Connect. For God’s sake, connect.
JULY 15, 2021
Connect. For God’s sake, connect. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. If you’re joining us now for the first time in a while, we’re studying the second chapter of the book of Acts and we’re talking about Pentecost and we’re suggesting that you can’t make Pentecost happen, it’s something that God decides when revival or awakening sweeps a land. It’s something that God decides to do, and for his own reasons. And if you pray enough and you work hard enough and you’re religious enough, that will not bring Pentecost, but if you’re needy enough and you’re afraid enough and you’re sinful enough, maybe God will hear our prayers for mercy. We live in a very, very dark time. I don’t know anytime in my lifetime, when it’s been this dark, this much hatred, this much division, this much sin, this much rebellion, this much, it just goes on and on, and it’s hopeless and that’s bad. No, because when things are hopeless, God moves. If you were listening yesterday, we talked about God being a God of surprises. Let me tell you something you need to remember. And then I’m gonna move on to talking about prayer, which we mentioned yesterday, but whatever you think God is doing in your life, he’s probably not. I have a friend, who every time he calls me, he opens by saying, Hey, Brown, what’s God doing in your life? And, you know what my answer always is, and you would think he’d quit asking it, Hey, brown, what’s God doing in your life? And I’ll always say, I don’t have a foggiest idea. And if I did, he would do something else to just confuse me, because he’s God, and I’m not. Whatever you think God is doing in your life, and we have this tendency, especially Bible believers to talk about, this is what God is teaching, this is why this is happening, this is what God is doing, this is how God is leading. And God may not be doing any of that. His ways are circuitous. He is a God of surprises. And this is the good news, he loves to surprise his people and the surprises are almost always good. When he reconciles, and we didn’t expect it. When we got better, and it was a major surprise. When we loved, when before we hated, and we don’t know where that came from. When the bill was paid and we didn’t have any money. When, when the job opened up and we had kicked down every door we needed. When God changed the situation in church that we thought was hopeless. God is a God of surprises. And his surprises are almost always good for his people. It certainly was true at Pentecost. Peter didn’t know he was going to preach that sermon. They didn’t expect that tongues of fire. They were surprised by the rush of wind. It scared the spit out of them. And then, then they didn’t expect 3000 people would come to know Christ. All of that was the God of surprises. And we as Christians should never lose hope, because he is. And then I mentioned yesterday that prayer was so central, Acts 1:14.
All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer.
I, you know, I have to be careful here, because almost every book on revival and awakening say that it happened, because a small group of Christians began to pray for revival and awakening. And I don’t want to say that’s not true, but it’s not, because when awakening and revival didn’t happen, there were Christians who were praying for revival and awakening. But in a dark time, in a hard time, and that’s where we are now, we need to be connected. We need to be connected to the God of the universe. We make prayer into such a task, that nobody wants to pray. I’m going to give God a season of prayer, we say. And then we pray the Lord’s prayer, we pray for everybody we know. And three minutes of passed and we don’t know what to say. And we feel so uncomfortable, that we just say, I’m not doing this anymore. Not this way, because I don’t have it in me. I’m not a contemplative. I don’t have the gift. Oh yeah, you do. You’re just doing it wrong. I read a story about a man, they were arguing about what should be the proper posture in prayer, should you kneel, should you be prostrate on the floor, should you, what was the proper position of the body in prayer? He said, you know, one time I fell down a well and the best praying I ever did was standing on my head. And the prayer is not a system. And when you make it into a system, it becomes a task. I am a man of prayer. I’ve said that to you before. And every time I say it, I wince, because it sounds so pious, but I really am. I get up early in the morning. And coffee and Jesus get me up in the morning and I spend time with him. And it’s the only place where I can cuss and spit without losing my job. It’s the only place where I can be totally honest without being embarrassed. It’s the one place where I can open up my heart and be with somebody who likes me a lot. In fact, 10% more than he likes you. And so getting up in the morning is a hassle for me, the way it is for everybody, but I do it because I think of him. And I think of that time, that I need so desperately to be connected to the source of my life. Hey Jesus, it’s me again. And, I need this time with you, because you’re my friend. And there’s some things I’ve got to tell you, that I haven’t told anybody else. And I tell you, because you listen and because you’re my friend, that’s real prayer. Don’t get into a system or think you can bring a revival. Just spend some time with your friend. There’s an old sermon illustration. And I’ve probably shared it with you, it took place in Scotland where a man was on his death bed. They didn’t know it, but he was close to death, a lot closer than anybody expected. And his pastor came to visit. And he said, you know, I don’t feel very close to God, I’m a Christian, but I don’t feel very close to God. And the pastor said, look, the next time you pray, this chair I’m sitting on, I want you to picture Jesus sitting in this chair, and I want you to talk to him the way you would talk to a friend and that’s all. And, the guy said, alright, I’ll try that, that night he died. And the daughter, called the pastor and said, Jimmy died last night. And the pastor said, oh, I’m so sorry. And she said, but it was a strange thing, when I came into his room, he was gone, but his hand was on the chair beside the bed. Oh man. That’s what prayer is. Putting your hand on the chair beside the bed. It sometimes says, and when you’re phony, he’ll call you on it. So, be honest, don’t tell him you love him, if you don’t. Don’t tell him that you’re going to follow him, if you’re not. Don’t lie, be as honest as you can. And he will respond in ways that will change your life. That’s so important that we be people of prayer in this kind of cultural situation. It is desperately important. And I’m not saying that in a religious sense. Christians need to be connected to the God of the universe. And we’ve been given the privilege to do exactly that. And there’s one other thing that I noticed that was going on at Pentecost, that ought to be going on in our culture also, and that is connected to others, fellowship. Now, next week, we’re going to go to the last part of the second chapter of Acts. And we’re going to talk about what it means to be brothers and sisters in Christ and how important that is in this cultural environment. But in this list that I’m giving you, it’s important that we at least mention it in passing, Acts 1:14.
All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer.
It is the Biblical doctrine of brotherhood.
And we’re going to talk about that next week, but for now, let me say something really important. In this kind of cultural environment, where we pray for awakening and revival. The world is gonna eat you up, if you try to do it by yourself. I don’t go to church, because that’s what one does. I go to church, because that’s where my brothers and sisters are. And we can huddle together in a storm and we know we’ll see survive as long as we’re together. So, that’s it. Those things were present in a bad culture in the first century. And they ought to be present in a bad culture in the 21st century. Next week, brotherhood. Now you think about what I taught to you. Amen.
Thanks Steve. And we will continue our guided tour through Acts on Monday. Don’t miss that, but first, tomorrow, it’s time again for Friday Q&A, of course that’s when Steve and our friend, Pete Alwinson answer the challenging questions that you have sent in, be sure to join us. So, you know that we have a talk radio show, it’s called Steve Brown Etc. And you probably know that we have some really great guests on the show, all of which we like and appreciate, but can I be honest with you? There are a few guests that are just in a different category, meaning the things these guests talk about, we’re still talking about. Well, one such guest was Brant Hansen, who joined us well over a year ago. Brant talked about the way we often fool ourselves. It’s an amazing conversation, and we have the whole thing on a CD, that we would love to send to you today. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail a request, send it to
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