The Cross of Christ must be at the center. The glory of God is us being remembered to Him. Let us not live by our bellies in the way of the world. Get into the River that makes glad the City of God. (Galatians 2:14; Philippians 1:18-19; Exodus 15:23-26)

Speaker: Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 12641
Time: Sun 8:00pm

P. Schaller –

What a beautiful worship, huh? Beautiful worship. Well, I got all dressed up tonight to go to a
party and I came to it. Yeah. Wow! What a party. Thank you. Thank you. Fifty years ago, Dr.
Stevens started our Bible college. We were in Maine at the time, and he had it on his heart. He
had so much life. We preached this morning about the robust life of Christ in us. And we
learned that, and we had our small church grew a lot and the love. The love was real in our
Bible school and in our church. And the vision and the mission. It was a mission of love. It was
to care about people in the world.

We sent out missionaries. Missionaries went out to plant churches that would plant churches
and those churches would plant churches. And after 50 years of that, there’s a lot of them. So, I
have a map here. This one of Greater Grace World outreach churches in the world. Amen. And I
think – yeah.

Praise the Lord! I think that we are finishing our year and just thinking about
immediately in our lives what God has done in our lives and in our fellowship, and how much
has been done by people just simply serving and loving like the worship team tonight. And also,
so much happened. I think I could do that right now if I have that paper that Jen wrote up. I
know the whole evening will be like celebrating what God has done and recognizing people.
(He’s naming people and events). I kind of read it fast I know but I mean it in my heart a lot. Like
wow! What a church. It’s amazing…

So, let’s look at the map. What’s happening in the world because of the Body of Christ. How
many tracts do you think are given out in these countries in a year? How many Bible schools?
How many are there? Any men and women of God on fire for God in these countries? Anybody
have a calling? Anybody working and serving? Are there any demons cast out of people? Is
anybody healed? Is any prayer answered? How many meetings happen in one year and these
affiliated ministries in the area and around the world. I wonder. All we can do is just stop.

I just say really Jesus. You are doing that. Did you save us? Did you forgive us? Did you anoint
us? Did you speak to our hearts? Jesus Christ did you do that? Have you, are you with us? Do
you care about us and the people around us? Jesus. Jesus. Yes. Everything. You did it from the
beginning. And just in our short lifetime and um going back to that Bible school period of time;
in our lifetime we’ve been able to see things happen and know sisters and brothers in other
parts of the world. Daryl Jones went to Indonesia after how many years, Daryl?

Daryl went like 30 years ago, 35 years ago maybe as a Bible college student. Thirty-five years
ago he went to Indonesia, and he found his wife and he got married. And he just said I think it’s
time for me to go back and he went back this past summer. And they started a Zoom Bible
school in Indonesia. I just want to say thank you to the Lord. And we are all, we’re worshipping
him, and he is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the beginning, and he is the ultimate goal and
direction of it all and he is glorified in it. He gets all the glory for it.

We wouldn’t be alive except for him. We wouldn’t have it in our hearts except for him. We wouldn’t understand the Bible
except for him. We wouldn’t have a new life except for him.
But we have it, and we are enjoying it a lot. Praise the Lord! I’m with you tonight not in a
barroom sitting next to Duke Horton over there. I am so glad that P. Duke and I are not in a
barroom tonight. We’re in the house of God. Yeah. Amen. I am so glad that we are together in
Christ and walking this way. We have P. Steve has an audio clip from Dr. Stevens, so you listen
to his message for a few minutes tonight as we start our night. (Audio clip followed).

It’s like a very sacred assembly here tonight. Beautiful. Every word so precious. So, we’ll have a
message and then communion and I’d like to read a couple verses to you. The first one is Galatians
6:14. This relates to Dr. Steven’s message which I want to go over with you in the message
which we heard just a few minutes ago. So, Galatians 6:14. Okay. There it is. (Prayer).

Vs. 14. The cross. That’s the key phrase there. The cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. What is that?
The cross of the Lord Jesus Christ by whom the world is crucified unto me and I am crucified
unto the world. So, you have three crosses. One we will call the world. The center one is Christ.
The other one is you or me. You and me. Because when Christ died there were three crosses.
There was one man that did not believe. He was lost and that’s the world. The world doesn’t
believe in Christ. The world doesn’t accept Christ. Never will. The world is an evil world. It’s
without Christ, without God. God made the world, but the world received him not.

