Two men and two boat stories are in our Bibles. Paul and Jonah were in storms on the seas and people were saved unto the Lord. Anyone can travel, but what about a vision. Must have something in our hearts for deeper things. (Jonah 1-4; 2 Chronicles 26:1-5; Acts 17:16)

Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
Sermon 12506
6:30 PM on 5/7/2023

P. Schaller –

Let’s say a thousand Hallejulah’s. Hallejulah! Hallejulah! Praise
you. Praise you. Thank you, Lord. Praise you for your goodness. Thank you God for your love,
your grace. (Prayer). Turn to your neighbor and say, he is for you. May I pray for you? May I
bless you? God bless you. Thank you, Jesus. Hallejulah! Hallejulah! Hallejulah! Hallejulah!
Praise the Lord. Thank you, Lord. Praise God. Praise God. You may be seated.

Yes, what is on my heart tonight is to share with you about this, this life that we live that’s just
beyond our reach. This life that we have. The way that we think that is just – we have reason
and knowledge and then we have our imagination and we have faith. So, I was thinking about
years ago when Dr. Stevens was teaching us in Bible school. Is Szon Bor here? Okay. There he
is. You want to stand up for a moment? Okay. So, he’s Hungarian. Bible college student. Has
vision. He has vision. I think he has it in his mind that it’s possible in Europe a lot of young
people could support each other, encourage each other, and pray for each other and support
each other and communicate with each other. Is that correct? One hundred percent. Okay.
Amen! Wow! And then also, preaching the gospel, right? Wow! There we go. Preaching the
gospel.

So, fifty years ago, this was 1972, when we were in Bible college first year, we didn’t have in the
ministry what we have now. We had – we actually did have everything important that we have.
We had the Holy Spirit. We had the Word of God. We had the promises of God. We had faith.
We had a pastor who said let’s dream a dream. Let’s have a vision. Let’s think about it. What
does God say to us? The kingdom of God is not coming by observation in Luke 17. It’s not by
observation, but the kingdom of God is with us. We discern it. We recognize it. We believe it.
We can imagine – that word is important. Imagination. We can imagine the gospel in Russia, in
Azerbaijan, in Turkey, in India, in Africa, and so on. But at that time, we didn’t have any
missionaries. Bible school was a year old. And we had faith. We had a pastor who believed this.
Believed the Word and said let’s go into the world and preach the gospel. We could call that
vision. We could use that word. We could say vision. We had vision.

In the Scripture, I want to point out a couple of things in our message tonight as we speak about
this. I want to say it saved my life. It saved my life having a vision. It did. It saved my life. I need
to go somewhere. Not geographically but in my heart. I had to have something going on in my
heart bigger than me and bigger than you. Bigger than us. We had to have something from God.
God. What is God saying? What is God doing? What does he want? Where is he going? What
does he do? How does this work?

Because I was in a church that did not put it on autopilot, and just we’re going to run with the
program and go to church and have our jobs and our families and that’s it. Everything is clear
and simple. But it was more of a church that was saying, that’s fine. But actually, Jesus said
John 4, lift up your eyes and look on the fields. They are white. Jesus said in many different
ways in our Scriptures. Many different ways. He said, I’m going to go with you. It’s okay, Jacob.
I’m going to go with you. We’ll look at a couple.

Turn to Genesis 46. My prayer is that this will help you cause I know there’s a lot of young people
that are saying, God saved me. Now, what does he want from me? Or older people that say I
have lived my life. Now, what does he want from me? What is God doing?
So, Jacob. Chapters earlier, his name was changed to Israel. But he went to sleep. His head
was on the rock. He had a vision of angels coming and going on a ladder if you remember that.
Then he lost his son, Joseph. He thought he was dead. He believed he had been killed by a wild
animal. But he wasn’t dead. What a great story that is. The sadness that was in Jacob, the
sadness that he had for decades, was because of the bad news. And in chapter 45, he learns
that Joseph is not dead, and Joseph sends wagons to him. vs. 27.

