Limit God at your peril.
JANUARY 26, 2022
Limit God at your peril. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious cliches. Our host and teacher is seminary professor, Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open to the ninth chapter of the book of Acts. We’re starting at the 32nd verse and going to the end of the chapter. And we have a seen, if you were listening that Luke is picking up the story of the church. Now, he stopped in the middle of it because the Holy Spirit told him to, and he’s telling us in detail, the story of Paul and his conversion and the things that happened as a result of it. Fourteen years later, and we’ll get to that, Paul comes back into this story and it’s an exciting thing that happens when that happens. But now having set aside and done what he was supposed to do, he goes back to the church and that breathless quality of a writer of history who is absolutely amazed with what’s happening, begins again. And Dr. Luke tells the story and he starts with two people. One is a crippled man who had been bedridden for years. And Peter comes and tells him you’re healed, get off that dumb bed and dance. And, he does and he’s well, he lives a life of health. And then there’s a, in another town, close by, a woman by the name of Tabitha dies and they asked Peter to come and I would have said, don’t bother him, it’s too late. And they would say, yeah, but he can do the funeral and it’ll be a nice service. And so Peter comes, he walks in and that’s the calling of the Holy Spirit. He says to the people, leave, I’m going to pray. And they leave the room, it’s an upper room and he kneels down and he begins to pray. And Luke tells us this story. And Tabitha to everybody’s surprise in the middle of the prayer, opens her eyes and sits up. I have a friend, who fell in, well, this is true. My friend, in the first church I served, it was on Cape Cod in East Dennis. And there was a town cemetery. And a member of my church was the parks commissioner, which meant he mowed the cemetery. I mean, that was it. And he cleaned up the tombstones. Well, one day he was doing a tombstone and the ground gave way and he fell into this hole. And this is true. I’m not making this up. And when he was in this hole, somebody was driving through the cemetery and thought he was coming out of a grave. He said, laughing later, he said, I’ve never seen anybody get out of a cemetery, as fast as that guy who saw me coming out of the grave, that would do it. Well, it did it with Tabatha too. Here, she was dead now she’s alive. And that brings revival and became a part of the gasoline that drove the early church in an unbelievable way. It’s called signs and wonders. Now, can we talk, there are theological viewpoints that would rule out anything like this happening in our time. The story goes, and it comes from some reformed people, some dispensationalist people, and some people who are just plain old liberal. They said, the liberals say, it never happened. And I’ve been there and done that. The charismatics and the reformed people say, God was doing something for a particular time, a dispensation and signs and wonders were a part of that in order to get the church started off right. And incidentally, many of those will say the same thing about speaking in tongues. Now, I don’t speak in tongues. I can fake it, but I really don’t. I don’t have that gift of speaking in tongues, but I don’t think it’s ended. I don’t think everybody who speaks in tongues really does. But I think when you read that, Paul says, I forbid not the speaking and tones, you probably shouldn’t erase that from your Scripture. And every time I say what I just said, I get in trouble and people start, I mean, both sides get angry at me. One of the good things about being old is I don’t care, but don’t send me the letters. I’m not going to change. I believe God does, as he pleases. And he does it right well. I believe God is a supernatural God and he intervenes in time and space, in ways that are beyond our understanding. I believe that God is not dead, his arm is not shortened and he still operates in our time in very important and supernatural ways. As I said yesterday, I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve watched, being a pastor for all these years was first dumb, but the second thing about it, it was great because I had a front row seat to see what God does in people’s lives. And so, while I respect my brothers and sisters, in fact, they love God more than I do, who say miracles ceased and tongues ceased and supernatural stuff doesn’t happen anymore because that was a trend. I respect that view. I just think you’re wrong. I think I’m right. And, I of course have serious problems with those who are liberal theologically and Biblically, who say it never happened because God doesn’t do miraculous stuff. And so, and so, and we’re going to talk about it tomorrow. And so, I believe in a God that you don’t limit in any way, you don’t say there’s certain things he won’t do. God does as he pleases. And he does it quite well. You think about that. Amen.
