Let’s not lose sight of this — we are loved by God. We cannot work for God until we come to this divine conclusion. This our source of security, and we can identify and sit where others sit. We can love and enjoy each other in the presence of God. (1 John 1:4)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Renaldo Brown, Pastor Sam Muhima, Nick Plunkett
Sermon # 11411
7:30 PM on 1/31/2018
What is the Spirit saying to us these days? Identification.
Ezek 3:15, I sat where they sat. My son who draws blood in a hospital was sharing a story about a man 60 years old. His veins were hard because he’s a drug addict and they tried to penetrate the vein – when it’s penetrated by a heroin injection, it hardens. This man said I’ve been married and have children but nobody talks to me. My family doesn’t talk to me. I have messed up my life.
Wow. I believe the H.S. cares and identifies, doesn’t he? Jesus came and identifies and has compassion. The H.S. has compassion so you can sit where they sit and love them. I wouldn’t want any of us to take on a false burden or sorrow that is self-inflicted or not God’s will. On the other hand, I believe God has sent us into the world. We are sent into the world and we can identify.
Another type of sorrowful situation is a woman married, she’s 50 years old and married 25 years and her husband divorces her and she is left alone. That woman feels rejected, unloved, thrown away, discarded and she’s heartbroken. Crazy.
We have joy and life. We understand somebody in that kind of pain and we come alongside and care about them and love them. We say it’s not over. We can sit where you sit but we can also love you because the Holy Spirit has something to say to you. This is what the Spirit wants to do. When Jesus wept over Jerusalem, he saw the horrible future for these people and he wept over them. We are in a world that is so cold that you get harder when you shut out compassion. Your feelings harden and you could care less.
Another one is a young man in Baltimore city who doesn’t know who his dad is. He lives with mom and half brothers or sisters and is in a bad situation. That young man doesn’t know who his dad is and would love to have a dad. But he doesn’t have one.
It’s fun. Maybe that’s not the word. It’s our calling because that’s God that cares for people. I sat where they sat. That’s my message, my thought tonight.
(Nick Plunkett gave a testimony about his trip to the Far East).
P. Sam Mohima
I’m in the shoes for summer. I’m just learning the weather here. In Uganda, you only have one type of shoe and it works for all types of seasons! Here you have shoes for different seasons.
Greetings from Uganda. It’s a blessing for me to keep coming and see your faces. God encourages us so much. Sometimes we are in Africa moving around. Like last August with P. Renaldo we moved around the whole country visiting churches and then Kenya and Rwanda. You come back and say yes God is there but you are looking for the Body of Christ to be encouraged and built up. It’s great we keep coming and you talk to us. Thank you, P. Schaller for the ministry of encouraging us so much.
Isaiah 43:1-3. The presence of God.
When you read Is. 43 two things here God is saying to Jacob, 1) Jacob, you are mine, 2) Jacob, I’m yours. Those are two powerful statements. I can live on those two statements the rest of my life. God says you are mine and I’m yours. So what is there that you can fear? That is what the presence of God is all about. The difference between Cain, Moses and David, and both [all] were murderers.
It says Cain in Ge. 4:16 left the presence of God.
We know how he ended in Ge 7 with the flood. He could not pass the floods.
Moses also had murdered in Ex 33:15. He said if your presence doesn’t go with me, I’m going nowhere. He had seen something Cain had not seen. Cain was in the presence of God but had not known it. He left it and seemed to be prospering. He had children and built a city outside the presence of God. Everything was done outside of God’s presence. Moses, we know exactly what happened after. We know what God did. Moses had seen that God’s presence was key in his life. God, let your presence go with me. Same with David. He never wanted to leave the temple of God because something he had discovered in the temple, in the presence of God. When he messed us, he said do not take me away from your presence. All of them were sinners but they have different thinking when it comes to God’s presence. God’s presence is key in our lives. God who is everywhere present for the nation of Israel, he chose his presence to be manifested in the temple. Today, God who is everywhere present has chosen his presence be manifested in the congregation, the Body of Christ, the church. We have the Holy Spirit and that’s the presence of God but where two or three gather in my name, I will be in their midst. Jesus Christ is saying his presence is in the congregation. To be more specific, his presence is more here in the pulpit when his word is opened and preached. We come from where we come from and come to his presence here. We sit down and have different situations but as we hear the word of God, it introduces us to his presence. You came with a problem and didn’t know what to do with it, but because you came in his presence, you hear his word clearly, with undivided attention as P. Stevens used to say. That word brings you to his presence. The problem is still there but you go back with joy. You have found joy in his word. You came weak.
