Without vision we are without life. God has quickened us to be people who care for orphans and widows. Let us learn to live without complaints. (Proverbs 29:18; Proverbs 21:5; Proverbs 22:29)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11318
6:30 PM on 8/20/2017
(Camp Life testimonies)
Prov. 29. We had a beautiful service this morning. We spoke about being the head and not the tail. When we are relating to life by circumstances, we can interpret them as being from God. If bad, we can say God is against me. If good, we can say God is for me. We have to go deeper than that. That’s maybe a natural way of thinking. The doctrine and Spirit leads us to understand God is for us no matter what happens in our life. For us to meditate, receive, concentrate and have a prayer life and a personal vision. When we first went to Bible college in 1972 in Maine with P. Stevens, one thing he taught us was the importance of having vision.
In Prov 29:18, we read the verse that many of us know. Where there is no vision, the people perish or run wild or are without restraint. He that keeps the law, happy is he. The other night P. Scibelli was preaching in class and I was listening and I love the spirit of vision that he has as a man of God and also that we have in our heritage and that we have presently in our work. Camp Life is an example. It would be easy not to have a Camp Life but instead there is something written in your heart and mine to say young people need to laugh a lot, play a lot, be with good people, be taught about their faith. I haven’t met anyone who said I regretted going. Many say it was the best time in my life.
Where does vision come from? The H.S. speaks to our hearts and we sense that God must love orphans. I’ve been thinking about orphans. A little boy without a dad or mom. I remember P. Fred Ellis’ son had such a vision for orphans. He talked to me about it and had it in his heart. He cared about it and supported and helped them. Children without a mom and dad. We, the church, have pure religion and we care for widows and orphans. That’s a vision.
In a way we could argue against it and say not going to happen. Or I don’t have time or money or interest. When you walk with God, you start to think and believe and say in your heart something could happen, something could be done. This is how we grew up in the ministry, ‘73-‘75 in Maine in Bible College. It seemed like nothing could stop P. Stevens in his spiritual imagination. He taught us we are going to send out teams. I didn’t understand what that meant. There are church organizations that send out a couple, a husband and wife, but he experienced that more people are needed. There needs to be a team. We need to send out teams. We can do it.
Our first team went to El Salvador. There were 8 children younger than 8 years or something. Many little ones running around in the team house. They bring sand and throw it in the living room. It was in short, a disaster! But Selwyn is here tonight and he was 16 when P. Ed Canino met him in El Salvador. On one hand a problem, but on the other hand a vision. They came back. Ed Mosier said to me he heard we were going to Finland and he said don’t go. I said how was your year? Don’t go, he said.
There are things against a vision and then a vision. There is something the Spirit wants to say to us. When a young man or woman are not sure about your future, don’t package your future by corporate America or by an institution and say this school is my life or this company is my life…you step back and say God is my life. I’d like to follow God all my life. Maybe it would mean a radical decision but would rather make one than live safe and secure without a vision.
Here are some of the visions we learned and picked up. When you run you have lanes, a curb, or a sidewalk. When no vision, you run without any borders, no parameters or guidelines. People are without constraint. They are without the definition needed. The Spirit leads us in that definition. When there is no vision, the people perish or we could say where is the faith? There isn’t much because there is no vision. Where is the prayer because there is no vision? Where is the discipline because there is no vision and we do what is easy and comfortable. We should have a vision beyond our natural ability and capacity. You heard us talk about it.
I was scared half to death – straight up scared about public speaking. I would see P. Stevens call someone up spontaneously. I sat in the back and when he started to look around, I got interested in my Bible. I was scared half to death. I didn’t want to be a pastor, but I didn’t care about those things as much as I want to have a vison. What does God care about? He cares about lost people.
Steward Lucas was talking to me that Billy Grahams’ team said the most important part of service was the altar call. They all labored for the altar call. Thousands would pour down front and come. Everything was about the altar call. We have to say that about our work, whether in Silver Spring – thanks P. Shibley. Or P. Wright in Havre de Grace or Dundalk or York, PA. In the services, there needs to be and must be salvations. Not a religious form but the Spirit moving and convicting. The Spirit saying I have to get right with God before I go to bed tonight. I have to come to Jesus by faith. We praise God for it and hear about it. It’s so important. It’s our vision.
We were in Maine, Bath, Wiscasset, and Friendship. I met a lobster fishermen in the 60’s. They didn’t own a car. They lived on the water, fished, got lobster and sold them. They heard Dr. Stevens on the radio. They heard the message and were hungry. Mr. Murphy said to his wife, we got to buy a car because we got to drive and meet that man preaching in Wiscasset. They bought a car and drove and listened to that country preacher, P. Stevens. Some drive up from Framingham or Boston. God put it on his heart to go to Framingham and go to Friday night meetings…we came from this period of time.
