We have been brought into something much greater than this life. We have some secret, none ever know about it unless they come to Christ. Our heifer must be plowed with to know what we know. Judges 14:16-18
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Bailey Norman
Sermon # 11496-19
7:00 PM on 6/27/2018
As I was thinking of our meeting tonight and the amazing people God has brought here from many places, I just wanted to give a shout out to a few people and say praise God. We have come from different parts of the world literally and have heard from Africa, India and so on. It’s been a great time. I was thinking of Donna Parsons from Mexico. How many years have you been in the ministry? 37. This is the first time I remember we ever gave a shout out to you, so don’t hold your breath! You are in our hearts and we love you. P. Jack Driscoll over here from Mexico. Thank you. Donnie Fisher. Fish. Thank you. He was in the class of 1992 of MBC&S. And has served God with his portion and working with Christian Farmers and us and Youngstown, Ohio. He’s a hero. He was healthy, athletic, good looking young man and had a brain aneurysm, a five percent chance of survival and look what happened. He survived. Not only that but serving and serving. He’s always saying it was the greatest class of Bible college. Pastor Jim Lewis. All the Federal Hill people. How about Cape Cod. They put our services on public service TV in Cape Cod. P. Bailey, the Marlboro church.
P. Bailey Norman
Good evening. Give that a minute to sink in. Forgiveness, mercy! Greetings from Marlboro, Mass. Good group of Marborians.
Let’s open in prayer. I want to speak tonight about the way that God has prepared. Does that sound unique? I got the idea somewhere.
Jn 1:15, Titus 3, isn’t that interesting. You can picture him saying that and people looking at him funny. The one coming after me is preferred before me because he was before me. Wait a second. He’s your little cousin and came after you. What do you mean? We’ll answer that shortly.
Titus 3:3…appeared. After that. That’s quite the list in vs. 3. That list is where people live. That list is where the world is. We heard from P. Ben about a spirit of orphan in our world. The world is living here in these characteristics and they are telling themselves they can work their way out of it and it will be okay. The problem with that is we put way too high a premium on us and our abilities. We pay ourselves way too much credit for what we cannot do. The ways of man are lost. Actually the ways man has attempted to get himself up and encourage himself and build himself are quickly discarded. There is a philosophy followed for a bit and discarded because it doesn’t work. You move up the line through the things introduced but none answer the question or give you a way out. We continue to look inwardly. I have hate. How can I make it look I don’t have hate? That’s all they can do. We see a pile of discarded philosophies and way of living and each one we laugh at. You bring an 8 track and bring it to a millennium and they say, what is that? It’s useless. A cassette tape. A Walkman. A dad gave his cassette tape to his 12-year old son and said figure it out. Where is the battery, on switch and speakers? We have a pile of discarded junk behind us and we say it’s useless. We progress to the next thing only to throw that into the pile. After that, something happens. After we find ourselves rummaging through the pile looking for something substantial, something appears but it’s not new. It’s not a reaction to what we can’t do.
Jn 1 it’s a very quick history that starts with the beginning. Someone in the beginning with God and there is purpose, intention, character and fellowship there. It goes forward to us. It goes to John. John is preparing people for someone and something before him but coming after him. Right. It’s interesting. Because it’s coming after John in no way is it a reaction to the inability of us.
From Ge 3 to the Gospels, there are plenty of illustrations to show us Titus 3:3 the malice and hatred and envy. Christ appearing, this sudden unexpected appearing is not in reaction to our inabilities. This appearing was something prepared in God before John, way before John. In the beginning before we were. In the beginning of what? Before the beginning of any beginnings there is God, the fellowship of the Trinity, perfect love, expression. That is when the appearing of Christ is prepared for me. If I can grab an ounce of that, it takes a lot of pressure off of me. To sift through all this stuff and see what fits me best and present myself as good as possible.
What a relief to read this verse in vs. 4. After that. After the frustration and coming to realization of my emptiness, I will be honest and say that pile of stuff is worthless. It has left me with myself and more empty each bite I take. After that, what appears? The kindness and love of God our Savior toward man. This appearing is unexpected on our side. It’s an unexpected appearing.
