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So You Want to Be a Gospel Superstar?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2024 5:10 pm

So You Want to Be a Gospel Superstar?

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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February 26, 2024 5:10 pm

The Line of Fire Radio Broadcast for 02/26/24.

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. So what is Jacob's trouble, according to the Bible, and how does it apply to today? It's time for the Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown, your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity.

Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on the line of fire. And now here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. OK, we are restarting the broadcast. There was a technical error there from a show last week. We are not talking about Jacob's trouble. We did that last week, last Thursday on Throw the Juice Thursday.

Very, very different topic today. So we're going to restart right here. So you want to be a gospel superstar? Welcome, friends, to the line of fire. This is Michael Brown, delighted to be with you today.

866-34-TRUTH, the number to call five days a week. We're here with the same mission, infuse you with faith, infuse you with truth, infuse you with courage and help you stand strong in the Lord. We're in a day where we are in the line of fire.

Doesn't matter whether you're in public ministry or a homeschooling mom or a young person on campus or businessmen out in the world, we are all in the line of fire together. So we want to equip and empower you to stand strong on the front lines. With that, my reminder, if you're not getting our Frontline newsletter comes out once a month, it is inspirational, it is informational, it is life impacting. We've been getting great reports from the readers of the Frontline newsletter. Sign up. It's absolutely free.

Go to thelineoffire.org, thelineoffire.org. You will look forward to this coming every single month. So once a month, for the last two and a half years now, with rare, rare exception, I'll go away for a weekend for a prayer retreat. I will go away to seek the Lord in prayer, meditate before him, pour my heart out to him. Just get a local hotel suite. Sometimes if I'm on the road, just stay over a few more days somewhere where I am.

Or other places where there's an apartment for me on campus at a ministry school or something like that. I'll just stay over and pray. But I rarely leave the room unless I just take a break to do a workout and I just pray. I just spend hours with the Lord. I'm going to rest, I'll read, do very, very little writing.

Normally less than an hour of writing on one of these trips. And I just spend time with the Lord and just seek him and cry out to him and ask him to work in my life and to bring me deeper in my relationship with him and to open my eyes as to who he is. And then to pray for what our ministry is called to do and be. So what I'm talking to you today about on the air comes out of my prayer time. Comes out of really meeting with the Lord this weekend. It's something that he was laying on my heart last month as well on this prayer retreat.

So I pray that this will really minister to you. That this will be one of those shows that you'll go back to again and again if you're watching on YouTube or on Facebook. Go ahead and click like or thumbs up and share it with your friends.

If you're listening on the podcast after the show, by all means share it with a friend. I believe this is going to be really important. But look, we are human beings and as human beings we have certain weaknesses that have to be overcome. And we have a tendency to pride. We want the approval of people. None of us enjoy rejection in and of itself.

It can sting. And because of that, many times we want to be popular. You know, growing up as a kid you want to be popular. You want to be in the in crowd. Or you want to be somebody. Or you want to have some significance. Now it's one thing to know that you're doing the will of God. And you have significance in doing that.

It's one thing to know that you're in his will, honoring him, doing what he's called you to do. And that's your significance. It's another thing where your significance derives from people's opinions about you. It's another thing when your significance derives from numbers or outward results. It's another thing when your sense of significance comes from popularity in the eyes of people. Or where the praise of people or the favor of people are more powerful to you than the praise from God and the favor of God.

Or the fear of people stops you from walking fully in the fear of God. And these days it's not just a matter of big ministry. Right, so you pastor a big church. You're a famous author. You have a big TV broadcast. Or you're known in that way.

Almost anybody can become famous today through intraday. I mean, people with some of the biggest followings when you say, what do you do? I'm a social media influencer.

That's what they actually do. And so much of what we do online, because there's so much competition and there's so many other voices, we're all competing to get people to hear our message. Or if you're in sales, buy your product or whatever it is. So you're drawing attention to what you're selling.

You're drawing attention to you. And it's a real trap. It's a real trap in which we can begin to bow down to the God of popularity.