The Bible says in 2 Cor 13 in Christ we have been made weak, but we come and hear his word and go back strong people because we have been in his presence. This is why we keep on coming. God’s presence is in this place. We can say we know it because his word is preached in truth. If we fall, let’s fall right in his presence. Not like Cain who left the presence of God. Do not cast me out of your presence. Let your presence go with me. We have found the presence of God is in this place. We want to see it. It’s there. The word introduces us to that presence and we go back and the pain is there but we don’t feel it. It’s there. As it is in heaven, we say in his presence there is no pain or sorrow.
Is. 43 it looks like even here it can take place in his presence. You will be in the waters, the rivers, the fire but you will not be burned. It looks like even here on earth once in his presence, the fire does not come though it’s there. You don’t feel the fire because you are in his presence.
Let’s keep on coming. When we go back we bring more people because that’s our business. Our business is to bring people to God’s presence.
P. Renaldo Brown
(1 Jn 4) This thought has been underneath the whole service tonight.
vs. 16-17. When I was last here, we mentioned the church is the family of God. That’s a divine reality. It doesn’t change. This is how God looks at us.
Eph 2:15 he sees the one new man. He sees a family. In a family even in a natural family there is something we sense that we don’t say but we sense. Sometimes it alarms us even but we sense it. We’re not supposed to sense it. We don’t even have a name for it. But when it happens, it alarms us, it surprises us, and it shocks us at times. Because it’s the one thing in a family you don’t expect. It’s not what you’re looking for. It’s insecurity. Most of us don’t think about it but we sense it in a family. One of the greatest places in your life for insecurity is in your family. Even in a spiritual family, there’s tremendous insecurity. Insecurity is not the lack of security. It’s the lack of confidence in the security you have. That’s insecurity. Even in the church of God we have insecurity. The reason why our security lacks confidence is based upon a lack of security in God’s love. In a natural family underneath our security is a foundation of love.
2 Tim. 3:2 that love is unstable. It’s selfish. It ends. In the gaps we don’t love each other naturally the way we deserve or need to be loved. In a moment it creates insecurity. In a spiritual family when I’m not loving you the way you need to be loved in a moment, I’m not sitting where you sit and I exited the presence of God in my experience. I’m not living in the Spirit to give you God’s love. I can create an atmosphere between us of insecurity, and you can create that in me. It’s part of our frailty as human beings. We’re fragile. Part of our fragility is that we are insecure. Where there isn’t perfect love, there isn’t perfect security.
But God says in 1 Jn 4:16 there is a divine conclusion. This conclusion is underneath everything we say and believe about God. That we are loved by God. We are loved by God. Before I can begin to show compassion to someone else, I must come to the divine conclusion. For I can’t come to that conclusion for someone else until I’ve come to that conclusion for myself.
Heb. 4:2 I have to mix faith with the divine conclusion that I am loved by God. I am loved by God. Where I am, I am loved by God. Before I sit where anyone else sits, I must first sit in the seat of being loved by God. We engage this by faith because there are so many things around us that rob us of the understanding of being loved by God. We get so familiar with that thought. The divine conclusion.
We can identify with the source of love in 1 Jn 4:8.
We can identify with the choice of love in John 3:16.
We can identify with the reality of God’s love in 1 Jn. 4:16-19. But the divine conclusion, before I ever serve God I have to come to that conclusion. Because that love creates stability. It creates security. You can’t serve God from an insecure position. People always ask me, what’s the first thing you do when you go to a country to plant a church? I first create a secure place to serve God from. I am more interested where I lay my head that where I serve God. You cannot serve from instability. You cannot serve from insecurity. You’ll notice the people that serve the most in the house of God are the ones that are most secure. You can serve from security. In that security is liberty. God’s love provides that. The divine conclusion leads to a personal reality which is that I have a new identity.
We can talk about 2 Cor 5:16-17, how we have a new identity in Christ. But what is that new identity? Where does that new identity in Christ begin? What is the first lesson of the new identity? The divine conclusion. The first thing my new identity tells me is that I’m loved by God. The tip of the spear, the tip of the Gospel is I am loved by God. The first thing God wants to provide is security in the relationship. He wants to tell you I love you. Now let’s begin. And every time I bring my problems I love you. Let’s begin.
