Look Beyond the Bites to the Cross

God does more than make me feel good. God rather will give us Himself. Heavenly God can make mighty holy people. Do not reduce your life to snake bite. Look to Jesus. Don’t let bitterness take you out. Reveal Him and fellowship with God. Make church a big part of life. (Numbers 21:4-9)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11474
11:00 AM on 5/20/2018

 

P. Schaller

Did any one come for graduation? Carol Desmarais is here. We had a high school graduation and two valedictorians gave speeches. We were so edified. You know how we say I’m proud of you? Pride isn’t a good word for us. We are very thankful for our school and our teachers and our students. We are proud of them in a good way.

Friday night there will be a barbeque out in the parking lot. You are all welcome. It’s called Faith Promise night. This is when we think about world missions. We are world Christians, not worldly Christians. We believe we should preach the gospel into all the world and we should work to that end and think like that. Let’s go to the deserts and villages and the big cities. We will be in here with different clothes on and we’ll ask you to think and pray about making a commitment financially every month for missions. One guy made one a year ago. He said, Lord, I want to give $100 extra for missions. Every month he did it and God made it happen. He gave that money to missions for the year. You might say I can give $10 or a little faith, $7 or $30 or whatever it might be. This is part of the way we finance our missions work around the world. A lot of money is given to missions and we have 100 Americans on the field and many Finns and Africans and we are helping it happen by finances and prayer. You don’t have to give anything; we’re just thinking faith. What does God want to do and we will talk about it and think about it. Great. Praise the Lord.

We’re going to have a good message this morning. We had one at 9. There is a slim possibility this service will be excellent! Virtually impossible but it will happen.

1 Jn 1, Numbers 21:4, our subject will be 1 Jn 1 the subject of fellowship with God. This is in my heart because I believe there are things brought out of the word that will help us understand the subject better and realize how awesome it is when we fellowship with God and walk with God. Man is made in God’s image. Therefore even after the fall the image of God is in us. Jesus said he that commits sin is the slave of sin. We’ll look at that in a minute.

Nu 21:4-9, I want to draw a picture here before we read this next part. Here’s a diagram of an idea. This is representing God. God and truth in the highest and most important meaning, truth. What is truth? Here’s a man in the earth and he lives in his world of what he feels and experiences and understands. Who is God is part of that world. The man’s mind is not the same as God’s mind. He interprets life through his experiences. People leave Egypt in the wilderness dying of thirst saying did God bring us out here to die. This is my experience. This is how I understand the world I’m in. This is a disaster. We left Egypt and now we are in a wilderness. The Egypt, the Red Sea, the desert. They start complaining against God and Moses. Easy to do that. This is what we call subjective living or thinking. I have a definition for you. Objective perspective is not influenced by my emotions, opinions, or personal opinions. It’s a perspective based on facts and things quantifying about measurable….matter of objectivity. When you build an automobile, it’s engineered. The styling is artistic but in life I need objectivity. It’s a reference for me. If you take this idea and say the Bible is outside of me, what I think and feel is needing to be aligned with what God is saying. I would like to live in God’s world and think with God and realize life is based on what he says. Sometimes what I think and feel seems to contradict what he says. I feel alone but objective speaking he says I will never leave you or forsake you. I feel guilty but I gave my Son who shed his blood so you are not guilty. The blood of Christ washes our sin away and our conscience is clean. We are free of guilt because of Christ. Maybe the Bible says that but I don’t feel it. That’s why we are talking about it. What I feel and experience cannot entirely define my world. I need a world bigger than my experience and feelings. A subjective perspective is open to greater interpretation based on personal feeling, emotion and aesthetic. In the secular world and culture it is not only something that we kind of know about but it is systematically taught in our educational system. Don’t let anyone tell you about dogma; there isn’t any. It’s a matter of how you think and feel and your opinion. We are here to say I can’t build a car that way or an airplane or a building or bridge based on my feelings. It has to be beyond me. The world of medicine and all kinds of sciences have to be a study of life outside of us. Religion they say is your own opinion. Why would I believe in something I just feel or someone has an opinion about? I need objective truth. I need evidences. Did the Jews come out of Egypt through the Red Sea or not? When they got to the other side, were they at Mt. Sinai and were the Ten Commandments given or not. Was Moses a real historical figure or not?

