There is something God does with godly people. He puts them in places and they affect outcomes and atmospheres. Our faith, love, and commitment is seen and felt. Paul’s presence saved a boatload of people. We are associated with the living God. (Acts 27:42-43)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor John Love
6:30 PM on 11/17/2019
P. Schaller –
That was a great prayer, pastor. Pray for the lost. That touched me. What a great thing. We had a great day
today in the Lord. Thankful to God for the assembly. Prayed for Harold Harbor and Federal Hill,
Silver Spring, Havre de Grace and Owings Mills. Thankful for everything we do to reach out and
care about people. Our theme tonight is about blessing by association. Before we teach on it
and share tonight, we’ll do a warmup. What do you know about the subject? What does that
mean? Who I am associated with could end up in me getting a blessing. The clearest verse is
Matthew. 10:40-41. There you go. If you receive Jesus, you are receiving God who sent him. If you
receive the messenger, you are receiving Jesus. And if receiving Jesus, you are receiving God. vs.
41. That’s it. What can you say about it? Can you recall any places in the Bible where you have
blessing by association? If you are blessing Abraham, you’re going to get blessed. If you are
Pharaoh and receive Joseph, you’ll get blessed. When Pharaoh wanted a blessing, he said bless
me. Joseph said I’ll get my dad, Jacob. He’ll bless you. Many other examples. Ask your neighbor
sitting next to you, do you know anything about the subject and tell me everything you know.
You have one or two minutes.
P. Love –
There are three people that come to my mind in relation to blessing by association.
Blessing by association, it’s real. It works. We see it in our lives. We could apply for a job and we
could say to the potential employer, listen. I may not know a lot about your business. I may not
be able to fit all the criteria that you asked for with the kind of person you are looking for. Buy
you can almost say, if you hire me, your company will be blessed. How about that? Just the
sheer shock of what you say would make him think, oh, okay. Right? But I’m first thinking about
the Old Testament character, Ruth.
You remember her story. She’s a Moabitess. She married into a family. I don’t think she knew when she married into this family how much tragedy there was going to be because her mother-in-law – well, her father-in-law, he died. Elimelech. Then Ruth married one of their sons and he dies. Then Orpah marries another son and he dies.
You’re looking at that story and you’re thinking, is this what you call blessing by association?
You marry into the family and everybody dies. But then finally Naomi, her mother-in-law says
there was a famine in the land that drove us here in the first place. Now I’m going back. This
has been a disaster no matter how you look at it, no matter what angle you look at it from. I’m
That’s when Ruth spoke up and said to her, you know what Naomi? I’m going with
you. She said why? I can’t give you another son. I’m not going to have any more children. Why
don’t you just go home? Why don’t you just stay here? I think there was something that Ruth
understood about Naomi, about her God. They must have spoken about their God. They must
have spoken about their faith. Clearly it influenced her. Finally when she was being persuaded
or attempted to be persuaded to go back to her own country, Ruth said to her, entreat me not
to leave you or to return from following after you.
For where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and thy God my God. It’s like she understood blessing by association. She understood the value of being in close proximity to someone who
knew God. Even though again all of that tragedy had struck. Even though all that difficulty existed, still she could see beyond that with a discerning spirit that said you know what? This
woman’s God, I don’t’ want to be around anybody else but her. They went back and of all
places you know where they ended up? In Bethlehem. I think that that’s beautiful. She would
not be the first one that would land in Bethlehem that would be a blessing to the world.
There would be another, even Jesus. And then we read about Ruth. Where do we read about her in
the New Testament? In the genealogy of Jesus. Wow! She knew something. She understood
blessing by association. Just like we do. Do you ever think of someone and you think I’m so glad
that I’m in close relationship with them. People come to our minds. I think of Pastor Sturge
Gorham. I’m so blessed that I get to be with Pastor Sturge Gorham.
I get to hang around with him. I get to borrow money from him! I’m so grateful. Jerry Roberge. I get to be around Jerry Roberge. Can you imagine that? I mean he is amazing. He is available. He is a servant. He loves
God. He loves the Body. He loves his family. He lets little children sit on his lap during service!
That’s amazing! We could just go right down the list. It’s incredible. Dave Gurtell, my good
friend here. Who when I was in Bible college, he was at the Avalon school in Lenox. I think he
understood something about the Bible college, about the ministry all those years ago. You
know what it was?
