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God's Not Mad at You
What keeps you awake at night?

What keeps you awake at night?

DECEMBER 16, 2020

/ Programs / Key Life / What keeps you awake at night?

Steve Brown:
What keeps you awake at night? Let’s talk on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
That was Steve Brown and this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway, Steve is an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open it to the fourth chapter of Galatians as we continue our study in Galatians. Next week, we’re going to be in this text too. And we’re going to talk, we’re just going to brag on the Father. But there’s some places I want to go before we get there, that Paul brings up and you just can’t ignore it. This is God’s word. And we saw, and in fact, I spent almost two days. I didn’t mean to talk about it that much, the particular and peculiar proclivity of Christians to stay in slavery. We get used to the cell and the darkness and the light hurts our eyes and we don’t want to be free. And so we go back into the prison. And it happens all the time, Galatians 4:9.

But now that you have come to know God, or rather be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elementary spirits, whose slaves you want once more to be?

And Paul was pointing to something that’s in all of us. I mean, we want to go back to our old lives. I haven’t, I’m an old guy, but I haven’t been a Christian so long, I haven’t forgotten how much fun it was to be a pagan. And there are times when I think my friend, beloved friend Cleve Bell, an elder in a church that I served and Jesus found him in prison. And now he runs Riverside House, a wonderful ministry. Cleve Bell said, Lord, he said, he’d be driving along the beach and people would be bebopping and Cleve would say, Lord, they’re having fun. Could I bebop? God said to Cleve, where did I find you Cleve? And Cleve said, well bebopping. And nothing more needed to be said. We all have that. We all live times when we remember when we didn’t know Christ and maybe wanting, but that’s not what Paul’s talking about here. You’ve got to remember the context into which he’s saying, and I’ve already said too much about this, but he’s talking about what law, about religion, about toxic religion, that once you get free of it, you’re drawn to it. I can’t tell you the times I remember how comfortable I was with the laws I obeyed. Everybody thought I was this wonderful Christian and I got a lot of affirmation on it and I’m not going back there. He set me free. I’m free. Thank God almighty. I’m free at last. Okay. I know. That’s enough. Let me show you something else. You just can’t help, but note the pastoral heart of the apostle Paul. We have over 4,000 pastors on our mailing list here at Key Life. And, if you write to us or send us an email or a phone call, you have to go through the system, if you want to talk to me, I mean, you don’t, you, I just can’t talk to everybody. And, I mean, I, I do a lot and I answer a lot of letters, but I just can’t handle all of that. I’m just one person and I’m not that smart. I just sound smart, because I’ve got a deep voice. And, but if you’re a pastor and you call here, you’re immediately placed through to me. If you send an email and you’re a pastor, that email goes right to my computer. If you send a letter and your a pastor, you, it immediately comes right to my desk and unopened, and I love pastors. I really do. And they’re in a hard place right now. It’s hard to be a pastor in this kind of culture, the anti-authoritarian culture has crept into the church in an un-Biblical way. And pastors are just dying. It’s a hard place to be, and I love pastors. And as you can imagine, I spend a considerable portion of my time each week talking with and laughing with and crying with pastors. And when I come on the apostle Paul, I go, bingo, there’s a pastor. How do I know? Look at Galatians 4:11.

I’m afraid I have labored over you in vain.

That’s pathos. That’s sadness. You find that all over the place, Romans 9:1-3.

I’m speaking the truth in Christ– I’m not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit– that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen by race.

I Thessalonians 3:5

For this reason when I could bear the affliction no longer, I sent that I might know your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and that our labor would be in vain.

That’s a pastor. I’ve been a pastor for more years than you can imagine, used to be paid to be good. And now I’m good for nothing. Sorry. Just came to mind and I said it, but I was a pastor and still have a pastor’s heart, for a very, very long time. You know what kept me up at night?, the people to whom God had sent me. I tried to distance myself for them. I used to say from the pulpit often, look, I’m not your mother and hope that they would understand. But I was in a sense their mother, they kept me up at night. And Paul was that way with his people. And do you know where he got it? He got it from Jesus. We keep him up at night sometimes too. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, continuing to unpack the book of Galatians for us. Today we explored the emotion, the pathos in the words of Paul. More on that tomorrow. Hope you will join us then. So Christmas is now less than two weeks away. Do you have any favorite Christmas songs or TV episodes or movies you enjoy every year? There’s just something familiar and comforting about those things, right? Well, one of my favorite Christmas events is the Christmas episode of Steve Brown Etc. Every year, it’s just a little different, but it’s always special. Take a listen to last year show. Then I’ll be back to tell you about free offer.

