You need me and I need you. We’ll have to deal with it.
JUNE 27, 2022
You need me and I need you. We’ll have to deal with it. Let’s talk, on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer of the program. Our host is Steve Brown. He’s an author and seminary professor who teaches the God’s amazing grace is the key to a life of radical freedom, infectious joy, and surprising faithfulness to Christ.
Thank you Matthew. I hope you guys had a great week-end and I hope your pastor’s sermon was as good as mine. If you’re just joining us, we’re looking at the book of Acts. We’re taking our time cause there’s no hurry. And we’re trying to, we’re trying to look at the sites as we go along, the sites of our heritage. This is where it began. This is what it was like at the beginning. Recently we interviewed a man, his name is Champ, who had written a children’s story, we did it on our talk show and it was a children’s story about slaying the dragon. And it was, and it was so good when we talked about the story and the importance of stories to children and adults. He had these children, through a funny set of circumstances do time travel. And it was a brother and sister, and they went back to the beginning, the Garden of Eden and they participated in what was going on there. And it’s a pedagogical teaching tool for children and it was so good. Well, that’s kind of what we’re doing. We’re going back to the beginning. And we’re looking at what God did then, what he’s always been doing, what he continues to do and what he will do in the future. And if you’ve been with us, we’re up to the 14th chapter of the book of Acts, and we’re looking starting at the 19th verse and going to the end of that chapter. Before we turn to that, let’s pray. Father, we come into your presence. And we thank you for the family in which you have made us apart. The heritage you’ve given us. The heroes, sinners all. Surprising the way you use sinners, the way you bury your workmen and you go on with your work. The way you glorify yourself in some strange places. And we thank you for the hope that gives us, as we serve you in a dark and cold world. Father, you know everybody who is listening to this broadcast, it’s hard for some and easy for others. And in both cases, you’re sovereign. You’re in charge. You’re the Creator, Ruler, and Sustainer of everything we perceive and experience and understand and of our lives. Father, we praise you and we worship you because you’re always sufficient. And Father, we lift up our needs, you know them, remind us to lean on you and to lean on you hard. And then Father, as always we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, that you would forgive him his sins, because there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. At the 19th verse of the 14th chapter of Acts, Luke writes.
But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the people, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing he was dead.
By the way, when the Scripture talks about Jews, he’s not, that is not a cause for anti Semitism. It was the leaders, it was some really wacko people and we’ve got a bunch of Presbyterians just like them. And you have a bunch in your heritage, just like them. People who miss it, whose truth is shallow, whose understanding is non-existent, who do really evil things. So, when you read Jews that’s what was going on here. It was coming from some of the leaders, but it’s not a cause of you saying, see, it was the Jews. No, it wasn’t. It was people. And so, be careful when you read a text like this. At any rate.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations.
In other words, they’re saying we’ve been there, we’ve done that.
Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. And when they had spoken the word to Perga, they went down to Attalia, and from there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled. And when they arrived, they gathered the church together and declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they remained no little time with the disciples.
The key verse in that, is what Paul and Barnabas said to the new Christians, they said this.
You continue in the faith through many tribulations.
And this is the 22nd verse.
Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
So, when things got bad and dark and painful, Paul could say, you can never say that nobody ever told me. And that was true of Jesus too. In this world, he said, you’re going to have tribulations, but I have overcome the world. So, we’re looking at the praise gathering that was taking place in Antioch. And we’re looking at some of those troubles. There is a sense in which that first missionary journey was a failure. I mean, Paul was stoned and persecuted. They thought he was dead. They were rejected. They were kicked out of churches. They were, they went through, a third of their army left, but yet God through many tribulations, allowed them to see the kingdom. And if you were listening, when we last looked at this text, we have seen that the trouble, the tribulations they went through, allowed them to see their resources were not adequate for anything God called them to do, Acts 14:23. That’s true with Jesus. When Jesus said his disciples go into all the world and make disciples. It’s not in the text, but Peter said, you’ve gotta be kidding. I know how to fish. I know how to prepare fish for a meal, but I can’t do this. And Jesus said, that’s the point. Once you are at the end of yourself, then God. And we spent a couple of days talking about that, then God can use you. Now, let me show you something else. You ought to observe, as you look at the tribulations through which Paul and Barnabas and the church went, that they learned how much they needed each other, Acts 14:20. And there are a couple of the places in the text.
And when the disciples gathered about him, he rose and entered the city.
When the disciples gather about somebody who’s hurting, they rise and they enter the city. You need me. I know you don’t like me, some of you, but I’m yours. And God gave me as a gift to you. And even if the way I teach drives you nuts, the things I say, you don’t accept. And you think I’m ugly and my mother dresses me funny, I’m yours. And God gave me as a gift to you. And frankly, you’re not that hot either. You know, we’re like porcupines in the middle of a storm, somebody has said trying to hug each other. It’s hard sometimes. And sometimes I think you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny. Sometimes I’m not so happy with things that you say, but you’re mine. And God made you a gift to me. And, I’ve got to deal with it. And if you deal with it enough, you discover the family. And that family makes all the difference in the world. If you’re new in the church and you’re going to church, let me give you a suggestion. So, listen to the old guy. Leave before you get hurt, trust me on this. Church is not filled with wonderful people, but if you manage to get over that that hump and stay. You’ll find a family who will stand with you in the hard places. And that makes all the difference. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. That was Steve Brown, teaching us from Acts 14. There’s even more truth to discover and delight here in Acts. So, be sure to join us again tomorrow and for the rest of the week. Well, as we learned today, we have needs. And that’s a good thing. But of course, when we look to the wrong places to meet those needs, that often leads to addiction. I don’t know if you have experienced that or know someone who has, but it’s not something you want. That’s why the idea of addiction as a gift sounds crazy, like possibly even offensive. But check this out. When our helplessness drives us to turn to God and admit our need, we experience his presence, kindness, forgiveness, and peace. And is there any better gift than that? We have a special mini-book that talks about this. It’s called The Gift of Addiction: How God Redeems Our Pain. Get your free copy of that right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also request that mini-book by e-mailing [email protected]. If you’re mailing us, send your request to
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