That if you be around them you get blessed. Here he is. He moved back to
Maryland in this area and he’s at all of our services all the time. I think he knows about blessing
by association. Ruth, she got it. Then there is another character. His name is Mephibosheth.
Talk about blessing by association. Right? Amazing. I could imagine. Here's Mephibosheth.
David has sought him out. He shows him this undeserved kindness which is a beautiful picture
of undeserving grace which we’ve all received.
And there’s Mephibosheth. Crippled. Lame on both feet. Living in the palace, pulling up a chair at every meal at David’s table. I could just see Mephibosheth one day emailing to all of his friends and telling them listen. I live in the palace now. David, the king has adopted me! They email him back. How did this happen? I don’t know.
I just know David and David knows me. Blessing by association. He sits at the king’s table. He
eats at his table. He’s treated like one of his own sons. Did he deserve to be there? No. Was
there any merit on his part that earned him that spot at the table in that palace? Absolutely
not. It was because David sought him out.
That leads us to the third individual in the Bible. Who’s that? It’s Jesus. Why are we blessed? Because of our association with him. I love the fact that he said this in John 15. He reminds us in the 16 th verse. He says remember something. You did not choose me. I chose you. When we think of Ruth, we think of Ruth choosing to follow Naomi, choosing to lodge where she lodges and to go where she goes, to live in her land and to
follow her God. She chose that. What did she do? The Bible says she clung to Naomi. She
wrapped herself around her and said I’m not going anywhere without you. You know what?
With Jesus and you and I, it’s a little bit different. We didn’t do that. We didn’t find him and say,
I’m not going anywhere without you.
He came and found us, and he wrapped his arms around us and said I’m not going anywhere without you. It’s not that we have to cling to him, it’s that he clings to us. I’m so grateful tonight that my faith and your faith is not dependent on our feeble hold on Jesus but totally dependent on his firm grip on each one of us. What does he
say? I’m not going to let you go. I’m not going to leave you or forsake you. I’m going to give
unto you eternal life and you’re never going to perish. And even if you have periods of time in your life that are characterized by unbelief, I want you to know something. Even if you live in
unbelief, I will abide faithful.
When I make a commitment I keep it. I am not a man that I should lie, I’m not the son of man that I would repent, but I’m going to keep a promise. I’m going to make a promise, keep that promise, back that promise up with my nature. I don’t think blessing by association gets any better or closer than when god says it is Christ in you the hope of glory.
As result of that relationship we have with Christ, you talk about blessing. Ephesians 1:3 I’ve given you
all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We’ve got it all. Maybe we haven’t
tapped into it all. Maybe we haven’t appropriated all of those blessings, but they are there, and
our lives are simply the unfolding of our understanding of all of god’s blessings that we have
because we are in Christ.
And the best news that the Bible teaches is that once you get in you
can’t get out. Once you are in Christ you are in him forever. I read that in the Bible everywhere,
that phrase In Christ, in Christ. I never read a phrase that says you can get of Christ. Once you
are in you can’t get out. that is a blessing. God has a grip on every single one of us. Thank god
for blessing by association. Thank God we are in a ministry like this and we are so blessed.
Thank God that we can go to work and maybe our employers don’t know it, but they are
blessed because you are there. I think maybe the only place that might not experience this
blessing is when P. Cooper and I go up with the Knicks!
Nothing good happens up there. They never win a game. I don’t know what is going on! We’re going to work on it and change it. We’re going to believe that somehow there will be blessing by association before P. Cooper and
I pass away!
P. Schaller –
Wasn’t that good! Nick, that touched our hearts [his song]. It’s amazing. Move for
a minute. Move around for a minute. Praise the Lord! Halleluiah! Go praise the Lord. Ready to
go. Praise God! Acts 27, just a few minutes on blessing by association. I think the Spirit can
teach us something on the subject and refresh our mind in it. We said this morning the family
Adam and Eve had, they had the first earthly family and the two boys Cain and Abel. It’s
vacation, holiday time and holidays is family time. The earthly family that we have not
everybody has a lot of peace, a lot of unity, a lot of love, a lot of forgiveness in their family.
Sometimes family is divided. Jesus said that in Matthew 10.
The daughter against the mother, the son against the father. In Proverbs, we read about the family that has a foolish son and the grief it is for the mother and the pain that happens when this happens n life. Jesus had twelve disciples
and one of them was a demon. God is saying to us this happens. The earthly family isn’t always
a paradise. When sin came into the world, we lost the paradise and in some way we lost
marriage and what it could be. We lost what a family could be. The one son murdering the
other son is heartache beyond what many of us have ever experienced but we recognize it. In
life this way, we look for the family that God has.
