If you’re an outsider, I have some good news.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2022
If you are an outsider, I’ve got some good news, on this edition of Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He doesn’t want to be your guru and he’s not trying to be your mother. He just opens the Bible and gives you the simple truth that will make you free. Steve’s a lifelong broadcaster, author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the 16th chapter of Acts. And, we’re looking at Lydia. You’ll find that in verses 11 through 15 of that 16th chapter of Acts. And if you’ve been with us the last couple of days, and I’ve probably spent way too much time on it, but it’s good for you. And you’re probably more confused than you were, before those two days started, but at least you can phrase the questions better than you could before. You know, we think we can explain God, we can’t. God is bigger than we think and bigger than we can think, an infinite God communicating to finite human beings is insane, but he does.
And the word became flesh. And dwell among us.
A lot of things could be said about the incarnation.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word became flesh.
The words didn’t explain everything, so God said among a whole lot of other things, God said, let me illustrate. And the illustration is Jesus and the love of God for his own. So, we saw yesterday that Lydia was a woman whose heart was opened by God. And he had decided to open her heart before she was ever born. In fact, before God even created the world, let me show you something else about Lydia. I would have you notice that she didn’t allow people or their judgment of her to stand in the way of her relationship to God. The Jewish community in Philippi was very small, in the first place. But for those women, to go down and form a small prayer group for all the world to see was in effect in inviting criticism and derision from the other Jews. The truth is that she was an outsider. She was a servant of God, a believer in God, one who worked for God, the text says, but that always means that she was Goyam, that she was Gentile, but was drawn to and was okay because she wanted to know the true God, but she was an outsider. Have you ever been an outsider? I have thought all of my life that I was an outsider. In fact, one of my greatest sins and God takes great delight in doing it to me. One of my greatest sins is my constant search for a place where I could feel comfortable and accepted and apart and rejoice in that. And every time I get to a place like that, if I don’t keep it in perspective, if I don’t look at it properly and Biblically God takes it away. He’s done that a lot of, I can’t tell you the institutions, which I’ve been involved, the megachurches where I’ve preached, where I’ve said to myself, I’ve found a place and God said, no, you didn’t find a place. I’m your place. Once you rest in me as your place, then I’ll let you do some other things, but don’t make a place for yourself because I have made a place for you. Well, Lydia was an outsider. She was marginalized, and yet she met for a prayer. She was on the edge of a particular religious community, was not an integral part of it. And yet at the same time, she didn’t leave because she was beginning to see that her place was with God. Are you that way sometimes? I am, sometimes as an outsider, I want to be on the inside. C.S. Lewis wrote a, well, it was an essay and it was from a speech that he gave called The Inner Ring or The Inner Circle. And he talked about the horrible things that people do so they can be in, it is a dangerous and hard thing to try to be a part of the cool kids because they will demand your soul and your soul belongs to nobody, but to God, Lydia, maybe wouldn’t have expressed it that way, but she understood it that way. She knew that God was more important than her cloth business. She was successful and wealthy. And we’re gonna see that later on. She knew that God was more important than being accepted. She knew that God was her place. She knew him, she just didn’t know his name. And when Paul came and preached the gospel, she learned his name and she came running. I have a friend who opens his worship services by saying, if you are a sinner and you think God’s through with you, if you think that he said I’ve had it with you, if you are lonely and afraid, and if you are marginalized, let me say to you what Jesus says to you. We’re glad you’re here. You have come to the right place. We could have said that about Lydia too. She was an outsider, but as an outsider, she said and sang before it was written, I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back the world behind me, the cross before me. Hey, you think about that. Amen.
Well, it’s Wednesday. And sometimes on Wednesdays, if I have time, I take some time to answer a couple of questions, one or two. Pete Alwinson will be in on Fridays and we’ll spend the whole broadcast answering questions. And by the way, at Key Life, we love your questions. And we take you and your questions seriously. You can call 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 7, record your question and sometimes we put that on the air. You can send your question to
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Or you can e-mail your question to [email protected] and when you do that, if you can help us financially, please do. I promise we’ll be as faithful with your gift as you were in the giving of it. And we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. I recognize that some of you can’t do that. And we understand that, say a prayer for this ministry as God brings it to your mind. Also, well, let’s turn to one or two of these questions. How can we as Christians get the message of God’s grace out to more and more people? Well, there are a lot of things that we could talk about, when you get it out to God’s people it’s harder than getting it out to pagans because there’s something about religion that can make you hard, or it does me. And, so you’ve got to figure out a way. And the best thing to do is to do something so out of the box, so shocking, so different, that uptight Christians will doubt your salvation. And that’s a good thing to follow, you create questions among God’s people and when they ask questions, then you provide those answers to a God who will never turn his back on you. Never be angry if you belong to Jesus, never turn you away, never ever turn his back on you. That’s good news. And it’s good news to a lot of Christians too. When Luther said.
We have to preach the gospel to each other, lest we become discouraged.
He was talking about what is the natural proclivity of most of us. And that is to be legalists, to think that what we do is more sufficient than the blood of God’s own Son. And then I might say, get the word of grace out to others who are not Christians. It’s the same methodology, done in the same way. It’s being different. Do you know the problem? Pagans have believers figured. I mean, they really do. We read the same books, talk the same way, use the same words over and over again, are religious, so religious that we’re insufferable. And what we need to do as believers is to create questions in the world, go places that Christians don’t usually go, do things that most people don’t think Christians usually do, be loving in places that are unloving, don’t go after those who disagree with you, be different. And when they ask questions and according to I Peter, wait until they ask the questions, be ready to give an answer to anybody who asks those questions. I have a friend, his name is Reggie Kidd. And he was a colleague at the seminary where I taught, he’s now a Canon or the Dean of a cathedral here in Orlando. And one of his sons really liked rock music. And, Reggie said to his son, would it be all right if I go with you to that concert tonight and the son was shocked, but he said, I’d love it if you’d go with me. So, he went to this concert, it was wild and out of the box and Reggie was standing on the floor with the other kids. And he was dancing with him. And a friend said to his son, who’s that old man with you? And he said, that’s my dad. And she said, oh man, you’ve got a great dad. That’s how you do it. I’ve got to go. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.