Walk with God as a servant. Do we need recognition? We have found the greatest thing in the world. Go by faith and let’s see what God will do. Watch the words. Watch the social media posts. Resist the devil. Cleanse the hands and hearts with the water of the Word. (Luke 16:10; James 4:1_12)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11743
6:30 PM on 9/1/2019
Have a prayer with your neighbor for a moment. Pray for our message and whatever is in your heart and mind. Praise God. Thanks for this morning and of course all the ministries: P. Wright, P. Justin, Silver Spring with P. Shibley and his daughter singing like an angel. That was the Spirit, wasn’t it? That was so beautiful. Awesome.
We are born again and because we are, we have the nature of God in us. We learn something very important as believers. It is called being a servant. I don’t think I ever went to any school anywhere where I learned the subject as I did when I was in the church and Bible school. It’s where you learn about being a servant. Other schools you want to be the best or useful or graduate or get a good job or be the best in your class. But this calling we have is a mystery. It’s different. It’s not about you and me. It’s about God. He has called us in Luke 16. We see here this parable. The main text I want you to see is verse 10.
I want to back up for a minute and talk about joy because of Emma’s song and the Spirit and joy. And our Convention theme was Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. We live in a world and every one of us has something that bugs us. Every one of us has a problem, a family problem, a health problem, a money problem, a relationship problem. Maybe someone is not married and would like to be. We say to you rejoice in the Lord always. Someone else is married and they don’t want to be, and we say rejoice in the Lord always. Someone has a job and they don’t like it and we say rejoice in the Lord always. I’m in the church and no one notices me. We say rejoice in the Lord always. I’m in the church and someone notices me too much. Rejoice in the Lord always. There is something incredibly important about our new life and it’s to go deeper. It’s fellowship with God. It’s to go deeper. Sometimes when we are not listening to the doctrine, we run into trouble and find maybe I should have listened to the doctrine and practiced it. Now it’s too late. Now is the time to hear and believe and understand grace and grow in grace and truth. It’s never too late. Christ is here for us. When we are lame and halt and blind and troubled and got ourselves into a big mess, he is the way out. But it takes a servant to believe this is not about me being right or wrong. This is deeper. This is about God. God being glorified. God being found. God being understood. God visiting us and we being conscious of God, seeking him.
I know that when I come to church, I remember this through the years, that I always heard this isn’t about me. It’s about God, God’s people, God’s church, God’s purpose. It’s about the lost and we are servants. We are learning what it means to be a servant and walk in the Spirit of God and be a servant. Luke 16:10, faithful in that which is least. I wanted to write down a couple things. Least. Faithful in that which is least. I wonder what that means. Least. Faithful in the things nobody sees or notices. Faithful in a moment or minute or when nobody is around. I spill something on the floor and that which is least. Nobody knows about it or notices it. It’s there that I am a servant of God. I’m a servant of God. Whatever our hand finds to do, we do it until God. That which is least. I was thinking of events that are unnoticed. They are the least. And then also words spoken so easily. Words. It doesn’t matter. “Everybody speaks like that.” But you are a servant of God. It doesn’t matter. Nobody notices. But you are a servant of God. “I put the chairs away. I put the chairs away.” Yeah, you put the chairs away, but it’s such a big deal you put the chairs away. Did you put them away in the presence of men or in the presence of God? Are you serving men or serving God? I remember when there was a mood or a spirit in the church of looking for acceptance. Acceptance before men. Acceptance on a high level. Acceptance in the nation and by important people. We never learned about looking for acceptance in the way they were implying. It’s better an individual, you and I, with pure hearts would do what we do before God. Look at the cross. At the cross, it is shameful. It’s weak. It’s foolish. But he is a servant of God. God sees him. God sees Christ’s heart, mind, spirit. God sees Christ. Christ is on the cross in the will of God. In the will of God, he is a servant of God. He is bearing the shame of this rejection. I do not even think these thoughts unless God leads us deeper. The average believer does their duty. They have good appearance.
