Trifles can trap us in small living. Good tidings of great joy were given. The Gospel tells of the One who loves and cares for us. He who made all things leads into strength.
Galatians 4:1-4; Isaiah 40; 1 Timothy 3:16
Speaker: Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 11/19/2023
P. Schaller –
Well, this is Thanksgiving week and today we have a pot luck after this service, so we’ll walk down the
sidewalk and go into the big hall if you are hungry at the end of the sermon. I’ve been known to
preach and kill the appetite! That won’t happen, I hope, but to stir us in our spiritual appetite.
So, we have a couple introductory thoughts for our sermon today from Isaiah 40. So, if you turn
there with me. Isaiah 40. This is in the Greek we have the word EUNGELION, the word for the
Gospel. I’ll spell the word out for you if I find it here. EUANGELION, translated good news or
Gospel. And where is that in the Old Testament but in Isaiah 40.
We have a great chapter. I really recommend reading. You reading the chapter maybe this afternoon or this week. Many
times. Why not read it? I don’t know how you read your Bible, but you got to develop that skill
and discipline. As we have been saying you enter the closet, Matthew 6:6. Jesus said when you pray,
enter into the closet. Alone in the closet where you are with God and shut the door.
And so we’ve had a few sermons in the last 10 days or two weeks on that theme. I’m not sure
but it’s so possible that you don’t live, you and I don’t live in the good news of the gospel and
that’ll be our theme today. It’ll be how common it is for us as people to live in the trifles of life.
Trifles not truffles. Trifles. Small details of life.
Even large news events that maybe are big, but I live in worry and fear easily and I’m trouble by this small mindset that I have as a person because we have a sin nature.
But if you have been coming here and heard the gospel, then you understand that you are born
again. You’re born of the Spirit. God is your Father. Jesus is your Savior, and he is your big
brother, your Comforter. He is the one that sent the Holy Spirit into the world for us.
In Is. 40, we see an amazing comparison of God with the triteness, the smallness of life that we
have as people. We are worried about so many different things. We could say in Psalm 119:13, I
hate vain thoughts. How small my life can be. My appetites.
My lusts and passions, desires. And somehow you hate it. I mean I love it and at the same time is there something better. Something bigger for my thought life. Some meditation that will enlighten in my mind, that will
help me, comfort me, and teach me and of course in a world that is troubled like ours you have
double. You have inflation. Double digit inflation in some places. We have war. We have
worries and fears about life. Health issues and our housing, our job or maybe a broken family.
There’s so many things that can reduce our life to something very small.
But here comes a big but. But the Apostle Paul is telling us over and over again in his troubled
life and the Apostle Paul had such a troubled life. It would bury many of us if we even lived a
small part of the life that we lived. But he over and over again is saying that no. There is God.
There’s God. Let me say that a different way.
You know, when you walk down the street and you’re traveling or you’re at home or whatever
and you have a $1 bill in your pocket. You have $1 and you live with that $1. That’s one thing.
And that’s how many of us live like I don’t have much. I have $1 and it kind of illustrates
something else. My psychology, my spirituality that I don’t have much. That I’m small. That I’m
not feeling good. That I’m buried, troubled and so on. So take a photography of that and then
just say I don’t know if you’ve ever had this, but have you ever had a lot of money in your
pocket? Turn to your neighbor and ask them. Have you ever had a – and by the way, do you
have that with you today?!
Now, maybe the illustration doesn’t fit perfectly, but bear with me. You now have $10,000 in
your pocket. Cash. Cash. Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t have that right now. Okay.
Imagine you had a big – you had a lot of money in your pocket and now you are living and – this
is what I want to say. There are many believers they live and walk around the planet like they
have $1 when actually what the Apostle Paul is saying in his troubled life, oh no. I know who I
am and what I have. I have the gospel. I have this that God became a man. That he is for me.
That he calls me by name. That he sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts, and he has said things to
us that are ours.
And my desire as a pastor and I am sure that all the pastors in the world they have this in their
heart. I hope that people, I hope the best for them and the best thing that could happen to
them would be to understand what God has done for us, what he gave us. Who we are and
how we relate to the world that we live in.