When I’m filled with the Holy Spirit in Eph 5:18 the first message is I love you. Now, what’s going on? I love you. Now what do you want to tell me? I love you. Now what have you done? I love you, so where are we going? I love you, so who did what? Before you give me your explanation I want you to stand on this foundation, that I love you. That I love you. So whatever else follows that, know that this is the presupposition for the relationship. I love you. I love you. As a result of the cross, you can experience that. Know that I love you. Even before you become a Christian, know that my first communication is that I love you. I’m not just going to sit where you sit, I’m going to love you as we sit. I’m going to love you where you sit. I’m going to love you if you change where you sit. I’ll love you as you walk away, but I’m loving you walking away.
Like Jacob in Ge. 32. I’m loving you as you walk away. I’m still loving you.
Is 38 I’ll wait for you and love you while I wait for you. I’ll wait your whole life for you to reach this divine conclusion that I love you. The building block to identity in the family is through love. Love tells you your last name. Love tells you your first name. Love says you’re in this family. Love says this is how this family operates. Love becomes the first teaching lesson. When it’s God’s love, the lesson lasts.
Ec. 3:14 what God does he does forever, but he begins the lesson with love. Love shows you your place in the family of God. Love reveals your purpose in the family of God. What good is gifts without love? What good is a calling without love? Where is your security if you don’t have God’s love? That’s why the first message is always that God loves you. We know God by love.
He told Israel De 7:6, I want you to know one thing. I didn’t chose you because you were qualified. Not because you were the biggest or the strongest or the best. I chose you because I loved you. I didn’t even chose you because you loved me. I simple chose you because I loved you. It’s amazing in the church of God particularly with many gifted people, we struggle and we strive for these reputations. We want to be known by a reputation because we refuse to walk in God’s identification. God says I’m giving you a new identity and that identity begins with the fact that I love you. Who are you? You can ask other people. You can ask God. Who are you? For many of us we grew up in a world we were told make your mark in the world. Go to school. Get a job. Get a career. Get a trade. Go you’re your mark in the world. Have children. Get married. Build a reputation then have an identity based on that reputation. God did not say make your mark in the world. God says see my marks at the cross and build your identity on that. Who you are in the family of God is not based on what you do in the world.
J. L. Kraft was a Christian that founded one of the largest food conglomerates in the world and he was an usher in his church. A multi-millionaire would sit you in your seat every day. They didn’t even know who he was. What he did in the house of God had nothing to do with what he did in the world.
Your reputation with God. You have no reputation with God so why worry about reputation with people? We are called by our identity. Find security in your identity not your reputation. Your identity is what God has said. Your reputation is what people say. What do you live by? In the family of God many of us are insecure because we build and chase a reputation instead of standing in faith in our identification. And the identity you build for yourself, if it’s in the flesh, it’s based on your reputation and what you do or it’s based on the cross and what Christ has done will determine your security in the family of God. We have an identity we are loved by God. It takes his love to lead his life. God has given us his love which always leads us to spiritual identity. God’s love always tells you who you are. It takes his love to lead this life. It takes his love to stand in his identity. By his love we have a new identity. Reputations are nice. The problem with reputation is you have no control over it. You can’t control it. You are amazing on Monday and hellish on Thursday. You try to spend your whole life being superman and you’re the villain by Friday! It changes.
Mk 7:6, people will say nice things with their mouth but their heart is far from you.
Lk 6:26, woe when all men speak well of you. If you have a great reputation, God bless you. That’s great. How long will you keep that? Are you here to protect that or are you here to stand in the identity of God? I’m the one as John said five times in the gospels, I am the one in the Bible who is loved by God. That’s my identity. And when that becomes my identity, then I am moved with compassion to reach a lost and dying world. I’m the one loved by God so I am the one that can love with God. And the presence of God will always lead me back to that simple principle. As a sinner who makes mistakes who is loved by God. That’s my identity. In the family of God that gives me security. Without God’s love, you can’t have God’s security. I don’t care how many Bible verses you memorize, how long you’ve been to Bible school.
It is the love of God, the divine conclusion that gives me a personal reality and a spiritual identity to win a lost and dying world.
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