Reveal Christ: Whim, Wisdom and Discernment

Living by impulse and notion can bring us to trouble. We need to live in faith with fruitfulness and grace. We can be free from the influence of darkness and live in His Light. (Ecclesiastes 10:1; Ephesians 5:1-16)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11409
11:00 AM on 1/28/2018

 

P. Schaller

When Jesus came the first time, there was a Bible prophecy and people were aware he was coming. He did his work and left and sent us in the world. We are on a mission and Christ is coming back. He’s coming! Yell it from the roof tops. We are reading the tea leaves – no, no, sorry! We are reading the Scriptures and the times we are living in. We are in a good place. After the message, we will have the water baptism.

Ec. 10:1, First of all, it’s so important you would know you are born again, a child of God and the H.S. is your teacher. He makes us different. The H.S. is our teacher and when we are here listening and learning to live by faith, the Bible is open to you and you decide how you live, think, and what is important to you. Our new birth, the gift of God, the presence of God in our life and the Spirit moving in our hearts. Do you know the Holy Spirit affects your life? Do you know that personally? Do you know that? What are some of the things you are saying? H.S. peace, filling, guidance, rest, conviction, holiness, godliness, new set of values. Something is important to me and I’m following God and believing God. H.S. is God and he’s with us and he’s our teacher. And we learn. Some of the things we will say today are very important for us. Here is a person’s life.

Many people live their life with reference that is like 2 Tim 3:1-6 (ESV). Lovers of self. They’ll take selfies! Did you see my new shoes on the social media? My dog, my lobster dinner. We have fun with it. Don’t worry about it, but it’s deeper than that.

Barbara Walters did a TV program. One 18th century English writer said “the supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things. That sounds like the book of Proverbs. The power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit and prefer the good and genuine to the bad and counterfeit.”

I’m reading from Chuck Coulson who wrote this piece quoting from Barbara Walters. “The alarm has sounded” she said, “the clock is ticking but most of us are still asleep. Nuclear threat? No. Acid rain? An epidemic? No. Walters was referring to the deterioration of American education. Test scores are plummeting, she said. Most high school students she surveyed thought the Holocaust was a Jewish holiday. Many could not locate the United States on a world map. Others had never heard of the Federalist papers. But Walters to her credit probed beyond academic performance. The real crisis she argued is one of character. Today’s high school seniors live in a world of misplaced values. They have no sense of disciple, no goals, they care only for themselves. In short they are becoming a generation of undisciplined, cultural barbarians.”

This is just a commentary, but I want to use it to set our reference for what we want to say. What we want to say we hope will be helpful because the Holy Spirit is our teacher. The world many live in is this one where my reference or when we say whim and making decisions. Whim, notion, fancy, idea, impulse, urge, craze, passion, bent, inclination, fickleness, volatility. We all know what it is to make a decision on a whim. I went to the movie, got in the car, and went to eat. Did it spontaneously. Spontaneity is part of my life, and I enjoy it but at the same time there is a reference that is bigger than us and what people say. Paul said to Timothy and the Lord will give you understanding. We’re too small and shallow if I build my life on what I’m feeling at the moment. We have been born again into a kingdom that speaks to us. There are areas where we need help.

Three areas we need help in.

1) Our financial, material life. Paying bills, credit cards, buying things, borrowing, having a budget. We could live financially on a whim, impulsively. We know how dangerous it can be. We need some reference behind how I manage my finances because it will get me. I’ll be in debt. We are pretty serious about that area of our life. What is my reference?

2) My speech, my communication. One reason I’m against alcohol is because I know how it loosens the tongue. Relationships suffer because of people that drink. They wake up the next morning and say did I say that? Now it’s a strange relationship. Many reasons I’m not for alcohol. My point is speech, social media, communication. I can’t just write an email on a whim. I can’t just sit down in a room and write on Facebook some criticism or some opinion that is immature or based on something shallower like me and my opinion, what I feel about it or think.

3) Need for depth of understanding. What am I saying? Why am I saying it? What is it I’m not saying? My relationships with the people I love. My children, friends, my church. God’s people. When we live only whimsically or emotionally or by notions, then we can find a better way. That’s our subject.