And by the way, when you life gets buried – I’ll put pressure points here. When your life is
buried in this troubled world we live in, do you know what people are looking for? They’re like
saying is there a message? Does somebody have something? Does somebody have something
to say to me? Can someone help me? Is there a messenger? Is there Christ? Is there God? Are
there promises? It is real? And if this is and I’m saying to you we have our ups and downs. We
have our struggles in life, but we have an amazing resource, and the Lord wants us to relate to
him this way. And it’s our prayer.
I talked to a young man yesterday. He’s been in our church all his life and he’s struggled
recently, last couple years. Struggled with a lot of vices, a lot of and then reduced to a very
small life like I’ve got $1 as an example. And to illustrate the point, I’m reduced. I got nothing.
But I remember the things that I have heard and I’m going to humble myself. I’m going to
embrace God with all my heart. And it happened to him. He moved to like this big life.
It happened to him in his spirit and in his heart. He’s so filled with joy now. He is so released. He’s
so encouraged. Of course, that’s what we are talking about and um, and that’s it. (Prayer).
Okay. You may be seated. You may be seated. Turn to Galatians 1:4. So, Galatians is really a
book about how people have turned from the gospel to another gospel. But it is not really another of the same kind. It’s something else. It’s how we have a tendency to go from
something really good, great, awesome to something smaller or trite or insignificant or not
valuable. Like maybe the $10,000 in my pocket and what it means to got to like the $1 story.
The trifles of life and how we can shift.
And it happened to these people and Paul is writing to them. He’s very, he’s actually angry as
he writes about how could you do this? How could you be given so much and then start to
relate to God through works and by guilt and by fear and by the smallness of our own heart and
minds. Like the religions of the world are very small compared to ours. If you become a student
of theology and understand the different religions and philosophies of the world, you
understand how it is not good news. It’s just news. It’s just information.
So, here he said in chapter 1:4, “He gave himself for our sins that he might deliver us from this
present evil world.” Could we read that together? Ready? 1, 2, 3. Vs. 4. Let’s do it one more
time. Let’s do it loud. Vs. 4. Whoa! You guys! That’s good. that’s good.
What is the present evil world that we have been rescued? The word “deliver” is also translated
“he rescued us” like out of a burning house or out of the water. Drowning in the ocean. We are
rescued. We were in a present evil world. We are in it now, but we are rescued from it or
delivered from it. We’ve been pulled out. We have been translated to the kingdom of God’s
dear Son. This is extraordinary. Incredibly powerful. Very meaningful to us. Very important. This
Look at vs. 6. Another gospel. A different one. Another gospel. The religions of the world are
like another gospel. Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam. It’s another message. Legalism. It’s
another message. It’s not the gospel. So, let’s talk about the gospel this morning and define it
Let’s look at where it is in the Old Testament first, Is. 40. We did turn there at the beginning,
but we didn’t read from it, but it’s chapter 40. As I was saying, this chapter is really instructive,
a really amazing chapter. Isaiah 40:1-2. What does this mean? But God is talking to the Jews who
had had difficulties with the Assyrians and other nations around them, and they’ve gone into
captivity with Assyria. And they need comfort. Like today. We have the tension between the
Arab nations and Israel as we know. And this has been their history. It’s been the way it is. It’s
the spiritual and also very instructive for us. It’s learning and here he is saying to Israel, I am
your God. I am God.
So, let’s say here’s a person. You and I with a little, our world. And maybe the most important
thing that I talk about is like a pressure a little bit. We got our money, our politics, our culture,
inflation, maybe NFL football. Maybe my common language, my friends, my family
relationships. It’s all like a small world. Like Israel. But the Lord is saying to Israel wait a minute.
Do you know who I am? I am God. You can stop right there. With your imagination by the Spirit
of God your heart is bigger. I want to know what does God say? Who is God and what is he
saying to me?
He says here, vs. 9. Good Tidings it that word EUANGELION. This world that I wrote out for you.
