Praise God…even if you don’t want to.
JULY 29, 2021
Praise God…even if you don’t want to. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
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 it to slavery again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster and seminary professor who is sick of phony religion.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the last paragraph of the second chapter of the book of Acts as a part of our study in the book of Acts. And we’re talking about family. This seems like a pedestrian text, but like most of Scripture, probably all of Scripture, when you start looking at it, you start seeing things you haven’t seen before. And all of a sudden it blossoms into this flower and this incredible teaching. And that’s what this paragraph is, it’s a bunch of people getting together, sharing what they have and need and going to church together. Now that, that sounds pretty pedestrian. But when you read this, you begin to see some very, very important things. Like if you want to be a part of a family, if you want the family to work as it should, and I’m talking about the family of God, it’s based in belief and it’s also based in the necessity. Man, I need you, and you need me, even if we don’t like each other. And we’ve seen, as we’ve looked at this particular text, some of the things that are, that are really important. I’m trying to look at my notes to see what they were. We’ve seen that worship is the glue of family. We’ve seen that openness is so important. You can’t, you can’t bear one another’s burdens unless you share one another’s burdens. And we’ve seen that joy and laughter, you ought to know how to have a party, verse 46, is that the heart of real family. And we saw yesterday that fatherhood, the fatherhood of God becomes the reality. Learn to father, as you have been fathered by God. As I get older, that becomes more and more important. And I pray regularly, Lord, there’s so many young people around who think of me in a father way, who think of me as a grandfather, help me not to blow that. Help me to be like you and the way you have been a father to me for all of my life. And then let me show you something else. Praise is the normal manifestation of brotherhood. Look at the 47th verse. Praising God, Luke says they were doing, what does that mean? That means saying thank you. It means being grateful. It means looking out at our world and thinking, God, God, you, you have, you are something else. It means elbowing your brother and sister in Christ and saying, doesn’t he shine? Isn’t he something else, that’s worship, but it’s also praise. And there is a difference between worship and praise. Worship has a degree of submission and obedience to it. Praise is just saying, thank you. You know what drives me nuts. And this is confession time. I have been convicted by the Spirit often of this, like twice or three times every day. Do you ever stop and let somebody in traffic, and somebody in another car or waiting on a side street and you just think I’m gonna, I’m gonna just stop and let them in. And do you know increasingly, what’s true? You don’t get thanked. And you know what I want to do when they don’t thank me. I didn’t have to stop. I didn’t have to let them in, I didn’t know them anything. And then they stick their nose up in the air and drive off like you did what you were supposed to do. And you know what I want to do, I want to ram my car into the back of theirs. And that’s when the Holy Spirit kicks in and I get convicted. And then I remember. Don’t you be that way with God, be willing to say, thank you. You have been so kind and so gentle in so many ways for so very long. And I just came here to say, thank you. And so gratefulness becomes a reality of the true family of God. Where we get together, and our testimony is where we share our good God has been in our lives. Now testimony includes other things like confession and you know, where your needs are and how Jesus found you and where he found you and all of that. But confession ought to end, testimony ought to always end, and I just wanted to say to God, you’re great. Thank you. Now, let me give you a principle that’s given in Scripture, in a number of places, praise God in all circumstances, not just that, but in another place, Paul says, praise God for all circumstances. Why does he say that? Because you’re so sour and because, and because you’re having such a time, you want to change that in your prayers tomorrow morning, don’t ask for anything. I mean, I know the needs are important, but he knows what you need before you ask him. So forget about asking at least tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning, don’t tell him the people you want him to fix for you. And that’s his business. It’s not yours. And he fixes what needs to be fixed. Tomorrow morning in your prayers when you get up, make it a time of thank you, that’s all. Take the time of prayer and say, God, I listened to this old preacher that said for me not to ask you anything today, so I’m not. I just wanna, I just want to say thank you. And then begin to think of those areas where his grace has been sufficient. Where his provision has been adequate. Where he fixed things that you thought would never be fixed, where he came, when you thought he would never come, go over all of them and be specific. And every time, say, I just wanted to say thank you. And then, and then you’ll be surprised at what that does for your day. Don’t thank me. I was glad to help. But it’s the principle of praise and it’s an important part of what it means to be the family of God. Now, let me show you something else. And I’ve got two more and I’ve got to get through them pretty quickly, unless this bleeds over into next week. I want you to note that favor is the promise of the family. Look, if you will, at the 47th verse.
Praising God and having favor with all the people.
Boy, that’s not going on today, is it? Favor with all the people, you know how you get favor with all the people? By being the family and letting them see that and reaching out and inviting others to be a part of the family. Favor, the church ought to be, ought to have favor in the community where we worship. Our church, one time every year, they don’t have a worship service on Sunday. Now, I’m new to this church and I haven’t decided how I feel about this yet, but I think it’s kind of cool. They don’t, they don’t get together and have a worship service. They get together with rakes and hoes and hammers and saws and lawn mowers. And they go into the community and they call it Serve Sunday. And you know what that does? I’ll tell you what it does. A pagan finds it hard to throw rocks at a church, if you just mowed his lawn. If you, if you brought food to the hungry. If you reached out and said, what do you need? I’m here to provide it. And I’m a member of the local church. That’s what we’re called to do. And that creates favor in the community and favor is the promise of the true family that we’ve been talking about. And then one other thing, and I’ve hinted at it as we’ve gone along, but I need to mention it before we land this plane. Evangelism is the result of the true family. It really is. It’s not an evangelism program. It’s not training and evangelism. It’s not being able to present a plan of salvation adequately. It’s not talking good. It’s not telling people they’re going to hell or they’re going to turn or burn. It’s not any of that. It’s being the family. I didn’t say that, Jesus said it and he prayed it in the 17th chapter of John, when he prayed for us. He said that we would all be one. In other words, all be what we’ve been talking about. The last two weeks, the family of God, all love each other, all care and then Jesus said, so the world will know. The finest evangelistic program ever invented is when you learn to deal with me and love me. And I learn to deal with you and love you. And we join hands as the family of God. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. So much to soak up here in this brief section at the end of Acts two. And as always, if you want to catch up or re-listen to any of our episodes, they’re always there for you, for free at keylife.org. We will continue in Acts on Monday, but of course, first be sure to join us here again tomorrow for Friday Q&A. It was Samuel Johnson who noted that people don’t need to be taught so much as reminded. So in that spirit, I would just like to remind you that you are a new creation. It says so in II Corinthians 5, it’s not about how you vote or dress or behave, it’s just who you already are, a new creation in Christ. Steve spoke about this in a powerful sermon called Owner’s Manual for the New Creation. In that sermon, Steve addresses three lies that most people believe and the truth to counteract those lies. Get your copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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