Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. Love is an act of faith. We choose to be kind, to rejoice in all things, and believe all things. We choose and He rewards as we seek Him in this. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Hebrews 11:6)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Matt Gerhet, Doug Janssen
Sermon # 11291
7:30 PM on 7/5/2017
That is as far up there as you can get. It was a long drive…16 of us went up. 5 or 6,000 in Hancock, Michigan. We were hoping to find a lot of Finnish people. Many were of Finnish descent but not necessarily speaking the language. They have a meeting every morning where a bunch of old time men and women gather and only speak Finnish…we put on a few free concerts and they came out to our concert. They visited us on Saturday. Tim Larose ran into the host of a radio program in town. He said we’re on this mission’s trip and she decided to put us on the radio. For two days we were on the radio. She kept giving us spots about our concerts. It was an amazing time. I’ve been on a couple mission trips. If there is one thing I learned from those mission trips, God is good at magnifying both our strengths and our weaknesses on these trips. When he magnifies our strengths, it’s very encouraging. It gives us comfort knowing we were meant to be on that trip. When he magnifies our weaknesses, he is also doing that for something extremely important. In the Bible, I’m thinking of those whose weaknesses were magnified.
Rom 8:5-6, 2 Peter 1:4. If you’ve been to Bible college or listen to this preaching, lust means what is on your mind 24/7, what you are craving or desiring. Sometimes they are our biggest weaknesses. God wants us to give to him so he can work in us. You have Eve in the garden, when she starts to be overcome with thinking about the fruit, that’s her weakness. David on the rooftop thinking of Bathsheba and taken away in his weakness. Peter when he denies Christ, he gets caught up in that thinking and gets caught up in his weakness. God uses those moments for what happens next.
Jn 21 Christ met him and cooked him breakfast. Do you love me Peter? Denied me three times and I will ask if you love me three times. With Paul after he watched the stoning of Stephen, Christ meets him and says I’m the one you are condemning. Isn’t it hard to kick against the pricks? David gets caught and Nathan goes to him. David, you’re the one. God confronts you in your weakness and shows you lovingly. Where are you Adam? These moments are so vital in our walk. God is trying to get us to let go of these hindrances. Walk forward with him.
He gives us mercy in Prov 28:13.
When we confess, 1 Jn 1:9, James 4:8 he gives greater grace to the humble. We had an amazing time in Michigan and got to find out what our strengths were and weakness. We were there for a common purpose to lift up Christ. We don’t know if we saved anyone but had people loving and welcoming to us. The whole town knew about us by the end of the week. Do you remember those crazy people from Baltimore who kept telling us God loves us? We were in Walmart and Dave is giving an interview: what do you think of creation and the universe? We will remember those things that God teaches us on those trips. Summer harvest is amazing and God is always in you glorifying himself.
That was great news, Matt. I was joking with P. Sturge that ladies greet each other with a lot of information. Matt came to Budapest and the greeting was like (making a noise). Same with P. Sturge. Maybe some men can identify. How many have enjoyed this teaching on AGAPE love? Isn’t it good?
1 Cor 13, that’s the motivation behind this trip to Hancock, AGAPE love. Looking in their eyes and loving people. This is a special month, my wife and I, our 15th anniversary. My best friend.
1 Cor 13:12, how many things do we not know. How many things do we know in part? How many have been in the Word for many years and feel like they are just scratching the surface, just getting to know the Lord? I have much to be grateful for but I don’t know how much I have to be grateful for. There are quite many things that didn’t happen to me that could have and did happen that are miracles of God’s grace. So many things I don’t know. Our school in Budapest is a beautiful place to be. I’m thankful for the team, every pastor and person. Such a blessing to my family. The school had a loss, a young lady passed away in the school family. I don’t know why the blessings come or the difficult times. When see through a glass darkly. Get out of the shower and open the curtain and it’s like, am I in there? You can swipe your hand on the mirror and in 2.5 nanoseconds it is back to being foggy. The word is an enigma. I think that was a spy coding device in the U.K. An obscure thing. A mystery. A wonder. I look at the way my kids are growing up. I can’t believe a washing machine comes with more instructions than a child. It’s a mystery how to raise a family. Maybe you are having a difficult time and hard to see over the hill. Our God knows us and knows us all the way.
