Jesus uses Christians…sometimes.
FEBRUARY 2, 2022
Jesus uses Christians…sometimes. Let’s talk, on Key Life.
This is Key Life, here to let Christians know that God isn’t mad at them. Keep listening and you’ll hear that because of what Jesus has done, you’re welcomed home into the family of God because of his radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the ninth chapter of the book of Acts, as we continue with our study in Acts. And, we’re talking about miracles from this ninth chapter, a man by the name of Aeneas who was paralyzed for years, got up and walked because Jesus healed him. And then Tabatha, a dead lady was raised from the dead because Jesus healed her. And that brings all kinds of questions and the questions are as follows and we’ve been dealing with them for almost two weeks. Does God really do stuff like that? And did it stop in the first century? Does God still do things like that? And the answer is yes, yes and yes, he does. Now, we’ve seen a number of things about miracles. We’ve seen that Jesus performs miracles, human beings don’t. We’ve seen that God gets glory when miracles happen and that’s the purpose of them. Thirdly, we’ve seen that God has a plan and his actions in our lives in answer to our prayers sometimes are places where God is doing something important and you need to watch. But I’ve got one more thing that I want to share with you. And it’s really important. God really does use Christians. In C.S. Lewis’ book Letters to Malcolm, chiefly on prayer. And that’s a wonderful book, if you haven’t read it. There was no Malcolm, Lewis made him up so we could write letters to him and say what he wanted to say about prayer. And it’s a short book and it’s a delightful book. And occasionally I use that book in my own personal devotions, but one of the things that C.S. Lewis says is that prayers make a difference. He said, your prayers aren’t just whistling in the wind. Your prayers are heard and they make a difference. Now, I personally think that God being outside of time and space heard your prayers that you prayed while you were living before you were ever born. And he took those prayers into account in some of the things that he does, but God uses Christians. And so, you’ve really got to pray and fast a lot. You’ve got to repent and give up your sins. You’ve got to be pure and obedient. You’ve got to go to a lot of worship services. You’ve gotta be nice. You’ve gotta be kind. You’ve gotta be compassionate. You can never be angry. You’ve gotta be good. Are you crazy? Let me read to you something that I used to read the congregations to make them feel guilty. And if you don’t feel guilty after I finish reading to this, then you’re living in denial. I don’t even know who wrote it. Somebody gave it to me and I wrote it in the back of my Bible. And felt guilty about it ever since. Finally, I quit reading it cause I couldn’t deal with the guilt.
When you were forgotten or neglected or purposefully said it not, and you don’t sting or hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ, that is dying to self. When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed and you refuse to let anger rise in your art or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient loving silence, that is dying to self. When you lovingly, patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, when you come face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual and sensibility, and endure it, spiritual insensitivity, I should say, and endure it as Jesus endured it, that is dying to self. When you were content with any food and offering, any raiment, any climate, any society, any solitude and interruption by the will of God, that’s dying to self. When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation or to record your own good works or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown, that’s dying to self. When you can see your brother and have his need met and can honestly rejoice in spirit and can feel no envy nor question God, while your own needs are far greater in more desperate circumstances, that is dying to self.
You know, there’s more of this, but I can’t read it because God can never use me. He will never answer my prayers. He will say I’ve had it with you. He will not use me in any way. Are you crazy? Let me tell you, the only people God uses are sinners and that would be you and me, doesn’t mean we aren’t getting better. It just means, it just means that he doesn’t have anybody else, but sinners to use. And so, he does that with Peter, who later in Scripture is called a hypocrite, who had denied Jesus three times and look what God did. And if he did that with Peter, he can do it with you. Louis the 15th, one time heard about some miracles that were supposed to have happened in a certain cemetery in France. And he was upset with that. People were being healed and lives were being changed. You know what he did? He went to the gate and had the gates locked and he hung a sign in the front of the cemetery where great things were happening, by order of the King, God has hereby forbidden to work miracles in this place. No, he isn’t. You think about that. Amen
And that was Steve Brown, continuing to guide us through Acts 9. Thank you Steve. And we will have one more day of teaching in this chapter for this week. Hope you’ll join us again tomorrow for that. Well, Valentine’s day is coming up and you know, for all the silliness surrounding that holiday, the world really does need love. In fact, one of the biggest things we can do for our world is to simply love each other. Well, Steve spoke about this in a powerful sermon called All the World Needs is Love. Take a listen to part of that sermon, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
You’ve probably heard and there’s truth in it that the best thing you can do for your kids is to love your wife or to love your husband. Let me tell you something else that’s true. If you care, if you really care for those outside the church and we’re here for them, by the way. The reason we’re not taking the heaven the day we come into a relationship with Christ is there’s work to do. And the work to do are the people out there. And if you care for them, you know the best thing you can do for them? You can love me. I know that’s not always easy, but I don’t care. That’s what you do for pagans, you love Steve Brown. And not only that, if I care about them, if I care for their souls and I haven’t always. A number of years ago, I was in a church in Atlanta and I said, millions of people are going to hell and I don’t give a rip. And then I stopped and said, that’s not bragging. That’s confessing. I don’t know their names. I don’t know their children’s names or what they do, but because I don’t care, that means you have to pray for me. And those, and those dear people did that. And the result of their prayers is a broken heart for the people, for them, for those outside the church. And the best thing I can do for them is to love you. And you’re not that easy to love either, as a matter of fact. It really does sound crazy and counter intuitive, but I didn’t say it. Jesus said it, so it must be true. I’m not sure what love is. Oh, I know the Greek words that C.S. Lewis made famous. Eros, yeah, that’s about sex. Philia, Philadelphia, brotherly love. Storge, the way I love my pipe. And agape, disinterested love. But that describes it and it doesn’t tell what it is. I think you’ve got to feel it, in order to know it. You know, we don’t love very well. Did you? Well, I’m sure you have, if you’ve been around very long, you’ve either seen the movie or the play, South Pacific. You remember, you remember when the Lieutenant is in love with a Polynesian lady? And, there are obvious problems with that in the culture and the racist nature of it. And he sings a song that if you think about it can be really sad. You know what he sings? You’ve gotta be taught to hate. You’ve gotta be taught no, you don’t. Who told him that? You don’t have to be taught to hate, it comes natural. We hate easily. It comes with mother’s milk. It’s a part of who we are. It’s called the fall and it goes deep and it’s selfish and it’s dark. That’s why Jesus had to go first. Jesus had to go first, as I have loved you. I’ve taught you this before, but you never listen. You can’t love until you’ve been loved. And then you can only love to the degree to which you have been loved.
This is a tremendous sermon about love, what it is, how it’s expressed and the life-changing impact it has. Get it on CD for free, by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send that to
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