Don’t just sit there…do something.
AUGUST 22, 2022
Don’t just sit there…do something. And let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches that God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy, and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. If you open the Bible, we’re looking at Acts 16 and the first few verses, and we’re talking about spiritual gifts. And we’ve seen what they are and we have seen that you don’t get them unless you’re a believer, it’s a supernatural endowment that is exclusively given to followers of Christ. And then secondly, we’ve seen that the spiritual gift that God has given you, is not only exclusively given to those who are Christians, but we have seen that God prepares you and your spiritual gift generally won’t contradict the way God has prepared you to receive it. And then thirdly, we’ve seen that other Christians are a part of the determination of that gift and that’s Acts 16:2. And we talked about the church and the church being a place where when you go there, they have to take in. And then fourthly, I want you to notice, the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit in choosing Timothy and giving the gifts, Timothy acted in obedience and God gave the gifts. Now, you have to go over to Timothy, I Timothy to get how this works, I Timothy 4:14 says. And we’re talking about Timothy in this Acts 16 passage.
Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid hands on you.
I Timothy 1:6
Hence, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands.
In other words, don’t just sit there, do something. You know, I like, have liked being parts of large churches cause I can sit on the back row. And show up for worship services and nobody knows who I am and nobody asks me to do anything and I can rest and relax and just worship. Isn’t that cool? No, it’s not, it’s sin. When you get in a church, do something. Now don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. There’s some churches that take a new Christian and like a horse, they put a saddle on him and ride him to death. And then they wonder why that new Christian became a Buddhist. I don’t think the church ought to be a place where you have to be seven nights a week, a place where you’ve got to be involved in five different committees, a place where everything depends on you. I think sometimes we have too much organization and too much busy work going on in the church. When I was a pastor, we had elders and we had a Wednesday evening service. It was a teaching service and a prayer service. And I said to the elders, this is a law that I’m instituting as an executive. If you are out doing elder work one night a week, I don’t want you coming on Wednesday night. I don’t want you over involved in the church cause I don’t want to kill you cause I like you. But with that being said, just sitting isn’t good. You need to go do something. Once you are beginning to identify your spiritual gift, the place where God has prepared you. Maybe you have the gift of cooking or the gift of singing or the gift of giving or the gift of healing or the gift of prophecy or the gift of wisdom. Begin to allow God to use you in the body of the church with that particular gift. Let me tell you about a young girl, Judy, and that’s not her real name. She came to our church out of the Jesus movement. And this had been years ago. That was an interesting time. I often pray in the morning, that was a great awakening. And I say to God, do it again, do it one more time. It would be so, those were exciting times. In other words, God moved and it was so apparent that he was moving across our nation, that it blew everybody away. And there was this girl, Judy, who came to her church. She was unwashed, God had not cleaned up her language, she was not gifted, she was not educated, she was not what you would expect to be a leader in the church. And I remember one night at a church supper, I sat down at the table with Judy and she introduced me to her friends. There were a number of elderly people from nursing homes that she had visited and gotten to know. There were homeless people sitting in that table who had no place to go when the church service was over. There were people sitting in that table that were some of the most out of box people you ever met in your life. And then I realized that Judy got cleaned up and Judy didn’t just sit there and absorb. She got up and started, she started reaching out to people and God used that in an amazing way. And so, do something, don’t do too much. You’ll get killed if you do that, but find a place where you fit and do something and you’ll see God honor that in a wonderful way. John Calvin’s coat of arms, it was a heart, a flaming heart and a hand, that was a part of it. My heart, I give thee Lord eagerly and sincerely. Don’t sit there, do something, not something big, you’re not necessarily going change the world or impact your city, but do something because as you begin to do things, then God begins to show you why he uses you in the way he does. Now, I’m up to number five. The fifth thing I want you to notice is Timothy’s obedience to his particular gift, II Timothy 1:6 through 7.
Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God, that is within you through the laying on of my hands, for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.
Now, what is being taught here. And in fact, you find demonstrated in the book of Acts in the 16th chapter, is that the people in the church affirm the particular gift that God has given. When a young man preached at our church, he thought he’d been called to preach. One of our elders said to him, Sammy, I love you, but either you’re not called to preach or if you are, you need to put that one on the bottom of the pile. What was he saying? He was saying, I don’t think this is your spiritual gift. There’s an old story about a young man who went before the committee on ordination. And he said, he knew that he had been called to preach and they asked him, how did you know? And he said, I looked up in the sky and there were the letters G.P. And I knew that God was calling me to preach. Well, they examined the young man at the end of the examination, one of the members of the committee said, son, those letters didn’t mean go preach, they meant go plow. And so, we’re not going to ordain you, but within the body of the church, as gifts are being used, they are being affirmed and leadership has a responsibility to watch for those gifts and how they are being used and to affirm those particular gifts. It is the business of the body of Christ. Hey, young lady, you sing beautifully, you know God has gifted you. And when you sing, it’s not just your beautiful voice, something happens. So, I want you to sing more in our church because God has given you that gift for the rest of us. Or son, I heard you teach in that Sunday school class, and I know you were a substitute, but it was incredibly good and clear and precise. Do you know that I think God has called you to teach. So, don’t just be a substitute, volunteer to be a teacher in our church because that’s the gift that you have that God has given you for the rest of us. Young man, you are an incredible treasure, that’s a gift God has given you. Don’t resign, stay with it and use the gift for all of us. Well, you get the idea, you determine your gift by using it. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown resuming our tour through Acts, specifically Acts chapter 16. So much more to discover here and we will resume that exploration tomorrow. Do hope you’ll join us then. Well, I think we know from the stories we read here in Acts and from our own experience that we can be right and still get things wrong. What I mean is, we as Christians, we’re often right on issues of salvation and theology, but we nonetheless miss the less articulated truths of humility and love and forgiveness. Steve will even admit he sometimes struggles with that, which is why this idea is actually the premise of Steve’s most recent book, it’s called Talk the Walk: How to be Right Without Being Insufferable. Well, we created this special booklet that features an excerpt from that book, and we would be delighted to send you a copy for free. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794
If you’re in Canada, send your request to
Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Just ask for the booklet called Talk the Walk. And finally, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? You could charge a gift on your credit card. You could include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950. That’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950 then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.