When we are living the way we are in Titus 3:3, we expect lightning bolts and solid judgments because that’s how we would react. That’s who we are. God is not appearing to us based on who we are. He’s not coming to us based on what we cannot do but based on who he is. Based on what is coming out of him and what is that? Kindness. Kindness is not just a thing. Like I’m feeling bad about myself and he flips a coin at me. Kindness is who he is. His nature of grace is coming to me and giving me an idea that I am not lost if I have him. The love he gives to me is so unconditional. I can take myself out of the equation. We say yeah but, that sounds so good. Jesus sounds so nice but do you know who I am. That has nothing to do with this. I have prepared something long before you ever were. It was in my heart and based on my nature and it has appeared to you. In the fullness of time Christ came. Unexpectedly we expect judgment and lightning bolts. He embraces us with his love. This is before you. This is before you and I have been waiting for you to meet me in this. I don’t care about time and sin. I am here in eternity and waiting to meet you in it so you can be unexpectedly surprised with my kindness and love. Prepared people for something before him but coming after. What a life John had. When he would be seen he would be pointing to something else. The mystery of John was never about John. It was so he could have a billboard of camel hair! As soon as he was born, he would be pointing to someone else. That’s the way we live. We have a way to live now. We have a way that can leave the pile of discarded stuff and embrace something completely different and more excellent above and beyond. It is the kindness and love of God when I least expect it. I expect judgment and he gives me grace. I am dirty. No you’re clean….he does not ask me to come into the picture and say here is my resume. Here is what I am good at. I am meek and lowly. His kindness, no harshness in it. No emotional abuse in it. He’s not pulling me on way to do something with me another way. Come to me. I love you and that’s it. We find a new way of living. It’s motivating. Something prepared for me. It’s not an inconvenience to God. Not an inconvenience I would come and take from him. He doesn’t say slow down. Yes, come. Contrary to what you think. Keep coming and receiving. It’s not an inconvenience for me to give you grace. The joy of my heart is you would receive from me and come running to me when you think you least expect it. I don’t understand grace. When I say I’m doing well, God can I have some. I am beat down and have failure and find myself coming to the throne of grace and he says yes, that’s it. He believes. He trusts in my grace. Do I trust in his grace? The sufficiency of his grace. John is saying you can. It’s not in any reaction to you or an inconvenience to him. It’s what he prepared for you long before. We find a way to live. A new way and we discard the other ways. We end up being like John also. We are pointing on to someone else. He said I am the way, the truth and the life. Do you believe that?
Lift him up in Jn 12 and he will draw all men unto him. We are just doing this and people see us. They see us and say you have an amazing God. You have a powerful God. He has changed you. Look to him and find out for yourself. Taste and see he is so good and kind. He loves you so much. Receive it. It’s prepared for you. It’s not coming in reaction to you. We are not that big that God would do something in reaction to us. He is that big that he would prepare something way before so when I meet him I would know it’s mine. It’s my way. It’s more excellent because you can’t find anything like it. Rummage through the pile and you won’t find anything like it. That’s why we live this way. Amen.
That was an excellent message, P. Bailey. Praise God. Magnifying Christ. What a privilege that is in our lives. To magnify Christ and all the speakers this morning and yesterday just every portion has been amazing. Every portion. P. Ben at night with the rap sessions.
I love to ask P. Ben a question from the O.T. and hear him make a comment. I always learn something.
There are so many portions here. People that have paid such a price in their lives of faith and Christ has given an increase. When we trust God in life, he gives an increase. Not necessarily in pounds or inches or hours or years but he gives an increase in the Spirit. Remember Stephen had wisdom and couldn’t resist his spirit. Like Joseph. Last night we spoke about Jonah and he was really disturbed and angry. God said, doest thou well to be angry Jonah? How are you doing? You’re so angry inside in your heart. Who wrote the book of Jonah? His wife probably! (Laugh). Probably Jonah wrote it. That’s why we love him. He was so honest and said this is what happened to me. At the end of the story, it’s still unresolved. He couldn’t deal with his anger.
This week I know we have been praying for weeks and months for Convention. This is our Chinese New Year. We stop and say what we hear about what God has done and think about it and get our batteries recharged and go back to our homes and countries. The purpose for why we have the message, we have the love we have, the peace and joy we have is given to us to glorify our Savior, Jesus Christ. It glorifies God. We are able to say God is. Bailey said he came before and comes after me. Really the big issue isn’t me. The issue is the one who was before and who is and will come.
P. Ganesh said the other night that Enoch talked with God for 300 years. He started when he was 65. He said he walked with God and was so far along, so far away from his home, he said God I’m closer to your house than mine. Here I am. When Enoch didn’t come home that night his wife got on the phone and called the police station! Have you seen Enoch?
