sample sermon notes
Based on Acts 16.
NOTE: This preacher created only sermon notes, not a full manuscript.
LOCATION ONE (The street in front of your home)
**PICTURE a prison in front of your house**
Prison – where things end
Send bad people to prison
Bad things happen in prison
Unfortunately people often end back up in prison
Segregated from the community, friends, supports
Little chance for rehabilitation
For some, just another stop on the road of destruction
Nothing good can come from prison
Too full of bad people, criminals, gangs.
**Still LOCATION ONE: PICTURE a Hollywood camera crew up in a tree filming the prison**
At least that’s how Hollywood would have you think
May be some truth to it
We capture criminals and we put them away, it’s been like this for
a very long time.
Sometimes innocent people are put away
or people who tried to do what is right.
LOCATION TWO (Outside your front door)
** PICTURE steel bars around your front porch or door with Nelson Mandela & Bonhoeffer trapped inside**
Nelson Mandela stood up against apartheid
Spent a long time in jail.
Deitrich Bonhoeffer attempted to assassinate Hitler
Died in a concentration camp the day before it was liberated.
We hear of innocent people being convicted on a regular basis
Being punished for something they didn’t do
Justice and punishment can be a messy business.
LOCATION THREE (Inside your front door)
** PICTURE Paul & the Slave Girl inside your front entrance**
Even Paul ended up in prison, more than once
In Acts 16, walking around a Roman colony, Philippi
Were being followed by a slave girl, who had some powers
Was being used to make her owners money.
For days she followed Paul and Silas
Calling out, pointing to them
Paul finally had enough and exorcised her of the spirit
Her owners were not very appreciative of losing their money
Notice though the accusations they place on them
Not because of the girl
“These men are disturbing our city; they are Jews and are
advocating customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to adopt
Pretty vague charges
The crowd (??) jumps in, they are severely beaten and jailed.
LOCATION FOUR (Your living room)
** PICTURE several people from your congregation chained up to your living room couches & chairs + Paul & Silias with them too**
If you were in jail, what would you do?
I’d sit quietly in the corner and keep a low profile
No need to draw attention.
Paul and Silas took another approach
Knew they were in a Roman city
They sang hymns and prayed.
First thing that came to your mind, I’m sure.
door and chains are opened.
LOCATION FIVE (Your dining room)
** PICTURE the Jailor sleeping at your dining room table when an earthquake happens – he rushes into your living room to check the prisoners**
Jailor wakes up and expects the prisoners gone.
Prepares to take his own life.
Life in a Roman town
You fail, you die.
Didn’t want to face his authorities
Decides to take his own life
“We’re still here!”
Asks Paul what he needs to do to be saved
Paul offers the most simple explanation
“Believe in Jesus”
And they led him to the Lord.
LOCATION SIX (Your kitchen sink)
**PICTURE the sink filled with water for baptizing + Paul, the Eunuch & the jailor standing there – really picture each of them in detail!**
He and his whole family were baptized that night.
At least 3rd unexpected baptism in Acts (to this point)
First was Saul/Paul
Then Ethiopian eunuch
Now the jailor.
Notice how they were outsiders
Saul, last one expected to join the Christians
Eunuch, foreigner, broke OT laws
Jailor, Roman in a Roman colony, no connection
Yet all 3 welcomed openly to a sacred initiation
But more than that
Open to receiving God in their lives.
LOCATION SEVEN (Your music room in basement)
** PICTURE the jailor holding your guitar like a sword, ready to stab himself to death with the guitar. Then Paul stops him > God has other plans.**
Today’s case: jailor was ready to die because he failed
It was the rule of the day
God had other plans.
LOCATION EIGHT (Your furnace room)
**PICTURE the room filled with first-century believers (Book of Acts) with more believers coming in all the time, some are unexpected, but all are warmly welcomed by those already in the room.**
Book of Acts is the story of the birth of the church
It grows exponentially
But also grows at great cost.
Paul gets beaten and thrown in jail… more than once
Other disciples are killed.
The book shows what followers of Jesus are willing to do
to bring more people to God.
They are willing to sacrifice their lives for strangers.
In Acts it always seems like God is one step ahead of the story
Always ready for an unexpected action in unexpected times.
LOCATION NINE (Your bedroom)
** PICTURE a miniature street, desert & jail with tiny people doing things, spaced out on bed with God moving all around, at work in people’s lives.**
Whether in the streets, on deserted roads or even in jail
God is using his followers to change people’s lives
To save them.
To give them life and hope and meaning.
To love them.
LOCATION TEN (Your roof)
** PICTURE God, Jesus & a gift on the roof. Are we willing to get on the roof??**
This is the God we serve
This is the Jesus we follow
This is the gift we share
How far are we willing to go?