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Don’t you shilly-shally.

Don’t you shilly-shally.

JUNE 28, 2022

/ Programs / Key Life / Don’t you shilly-shally.

Steve Brown:
Hey, don’t you shilly-shally. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
That was Steve Brown. He doesn’t want to beat your guru and he’s not trying to be your mother. He just opens the Bible and gives you the simple truth that if you free. Steve’s a lifelong broadcaster, author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the tribulations that Paul said to the church members that they had to go through to get to the kingdom of God. And we’re asking the reason for the tribulations. And we’ve seen, so you can come to the end of yourself. And once you’re at the end of yourself, then you’re usable. God does not use the strong, the powerful, the rich, the elitist, the cool kids. He uses the nobodies, the people who, I’ll tell you, I said something the other day, we were talking about what’s going on in our country and how difficult it is and that God is going to intervene and we’re going to see a major change. And I said, yeah, that’s true. But you know where it’s going to happen? It’s going to happen at Walmart shoppers, and I’m one of them. It’s not going to happen to Neiman Marcus. It’s not going to happen with the elite and the rich, it’s going to happen to people who’ve reached the end of their selves and are thereby usable. And that’s what Paul and Barnabas learned about their tribulations. And then we saw yesterday in Acts 14:20.

But when the disciples gathered around dead Paul, he got up and entered the city.

And then if you get to the end of that chapter, the final statement is that Paul and Barnabas remained no little time with the disciples. It means they stayed with him for a long time. Why? Because it was the disciples, the fellowship of the humble, the fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ, that was the major soft place and power source for the second missionary journey. And so, you need me. Even if you don’t walk me and I need you, even if I don’t like you. Have I told you this story about speaking for a secular men’s club. I had developed kind of a reputation, I talk good. I know, if you’re an English teacher, you don’t say it that way, but I do talk good. And I tell good stories sometimes, and I can tell a good joke. And I’ve got a reputation for that. And got pretty large honorariums for doing it in places. And then Jesus came and messed it up. And I got this offer to come and speak for this men’s club. And I said, I’d be glad to do that, but you need to know something about me. Something has happened in my life and I talk about Jesus, wherever I go. And if you don’t want me to talk about Jesus, then withdraw the invitation. And the president had said, I’ll get back to you. And he did. And he said, we want you to come. I asked the board and the vote was seven to six. So, you can say whatever. And I got to this men’s club and it was, I mean, it was a, let’s have a good time time. There was the booze and a lot of laughter. And the guy who was sitting next to me at the head table was telling me dirty jokes, playing the game of shock the Reverend. And I’m thinking as I’m sitting there, I’m gonna, I think, I think what I had planned to say to this organization was a little bit strong. I think I’m going to sand it down. Tell a few jokes, some good stories, except my honorarium check and go home because what I was going to say was not appropriate for this bunch. And there was a, and there was a friend there. His name was Ed Tenney. And he’s in heaven now. He was a dentist and he and I had kind of grown together and bonded and become really close friends. And Christ was doing stuff in both of our lives. And he was a member of this men’s club. And when I was sitting there thinking what I just told you, I looked over to the side of this large conference hall. And Ed Tenney was walking down the side and heading for the main, for the head table. You know what he did? He walked behind me, put his hand on my shoulder, leaned over and whispered in my ear. Steve don’t you shilly-shally. I’m praying for you. I needed that because I need my brothers in Christ. And I didn’t, so you know the end of the story. I didn’t shilly-shally. I said what God told me to say about the King. And then years later, when my father died, Ed Tenney showed up at the funeral. And that was a long ways from New England and Boston to North Carolina. And he leaned over and said, I’m here. I just wanted you to know that. And I think about that sometimes, but I think of so many other stories. In fact, I could take weeks and weeks to tell you the stories of brothers and sisters who stand with brothers and sisters, because that’s what the church is for. We live in a very hard time. And if you think, if you think that being a Christian in this time is easy. You’re a fruitcake. You, this is not easy. They don’t like us anymore. They used to, we’re not a part of the cool kids anymore. And we used to be, we don’t have the votes we used to have. I mean things and it’s hard and it’s become aggressive and angry and directed at Christians. And so, this is hard. Maybe that’s a gift because when it gets dark enough, you begin to see how important your brothers and sisters are. I’ve got to say to you, and you’ve got to say to me, don’t you shilly-shally. We’ve got to have services when we get together and we tell each other stories about Jesus. We need each other to pray for each other and to love each other. And that’s the reason for the church. And that’s why division and anger and hatred and, over politics and a variety of other subjects are almost blasphemy in the church because God created the church because he knew we needed it. So, you’re stuck with me and I’m stuck with you. And we need to be faithful to that. And in the tribulations that Paul talked about going on on that first missionary journey, he learned how important Barnabas was. And when he got home, he remembered how important the church was that had sent him on the first missionary journey. He realized what the body of Christ is all about. Well, I could spend more time on that, but we’ve got to, you know, we’ve gotta keep moving. Let me show you something else. Thirdly, I would have you notice that the tribulations about which Paul spoke was necessary so that the victory would be so astounding and exciting, Acts 14:22. Paul and Barnabas went back to the cities where they had ministered.

Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come. His grace that has brought me safe this far. And grace that will get me home.

There is always a wilderness between Egypt and Canaan. Let me say that again. There is always a wilderness between Egypt and Canaan. And why is that? So that Canaan will be that much better. I think of my brother often, he’s in heaven. The first day he went to school. This is a true story. He came home and his mother and our mother said to him, Ronnie, how was it? He said, well, it was okay, but I’m not going back. And she said, you’ve got to go back. And he said, really? And she said, yes. And not only that, you’ve got to go back for the next 20 years. And this is true. He started crying. I got that cause I ran away from kindergarten and wasn’t that happy with school either. But after 20 years, I became a preacher and he became a lawyer and the district attorney. And it was through the hard part that he was able to see the victory. I know, I know it’s sorta like banging your head against a wall because it feels so good when you stop. Or losing a coin because it’s wonderful when you find it. Or failing big so that when you see success, you can dance and laugh and shout with joy. The reason the church should be a place of joy is because we have seen what God has done. And when you’re in a dark place and you see the light, you can’t miss it. So, that’s what they’d learned and it was a good lesson and it still is. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thank you Steve. Such a good encouragement from Acts 14, that all the trouble and hardships we’re going through, they’re accomplishing something. And it’s never for nothing. Well, recently on Steve Brown Etc, we spoke with author Jessica Thompson. She is such a delightful and fun person, but in our conversation, she posed a fascinating idea that really captured us. Here’s that idea. What if the Fruit of the Spirit isn’t just about us? What if it’s also the way God love us. That really landed for us. We would love for you to hear that whole conversation. So, we put it on a CD and we would be happy to mail it to you for free. Just let us know where to send it. Call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also request the CD by e-mailing [email protected]. If you’re mailing us, send your request to

Key Life Network
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Just ask for the free CD featuring Jessica Thompson. And one more thing before you go, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? Giving is easy. You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or you can now join the growing number of folks who simply text Key Life to 28950. That’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. Both of those organizations assure financial accountability. And as always, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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