Nu 21:5-6 it got worse. Thank you very much God. We have a hard time and now it’s worse.

De 8:2-3 says I lead you in the wilderness. Why? So you would learn not to live by bread alone. That’s their complaint. It’s light bread. Live by every word that comes out of God’s mouth. God wants me to live in fellowship with him in his mind. Christians oftentimes live in their subjective selves in many areas. Our feelings, our hurt, our plans are disappointed, our hearts are broken. I got bit by a serpent. Not only was my life hard, it got worse. I studied the serpent bite and I died.

vs. 7. We have sinned. I am responsible… I did it. I have sinned. It’s a good thing to be saying. I am disappointed with myself. I am worrying. I am jealous. I went on Facebook and see my friend is on a vacation on the Caribbean and I got jealous. Why does she get to go there? So and so has a huge big sumptuous sandwich. How come they get a good sandwich? Brothers and sisters I can’t believe how many people live in their emotions and jealousies and fears. Their world is governed by their subjective lives and they complain so easily. They are so easily disappointed. Their boss disappoints them, their family, their country. They disappoint themselves. They think life should go like this: the way I think and the way I feel is the most important thing in my life. What I think, what I feel, what I go through is the reality. It isn’t. That may be your reality but that’s not the reality. That might be what you are thinking and living in but that’s not the reality. You guys look like you are dead. I am so excited about it! What I just said is so amazing. We’ll get to it a minute. Maybe you’ll come alive! Wake thou that sleepest and rise from the dead.

vs. 8. Looks upon what? The pole. I got an idea. Turn to your neighbor and say everything I said in the message. They got bit by serpents. What did God say? Make a fiery serpent and put it on a pole. They were to look at that. Many believers say they have fellowship with God but I’m bringing in it into question today. Are you thinking with God? Is the Holy Spirit your teacher? What are you living in? I know we are human beings. I can get a serpent biting my foot. Oh no, look at my foot. It’s swollen. Look at my foot! Look at my foot! I said look at my foot! It’s swollen. I’m going to die. Yes, you are. What is it you don’t understand about it? You will die. You will die. Read my lips. This is what I feel and have experienced. This is the reality. Is there any other reality? Is there more than that experience? Is there more than a swollen foot in this world? Is there something bigger than I lost my house, and gambling and lost $700? I went into the casino and guess what I came back with? A lump on my head and a tired body and zero dollars. My world is lousy and so hurt. My girlfriend has left me. On and on it goes. I’m saved. Do you have fellowship with God? I say my prayers and so on. We are trying to say something here. Your world is filled with yourself and you’re angry in your heart with God. God is saying you don’t have fellowship with me. You grieve my Spirit. You’re living in unbelief. Your whole world is about you and your snake bite. The fact you didn’t come out of Egypt and you’re not in a five star hotel. Do you see? Yeah, why? It’s a good issue. Why did you do that to me? The Lord is saying, he’s saying to us, I have so much for you. Your world is not my world. At my right hand are pleasures forevermore. You are filled with the H.S. and there is love and joy and peace. I know you got bit by a serpent but I sent my Son on a pole so you would be healed. Will you get it in your head to look at the pole and my Son and pay attention to what I’m saying? I have a kingdom of God that is here and I gave my Son. He that spared not his Son but delivered him up for us all, shall he not give us all things that are meaningful, that we would love righteousness. Some love sex more than righteousness. The world of sex. That’s it. That’s where I live. That’s how I roll in this world. How are you doing? How is the snake bite holding up? How about the people around you? How about the girlfriends or boyfriend you have? If you are a girl or whatever you are. How is your world doing? Jesus said if you sin, you are a slave of it. It doesn’t sound good to me.