Where is it? This one. Yeah. Good tidings. I bring you good tidings. Remember when Jesus was
born, the angel said that. The gospel. Now, Paul uses this word. This is in the Greek, the
Septuagint. He uses this word in his epistles 60 times. He’s the one that is using the word the
most. The gospel. The power of God unto salvation. The good news.
To whom? The people. The people that are in trouble. The people that are worried. The people
that are under pressure. The people that are opposed. The people that are persecuted. The
people that are poor. Or the people that have the $1 in their pocket. Those people. Common
people. People. Us. The guy on the cross that was dying next to Jesus. Good news for you. Good
news. Why? Where is this good news coming from? It’s not coming from us. It’s coming from
him. It’s coming from Zion, the city of David.
Well, what came from there? The resurrection of Jesus Christ. The presence of Jesus Christ.
Pentecost came to Jerusalem. Where? Where did it go? It went into all the world. What is it?
It’s the good news. What is it? It’s the forgiveness of sin. It’s the favor of God. It’s the grace of
God. Not law. Grace. Forgiveness. Comfort. Mercy. Forgiveness. Kindness. Gentleness.
Now, look at this chapter with me. We’ve got two parts that I want you to notice. Chapter 40
and again read it through the month if you want of November, December. Read the chapter
and just make little – study the words and develop that skill in your personal life of reading and
meditating on the Word.
Here we have chapter 40:9. That’s the key. That’s the key. Behold your God. What about the
gods, the gods that you read about in the Old Testament? Let me put down a couple of names.
There was Molech. You sacrificed your children to him. There was Chemosh. There was Ashtar.
Ashtar was a woman god. You have Baal, a fertility God. You have gods. But who are they? Tell
me. Who are you? Who are you? Go ahead. Tell me who are those gods?
You don’t answer me. I’m just saying rhetorically like who are you? Like what is your message?
And I said in the early service, and I’ve traveled a lot as many of us have in different parts of the
world, but I’ve never had a Hindu come up to me to try to convert me to Hinduism. I’ve never
had a Buddhist come. I’ve never had a Communist come and tell me their message. I’ve always
gone to them, but they haven’t come to me.
But why don’t they come to us? Why don’t they come and evangelize us? Why? Why don’t they
come with their message? And the answer is what? They don’t have much of a message.
It’s usually if you want to be a Buddhist, this is what it is? If you want, if you are interested, you can
do this or do that. If you are a Hindu and so on, but what do you do? What is your message?
What is in your heart? When the Holy Spirit shows you that you have $10,000 in your pocket
and you’re walking around in this world with this kind of sense of value, identity.
Sorry to use money but it’s easy to illustrate it. It doesn’t have to do with the money. It has to
do with that sense of favor. That you have favor. That you are God’s. That God is your Father.
That God gave you the gospel, that good news. That he gave us his Son and if he gave us his
Son, how could he not with him also freely give us all things in Romans 8:32?
But let’s read this chapter. Look at who God is. He says, “behold your God” in vs. 9. Man, what a
word that is, isn’t it? Behold your God. Please Jesus. Show me who you are. He says, vs. 10.
When Lord? When did that happen? Did it happen? He came with a strong hand when they
were in Egypt. He brought them out of Egypt with a strong and mighty hand. When Lord? He
had a strong hand with David, and he gave David victory after victory. When Lord? When did
you come with a strong hand? John the Baptist came, and we see God came with John the
Baptist. He introduced to us Christ who came with a strong hand.
Vs. 12. It says or vs. 11. “He shall feed his flock like a Shepherd.” When did you feed your flock?
I’m always feeding my flock. I am doing that in Jeremiah 23:4 with wisdom and understanding. I’m
always feeding my flock. My sheep hear my voice and I call them by name, and they know my
voice. I’m always caring for broken people. I’m always caring for people that have just the $1 in
their pocket and they feel very down.
