It’s the story.
DECEMBER 13, 2021
It’s the story. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches the God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the eighth chapter of Acts, as we continue our study in this incredible book. I’m your tour director in case you wondered and we’re taking our time. There’s no schedule that has to be fulfilled. No deadline that needs to be met. So, we’re taking our time. And as we go through these chapters and verses line upon line, precept upon precept, story upon story, we’re pausing and we’re taking time and we’re asking God, what do you have for me in this? And we’re looking at the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. And, let’s pray. And then I’ll read that text to you again, and then we’ll dig in. Father, thank you for the stories you’ve given us. We’re glad for the doctrines and the truth and propositions, but the stories, the stories are so good. And thank you for the story of this Ethiopian eunuch that we’ll meet someday when we get home. Father, thank you for our story too, and the way you’ve written it and the things that you’ve ordained from your love and the place from which you brought us to this very moment in our lives. You’ve been sovereign, you’ve been Father, you’ve been loving and kind and gentle. And sometimes it hurt and sometimes we laugh, but it was you all along and we praise you. Father, you know the people who are listening to this broadcast right now and you know the hard places and the soft places. Remind us that you’re sufficient for all of those places. And as always, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast that you would forgive him his sins because they are many. We would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Oh, I forgot to say, I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. And from some of the letters and e-mails we get, some of you find that irritating. I don’t know if that’s because you have a lousy pastor or because you just find me irritating. I have a friend who says you offend more people than anybody I know. Well, I don’t intend to do that, but I’m starting a movement to encourage your pastor. And I shouldn’t be the only one saying that was a great sermon. You ought to be saying that often to your pastor. He’s your pastor, he or she are in really hard places and sometimes they get discouraged. And so, you know, I’ve told you before that I’ll be speaking somewhere. And this happens to me often, somebody will come up to me and go, Hey, Brown, this past Sunday, my pastor’s sermon was better than your pastor’s sermon. And I think good. I can put up with the critical letters, as long as I hear that occasionally. Enough chitchat, I’m starting at the 26th verse of the eighth chapter of Acts.
But an angel of the Lord said to Philip. “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert road. And he rose and went. And behold an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning seated in his chariot, he was reading from the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading from Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you’re reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless somebody guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was: “As sheep led to the slaughter or a lamb before this shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life was taken up from the earth.” And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, pray, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news of Jesus. And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What’s to prevent my being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus, and passing on he preached the gospel to all the towns til he came to Caesarea.
Great story. You know, stories are important to the people of God. I was the pastor of a church near Miami on Key Biscayne for years. And a lot of the people were there who had been there at the beginning, years before. And you know, one of my favorite things about being there, was listening to the stories of the beginning, of what had happened in the church, when Gladys Aylward came for a missions conference. And they didn’t have a church, they didn’t have a place to meet. So, they were meeting a local hotel and Gladys Aylward at the Inn of the Sixth Happiness, that movie and book, little Australian missionary. She would say, when Jesus said, come, they came. And she was powerful and they told her they didn’t have a place and they wanted a place to worship and she stamped her foot and looked up. And I wouldn’t have done this. Looked up into the sky and said, God, this is your little church. These are your people. And I demand in the name of Jesus that you give them a place. And you know what happened in the next two weeks, somebody offered them a place, land. And, there’s another story in that. Story after story after story, those stories are important. We encourage each other with stories and when we get home, you know what we’re going to do? Yeah. We’re going to sing worship songs, but we’re not going to do that for all of eternity. I mean after the first couple of hours, I don’t know about you, but I want to do something else. I mean, I’m okay with a fairly long worship service, but I don’t want to do it for all of eternity without a bathroom break, frankly. I mean, heaven, Elyse Fitzpatrick says is the place where we get to do stuff, that we didn’t have time to do, but wanted to do when we were alive. And I agree with that, and there’s plenty of Biblical warrant for thinking that, but one of the really, really great things about heaven is going to be the stories. We’re going to sit around the fire of God and tell us the stories. Anne Lamott is somebody I’ve talked to a number of times on our talk program. And, she is a liberal and I’m a conservative and she was not happy the first time and just wanted to get it over with. And I told her I loved her book and it sold more than she had. And all of a sudden she got nice and the interview, which was supposed to go for 10 or 15 minutes, went for an hour and a half. And at the end of that interview, and I loved Anne Lamott’s child likeness. She said, Steve, do you know what we would do if we met? And I said, no, what would we do Anne? She said, we would hold hands and tell each other stories of Jesus. Is that a cool or what? That’s what we’re going to do when we get to heaven. We’re going to tell war stories. We’re going to look at our biographies and share it with one another and rejoice and laugh and sing because the story is really important. And this was just one of a number of stories, in the book of Acts. And, the people who are extant in the book of Acts are now in heaven. And that’s what they’re doing. I can see Peter saying to Philip, Hey Philip, tell that story about the Ethiopian, that’s a good one. I would to hear that story again because every time you say it, I smell Jesus and I worship better. Heaven, a place of stories. The book of Acts, a place of stories. And all of it, every bit of it, about Jesus. You think about that. Amen.
And that was Steve Brown, continuing our enjoyable and unhurried tour through Acts. Today, we took another look at the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch described in Acts 8:26-40. And Hey, why not? It’s amazing. We’ll continue from here tomorrow. Sure, hope you’ll join us again then. As you well know, the month of December is bonkers, there’s buying gifts, office parties, responsibilities at church and the cookies. When am I going to eat all these cookies? Yeah, just kidding. Those cookies are already gone. Listen, it is hectic. And that’s why it’s so important to carve out some quiet moments to reflect on the meaning of God with us. To help you with that, we’d like to send you a free booklet called Christmas Meditations. It’s a newly reprinted collection of Steve’s writings on the real meaning of Christmas, the incarnation of God in Christ. The booklet also contains Scripture and devotional questions to help you focus and reflect on the impact of Christ’s coming. Get it right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for the booklet. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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