And that was Steve Brown, continuing to teach us from Dr. Luke’s history of the early church, also known as the book of Acts. And this week we’re doing a deep dive into chapter nine of that book. So much more to explore and enjoy tomorrow. Hope you’ll join us again then. Well, as you might know, we also have a not half bad talk radio show called Steve Brown Etx. And recently on that show, we spoke with one of our favorite guests, a very smart and very accomplished entrepreneur and author named Jordan Raynor. Take a listen to our most recent conversation with him, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer.
Jordan Raynor: There were really two reasons why I wanted to write this book. Number one, most time management books in my experience are based on workspace productivity. Right, the message is, Hey, listen, you feel swamped, you feel overwhelmed, follow the author’s system, and then you will find peace. As a Christ follower. I believe already have peace. Paul promises me in Romans 5:1, I have ultimate peace with God. So, I don’t look to time management gurus for my ultimate source of peace. I already have peace in Jesus and I do time management exercises, as a response of worship. So, that’s the first thing that makes this book really different. The second, is related, now all these other time management books fail to account for how the author of time managed his time, when he came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ, this blows my mind, Christian or not, I think it’s pretty hard to argue with the fact that Jesus was the most productive person to ever walk the earth. And yet, we don’t read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for what they are, biographies of how Jesus walked throughout this life. And no, they don’t show him with a to-do list or, you know, a cool smartwatch, but they do show Jesus being distracted at work and fighting for solitude and seeking to be busy without being heard. In other words, they show him dealing with the exact same challenges that we have. We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses. Jesus can sympathize with all of our weaknesses, including our attempts to redeem our time. So, that’s why I wrote this book. These are seven timeless time management principles from the life of Christ.
What’s the most important thing in terms of time management?
Jordan Raynor: We’ve got to know what God’s word says about time, about his purposes for the world and our role in it. If we care about redeeming our time for eternal rather than temporal purposes, a lot of Christians come to time management and think that their core of their problems are the wrong to-do list app or some other digital tool. Our core problem is we don’t understand what the word says about the purpose that we have in this life. Paul says in Ephesians 2,
We’ve been saved by faith, not by works.
so we’re not saved by our works, but then he says in Ephesians 2:10
We have been saved for good works that the Father has prepared in advance for us to do.
The very purpose of our salvation is so that we would redeem our time, do good works that bring the Father great glory. And this is what Paul is alluding to in Ephesians 5:15-16, where redeeming your time comes from, he says.
In response to the gospel, see that you walk carefully, not as fools, but as wise redeeming the time because the days are evil.
I think a lot of times we view time management as secular, as something businessy people do. Regardless of how productive or unproductive we are, we can know that we’re loved by the God of the universe. If you believe that God died for you when you were his enemy, certainly you could believe that he loves you when you don’t finish everything on your to-do list. I’m trying to get my young kids to get the set of very early age. So, they are seven, five and almost two, every night before I put in a bed, last thing I tell them, I look them in the eye say, Hey girls, you know daddy loves you no matter how many bad things you do. And they say, yeah. Then I say, you know, I also love you no matter how many good things you do. And they say, yes, I say, who else loves you like that? And they say, Jesus. Or Kate, my five-year-old theological stickler, quasi Catholic says God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. But we’ve got to hear those same words spoken over our lives and our work. God loves you regardless of how productive or unproductive you are. We’re not productive because we need to earn any more of God’s favor. We have all the favor we could ever have through Christ, through faith, in him as a co heir with him. So we’re not productive because we need to be or because we want to be, because we just want to make proud the heavenly Father that has given us that just totally unmerited grace.
If you’ve been thinking about how to be more productive and make your time count, but in a Biblical, God honoring way, I can not recommend this episode highly enough. Grab your copy of it on CD for free, right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to us at
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