Eph 5:1-3. Sexual immorality. You can’t talk about that. You can’t talk about sexual immorality. That’s old fashioned or something. And believers. If you talk about those issues believers react to it. That’s why it’s written. By the way, this is a pagan world. This is the Roman Empire. Sexual immorality was everywhere. Homosexuality, lesbianism, adultery, temples where you go to have sex with prostitutes. Christianity should not have survived because it is seemingly so narrow. What? One woman. What? One woman? Some countries that we have lived in talked to us with that attitude. Like, not in our country. We have our wife and then we have another woman. That’s normal. At least two women. And these are people that come to the church. And this is the culture they live in.

vs. 3. It shouldn’t even be one time named among you. We don’t do that. How did that happen? Holy Spirit. How has the Holy Spirit led you? How has the H.S. given you peace, been your teacher, guided you in this amazing way that only God can explain. Be imitators of me and followers of God. I can’t do that but the H.S. can.

vs. 4. I go on my iPhone and look up comedians and get a laugh or two and it’s filthy. The guy is making jokes and is talking about sex and mocking and the crowd is laughing. They laugh but we don’t laugh. They listen to the garbage but we don’t. It’s crude, ungodly, doesn’t edify. Amongst ourselves we are not talking like that. We have something higher. She sang it. Fire burning in my heart. Higher, higher. Barbara Walters said it. The problem is not only academics but lack of discernment, goals, discipline, and focus. We ride on the waves of spiritual movements. Whenever there is a revival there is a birth like people like you and I. I would not be living this way except the Holy Spirit did it. You also. You would not be living this way except the Holy Spirit did it. I hope this will be helpful and we will hit you where you are living by the end of the message. Put your helmet on and seat belt and get ready.

vs. 5-6. Deception is the word of the age. There is a lot of deception in our world even to the point where a man doesn’t know if he’s a man or woman. That’s got to be crazy. I feel sorry for a person who has so much confusion that they would not know that. Believers confuse love with truth, R with grace. They think you can have love without truth. You can’t have them separated. Grace and truth came through J.C. This little world people live in, they live in their notions and feelings and look for sympathy. When you say to the banker I have $5,842 in the bank. The banker says not according to our records. You got $2428. No, no, no. You’re hurting my feelings. The banker says have a good day! I hope you get over it. The banker has no sympathy on you. The engineer has no sympathy on how you build your buildings in a crummy way. The technical engineers that are doing all these incredible things with our technology, they cannot lie. Why can I lie? God is saying I don’t want you to live in a lie. I will guide you, teach you, and show you. You better get ready because I’m going to be in contest with your whims and notions that you are building your life on. There is nobody that suffers for this except you and the people around you.

Eph 5:6-7 one time you were darkness. Don’t go back to it. God was present in your life and you enjoyed it very much. It encouraged you.

vs. 8-10 try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Here are some areas: I want to discern how I use my time. Help me with my time. I only have so much. Help me to discern your Spirit leading me in how I use my time, my life. Try to discern. I think it means it’s not always easy for me to see it. It’s not always obvious to me what the will of the Lord is. I was attracted to a woman when I was single. It was a real thing but I had to try to discern. My world could easily – I would be with that woman. That would be me. But halleluiah. Thank you God. Praise you God. Try to discern. There is something here, a reference here that has to govern our whims, our feelings, our notions, our movements as people. I have to bring it to the cross. Lord, you know who I am and I need help in these areas. It can be relationships or the use of money. How many take the $14 we saved all year and went to the mall and blew it. How about areas of recreation or entertainment. How about the Nike slogan, “Just do it.” I don’t know what they mean by that. That could be said when you have the gear on and you are on the edge of the cliff. Just do it. Ah! Extreme sports. You better get some content, me and you, for a reference for what we are doing. I’m not going to just do it. I might die if I just do it. Where does it bring me?

