If you have something and you don’t use it, you might as well not have it.
AUGUST 15, 2022
If you have something and you don’t use it, you might as well not have it. I’ll explain, on Key Life.
Key Life is all about God’s radical grace. Grace that has dirt under it’s fingernails and laugh lines on it’s 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. If you’re just joining us, we’re studying the book of Acts. By the way, I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as mine. And that you had a great week-end. If you have a Bible, as we study Acts, we’re up to the 16th chapter and we’re going to look at verses one through five. And this week and probably end into next week, we’re going to be talking about spiritual gifts. And after you read that text, you’re going to say, no way, this has nothing to do with spiritual gifts. Yes, it does. And if you use this text, and you draw from some others, especially I and II Timothy, you see some things that are amazing about how God operates in the church. But before we do that, let’s pray. Father, we come into your presence so thankful that you wrote it down. If you had not written it down, we would’ve gotten it wrong. And, you put it in, so the truth is there for us to observe and to apply, so we can walk in faithfulness with you. But Father, sometimes we don’t and that’s the reason for the Cross, sufficient, finished for all our sins. Father, draw us to yourself and make us like Jesus. We worship you because you’re worthy of worship. And if you had not been kind, if you had not been our Father, if you had not sent your Son, if you had not given us the Spirit for comfort, you’re still God, you’re the Creator and the Sustainer of all that we see and perceive, and worthy of our worship. Father, you know everybody who’s listening to this broadcast and more than that, you know their names and you taste the salt of their tears. Father, meet us at the point of our needs and remind us that you are sufficient, when we’re not. And Father, as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, that you would forgive him his sins because there are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. All right. In the 16th chapter of Acts, Luke who, as you know, Dr. Luke is the author of the book of Acts. And he writes as follows.
And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brethren at Lystra and Iconium. And Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews that were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions which had been made and reached by the churches in Jerusalem. So that the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
Now that final statement is what ought to be happening in the church. If you do much reading, you’re aware that everybody and pagans rejoice in it, say that we’re living in a post-Christian era, a time when the church is dying and in the future will die completely and won’t be a troubler in our country. Don’t count on it. Make sure you check the coffin. I attend a church that is growing gigantically. I know churches all over the country, we have over 4,000 pastors on our mailing list where God is honoring the ministry and it’s growing. Now, I’m not saying that what the sociologists are saying is not true. And that we are a new Christian Renaissance. We’re not. There are problems, but I want you to know the natural place of the church is growth. And what you read in Acts and Luke says it over and over again. And the disciples increased. If you’re in a church where the disciples are not increasing, where there is no growth, you need to stop everything that you’re doing and call a prayer meeting and spend time asking God where the problem is and praying that he would intervene and that he would build a fire where pagans were attracted to its warmth. You heard about the fire that burned down the church? And an elder was standing in front of the church and watching as the firefighters were trying to put it out. And, his neighbor came by who was an atheist. And the elder said to his atheist neighbor, first time I’ve seen you at church. And atheist said, first time I’ve seen it on fire. If we had some more fire, atheists and pagans and unbelievers would be drawn, but what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to have the right kind of fire. And that’s what we’re going to be talking about this week and next week, as we look at spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. Now, when you read the text that we just read, you think that doesn’t have anything to do with spiritual gifts, but it does. And as we talk about spiritual gifts, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the people who have them will use them. If you’ve got something and you don’t use it, you might as well not have it because it’s the same thing. I have a friend who said back in the days when the Soviet Union was in its head days, big days, glory days. He said in Russia, they don’t have freedom of speech, so they don’t say anything. In America, we have freedom of speech and we don’t say anything. So what’s the difference? And so, as we study these words, we’re going to see that spiritual gifts and we’re gonna see what they are, are given to be used. And when they’re used, God uses that to build up the church and the church moves into the place where you can say, and the disciples increased. In a church I once served, we had a man, who was an elder in the church. And he had an incredible gift of wisdom. He sometimes just knew what was right and what was wrong. In any particular situation, he had things to say that were wise and profound and good guidance for the rest of the elders in the church. But he never said anything. He’d tell me later, maybe at lunch, what he thought. Maybe sometimes we would run into each other and I’d be able to dip into his wisdom, but he never said anything at those meetings. And so, the elder meetings went on their merry way and the church got into serious trouble. And when the trouble came, he said to me, I knew it. I knew it. And I said, why didn’t you say you knew it? And why didn’t you say this is something about which we must be cautious? Why didn’t you use the gift that God had given you and spoken at the elders meeting, so we wouldn’t have done such dumb things? You’ve got to exercise the gift if you’ve got it. Let me tell you something, in the churches I’ve served, god has provided gifts necessary to do what he told the church to do. But so often, and I’m talking about churches I’ve served where a pastor, that didn’t happen. And it didn’t happen not because we were bad people, we were, not because we did dumb things, but we did, not because we weren’t as wonderful as God wanted us to be, we weren’t wonderful. People in the church who had been given the gifts that were necessary to do what God had ordained for the church to do, would rather sit on the sidelines and watch the game rather than getting involved in it. Spiritual gifts need to be given and they are, and they need to be used. Now, the question before the house is this, how do you discover what your gift is? And secondly, once you discover it, how do you utilize that gift for the best results in the body of Christ? I’m out of time. So, we’re going to get into some answers to those questions tomorrow. But for now, if you are a believer, God has given you a gift. And the gift is supernatural and it’s meant for the entire church and you. You think about that. Amen.
If you have something and you don’t use it, you might as well not have it. Thank you Steve. Again, our text today was Acts 16:1 through 5. And we’ll continue our exploration of this text and the subject of spiritual gifts tomorrow. Make sure you join us. Well, if you’re listening to the show regularly, then you know all about Friday Q&A, and you know the name Pete Alwinson. And if that’s you, then I think you’ll be excited to hear about a special CD we’re offering that features a sermon from Pete. It’s called The Father You Need. In this talk, Pete talks about our need for a father. And how even the best fathers still make mistakes. So, where does that leave us? Actually, it puts us in a great place because Jesus can connect us with our heavenly Father, the Father that we ultimately need. You can get that sermon at no cost just 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. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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