Like the Russian aristocrat who built a village for Katherine the Great to give the impression of the prosperity in the area where he was in Russia in the Crimea. It became known as a [?] village. It’s a phrase for a façade. When you would go into the building, there would be nothing there. It was all a façade. He drove cattle down the street when he was coming through town and it looked like prosperity and a beautiful village but there was nothing there. That brother wrote that book called “The Shack.” I don’t know if you read it. It’s been a little controversial. I heard an interview by him regarding the book. It was very interesting. He said, people, their soul is a like a shack, and they hide in the shack. They lie in the shack. And in front they put the façade and they give the impression. If you went into their house, there wouldn’t be anything there but a shack. When we follow Jesus, it changes. Inside there is a palace. On the outside you may not see much. In him is the wisdom and the power of God.
With you and I do you know what happened in this ministry called Greater Grace? Simple people that became servants. The Lord said I’ll put in you some depth and love and conviction. I’m going to train you to be servants. You’re not going to make calculations like people in the world like how many likes do I have on social media, how many books sold, people baptized, churches do we have. There is something deeper. I move the piano and when I move the piano nobody noticed it, but God knew it. I controlled my tongue, and nobody knew it, but God knew it. I controlled my desires because I want to glorify God deep in my heart and find Jesus Christ. I have a treasure in a vessel of humanity. We are always looking for that treasure. We are finding it in our simple way here in our fellowship. Many of you have been living decades as servants of the Most High Almighty God. Thank you. Faithful in the least things. It seems the Lord will test us. When people are attracted to the façade and jazz and big pumped up thing, they may be disappointed when they find out that’s not much. We have nothing to glory in except him and his great grace and his wisdom. The wisdom that will help train me to be a servant of God. Get this in my mind and heart and be motivated in a pure way in a life of faith. Isn’t that good? Servant.
Many women that are homemakers at home may get very little praise as they raise their family, wash dishes, take care of the household, but do it before God in a humble, simple powerful way. Supporting their husband and being behind their husband and encouraging them in the faith and the other way. Our children need to learn to be servants and what it means to live for others. Children are selfish. Teenagers can be selfish. They are at a phase where they need to learn to walk before God. Not be caring so much for the things that are obvious and visual. If I obey God as a young man maybe I will find God later in my life. If I find God as a teen, maybe I find him later in my life. If I find him as a young man, maybe find him later in my life. Why can’t young people walk with God as a servant? Why do we need credit or recognition? Haven’t we found something that is a secret, a precious gift to us. It’s him. In the quietness of our heart, in the Spirit of God he visits us.
You heard that story we read this morning about the 26 angels in Africa where a missionary by himself and group of 6 men planned to kill him and take his money and his medicine. They saw 26 guards around him, and he said he was all alone. Later in Michigan, he was at a church and he shared the story because one of the criminals confessed what they planned to do to him. He told the story. There were 26 people in Michigan that morning at the same time that they prayed for him. Beautiful. While we look not at the things that are seen but we are looking at the things that are not seen. The things that are seen are temporal; the things not seen are eternal. We are faithful in the little, vs. 10. We’ll be also faithful in much. He that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much.
Abraham Lincoln as a young man was the postal authority in the town for a while. There was some calculations with the money, and he was so careful about it. He was so conscientious about things being right. He had 17 dollars in a box. They were amazed. He was living in poverty. He had that 17 that didn’t belong to him. He was upright in his attitude about what was right and wrong and that carried him to lead our nation in a civil war based on what is right and wrong at whatever cost. I think our country should go back to Abraham Lincoln for our teaching and training. No better, it should go back to this book. It should come to Christ and find what it means to be faithful in little things, in church attendance, in the classroom, faithful as a bride, as a husband, and faithful as a friend. A good friend. Faithful as a teenager. You don’t do sinful things. You don’t do evil things. You confess it. You stay away from it. You don’t talk about it. You don’t post it. What is this insanity? Posting my foolishness on social media and spewing all kinds of garbage everywhere coming from a believer who is being taught and trained to be a servant of God. A servant of God. Wow, that’s our honor. One day we may hear those words well done thy good and faithful servant. People weren’t talking about you but were talking about you in heaven. Nobody really realized what spirit you were of when you moved the piano or made the phone call and you quietly lived your life as a humble, meek person with a lot of control over your mouth.