It's a real trap where we can somehow think that following Jesus is a matter of being some kind of superstar or celebrity. Or the path to success. Or the path to being known. And by God's grace, we have a good audience.

By God's grace, we have a good reach. And I can go places and I'm honored I come into speak and get a standing ovation. And I can be in an airport and a stranger comes up to me, Dr. Brown, I love your ministry.

I appreciate that. But I recognize in my own heart, my own life, how easy it is to kind of glory in being known or being somebody or something like that, as opposed to glorying exclusively in the cross. I live with a deep sense of significance and calling because Jesus is my Lord and he's given me an assignment on this earth. But that is completely different from living for numbers or living for fame or living for popularity or living for approval. Or measuring your life or your ministry based on these outward things. As if God saw us and measured things the same way as people do.

Leonard Ravenhill once said to me that A.W. Tozer said that there is what you think of yourself, then there is what people think of you, and then there is what God thinks of you. And that's the only thing that matters, what God thinks of you and of me. So as I've been praying in my own life for a deeper, deeper working of God, and to bring me more and more to the cross and more and more deeply to make him known above all, I've been meditating on some quotes that I had in previous books, meditating on scripture. So I'm going to share all that with you on the broadcast.

It's going to be rich, it's going to be impacting, it's going to be life changing for many as you drink these things in and take them in. And part of why we're on the air, yes we talk about political and cultural issues, yes we talk about Israel, yes we dive into scripture and answer questions about the word, but the goal above all is to see you thriving in the Lord, to see you walking more closely with the Lord than you ever have, to see Jesus in you touching others and that revelation of Christ, Messiah in you, the hope of glory. What does that actually mean? As we've talked about the burden to see the church healthy, that means a healthy church starts with a healthy you, and the first and foremost the spiritual as well as emotional and physical. I want to read a quote to you that I had in my book from Holy Laughter to Holy Fire, America on the Edge of Revival came out in its first edition in March of 1995. It's a quote from D.H. Dolman. Listen to what he said, I am only a wick.

With many of us it takes a long time to learn this lesson. It is only when the wick is soaked in oil that it can burn. If you wish for the fullness of the Spirit in order that your church should be crowded, or people flock to hear you, the Holy Spirit cannot work through you. If people begin to talk about the wick, there is generally something wrong with the burning. Oh, I don't know about you, but that has convicted me as I've read it in recent weeks and meditated on it. Let me share this again. This is not just for public Christian leaders.

This is for all of us in our social media presence or in our seeking to be somebody wherever we are. If people begin to talk about the wick, there is generally something wrong with the burning. One of my favorite Spurgeon stories is that a couple in England went to hear one of the famous preachers in the land in England on a Sunday morning. And they left the service and the husband was heard exclaiming to his wife, What a sermon! What a sermon! That Sunday night, they went and heard Spurgeon preach. So they heard a famous British preacher Sunday morning. The husband left exclaiming, What a sermon! Then they went to the Sunday night service and heard Spurgeon preach. And as the couple left, the husband was heard exclaiming, What a Savior! What a Savior! That's what we want the results to be, that after the meeting they're talking about Jesus, not talking about you or me.

That after the broadcast, after the video, after reading what they read, after getting impacted by us, that people are not talking about us, but they're talking about him, about the Savior, about Jesus. We're going to look in a moment at how Paul spoke of his own ministry and talked about his experiences as an apostle. Oh, I want to be an apostle. Oh, I want to be a prophet. Oh, I feel called to be an evangelist. Oh, God has raised me up to be a pastor, a teacher.

Whatever it is, whatever it is, we can look at it as like the path to fame or the path to being somebody in the eyes of man or the path to some type of success or maybe even perversely think, Oh, this will be the path to financial success. No, the reality is following Jesus means reproach and even if God makes you famous, he will break your heart along the way. Even if he makes you well known, you will carry a burden in your heart if you really get close to him.

