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Jesus says, ‘Lean on me, lean hard.’”

Jesus says, ‘Lean on me, lean hard.’”

JULY 20, 2023

/ Programs / Key Life / Jesus says, ‘Lean on me, lean hard.’”

Steve Brown:
Jesus says, lean on me, lean hard. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free. And Key Life is here to bring you Biblical teaching that encourages you to never give into slavery again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster, and seminary professor who’s sick of phony religion.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the second half of the 20th chapter of Acts and we’re asking the question, and I moved the previous question. What made the apostle Paul great? It wasn’t cause he was sinless, he wasn’t. He was childlike, but he was also childish on occasion. He was jealous sometimes. He was angry sometimes, sometimes with cause and sometimes without cause. He was a very human apostle. He’s not the kind of person you would elect to be the president of the United States or the premier of Canada. He’s not the kind of person you ordinarily think of great, but there are four or five things about him that are absolutely amazing and it makes him great. Augustine said, if you want to be great, be. That was it, just be. Well, that sounds nice, but there’s more to it than that if you want to be great, look at the apostle Paul. He had a single purpose, Acts 20:19 and 20:24. And he was willing to die for that purpose and it drove him.

Woe be unto me if I preach not the gospel.

Secondly, he had tears and love, Acts 20:19, 35 and 37. He was overwhelmed with his love, which was manifested in his tears and we need to ask God for that too. And then thirdly, he was great because he was honest. He spoke truth, even when it cost him. Sometimes it cost him a beating. Sometimes it cost him a stoning. Sometimes it cost him prison, but he said.

You can do whatever you want to do to me, I will speak the truth no matter what.

Acts 20:26 through 27. And if you were listening yesterday, I spent some time preaching at you. And the truth was I was talking to myself more than I was talking to you. I was saying to myself, don’t you shilly shally. I remember one time when I was going to speak for a very large men’s club near Boston. They had heard that I told good jokes and I was a glib speaker and fun, and they invited me to come and were going to pay me good money to come. Meanwhile, Jesus caught me and tamed me and changed me, and I had something to say. And so, when they asked me to speak, I said, I know you, I know what you’ve heard about me, but I want you to know I belong to Jesus. And wherever I go, I talk about him. And if you would rather I not come, I certainly would understand. And he said, I better check with the board. And he did, and he came back and he said, we want you to come and you can say whatever you want to say. And the vote was seven to five. So, I went and the place was packed and they were having a good time and the more I thought about it, I thought, I’m going to back off. I think I’m going to tell some good jokes and make everybody feel good. And just as I’d almost made that decision, a friend of mine, and I remember his name, it was Ed Tinney and he’s in heaven now. I saw him come down the back of the auditorium to where I was sitting at the head table. He walked behind me and put his head right next to my ear and said, Steve, don’t you dare shilly shally. That’s what we need to say to each other cause we live in a terrible time for Christians. We are so intimidated about our truth. Now, we can’t speak it as if we speak from Sinai, as if everybody else is going to hell, except us. As if we’re right and everybody else is evil. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about with the Fruit of the Spirit. A little bit of gentleness here and there, a little bit of love, a little bit of civility. Don’t you shilly shally. The reason that Paul was great was because he didn’t shilly shally. And then in answer to the question, why was Paul so great? I’ve got one more thing that is clear in this text. He was great because of his single purpose, his abundant love, his honesty, and speaking the truth. He was also great because he had a supernatural, unbelievable, astounding trust in the one he worshiped. Look at Acts 20:29 through 32.

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come among you, not sparing the flock; and from whom your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.

And then here’s his advice.

And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

What was he saying? Jesus says, lean on me and lean very hard on me. Earlier in this particular text, Paul said.

I don’t count my life as anything, they’ve told me I’m going to be arrested. They’ve told me I’m going to prison. They’ve told me that I could lose my life, but I’m burning with a passion and a trust in Jesus to stand by me.

Do you ever, did you ever, I don’t think they do this much anymore, but do you ever go to those evangelistic services in churches where the evangelist would sometimes say to the Christians, turn to the person next to you. This is during the invitation. Turn to the person next to you and say to that person, if you go, I’ll go with you. Now that is kind of manipulative. That’s probably not the best way to do it, but that’s exactly what Jesus says to us. If you speak truth, I’ll go with you. If you do what I tell you to do, I’ll go with you. We had a man on our talk show who had Alzheimer’s disease. And his memory was going, that show took a lot of editing, but it was one of the best shows we ever did. He had written a book titled, I’m Beginning To Miss Me. Is that a good title or what? But at any rate, he said when he first got Alzheimer’s disease, he was scared to death. He thought, I can’t do this. And then Jesus said to him, when you walk into the mist, I’ll walk with you. That’s what Paul knew. That’s why Paul was great. He wasn’t great because he was sinless because he wasn’t scared. He was scared. He wasn’t great because he did everything right, he didn’t do everything right. He was great because he leaned on Jesus and he trusted Jesus in everything. Romans 8:28

All things work together for those who love the Lord, to those who are called according to his purpose.

That’s a great verse. We don’t really believe it, but it is, ask God to make you believe it and when you believe it ask him to cause you to lean on him with everything. A lot of people don’t know that the famous Phillips Brooks had a brother whose name was Frederick. Phillips Brooks was the one who described preaching as, truth through personality. He was a great man of God, director of St. Paul’s in Cleveland, and he died a young death. And when the people in the church, and they loved their pastor, who was Phillips Brooks brother, so did Phillips. They looked for a suitable monument to their beloved pastor, and they chose a magnificent stained glass window. The window pictured our texts for the last two weeks. The apostle Paul standing on the rock at Miletus with the open sails of his boat in the background. He is encircled by the elders from Ephesus, and underneath is this caption from our text.

And they all wept and embraced Paul and kissed him sorrowing most of all because of the word he had spoken that they would see his face no more.

A great man of God. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thanks Steve. And with that, we wrap up another insightful week of learning from the Book of Acts. And don’t forget tomorrow it’s time again for Friday Q&A, hope you’ll join us for that. Gosh, sorry. Sorry, I could win. Okay. Ah, I want, sorry. Let me do that again. Right now you’re thinking, what did I just hear? Those were actual, factual outtakes of me recording these voiceovers. Truly, there are times we mess up and it’s funny, but there are other times we blow it and the results, not funny at all. Sometimes these mistakes can even make us doubt our salvation. So, what do we do when we’re not sure God wants us anymore? Well, Steve addressed these issues in a sermon called I’m Still Here and You are Too. In it, he gives four reasons we can be sure that Jesus will never let us go. If you struggle with these questions or maybe you know someone who is, please let us send you the CD, for free. Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to for our mailing addresses. Just ask for your free copy of the CD called, I’m Still Here and You are Too. And finally, if you value the work of Key Life, would you support that work through your giving? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. 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.

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