If it doesn’t hurt, you’re doing it wrong.
MARCH 28, 2022
If it doesn’t hurt, you’re doing it wrong. Let’s talk, 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 had a great week-end, I hope, and if you weren’t in church, you’re going to get the hives. And if you were in church, I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you’re just joining us, we’re studying the Biblical book of Acts. We’re taking our time. I, as it were, am your tour director and I’ll be pointing out the sites as we go along. We’re up to the 11th chapter of Acts. And we’re looking at verses 19 through 30. And by looking back on the early church and in holy writ, God’s inspired propositional and story truth. We’re learning some things that apply to us on how God grows his people. We’ll turn to that text, but first let’s pray, then we’ll study. Father, we come into your presence, so surprised that we’re here. You would think after all these years, this would be a normal, boring thing, to come into the throne room of the King of Kings, the God of the universe. But Father, it never is because you’re so big. And you’re so holy and you’re so God. So, we’re here and we’re not here because we’re good, we’re here because we’re yours. You invited us, you held us and you promised to never let us go. And we’re here to worship. We’re here Father because we have all kinds of needs and you told us we could bring them to you. You know those who are going through hard times, you know the sleepless nights, the secrets, the fear, the loneliness, the feelings of being marginalized, the doctors, what he said. You know all of that. And we’re here and we lift that before you, but you’re the God of our laughter too Father. And we are glad for your blessings. For the life that you’ve given us to enjoy, for friends, for food, for the little things, the laughter of our children. Father, we praise you and we worship you. And as always, Father, 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. Okay. I’m reading the 11th chapter of Acts and I’m starting at the 19th verse.
Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to none except Jews. But there were some of them, men in Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed, turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. And when he came, he saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and the faith. And the large company were added to the Lord. So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large company of people. And in Antioch, the disciples were for the first time called Christians. Now in those days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and for told by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (and this took place in the days of Claudius). And the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brethren who were in Judea. And they all did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
You know, that’s an interesting passage and it’s fun to read, to find out what was going on in the early church, at the beginning. I was the pastor of a church near Miami for years. And it was a fairly young church. And a lot of the people who were in that church had been there when it began. Now, they had had two pastors before me, but there were people, older people in the congregation, who could remember starting the church in a bar. They could remember how they decided at first to support missions, even when they didn’t have any money. They remember the people that came to know Christ on that island in some amazing ways. And, they would tell stories and I would love to sit around and listen to their stories. Well, it’s not altogether that different when one studies the book of Acts. It’s good to hear about our family in the beginning. It’s good to hear about our heritage and here in the text that I just read to you, it’s good to study it and see how God is beginning to deepen the church, to deepen the people in the church to make a difference. And the first thing, and we mentioned this last week, let me say a little bit more about it, is to notice that God deepens his people with persecution. It’s how the 19th verse clearly makes it.
Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word.
Listen, if it doesn’t hurt, you’re probably doing it wrong. You know who said that, a great theologian and philosopher and metaphysician, Mary Tyler Moore, but it has some truth to it. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right. And that’s true in the church. If you aren’t offending people, you’re probably not doing it right. This morning, I was dealing with some criticism and an invitation had been withdrawn for me to speak at a particular place. And I was kinda hurt because I’m a sensitive guy and stuff, but this person who withdrew the information said I was dangerous. And I thought to myself. I’m not dangerous. I’m just gonna tell you the truth. And then I opened my Bible and read what Jesus said.
Beware when they say good things about you because they did the same thing with the false profits.
And so, I felt a little bit better about it. And then I realized I’m better today because I was rejected yesterday. And better today because of the things that were said about me yesterday, I am better today because some people have gone after me yesterday. Now, I don’t think, and by the way, sometimes we’re persecuted just because we’re jerks. I don’t think we’re called to go out and offend the world. I think we are to manifest the fruit of the spirit. We need to be kind and civil and gentle in what we say, but if everybody smiles at you, pats you on the back and says, I’m glad you told me that, then they didn’t understand. I mean, the message that we have is one that separates light from darkness. The message we have can be divisive because truth is divisive. The message we have can make people angry. And if you don’t see any of that in your walk with Christ, then you’re probably doing it wrong. In fact, if it doesn’t hurt some, you’re probably doing it wrong. And so, I remember a friend of mine and I love him a lot. Who is, he was a lawyer and ran with a pretty fast crowd. And after he became a Christian and he did, and it was magnificent. He said, what am I going to do about my friends? And I said, well, you will first find out who really are your friends and who aren’t your friends. And then secondly, don’t worry about it. It’ll take care of itself. And I remember him coming back to me and laughing and said, I’ve got two friends left. And they decided that I was weird, crazy and a fanatic, but they love me anyway, but all of the rest of my friends have left and won’t even speak to me. So, if it doesn’t hurt some, you’re probably doing it wrong. Just make sure that Jesus does the offending and you don’t, and you’ll be better for it. Don’t you hate it when somebody says that, but you will. In those places where I’ve been hurt and criticized, when people have been angry at me because of the truth that I spoke, every single time, I was closer to Jesus than I was before. Frankly, I wish he’d do it another way, but he won’t. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, continuing to guide us through Acts 11, with some challenging thoughts today on persecution. We’ll continue digging into Acts 11 tomorrow, would love for you to join us then. Have you ever seen that internet meme about, we’ve been trying to reach you about your car’s warranty. The premise is that wherever you go, that silly sales pitch somehow finds you. Well, sometimes it feels that way with guilt, wherever you go, when you least expect it. Bam, hey remember the time you do the thing. But here’s the thing, Jesus’ death paid the debt for all our sins. That means guilt can actually lead us back to Christ to find true and lasting forgiveness. Steve wrote about this in a mini-book called Feeling Guilty: Grace for Your Mistakes. And you can get that mini-book for free, right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an e-mail to [email protected] to ask for the mini-book. By mail send your request to
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