And rather than thriving in the fall, like everybody's looking at me, you'll be embarrassed by the attention because you want attention to go to him. I'm not being hyper spiritual here. I'm just talking about when you go to the cross, when you walk with the Lord. And lest I sound hyper spiritual, these are things I'm still working on as I approach the age of 69 and almost 53 years, well, over 52 years in the Lord. So I continue to go before the Lord and continue to go to the cross and continue to ask him to glorify Jesus in me and through me. So we got some very intense quotes coming your way. You do not want to miss this. We're going to open the scripture. The whole broadcast, I'm going to pour into you today. So sit back and drink this in.

We'll be right back. This is Michael Ellison, founder of TriVita Wellness. I want to introduce our TriVita, Alfred Libby original patented sublingual B12, B6 and folate formula. I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Alfred Libby, a pioneer in vitamin research. I also had the opportunity to obtain the patented formula and the rest is history with over 50 million tablets being taken by our TriVita members through the years.

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As a new customer, 100% of your order proceeds from your first order will go to support the Line of Fire radio broadcast. 1-800-771-5584 or online at trivita.com. It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-344-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks, friends, for joining us on the Line of Fire.

Yeah, vitamin B12, that is part of my regular supplement and Trivitas obviously work really hard on this product. So check it out for yourself and remember 100% of your first order is donated to the Line of Fire. More than a tithe of your subsequent orders are donated so it's a great way to partner together. You get some great health giving supplements and we get to reach more people with the Gospel. So that number is 1-800-771-5584 or you can go to trivita.com.

Be sure to use the code BROWN25. That gets you the 25% discount and that gets your funds donated to the Line of Fire. That's how much Trivita believes in what we're doing. They said, hey, why don't we advertise and donate 100% of our first order to reach more people and then more than a tithe of all subsequent orders. So we're blessed by that as one of our co-sponsors, our main co-sponsor and then you, our primary sponsors, our monthly supporters and givers.

Thank you for partnering together to help us reach more people. I want to read a quote to you from James A. Stewart known as the boy evangelist. Started preaching as a teenager and then was used by God powerfully in Eastern Europe in particular powerful meetings. Died a few decades ago. He said, I was once told that I would never be a popular evangelist because I did not sufficiently sell my personality.

Oh the shame. Our business is to magnify the Christ of God and not to fling about our personalities. Dr. Herbert Lockyer in pointing out the peril of man worship and evangelism says, if a man is somewhat attractive, blessed with a fascinating personality and with power to influence multitudes, that man is often sought after rather than the master. Oh look, I'm not saying you can't have a personality. But if the whole thing is, I'm going to sell my personality, I'm going to be a certain kind of person to get everybody looking to me and listening to me and liking me and wanting to be like me and I'll be this popular icon.

Oh she's amazing, he's amazing. And then I'll tell everybody about Jesus. The problem is they're attracted to you. That's what the focus is on, is you. And what happens when what Jesus has to say is not popular? What happens when the message of Jesus instead of drawing the crowds repels the crowds? What happens when the very selling of your personality comes into conflict with the message of the cross?

Again, the goal is not just going to be completely monotone without any personality. No, be yourself, be who God created you to be, be alive, minister with the energies given you, be yourself in that regard. But don't fool yourself into thinking that you can sell yourself, sell your personality, make yourself into an internet superstar and then once you have your platform, you preach the gospel. And then watch your platform dissolve because you haven't been Christian from the start and it's been all about you, you, you, you, you, you. Alright, a couple more quotes then we're going to go to scripture. Ivy Nepresh said, one of Evan Roberts' severest trials during the revival, the Welsh revival of 1904 and 1905, was his being the object of men's worship. A friend of his once told me of finding him lying on the floor crying to the Lord to bring this to naught so that all the glory should go to God alone.

Yeah, that people were looking to him too much. It's one thing to honor and respect leaders. We should walk worthy of your honor and respect for sure. We should walk worthy of it and it's right when people show honor and respect. It blesses me and I'd much rather go somewhere and minister where people honor me and are drinking at every word as opposed to some place that scorns me and doesn't want to hear what I have to say.