I feel defeated. I have a mood that comes over me and I feel I cannot make it. I feel like I want
to disappear. I withdraw. And many times that happens to us as people. We withdraw. I feel we
feel defeated but look at what he says here. He will feed the flock like a shepherd. He will
gather the lambs with his arms. Lambs are really weak. You can knock a lamb over easily. Push
it over. It falls over. It’s a small animal, but he holds it in his arm, in his bosom. He carries them
in his bosom and shall gently lead those that are with young. Those that are pregnant. Those
that are nursing the lambs. Ewes that are nursing. He will gently lead them. Not drive them. But
he will gently lead them.
Because our God is not a tyrant. Our God is not a senile old man in a cosmic rocking chair like
looking at the universe and falling asleep. Our God never sleeps. He never slumbers or sleeps.
Our God is leading the flock. Our God is feeding the sheep. Our God is carrying the lambs in his
bosom. Our God is caring for the weakest one here. The one with the $1. And we walk around
dragging ourselves around in this world. Dragging ourselves with trifles and small things.
Now, look at vs. 12. You flip over to the whole cosmos, and we say who is God? Vs. 12. How
deep is the Pacific Ocean? How deep is the Pacific Ocean? It’s the deepest ocean.
Seven miles deep. And where I it? In the hollow of his hand. It’s nothing to God. How about the whole starry
universe, the cosmos? It’s there too, vs. 12. The heaven, a span in the ancient world, the
measurement of a span was the width of your fist. So, this is a cubit from here to your elbow is
a cubit. And the span is a small measurement and he’s saying I have measured out the heavens
with a small measurement for me because I am God. The universe is nothing to me. I am God.
The oceans are nothing to me. I am God.
So, here’s the beautiful spectrum of his kindness carrying a lamb in his bosom, and he’s
personal and carrying to being the king of the universe, and it is actually nothing to him because
he is so great.
Vs. 12. And that’s not enough. He wants to say something more. Vs. 13. Who has taught God?
Who has been his Counselor? Who told God how to make things and do things and unfold
history and raise up kings and armies? Who taught God to have a Garden of Eden and have
Adam and Eve and who taught God? Who told God what to do? No. No. None of us. Obviously.
We must be very small in our eyes. We need to be.
I’ve told it many times. Maybe you’ve heard me say it, but I’ll say it again. Teddy Roosvelt was a
governor of New York State, and he was a young man, brilliant man. He read a book, one book
every day. He was extremely intelligent. And very capable man, but when his new wife – he got
married I think when he was 24, and her having a child, she died.
Teddy Roosevelt got very depressed because he loved his wife, and they were a new marriage.
She died having the baby. He tells the story that he just left New York and went to the Dakotas
to be a cowboy for a while just to get away and would be under the big sky. And he said he
would just stare up in the sky until he got very small. When he got very small, you see what he’s
thinking. The world isn’t around, centered on me. There’s something bigger than me in this
world. This is what God is saying here, isn’t he? I am God. You are not. I do my work. Listen to
me. Follow me. And trust me.
So, he did that for two years. He was a cowboy and then he came back to politics and then
became president of the United States. And he said as president of the White House he would
do the same thing. He would go outside, look up in the sky until he became very small. What a
The Lord is saying to the Jewish people I am God. I am for you, but you have to be humble and
hear me and understand me. I’m speaking to you. He talks about the nations are a drop in the
bucket in vs. 15. Then he says in verse 18, “to whom then will you liken God or what likeness
will you compare him?” How unique he is. What he has done. Vs. 25. Whom then will you liken
me or shall I be your equal.
Okay, now we come to the gospel? What is it that God has done for us? Something
extraordinary. In the Christmas season, we celebrate it. So turn with me to finish this, 1 Timothy
3:16. Really Lord, how do I know? How do I know that I have – I have, how do I know that I have
this? How do I know that you are for me? How do I know that this is, this gospel is unique and
very different and special. It’s just there’s six things here in this verse.
Vs. 16. We have meaning “without controversy” without context. It can’t be argued. It can’t be
debated. Debated is incontrovertible. It can’t be changed. It’s incredible. It’s called the mystery.