Prov 6 and 7. Proverbs is telling us about getting wisdom or I might end up in hell and suffer much in this life. God does allow us. I’m not saying we are not sinners but trying to give guidance and counsel to all of us. We have a challenging life God has given us and he’s saying try to discern.

vs. 11. Phil Kaplan said the phrase to me, “whistle blower.” The Holy Spirit is saying whistle blower. Whistle blower. The king has no clothes on. You know that fable. I think it was Danish. The tailor made these special clothes for the king but the king believed a lie. He was naked or had on underwear. Your clothes are beautiful. The king is believing a lie that he has beautiful clothes on. They are afraid of offending the king. A little boy comes in the crowd and says the king has no clothes on. The whole thing is over. The balloon is over. The lie is recognized. The little boy blew the whistle and said “lie.” You and I as believers are not self-righteous or live in arrogance or feel we are any better than anybody. You and I are not better than anybody in this world. But if by his grace he has anointed you and is teaching you and you are finding God’s love and R, then you have something to say to people that are believing a lie that is hurting them. It is hurting them. It’s a lie. There are lies hurting people on many levels. We are whistle blowers. In an office, government, family, let’s not coach each other in a lie. If we have differences – we do – but I’m not going to believe a lie. You can correct me. We all have some blind spots but at least we have the Spirit of God saying to us make manifest the darkness by living in the light. Manifest the way by living in the person, the reality, the passion, the attractiveness. Word KALOS, good in the Greek. The word “good” is not only moral but it is good in that it is attractive. It’s appealing to you. Good fruit, good doctrine. Something attractive about it. Christ did good things. Good things not only morally good. Good doctrine, fruit, goodness of God.

vs. 14.-15. I have to walk circumspectly, carefully. Walk alert, watchful, guarded, vigilant, suspicious, judicious, or leery. When I see the error, I recognize where it is. Some of our folks that have been in our church that have fallen into drug addiction. We do all we can to help them out. This sharing and preaching is what is needed. Billy Graham will be 100 this year. Our hero. He said I would not be with a woman alone in an elevator. If there is one woman on an elevator, he would not get on it. We celebrate this godly man and thank your that this happened. This is a reference that is different in my thinking. This is what we teach our pastors. Pastors fall by attraction to the opposite sex but by God’s grace we walk realizing it can happen to any of us. Making a margin or guard and that is based on something more than whimsical living but premeditated, deliberate doctrinal reference for our lives. Making the best use of the time.

vs. 16. We’ll close with this story. My wife comes at 9 and then she is not here at 11 usually. She asks me later how was the 11. It just came together. It was awesome. Was the 11 better than the 9? I think it was! Right now I’m feeling the 9 was better!

Story I heard a preacher share. He tells a story about a man who is tired, works all day, drives home, and had a rough day at the office. Has his wife at home and three children. He’s in bumper to bumper traffic. Drives home and thinking about comfort. When I get home, I’m going to take a shower, lazy boy chair, my wife has the dinner. Go to sleep early. Football game, sit back with clicker, ice water. Thinking of the comfort he is anticipating. Because he is a believer, he makes another decision about his thinking. He starts to say, comfort, you are not my God. God, you are my God. I know you are the God of comfort. You comfort people but it’s more. You are God for me. You are the everlasting God. You can quicken me in my trouble. You can cause me to help my family. Comfort is my god. Pulls into the driveway. Wife is on the front porch. Her hair is half burned off, has a frying pan, one of the kids is half naked. She’s yelling and screaming. Inside the dinner is on fire. I’ve had a terrible day to day. So glad you are home. Deal with the kids, prepare your own dinner. The TV is broken. This is a problem for us. When our world is based on comfort you are my God, you know what he will say. You are to be here for me. You are to be feeding me, helping me, making my world a good world. This is my God. Comfort is my God. We live with perhaps too small of a concept. Comfort, you are not my God. I have a bigger God. H.S. you must be my teacher, my guide, and my counselor, my wisdom and my way. You will lead me into being a church member, a Body of Christ member. You will use me as a servant. You are in all these details. He wheels into the driveway. Same scenario. Wife is in distress and he says, what can I do to help you? I am here to serve you. What can I do? Don’t worry honey, I’m here. God is with us. Our God is a living God. We suffer a lot because we live by whims and notions and opinions and ideas. My life and I love myself and it has to be my world. I’m saying it to myself. I love the thought of it. Help us be Spirit-filled and know who you are. The guy gets out of the car. He starts solving the problem. He hugs each child. Tells the wife, go for a walk. I’ll make dinner.

There is another spirit there. That will help us immensely. That will give us the character needed in a selfish world. H.S. is there with us as we learn these things and the doctrine becomes the reference and the ministry becomes real. You start to think God is real. It is a joy. Lord, thank you. Help me. Redeem the time. Use the time. Bring a blessing. Do not be deceived. Lord, your way and be edified in it.
 


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.

 

 

Post a comment