Ps. 103 who is this God we have.
vs. 13-14. Think of the world wrestling guys, so big and strong. You see them later in life and they go the way of all men. We are dust but he knows our frame. He knows our capacity but is loving you. I don’t care where you are at. One day we will know him and be known of him. I think we will be shocked how much he has loved us all the days of our life.
Can we rehearse a few of the points. Now we see through a glass darkly. The bathroom mirror fogs up, wipe it and it gets foggy again. In this life, we see a little and then it’s gone and back to faith and love. Love will bear all things and believe all things and hope all things and endure all things but I might not see very well. I can’t exactly find my way but I can find love. God loves me. Mystery. Guts? We are a dud? What is it? We are dust.
Ps. 103. He also said raising a family. The washing machine directions and raising a family. The child comes out and there’s no directions, no manual under the arm. You’re all on your own. You’re flying solo. You have to raise a family! He said I can be thankful for the so many things that could have happened in my life that could have been so destructive that didn’t happen. Wasn’t that what he said?
That’s 1 Cor 8:2, what he ought to know is God has done so much for him and delivered him from so many things, has answered so many prayers and can be filled with thanksgiving and praise. That’s beautiful. Now talk to your neighbor. What is P. Schaller talking about?
Heb. 11: 1 Cor 13 is the text we are really working on. Put up the list of the things that love is. Charity suffereth long and is kind. How practical it is and what it means. God is love and if you put Jesus Christ where it says AGAPE love is. You can say Christ is. Christ suffers long and is kind. Long list. Rejoices. I feel that the light heartedness of love. That God is rejoicing always. His nature is love. He is always rejoicing. He is always happy with himself, reality. God’s reality is amazing. It’s something he rejoices in. Human beings are hard wired to rejoice. I get that from looking at children. When a baby is born, the second month the child starts smiling. They are wired for it. They are wired to be positive, to be loved, to have a good time. Children are wired to be loved and to love. They are receptive. Two laws in life. One is the initiation and the other is the receptivity. God is the initiator and we are the receivers. As we grow up and live more and more in sin, it changes. We withdraw from God and get further away and suffer more. You can’t change that sin nature. Must be born again. We now become receptive to the love. God loves you and sent Christ to show us that love. Christ was ministering to us the nature of God. We want to consider how difficult that was. To be in a sinful world that did not know or understand him. He didn’t give up. He was there loving discerning, initiating, caring and did it all the time. Those that received and heard him, the words sometimes, the healing they received, they received in the Spirit. I love the story of the man with the withered hand. He was afraid Jesus would call him out and Jesus called him out in that synagogue. He stepped forward and the atmosphere was charged against him and he told the man reach out your hand. The atmosphere that is against Christ is so obvious in our lives. The atmosphere outside of us and the projections that happen in our own hearts. It’s against him. Love is God. This is Christ. Rejoices in truth. A lot of response to truth. This is what we heard from these men tonight. Rejoicing in a mission. Rejoicing in the ministry. With a critical eye someone can look at any mission and say what is the value of it. Love operates in a way where we don’t need to know. Love is what it is. We don’t know the effects of what it is to love. It might be a long period of time to love. We don’t know what it will do.
To be kind. That word is kind. Simple things about kindness. In a home which sometimes we get away with being mean and mistreating each other and saying things not kind. Nobody knows how we may treat our wife or husband or children. We are not kind. Kindness could be caring about your wife in such a way that you let her know ahead of time you will be late. In our family that would be kindness. For me to let her know. I may or may not do it. In life there are things about this word “kind” that might be overlooked or misunderstood. Love is like that. Love could expose us but love is kind. Love would rather not expose us if love could correct us. Love could embarrass us but may not do that. Look at God in this world. Look at how much stuff we get away with because God is kind.
It’s the kindness that draws us to him in Rom 2:4. Some are too tough, too rough. It may not be AGAPE love. There is a place for that in life. Being very courageous. God said to Joshua. David was no pushover but also David had this sensitivity and this love where he cared about King Saul. That care for King Saul was related to God. I love when Shimei cursed David and threw stones. Let me go take his head off. David said let him do it. Maybe the cursing will result in God blessing me. There is something about love that attracts all of us. When we find it and see it and learn it. The bathroom mirror fogs up and I’m left alone with not seeing clearly. I can see this list. This love will get me through a lot. I will win because love never fails.
