Are we in tune with what we are saying? We are on a sacred mission. Pay those vows — they are little steps that help grow into maturity. (Psalm 62)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11576
7:30 PM on 11/14/2018
That was Jasmine from GGCA last year and this year in Bible college, MBC&S. We’re so proud of her. Remember that song you sang? Was it at graduation? Spring concert. What was the name of it? Accentuate the Positive. We could have heard that tonight too but that was better. Wasn’t that a great song?
I feel like praising God tonight. Praise God. Exalt God. This is a praise God meeting. Enter his courts with praise and come before him with singing. That’s what we did in the beginning. Did you notice that? We entered before God. We have a lot to be thankful for. We praise God with our hearts tonight. I want the H.S. to speak to us. How about you? You could say, Pastor Schaller, we heard enough of you! We need the H.S. to speak. Could we turn it up a little bit? Say to your neighbor, I forgive you! How many of you would say that instruction was a prophetic word? There’s a lot of healing going on right here in this church. I’ve been waiting for you to say that!
Ps. 66, a couple short points to make. I was thinking today as I went for a walk and was praying and thinking about the meeting tonight, the little things that make a big difference in life. The little things that we do. The small things that we think are not important or the small things that we do like singing. Singing a song. Like saying I forgive you or saying a prayer. Or putting a dollar in the offering. A small thing. Of course, we want more than a dollar from you! We want all of it okay! Everything! There’s the story about Samson when his eyes were gouged out, and he was arrested by the Philistines and put in the mill house. They were torturing him and a little boy – Samson said, where are the pillars? A little boy put his hands on the pillars. And it doesn’t say anything more about that little boy. But Samson pushed and the house came down. And I was thinking there are times when we need a little thing that will make a big difference. Like a little boy. Like the little boy and five loaves and two fish. That’s what he had and Christ said that’s what I need. That’s all I need. That’s enough.
Luke 16 says if we are faithful in little things, then we will also be faithful in big things. We have $10 that we are steward of and we can be faithful with a lot more. If we are faithful before God in saying Lord, I am not a soul winner, or I am not opening my mouth as I ought to. I’m running in the routines of life and I’ve stopped talking to people. I’ve stopped listening to people. I’ve stopped caring about people. And in that little prayer, there is our Heavenly Father that hears. And he says, go by faith. Doubtless you will come back with joy and bring your sheaves with you. This is the holiday season and sometimes we get buried with the immensity of it. Actually, in the election in our politics in our country, you could feel buried by all of this information or news or disappointments. You like to think of it that way maybe or it’s so big and powerful. But our lives are not lived on those dimensions. We have found a secret place, a hiding place and it does move mountains. We can pray and get somebody elected. I believe in that.
I mean look at this work that started 60 years ago in Maine with a vision 45 years ago to go into all the world with the gospel. And we started to go to the church because the pastor was on fire. And he would teach us the Bible, not just one chapter here and another one there and then a commentary on the social injustice or psychology or something, but the Bible was speaking. I came from New York. Scott Robinson came from Oklahoma. David Bennett came from California. God was bringing a group of people to a small town in Maine with a vision. The pastor said go to church. It’s not enough to go once a week. You go twice on Sunday. You go a third time on Wednesday and if you can go every day, go every day. Have high dosage of this Bible in your heart because if you don’t, you may be filled with many other things.
People are filled with a lot of knowledge today, but they lack conviction, wisdom, quietness, solitude. Loneliness is different from solitude. I like to be alone, but I’m not a lone when I’m alone because God is with us. We are not lonely because we are in the presence of God. It is a small thing in the eyes of the world but it is a big thing in our mind to be in God’s presence. Small things done with big hearts. Small things that the world never notices. But God is in it when Ruth goes back to Bethlehem, when Esther is the queen in Persia, spiders in king’s palaces. It’s a small thing Paul is smitten on the ground and he looks up. What must I do, Lord. God meets Paul and he becomes a man who does small things with the right spirit, with the right heart. God is checking him, leading him, correcting him, and using him.
So 60 years ago or so when Dr. Stevens started on this faith walk following the paths of many others that have gone before, and he said we need the Bible in our lives. A lot of it.
Don’t underestimate the day of small beginnings because somebody is in the auditorium and the Spirit is speaking to them and is saying to them, I want to use you. Don’t despise the day of small things when you get up in the morning and say a simple prayer for world missions. Or somebody on your refrigerator magnetized speaks to your heart. I will pray for them today. My prayers are precious. Small things that are not heard about in the newspaper or so on but they make this thing work. This church that we are part of. This Body of Christ that we bear witness to. If we honor Jesus Christ in our hearts, God will honor us.