Years ago, I spent a message on when he saw the wagons. He hadn’t seen Joseph yet, but he saw the wagons. We haven’t seen Christ yet, but we have seen the wagons. He is alive. Christ is alive. And our spirit
revives.
In your life, you have to have encouragement. You have to have direction. Jacob would have
just stayed in the land of his fathers and just stayed there, but because he saw the wagons, God
said go to Egypt. I’m going to be with you. Look at Genesis 46:2-3. Oh, good. Oh good. Wow! I am
God! What a great vision to have, right? I am God. That’s outside of my reach. God shows
himself to you. God is with you. I say I messed up my life. Jacob said that all the time because
he did. But it didn’t change God. God said I am God. I am God, Jacob. Go to Egypt.

vs. 3. Seventy people go down into Egypt and they come out two or three million and they are a
great nation. You see, in our lives, and this is a very good comparison. I’m going to leave you
before the message is over with a seed thought for your own message and your own study. It
could be called two men and two boats. And in short, it is comparing Jonah chapter 1 – Jonah
left the presence of God. Went down to a ship to go to Tarshish. Got on the ship. He was
depressed. He went down into the boat and went to sleep. And he said throw me overboard.
Take a snapshot of that story. You can see it. Jonah 1. Read it a few times. Ten times. Read the
chapter. Chapter 1. Jonah. Chapter 1.

That’s one man with one boat, and then go to Acts 27. Paul is on the boat. He’s not depressed.
He’s in a lot of trouble, but he’s not depressed. He says an angel of God has appeared unto me,
and we’re all going to be saved. All of us. If you take a comparison of those two men, and you
put in the middle there, vision, that will make all the difference. If you have vision, your life will
be different from Jonah 1. If you don’t have vision, you’ll get beat up and you’ll say throw me
overboard. I’m done. I can’t do it.

You’ll say I’m not going to Egypt. God says, you’re going down to Egypt. I’m with you. Let’s go
down to Egypt. I’m going to make you a great nation. Vision is important in your life. Not just a
routine. Routine is important in life, too. We have routines. We are always doing things by habit.
We do a lot of things by habit. But I want to refresh you tonight and encourage you in faith,
because God speaks to you. He really does.

I want to show you something. Look at vs. 4. Genesis 46:4, What is God doing? He’s talking faith
into Jacob. He’s talking truth. He’s encouraging him. He’s giving him a message. He’s able to
base his life on a message. You and I are not to live in this world without a message. We are not
to live in this world without words from God. Words from God will change your life. If you don’t
have them and you leave the presence of God, like Jonah. Jonah left the presence of God, was
in a depression, was down in the ship, and the captain of the ship came to Jonah and said,
“what doest thou O sleeper?” O sleeper. We are sleepers. We are. We check out. We are
sleepers. Really. I mean and then in the story Jonah is saying, they are trying to figure him out.
They don’t want to throw him overboard.

They’re trying to figure out how to appease the gods, when they realize that Jonah’s God is the reason why this is happening. So, they ask for forgiveness but they throw him overboard. A big fish swallows him. You know the story.
With Paul, it’s not like that. It’s like you. I hope. I have to be honest, sometimes I am like Jonah.
I’m a sleeper. Like sometimes I don’t have what I need for the challenge. I don’t have a message
for my heart. I don’t have the words of grace to build me up. These words of grace and words of
faith and God is saying to Jacob and I love it. It actually touches our hearts when God says,
Jacob, go to Egypt. I’m going to make you a great nation. I’m going to be with you. I’m going to
see Joseph, your son. I’m with you. Here are the wagons.

That’s the proof. There is a vision and that vision is from God and it’s from God to our hearts in Greater Grace and all the believers around the world. This vision is out of reach for us. But with a little bit of faith and knowledge,
and a little bit of imagination and restoration and a lot of grace and the Holy Spirit speaking to
our heart, we have enough faith to believe that good things. What are we believing?
Let’s turn to another one. It’s 2 Chronicles 26. This king Uzziah. vs. 1. He’s a young boy. He needs
help. There’s a prophet there that’s going to help him. vs. 4-5. He sought God. This young boy had a prophet that he could talk to that could give him instruction and give him vision for his
mission. vs. 5. Boy, this is good, isn’t it? I may have lost some of the crowd here. I want you to
take a minute and just talk to each other about this subject, about having a vision. About
something in your heart. Having a vision. And then we’ll go back to the text in a minute. Just
make sure everybody is awake here. Go ahead.

