If you let him, Jesus will help.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2021
Steve Brown: If you let him, Jesus will help. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Matthew Porter: That was Steve Brown and this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching, that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Steve Brown: Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open to the sixth chapter of the book of Acts. And we’re looking at the first church division reported in the history of the church. And it had to do with one group not getting the stuff another group got. And it was resolved and in an amazing way, and we’re taking some time pausing at this illustration to see how it applies to the church today. And if you’ve been listening, you’re aware that it’s a miracle that Luke even brought it up. Most church histories don’t talk about this sort of thing, because you want heroes, you don’t want normal people, you want somebody to look up to. And Luke, in the book of Acts tells you where the warts are. I mean, he is truthful and that’s wonderful, and the Bible is that way everywhere. And the reason that is so good is because you know that you’re reading an accurate description of the way things go. If you think things are working out, you’ve overlooked something. The truth is that church is messy and life is messy and marriage is messy and Key Life is messy. And anybody that tells you different just doesn’t understand the way it is. And then secondly, we took some time to talk about the importance of diversification, finding where somebody has a gift and then assigning to that person, something that is commensurate with the gift that God has given. When I was, somebody, I was at the Cove recently, the Billy Graham Training Center, teaching a session and somebody came up and said, man, you have the best voice. And I said, did you notice how good looking I am? And then they were embarrassed. I said, it gets old being a pretty voice, it really does. And then they started laughing. But I do have a good voice. You got to admit it’s better than yours. And when I was in high school, it changed. I was in a boys’ choir until it changed. Yeah, one of those, you know, where they have the sopranos, they’re all little boys singing very high. And then all of a sudden I was kicked out because my voice changed and sounded the way it is today. And a high school teacher said to me, in all seriousness, Steven, you have to be careful what you say because people are going to listen to you. I’ve thought about that a lot. And I have been careful about what I’ve said, even if it doesn’t sound like it. I do a lot of study because the gift that was pointed out that I have by elders early in the ministry that I had was Steve, you’re a teacher. You’re not an evangelist. You’re a teacher, your organization abilities look like Jericho after the trumpet. But when you teach, people can see and they’re able to see clearly. So, that’s what I do. Nobody would dare make me an executive pastor of a church. Man, it would go down this chute in five minutes, but let me teach and make sure that you don’t get me a lot of other stuff to do. I’m also a pastor, so I love being with people who are hurting. And have always spent a lot of time in hospitals and institutions, but those are my two gifts, a pastoral teacher. And it’s nice at my age to know what you do well, and what you’ll mess up. Diversification is very important in the church. And it’s very important, do it, maybe sometime we’ll do a study of I Corinthians 12, and the doctrine of gifts in the church. There’s a lot of nonsense about that. And there is no extensive list of gifts given in the Bible. I mean, it goes on and on and on, examples of gifts are given, but not an extensive list. Sometimes, I remember a young lady coming to me and this is back in the day when one simply didn’t do this sort of thing. She was a professional dancer, a ballerina. And she said, Steve, I love Jesus. And my gift is dancing. Could I dance in one of the worship services of the church. I said, do, are you crazy? Of course you can’t. I need this job. If I put you out there dancing, then the legalists are going to string me from the nearest tree. And she said, okay. And she left and then the Holy Spirit began to speak. And I thought, that is her gift. And she ought to be able to offer it to the people of God in this church. And so, I called her back and I said, look, I repent of what I said. I want you to dance for us next Sunday. And I’m going to call the music director and I’m going to have him create a Psalm piece while you dance. And it was so good. I can’t tell you. It was absolutely wonderful and it was not erotic. It was just honoring to God. And it’s the first time anybody ever danced in that church. We were not Pentecostal and we didn’t dance in the aisles. Okay? But she did. And she worshiped God and we did too, because we understood diversification. And then I want you to see, not only the fact and the diversification, I want you to note the supernatural side of what’s going on here. Look at the third verse of the sixth chapter.
Therefore brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute,
Here it comes.
full of the Spirit and of wisdom.
Let me tell you something. Jesus loves the church and he’ll help the church, if we turn to him. We have way too many committees. We have way too few seasons of prayer. We have way too many ecclesiastical actions, by ecclesiastical organizations, making ecclesiastical decisions. What we need to do is prayer, because that’s when Jesus comes. That’s why the church is in so much trouble, I believe. You know, we’ve done all of the church growth stuff and we’re still now growing. We’ve studied all the books that tell us how to have a mega church and we still don’t have one. We’ve done everything you’re supposed to do, to attract people with music and with everything else that is attractive to people. And we’re still not growing. What we need to do is say Jesus, we’ve tried everything else. And so, forgive us, but we finally decided to come to you. You guide us and show us what we’re supposed to do about this church. Full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. What’s that? That’s the Holy Spirit of God and the wisdom that comes from him for the church. I’ve seen it happen enough thousand times in churches, when they just couldn’t pull it off anymore. And they knew they were doing it wrong, but they didn’t know what they were doing wrong. And so the prayer was next. The study of Scripture was next. And the listening to the soft sound of sandaled feet was next because God has a special place in his heart for his covenant people. And he really wants to lead us right. And so, it’s interesting that in the middle of this particular text, when Luke is talking about the division and what was going on in the church, Luke particularly points out leaders who are full of wisdom and full of the Holy Spirit. That’s somebody I want to follow. My mentor, and I’ve probably told you this before, Fred Smith is the wisest man I’ve ever known. Really, I’ve never met anybody who had the gift of wisdom, as much as Fred Smith. Incidentally, you might want to go to BreakfastWithFred.com Just so you know, I didn’t make him up. He’s in heaven now, but Fred Smith was a very, very wise man. And, even though he didn’t have the education, he was paid major bucks for working with large corporations. They would bring him in, pay him a lot of money to analyze the situation in the corporation and to give his advice on what needed to be done. And I remember one time talking to Fred about that, and I said, Fred, you’re not trained to do that. You’ve never taken, you’ve never even gone to college. And they’re paying you all this money to find out the problems in these large corporations. How do you do that? I mean, how, where, do you just go in and close your eyes and cast some dice and then sound like you know what you’re saying? And it works. He said, oh no. He said, let me tell you this secret of the job that I do, when I go into a corporation, I look for the ego and when I find the ego, I’ve found the problem and they pay me for looking for ego. That’s true in the church. You think about that. Amen.
Matthew Porter: Thank you Steve. Hope you enjoyed our tour through Acts 6 this week. We will resume that journey soon, but all next week, our friend Pete Alwinson will be here to teach us. That’s pretty cool. And if you can’t wait until then, well, then be sure to join us tomorrow for Friday Q&A. Tomorrow, Steve and Pete will tackle this question among others. Does God tell his people the future? Inquiring minds want to know? So you’ve probably heard about Steve’s latest book called Talk the Walk, but did you know that book was actually born from a series of messages Steve gave at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove in Asheville, North Carolina. It’s all about how to speak the truth in love, even in the midst of a culture that is hostile to faith. Listen, we put that whole sermon on a CD and we would be happy to send it to you, for free. So, call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org to ask for that CD. If you would like to mail your request, just 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 copy of the CD called How to be Right Without Being Insufferable: The Gift of Truth. Finally, if you value what we do here at Key Life, would you perfectly consider giving to support that work? Giving is easy, just charge a gift on your credit card, or include a gift in your envelope. Or just grab your phone and text Key Life to 28950. Then follow the instructions. 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.