Look in the mirror…and repent.
MAY 19, 2021
Look in the mirror…and repent. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew executive producer for the program and our host is author and seminary professor, Steve Brown. The church has suffered under do more, try harder religion for too long. And Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free.
Thank you Matthew. If you’re just joining us, we’re looking at the sixth chapter, mostly of Galatians. We’ve been spending weeks and weeks in this book and we’ve still got three or four more weeks and then we’ll land the plane and I think, you can’t hold me to it, but I think that we’re going to study Acts next. At any rate, if you were listening yesterday, you know that the apostle Paul is dealing with a wild bunch of people and he’s got problems in the church at Galatia. And he talks to them about grace and about freedom, about not leaving the one who loved them so desperately and without condition. And that was the main way he chose to fix what was going on, but he details it in this sixth chapter. And he’s obviously at the very heart of the problems in the church and at Ford Motor Company and IBM and Twitter and Amazon and Microsoft, and every other place that you know. As Fred Smith says, look for the ego and you’ll find the problem. And so we saw that the apostle Paul begins to give some principles, that’ll make a difference in the church. And we looked at the first principle he gives, in Galatians 6:1-2. And it’s the principle of reliance, that I need you, and you need me, not because we’re so good, but because we’re so bad, not because together we know a whole lot, but because we don’t know enough. Because we’re not faithful enough and I need you to walk with me. I gave you that quote, the other day.
Don’t walk in front of me, I might not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I might not lead. Walk beside me, and be my friend.
And that’s what Jesus has told us to do with one another. We need each other. I may have told you this story before, but it’s worth repeating. I have a friend who’s now in Heaven, his name is Bruce Thielemann, one of the best preachers I’ve ever heard. And he was a bachelor all of his life. He was serving a large church in Glendale, California, and he had been on a trip to Africa and he’d come back and went to his apartment, it was on the top floor of this apartment building in Glendale. And he said, he looked out over the. City. And he thought to himself, I am the loneliest man on the face of the earth. I don’t have a wife. I don’t have any children. I don’t want to have anybody. And I need, I need a brother. So the next morning he started calling the pastors in the city of Glendale and he said to them, each of them could we have lunch? And they would say, cause this is typical. I can’t do it now, but I can do it in a couple of weeks, Bruce. And Bruce said, well, I’ll call you back. And they called another one, same thing over and over again. He finally got to one guy and the guy said I can’t do it right now. And Bruce said, stop that. He said, I need somebody right now. And if you love Jesus and you love me, you’ll meet with me and we’ll have lunch right down. And the man was not happy, but you know, you can guilt people into doing almost anything. And so, Bruce guilted him into having lunch. And so they met at this restaurant, and Bruce said, you know, I’m so lonely, I just needed to be with a brother who understands. And this other pastor said to Bruce, do you know why I didn’t want to have lunch with you? And Bruce said, no, I don’t. He said, because last night when I came in home, I found my wife in the arms of another man. And he began to cry. And Bruce said, if you’d been in that restaurant during that time, you would have seen two pastors holding hands and crying together. That’s the church folks, that’s why we need each other. I mean, there are hits that come all the time and I can’t do this by myself and you can’t do it by yourself, either. Now, let me show you one other, and I’m just going to mention, we’ll talk more about it tomorrow. Secondly, note not only the principle of reliance, but note the principle of reflection, Galatians 6:3-4.
If anyone thinks he is something, when he’s nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own, and then his reason to boast will be in himself and not in his neighbor.
In other words, the apostle Paul says, reflect, go stand in front of the mirror, stand there and repent. Not because you’re ugly, but because you’re a sinner saved by grace. Not because your hair isn’t cut properly, but because your life isn’t cut properly. It’s a place that every Christian is called to fulfill, examine yourself. Don’t ever kid yourself about yourself. Never lie to yourself. Let me tell you something, and you’ll rise up and call me blessed for this. God, as somebody who said, when you ask for stuff, he’ll answer, it’ll either be yes or no or wait. But let me tell you a prayer that God always answers. It’s this prayer, Lord, please show me myself. The angels rejoice, when a Christian prays that prayer. Search me O God, God show me myself. I once prayed that prayer. And after about two weeks of him showing me myself, I said, Lord, I retract that prayer. I wish I’d never prayed it, this is too much, I want to see myself, but don’t kill me. I can’t deal with all of this. Let me see it, little bits at a time, the way you let me see it before. And I’ll remember what you showed me this time, stand in front of the mirror and reflect and believe it or not, when there are problems in the church, that will change everything. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, teaching us from Galatians 6, about the problems in the church in Galatia. A lot of good stuff there for us to learn from and apply to our lives today. More from Steve tomorrow. Hope you will join us again then. Well right about this time yesterday, I was telling you about a sermon Steve preach called Getting Better. It’s based on Ephesians 2 and in the sermon, Steve delves into how our sanctification actually happens. If you didn’t already call us for the free CD yesterday, then take a listen to this short excerpt, then I’ll tell you again about that free offer. Here’s Steve.
You’re getting better and better every day in every way. Well, if you are, I praise God for that. And I’m glad. And you don’t have to listen to this sermon, but if you struggle, if you think sometimes you’re getting worse than you were when you started, I’m here to help. I have a missionary friend who wrote me last week to tell me about the family pet gerbil. His name is Jerry. Jerry got out of a cage not too long ago and they couldn’t find him. The kids were screaming, daddy, we got to find Jerry, they’re afraid they’re going to step on him and squash him or the cat’s going to eat him. And for three days, Jerry stayed lost. And my friend said I was getting ready for bed one night, and looked at my pillow. And Jerry is sitting on my pillow grinning at me. Jerry evidently was lost because he wanted to be lost. And when he wanted to be found, he knew where to come, to me. He was tired. He was dirty and he was hungry, but he came to me. If you were here last week and listening, you never listen to me, you know that we talked about being lost and how to be saved and that it has to do with God’s grace and that alone. Colossians 2:6 says,
As you received Christ.
In other words, as you came forward, as you prayed the sinner’s prayer, as you leaned in on Jesus, as you’re rested in him and felt forgiven and loved and promised, so walk in him. If you remember, last week I gave you four truth propositions that had to do with being lost. And since Colossians 2:6 or 6:2, I’m not a navigator and I’m doing the best I can. Because of the teaching of that particular text, those four truth propositions have to do with getting better too. The first you remember was dead people hardly do anything. Erik Guzman, who’s one of our colleagues at Key Life has been reading a book this week by Chuck C. It’s called A New Pair of Glasses. It’s one of those books written by a recovering alcoholic. His story’s a dynamite story. He got drunk one time, absolutely plastered, almost died. And this doctor said, you do this one more time. And you’re a dead man. And he managed to stay sober for a little while. And then he fell off the wagon. And for four weeks he was in a coma. He said, when he came out of it, he thought, I’m dead. And he decided, as Paul said, reckon yourself dead, I’m dead, I don’t have any ego anymore, I don’t have any needs anymore. My life is gone. It’s over. And for the first time in his life, he said, he was free to love and serve and not give a dink about what anybody thought about him, because he was dead. This is what he wrote.
I’m convinced, in my own mind, totally and completely convinced, from my toenails to the top of my longest hair, that there’s only one problem in this life. One problem that includes all problems and one answer that includes all answers. I’m totally convinced that the only roadblock between me and you and God is the human ego.
Listen, if trying to get better all on your own, has just left you spent, then you’re going to love this sermon. We put the whole thing on a CD that we’ll send to you today for free. So grab your phone right now and call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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