If you don’t like me, deal with it!
JULY 19, 2021
If you don’t like me, deal with it! Let’s talk on Key Life.
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.
Thank you Matthew. If you’re just joining us, we’re in the process of a rather long study in the book of Acts, written by Luke who wrote the gospel of Luke. And by the way, I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon, this weekend. And, we’re up to, the second chapter of Acts. Pentecost is now behind us, the appearance of Jesus to the disciples, instructing them about what to do next, nothing, and then to go into all the world, that’s behind us. And now we’re turning to another important matter and it’s starting at the 43rd verse of the second chapter of Acts. So if you’ve got your Bible, you might want to open it. If you’re driving, you keep your eyes on the road. Let’s pray, and then we’ll study. Father, we come before you, aware that we are finite and you are infinite, you’re everything and we’re nothing, that you’re awesome and we’re not, that you’re sovereign and we control very little. But we’re also aware, because we’ve experienced it and you’ve taught it to us that with all of your power and your greatness, you bend down low and you listen to the sound of our tears as they strike the ground. Father, when we come into your presence, we come calling you Father. You are, of course, God, the awesome creator and sustainer and ruler of all that is, but you are our father. And we’re so thankful. You know, everybody who’s listening to this broadcast and you know, the hard places and the easy places. You know the laughter and the tears, and you are the God of both. Father, be close, remind us that you were sufficient for every need and present in every laughter. And then Father as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, forgive him his sins because they are many. We would see Jesus, and him only, and we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Alright, I’m going to start at the 43rd verse of the second chapter of Acts. And then we’re gonna talk about brotherhood and sisterhood. This is what Luke writes.
And fear came up on every soul and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day. Those who were being saved.
Now, just as an aside, somebody who hasn’t read the entire Bible and jumps on a verse and builds an empire on it, is going to say, this is an example of communism. It’s a socialist movement and Christianity has always been socialist. No it hasn’t, we’re seeing at the beginning, something that ought to be taking place in every church. And when you universalize that, to something bigger than that in every place and every time, then you’re going to get in trouble, because you’ll run out of other people’s money. That’s the way it works, but in the church, things are different. Jesus said, you know that among the people of the world, the rulers use power over you, and it won’t be the same with you. Your servant will be your master, the little will be big. Jesus was referring to a new attitude that takes place in the church. Let me tell you something, once you are my brother, once you are my sister, I taste the salt of your tears. When you’re successful, I stand on the sidelines and cheer. And when you have a need, I am obligated, because your family, to meet that need. Now, I think that Christians should be compassionate outside of the church. We ought to care for the poor, we ought to reach out to those who need, we ought to give and have compassionate hearts, but with family, it’s different. I have a preacher friend, who had a wonderful experience, I think at Disney World. He had tickets back in the day, when you had tickets for each of the rides. And he said, he had four children and they were coming through the line. He had tickets and gave it to each one of them. And in between, there was another kid, not his kid who reached up for a ticket. And he said, son, if you can’t afford it, I’ll help you, but you’re not mine. And I don’t owe you the ticket. I said at the beginning of the broadcast, if you don’t like me and judging from some of the letters we get, some of you read really don’t, tough, deal with it, I’m your brother. And we’re going to be talking about it this week and probably next week too, as we talk about what it means to be a brother and sister in Christ, what it means, what it means to be family. We talk about that a lot, but sometimes we really don’t live it. But as you read these verses that are read to you, you begin to see what was happening in the early church. And we’re going to see, as we finish this series on brotherhood, we’re going to see, we’re going to see that that is the means of evangelism. They will know by how effective we present the gospel. No, Jesus didn’t say that. They will know because we’ll build big churches and people will be attracted to them. No, Jesus didn’t say that. They will know by the love we have for one another. So if you don’t like me, do something about it. And frankly, I don’t like some of you either, and I need to do something about it too. Why? Because of them, because of the people who are not Christians, the, I, I served a church, and we’re going to get into this later on, so I shouldn’t be going down this side road this far, but I served a church for years, 20 years almost, in the Miami area and we never once had an evangelism training program. And I, you know, I really felt kind of guilty about it. We ought to be teaching people on how to share their faith, but almost every week I saw new Christians in that church. And I began to ask why, because when they came to church, they saw a family. And they said, I wish I had a family like that. I wish I had people around me who loved me the way they love each other. I wish I could be a part of that. And it was the open door into a relationship with Jesus Christ. I have a dear friend of a lot of years who lived with us for a while. There were some family problems and she was a teenager, so she was with us a good while. We were on Cape Cod and on vacation one time and we were sitting on the beach, watching the sun and she said, she started crying. I said, honey, what’s wrong with you? And she said, oh, Mr. Brown, I wish I had a father like you. Well, that’s what the world ought to be saying to us when they see what’s going on in the church. I wish, I wish I had a father, like they have. I wish I knew people the way they know people. I wish I had the connection of caring that they have. I wish I could be loved the way they are loved. And so brotherhood and sisterhood become very important topics in the church. So central, and I don’t know of any time in history when it’s been more necessary than it is right now. Now, we’re going to talk about that as we go along and see the necessity of family, but we’re living at a time that’s scary. We’re living in a time when people don’t like Christians very much. They don’t like us because we liked Jesus and Jesus messes with their head and their autonomy, and they don’t want anybody to do that. And so, we’re going to be attacked, and that’s going to increase. We’re going to be in trouble, and that’s going to increase. We’re going to find that fewer and fewer, fewer people are publicly committed to the family. That’s why, if you, if you don’t like me, I got to deal with it. It’s important that we walk together and same with me. And you, you think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown continuing to guide us through the book of Acts. Our text today was Acts 2:43-47, and we’ll be doubling back and drilling into this text, the rest of this week. Hope you’ll join us again tomorrow, as we do that. So, I don’t know if you’re like me, but I am fascinated by what we’re learning here in Acts. And if you are too, there’s a free booklet, we’d love to send you. It’s called Through the Eyes of Grace: Acts & Romans. It’s actually a companion guide to Steve’s study on Acts. How did the early church get it start? What about the early church leadership and the Pentecost and the fellowship of believers and persecution? Well, it’s all in there. In addition, there Steve’s overview of Romans. You are going to love this booklet, and it’s free, but you have to claim it to get it. So, 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 booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794
If you’re in Canada, send your request to
Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Just ask for your free copy of the booklet called Through the Eyes of Grace: Acts & Romans. Also, if you’re able, would you please give the Key Life? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or make it easy, just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950. That’s Key Life, one word, two words, doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. 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.