Ps. 66, we’ll go as many verses as we can.
vs. 1. Aaaah! [He’s making a noise like he’s singing]. Scott Chatin! Pavarotti. How can I sing? Make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Stir it up. Respond to God. Make a big deal out of it. We are free. We are free from our sin. Right now, who cares about the heavy things of life? Can I be stirred up and make a joyful noise?
vs. 2-3. It’s another way of saying, God, your things are so incredible. They are way beyond what we could ever describe. To think that a man who is a sinner is able to go before a holy God and be heard by God. That a man who is a sinner, guilty of sin, all sin. James 2:10, I’m guilty of all. If I’ve broken one, I’ve broken all of them, and now we are free. God calls us his children, calls us by name, gave us the Holy Spirit, and baptizes us into the Body of Christ, now members of each other. These are great works.
vs. 4. I’d love to hear all the earth singing. I’d love to hear all the animals and birds and everything singing. I’d love to hear all the angels singing. I’d love to hear the whole church singing. I’d love to hear the expression of how amazing God is in praise. Praising God! How little maybe we do of praise. Praise God. No, no. no. Praise God. What? What? What? What? The tomb is empty.
I had a great experience in Jerusalem. We went to the empty tomb and our group was 48 people, and six people went into the tomb and came out. Six would go in and come out. And the guy said they can just be in for a minute or two. So they would go into the tomb and just everybody that came out they were in tears. They were in tears. They were in tears. And the tour guide said this: He goes before – when he talked to our group and he said God shared with me – he was a man of God from Britain. He said God has put it on my heart to say to you. He said I speak seven times a day and you’re one of our groups and I can tell you’re a happy group. That was a compliment. He said when you go in there, whatever troubles you have in your life, leave them in there. He said I had a woman come to me sobbed on my shoulder. Sometime after he had said that, some weeks or months or whatever. She came back to him and embraced him and wept on his shoulder. He didn’t know why but she said three weeks ago my son took his life. And when I went in there, I left it in there. I am so released. I feel God has healed me. I feel God is with me. God is helping me. God is comforting me. I feel that Christ is the answer.
Christ IS the answer. And though maybe we have not faced that kind of tragedy but let us recognize that we serve an awesome God. And many times we are not enough in tune with what it is that we are actually saying. That he is risen. That our sins are gone. That our name is in the book. That we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and every single one of us are on a sacred mission. I know you know that. I’m just stirred up about it tonight thinking about it with you. I’m just making my point.
vs. 5-7. Sometimes we see in our country rebellious people exalting themselves in the public stage, whether it’s Hollywood or politics or wherever it is that might happen. But let it be. Let the rebellious they may exalt themselves but they have a lot of trouble coming. And no, it’s already here. There is trouble all around people. And we don’t have to worry about this world. It’s God’s world. We said in the men’s dorm this morning we had a prayer time with some of the guys in the dorm and I said there’s 7.4 billion people in the world and how many of them are cursing God? How many people are cursing God every day? How many curses a day does a person say? And multiply it out. How many billions are there and yet our God is in heaven, our God is in heaven and has pity. Our God is in heaven and he gave his Son. Our God is in heaven and has patience and cares. Our God is listening to our praises. For our God is amazing. We are not living in reaction to the rebellious people that are in the world. We are living in a ministry to rebellious people that are in the world. We are not afraid of the people that throw us in the fire. It’s there in the psalm. Let’s get a little bit further in and we can read it.
vs. 8-9. God is taking care of us.
vs.10-12. It’s okay if they get ahold of us and drag us through the water, drag us through the fire. It’s part of our calling. It’s okay if Jesus Christ is manhandled and nailed on the cross and put up for the world to see. It’s okay because our God is a great God. Our God is the God of the last word. Our God is a God of victory. Our God says Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors. Our God is a God of Spirit. Our God is a God of wisdom and a mind. Our God is a God of praise and joy and release and freedom. Our God has called us in and he will bring us out. It’s great.
vs. 13. Could I say that coming to church service for me is a vow I made many years ago in my heart before God? I realized in the Spirit of God that I needed the fellowship. Could I say that there are vows that we make in our life about reading the Bible or having a devotional and these are beginning steps for a Christian, that he starts to make vows in his heart before God. And I will pay my vows. I don’t ever want to hold a grudge. I don’t want to get old. Here’s a good one that we think about. As I get older, Lord, help me from being grumpy. I will be I think but you could heal me and make me a lighthearted, joyful, happy, ho, ho, ho, Santa Claus type of old guy! With a big, white beard and a happy, jolly belly. A belly of jelly! And that’s what I want. I want to be a wise man in the latter years not a fool. I want to be a man who has found my purpose and live in it, and I know that you know this and we are living in it together in the Body of Christ. I don’t want to be a thief. I don’t want to read bad books. Listen to this proverb: a bad book is a thief. A bad book is a thief. It will steal my time. It may steal my mind. It may steal my heart. It may cause me distraction. We could say the same thing about bad many things. But we have found ourselves stripped down to the simple and the wise and the fervent and we care about people. And we make an effort to go out in the family season, the holiday season and to share, go caroling in our neighborhoods and sharing tracts.
