We lose all effectiveness in life and ministry when forsake ours sense of mystery. What God does and is doing is beyond us. Let’s hold fast to this and move in Him. (1 Timothy 3:15-16)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Steve Scibelli
Sermon # 11310
6:30 PM on 8/6/2017
We had a beautiful service this morning that God’s arms are not shortened. We had a Greek goddess (picture on screen). The man that wrote that piece fell down in despair and this stone without arms could not reach down but God’s hands are not shortened. They are real and they go to our life. That’s powerful. This is so great that God is reaching very far and goes all the way down to Jonah in the fish, Peter who denied him, the woman of prostitution, all the way in the city of Baltimore and the dear people that have problems that we know about. Even us that have been believers for decades I need a fresh slice of bread. I need more.
2 Cor 8. My mom is sitting over here. Two great women in my life. My wife is over here and my mother is over here. How can life be better? My mom is 95 years old. Her mom lived a long time, also. I have sometimes said if my mother would pull up in the car and say your mother is here. I said what? The whole thing changes. It’s not so much where am I going but it’s more a relationship with my mom. She says get in the car. Where are we going? Does it matter? I am here. Your mother is here. I love my mom. Amazing. Really. The point I’m saying is relationships are powerful. Relationships change our lives. Not that everything is perfect but there is love, relationship. Our God wants to have a relationships with us. He wants to have a relationship where we trust him. He’s so hungry for a relationship that he gave his Son that we would have this relationship with the Holy Spirit, with Christ the Son of God and the Bible the H.S. wrote. Where are you going? I don’t know but I’m with Jesus. What will happen in your future? I don’t know but I have Jesus. Life has changed from do this to don’t do that to love. We follow God with love.
The three mighty men just heard David say I’m thirsty and they were gone. They got through the barricade and went in secret and got the water. David remembered the water and the well in Bethlehem. They went and got what was on his heart. If we could find what is on God’s heart then we would find God and his Spirit and work, his way, his love, his fellowship. We know what that is.
2 Cor 8:11 we’ve all had good intentions but did we do it. We all have said I would do this or that but I don’t perform it.
vs. 12. If there is a willing mind. You’ve heard someone say if I won the lottery, I’d give half to the church. What’s in your pocket? $2. Does the same principle apply? When I got so little, it’s different. Ten percent of $2 is twenty cents. Can you give that? I’m very generous but it’s not in my budget. We got to put it in our budget.
Will a man rob God? Anyone been broken into your apartment or home and anything stolen? In Finland I had my foot touching my bag and when I hung up phone, my bag was gone. That’s how numb my foot was. Probably you don’t steal. Maybe some of you do. Maybe more of you steal from God. Will a man rob God? How do we rob you? Tithes and offerings.
Mal 3. There is a willing mind but is there a performance? That’s the thing I have the problem with. I have a lot of good ideas but can I get it done, can I execute it? We all have this thing. I’m so happy I’m learning to trust in God. Lord, I’d like to do this but could you make sure I do it. Would you move me to do it? Many of us have been tested and tried and failed. At the same time, we have found the joy of walking by faith. Peter saw Jesus walking on the water. I don’t know how it got in Peter’s mind. Jesus, call me. You’re cool. Peter, you’re a cool guy. You’re wild. You’re crazy. You want to walk on water too. Yeah! Call me. Come Peter. He gets on the water. It’s a lake, it’s deep. Was it spongy? Were his feet on the top or six inches in the water? We don’t know. The reality of what happened, he walked on the water and went out there. A willing mind and also a performance, the execution, the doing of it. I’m saying it to inspire and encourage us. I believe it with all my heart. I believe in tithing with all my heart. I can’t even believe how many good things happen in my life. There is something good about tithing. As a missionary living on very little but we always had what we needed and we believed God is part of our life in this area. I don’t get the speeding ticket or someone has an extra something. Or someone gave me a car twice. I don’t know it works or maybe even you have longer life. I’m not saying tithe and you’ll live longer. I’m saying there is something about this book which is amazing. When we get it in our spirit and heart not only have a willing mind but a performance of it. It’s beautiful, edifying.
Mom, I’m so glad you are here. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it but I am. She did pull up. She hasn’t yet said get in the car but that’s going to come. I’m so thankful for that. Thank you for your prayers and love. After the service don’t attack her!
1 Timothy 3. I want to speak about the mystery. Something on my mind almost the whole journey in W. Africa. When we fellowship with the mystery, we are delivered from being familiar or seeing things as common.