Yes, by all means, for sure, for sure. At the same time, friends, we want all attention to go to the Lord. Paul said we're just earthen vessels. The excellency of the power belongs to him, not to us.

A.W. Tozer said this, there are many great lessons for us in the worship and reverence of the heavenly seraphim Isaiah described in his vision. I noticed that they covered their feet and they covered their faces. Because of the presence of the holy God, they reverently covered their faces. He says this, reverence is a beautiful thing and it's so rare in this terrible day in which we live.

That was over 50 years ago. What would he say today? But a man who has passed the veil and looked even briefly upon the face of Isaiah's God can never be a reverend again. There will be a reverence in his spirit. Instead of boasting, he'll cover his feet modestly.

Even if he's been somewhere, instead of coming home and bragging about it, chances are he'll cover his feet. Helmut Thieleke, a German theologian said this, the worship of success is generally the form of idol worship which the devil cultivates most assiduously. Can I read that again? The worship of success is generally the form of idol worship which the devil cultivates most assiduously. And again, James A. Stewart, the mightiest work the Holy Spirit did through Dwight L. Moody in Great Britain was in small groups of five or six hundred people. Not in the large audiences of twenty and thirty thousand. One may be well afraid, one may well be afraid of the crowds.

And Stewart said this, and he preached the crowds himself, Stewart did. We cannot journey far with God unless we are saved from numbers. It is sadly possible to think more of numbers than of Christ when the days of his earthly ministry went not only to the cities but to inconspicuous places proclaiming the word.

I won't speak unless they have a crowd of at least this amount. Well, just okay, I'm reaching this many people, our network is growing and our YouTube channel is growing, our Facebook page is growing. Okay, it's good if it's growing, you're doing the will of God and it's growing, great. If I write a book, I'd rather more people buy it than not, great, I rejoice in that. But you can't have your eyes on numbers. Well, the church is now up to four thousand, okay, are those disciples or consumers? I'd rather have ten disciples than four thousand consumers. Yeah, numbers alone don't tell you anything. You might do the most effective, here, you might have a family that does the most for the Lord and you have one kid and you have another family where the marriage is messed up.

You just have a lot of kids, you got eight kids but they're all dysfunctional, no one's saved. Numbers alone don't do it. You may have the largest Christian following online on social media. You might be number one and having far less effect than someone who's discipling one or two people a year and really grounding them in the Lord. Numbers alone don't really tell us anything.

Often they are a sign of blessing, often they are a sign of increase and favor and smile of God. That's why Acts records the growing numbers of believers, three thousand, growing to five thousand, et cetera. That's why Acts 21 talks about the multitudes of believers. So it's often a sign of blessing but numbers in themselves don't mean anything when Jesus would see the big crowds, often he would dispel them. Often when he saw the big crowds, he'd bring a really harsh saying and everybody would leave except for his core disciples because it was too much. Because he wasn't looking for crowds, he was looking for disciples. So crowds don't change the world. I love preaching to crowds, I love being in a setting with many thousands of people and the tables set and I get to bring a message with the anointing of the Spirit on me.

I love it, I thrive in it, it's glorious. But it's not necessarily more important than sitting in a house church with 15 people and developing deeper relations and pressing in as moms and dads and people in the business world and young people in school. And God measures things differently than we do. Yeah, we have folks at our ministry and they look at numbers and they look at finances and they calculate and we have to be good stewards of the funds that we get, of course. But let me read this again, we cannot journey far with God unless we're saved from numbers. It's sadly possible to think more of numbers than of Christ. So maybe this is convicting some of you and I know it's convicted me over the years to meditate on these things. So you want to be a gospel superstar.

Maybe you're looking at this the wrong way. What if you want to be an apostle? What do you mean to Paul to be an apostle? We'll talk about it when we come back. Get into Scripture. Hey friends, Michael Brown here. My delight to serve as your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. We are living in such urgent times today, friends, that all of us are in the line of fire. There's a target on your back.

There's a target on my back. If you simply seek to live by biblical values or just conservative moral values, you could be canceled. You could be cast out. You could be put down.

