that speak to us. You may know the whole song by heart, or only bits and pieces of it. When we are feeling beat up, we need sing or whistle that song. We need to listen to the words and Praise the Lord.

 If we, Carry a Song in Our Heart, God WILL Set Us Free!

Thanks for reading and God Bless!

Pastor Robert

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July 18, 2010 - Posted by | Sermon

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