You have to love me. Deal with it.
DECEMBER 9, 2020
You have to love me. Deal with it. Let’s talk 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. We’re studying Galatians, if you’re just joining us, and we’re looking at a kingdom mentality, sometimes we forget about it that. I have been a member of a lot of clubs, Rotary and Kiwanis club. I was he even a Mason at one time, I resigned, but I was when I was young. Every other guy I knew was a Mason. My father had been a Mason, my grandfather had been a Mason and it was something one just did. Now, frankly, I was a Mason cause they had a pool table and that was, that was the main reason. But, I’ve been a part of that. I’ve served on more boards than you can imagine. And every once in a while, I have to sit down and go through things that I’m a part of, and have no business being a part of, and write a kind resignation letter saying I’m still for you, and I’m still here for you, but I just can’t go to any more meetings. If I get to heaven and they call a meeting, I’m in the other place. So, but every time I do that and I’ve done it on several occasions, I think, that there’s one place that I’m always a part of, where they have to accept me, where they have to love me. And that’s the church, I’m a citizen of the King. I am loyal to the King of Kings and nobody ever elected him and nobody will ever depose him. And, then I think, you know, that’s enough. It really is. Now we’ve been looking at this kingdom mentality that we as Christians need to develop. And we’ve seen that the kingdom is more moral, it’s ethical, that’s at it’s base. It’s incarnational, both the first incarnation and the second, which would be Christ in us. It’s international. It’s cross-cultural and equal, but let me show you something else. It’s also relational. Galatians 3:28b.
For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
One of the most desperate needs human beings have, is the need to belong. Visit a bar or a brothel or a basket weaving class. And you will see a manifestation of that particular need, that in the kingdom, all the citizens belong to each other and are related to all other citizens of the kingdom. Jesus said, and this is John 13:34 through 35. You’ll never find it, before I read it, unless you’re a Baptist and you grew up with sword drills, they don’t air condition Baptist churches, they have sword drills. And they have a thousand fans going into the same time and they save on air conditioning. Anyway, John 13:34 through 35.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you’re my disciples, if you have love for one another.
I would have added a few other things and I bet you would have too, if you don’t smoke, drink or cuss, then all men will know that you belong to me. Or if you can quote lots of Bible verses, then old men will know, if you can be better and better every day, every way then all, that’s not what Jesus said. Jesus said at the heart of this thing, is that you have to love me. So deal with it. And I know that’s hard, but you’re not that great yourself. I got to love you. And the only way I can do that is to allow him to love me, because, and I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it a thousand times more, before I die. You can’t love until you’ve been loved. And then you can only love to the degree with which you have been loved. I’ve been reading the book Shogun, and once again, I’ve been impressed with the Japanese concept of shame, because the Japanese considered themselves related to different groupings. If one person within that family, the industry, the neighborhood does something wrong, it reflects and bring shame on everybody else, who’s a part of that grouping. That’s a church too, I so belong to you that I should taste the salt of your tears. You so belong to me that when I find that funny, you should laugh. We so belong to each other, that the reality of our lives is the connection that God has given to each other. Fred Smith and you’ve heard me refer to him often. And by the way go, if you think I made Fred up, he was my mentor for a lot of years and the wisest man I’ve ever known. Go to the website, BreakfastWithFred.com and you will be absolutely blown away with the wisdom that you’ll find there. But the great thing about Fred was his realization of what we’re talking about, the connection, the connection. When my brother died, he said, Steve, I already have my airline ticket, tell me when you want me to be there. He said often, because we’re related, you have blank checks on me. And as many as you want, that’s what we as Christians need to say to each other, and then the world will know. You think about that. Amen.
As Steve has mentioned in his guided tour of Galatians God’s kingdom is moral and ethical, it’s incarnational, international, cross-cultural. And as we learned today, it is relational. And just in case you need today’s text again, Steve spoke from Galatians 3 and also John 13:34 and 35. So I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s a challenge for me to get into the groove with the Christmas season. Is that you too? If so, we have a very special gift for you, it’s a CD with six audio devotions from Steve on the real meaning of Christmas, the incarnation of God in Christ. Take a listen, then I’ll be back to tell you how to get a copy. Here’s Steve.
This is not an abandoned world. While I was driving home the other day, I saw the ugliest car I’ve ever seen. I mean, this car wasn’t just ugly. It was ugly on ugly. It had a large gash on its side. One of the doors was held together with bailing wire. Several other body parts were almost completely rusted out, the car’s muffler was so loose that with every bump, it hit the streets, sending sparks in every direction. I couldn’t tell the original color of the car. The rust had eaten away much of the paint. And so much of the car had been painted over with so many different colors, that any one of them or none of them could have been the first coat. The most interesting thing about the car was the bumper sticker. This is not an abandoned car. We live in a fall and world, and sometimes it looks as ugly as that car. Almost everywhere you turn nowadays, you can see tragedy and heartache on the world scene, in your friends and your neighbors and in your own heart, only a fool misses the point from the morning headlines that we are sitting on the edge of disaster. But it isn’t just the world, it’s us. Sometimes the effort to keep on keeping on, doesn’t seem worth it. Guilt, loneliness, hurt, and fear become constant companions. One wonder sometimes if any of life makes any difference. One wonders about things such as home and meaning. A long time ago, in a manger, a baby was born. He was assigned to a us. The sign read, this is not an abandoned world. During every Christmas season, there’s a break in the bleakness, a bit of beauty in the middle of the ugliness shines through. People will laugh and make merry. Most won’t understand why they laugh. Many of them will make merry, because that is what one is supposed to do during the holiday season. But there are some of us who will pause and we’ll remember for unto us, a child is born. We have not been abandoned. Someday, the owner’s gonna return. And all the ugliness will be remedied. There won’t be any more pain and all the tears will be dried. May you live merrily because he came, may your life be merry because he keeps coming. May you keep being merry, because he’s coming again, to set all things right. And to eliminate the ugliness. You think about that. Amen.
Read Isaiah 11:1 through 9 and Revelation 21:1 through 22:7, and then think about these questions. What characterizes the future for believers? In what ways does that future give you peace and joy in the meantime? Why can you trust God for both your present and future? What does the fact that for unto us a child is born mean to you today?
You’re going to love this CD, so claim your copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to [email protected] and ask for the CD. By mail, send your request to
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