Just don’t leave.
MAY 16, 2022
Just don’t leave. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Being adopted into the family of God is not about doing more or trying harder. It’s about being welcomed by God because of his radical grace, free from the penalties of sin and never alone in your suffering, that grace is what Key Life is all about.
Thank you Matthew. Hope you guys had a great week-end. Hope you got a lot of rest and fun. And I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you have a Bible, and if you don’t just trust me, we’re only gonna look at one or two verses, as we continue with our study in the book of Acts. And we’re going to be looking at the 13th verse of the 13th chapter of the book of Acts. And we’re going to be talking about my friend John Mark for this week and probably in the next week. Sure did appreciate Pete coming in last week. I love his teaching and I kind of gave it to you as a gift. I was a member of the church where Pete was a pastor for almost 20 years. And so, I sat under his teaching all those years. And I’m glad that you had an opportunity to do the same thing last week, but now back to our study in the book of Acts. Before we do that, let’s pray. And then we’ll get down. Father, we come into your presence, surprised always that we’re here. You were great and we’re small, you’re infinite and we’re finite, you’re everything and we’re nothing, you’re sovereign and we’re not. But father, with all of your power and your greatness, you bend down low and you listen to the tears, our tears, as they strike the ground. And we are so thankful for the God of compassion and kindness and gentleness, the God you have revealed yourself to be. And so, there is a little bit of anxiety coming into the presence of a sovereign God, but we remember that you’re our Father and we praise you for it. Father, you know everybody who’s listening to this broadcast, the hard places and the soft places, the tears and the laughter, remind us that all of that first passage through a nail scarred hands, and it’s all a part of your sovereign will, and that all of it works for good. Father, as always we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast. Forgive him his sins, cause there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. I’ve told you often that if it’s a really rainy day and I’m depressed and I got to do a lot of stuff I don’t want to do. I often think this could be a lot worse. I could still be a pastor. I was a pastor for a lot of years and probably could get to heaven on works. If I got to the gate and they said, why should you come in? I would say I was a pastor for 30 years and Jesus died for me. And they would say, good and you poor dear, you come on in, but that’s not wasted. We have over 4,000 pastors on our mailing list and I spend a good deal of my time, talking with and praying with and laughing with pastors. And I love pastors. The ones that are real with dirt under their fingernails, who get God’s grace and God’s love. But when I think about being a pastor, there are a lot of things I didn’t like. I didn’t like meetings, if I get to heaven and they call a meeting, I’m in the other place. I came out of a choir practice four or five years ago and the elders of our church were coming out of an elders meeting and they looked like death warmed over. And I started laughing. They said, Brown, what are you laughing about? And I said, I just thought that for the rest of my life, I never again will have to go to an elders meeting. And they said, thanks a lot and got in their cars and drove away. But I really didn’t mind that much. And there’s so much about being a pastor that is wonderful. The people who allowed me into their hearts, the people who shared their secrets with me, the times when I wept beside open graves, when I cared, when they ministered to me more than I ministered to them. But let me tell you something that I really, really hated. And I still do when I think about it. You’d have somebody in the church who had just become a Christian, excited, involved, reading the Bible for the first time and understanding, and you just rejoice in that. Then you turn away to help somebody else and turn back and that person is gone. You don’t know where they went. I remember getting a note from a young lady who said, dear Steve, I didn’t want you to hear it from anybody else, but I’m leaving. I just can’t be good enough. I tried to call her and the phone line had been cut off. And I never could find out where she went because she didn’t understand, nobody’s good enough. But I remember wincing and I wince now, when I think about her and so many others that slipped into the dark. You know what we’re going to do this week? We’re going to talk about a young man who slipped into the dark. Because he belonged to Jesus, there is a happy ending to this story. And we’re going to look at that before we finish talking about my friend John Mark. But let me share the verse with you. And then we’ll start looking at what happened when a young man who was enthusiastic, committed and gifted left, just walked out. I don’t even like talking about it, but Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit knew that we needed to know the story. The text is the 13th chapter of the book of Acts and the 13th verse.
Now Paul and his company set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem.
You say, well, I don’t see anything amazing or sad about that. He just went home. What is the significance of that? Let me tell you, John Mark was one of the most promising young men in the whole church in the first century. He had been chosen, as a part of the most prestigious enterprise in history, the first missionary journey. And we read in this verse that he left. Let me share some facts about John Mark. He was born in Jerusalem in 15 A.D. to a woman by the name of Mary. Mary was one of the early converts to the Christian faith and a woman of some means. Because of this, her home became one of the centers of the church. And John Mark grew up seeing the very beginnings of the Christian faith, the heroes, the forefathers, he knew Peter and James and John. He would sit around in the evening and listen to their stories. He was a part of it, the most amazing happening in history. Under the influence of a strong Jewish heritage and later the teaching of the church, he became a very unusual man, young man. When John Mark was just a lad of 15, and you know this story. He heard that the soldiers were going to Gethsemane to arrest Jesus of Nazareth. He stood in the background and was later accosted by one of his soldiers. He decided that the best thing to do was to run and he started running and they grabbed him and got his garment and the soldier was left standing there, with the garment of John Mark. And John Mark, naked as a jay bird, was running off. And all you could see were heels and the elbows. As John Mark grew to manhood, he was seen by the leaders of the early church as a young man with great knowledge and great potential and great gifting. His quick mind, his knowledge of the faith, his possession of wisdom far beyond his years, placed him in a position of leadership. And when Paul was looking for someone to help in missions, John Mark was the one who was called. And yet, and yet he left. This week, we’re going to talk about that. And my admonishment is, don’t you dare leave. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown, resuming our guided tour through the book of Acts. Today, we dug into Acts 13. And we’ll continue that exploration tomorrow and the rest of this week. Sure hope you’ll join us for that. Hey, let me ask you something. Have you ever known a controlling Christian? You ever wonder why they did that? Could it be that one of the bad side effects of moralism, that idea that our good works earn us God’s love, is that the moralist thinks he should run everybody’s life. And thus a controller is born. Well, Chad West offers a fascinating insight on this in an article he wrote called Why Controllers Control. You’ll find it in the latest edition of Key Life magazine. If you’re tired of the controller in your life, why not claim your copy right now? Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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