If your’e depressed, go tell somebody about Jesus.
MARCH 29, 2022
If you’re depressed, go tell somebody about Jesus. I’ll explain on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He’s an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life, a program all about God’s radical grace. We’re committed to bringing you Bible teaching that’s honest, straight-forward and street-smart. Keep listening to hear truth that’ll make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the 19th chapter of Acts and I’ll be referring to that. And the text is starting at the 19th verse going to the end of that text, the 11th chapter of Acts. I misspoke, but I’m doing the best I can. Okay? And, we’re asking the question, how did God do it with the early Christians to make them so strong and so faithful and so effective? And they were, I mean one of the most amazing, historical happenings, is the way the church grew. I mean, it started with uneducated, broken, sinful bunch of friends of Jesus. And then it exploded in the entire world. And today, it’s the largest religion in history. How did God start this? What did he do that was so good at the beginning? Well first and we spent yesterday talking about it. First, he grew them by persecution. I’ll tell you something, I don’t like when people don’t like me because I liked to be liked. In fact, I love to be loved and I have to be careful that I don’t sell my soul to do that. I remember one time and I may have told you this story when I was speaking for a secular organization and I told them that I was a Jesus man. And I was going to say something about Jesus and they should ask somebody else. And the guy said, let me ask the board. And he came back and said, we want you to come anyway. And the vote was five to four. And so, I went there and there was booze following, and a lot of laughter and it’s kind of a, it was a yearly, big deal banquet. And I thought, you know what I was gonna say was a little bit much. I think I’m going to back off a little bit and tell a few jokes. I talk good. So, I can get through this thing. And there was a guy and I loved him. His name was Ed and he was a dentist. And, he had become my friend and he loved Jesus with all his heart. And he came walking from the back of this big banquet hall, walked up to the speakers table, leaned over me and whispered in my ear. Steve, don’t you shilly shally. Then he walked off and I didn’t, because he knew I wanted to be liked and praised and honored. And what I was going to say was going to be offensive to a lot of people. So, when people get angry at you, when they think you’re a fanatic, that you’ve lost your mind, that’s good for you. And it’s good for me. And every time it’s happened and it happens a lot in this ministry, I get a lot of criticism, I get better because of it. In fact, I expect I’ll be perfect by next week. I’ll be totally sanctified, if this keeps up. And if you believe that, I have some swamp land to sell you in Florida. No, but I do get better. It drives me to him and he says always, they said the same thing about me. Well enough about that. Let me show you something else. They grew by witness, by proclamation, by sharing the reality of what they had seen and heard and experienced. Look at 20 and 21, those verses in the 11th chapter.
But there were some of them, men of Cyrus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Keywords and the hand of the Lord was with them. If you are spiritually depressed, if it feels like God has gone away on vacation somewhere to Bermuda, if you haven’t heard from him in a while, if you’re in a dark place spiritually, let me tell you what to do. Go tell somebody about Jesus, go out and tell somebody about Jesus. Early in my ministry, I had learned that the Scripture was true and began to teach it and study it, so I could teach it well to that congregation that I was serving. But frankly, I wasn’t doing me any personal witnessing. I wasn’t doing things that normal Christians ought to be doing. And I remember going to a lecture on evangelism. And, I was with a staff member of Campus Crusade for Christ, and we’d started supporting him. And, after the lecture on evangelism at this Christian college, I turned to my friend and I said, you know, that was so good. We need to do more of that. And he said, let’s. I said, what do you mean let’s? Let’s go do some of it. And I, you know, I was a pastor, I wasn’t going to act like a one simply didn’t do that sort of thing. So I said, okay, let’s. And we went down to the beach near where the college was, and it was a cold winter day in New England. And there was one car parked there. And I thought, well, this is not going to be an incident where thousands are saved and hundreds or heeled. There’s only one guy. And he’s not going to look on us very favorably. And, my friend who was with Campus Crusade for Christ, now it’s CRU, but he knocked on the window and a guy rolled his window down and he said, sir, we represent an international Christian organization, could we talk to you a minute? And I’m praying in the background, Lord, make him say no, make him say no. And he said, well, yeah. So, we got in the other side of the car, sitting there looking at the ocean and I got in the back, it was a two door car, and I had to climb in and I couldn’t get out. And God planned that too. My friend began to share with this man, the gospel of Jesus Christ. About forgiveness and redemption and how much he was loved. And if he went to Jesus, how things would change. And then he turned to me and said, Steve, tell him, tell him how you can become a Christian. And my friend, Jay was grinning when he told me to do that. So, in a very halting cause this was the first time I’d ever done that, in a very halting way, I began to explain how one could become a Christian. That’s not very hard, you know, Jesus made it pretty easy. All you got to do is bow your head and say, Lord, I’m not doing very well with this thing, in fact, I’ve really messed it up and I’m a sinner and I’m told that you died on a cross for sinners, and I’d like to be one of them. I want to give you my life cause you’ll do better with it than I, that’s pretty much what it is. And the man in a very childlike and wonderful way prayed to receive Christ. I’ll never forget that day. And I’ll never forget what happened after that day. My spiritual life began to soar. Things began to change. Now, I’m not making an absolute promise that if you’re going through spiritual depression, if you’ll go out and share your faith, it will dissipate. It might be worse. I mean, God is doing something with you and it’s important. And he does it in ways, but generally when we share our faith because that’s one of the reasons we’re created, that’s while we’re still here, it’s for them. And so, when you have an opportunity and you don’t have to do it in a formal way, begin to talk about Jesus and the difference he has made in your life. And you’ll be surprised at what happens. God knew that, he could have gone to those areas and led the Greeks to Christ to himself without any help from those people who were sharing their faith. But he let them come along and he let them be a part of it. And that’s how he grows his people. Now let me show you something else. And I don’t have a lot of time, so I’m just going to mention it now, but I’m going to, but we’ll talk about it more tomorrow. Thirdly, God deepens his people with persecution, with proclamation, but he also grows his people bye connection, Acts 11:22.
News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
And the disciples determined everyone according to his ability to send relief to the brothers who lived in Jerusalem.
What’s going on here? It’s a connection. It’s a truth that you can’t do this by yourself. I’m big on John Wayne and stuff. When I go to that airport in California, I kneel in front of the statue of John Wayne, but Jesus has taught me that while I’m a loner that I need to be connected to my brothers and sisters in Christ. You think about that. Amen.
If it feels like God is far away, tell someone about Jesus. It’s not a prescription, but it’s certainly worth a try. Thank you Steve, for that insightful message from Acts 11. More good stuff tomorrow, please make sure you join us. So, there’s a little room in our house where I go a few times each day and usually end up doing some reading. Do you know room talking about. Okay. So, I would love to help you expand that particular library with the new edition of Key Life magazine. It features a moving article from Steve called For Heaven’s Sake, Lighten Up. It’s a freeing invitation to return to the wonder and joy of the good news of Jesus. The magazine also has pieces from some of your favorite Key Life voices, like Chad West, Pete Alwinson and Kendra Fletcher. Get your free copy right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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