Jesus said who is my mother and brothers and sisters but they that hear the word of God and keep it. There is something that happens in our life. We are born again and the Spirit of God dwells in us. We become a blessing and often we are associated with someone who brings us the gospel. Many of our missionaries are ordained
of God to bring the gospel to India, to China. Nick living in China and the family. P. Mike leaves
the family here – doesn’t really leave them but goes back to China for one month or two or three. How long has it been without the family? Four months. Tough.
He has something going on where they say this is priority. 2 Samuel. 7:2 David said, how can I live in a house of cedar when God lives in a house of curtains? Beautiful verse. That’s a downgrade. If you ever want to have a mission in your life and think about being part of something big, think of that verse. David is saying I’m going to build God a house. I’m going to collect the stuff and build it. God said to
Nathan, tell David he is a man of God and can’t build my house. He said fine with me. My son
can build my house. But I’m not giving up on it. These dear folks sent by God and the blessing
that comes by associating with those people.
I remember in Azerbaijan, some of the missionaries went and a businessman got some computers and started a computer school to teach them computers. They were blessed by association. I remember the shoe boxes from
Samaritan’s Purse that went to Uzbekistan….and then giving them out in Uzbekistan. Blessing
by association. I know some of the people have gotten married, international marriages….and
so on and I hope they would say blessing by association, but I can’t guarantee it! There is
something that God does when you are a godly person.
When you are a godly person, there is something you can give and something you can bring. When people are receiving that, Jesus said they receive a prophet’s reward, a righteous man’s reward. Something happens in their
life. Acts 27 they are on the boat, a ship, with 276 people. It’s a big boat. How big would that
be? I wonder how long it was, as long as this room probably this way. Prisoners and soldiers
and the owner of the boat was on there. There was a lot of people on the boat and a lot of fear
because of the storm.
Paul saw an angel that night and gave a prophesy. The storm kept coming
and going. The soldiers counsel was to kill the prisoners lest any swim out and escape. Acts
27:43, can’t kill them because Paul is in this group. We can’t kill Paul. I like Paul. He’s been
talking from the beginning. He told us this would be happening. He prophesied it. When the
ship fell to pieces and they floated in on boards and swam to shore, everyone survived just as
God said to Paul. This really happened.
Timothy, how about you? What happened in your life? I heard Paul and followed him around. I became a blessing. I got a blessing. I can’t explain it to you. I know my life was blessed because I was associated with this man. Moses said to God, if I can’t go into the Promised Land, you have to ordain someone to lead the group in. God showed
Moses Joshua and then it says God said put some of your honor on Joshua and he did. Joshua
was the one that was ordained of God to bring the Jews into the Promised Land. When Barak
wanted Balaam to curse the Jewish people, Balaam said okay I’ll do the best I can, but the Spirit
wouldn’t let him curse.
The Jews in Numbers 10, 11, 12, 13 had been rebellious and disobedient. Then
Balaam said God has not seen iniquity in Jacob. What God has blessed I cannot curse. That
beautiful portion in Numbers. 23:19. Peter was fishing in Luke 5 and Jesus is walking along the Sea of
Galilee and Peter had been fishing all night. Throw your net on the right side. I caught nothing
but at your word he did it. His life was changed. I don’t know how much authority we have in
our lives, but I know we have it. I don’t know what it means for people to be associated with us
but there is such a thing as blessing by association.
There is a family on the earth called the family of God sent into a dark world, a demonic world where there is a lot of trouble and pain and confusion. It happens anyway. We see it with Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel. There is
something that goes beyond our sin. Psalm 130:4, if he would regard our sin, if he marked iniquity who could stand? We wouldn’t even be here tonight. He’s not marking our iniquities.
He’s giving us greater grace. I have a family and I need a blessed family on the earth so when
they are in Egypt, I can show the Egyptians who I am. When you leave Egypt, not even a dog will
wag it’s tongue in Exodus. 10.
Some Egyptians were smart enough to know I’m going with the Jews.
It’s called a mixed multitude. A mixed group of people from Egypt jumped in there. They got
light in Goshen. They got a blessing in their house. No frogs in their house. No lice and flies. The
river doesn’t turn bloody red where they are living. What it is about the Jew? It’s that God is
with the Jew. Jesus comes. The Jews were under curses because of their sin. Amos, Joel, Micah,
Isaiah, Jeremiah warning them. Even in these warnings, God’s heartbroken saying I wish you
knew what I had for you. If you only knew the peace I had for you.
