God is more interested in your heart than your talent.
JUNE 30, 2021
God is more interested in your heart than your talent. Let’s talk on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at qualifications of leadership. We looked at a number of observations on leadership from this first chapter of the book of Acts. Now, if you have a Bible, open it and we’re looking at verses 12 through the end of the chapter in our study of Acts in the first chapter of Acts, and it’s primarily about leadership and we’ve been talking about it. And right now we’re talking about some of the qualifications of leadership. And the first thing we saw is that a leader isn’t chosen by committee, but by God. And so the question of a nominating committee, isn’t who do we like, but who has God chosen to be a leader? And then let me give you another one. The qualification for a leader in the body of Christ has to do with the heart of a leader. In other words, God is more interested in your heart then in your talent, Acts 1:24.
And they prayed and said “Lord
And here it comes.
who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou has chosen.
Later on we’ll see it. But in the sixth chapter of acts and the third verse, it says.
Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men full of the Spirit
People are always coming to me and asking how to know the will of God in their lives. Let me tell you something, as far as your circumstances are concerned, God can change those circumstances anytime he wants to. Your responsibility to God, the will of God for you, is articulated in I Thessalonians 4:3.
This is the will of God,
lead the church, no, go to be a mission, no, be a pastor, be the president of the United States, go, no.
This is the will of God, your sanctification.
Let me say it again. God is more interested in your heart, then he is your talent. You remember when God called Moses, Moses was trying to get out of it. He was smart. I mean, he knew this was not going to be a fun deal and Moses did everything he could to get out of it. It was going to start with going to the leaders in Egypt, and that’s a dangerous place to go for somebody like Moses and he didn’t want to do it. So he’s trying to get out of it. So God calls Moses and Moses said, God, I can’t, I can’t even talk, send Aaron. When God called Isaiah, he cried out, woe is me for my mind. I’m a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of people of unclean lips. That’s Isaiah 6, God equipped with a purifying fire. When God called Peter, he was a fisherman. When God called Matthew, he was a tax collector. God called Mary, she was a prostitute. He asked for their heart and that’s all he wanted. If he had their heart, then he could do stuff with them. I’ve told you a thousand times, that you never met a man who wants to please God more than I do. And who probably does it less? That’s not authentic, that’s just a fact. I struggle with this thing, but you need to know that my heart is in the right place. My heart, that is Biblically the seat of all things human. My heart belongs to Jesus. You never met a man who wants to please God, more than I do. The difference between John Calvin and Joe Schmoe, between John Wesley and John Doe, the difference between William Carey and Cecil Puckett is not one of talent or qualifications. It’s a difference of the heart. And then I’ve got a final qualification I want to give to you, Acts 1:21-22. The final qualification is the qualification of time and depth. And in those two verses it reads.
“So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that fell, Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day he was taken from us–one of these men must become with us witness to the resurrection.”
Now, same thing that Paul said to Timothy in 3:6, When he’s giving qualification for presbyters or elders, he says.
He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
And so you, if you’re looking for a leader, don’t take the last guy who joined the church or the last woman who came to the Bible study. I mean, there needs to be time. There needs to be maturity. There needs to be a place where you get grooved in the church and you know what’s going on. You know why, I’ll tell you why, and this is cynical, but I think it’s true. I think God doesn’t want a new Christian to be a leader in the church, not because new Christians don’t have gifts or wouldn’t be good leaders, but because if they watch what goes on in the church, they’ll become Buddhist. Okay? You gotta be around a long time to develop realism, to understand human sin, to understand failure, to love the unlovely and to forgive yourself in order to be a leader. And so, make sure when you choose, don’t get a newy. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. We have been looking at the qualifications of leadership and today, we touched on the importance of the heart over talent. More good stuff from Acts tomorrow. Hope you will join us then. As you may know, we have another radio show, it’s a talk radio show called Steve brown Etc, which you can check out anytime you want at Keylife.org. Well recently on Steve brown Etc we spoke with author Dan Kimball. Dan told us that these days, some young people are actually being led away from Christianity by the Bible itself. Wait, what? Take a listen to part of that conversation, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer.
Tell us what’s the premise of the book. Who’s it written for?
Yeah. The book is written for, it’s for both Christians and non-Christians, but it’s mainly for, I would say primarily for Christians that are, as they finally read the Bible and we can talk all about this, there’s things in the Bible that many have not realized, have been in the Bible. And when they do read it, it catches them by surprise and many don’t know how to respond. So, it’s looking at some of the more difficult and disturbing things, even in advance before people may necessarily read them. So they’re prepared when they do see them, what to think about it.
What motivated you to write this?
Yeah, I’ve been serving in Santa Cruz, California for almost 30 years. And being in the same town, same churches, listening to the different issues that younger generations especially are faced with and going through, you know, over a couple of decades, you see different patterns and trends and the latest trend that keeps surfacing more and more is you’re hearing stories of younger people, especially, that have been growing up in churches and had great Bible stories, a lot of felt need applicational teaching. They know all of the more happy, nice verses in the Bible. But as they move into the stages of faith, where they start exploring things more in their own, questioning what they grew up with, which is natural and very good to do. And they start hearing, seeing on the internet or reading the Bible themselves verses that are extremely violent, extremely anti-women sounding, very anti-science looking at Scriptures. So, all of these things are hitting them. And then the stories of deconstruction start happening, doubting faith. And so, it’s addressing that and it was something that I almost felt I couldn’t help but write, because it was coming up so often in conversations in online.
You mentioned the young folks and current culture and memes, and I grew up, there’s a comedian, Dennis Miller, I think he’s a fellow in Northern California, very sarcastic and smug and self-assured and funny, but a kind of biting, it’s like memes and the internet have allowed everybody in the entire world to be a Dennis Miller of like, let me hold this up for ridicule, blah, blah, blah. And it’s not just, like you said, it’s not just mocking. It, it, it for young people who are trying to make sense of their world in the Bible, it does raise some like very salient questions, which are good questions, but you even have them at the beginning of the book, the Bible doesn’t mention the cats at all, but there’s one translation of the Bible that mentions unicorns nine times. We’re going to get into it, but just as an appetizer, what in the world is the unicorn thing about?
If you were to type in a Google search unicorn and Bible, you will see a bunch of memes that actually have Bible verses, written in part of the memes and there’s the word unicorn in them. So, the question is, as you’re looking at, those, were mythical unicorns written in the Bible. And that’s the question.
Yeah. You have a whole explanation of what that is all about, but on it’s surface, you’re like, golly, does it say that? I think I need to back up and kind of do a little research on this. So, as you set the table for the book early on, there’s four facts that you bring up that kind of create a framework and guide the reader as they read the Bible. Those are kind of controlling thoughts. I wonder if you could list out what those facts are and how they help us.
The good news in all of this, is the Bible has not changed. You know, in other words, these aren’t new things that suddenly no one has ever noticed before. And, and a lot of it, in my opinion is due to a lack of training overall in general Bible study skills.
This was a fascinating conversation and we put the whole thing on a CD that we would love to send to you 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] and ask for the CD. If you would like to mail your request, send it to
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