Jn 8:34. I came so that the truth would set you free and you will be free indeed. A guy can go to jail and get out and say I’m free but wonder how many months I’ll be back in there. Back in in a year. Free again. Back in the jail. Jesus said I came so you will be free indeed. My freedom isn’t you go back again. My freedom is so you would know me as God who is light and no darkness. The freedom that can never be brought into captivity….why do believers live in jealousy and fears and guilt? Christ came so we might be free indeed. Why would believers want to live in their sin and subjective experiences and opinions and talking. If you get on the phone and gossiping about people you are feeding in the garbage can. You are talking to another brother and sister and grieving the Spirit. Does it matter to you all the things you are talking about? If so, there is a mind that is not even close to God’s mind. When he said I remember your sin no more that relates to our sisters and brothers. I remember their sin no more. I don’t remember it anymore. I don’t relate to them like that.

vs. 8-9 it’s another way of saying I have to look up, I have to look at something bigger than me. Probably a lot of you are good at this but we all fail at this. I got bit by a serpent. Look at that. Hold it. Look unto Jesus. Calm down. Put God in your world. Bring God into your bedroom, your workplace, your auto, your morning, your evening, your youthful life as a young man or woman. Bring God. Early will I seek you. David said God is at my right hand.

Heb 12:2, there has to be something more to my life than this stuff I’m thinking and feeling and relating to. He said and she said and they did this and that and my boss, I can’t wait until the day he dies. You say pastor I would never think that. Yes, you do. You hate him and judge him and curse him and snear at him under your breath. I know what it is to be a human being. I know what those things are and you do, too. How do I get out of it? Believe me it’s real. Jesus came so it would be real. It won’t happen by being naturally minded and looking for blessing from God. I understand that’s what you want but look at the pole and get your eyes off the serpent bite. Think with me.

I learned Pastor Stevens said schedule your worry and worry later in the day. Schedule it for 4 in the afternoon. I got that idea. I wake up and start to worry and wait, I’ll worry at 4. What do I do now? I look unto Jesus the author and finisher of my faith. the Holy Spirit gives me the peace of God and I start to think with God and when 4 comes up on my calendar, worry time, I say I don’t have any time for that. I am free in Christ. I don’t think we work in our hearts enough to realize what it means to think with God and fellowship with him. He is the holy God. He’s not like us. He doesn’t gossip. He isn’t jealous. He is not envious. He hates sin but not people. He loves and desires good things for us. He’s a good, good God and a merciful God. Regarding our guilt, deep inside I’m guilty for my stuff in life. We say Lord I feel guilty. He says okay. What more could I do for you? I gave my Son. Thank you, but I feel my guilt and live in it. I’m angry with people. I’m angry with myself. Lord is saying I know that. That’s your state. This is how you are thinking and feeling. You want me to make you feel good. I’m going to ask you to live by faith in my Son that is hanging on a cross, died, and raise and seated at the Father’s right hand and believe in me. Walk in me, look unto me and you’ll be healed. That’s all.

We have a hard time processing what it is to fellowship with God because to be honest we’re not humble, not listening to him. We are occupied with our life and our world and the cancer report and all the things that happen in life. It’s not the whole picture. There is a whole world we are talking about every Sunday in this meeting hall, three times. On Wed. night at 7:30. This hall should be filled with people that need to learn these lessons. If I don’t get this in the church, where will I get the message? Will the university teach it to me? The talk show with the people talking foolishness. I never listen to them but I’ve been told. Some of our people work in the hospital and these TV shows are running in the afternoons. He slept with his girlfriend’s sister and oh, and people are clapping and embracing wickedness and evil. It’s being channeled into our homes and hospitals. We are saying that’s like the age we are living in. It’s an evil age. It’s a wicked world we live in. I could care less about the minds of these people suffering in a cesspool of flesh and sin.

When you get God’s mind and think with God, you recognize it and shut it off. You turn on something wholesome and edifying. Jesus discerned what was going on and said not me. I live with my heavenly Father and he guides me in the way I should go. I can lay my hand on someone and leprosy is gone because my heavenly Father is honoring me because I honor him. It’s an amazing way to think. If you or I are living in our sin and looking at our snake bit – complaining brings in the serpent and the demons.

