The question of importance: Who gets the credit?
JUNE 16, 2021
The question of importance: Who gets the credit? 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 have your Bible, open it to the first chapter of Acts, and we are pointing out something that sometimes we forget, that before Jesus told the disciples to go into all the world. He told them to sit down and wait, to be still. And we’re looking at some of the reasons why Jesus said that. And we’ve seen first, because if you go out and hustle and you refuse to wait, then you, I gotta check my notes to find out what it was I said. The disciples would not be Spirit controlled, they would be flesh controlled. And then we saw lately that there is a plan. We have a plan and God has a plan. And unless you’re still you’ll do it your way and not his way. You’ve heard that old joke a thousand times, about the pastor who went out on the golf range and hit the ball and duffed it. And it went about four feet in front of the tee. And at that moment, an Eagle flew down and picked up the ball, dropped it down the fairway about 200 yards, and then a squirrel picked up the ball and took it to the green and then a rabbit came up and kicked the ball toward the hole. And you could hear the plop in the hole and the pastor threw down his golf club and said, please, father, I’ll do it myself. Okay? That’s what, that’s what we do. We, you know, we got a plan and God’s got a plan. Do you know, and I’ve said this before, but it’s important. Whatever you think God is doing in your life, he’s probably not. I hear it all the time. God taught me. God is teaching me. God has led me in this direction for this purpose. God is doing this and God is doing that. And sometimes I want to say, listen, I think God just said, no, I’m not. He’s not doing it. You know why? Because he’s more interested in you, than he is and what you’re doing. But nevertheless, the point is still there. We’ve got a plan and God’s got a plan and sometimes his plan doesn’t seem logical. Sometimes his plan is counter-intuitive. Sometimes his plan seems crazy. And you just won’t do it unless God’s Spirit is in it. And you began to see, this is the way you should walk in it. And so, we have a plan and he has a plan. And his plan is best. Let me show you something else. Jesus knew when he told his disciples to wait, to whom the glory should go. He knew if they did a plan and anything good came from it, they would pat themselves on the back, write books and go on a tour, a speaking tour, and make a lot of money. But if, but if they waited and it was God’s plan and it was obvious that God did it and they didn’t do it, who was going to get the credit for it. I’ll tell you who was going to get the credit. God was going to get the credit. Paul said, we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that everybody will know it’s not us, but it’s him. That’s a hard thing. Isn’t it? I mean, they say of preachers, you give them a microphone and put him six feet above everybody else and shine a spotlight on and call him Reverend. Then you tell them to be humble. And so, and it’s so tempting, it’s so tempting to build your church, so you can tell your colleagues how many new members you had, and especially how many doctors were in the congregation. It is so tempting to build this gigantic building that everybody will see and say, wow, look what Reverend Smith did. And you think, you know, I’m not laying guilt on you. I’m talking about me. I just can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to that. I remember the time when I had to go to a pastor and ask his forgiveness, because his building was bigger than mine. That was one of the most horrible experiences of my entire life and Jesus and one of his disciples made me do it. Now you should have been there. I told him he’s, he didn’t even know why we were there. And the waitress came over. When I said, young lady leave, when we’re ready to eat, I’ll call you. But I got to talk first, and he looked at me like I’d lost my mind. I said, I’ve got to say something to which you have no need to respond. I just need to say it. And I’m going to feel better after I do. I’m jealous of you. I’m jealous of your ministry and I prayed for your failure for the last three months. And I’m so ashamed. I want to just, fast and not order any food. Do forgive me and then we can eat. And he did, he laughed and we ate. It’s so tempting, isn’t it? It’s so tempting to take the glory, that goes only to God. I read something the other day that said, do you ever think your sole purpose in life is to be a bad example to other people? Sometimes, I’m going off side roads here, but sometimes that’s, I feel what I’ve done. That God uses me as an example. He just doesn’t let me succeed with my stuff, but he does some success when it’s not my stuff. And then I know it wasn’t me. Let me give you, let me give you a principle and then will land this plane.
You take the first step. God will take the second step. And by the time you get to the third step, you will know that it was God who took the first step.
And then you’ll give him the credit. And if you don’t give him the credit, he’ll make you go back and start the process all over again. Okay? You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. Today, we continue exploring the idea of waiting on God and not doing things in her own power. More from Acts 1 tomorrow, don’t miss it. Well, as you know, we all struggle at times with doubt with self-righteousness with with a whole laundry list of sins. That’s why as Steve teaches, we desperately need both an orthodoxy of truth and an orthodoxy of love. Well, he spoke about this in a sermon title Church “R” Us. Take a listen to part of that sermon. Then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
To be connected with the church is to be associated with scoundrels, war mongers, fakes, child molesters, murderers, adulterers and hypocrites of every description. It also at the same time identifies you with saints and the finest persons of heroic soul within every time and country and race and gender. To be a member of the church is to carry a mantle of both the worst sin and the finest terrorism of the soul, because the church always looks exactly as it looked at the original crucifixion. God hung among thieves. Augustin is our guy, in case you don’t know it theologically, he’s the place where we, who are reformed Calvinist go. I mean, Augustin is something else. If you haven’t read the confessions, you’ve missed one of the great books of Western civilization. As you know, he was reprobate, involved with mistresses and sexual debauchery, and then he became a Christian. And there’s a wonderful story about the time that his mistress saw him downtown, and he saw her and he turned and started running and she said, Augustine, Augustine, it is I. And Augustine looked back over his shoulder and said, yes, but it is not I. I’ve told that story for years. Let me tell you the rest of the story. She wasn’t looking for sex. She was looking for food. They had a son together. And she wanted him to acknowledge their son and give them something to eat, what’s with that. When he did his confessions, he confessed to stealing apples when he was hungry, but he never mentioned his son. I love Augustin. Augustin are us. Augustan is the church and Calvin, everybody knows we worship at his alter. You ever heard the name of Servetus? He was a Baptist and Calvin burned him at the stake. What’s with that? I said that in one place and a guy in the back raised his hand said, yeah, but he deserved it. And I know, he went before the town council and he pleaded for mercy, but he was one that put him on that stake and burned him. What about that? I love John Calvin. I’d read the institutes and I moved so deeply, I can’t tell ya, John Calvin are us? John Calvin is the church and the church are us. Then you’ve got Abraham lying about his wife so she could sleep with a Pharaoh. Why did God put that in his word? And then you got David. I mean, everybody knows about David, a man after God’s own heart and look what he did. And then you look at Jeremiah weeping because he was scared. And then you see Paul and Barnabas and the first church split, they couldn’t even speak to each other. They had to go in different directions and there was jealousy there. That’s in the early church that everybody wants to go back to. And then you hear Paul calling Peter a hypocrite and that’s in Holy writ. And that’s a fact. Church are us. Alright, I said it and I feel better and I don’t care whether you I like it, deal with it, it’s true. It’s true about you. And it’s true about me. And it’s true with all the rest. And the book I read to you. He’s right. It’s just like the cross, the first time, bunch of reprobate thieves between which the Son of God hangs spread eagle. Church are us.
Such a powerful message and you can get that full sermon on CD for free, right now, just by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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