I think there is some truth to this. I decrease and he increases. Who is measuring? None of us could ever measure it but we have a sense we are brought into something a lot bigger than us. I couldn’t battle with meeting temptation but God has done that. I couldn’t deal with my sin but the power of the cross deals with my sin. I couldn’t deal with my loneliness but the Comforter deals with my loneliness. I couldn’t deal with my unbelief but God deals with it by his word. Every time we gather, and you and I as we stumble along and learn grace, we must grow in the nature of God. Here’s a few verses: God is unsearchable.
Remember the verse by Samson and there was a riddle he gave to the Philistines. He said if you can solve this riddle then. He wouldn’t tell them the answer. Didn’t he have a girlfriend? It seemed he always had a girlfriend hanging around. They pressed on him. He gave a seven day window to give an answer to the riddle. I think in this case he told a woman and they gave the answer. If you had not plowed with my heifer, you would not have known that. That little phrase “plow with my heifer,” what does that mean? Surely he’s not talking about his girlfriend?! I wanted to say it this way: you and I would not be here tonight except we have some secret. We have something going on and you would never know about it unless you plow with our heifer. If you knew our secret, but you don’t know our secret. Even though Christ is hanging on the cross, he doesn’t want it to be a secret. He’s hanging from heaven to earth to say to the world I love you but for some reason it remains a secret. If you find Christ, you will find the Bible. If you find Christ, you will find the Body. If you find Christ, you will find the mission. If you find Christ, you will find prayer. If you find Christ, you will find deliverance from sin. If you find Christ, you will find righteousness. If you find Christ you will find the Holy Spirit speaking to you. And you will say you’ll never know what is happening in my life unless you plow with my heifer. You have to find out the secret because it won’t be obvious to you. It’s simply because God hides from the proud. The Lord said he would dwell in the thick darkness. Behold the heaven and highest heavens cannot contain you how much less this house I have built. Unto God I will commit my cause. He has done marvelous things without number. That’s our God. The fish of the sea, the plants, stars, sky. Our God. It’s fun to say it. Our God. Our Father in heaven. There are secrets about him. He holds back the face of the throne and spreads his cloud upon it. These are parts of his ways. How little a portion is heard of him? How little people speak about God. How little is known about God in this world we live in. How much people talk about life and creation but they don’t have much to say about the Creator. We know the Creator and we know his words and we can speak and speak and Paul said we are declaring the unspeakable God whose ways are past finding out. Who dwells in the darkness and gives riddles in life and can’t figure it out? If you plow with our heifer, you will find it out. God is great. Neither can the number of his years be searched out.
Job 37:5, we cannot find him out touching the Almighty. Thy way is in the sea and thy path in the great waters. Thy footsteps are not known. Yes, they are. His footsteps are known. We read in the gospels. Jesus is walking along the Jordan. He is walking along the Sea of Galilee. Yes, we see his footsteps. His footsteps we see in the Messiah. Messiah came so the invisible God would be tangible. Hear so it’s ringing in our ears and understand something about his love and grace and freedom. They enjoyed being with Jesus. He said I must go to my Father. We will go with him. Where is he going? I can’t tear myself away from him. Some mystical bond existing between us and him. Our God is personal. God that does make known his ways unto men. Oh Lord how great are your works.
Your thoughts are very deep, Ps 92:5. One of the reasons you spend a thousand or two thousand to come to Baltimore is because you hear thoughts that are deep. The reason you come and put it in your calendar is because there is a riddle in the universe and nobody can figure it out unless you plow with our heifer. Our God is not afraid to reveal his secrets to us.
De 29:29, given unto you and your children. We had 67 one-year olds in the nursery and 47 this morning! And they are crawling all over the place. We have a future as a church! By God’s grace.
If a secret goes into you and it’s deep. His thoughts are deep and his ways are not the ways of men then there is something fascinating you never get bored with. Something fresh that resonates in your heart. Something compels you. Jonah, doest thou well to be angry? I love the kindness of God. Are you happy? I was visiting a country and went for a walk with one of our missionaries and knew he was struggling and I asked are you happy. He said I was shocked by your simple question. I had to search my heart. I don’t think really I am. I’m not really happy. There is a struggle going on in my heart. We are there in life in different places and we understand this. If that is the case with you, it may happen for a period of time but ultimately you can’t live an unhappy life. God has not ordained for you to be unhappy or bored with life, to be in bondage to your emotions, fear, bad habits, and your miserable self. And my miserable self.
Ps 77:18 your way is in the sea.