You could be silenced. I'm here to say, friends, that I am not about to be silenced and I don't believe you are either. It is time for us to stand up. It is time for us to say enough is enough. It is time for us to push back in Jesus name, not fighting the way the world fights. No, overcoming evil with good, overcoming hatred with love, overcoming the flesh with the power of the Spirit, overcoming lies with truth. And that's what we're here to do on the Line of Fire broadcast.

And friends, it's not just a broadcast. It is a movement of people around the world. God's people standing up saying enough is enough and saying, Lord, here we are. Send us, use us. I want to urge you today to join our support team because we are on the front lines together and we are literally touching people around the world in America, in the nations, in Israel. And together with your help, we're going to amplify this voice and spread this movement around the globe. So I encourage you go right now to thelineoffire.org. Thelineoffire.org. Click donate monthly support.

Thelineoffire.org. Click donate monthly support. When you do, you become a torchbearer. We immediately send you two great life changing books. We immediately give you access to many classes I've taught. Others have to pay to take those. You get them for free. Exclusive video audio content. A new audio message every month. An insider prayer newsletter. 15% discount online bookstore.

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Donate monthly. This is how we rise up. It's The Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on The Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH.

Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks, friends, for joining us. Hey, do you get updates every week where you know, here are the latest articles I wrote, here are the latest videos that I wrote? If not, you need to be getting our emails. You'll also get our Life Impacting Frontline newsletter once a month. But every week, because I write four or five new articles every week that are really administered to you, bless you, strengthen you, encourage you, challenge you, help you deal with the cultural issues and political issues and give you a gospel approach, and then four or five new videos every single week. So at the end of every week, we let you know, hey, here are the latest articles, here are the latest videos, so you don't miss anything. And you can just read those, share those with others. We also put you on our Welcome Tour, share more of my own testimony. Save this, a Jewish 16-year-old heroin shooting LSD using a hippie rock drummer from LSD to PhD. We will share all that with you. So sign up today at thelineoffire.org, thelineoffire.org.

You'll see the Frontline newsletter and weekly updates. Okay, so there are some that believe that apostles and prophets are for today, not like an Old Testament prophet bringing a national message with authority, not like one of the 12 apostles, but people who have an apostolic prophetic function in the church today that are still here. Others say, no, that was just for biblical times. I'm not gonna debate that. Let's just say I would call someone like Hudson Taylor an apostle in his day.

I would call someone like my friend Yesupadam in India. Jesus appeared to me, he was radically transformed, been stoned for preaching the gospel. This man had been martyred for preaching the gospel. They've planted, oh, 8,000 to 10,000 churches in tribal regions. I'd call him an apostle today.

You may have a different name for them. Either way, we know that Paul was an apostle in the full authority sense in the early church, right? None of us have the authority that Paul had today.

We understand that. None of us were writing scripture like Paul was. But if anyone was an apostle, Paul was an apostle, right? Even though he wasn't one of the original 12, that's why he said he was like someone born at a due time or born abnormally. But what did it mean to him to be an apostle?

What was it like for him? So listen to what he says. He's running to the Corinthians because they had these super apostles, you know, the superstar gospel preachers. Whoa, nobody speaks like them. Amazing, powerful men of God. Paul said they're actually servants of Satan. 2 Corinthians 11, 13 through 15. He says they're actually servants of Satan. So Paul is saying to the Corinthians, you know, oh, you guys have it all. You're set, you got it all, not us.

So listen to what he writes. 2 Corinthians, excuse me, 1 Corinthians. 1 Corinthians chapter four, beginning in verse eight.

Already you have all you want. Already you have become rich. Without us, you have become kings. And with you would reign so that we might share the rule with you. For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all. Like men sentenced to death because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

This is Paul, the mighty apostle Paul. To the present hour, we hunger and thirst. We are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless. When persecuted, we endure.

When slandered, we entreat. We have become and are still like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. This is the mighty apostle Paul. Now, I'll leave here to go home to a beautiful house that Renecia and I live. I'm not homeless. I'm not destitute. I'm not in rags. I'm not saying if you really want to be holy, you need holes in your shoes and you need to be homeless on the streets.