Zach Van Dyke:
When I was in college, I knew that one day I would have children, at least I hoped and be married. And I knew that I wanted to take those kids on a Disney cruise. So in college I applied for a Disney credit card to start getting points. And it took me about 15 years to get enough points to take, you know, my kids

Cathy Wyatt:
I remember that.

Zach Van Dyke:
on the Disney cruise. And so, you know, it was a long time, you know, waiting for that moment. And then when I finally booked it, you can have Mickey Mouse call on Christmas Day and like tell the kids they’re going on a Disney cruise. And he called and I put on speaker phone, but none of the kids could understand what he was saying. And it was like, this moment that I had been 15 years in the making. And then I had to say, like after, trying to get the kids to, I was like, all right, guys, we’re going on a Disney Cruise. Just ruin the moment. You wouldn’t be quiet enough to hear Mickey tell you this.

George Bingham:
15 years of irresponsible spending.

Matthew Porter:
He put all the Ab-Rollers in the car.

Zach Van Dyke:
The Ab-Rollers, Steam Buggy, all of that.

Steve Brown:
Do you, does it bother you guys the commercialization of Christmas?

Jinx:
No. Cause I don’t watch television. So that takes 90% of it out.

Steve Brown:
You got to watch. You can’t, you can’t get away from it though, can you?

Jinx:
No, you can’t.

Cathy Wyatt:
Yes, you can.

Jinx:
You can hide at home.

Zach Van Dyke:
But, it still blows me away, when I go into a shopping mall. And I hear Hark the Herald Angel Sing.

Cathy Wyatt:
I know.

Zach Van Dyke:
The fact that like people are hearing the gospel,

Cathy Wyatt:
Exactly.

Zach Van Dyke:
whether or not they’re listening or not at Christmas time. I mean, that’s pretty amazing.

Jinx:
You’ll take it, huh?

Zach Van Dyke:
Or that you’re walking in Disney World and you hear, Oh, Come All Ye Faithful. I mean, that is that’s,

Steve Brown:
It doesn’t bother you that they’re using it to sell product?

Zach Van Dyke:
No, I mean, it doesn’t bother me.

Jinx:
Maybe we’re using them to sell the product?

Zach Van Dyke:
Yeah. Maybe it’s the other way around. We’ve tricked them into singing about Jesus.

George Bingham:
Plus the Disney Points. I mean,

Steve Brown:
Yeah, you’re going on a Disney Cruise, and you can’t get off it for a week.

Matthew Porter:
That’s a thing, Disney still does the Candlelight Processional, right? Where they actually have celebrity reading The Christmas Story.

Steve Brown:
I loved your story about how you prepared for the Disney Cruise for 15 years, so you could take your kids. Well, from the beginning of creation, God prepared for Christmas too. Jill Briscoe had, in one of her books had an arresting phrase, she said that Eve took the bite from the forbidden fruit. And as the juice came down out of her mouth and down on her chin, Jesus prepared for Bethlehem. And you begin to think, yeah, you know, this was not just a last minute thought like these guys have screwed it up and I’m going to have to figure out a way to fix it. It was prepared from the beginning of creation. That George you would be forgiven, that you’d be loved Zach, that Matthew that you would be perfectly acceptable and Cathy that God would call you by name and love you deeply. Isn’t that cool? And sometimes, like you say, you know, we rush over don’t, don’t look at the genocide, don’t smell the manure. Don’t think about what it was like to be on a farm. If you’ve been on a farm, it ain’t nothing like a creche. And if you, and you begin to realize, and then you put angels in the middle of it, that are singing and you’d think they would sing to Kings, but they picked shepherds. And all of a sudden you begin to go, whoa, this is real, and this is the most important thing, that ever happened in all of human history.

Matthew Porter:
You are going to love hearing this whole episode of Steve Brown Etc. So get your free copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email your request to Steve@keylife.org. By mail, write us at

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794

If you’re in Canada, send your request to

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8

Just ask for the Christmas episode of Steve Brown Etc. One more thing, would you prayerfully consider giving the Key Life? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope, or you can just text Key Life to 28950. That’s Key Life, all one word or two words, your choice to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada, both of those organizations assure financial accountability. And Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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