Even so, the Messiah came through David. Even so, the Messiah was a Jew. The seed of David became the Savior of the world and is the source of our present status. Psalm 133. I don’t know. I just believe in it. I believe
in it because Ephesians. 4:16-18 teaches it. We are fitly framed together. We are increasing in the
increase of God. I find it in life. Something about getting up in the morning with you folks in my
life. I dwell in a house of cedar and God is in a house of curtains and I’d like to change that.
Some of the people of the world have churches, have the gospel. Let’s bring Christ to the
mountains of the Himalayas, the deserts of Tibet, the steps of Russia and Siberia.
Let’s bring the gospel to the highways and byways. Let’s get a huge big view of what it is we are called to do
and let’s do it. Let’s do it. Let’s be the doers of the word. Let’s get off our couch and do it. Let’s
go to the prayer meeting and do it. Let’s have fervent prayers. Matthew said to me our prayers
don’t have to be long but very serious and intense. That’s the word for me. I want to have very
intense prayers of faith and get answers. We are associated with each other. There is a blessing
by this association. I don’t know what it is.
Maybe we will live 20 years longer or 300 percent happier or two times richer and winning souls and bringing them into heaven than we would do otherwise. Where would you be…carnal mind, with the down and outers, the people that are discouraged and depressed and unhappy and empty and hurting who we love and care about.
We say also by the grace of God, you are in a new family. God is our Father and we are his
church, and these are his promises. The younger folks you hear us talk about Lenox and we
have a warm place in our heart. We had some closing meetings in Lenox and P. Stevens flew
down here to Baltimore and this became his home. He was shocked. I was with him in those
P. Love and I were on Baltimore television when we first came down here. It was an
interesting time. Pastor was shocked. He was surprised that 800 families would pack up and sell
their homes and business and leave the area and move to Baltimore. Here we are. We had in
our house; in our family we had a car going down with the Norman’s. Bethany had a hamster in
the back seat. The hamster didn’t make it! The first fatality! We didn’t realize it was cooking in
the back window of the car! Let’s have a moment of silence! We were happy and satisfied with
the tall, Berkshire mountains, hills. A lot of us didn’t give a snap about those trees. We had
something going on.
There was something going on in our hearts. Faith, love, commitment,
truth, prayer meetings. There is something going on in our faith and it hasn’t stopped. We are
thinking in terms of – you know how we think. We are not much. We are associated with the
living God, the God of the universe. One day we will see him. As you get older, you know you got nothing going on. As you get older, you say you did nothing, you are nothing, you don’t
have anything. Anything we got is from our heavenly Father. If we have anything that makes
any sense, it comes from him.
I think I said two original things in my whole life, and I forgot
what they are! I thank God for that. I’m not here to say something original. …our heavenly
Father who loves us and cares about us, that’s amazing. I’ve seen the many gifts in the Body
that have operated through the years and decades. Faithful people like Bruce and Sue May.
Precious people. I say in closing, I feel without any doubt because we are associated with the
Son of God, that’s our greatest honor. Sometimes I joke with people at the airport counters and
Who is the most famous person you ever met? I did this in Chicago. They go,
Michael Jordan. I go, no, no. The most famous person (pointing to himself). Who are you? Who
are you? I go that’s for you to find out and I walk away! I don’t know about Michael Jordan. I
don’t know him at all. I know he was an amazing basketball player, and may God bless him in
every way. May he be associated with a person you are associated with. If you got Christ, we
got something. If we don’t have him, we don’t have anything. We got something going on. We
have all kinds of potential. We have an amazing love. In our troubled family, Adam and Eve and
Cain and Abel gone on to be with the Lord.
They may not have had a shot at it unless we are
connected with that family. We have something to bring home to love and care and pray and
believe and build because Jesus cares for them. That’s what we want to say. Amen. I have to tell
this funny story. Bethany was 8 years old or something. We moved down here from Lenox, so
we move into the Canino house off of Putty Hill. The phone was ringing, and I was in a measure
of a leadership role in the transition. Bethany is 8 years old and she got up and answered the
phone. She said yes, okay. She’ talking with a person on the phone. Who is that, Beth? It was
pastor someone, who remained nameless, and he wants to know what to do the rest of his life!
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