This is an important word. Mystery of godliness. One of the things that makes your life small is
that you only live by reason, and I don’t think you do. And I don’t think any of us really do. But
we think we do.
We only live by reason. You package your life in small ways. You only live for, – we only live like
in the limitations of the natural life and that’s enough for me. All I need is a house, a job, and
refrigerator, and a car and some gasoline. And that’s all that I need. That’s how people are. All I
need is my NFL football team. All I need is a phone call once in a while. All I need is a dollar in
my pocket. I’m good to go. That’s all that I need. And I understand. Reducing my life but your
life will be eaten up by trifles, small things that’ll irritate you and bother you. You’re small. If
you shoot for the small life, you will get it and much smaller. You’ll be amazed at how small
your world can be and I’m not happy about it.
But I’m telling you there are things about life that we must learn and one of them is this God is
saying to us you need me. And I’m for you. And I love you and I could not do more for you than
what I did. It is a great mystery. This word is important. Mystery. You can’t package it. You can’t
figure it out. We are laboring this morning kind of gathering and we’re kind of trusting and
we’re asking God to reveal to us himself. It must be shown. It has to be revealed because it’s a
mystery. We have to understand it by faith. We live by faith.
You came here today by faith. You’re looking for God. We all are. Where is he? He is here. And
he is speaking to us through the Scripture. And he’s saying something. What happened to me in
the beginning of my Christian life was I got something and that’s good. I need that. Is that true?
I would hear, yes. That’s true.
And my sister and my brother and by the way, your friends are an important part of your new
life. Your friends and who you are with, what you talk about. There are certain skills that are
developed in your life, so that you go from a $1 bill of a guy, a $1 bill guy to a wealthier kind.
From a guy that kind of gets hurt a lot or troubled a lot or worried a lot to something more. And
you start being carefree. You actually find real freedom where the truth will set you free and
you’ll be free indeed. Not political freedom or financial freedom or circumstantial freedom but
spiritual freedom. You’ll be free indeed. You’re kind of, your self-life starts to blossom like a
flower in the sunshine. Like something starts to develop.
How about your skills and how about your gifts developing as a person. You have gifts you don’t
even know about. But when you walk with Christ, walk with God, those gifts start to surface.
And you Lord gave gifts to the Body of Christ. And you have a gift of wisdom. You have a gift of
knowledge. You have a gift of mercy. You have a gift of faith. You have a gift of healing. You
have a, you have a ministry that’s developed in your life because you are living with God. Great
is the mystery of this. The world does not know about it. It is revealed to us through God,
through the Spirit of God. It’s good news.
Let’s read it, vs. 16. Here it is. God was manifest in the flesh, #1. This is Christmas time. God was
manifest in how? The flesh. He became a man. The infant, the baby was actually infinite God.
He was infinite. He is God. The baby was God. Mary did you know that when you touched or
kissed the face of Jesus, you were touching or kissing the face of God. The face of God. Did you
know that? What a beautiful song, huh.
Great is that mystery that God became a man. Is this good news. What religion has that? What
philosophy has that? What university teaches that? Where is the message of the gospel? And
yet the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. It changes the heart of a person. It opens up
their life. They suddenly got something in their pocket they never knew they had before. They
suddenly realize I’m talking about Jesus. I’m talking about God. I’m thinking about God. I’m
worshipping God and that has never happened to me before.
I was brought up Catholic and I would say the name Jesus Christ in my prayers. I would say the
Our Father and so on. And when I was born again, I was 19 years old. I started to say “Jesus”
like I never said that name before. It was like Jesus. That name was like honey poured forth like
ointment poured forth, right? Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth for what? His love is
as sweet or as good as wine in Song of Solomon.
Okay, let’s go to the verse. Vs. 16. That means when Jesus was here, the Holy Spirit brought him
here. Gabriel said to Mary, that holy thing that will be born of you shall be called the Son of
God. When the Holy Spirit comes upon you and that holy thing that would be born, conceived
in you, will be called the Son of God. And Jesus grew up, and the Spirit was with him. And he
grew in wisdom in Luke 2:52.