This is the core of the work we are talking about. We are not talking about a generation gap but the Spirit moving. It’s the same today. There needs to be always a vision. There has to be. We have an opportunity in the city, public schools. We are welcome into public schools to teach the Bible. 180 children came out to a meeting at 3:00 in the afternoon on Thursdays. Collin Collins and Pirjo. There are a couple teams and we could be in ten schools. I invite you to get involved. Be praying for that. That’s a vision. (Prov. 22:29).
Do you see a man diligent in the ministry? I love it. Do you see a man diligent in his learning? Do you see a man focused on what he is doing? Pick up the phone and make calls. I am thinking of people in our church who are standing off or get lost in their complicated self-life. Just lazy or careless. They stand aloof or far off. We remember how we grew up and made phone calls. Call so and so and encourage them. Build up the local assembly and draw them in. Everyone has privacy but not to the point that they are excluded from us. We are their pastors or brothers and sisters. We are those people who care about their lives. How are you doing? We say it in a beautiful way in love. I love to see you on Sunday. Please come out. We care about you. God is new and fresh. God visits us with his grace. We have a vision.
Have you seen a man diligent in his vision? P. Love, thank you for being diligent. P. Love, Pete, Scott, P. Steve, Donnie Fisher. I got to tell you a story. A young man comes to Bible College from Ohio. He didn’t know he was born genetically with a blood vessel in his brain. He was a healthy athlete, handsome, skillful, smart guy and when he was 19, the blood vessel breaks and he has a stroke. He had a 3% chance of living. We are praying in the Bible college, and he makes it. He’s in rehab. Now he is one of the greatest soul winners I know. He’s from that twisted class of ’92! This man lives in Ohio and comes to visit us in Baltimore and says, hello. I love you guys. We love you, Donnie. And he does the bracelets with the Farmer’s ministry. He shall stand before kings.
Do you know what happened to us in Hungary? We were soul winning and preaching and the president of Hungary’s son gets saved. Born again, on fire for God. He tells his dad, who was the president of Hungary. Then we invite the president over to the school and he came. There we were having a rap session with the president of the country and his son and our team. We were so honored. It can happen.
See a man lazy? He will stand under a bridge. He won’t stand before kings. See a man lazy, indifferent, and slothful. Why lazy? Nothing is moving him in God. God can take the laziest man on earth and get him moving. You see him motivated and he has a personal vision in his heart.
This book speaks and teaches us and guides us and we can make radical decisions based on what its saying. It’s not about me. This is us. We got something going on here. I don’t want to stand off and lollygag around. What does that mean, P. Steve? You said it to your wife I think! No, she said it to him! Don’t be lollygagging around. Let God get a hold of you and talk to you and get moving in God. You have too much going on. Once you get this going on in your heart you say life is so good. I wish I had a thousand lives to live. I have ten men in me trying to live in one body! I have one life. I wish I could live many ways in Christ. We could multiply these guys and spread you around the world and say life is worth living because a living Christ is giving us something to do.
Prov 21:5, have a job, be faithful in it, and get another one in it. Learn how to work hard at your job. Learn how to think the right way. Learn how to live without complaining. Never complain. Edify, build up, maybe writing books, being on the radio. P. Stevens loved radio. He loved getting prepared for it. He wanted to go for it at any expense. Vision for the world. We can go. Yes, one man of God with a team can turn a city upside down. One man with a team can turn a country around. One man can have an impact on a president, a cabinet, a parliament.
We came up on the parliament floor in Finland. I’m getting phone calls from parents saying they [their kids] are living medical school to go to Bible Speaks. What are we going to do about it? The Lutheran priests were arguing about us because we had hundreds of young people and their churches were empty. They said we should learn from the Bible Speaks. It was an honor that came from an outside source.
I’m talking about something deeper. Without a vision, we won’t know where to go or what to do. We have a vision. We have to reach the state of Delaware. It’s a tiny one. Reach Pennsylvania. It’s a big one. We have to reach all the states in the U.S. with the Gospel. Young people come to Christ and walk by faith. Isn’t it true? Why not? Yes, we can do it. We had some months and weeks waiting on God and resting in God. God lead us in the next chapter. I was thinking of P. Bob Pekarek. What a blessing he got ordained. I’d have you up here sometimes preaching. We want to do the Bible studies and be reaching people. We have vision in our hearts.
vs. 5. Get quiet, get diligent, and be diligent in my thinking. The thoughts of the diligent. Focus in, reduce it down. I’m focusing in. I’m on it. I got it. I want to follow God and his will. He loves orphans, widows, loves young people, Christian school. He cares about the Post family. What an amazing, precious couple. Philip, the lawyer that got saved and his vision and gift and portion. And young people saying God can use me. I don’t know what it means. I can wait on God and keep my heart. He might put me on a team. He might send me out and bring me back. He has a plan for me. Never stop believing. Even one soul. Like Kathy Groenewold said, one hug that goes to the core. That girl may never forget that hug. It might be from the H.S. That girl has been affected by God’s love. That’s how it works and that’s what we got.
Let’s pray these weeks and months God will give us a great Bible college year and personal time in our hearts with what he wants us to do.
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