No. All I'm saying is that when we just think ministry means being blessed and being used and being popular and being bigger, no, often it's quite the opposite. And even if you have a nice house, you're going to go through brokenness of heart.

Even if you have a nice car, you're going to go through rejection. In other words, there is a price to pay. There is a price to pay for following Jesus. But let's just look at Paul's own life, all right? Paul's own life, 2 Corinthians chapter four. 2 Corinthians chapter four. And he says this beginning in verse seven.

I'll come back to this in a moment. 2 Corinthians four, seven. He says, but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

Again, what's his experience with his coworkers? We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed. Perplexed, but not driven to despair. Persecuted, but not forsaken.

Struck down, but not destroyed. Always carrying in the body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our mortal flesh so death is at work in us, but life in you. Then he continues in 2 Corinthians six with this description. He says in verse three, we put no obstacle in anyone's way. 2 Corinthians chapter six, beginning in verse three. We put no obstacle in anyone's way so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God, we commend ourselves in every way by great endurance and afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger, by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, by truthful speech, and the power of God with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left, through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise, we are treated as impostors and yet are true, as unknown and yet well-known, as dying and behold we live, as punished and yet not killed, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing everything. What an amazing description. One more passage I want to read to you in a moment, but this is Paul's life.

Not just him, but his coworkers. In America, in some parts of the world, you can really become big in ministry. You can really become known in ministry. You can become filthy rich. There are people that become filthy rich through ministry, through taking large percentage of donations that come in and having outlandish salaries and abusive stuff.

I mean, it happens especially outside the states, but it's happened in the states too. In practical terms, living for Jesus through much of history and in much of the world today is the opposite of that. It means being outcast. It means being misunderstood. It means losing finances.

It means losing friends. It means being mistreated more than being heralded as the next savior. Oh, here she is, here he is, the amazing man or woman of God. Nancy and I have talked about this so much lately in light of the latest terrible scandals that have hit the church.

And again, when I talk about these scandals, I do it not in some self-righteous, finger-pointing way. I do it as someone recognizing the mercy of God, recognizing how easily I could mess up if not for God's grace, realizing that my flesh could sin like anybody else's flesh if not for God's grace. So I don't sit in some, how could they be so terrible to do it? No, it's terrible, it's wrong, it's sinful, especially when people are manipulated and abused and clergy misuse their power. Terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible.

Absolutely. But I don't sit there like, oh, those miserable sinners, how could they do that? I'm thinking, oh God, let me look at my own life more carefully. Let me examine myself before the cross more carefully.

I hope you respond in a similar way as well. But with the latest scandals being hit, it's just this further reminder, we need to be getting low, getting lower, not trying to raise ourselves up. Jesus said that if you exalt yourself, you'll be humbled. If you humble yourself, you'll be exalted. Friends, if we don't humble ourselves in God's sight, He will humble us in people's sight. He said it again, if we don't humble ourselves in God's sight, He will humble us in people's sight. So we need to concentrate not on being celebrities and superstars and growing our numbers so everybody's looking to us, but on being more like Jesus, spending more time with Him, walking deeper fellowship, cultivating the beauty of holiness, recognizing how nothing we are and how everything He is. It's an old messianic Jewish friend, Howie Morgan used to say, when God says, I am, that means we are not. And it's so easy for us to exalt people. And I started to say with all these scandals, Nancy and I have talked about this a lot, and she's said it to me many times, Jesus never over exalted people. He was not like, wow, you're a me. Oh, what an incredible man of God. What an incredible woman of God. We're just people. Yes, sincere and seeking to honor the Lord and guard our testimonies and walk before the Lord in righteous ways, but we're just people. The best of us are just people. And Paul says, who's Paul?

Who's Apollos? One waters, one plants, one waters. God gives the increase. He who sows is nothing. Plants the seed is nothing.

