If you want to succeed, just fail.
OCTOBER 14, 2020
If you want to succeed, just fail. I’ll explain on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer for the program and our host is author and seminary professor Steve Brown. The church has suffered under, do more, try harder religion for too long. And Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open to the second chapter of Galatians, if you’re in a place where you can, and we’re looking at a definition of the gospel. And we’re spending a long time on this, because we talk about the gospel all the time, and a lot of Christians believe the gospel is how you get saved. And that’s true. It’s a saying worthy of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I’m the chief of sinners. But the gospel is not only for salvation, it’s for living. I mean, we live the gospel every day of our lives and that’s the source, of the power, of the Christian. Now what we’re doing after looking at some general things about the gospel was looking at some paradoxical statements, some paradoxical statements that really help us to understand the radical nature of the gospel. Now, yesterday we talked it’s about to qualify is to be disqualified and that sounds crazy until you begin to realize it. Back when I was living on an island and we were susceptible to hurricanes, that’s pretty scary stuff. One of my friends who had lived on that island all of his life said, do you know what we need in this place? And I said, no, what do we need? He said, we need a good hurricane. That’s the only time when things go bad, that things go good. Well, he’s right. And it’s true with disqualifying. If you’re disqualified, then you’re qualified. I have a friend in Nashville, who’s a pastor, and I did a grace conference at his church, and I was in the morning worship service on Sunday morning. And you know what is call to worship was? Let me tell you, he said this,if you’re needy, if you’re disqualified, if you’re marginalized, if you’ve sinned and you think God can never use you again, if you’re broken, if you’re hurt, then Jesus says, welcome. You’ve come to the right place. Jeremy and I were having our conversation about this particular subject before, and I was, I was reminded, and Jeremy gave me the technical term for it, reminded of what my friend, Reggie Kidd has said about good barber shop quartets. He said, if they’re really good and they’re tight in what they do, when they sing, there’s a fifth voice. And they know it. I think Jeremy called that harmonic something. But whatever it was, it’s what happens. And that’s true, when we hang out with God’s people, disqualified people have a harmonic voice that shows up where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m going to show Jesus said, and he does. And that’s why going to church last Sunday for me, or Sunday a week ago for the first time in months, was a good thing. Cause I was finally with people who knew that they had no right to be there. Let me give you another paradoxical statement, to succeed is to fail, Galatians 2:16b
Even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law.
I have a friend who made an interesting statement the other day. He said, I believe that the thinking rich man is more miserable than the thinking poor man. And I said to him, that’s cause riches make you miserable. He said, no, they don’t. I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor and rich is better. It’s a lot better. He said, but they’re miserable, not because money makes you miserable, but money removes all illusions of the places where you can stop being miserable. In other words, once you’ve got it all, you realize that it’s not enough and it doesn’t work. It is said that Thomas Edison had tried a certain experiment a thousand times, and he wasn’t depressed that it wouldn’t work. One of his colleagues asked him, Mr. Edison, you ought to be miserable seeing that you’ve tried and tried and tried a thousand times and each time you’ve ended in failure. And Edison’s reply was classic, no, I have not failed. I have succeeded in discovering a thousand ways of not doing it. And that is success. It really is. So, as I said, and I said this, I think on Monday when you go out and look for answers, I’m for that. When unbelievers try everything from booze, to sex, to entertainment, to sports, to business, to money, I’m for that, you know why? Because the genuine can be tested and once you try it all and you get it all and you have failed, then you’re in a good place to run to Jesus. You want to do something about your guilt and you’ve tried to be good and it doesn’t work. That’s bad. No, that’s good. If you’ve always felt on the outside and alienated, and you’ve tried everything to become friends and to be a part of the in group and you failed, that’s bad. No, that’s good. If you don’t have any meaning in your life, no reason to keep on doing what you do. And you tried to collect bottle caps and it didn’t work, that’s bad. No, that’s good. Cause the genuine can be tested, and Jesus is the genuine. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. Steve Brown there teaching us about paradoxical statements found in the second chapter of Galatians. More good stuff tomorrow. Don’t miss it. Well, you guys know our dear friend, Pastor Zach Van Dyke, well, we jokingly call him our resident megachurch pastor. Zach did a talk a while back called Original Shame. It exposes the power of shame, explains how to get free from it and points out the very important difference between guilt and shame. Take a listen, and then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Zach.
