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Fish and friends and three days.

Fish and friends and three days.

MARCH 18, 2024

/ Programs / Key Life / Fish and friends and three days.

Steve Brown:
Fish and friends and three days. We’ll talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Being adopted into the family of God is not about doing more or trying harder. It’s about being welcomed by God because of His radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering. That grace is what Key Life is all about.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys had a great week-end, and as always, I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, you’re joining us sort of at the end of a very long series on the Book of Proverbs. As I’ve said a number of times, you can’t teach Proverbs with an outline. It isn’t organized that way. Proverbs is a lot of different subjects with great wisdom on how to be street-smart with those subjects. And we’ve simply been organizing around subjects. Now, in another week or two, I think we’ll land this plane in Proverbs. I will have taught you everything I know about this particular book. And I haven’t decided absolutely, but I think we’re going to study the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. There aren’t a lot of studies written about the Holy Spirit, and there’s a reason for that. The job description of the Holy Spirit is not to point to himself, but to point to Jesus and to God. So, what we’re going to do, if everything works out the way I planned it, is when we finish Proverbs, we’ll spend some time on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. But today, back to Proverbs, and before we do that, let’s pray. Father, we come into your presence, and we come into your presence as always, thinking we’re not supposed to be here. We’re not good enough, we’re not faithful enough, we’re not obedient enough, and then we realize that we have in hand an invitation given to us by Jesus himself. And he said, welcome. And we are welcome. Father, thank you for your grace, for your kindness, for your love, for being willing to give your only begotten Son so that we might have life and be here. You know the people are listening to this broadcast. Some of them are going down some hard roads and others are going through light roads and moving out. And in both, you’re sovereign and you’re good and we can trust you. And then Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, forgive him his sins because there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. Now, if you’re in a place where you can and you have your Bible opening to the Book of Proverbs, and we’ll be going as we’ve been going back and forth, as we look at a number of the subjects and there are almost a hundred different subjects in this Book of Proverbs. Let’s talk about fish and friends and three days. Look at Proverbs 25:17, if you turn over there, it says.


Don’t do it very often, in other words.

Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, lest he become weary of you and hate you.

And sort of Proverbs 30:10

Do not malign a servant to his master, lest he curse you and you be found guilty.

In other words, fish and friends begin to smell after three days, and you’ve got to start giving room to people. You know, one of the most devastating thing that can happen in a friendship is one when we expect more from a friendship than it can give. And secondly, when we smother the friendship, trying to get what we want from the friendship. That’s not only true about friendship, it’s true about marriage, too. We always find sufficiency in God, in everything. And if you try to find sufficiency in a friend, you try to find sufficiency in your husband or in your wife, you’re going to end up being disappointed and you’re going to end up growing, they’re growing weary of you because you’re trying to smother them. Friends are people who give room to their friends. Good marriages are marriages where each person in the marriage gives room to the other one. One time Mrs. Graham, Ruth Graham, was asked if she and her husband ever disagreed about things. And she said, of course, if we didn’t, they could do without one of us. And so, she was expressing an honest, earthy kind of marriage that they had, and one that was an example to that. And one of the reasons it was so strong was because Mr. Graham was gone so much. There was a sad and downside to that for the family, and I know their family, and a number of members of that family. Mr. Graham was gone a whole lot. But I want you to know, absence really does make the heart grow fonder. And so, make sure you give your wife some room. Make sure you give your husband some room. Make sure you give your friends some room, because as Proverbs says.

Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, or even with your wife or husband, lest he or she become weary of you and hate you.

In other words, cut slack and don’t smother. Okay. Cut slack, but don’t smother. Let me show you something that’s kind of connected. It’s about minding your own business. Proverbs 26:17

He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

You, there’s an old story about a man who had just died and was in heaven and Peter said, how did you get here? And he said, I beat up on a hell’s angel, a motorcycle guy. And Peter said, When did you do that? And he said, About three seconds ago. Ha ha ha ha. Sometimes, you just leave it alone if it’s not yours. I remember when I was a young guy living in Boston, there was a man beating up on a girl and I saw it and decided I was going to do something. And I went over to where it was happening and it was pretty close to the Boston police station. And I said, listen, cut that out. You’re doing, and he said, mind your own business. And I said, I’m going to mind your business for a little while. And while I was talking to him, the girl got out of his grasp and ran. And then I said to him, Okay, I’ll mind my own business. And my wife said to me later, Don’t do that again. That’s not yours. That’s theirs. And that’s a wise thing to remember. I’m a fixer. Always have been. I mean, I grew up in a house, and we play roles in families, and your counselor will tell you that. Kind of assigned roles, and mine was to fix things. I’ve always fixed things. When my brother died, everybody waited for me to get to my hometown in the mountains, so I could fix things. I couldn’t fix his death, but I could fix his funeral. And I could fix all the things that needed to be fixed, cause I’m a fixer. And that’s a good thing. Except sometimes a fixer gets mixed up with the mother. And I begin to think that I’m the world’s mother and every problem I’m to fix. And God has taught me to leave it alone. Just be quiet. Leave it alone. It’s not yours. And so, mind your own business isn’t something that somebody just dreamed up, it came from God in the Book of Proverbs. Be very careful before you jump into the middle of somebody else’s business. We’re not called to fix every problem there is in the world. And sometimes, I have to confess, I kind of feel that way. That that’s my responsibility. When I was a pastor, that was a really bad thing. I mean, I used to say from the pulpit, I’m not your mother. And the reason I said from the pulpit, I’m not your mother is because that’s exactly what I thought I was. If somebody was suffering any pain, it kept me up at night. When people were hurt, I was hurt. When people were crying, I was crying. When people went through tough stuff, I was going through tough stuff. And I had to rein it in because I was going to kill myself. If I’d read Proverbs and taken it seriously, I wouldn’t have been where I was. But eventually I learned not every problem is my problem. Not every difficulty is my difficulty. Not every pain is one that I have to fix. And you don’t either. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown resuming our winding tour through the Book of Proverbs. It’s a series we’re calling Street-Smart Christians, and we’re so glad to have you along with us. More to come tomorrow, hope you will join us for that. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. First of all, if you recognize those lyrics, you’re probably due for some kind of annual medical screening. But second, there is something to those lyrics, right? The world needs love, God is love, the world needs God. It’s true that one of the biggest things that we could do for our world is to simply love each other. Steve spoke about this in a powerful sermon called All The World Needs Is Love. In It, he explores what love is, how it’s expressed, and the life changing impact it really has. Get that on CD for free by calling us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to to find our mailing addresses. Just ask for the CD called All the World Needs is Love. And finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you join us in that work through your financial support? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or simply 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 as always, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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