He who waters is nothing. It's God who gives the increase. What an amazing, wow, you planted that seed. You poured water on that. No, we're not amazing. What's amazing is that God makes it grow.

God makes it grow. So let's not go around exalting people. Again, you can be honoring and respectful. You could recognize those who've labored among you for their service, but let's not over-exalt people.

Let's not make servants into superstars. And may God burn out of each of us a desire to be seen and known and praised and liked. Instead, we desire the favor of God. And if you have the favor of God, you've got everything you need. We've got some more scripture and then an amazing poem from Amy Carmichael, lifelong missionary to India, I want to share with you.

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Call 1-800-771-5584, 1-800-771-5584 or online at trivita.com. This is how we rise up It's the Line of Fire with your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again, it's Dr. Michael Brown. Welcome back to the Line of Fire.

Michael Brown, delighted to be with you, here to equip you, empower you, help you to engage on the front lines. We're talking today about the servant of the Lord is not a superstar. Listen to what A.G. Gardner said, when a prophet is accepted and deified, his message is lost. The prophet is only useful so long as he is stoned as a public nuisance, calling us to repentance, disturbing our comfortable routines, breaking our respectable idols, shattering our sacred conventions. Can I share that again? When a prophet is accepted and deified, his message is lost. The prophet is only useful so long as he is stoned as a public nuisance, calling us to repentance, disturbing our comfortable routines, breaking our respectable idols, shattering our sacred conventions. Listen to this poem from Aimee Carmichael.

She spent decades serving as a missionary in India and died there from Ireland originally. And she wrote this poem, Scars. I'll just read it. It's self-explanatory. But it's for all the rising stars in the body today, the Christian celebrities and superstars. Eyes are on you, all eyes are on you. You're the next big thing.

Listen to what Aimee Carmichael said. Hast thou no scar? And it's the Lord speaking in this poem, you'll see. Hast thou no scar, no hidden scar on foot or side or hand? I hear thee sung as mighty in the land.

I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star. Hast thou no scar? Hast thou no wound? Yet I was wounded by the archers spent leaning me against a tree to die and rent by ravening beasts that come past me, I swooned. Hast thou no wound, no wound, no scar? Yet as the master shall the servant be. And pierced are the feet that follow me. But thine are whole. Can he have followed far who has no wound nor a scar?

Aimee Carmichael, scars. What a poem. What a poem.

What a challenge. What conviction to each of us. Paul said in Galatians 6, don't let anyone trouble me. I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. I mean, he was physically scarred. He was physically scarred as Jesus was. I've got his marks on my body.

That's what he was saying. You know, Richard Warren Braun, whom I had the privilege of spending hours with back in 1993, a couple of occasions, Persecuted for Christ, his book Tortured for Christ, the most translated religious book of the 20th century. When I asked him was it the most translated book of the 20th century, he smiled and said, no, the Agatha Christie novels. But to this day, Tortured for Christ speaks, and the organization he raised up, Voice of the Martyrs, continues to serve the persecuted church around the world. And Pastor Warren Braun, when you sat with him, he bore in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus. He had testified before Congress and took his shirt off, removed his ministerial collar, took his shirt off so they could see how it looked like his body had been through a meat grinder. And just sitting talking, you'd see this deep wound like in the side of his neck, whatever was done to him.

But horrific torture he experienced, three years of solitary confinement and daily torture, just unimaginable conditions. And Warren Braun said that during the days of communism, Iron Curtain Romania, that fine Christians came over to serve missionaries, to try to serve in the midst of the persecuted church. And then when communism fell and the doors were open, all these Christian ministries from America came over. We're going to show the Christians there how to do it and how to succeed and how you grow your church and how you do it and so on.

And he said, none of them stopped to ask us, you were in prison and changed for 20 years and you never denied Jesus. Please teach us. What can we learn from you? No, they were going to coach on how to be successful and how to do it right and how to build the ministry and how to bring in the funds.

Warren Braun said they didn't think of asking. You were tortured for many years, sir. You never denied Jesus. What can we learn from you? What can you teach us? What would you like to say to us? Here's what Paul wrote.

