If Jesus likes it, you should, too.
OCTOBER 19, 2023
If Jesus likes it, you should too. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
The deepest message of Jesus and the Bible is the radical grace of God to sinners and sufferers. That’s what Key Light is all about, so if you’re hungry for the hopeful truth that God isn’t mad at you, keep listening. Steve Brown is a professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. We have started a study of a new book, the Book of Proverbs. And it’s a difficult book to study because, there’s just so much and it doesn’t organize well under an outline. In fact, sometimes when I’ve taught the Book of Proverbs, I felt like I was teaching the dictionary. But it is so very important. We were looking at some kind of overview observations, and we saw yesterday that the Book of Proverbs and its existence, it’s the microphone, and its existence shows us something that is really important about God, and that is that he is interested in all of life, and not what just happens in the church, Proverbs 1:1 through 4. We have this tendency to separate things into sacred and secular. The sacred has to do with God, the secular has to do with us. Nonsense, everything has to do with God. And the Book of Proverbs and you’ll find that taught in Proverbs 1:1 through 4, is that God is concerned with everything. One time a woman said to Dr. G. Campbell Morgan is God concerned even with little things. And Morgan said, Madam, can you think of anything that is not little to God? Or I would say about Proverbs, can you think of anything that is not a concern of God? We’ve gotten into trouble, when we have ignored the fact of God’s involvement in all of life, for instance, we don’t talk much about sex in the church and we’re paying a price for that right now because one just simply doesn’t talk about something like that, that’s secular. Well, before I go off on a tangent, let me show you something else. Secondly, by way of introduction, the Book of Proverbs was loved by Jesus. And it is one of the most quoted books of the Bible in the Gospels. Thus, Jesus liked it, and if Jesus liked it, we should like it too. Jesus, for instance, makes reference to Proverbs 12:23 in Matthew 12:24 and in Matthew 15:18 and Mark 7:21 and Luke 6:45. In fact, if you have time sometime, check the cross references in the Gospels to the Book of Proverbs. And you’ll be surprised. My friend Brian Chappell, in his book, Christ Centered Preaching, says that Christ should be the center of all preaching because Christ is the center of the entire Bible. Now, in a while, I’m going to show you something really interesting about the connection between Jesus and the Proverbs. But for now, I just wanted you to know that Jesus loved this particular book, and we ought to love what Jesus loves. How often we get away from Jesus in the church, when I say things like take an abortion doctor to lunch, people are surprised. That is what Jesus did. I remember years ago when I was serving a church in Miami and for some reason they started bringing busloads of kids, young people, from a drug rehabilitation ministry in that area. And these weren’t the nicest kids you’ve ever seen. I mean, they had been drug addicts and problem kids for a very long time, and Jesus was changing their lives. And the head of the ministry wanted to make sure they went to church, and he picked our church. One of my elders came into my study and said, Steve, I don’t like this. I have two daughters, and they’re looking at my daughters. And I said, me too. I’ve got two daughters, and they’re looking at my daughters. And then I said to him, but Bill, and that wasn’t his name, but Bill, what about Jesus? And he said, oh spit. And he turned and left the office and we both quit complaining. I’ve often said to people who came to me, you don’t know me, but you know a friend of mine. And how often I have said, if you’re Bill’s friend, you’re my friend, too. So, Jesus loved the Book of Proverbs, and we should too. Let me show you something else by way of introduction. We can learn from the Book of Proverbs that while the Bible is all true, it doesn’t contain all truth. Not only that, while other religious writings contain some truth, they are not all truth. Proverbs 23:13 through 24 and into the next chapter. You know what those are? Those are Egyptian proverbs. Proverbs 31:1 are the words of Lemuel king of Massa, which his mother taught him. And that was an Arab kingdom and were descendants of Ishmael. You say, what are they doing in the Bible? Well, it’s back to what I just said and that you need to understand. While other religious writings can say some truth, they are not all truth. And Proverbs is all truth. And they get truth from a lot of different places. I interviewed a man once, lived in Northern Ireland. who wrote a book called How Movies Saved My Soul. And it was a great interview because he pointed out that you find truth in so many places. I was one time on an airplane with a guy next to me who was a Mormon and I didn’t know it. He said, what do you do? And I said, I teach. He said, what do you teach? And I said, well, I teach religious stuff. I’m in a seminary. He said, funny, I do exactly the same thing. And I said, you’re kidding, this is a small world. And we started talking about Jesus and his death on the cross for us. And we almost had a mini revival sitting there on the airplane. And when the plane landed, we got up and got our bags and I turned to him and I said, by the way, what kind of seminary do you teach in? And he said, you won’t like it. And I said, well, yeah I will. What kind of seminary do you teach in? He said, I teach in a Mormon seminary. And you know, all of a sudden I was, what’s going on here? God has truth in a lot of funny places. It’s important that Christians not be arrogant about our faith. It is all true, every bit of it, and we’re right about that truth, but that doesn’t lead us to the conclusion that no other religion, no other worldview, no other philosophy has any truth in it. I have a friend who’s one of the major Kantian scholars in this country, and she is one of the strongest Christians who loves Jesus more than anybody that I know. And she loves Kant, and I keep saying to her, what is it about Kant? And she says, it’s the truth that he teaches. There’s something else here that’s important about this. Christians need to be aware of and free to check out all truth. If you only read books that are Christian books, your education is truncated. If you only listen to Christian music, your music experience is truncated. If you only go to Christian movies, your understanding of truth is truncated. Because God is the God of everything. And because he is, he has planted truth almost everywhere you turn. What you’ve got to do is say to God, look, I heard an old preacher say that you’ve hidden truth in a lot of strange and weird places. He may be right about that, and he may be wrong, but you, if you would, would you make me sensitive to truth wherever it is? And by the way, Jesus said, I am the truth. And that means that wherever you encounter truth, wherever it is, Jesus is present. Well, that’s it, but it’s a good way to land this plane. Make sure that today, you look for the truth. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. And that wraps things up for this week, as far as our new adventure into the wisdom and depths of Proverbs, still much more to come next week. But tomorrow, of course, it’s time again for the nearly world famous Friday Q&A when Steve and Pete will answer the tricky and challenging questions that you have sent in.
The love of God has yet to meet its limit, boundary or match. Thus far, though, billions have tried, none have been able to stop the work of God. Satan couldn’t destroy the Son of God, and what prevails in the end is the Church of God.
Well, Amen and Amen to that. But, where’s that from? It’s from an article by Alex Early called God Seriously Loves You. You’ll find it in the latest digital edition of Key Life Magazine. Check it out for free at keylife.org/magazines and if you haven’t read our 2023 print magazine yet, it’s not too late to claim your copy. Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that magazine. To mail your request, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of Key Life Magazine. And, finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You could charge a gift on your credit card, or include a gift in your envelope, or simply pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter just text that to 28950 and 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.