And then another thing was he was water baptized and the Spirit came upon him like a dove
and a voice from heaven said, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And as he
went around doing his good works and his healings and so on in Luke 4:22, they were amazed
and then when he was hanging on the cross, it was the Spirit that held him there in Hebrews
9:14. He was crucified in weakness in 2 Corinthians 13:5 and he died for us, and this was the Holy
Spirit. As he trusted the Father, the Holy Spirit anointed him to do this, and this is the good
news. For what, who, what God could do this but the living God. Almighty God. The only wise
God. The humble God. The God that made the universe with the whole thing and then he
carries the lamb in his arm. This is the God that gave us this gospel.
Vs. 16. He was seen of angels. They sang when he was born in Luke 2. The angels came and
went upon him in John 1:51. The angels were with him in Gethsemane strengthening him. That
before Pilate he said I could call 10,000 angels and they would deliver me, but I did not come.
These are my words now, but I did not come to be saved from you. I came to save the world by
He was preached unto the Gentiles. That’s at Pentecost and after in the book of Acts in chapter
8, Samaritans. Chapter 10, Cornelius in Joppa, and Caesarea. Then up to Antioch. And then
Thomas went to India. Philip to the Middle East. He was preached to the Gentiles, and it’s gone
to Korea, Russia, India, Philippines. All over. All over the world. He was believed on in the world
and they believed him. They believed the gospel and he was received up into glory and seated
at the right hand of God.
Do you believe that there is power to save? There is power from God to take a sinful person
and forgive them, give them a new birth? Do you believe that this is real? Do you believe it? I’ve
seen it over and over again. Like P. Scibelli has seen it and so many here. We have seen it in
other countries, and we have seen it in Baltimore. We enjoy it very much. To share, to love
people and encourage them and now is a great season to be sharing this great message with
people and saying – let me finish and say this.
Do you know that people are suffering with the trifles here? The trifles. They are so worried
about the economy and the politics and everything. They’re so worried and they don’t know
where to turn. They, there’s so much research coming out of the social media and all of the
confusion and people are troubled and they can’t concentrate and study and read and many
things that we say fine. That’s the world we live in, but I got something. I’m walking. I’m seeing
it develop. I’m learning it. I’m focused on it. I got it going on in my heart. I read about it. I have
my friends. We talk about it. We fellowship with each other. We live by faith. Some of us want
to go to other parts of the world and share the message and see God work in the hearts of
I had a friend in central Asia and it’s an Islamic country called Turkmenistan. The desert heat
was 157 degrees Fahrenheit. I mean it’s a desert country and very hot. Whoa! Anyway, he went
to see his mother and he said I became a Christian. She said, you can’t. He said, mom, I believe
in Jesus. No, you can’t. You’re a Muslim. Your father and your uncles will be very angry with you
that you cannot. He goes, mom, I am a believer in Jesus. I am I cannot deny it.
Now, how did that happen? It’s the gospel. That’s what happened to him. He heard the gospel.
It changed his life. So, he had to leave home and he’s a friend of mine. And he came to Hungary, and he lived there, went to Bible school, and then he went back again to try to reach his family
and visit and his father was angry with him, and his uncles threatened him. A sad story. And
then he left again and then it went on for a while and he loves his family and so on.
But here’s my point. I would say to him like really, is Jesus real for you? And you go, he is. Jesus.
God is real for me. He is. That’s amazing. It’s true. And then he takes your life, and he leads your
life. He helps you. He answers prayers. He ministers to you. He puts you in a church and you
have friends and sisters and brothers. You learn and you start to read. You start to learn and
think about things. You start to worship and pray and then you have these good talks and
conversation, and you share your faith with other people, and you just help them. Because you
love them. You love them.
Evangelism isn’t anything other than just loving people. I would like you to have not like you got
$1 in your pocket. That’s all that you got in life. That’s all you have, and I want you to know that
God is for you. That God is a humble God not a tyrant. He is not hard. Yeah. It’s not difficult.
Just trust him. He’ll answer you. Amen. Would you pray with me. (Prayer).
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