Okay. Let’s go back to the text. 2 Chronicles 26:5, now the Fed Hill church – P. Justin is over here
and the folks here. Josh. P. Carl and the group. You guys are awesome. They have vision for
Wilmington. Federal Hill has vision. They’re going to Argentina. What kind of vision? Anybody
can travel. You can travel, but how about having a vision in your travel?

On Tuesday, P. Gary Groenewold and I, we go to India and Nepal. Four or five days in India.
Then, three days in Nepal and then back home. And that’s fine. That’s good. But I have to have
it in my mind and in my heart something beyond just the natural. Amen.

Franklin Graham preached in Timonium here. Baltimore. God bless him. I think we had 62 of our
people there as counselors. We appreciate so much. I have to have a reset in my heart. I have
to reset in my heart the deeper things. Can I see a man who is in trouble in his life, born again
like I was. Can I see it? For many years, that motivated me. I got saved. I wish somebody else
would also. That was faith. That’s something good. God wants people from all nations, all tribes,
all tongues, all people, everywhere in the world to come. And for us to see churches in faraway
places. Can you see it?

P. Drew travels to the Philippines and he brings booklets and brings with him classes and he
brings with him Christian Farmers bracelets, right? Afroos and Christian Farmers organization
helps him and gives him thousands of these bracelets, and in the Philippines they are used to
evangelize. Could I see, could I see that happening in my mind and in my heart? You know.
How about this idea? There’s some high level, high class type of a guy or group of people. Very
sophisticated people. Could I see them born again? Could I see them touched by God’s Spirit?
Could I see them seeking God? Could I see them find Jesus? Could I see them open the Bible?
Could I see them in our church? Could I see them in faith?

How about this one. If that happened, international students come from Albania, Hungary,
Russia, France, China, and come to America to come to Bible college. Turkey. Can I see that?
And it has happened. Isn’t that amazing?

Okay. You got to have something going on in your heart bigger. This is what happened to
Uzziah. He’s sixteen years old. But this is how it happened. Look at vs. 5. I will say for us we
have a pastor-teacher. We have somebody teaching the Bible and telling us about faith.
Teaching us about the finished work, this throne of Christ. The church. Teaching us about the
coming kingdom. We have a kingdom coming.

I spend a lot of time trying to imagine a better world. A world where – a better world where there
is honesty, integrity, humility, truthfulness, humility. You know who I think of when I think of going
to heaven? Being with millions and millions of people that are like Dave Smithson. Do you know
who Dave Smithson is? He’s like the people in heaven. And like you. A wide variety. I have it in
my mind. I think about it. I think about actually there is a kingdom that we cannot see. There is a
world that we are laboring – the kingdom comes not by observation. That’s not obvious to
people. They don’t see it. But we do. We live based on that kingdom. Isn’t that amazing?

Uzziah is a king. We have Prince Charles became King Charles in England, right? In the U.K.
Don’t you care about that? What’s wrong with you? You don’t care about that? History. That
monarchy. It’s pretty incredible. Our King, the government of the human race, is with a king. And
our King is an amazing king. Our King is coming with observation. Every eye will see him one
day. That kingdom is coming. Can you envision it? Is it part of your mindset? Can you live in faith? Can you embrace it? Can you study it and see it and believe it and then live on the basis
of it?

Can you forgive because of the kingdom? Can you love because of the kingdom? Can you be
motivated because of the kingdom? And of course, this is what we are saying tonight. Jonah,
like, I’m the problem. Throw me in the sea. Get rid of me. And they did and it went calm. And
they feared the Lord. They feared the God of Jonah. So, Jonah did evangelism when he’s in
depression! A big fish came and swallowed him. God wasn’t done with him. Compare that with
you. What my life can be, how I can live without vision. He was sent to Nineveh. I’m not going.
He was sent to preach. I’m not doing it. And so his world spiraled down into that state. But he
had the potential cause God, he was a prophet of God. A prophet of God without vision. A
Christian without vision. A man or woman of God who lost what they once had. A man or
woman of God who had a passion, a fervency, a love. They had faith. They had something
precious in their hearts, and now it’s somehow gone. And that’s the thing that I don’t want to
happen.