1 Tim 3:15 God is looking for certain type of behavior in his house. vs. 16. No controversy involved here. Nothing complicated about it.
In 1991, I was pushing through these high bush jungle areas with 8 or 9 other people. We came upon a village. There was an elderly woman in the village who could have been 100 years old. People live that long in villages. I was playing with this mirror and I showed her the mirror and she started screaming. She had never seen herself. There are no mirrors and no clear water to see your reflection. That was the first time she ever saw herself. She must have thought that was miraculous. I kind of thought it was. I gave her the mirror to keep. What she looked like for her was a mystery to her. When she found out she was shocked. Maybe I should have brought it 60 years earlier.
God speaks about his life, his work, his will, his purpose as it is a mystery. Great is the mystery of godliness. When I find myself losing touch with the mystery and think in the natural in a common way or a familiar spirit. Think of the people who forgot about the mystery of godliness and became familiar. King Saul became familiar with God, David, and sacrifice. All of a sudden he lost the kingdom cause not in tune and fellowship with the mystery. In David’s life, it didn’t happen often. He really knew the mystery of godliness. As we live in this world and fellowship and are around people all the round, it’s easy for familiar spirits to come in and we lose the effectiveness and the life and power of the mystery of God. It’s a mystery how we are in all the world with the Gospel. Are you here tonight? It’s amazing.
For a little town in Maine many years ago, now we are in 80 countries with 656 churches. That is a spiritual mystery. We can look at ourselves and the finances. From this church has come an incredible move of God. Just like the Moravians there was something so miraculous and mysterious.
A person came up to me today and said do you remember when I prayed that I would get pregnant? Guess what, I’m going to have a child. Isn’t prayer a mystery? We pray things will take place that would seem uncommon or unusual and then God comes in with the mystery of godliness. God comes in with the mystery of godliness and its phenomena. 170 church we planted in W. Africa. It’s a mystery.
I was thinking I made a mistake in going to a certain country in West Africa. I set my heart and mind on Liberia and ended up in Ghana. It was a mystery how I stayed there without a visa. No authority from anyone to be in the country but through the mystery of godliness God kept us there.
Paul says great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh. God became a man. I don’t want to be familiar with the truth God became a man. Do you think you could understand that? We receive it by faith. To me it is a mystery of godliness. Paul throughout the Scripture is speaking about the mystery. He doesn’t want his churches to become familiar and treated as common that which is of God and sourced in God himself. We wouldn’t look at it in a common way. They can take it or leave God’s Bible or Word, the H.S. leading. Take or leave prayer. It has become common and no longer fellowshipping with the mystery. Paul spoke much about it. In Ephesians he used it 6 or 7 times.
Eph 1:9 the mystery of God’s will. What are we doing in Baltimore? It’s the mystery of God’s will. There we were in Massachusetts. One day it was “let’s go.” It was a mystery. You can talk about all the why’s and if’s but beyond all the natural and circumstances, God had the mystery of his will for this ministry. It is the mystery of his will. Not my will but thine be done. I never even traveled to Africa or thought about it. Never wanted to pray about it and the mystery of his will took over. When I fellowship with the mystery, Paul says I want you to know about the mystery of godliness.
Eph 3:2-8 I’ve been given the grace of God, the stewardship. It’s a mystery what the grace of God can do in our live, how it saves us, sends us, delivers us, gives us hope, put us on the street, operating in the fellowship. It’s a mystery. Marriage! I was thinking of my wife. She’s amazing. No one else could every handle someone like me. That’s a mystery. No one can cook like her either, Oliver! He’s trying to compare a meatball he made to my wife’s. I love you Oliver but you’re going a little over the edge!
Marriage is a mystery, Eph 5:32. Christ and the church. The way marriages are going, – I love how P. Schaller edified his mother and wife. Not looking at it as common or familiar. Our relationships in the church are a mystery. We can take a look at members and everyone is so unique and different. We are the Body of Christ. Are you with me tonight? It’s a mystery. We are the Body of Christ. We are attached to the head. We are his flesh and bones. We have communion with God. What a mystery the Body is.
Paul said I don’t mind suffering for the Body sake, Col 1:27-28. The mystery of the Body of Christ. Some play church. A lot of churches out there positionally are the Body but never experience the fellowship of the mystery. We don’t want to look at people through their osn. Know no person after the flesh requires an understanding of the mystery. The mystery. It’s a mystery.