Heb. 11:6, let’s say there is a C. man and he’s doing real well. A great guy and says his prayers and has his devotionals and everything is clean and right and straight but he has no faith. It may sound like a paradox. He has faith but does he have faith? He believes but is he operating in faith? God’s imputed R to him so he pleases God by the fact he is saved. He’s not really operating in faith. Does he pray? Not much. He says prayers by duty but doesn’t get ahold of something that requires faith. He’s not living in faith. People could come in here and get saved. How many on a Sunday morning? 40, 4, 10, 8. Wouldn’t it be amazing? Why couldn’t 50 people get baptized every month in that tank? P. Schaller, you don’t believe that. I talk to myself. It’s a good question. Help me, Lord. Help me. Lead me. I want to live by faith. Some of us cross the ocean and do it just as easy to take a bus and get a loaf of bread. It’s not really faith. There was a time when there was faith to do it. Now what do I need to do by faith. We are living in faith.
vs. 6. Must believe that he is. Do I believe in God? What kind of God do you believe in? The God that is over here in the museum, in the box. What God do you believe in? That story about the African brother who told about the tribe that believed the crocodile was there God. A van would run over a crocodile and kill it and they people had to guard them. They had to guard them from being killed. Their god needed help from being killed. Our God doesn’t need any help. Our God is so big. Oh God that dwells above the cherubims. God is below the cherubims on the mercy seat. The S said above the cherubims. There goes the crocodile story in my mind. Our God is not only on the mercy seat but above it. Solomon said this house can’t contain you and even the heaven and heaven of heavens can’t contain you. Must have the right concept about him. Must believe he is able. Like a guy smoking marijuana and needs to believe God is bigger and greater than marijuana. Impossible to please him without faith. Looking for us to find the bigness, the immensity.
vs. 6. He is a rewarder. You may not like the word “reward.” Get to like it. He dishes it out. He blesses us. He rewards us. I’m going to give it out to you. I’m going to reward you. He’s going to reward me. I’m going to find the reward. He’s able to reward me when I live by faith in him. Isn’t that an amazing Bible verse? I’m believing God is a rewarder. I say my morning prayer. God in Jesus’ name. I don’t care about today. You’ll take care of today and next month. You are sovereign. I am serious, Lord. I am believing you. This is a lot bigger than me and what happens around me. You are God and you can bless me. Blessing is such a nature no one can get their hands on it. John and Diane Post, God is with them. Anyone of us alive here tonight we can praise God. God has made it possible for us to be alive. Rejoices in the truth. Is kind, and I want to say a few words about that. I think at home is where we find that beautiful thing called kindness. It’s beautiful to be with kind people. It’s beautiful in life when kind. You compliment people. It’s a work of AGAPE love. The H.S. is like that. I don’t think the world needs my criticism as much as my kindness. I think the people around me need to be loving. Love opens hearts. My soul longest or breaketh for your word. Breaketh means dissolve. My soul is dissolved for your word, a kind of melting. A man of God, a woman of God filled with God’s love and how much influence they have. What it means in a relationship, a classroom, at work, in a church, in a marriage.
Without faith, we wipe the mirror, and see and then it’s foggy again and I’m living by faith. What could happen this summer by faith? Pray for us, pray for each other. This great summer ahead of us. It doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter. We take a block of time and say in a fresh way the H.S. renewing my mind in a fresh way. I can live by faith. It might be very unclear but I can live by faith. I can say prayers by faith. I can have an attitude of love by faith. I can believe God and believe he is a rewarder. The guy on marijuana by faith does it. God can make me high in a way better than that way. This other high, if want to call it that, it’s not that kind. It’s the kind where we are in contact with the living God. The living God can affect my physical body. The living God affects my mouth, heart, and attitude. Living God affects my friendships. The living God in heaven. The Almighty God in heaven rewards those that live by faith. Maybe there is some area in your life we could say, I’m going to take this on. You’re going to do this. I’m going to be receptive to you. Maybe I’m hiding and it’s too hard to take it. I’m going to take it and bring to you and ask you to do what ever you want to do. Job said I will come forth as pure as gold. God delivered me in six troubles, yeah in seven.
No evil will touch me, Job 5. Amen.
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