Ps 139:6, such K is too wonderful for me. When he is talking about God knowing everything. God knows everything. We tell the story about Jesus visiting my house. We clean up the house and throw the junk in the back room and give the impression we are organized and clean. Jesus says beautiful place. How about the back room? Lord, everything is good. He goes, I don’t have much to do with you unless I can get into the back room. Lord, wash my feet, my head. Wash me thoroughly. Know me inside and out. Go through the whole house. It’s all yours. I cannot hide anything from the Almighty God. Why would I hide my anger, my habit of evil speaking, my tongue, and my problems with people? Why couldn’t I see God put my house, my spiritual soul in order? Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. He will help us. He will straighten us out. He will guide us. I think when we know who God is, we find such joy in it. When we find out God is loving me and caring for me, I have so much joy in that. God, there are riddles in the universe and God is including me. He will show me and help me like Job. I would like to live like an angel like Jesus said. He said to the Sadducees that men don’t get married in heaven. They are like the angels of God. Don’t misunderstand my theology. I’m trying to say I am more like an angel tonight than an animal. I’m more like the son of God than an animal. Some live like an alley cat. They go from one relationship to another without any conscience. This happened in the pagan Roman Empire, that holiness gets a grip on you and you start to love God and find holiness is more important to me than happiness. It’s an offshoot of holiness but pain sometimes comes with holiness and the sacrificial life. When you have holiness, it eclipses everything. When I have to carry an 80 pound bag of concrete out of Home Depot and put it in my truck – Ugh! Then I get the wrong kind – Ugh! Then I have to go back – Ugh! 80 pounds. And do that a couple times and 80 pounds becomes more and more heavy. If you have an 80 pound child and that child falls down and is hurt and you have to pick them up and run to the hospital, it doesn’t feel like 80 pounds. It’s nothing. It’s not the 80 pounds or the suffering or sacrifice or giving of money or loss of time, – all that changes when you realize what is behind it. The God of the universe has called us into his service and shares his secrets with us. He promises he will never leave us or forsake us. He will never stop talking to us and giving us what we need. We go through life and say it isn’t hard. Our heavenly Father is a holy God, an awesome God, and a sufficient God. Jonah, your anger is like an iron weight that will take you down and down. Doest thou well to be angry? Why don’t you give up your life, Jonah? Why don’t you forget about the small things? Why don’t you sacrifice something and endure some problems? Take your biases to the cross. Doest thou well to be a miser, a pornographer, deceitful? It’s not Styrofoam. It floats to the top of the water. A life jacket goes to the top. My self-life collapses under the weight of myself. That’s why Satan’s kingdom will not endure. The lies of the devil collapse under its own weight. Our God is not like that. He’s not egocentric. He is living, loving, sacrificial, infinitely good Almighty God. Let’s finish here. Who has ascended up into heaven or descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fist, bound the waters in a garment, and established the ends of the earth? What is his name and what is his son’s name if you can tell?
Prov 30:4 did you hear it? Our God and the power of our God. What is his name? Yahweh, Elohim, Jehovah Jireh. Our God, the Almighty God, the door, the way, the Shepherd, the answer, the captain of our salvation. What is God’s name and what is his son’s name? Jesus. Jesus Christ. If you plow with our heifer, you’ll find out the secrets. There is a purpose here bigger than my paycheck and a value bigger than my self-life and greater than the gourd that will wither and die anyway. There are the souls of men that want to know about God. The people in the world swear using his name and say some small thing but we can live so we don’t stop talking.
He that heareth, 2 Cor 4, Paul said it, if we hear, we believe, we will speak. That’s why I have full confidence there are evangelists here and messengers and quietly it comes out of our hearts and mouths. People take a second look and say are you a believer? Yes I am. You say it whatever way God puts it in your heart. We are so privileged to speak about it and to love him. To gather and be refreshed and restored. Our life is not in vain. We are part of something that touches parts of the world. (He’s naming many pastors). Not to say their wives are not great heroes. The wives of these men behind the men and saying in the bedroom and kitchen, honey that was a great message. Honey, God is with us. Honey, let’s go to the Convention. Thank you. I don’t want people coming here and thinking we are some kind of great people. Oh those are the spiritual people or the great saints or I could never live like those people. I don’t want you to think like that. We are as bad as anyone. We have a wicked heart like anybody. None of us should be here. I’m not saying we are hypocrites. We have a sin nature like everyone does.
God says I will give you grace and help you. We are those kind of people that go back to God and get grace. A puppy dog we had in Hungary – I would get dressed to go to church and he would come up and fly up my leg. I’d try to get rid of him and he’d come back stronger than ever! That dog went after me and I said you are like God. You will not give up on me. You will come at me and after me and never fail me. I want to be like you. I’m coming after you God. You are the God of all grace and you’ll never fail to love me with your everlasting love.
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