James 4, we were trained so well. I’m not talking about the past. I am but I’m thinking about right now. We are trained so well. I’m so thankful that training has delivered me from so much garbage. How much it has trained me to be careful about my words and attitude. How much that training taught me to walk in the presence of God and the Holy Spirit and to look for the visitation of God. How much that training kept me from the chatty little, negative, comments about people and the gossip said about people and the foolishness that happens from the human heart. God can keep your heart pure and your mind clear and your fellowship sweet and your life motivated. You know why a lot of people are looking for anxiety medication? Because they live in anxiety. They produce the anxiety by the things they say and how they relate to God. How can I rejoice when I am baptized in foolishness. “He didn’t do that.” “She is not.” You don’t know anything about God. We don’t know anything about God.
There is a kind of Christian I’m afraid I don’t ever want to become. They have an opinion on everything. They can talk a long time. They have an opinion, arrogant, holier than thou. You have to ask the question, are you a servant? Can you be quiet, humble, faithful and obedient to God? Can you walk before God or do you have to give out all the information and tell the world the way the world is? Like the three friends of Job. This is fun! I’m stirred up. I want it to be edifying. I want it to encourage us. I want it to say something to us. I have something in my mind about the subject. I want you to follow it with me. James 4 it’s talking about the flesh. And the emptiness in Christians. Wars and fightings amongst you. Protestant churches are well known for the church splits they have. Unbelievable. The arrogance in church splits. Unbelievable how it happens. I have been in it. There is no humility. There is pride, arrogance, knowledge, experience, but with God there should never be a church split in one sense. It happens and good in a way because it’s like a house cleaning. But in another way, it should never happen because God is not divided. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit has never had a split and never will. It takes being a servant. I know who is right. I know who is wrong. Just be quiet. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. if you are right, God will take care of you. You be a servant and stop your talk and attack. You are fighting for a building and the color of the carpet, for a relationship that is carnal. Fighting for your ego, reputation, past tradition. What are you fighting for?
This is the point of James 4. It says where does the fighting come from? Vs. 1. You know why you are fighting? You have been a miserable little holier than thou person. Anyone walking around like you are in charge of the whole thing. Are you a servant? Are you humble? Are you Spirit- filled? Can you love when nobody else can? Can you be a servant? Can you honor God and live before God? Do you have any prayer life? Why do some of you come to this Bible school? We have something going on before God. We will teach you to be a servant. We have benefited much because God takes care of his servants. Doesn’t matter how dark the night gets. The Jews had a tabernacle on the outside, animal skins, but the inside was covered with gold and silver. That’s like us. That’s like Jesus. If you get in Jesus you will find gold and silver and a treasure. You won’t be lonely. You won’t be lost. You’ll have the way, the truth and the life. You’ll be hurt but you’ll be healed because you have found God in a real way. James 4:6 greater grace, MIZONA CHARIN. God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble. That’s beautiful.
Vs. 7. He’s been running from me for a long time. He runs away from us. He doesn’t have much to do with us. If you resist him and build your home. How could you let your marriage go up in flames? How could you let your friendship and relationship go up in flames when you can resist the devil and submit to God and pray and love. Learn to edify with your speech. Learn to edify as a practice. I’m not saying we are artificial. Generally from the Spirit of God he gives us words in season and silence and quietness and seeds and truth and penetrates into our life. The deep calls unto the deep in Ps 47:10. The devil will flee from us.
