God will confirm your faith…sometimes.
OCTOBER 9, 2023
God will confirm your faith…sometimes. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Key Life is all about God’s radical grace, grace that has dirt under its fingernails and laugh lines on its face. If you want the Bible to be a book of rules, you may want to stop listening now. But if you’re hungry for the truth that’ll make you free, welcome to Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys had a great week-end and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, you’re joining us at the end of a multi month study in the Book of Acts. We’re moving today into the 28th chapter of Acts and I don’t know about you, and I love this book, I really do. And I’ve taught it several times. And every time I teach it, I learn things that are new. But we’re getting close to the end. And so, this week, maybe next week, we’ll land this plane. And then when we finish with Acts, the plan now, if the creek don’t rise, is that I’m going to be teaching you from the Book of Psalms. Not the book of Psalms, the book of Proverbs and I can hardly wait because of the wisdom of that particular book. Now, it’s a difficult book to teach because line upon line and precept upon precept is just hard to do with a book like Proverbs. So, we’ll be looking at categories in that book and seeing what God has given to us because he likes us a lot. But meanwhile, we’re still in Acts and we’ll move into the 28th chapter. Before we do that, let’s pray. Father, sometimes we’re overwhelmed with your kindness. And one of the areas of your kindness is that you took the time to write it down. Your word is a gift. It is a light for us in the darkness. It is truth in the middle of the lies. It is reality in the midst of what is so often unreal. You wrote it down, and you gave it to us, and we are so thankful. Father, you know the people who are listening to this broadcast. For some of us, this is a good and pleasant time. For some of us, not so much. Remind us that you’re sovereign, and that you’re in charge of every molecule in the universe, and that you’re good all the time. Teach us to do what we can, but teach us at the bottom line, to come to you, and to trust you in everything. And then, Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast. We ask that you would forgive him his sins, because they are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. If you’ve been listening the last couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at the 27th chapter of Acts, and that’s the story of a storm, a shipwreck, great fear. Maybe the loss of life was on its way and how Paul particularly dealt with it. He dealt with it, we have seen, by being coherent, he was thoughtful and balanced, he was committed, and he was connected. But there’s one other thing that I want to say about this 27th chapter of Acts, and it’s important. Paul and his faith was confirmed, Acts 27:44.
And so it was that all escaped to land.
Now, when we move into the 28th chapter of Acts, we’re going to find some things that happened at this island Malta, where they landed. But right now, Paul could have said to everybody on the ship, I told you so. Did you notice my faith in God? It is deep and profound, and you’re very fortunate to have had me on this ship. God likes me 10 percent more than he likes you. He didn’t do that, but God did confirm, notice that the captain put his faith in his skill. And Julius in this chapter put his faith in the captain. The men put their faith in the captain and in Julius. And Paul put his faith in God, and only Paul was confirmed. Ephesians 6:13 says.
Therefore take the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all to stand.
II Timothy 1:11-12 says.
For this gospel I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and teacher, and therefore I suffer as I do. But I’m not ashamed, for I know in whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep until that Day what I have entrusted to him.
Sometimes God confirms your faith. But he’s careful about doing that because we, if we’re given an inch, will sometimes take a mile. But he gives you enough, enough light, enough confirmation, enough places to do check marks to keep you going to the next level. My mother was an incredible lady. My father was an alcoholic and she dealt with some hard stuff. She had two boys who were constantly giving her trouble. And she read Spurgeon in the morning, and she read the Bible at night. And she taught us how to cuss in between. She was different. But I’ll tell you something that I learned very early, if you’re faithful, God will show you that you’re walking in the right direction. For instance, my mother tithed every dime that came into our house. In fact, she might cheat the IRS, but she would never cheat God. Sometimes when she didn’t have the money to pay for the taxes, she sent an unsigned check to the IRS. And by the time. Well, it’s not totally dishonest, but it’s as close as you can get without doing it. And then by the time she got the check back with the IRS saying you didn’t sign it, she had the money to pay the taxes. But she never did that with God. 10 percent came off the top and that happened every time, whether I was delivering papers or working at the swimming pool as a lifeguard, my father’s paycheck, the places where my mother worked. 10 percent was God’s money and she made sure, there was a cup in the cupboard. She made sure that God got his 10 percent no matter what. I talked to her when she was old and close to her death. And she said, you know son, that was hard sometimes, cause as you know, we struggled financially. But now I look back and every bill was paid, every obligation was met, God was faithful at every place. And then she would look at me and say, remember that. You do need to remember it. God’ll give you enough. He won’t give you too much, cause we’ll be arrogant and self righteous. But you know something, putting your faith in God is a wise, very wise move. And God will sometimes confirm it. Let me give you a quote and then we’ll move on to the final chapter in the Book of Acts. This is from David Livingston, he said.
I don’t know how the loving Father is going to bring out light at last, but he knows. And he will do it.
And the 27th chapter of Acts is a good example of how God does that sort of thing. Now, as we move into the 28th chapter of Acts, we’re going to see that Paul got to Rome. He knew he was going to get there at some time, but he didn’t know how it was going to happen. Not only did he get there, Rome paid for the journey. And we’re going to see how he had an opportunity to preach the gospel to the people at Rome. And we’re going to be amazed at what happens. Some believed, some ran to Jesus, some got angry and ran in the other direction, and it’s still exactly the same thing for those of us who believe in the gospel and proclaim it to our friends. If you think you’re going to get a hundred percent, it’s just not going to happen. We live in a fallen world, and that’s the way the gospel works. But we’ll start tomorrow, and we’ll see this journey to Rome, and we’ll see how God used Paul for two years in Rome, while he was under arrest. But for now, make sure that you see that every step Paul took was ordained by a God who liked him a lot. You too. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown guiding us into Acts chapter 28, painting a vivid picture of the faith of a shipwrecked Paul. On his journey, Paul took a detour to Malta and on our journey today, we briefly diverted from Acts 28 to stop by Ephesians 6:13 and II Timothy 1:11-12. More to come tomorrow as we continue here through Acts, hope you will join us. Well, Steve has preached a lot of sermons in his decades of ministry, but there’s one that just, it sounds like it could be the title of a great country song, When Believing is Hard and Pretending Doesn’t Work. It’s a fantastic sermon, but if you’ve never wavered in your faith or had seasons of darkness, honestly, it’s probably not for you. But if you have had doubts, if you have experienced dark and lonely times, I think this sermon is really going to speak to you. Get it on CD for free 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. To mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the CD called When Believing is Hard and Pretending Doesn’t Work. Finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card, or include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950. And hey, if you can’t give, all good, but if you think about it, please do pray for us, okay? 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.