Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
FEBRUARY 23, 2022
Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Let’s talk, on Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious cliches. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy, and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you’re just joining us, we’re looking at the 10th chapter of Acts. We’re talking about racial prejudice and you say, that doesn’t talk about that. Yeah it does, the 10th chapter of Acts is a major change in the view of first century Christians, who almost all of whom without, I can’t think of any exception are Jewish. They are sons of Israel, they’re covenant people, and they simply have nothing to do with anybody who’s not a covenant person. And all of a sudden, God does two things. First, and we spent a long time looking at it, he converts the apostle Paul and says, I want you to go to people who are not Jewish. And Paul said, no you don’t. God said, yes I do. And he said, I’m gone and he does it. And then he comes to Peter, who’s kind of the titular head of the church in Jerusalem and does the same thing with Peter. He begins to prepare Peter for Paul. God is setting up a new thing. And the new thing is that he is the God of everybody, that his love is universal, that his salvation is offered to the entire world. There is no Jew or Greek. There is no white or black. There is no Asian or American. What this chapter teaches, and it’s amazing its relevance for our time and the racial difficulties with which we deal right now, how relevant it is for our time. Now, we’ve seen that Peter was a obedient, but not pure. And God can do stuff with you, if you just do what he tells you to do. No, I’m not talking about that you become the perfect person so that your witness will be powerful. That’s not your witness, your witness is that you’re a sinner and you are here because God told you to be here. That’s what Peter said when he went to talk to Cornelius in this chapter. So, we saw that Paul, that Peter was not pure, but he was obedient. And then secondly, we saw something really important and that is that God doesn’t do hardly anything in our lives personally, in our culture, in our nations, until we come to a helpless place. I’m a person who really likes Alcoholics Anonymous and the separate movements for drug users are anonymous and the families of those Al-Anon. I know, not Christian particularly, but they do so much good with so many people. And those Christians who are really critical of them because they don’t make themselves Christian need to go out and see enough drunks become sober before they throw rocks. AA is a great organization. And one of the basic understandings in Alcoholics Anonymous, I used to, I had a position in the church that I served once who started the first residential alcoholics clinic in America, people would come and they would stay for a few weeks. And, she would always ask me to come or often asked me to come and speak for the graduation of those people who had been drunks. And do you know something, I’d rather speak to a sober drunk than anybody on the, you don’t have to tell jokes, you don’t have to get them on your side, you don’t have to stand on your head to get them to listen. Man, they are there because they’ve been there in the dark places and the hard places. And they’re ready to hear some word from somebody who’s got good news. And so, I love to go to those things. By the way, there was a group that was a part of that, that call themselves the Wirly Birds, you know, who they were? They were pilots who were alcoholics. I’ll tell you, it didn’t comfort me very much in terms of the flying that I was doing with major airlines, but there were a lot of them, but there’s an understanding in AA that’s so important and it’s Christian and it’s Biblical and it is this, God intervenes when you’ve come to the end of your rope. And so, as you listen to the stories of alcoholics, I mean, it’s so bad, you just wince, what happened was, that everything they loved, everything they dreamed, everything they did, everything where they saw themselves as wonderful was destroyed. And when they had absolutely nothing, they had come to the end of their rope, god did something. And that is a principle that works everywhere. Listen, grace, this is from Rose Marie Miller. Grace always flows downhill. It never flows uphill. It always flows down hill. So, if you’re going through a rough time and you’re not altogether pleased with yourself and you blush in private and you think, how could I have done that, how could I’ve been that way. I can’t believe I’m where I am. That’s bad. No, that’s good cause that’s the place where God intervenes. And so, as we look at this 10th chapter of Acts, we see God intervening in a very hard place. And that’s true in America too, in our culture and in our churches. It’s the place where we don’t have solutions. And we say, come, Lord Jesus. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown speaking to us from Acts 10 about racial prejudice. And about what happens when you come to the end of your rope. And that’s some good news. Well, recently on our talk radio show, Steve Brown Etc, we got to chat with author, Jared Wilson, about the subject of love and how even the silliest of pop culture songs can give us clues to what our hearts really need. Jared’s new book is called. Love Me Anyway: How God’s Perfect Love Fills Our Deepest Longing. Take a listen to part of that conversation, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer.
Jared Wilson: Love songs, tap into the ancient need for love. The very first spoken words from a human being that we have recorded. Genesis chapter two, the very first thing we have Adam recorded saying is a love song to Eve. At last, right, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. Most of Bibles show that in the Hebrew poetry form. And so, you can almost hear Etta James, you know, on the sound track, at last… So, I kind of took the love song theme, and ran with it. Thanks for having me on the show again, by the way. I’m grateful to be here and I keep coming back. Yes, cause I love you all, but also I hope that y’all get saved. So, I want to come back and just make sure I can rehearse the gospel with you.
Now, the rest are saved, I’m your focus, but you know, I love what you said. All kidding aside, that we see this need reflected everywhere we turn to be loved. Talk to us about the reality. What is it?
Jared Wilson: The definition that I offer in the book is that love is an orientation toward others, for their good and for their glory. So, I kind of take that piece by piece to say, to love somebody is to desire their good, their betterment, they’re building up, their help, their safety, all that sort of thing. So, you know, to love somebody doesn’t mean affirming things that are harmful to them or sinful to them, so that’s one piece. But for their glory is an important piece as well because God has designed us in his image. And yet we are fallen. There’s a brokenness in us and of course, a sinfulness in this as well, but to desire the glory of somebody is to actually delight in how God has wired them to be, in the them-ness of the person. If I love you, my love doesn’t come with strings attached, that you be more like me or be more like the image of you I want you to be, because that’s not really love, that’s kind of a relational legalism. But if I love you, I love you. And I, and I’m invested in the you-ness of you and I delight in the you-ness of you. And that’s kind of what I mean, when I talk about that you desire the glory of the other person. You’re not trying to conform them to anybody else’s image, you know, your own desires. I’m not loving you because of how you make me feel, or I’m not loving you based on what you might do for me. I’m not loving you based on your return, even of that love to me. I’m loving you because of you. That’s what I think true love in the Christian sense even, in the I Corinthians 13 sense, is really all about.
And, the surprising thing, when we start talking about God being love, not just loving, but being love. Everything you said, and it might be a surprise to a lot of people is how we’ve been loved by him. Is that a agape love?
Jared Wilson: Well, yeah, it is because what we see in the Trinitarian Godhead, that the love that they have is a delighting, in each other. There’s not anything they need from each other, so to speak because God has no need. He is self-sufficient in and of himself. And yet, to say, God is love means there’s something happening there, that is a delighting in the other person, that is a giving without, in a sense, taking it’s a mutual giving. And so, if we use sort of the picture of the Trinity, you know, God is love, I John chapter four. If we use that as our image of love, it really re frames how we approach other people that we would love them in a giving sense, which is kind of the agape sense of love, a sacrificial kind of love, but certainly the gospel of Jesus Christ is the purest picture of agape love love, of sacrificial love for us.
Like I said, great conversation and we would love to send it to you on a CD, for free. Claim your copy, right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794
in Canada, mail
Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
just ask for that CD featuring Jared Wilson. And by the way, did you know, you can partner in the ministry of Key Life through your giving. Just charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or, join the growing number of folks who give by text, want to try it out, just text Key Life to 28950 and then follow the instructions. And again, 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. And as always, we already listened listener supported production of Key Life Network.