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God's Not Mad at You
Dylan sang, ‘You gotta serve somebody.’

Dylan sang, ‘You gotta serve somebody.’

SEPTEMBER 16, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / Dylan sang, ‘You gotta serve somebody.’

Steve Brown:
Dylan sang, “You gotta serve somebody.” Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
God’s grace changes everything, how we love, work, live, lead, marry, parent, evangelize, purchase and worship. This is Key Life, with practical Bible teaching to get you home with radical freedom, infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the fifth chapter of Acts. I’m not going to read it again to you, but it’s, you know, it’s a great chapter. And, as I looked at it, all kinds of thoughts come to my mind and I’ve taught this a hundred times and every time I’ve taught it, it’s been different, continues and it continues with what I’m teaching you now. We’re talking about why a Christian can’t be canceled and we ask why they wanted to cancel them, when we saw they were jealous and they were protecting their stuff, their power, their prestige, their empire, and these disciples threatened to destroy every bit of it. And then we asked the question, why in the world would the disciples do this? I mean, all of them ended up as martyrs, except the apostle John. Why in the world, would you, if you knew that every time you refused to be canceled, you were driving another nail into your coffin. Why in the world would you do it? And we saw yesterday, they did it, because once you see truth, you can’t unsee truth. There’s another reason too, that these disciples were willing to do that. The apostles claim to be followers of Jesus. It was necessary that they follow the leader, Bob Dylan, who you gonna serve, during his Christian period, he sang, he did an album of songs that were Christian songs. One of them was, who you gonna serve, well, who are you going to serve? You’re going to serve somebody. And if you’re a Christian, who should that be? That should be Jesus. Gladys Aylward was the very famous woman, they did a film on her life years ago. This has really been years ago. Gladys Aylward, led a bunch of children over the mountains, away from the communists. And, was a martyr, not a martyr, but a hero of the Christian faith. And I served a church once, where she had been invited to teach at a missionary week and she was dynamite. They told stories about her, that were a part of a war stories of that church for years. And it was a little church and they didn’t have any money, they didn’t have any place to meet. They were meeting in a bar and Gladys Aylward, one night, somebody told her that they were, they needed a church, they needed a building and she stamped her foot at that meeting. And she looked up to the skies and said, Jesus, this little church is your church. These people are your people. And I demand in the name of Jesus Christ that you give them land and a building. Now, I thought that was kind of presumptuous, but you know what happened the next day, a guy who owns some land called one of the leaders of the church and said, do you need some land? He said, well, as a matter of fact, we do. And he said, well, I’ve got some and I’m going to give it to you. And he did. And, you know, if you’re really close to Jesus, I guess you can talk that way to him. I frankly, am not a Gladys Aylward and probably can’t do that, by the way, that was called the, the film about her, The Inn of Sixth Happiness. But she was, one time she said, and she was from Australia. She said, when Jesus said, come, they came and they didn’t form a committee. That’s what we ought to understand too. If Jesus says do it, do it. If he says, say it, say it. If he says, make disciples, make disciples. If he says, take up your cross, you take it up. If he says, go here, you go there. Because he’s the leader. We have these committees in the church, that are always talking about the future development of the church. I remember one time when I was a young pastor and I was appointed to a committee on the future development of our denomination. And I remember thinking, what in the world am I doing here? I said, we didn’t, we’re not here to decide the future development of our denomination, or what we’re supposed to do. We’ve been told what we’re supposed to do. The only question before this committee is how are we going to do what Jesus told us to do? And so, these disciples were followers of Jesus. And if Jesus said for them, don’t you let them bully you, don’t you be canceled. They might be afraid, they might not sleep as well at night, they might not, they might not make a fortune, but they were going to do what he said to do. Because they were his, and they had been bought at a price. It’s exactly the same way with us. I mean, there are times when I’ve said to Jesus, I wouldn’t do this for anybody, but you. You know, I really wouldn’t. I wouldn’t do this for anybody, but you, but you are you. And you’ve loved me and you’ve held over me and you’ve been faithful. Where am I going to go? You remember, I think it’s the sixth chapter of John, maybe the eighth, I’m not a Navigator. I’m doing the best I can. The disciples came to Jesus and people were leaving all over the place, because of things that Jesus was saying, and there’s great pathos in what Jesus said. He said to his disciples, and don’t try to take the humanness out of what Jesus said. We do that all the time. He was not playing a game. He was lonely, the way you’re lonely. He needed relationships, the way you need relationships. He was afraid, the way you are afraid. He died, the way you’re going to die. So, he could identify at every point, the writer of Hebrews said, with everything that we experience and Jesus said to his disciples with great pathos, are you, are you going to leave too? And Peter said, are you crazy? Well, that’s not in the text, but that’s the implication. You have the words of life. Where in the world are we going to go? And so, these disciples had named themselves after Jesus, Christian. That meant they were a follower of the Way, the Way of Christ and followers of the Way, might not like it. They might wish to be somewhere else, but eventually they’re going to do what God tells them to do, or mostly. You know, we don’t do it perfectly, but if you name the name of Christ, one of the reasons, by the way, you go to church, is to show who you’re following, who you’re going to serve. The reason you worship, is so the world can see who you worship. If we’re followers of Christ, you follow, as best you can. And then there’s one of the thing. And then we’re going to look, next week at the last part of this chapter. Finally, the apostles were witnesses that could not help, but talk about that which they had seen and heard. You know, a good prayer? They said in the text, we’re witnesses to these things. We were there. We, we saw it all happen. Well, I mean, it, this is, this stuff is true, because we saw it with our own eyes. You know, a good prayer that would be a prayer for you to pray and for me to pray. Lord, take all of my religion and all of my philosophy and all of my theology and take the propositions and make them real in a supernatural way on my life. So real that I can’t help, but stand up and speak of what I have experienced and felt and heard and seen. When pastors leave the ministry. I don’t understand that. I really don’t. They just walk away. I wanted to, I have a friend who said, do you ever want to just give this up? And I said, every other day, but I couldn’t, because if you’re a pastor you’re on the front seat and you get to watch what God does in people’s lives. And it’s amazing. And it’s miraculous. And it’s incredible. And once you see it and it’s real and you’ve experienced and you know it, you say with the disciples, we can’t help but speak of what we have seen. That’s why a Christian can’t be canceled. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thanks Steve. It’s been another incredible week of exploring all the happenings, here in Acts 5. And next Monday, we’ll finish up talking about that chapter. Of course, if you missed anything or just want to listen again, be sure to join us at Keylife.org, but between now and then we’ll have Friday Q&A. Always a good time when our friend Pete Alwinson swings by, so make sure you join us tomorrow. So, you’ve probably heard about Steve’s latest book, Talk the Walk, but did you know that that book was born from a series of messages Steve gave at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. It’s all about how to speak the truth in love, even in the midst of a culture that is hostile to faith. That’s some timely stuff, right? Listen, we put that whole sermon on a CD and we’d be happy to send it to you, for free. So call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for that CD. If you would like to mail your request, send it to

Key Life Network
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If you’re in Canada, send your request to

Key Life Canada
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Just ask for your copy of the CD called How to Be Right Without Being Insufferable: The Gift of Truth. Finally, if you value what we do here at Key Life, would you prayerfully consider giving to support that work? Giving is easy, just charge a gift on your credit card, you can include a gift in your envelope. Or just grab your phone, you know it’s right there and text Key Life to 28950. 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.

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