So, you have to stay young in your heart. Skip and jump around on the planet the best you can.
Skip and jump and sing and worship and love and enjoy and forgive and dream. Dream.
Remember Joseph. They said, what is this dreamer doing? Remember Joseph. His dream was
you’re all going to worship me. Bow down and worship me to his brothers. You don’t ever say
that to your brothers, okay? Don’t do that if you want to have a good day. Just don’t do that.
Jealousy took him out. They sold him down and he was gone. But he was a dreamer. And so
are we. Lift up your eyes. Look on the fields. Think about it. How much God could use you and
what God wants to say to your heart and how he wants to use you.

So, we have a couple examples in the book of Acts. One of them is Acts 16 when Paul was on
the mission field and the Macedonian appeared to him and said come over and help us. And he
did. When you are on the move, when you’re in his will, when you’re on the move, God can
speak to your heart about what he wants you to do. What’s the thing that God is doing and may
it be in our hearts. How about walking away from sin? That’s a life of faith. I have a temptation
but I can walk away from it, because I see something. I see something good.

How about Lot when he lifted up his eyes and he saw Sodom and Gomorrah, it was like a
paradise and he went to that. But maybe if he had another vision like stay with my uncle
Abraham. Like our family can get along. We are not going to be divided. And there was the
division, and he saw the beautiful land of Sodom and Gomorrah and it became something less.
It vexed his heart day and night. Like we were in Hawaii last week. Thanks for your prayers.
That was amazing. We all decided we’re moving there! It’s a paradise. Then we went to see
Waikiki beach and Honolulu, and we went around the island a little bit and we said it’s not such
a great paradise after all. It’s like Sodom and Gomorrah!

Hey, I don’t need to move to Florida or any place of convenience or for something better this or
that without having a vision in my heart for God. I’m so impressed that people that move to
Baltimore to be with us because we have the Holy Spirit speaking to us about vision for the
world. Vision for Baltimore. Vision for needy places. Vision for the world that we live in and that’s
an awesome thing.

The next one is in Acts 17:16. Paul was in Athens. He was waiting in Athens for Timothy to
come. While Paul waited in Athens, the Spirit was stirred in him when he saw the city wholly
given to idolatry. Ever been somewhere where you have the understanding what God can do,
and then you go to a place and you see child trafficking, drug abuse. You see depression. You
see on the escalator in the city, people are coming up and you’re going down and you see the
sadness and the depression. They say loneliness and all kinds of problems and your spirit’s
stirred within you when you see the suffering of people.

We say, what can we do to change it? And you’re working with a team of people and you say it’s
exciting. And this kind of work, the Caleb Network project – what’s the name of it? The network that we use, that we are working with. Dan Miller. Gabriel – sorry. I got it mixed up with another
one. But I knew I did! Alright. So, Gabriel Network and the ladies that are giving birth to babies. I
don’t know the latest number but at least ten. I believe connected with their efforts and us
helping, ten babies have been born that might have been aborted but we’ve saved lives.
One time I was at a conference, and a woman had come to me for counseling regarding
abortion. I said do not do it.

Four or five years later, this little girl comes up and she says, here is
my daughter. I didn’t do it, and here’s my daughter. We sat together and we just rejoiced.
Hey! What if I don’t have any vision? What if I don’t have any vision? That’s what I’m saying.
What if I don’t have anything stirring me up in faith? Cause these things happen by faith. How
do we have a day school with P. Barry and the team and these amazing people? And so on.
Wow! It’s the work of grace and I believe it.

We take this book and mix faith with it, and we start to live by faith and we see the Lord answer
prayers and say yes. Because you went, this happened. Because you picked up the phone, this
happened. Because you put out a suicide watch, this happened. Because you had pro-life, this
child was born. How about it? Because you talked to that guy, he is born again. Cause Franklin
Graham went to Timonium, this is what happened.

What about it? I’m just trying to say just to stir us up tonight, because I kind of felt it in my own
heart that I can see how Christians can just kind of cruise and end up kind of like Jonah, and
say throw me overboard. I don’t have a message. Jonah, do you have a message? No. Jonah,
where are you going? I don’t know. I just want to get out of here. Jonah, what’s happening in
your life. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Don’t talk to me. Leave me alone. I’m sleeping in the belly
of the ship. But I’m praying in the belly of the fish, but I’m asleep in the belly of the ship. That’s
all I got. That’s all that I want. I fill my life up with distractions and various things and so on. I
know you got the message, and you’re following me.