I’m crying about it and complaining more. Why did this happen to me? Who did that to me? Please. Your life is too valuable. You’re mighty people, holy people, and awesome people. It does’t matter what happened. That can be cleaned up in a second. You can have the glory of God on you in a prison cell, within seconds after you commit a sin. God is the God of all grace. You can bring repentance in my heart in a second. Nothing in this world is too great for our God. God showed it to us by sending his Son. He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world. We find a book, we meditate day and night, we apply it in our life and we find God is greater than this world and anything the devil could throw at me. Christ came and was raised up and we are free indeed. Halleluiah. It’s amazing. Halleluiah.

Let me ask you a question. Do you read this book? Do you read the book? Are you thinking with the book? Ever on your knees with the book open and say God give me something for this day. Hear a message and go on the archives and hear old sermons from the 70s and 80s. Ever hear messages, hallmarks, focus and concentrate. If you do, you are looking unto Jesus. As you do, he will heal you. God is greater than my old boyfriend. My God have mercy on him. He’s such a disappointment in my heart but you are greater than my sin, my failure. than him. I can bring a blessing and I pray for people. I’m finding the way, looking unto Jesus.

I had a brother who stole $10,000 from a brother. He told me about it because I’m his pastor. He said I had to pay every month to the bank. That man took it and lost all my money. I have to pay for years now to pay off that debt to the bank. He said I’m doing it. I said have you told anyone about it? NO. Have you forgiven the man? Yes, in my heart and not talking about it. I have to eat it and pay. Ten years later he said it’s all paid off. I said did you talk about it? He said no. I said you are an amazing Christian. I have so much respect for you. He got bit. Subjectivity, I can get revenge, how I feel. Objectivity, what God says. Forgiving many times, 70 x 7 in a day, no gossiping or accusing the brethren, praying for my enemies. Rejoicing when I have my troubles. Finding God in every situation. Amazing.

I want you and me to find Jesus all the time. I’m disappointed this morning because of the attendance. This is high attendance time in the year. The weather is fine. Why are there empty seats? It hurts me. We work hard. We call people. We have prayer meetings. And we have low attendance this morning. Look unto Jesus every way you can. If you don’t make it to church, what are you looking at? Your toe nails, TV, back yard, pornography, unbelief, your experiences, your fears, and worries. What are you looking at? I must make my church a big part of my life and put it in the middle. I can be subjective and interpret life through myself when I need to interpret it through God.

When I grew up, I was very shy and would never think of speaking in front of people or being with people a lot. I was happy to be by myself. I became a believer and would go to church and try to stay away from people. I liked small groups. I would never be embarrassed. I would stay away if I could. I heard the preacher say you need to go to church. I got to be with people? Yeah. Be with people. Drink the same Spirit. Have the same fellowship and think the same thoughts.

We’re all different but we must drink the same Spirit, have the same mind and say the similar things, think with God. If God is in our hearts and minds, a lot of good things will happen. You will become someone you weren’t before. You’ll have a greater capacity for people, the mission, for what God wants for your life. You could reduce your life to a snake bite or expand it to God and his healing. You and I could reduce our life.

There is a guy in Kentucky on a rocking chair on his front porch and he’s all old and wrinkled up. Shot gun across the arm of the rocking chair. Stay off of my grass. Stay off my yard. Stay out of my life, my face. His life is reduced to a snake bite and he’s dying. He’s shriveling up. He’s losing life all the time. He’s nothing but miserable and less than what he’s made to be. Don’t let bitterness eat you up or unbelief take you out or fears and pain destroy you. Look to Jesus and he’ll take care of you and you’ll become sweet. My dad is so angry and miserable (for example). He’s like a wiry serpent. He won’t even talk to me because that’s how the human heart goes. You have to fellowship with God to get that healing. Your flesh will squirm and squeal like a pig. We’ll have a family barbeque and 100 relatives and I love them and they love me because God has healed me and made me sweet.

 


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.

 

 

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