He gets so fed up with the Corinthians and their fascination with an adoration of these superstar preachers that he says this, right? You want boasting? I'll boast. You want somebody to boast?

I'm going to boast. And I'm going to scroll down to verse 22. 2 Corinthians 11, 22.

2 Corinthians 11, 22. He says, are they Hebrews, these super apostles? Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham?

So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I'm a better one. I'm talking like a madman, he says, with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings and often your death. Oh, they got all their boast how big their ministry is, how much money their ministry is bringing in and on and on.

He says, here I'm going to boast. I've been in prison more than them, countless beatings, often near death. Now this is Paul, no exaggeration, literally talking. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the 40 lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked.

A night and a day I was adrift at sea. Unfrequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers, in toil and hardship through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches who is weak and I'm not weak, who is made to fall and I'm not indignant. If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever knows that I'm not lying.

In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands. If you want me to boast about my ministry, that's where I'm going to boast. It would be like me in my fractional baby, baby-like comparison to that.

I mean, little baby crawling comparison to that. I could talk about, you know, that I was preached in India and Hindu radicals took over the stage with knives and razor blades and shut down the meeting. It was a life-threatening meeting. I could take it to all the websites attacking me and rejecting me and all the lies told about me and the organizations blacklisting me or countries where I can't go. And if I was going to boast, if there was a ministry, and again, this is like little baby Mikey, you know, trying to learn how to crawl compared to what Paul's talking about, all right?

So we're not in the same universe, all right, in terms of comparisons. But, you know, it's not only Dr. Michael Brown, author of almost 50 books, and someone who's taught here and respected here and acknowledged here. You know, like on the back of one of my books, you know, they want a bio, right? Or if I'm going to be an adjunct teacher somewhere, they want information on it. Okay, I'm good with that.

It's information. But I mean, I'd love to have enough of a resume like Paul to say, yeah, that's the boast. That's what I get to boast in. That's, yeah, I've been rejected here, put out here, called this, beaten here, et cetera.

I haven't even been beaten yet. Someone spat in my face one time and threatened to choke me. Orthodox Jewish guy on the train many years ago, if you ever saw me talking to another Jewish person about Jesus. But I mean, that's, what's that? Where's that on Paul's list? Oh, and someone spat in my face one time. Oh yeah, yeah, that's going to make Paul's list.

No, sorry. No, my quote sufferings are not going to make it into the new edition of Fox's Book of Martyrs. That's why I say baby Mike compared to Paul and these others. But what I'm saying is think of that, you want to boast? Okay, I'm going to boast.

You want to know how close I am to Jesus? Here's where I've been rejected here, so I've suffered this, here's where I've lost this, here's where it's cost me this. As opposed to look at all I've gained through it. Look at what I've become through it. So friends, God may raise you up to speak to millions. I have colleagues, I have those I've poured into and helped teach and train that today literally speak to millions. They can in the course of a week, in crowds speak to over a million people just in one week and they've spoken to tens of millions over the years. I have others that poured into, colleagues that through their TV or radio reach can speak to millions.

Hey, I'm all for it. By God's grace, we have a great reach. We speak to a lot of people. But it's not about numbers. It's not about fame. It's not about being known. It's not about being somebody. It's not about the amazing man or the amazing woman of God. It's about the amazing savior. It's about the amazing Jesus.

It's about the great God that we serve. Let's do all that we know to draw attention to him and lift him up. And if God calls you to speak to large crowds or small, if God calls you to be a wealthy business person or to be put in jail for the gospel, if God calls you to run for political office or to be persecuted from city to city, either way, here I am, Lord, send me, use me. Either way, Lord, with every fiber of my being, I want you to be glorified. I want you to be known. I want you to be exalted. I want all eyes to be on you, King Jesus. So let that be your heart.

Let that be your burden. Let that be your vision. And God will bless that. God will certainly bless that. Back with you for an interview tomorrow you will not believe. Another program powered by the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-26 20:06:28 / 2024-02-26 20:27:07 / 21

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