I made a vow one time when I was caroling in our old neighborhood. I really didn’t want to do it because you’ve heard me sing before! But I did. I got some cookies and got a group of people together and we went there. First house. We’re out there singing. College student came to the porch. I told the story. He goes who are you? We’re talking about Jesus Christ. I am Jewish. He said, I am a Jew. I go perfect. Listen to this. And we sang. I go, do you believe in Jesus Christ? Yes, I want to know about that. Yes, I want to know. This is the most fantastic thing I have ever seen. He was amazed. I’m thinking, are you kidding me? Look at this! It’s like next to ridiculous. This is great. Wait here. I got to go get my girlfriend. He goes in the house and brings her out. We have a talk.
I’m saying these things because little things count. Little things. Little people, us, are literally reaching out across the street and in many countries. We are not boasting in us. WE are boasting in the ways of God. The value of a young man. The value of a young lady. The value of an elderly prayer, prayer warrior. The value of a dollar. The value of coming on a Wednesday night and making a commitment before God and believing that God has gathered us together. God is answering our prayers worldwide. God is putting it in our hearts. God is drawing someone in from outside.
Pastor Ray, how many homeless people that were – I don’t know how to call them actually. Last week that were here? That are no longer homeless? Nine people sat in this meeting Sunday night and they were – yeah, you got it. They were without a home, and this man and his team goes out and he brings them in. Ultimately, last night, nine people were sitting here in church and they are no longer without a home but they have a new life. They have Christ in their life. Jesus is working that way.
Let’s finish up. vs. 14. I would like to say I make my vows not when I’m in trouble though I might. I want to make my vows wisely, not under stress but in the church, the school, the Sprit and in faith. Maybe yes when I’m in trouble, for sure but I believe it is saying something more.
vs. 15-16. Beautiful. Come and hear children. I will declare what he has done. Come and hear teenagers. Come and hear unbelievers. Come and hear what he has done for my soul. What has he done for your soul? He made it light. He lifted me up. He set me on a rock higher than myself. What has he done for my soul? Given you comfort, healed you, spoken to you, helped you, guided you.
vs. 17. Let’s finish with this. Say the name of God. Get alone. Be by yourself if you want to. You can have a good, old-fashioned halleluiah breakdown where you start saying his name and you’re talking about it. God, I wait on you. God, I need you to fill me. You say, God, guide me in my life. God, I praise you. I praise you. If I could sing, I’d be singing unto you. But I’m croaking unto you! I’m doing my best! God, it’s true. Bible stories, praise. Our God is an amazing, great God. Listen to this. Do you know what the devil does?
I have a great list here that I found. It goes like this: “The Scriptures mention the following methods used by Satan. He is lying to us, Jn. 8:44. He is tempting us, Mt. 4:1. Robbing us, Mt. 13:19. Harassing us, 2 Cor. 12:7. Hindering us, 1 Thes. 2:18. Sifting us, Lk 22:31. Imitating the truth, Mt. 13:25. Accusing us day and night, Rev. 12:10. Giving diseases, Lk. 13:16. Possessing some people, Jn. 13:27. Killing and devouring, Jn. 8:44.”
Satan has many things – now look at this list. He’s not doing any of that to me right now. Oh, no. I’m dancing on his head right now. He’s not touching us. He’s not touching me. I could care less about him. I pay little attention. He tempts me. Go ahead. Give it all you got. I am praising God in the beauty of holiness. I’m standing in his presence. He made the Red Sea dry. He gives singing and praise. He fills the desert with roses and fruitfulness. He has anointed our head with oil. He has called us with a holy calling. And he’s opened his word up to us and said, Christ has done it all.
Now, be not ignorant of the strategies of the devil to alienate you from the truth that is able to set you free because it is the truth of the word of God that sets us free. “We are not ignorant of his devices. We resist him. We say, no to him. We do not speak lightly of him.” You don’t play around and make a – in Jude 8 we are not making light of him. He is serious business. If we saw him for a second, we’d be horrified. He is serious, but we are serious too. He is serious. I am, too. I am serious, too. We are people of the Spirit, people of the word and people of the Body of Christ and we are doing business for God. You know what happens? In this atmosphere, in this fellowship, people are reinforced in who they are in their identity and they walk upon his high places. And they can’t believe it but I got victory.
Luke 10, when the 70 went out to preach, when they went out, they came back saying, Jesus, we could raise the dead. We could cast out demons. It was amazing. He goes, piece of cake. That’s nothing. Let me give you the best news you could ever hear. Your name is written in heaven. Woo! Man! Wait a minute, Jesus, we cast out demons and we raised the dead. He goes, yeah, I know. I know. This is why I came. And you little people, you are the mighty ones. You are the great people. Oh, Gideon. You are the guy. You are the man. You are able. Cause our God it’s not about you. It’s about God and his glory and his work and his Son. It’s about his Spirit and truth and our victory and the Body and the glory of God. It’s about God getting praise and we in this dark, cursed world filled with cursings are singing praises and glory to God on the basis of reality, that we see it in reality, and the devil flees from us in seven directions. I’ll get back to them later. I can’t be around them right now. I’ll get back to them later and I’ll pick them off one by one best I can because I am against them. And we say to him, we are against you, buddy. Hey, pal. Hit the road, Jack. We are here and God put us here and we’re on a mission.
You got it? Amen. Praise the Lord.
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