Vs. 8. How? Cleanse your hands. Your hands are filthy. How can you get close to God with filthy hands? How can you cheat and do everything with filthy hands? Cleanse your hands in the blood of Jesus, in the water of the word. Vs. 8. You double minded. Every once in a while, we meet someone they are not persuaded to be a follower. They haven’t gotten to that point. They are a believer, but they can’t see it. They don’t understand it. You have ears you can’t hear and eyes you can’t see. You can’t see what I’m doing. You don’t see it. We go way back to Maine. I didn’t see much but I saw enough to say I’m going for it with all my heart. I want to trust God and believe God. I want to have a spiritual mind. I want to draw near to God. I don’t want to get stuck. I was having coffee with one of my colleagues in Bible school and he said I don’t think I’m going to do this. I can’t be a pastor. I don’t think it’s in my heart. What about you? I don’t have the right to say yes or no. I’m not the point. I don’t know what will happen. I’m going by faith and see what God does. Let’s not make decisions on our terms. Let’s see what God will do. I don’t know what God will do. God can take a farm boy and make him a Billy Graham. God can take that young lady from Scotland and make her that dear woman that was in China. God can make a Mary Slessor. I think she was from Scotland too and Amy Carmichael from Ireland, and make these women, women of God, servants of God. How do you know? A servant is not me. Lord, do you want me to be in the church? I’ll be there. I can’t see what it means. I don’t understand. I can read my Bible at home. You said so I will do it. God, I don’t see much happening in my life this past year. I don’t have a girlfriend still. My job is not the best in the world but here I am. You are my servant. Pay attention to what I am doing. I will show you. Your ears will hear, and your eyes will see. I’ll make your life something. I, God Almighty, will make your life something. Who are you? Lord I’m just a servant. That’s all you asked me to do. Here I am. I draw near to you. Lord says wash your hands. Cleanse and I’ll be cleansed. Draw near to me. Fill me. Show me. He says purify your hearts you double minded. Double minded. Some people follow God for three months and are done. Some for two years and done.
We had one lady thirty years and she said I’m done. What was your motive for the last 30 years? I understand you can be disappointed but if it is God? I can walk away from a bad life but not from God. I can walk away from a disappointment if that is God’s will. That might be how he works. Let me read that piece about that confederate soldier I read this morning. If I find it here. The confederates came and took it away! I asked God for strength. This is an anonymous confederate soldier. I asked him for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for heath that I may do greater things. I was given infirmity that I may do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need for God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing I asked for but everything I hoped for. Can’t we say that, many of us? I didn’t ask for this, but I got more than I could ever hope for. In which way? I don’t know. Different ways. I have you in my life. We have God in our lives. WE have angels coming and going. We have the guarantee of eternal life. We have a message of the gospel wherever we go. Anyone can say to us in an airline counter or in a shack in the Himalayas. Do you have a message? I have. What an honor. He said almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered. I am among all men most richly blessed.
I wasn’t going to share about James 4:11 tonight, but I can do it another time. We can touch on it. Vs. 10. He will lift you up. He will lift you up. He will lift you up. Higher, higher. He will lift you up. He will lift you up. Joy, joy, more joy. Higher. Speak not evil one of another. Vs. 11. That’s the subject at another time. It’s loaded. It means do not defame each other. I have a little list of words. Do not besmirch, denigrate, discredit each other, disgrace, malign, scandalize each other. Don’t smear, vilify, belie, blacken, detract, dishonor or knock each other. Don’t speak about other people unless it is edifying because you are a servant of God and walk before him. Vs. 11. That verse we can unpack that sometime. It’s so important. Be careful about your tongue and how you speak about people. Learn to edify and love and be a servant like that. Just as he was singing I felt the spirit of what he was singing. I think we are this close to breaking lose! Part of me is angry because I know he would never say anything against the church, Jesus Christ. Are we perfect people? No. He will instruct us and lay down his life for us. He will love us. He laid down his life for us when we were guilty. We were nothing. How about if I could do that for you? Instead of being your judge, I lay down my life and love you. What about that idea? That’s the reality of God in you. You love the brethren even when they are troubled. The Body is built up by love with the servants of God. It’s easy to tear each other apart. Go ahead and try it for a minute.
Day and night I could tell you things about you and me in the garbage can. Would some of you wise up regarding social media? Some of you wise up regarding what you post. I like saying it like that. What are you doing? Are you out of your minds? Are you a servant of God? You edify. You love. You lay down your life for the guilty. He laid down his life for us. He loves the bride, the church. That’s it. Men love your wife the way he loved the church. Love your wife not when she’s perfect because she’s not. And women honor your husbands. It’s a great combination.
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