We have the mystery of the Gospel, Eph 6:19. We go out and share the Gospel with people. We met people at the market yesterday. Driving is a mystery for me! I know how to get from here to my house. If you ask me to go anywhere else, I need a driver. I don’t want to clog my mind with that detail. I don’t want to put a lot of things in there that don’t need to be there. So I’m always lost. It’s a mystery! This is amazing. Our relationships, our fellowship, our life.
Isn’t it a mystery God could use Noah to build an ark. He builds an ark and 8 people are saved. What a mystery God saves Noah and his family. God calls an idolater from the Ur of Chaldees and uses him to bless everyone. You talk to Muslims and they talk about Abraham. The Jews, Abraham. Christians, Abraham. He made his name great. God plucks him out and uses him to bless nations. It’s a mystery God could take crooked Jacob. He stole the blessing and birthright. He was a double thief. God could use him was a mystery. The sons of Jacob. Mystery God could change his life. He could walk with a limp. It’s a mystery God can use a murderer like Moses. That’s not something reasonable or natural. That’s a mystery. It’s a mystery that Israel exists today all the way back to Exodus. That’s not normal or natural. It’s a mystery. It’s incredible. That the walls of Jericho would come down. Does that happen every day? Why because it’s a mystery. Going through the Red Sea is a mystery. Going through the Jordan is a mystery.
When I lose sight of that. “It’s another day, another Monday, another week.” It’s a mystery. Every day we can have fellowship with the mystery of godliness. We can wait on God and see what God will do. Every day is exciting. It’s amazing. I’d be thinking of today in a different want if I knew it was my last. I want to go home with the Lord by falling over dead in the pulpit. Not tonight God! It did happen one time. I went down face first right in the dirt. I was preaching a message. And my last words were what more could be done in the vineyard that hasn’t been done. And I went down. Blood pressure and stroke. Doctor said it’s amazing you are living. It’s a mystery! I couldn’t get the words out because I was out of it. People prayed and healing came. God connected all the synapses in the pulpit and I was delivered.
Another mystery is the mystery of iniquity in 2 Tim 2:7 does already work. It’s a mystery how we can lose our attention very quickly. Everyone gets saved and he is angry. One person goes to a city and everyone is born again. That’s a mystery. P. Schaller was talking about the lake. Jesus did five miracles on Peter’s lake. He brought him into the fellowship of the mystery. He could take James and John, sons of thunder, and transform their lives. Anyone out there God can’t change? Take the worst person in Baltimore, in America, in the world and God can change them through the mystery of godliness.
The mystery of an earthquake in Acts 16.
Acts 2 when the Spirit came down and 120 became 5,000. Is that common, natural and happens every day? No. We fellowship with the mystery. When I read the Bible do I see the mystery of the WOG? God loves me. That’s a mystery. Even when you don’t like God, he loves you. That’s a mystery. We can see in our lives these things taking place. We don’t want to lose touch for believing God for something of the mystery.
Can it change a marriage, an individual? Can it take a thorn, and can it remove a besetting sin? When we say she’s always been like that, he’s always been like that…you are not in a place where you are fellowshipping in a mystery. A woman at a well starts a revival. Philip went there and reaped from seeds sown by her. It’s a mystery he rose from the dead. J.C. rose from the dead. That means for me there is no death. Halleluiah. You will never die. Physically that’s something but spirit and soul forever. I will never die. That’s a mystery of godliness. How many out there in this world there is a fear of death.
We have the mystery of God’s life, the mystery of God changing my finances. We had a difficult situation in Togo. A lot of expenses to bring people and feed and house them. The pastor said you won’t believe the offering we need on Sunday morning and Sunday night. It was a mystery offering. It came in more than we needed. It was like a football field of people. I had to walk up and down a bit. I wanted to make sure I had facial touch with people in the back. How is God doing this in Togo? A country controlled by a dictator, lowest poverty rate. Average person makes $50 a month. To see what God did and grab ahold of the mystery.
I want to have fellowship with the mystery. Let’s not live in that which is familiar. Ananias and Sapphira became familiar with the mystery. They did something they should not have done. It happened to Miriam and Aaron a bit. I don’t want to talk about any other believer because there is the mystery of their life, the Body.
Let’s be a people who fellowship with the mystery. Great is the mystery of godliness. As we close, let’s believe God and meditate on the mysteries of God. Never become in a place where everything is so common and natural we don’t fellowship in the mystery, who the Body of Christ is, the messages we have and what is our eternal purpose.
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