Zach Van Dyke:
I knew from the time I was little, I wanted to be an actor. And so I started Florida State and I remember my very first acting class. It took place in a classroom underneath the stage. It was the coolest classroom. You had to go down this dark stairwell, down this long hallway that was always dark and creepy. And then you’d go into this classroom, it was a dance studio, but one day, I’m down trying to get into the classroom and the door’s locked and the door is never locked. And as my classmates began congregating at the door, we’re all looking at each other, like what in the world is going on? Out of the dark corner of the hallway, my professor emerged. Now my professor, he was about 140 pounds and six foot four. He had crazy black hair with just little hints of white. And he emerged from the dark corner, which is very creepy because the hallway was a dead end. So that meant that my teacher, the whole time was watching us all so confused at why the door was locked. And so when he came out of the corner, he said, today we are going to explore mask. And I have locked the door because I don’t want you to enter into the classroom and judge the mask. I need to first explain to you how mask work. I’m thinking this guy is a fruitcake and I’m looking at my classmates thinking, they’ve got to be thinking the same thing, but they weren’t. So they were like shaking their heads like, Oh yes, this is so exciting. And he said, what we’re going to do is we’re going to go in the classroom and there’s masks all laid out on the floor and we are not to choose a mask. We are to await until the mask chooses us. Once we had chosen our mask, we were to go sit in front of the mirror and he said, I want you to look at yourself, not the mask. I want you to look at you. I want you to see deep inside your soul. And once you have done that, then you can look in the mirror at the reflection of the mask. And once you’ve seen deep inside the soul of the mask, you can look back at yourself and then back at the mask. And he said you needed to do that until you knew the time was right for you to put the mask on and to tell the mask story. You all, I thought this was some heebie-jeebies and I did not know what I was going to do. You know, I’m looking around and I’m getting no validation from my classmates, they were all really into it. You know, I’m trying to look at the mask and wait for them to call my name and none of them did. And after an appropriate amount of time of looking, I picked up a mask. And I walked over to the mirror and I sat down and I looked deep into my eyes. I didn’t really see anything. And then I looked deep into the eyes of the mask and still didn’t see anything. But as I’m sitting there, I’m thinking, I’ve got to do something, like my whole class is into this and I’m going to get in trouble and they’re going to kick me out of the program. And my main thought in my head was just, just do something, just do something, just do something, just do something. And so finally I put the mask on and this is what I did. Yeaaawhh! Yeaawhh!, and I began to run around the customer and really my throat started to constrict and I couldn’t breathe. And I was running around the classroom doing that awful screaming. I was looking at my classmates and they were just kind of pushing me away. I’m lucky that I’m grabbing them. I’m pleading with them saying help me. Yeaawhh! So I ran over to the ballet bar on the wall and I grabbed hold of it and I let out a blood curdling scream, and then pulled the ballet bar out of the concrete wall, fell to the ground, tears streaming down my face, and I hurled the mask off. My professor, walked over to me and knelt down and said, thank you. That was beautiful. Thank you for telling that story. So this morning, we’re going to talk about shame. Shame is what I feel when I tell you that story. And I think about all the money my parents spent on my education. In all seriousness, it’s really difficult to talk about, because we’re ashamed of our shame. We don’t want to look at shame. And so oftentimes we don’t talk about it.
If you have ever struggled with shame, then please get this powerful message on CD for free. Right now, by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you would like to mail your request, send it to
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Just ask for the message from Zach called Original Shame. One last thing. If you’re able, would you please give to Key Life? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Every donation helps us and we really do appreciate it. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada, both of those organizations assure financial accountability. And as always, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.