You got it. That’s what I wanted to say. P. Stevens, if we could talk to you right now, we could say God did it. God did it. P. Stevens would say, you got that right! God did it. God did it. Did he use you, pastor? Yeah. In a way. He
gave me the desire to read the book. He saved me. He gave me the desire and I made the
effort. I took time and I studied it and I read it. I don’t really take much credit for it. It was
something the Lord did in my heart. I followed him. It was just out of my reach, but I followed
him and good things happened. And we had rap sessions and teaching on motivation and
people were stirred up. They’re sitting in the congregation and don’t know anything about it, but
God puts it in their heart to trust God and believe God and give him everything. All of it. I trust
you.

Paul, second guy on the ship is Paul. Two hundred and seventy six people are on that ship and
he’s a prisoner. He should be asleep. He should be depressed. He should be down. He’s in
chains. He’s the guy that’s in trouble. He should be down. But he goes an angel of God
appeared to me and he told me such and such. And you know what happened? Everybody on
the ship – the leaders anyway. The centurion and everybody started believing in him. Do what
Paul says. Some soldiers are saying, we’re out of here. We’re cutting the life boat. We’re out of
here. We’re off the ship. Paul said you can’t do that. If you do that, nobody will be saved. And
the centurion says, obey Paul. Obey Paul.

Where did that authority come from? A vision. It came from faith. It came from what God had
told him. And they acted by faith in what Paul said, and everybody was saved. The ship was
destroyed, but everybody is washed up to shore clinging to broken boards and pieces of wood
and struggling with a doggie paddle to make it to shore. Crawling up on the sandy beach and
how many? Count them, 276.

Because when God gives you and I something a little beyond our reach and we mix faith with it,
good things happen. And God does the work. And we are in a ministry that is by God’s grace it’s
happened and everybody involved all through the decades. We could say God knows what he has done, and we get the sense this is a fun life. This is a ride. This is a ride. Nothing like getting
in the car and heading to Tennessee with the gospel. Heading to Massachusetts with the
gospel. Getting on a plane and flying to Hungary with the gospel. Nothing like it. Driving to
Rosedale. We are in Rosedale, aren’t we? Two miles and we’re in Rosedale. We’ve got a vision.
Nothing like living your life with a faith vision.

Now, let’s finish. Can you imagine a prayer meeting where God is rockin, rockin the world with
prayers and visiting his people. P. Stevens said in one of his booklets – I underlined it here – it
says, “so many believers are casual in their approach to the Bible and the local assembly. They
do not discern their need to keep divine appointments in fellowship and study.” Why don’t you
and I prepare in our hearts to meet God? In our hearts. When I go to study, I want to meet God.
How about sharing the faith in the cafe? Or at work, maybe this week. You know that one
person that’s hard to deal with at work? Steve Havens you know that? You know who that
person is? I want their name before the service is over!

That one person that I have a hard time, and that one person this week why not have a little faith vision? Buy them a Dunkin Donut card and give it to them. Say I was thinking about you. I just want to give this to you. Don’t even think
about it. God bless you. You know what I mean? Like having faith. Having faith. Having love.
Having forgiveness. Having prayer. Having investment. Loving people. Loving others. I mean
this is what God has called us to.

Lastly, I believe – P. Matti said this in one of his messages. He said the problem with America is
that the people have no vision. I love that thought. Americans, what’s their vision? What’s our
vision? It might be it’s so little. I’m not saying to demean us or discredit us, cause a lot of people
do have. We know that, but then I can feel it in my heart. Maybe my vision is something very
small, very little. Just having a garden or something. Remember the king of Israel, King Ahab?
Okay. Another time. Another place.

Hey! I want to kind of feed it and say what P. Matti said can be corrected by God speaking to us
like he did Jacob. He said go down into Egypt. You’re a great nation. You see the wagons.
You’re going to talk to Joseph, your son. Probably Jacob starts crying. He’s so moved by it. I’m
going to see Joseph. Probably Jacob is just so stirred up. Thank you, Lord.
Could you do these things for us, God? Can we not be stale and stuck and small and small
minded. Could you stir us up God in these days? To have something more than just our simple
things like living and so on. Yeah. May you do that. Thank you for Szon Bor. Erhan. Keep Erhan
in prayer as he goes back to Turkey. And our brothers. Saleem and his fiance in France and
each other. Okay. Amen.

 

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