But regarding you and I, I have been crucified with him it says in Romans 6:4. When this thief on
the cross died, he wasn’t – he represents you and me. There’s only two kinds of people. There’s
the lost and there’s the saved. There’s those that don’t have Christ. Don’t have the Spirit of
Christ. Don’t have the faith. Don’t have the attitude or not hungry, not broken, not convicted,
not persuaded. It’s like this world. This thief said to Jesus, save yourself and us if you are the
Christ. Then save yourself and us. And we will live and I said recently another way of saying it,
save us so we can go on and steal. We are thieves. We want to live but don’t change my life. I
want to live and just go on my way. Live my life for me. That’s how the world is.

Yeah, God save us. Save us just so that we can go on in our sin. But when God saves you, he’s
like the other thief. What did he say? He said, Lord, remember me. He didn’t say, save me. He
said just remember he. He actually rebuked the other thief and said, be quiet. What we have
done, we deserve what we are getting. But he has done nothing wrong. And then he said to the
Lord, remember me. Remember me. He didn’t say, save me. He said just remember me when
you come into your kingdom. He was humble. He was broken. He wasn’t asking for much. He
didn’t believe. He deserved it, but enough faith to say remember me. And so he’s a picture of a
saved person. That’s when we are convicted our sin and our way of life. We are convicted of it.
We are persuaded. I am a sinner and I need Christ.

So, the cross has many, has something very important for us. And I want you to see when Dr.
Stevens mentioned in his message if you, a few minutes ago. He said your trial is from God, but
your trial is not God. But through the trial that God gave you, you can find God. When you find
God, your trial is different. You are victorious in your trial. We’ll see it in a minute.

Turn to the other verse is Philippians 3 because I’ve got to be honest with you. We live in a culture.
We are so soft, so compromising, so addicted. We are so tolerant. We are so compromising. We
don’t have a cross. We are so good at explaining ourselves. We are so good excusing ourselves.
We’re so good at rationalizing our situation. We have, we have trouble in life and like the first
one, the one we get angry with is God. Why did you do this to me? You know like I have these
feelings. We have a lot of feeling in life. You got to get tough. Come on. You got to get real. You
got to get with God. You can’t be led by your heart. You cannot be led by your feelings. You
cannot just do whatever you want to do. You need a cross. We need a cross in our lives. Really
it changes our lives. It’s a great gift. God gave us a cross. He gave us a whole way of thinking
where we decide – here’s a small picture. You get the idea of it in principle.

Here is your life and you are at the center. The cross changes that. Let me draw it a different
way. Here is your life. You are at the center. What does the cross do? The cross puts Christ at
the center and you are not at the center but the cross. God is at the center. Your will God. You
will not my will. Your will. I don’t like it. I don’t like it. I am afraid of it. I don’t like it. I have a lot
of reasons and a lot of excuses and a lot of feelings and a lot of stuff in my heart and the Lord
says come on. Come on. Grow up. Come on. Follow me. Take up the cross.

I don’t want to. I don’t want to and then, so then we don’t, and we end up over here in some
way of thinking that is not what we really need. We don’t find God. We might say we do but we
don’t find God. When you find God, you find God and God is love and joy and peace. When we
find God, we find holiness. We find freedom. We find joy. We find a new life. When we find
God, and the only way to find God is at the cross. There’s one place in time where you can be
sure God will honor you and that’s at the cross. There’s one place in your mind and heart that
you can find God and it’s not in your comfort. It’s at the cross. It’s not with our excuses. It’s at
the cross. It’s not what our preferences are. It’s at the cross. Yeah.

So, here is, watch. Look up at the screen. Watch. What happens? You put Jesus, you put Jesus
at the center. Guess what? You’re at the side and guess what happens? You end up with him in
the center. How I got, how did I get here? I feel like I’m in control. I feel like I have peace. I feel
like I’m the head and not the tail. How is it that I got that authority? How did I get that authority
in my life over my addictions and my personal problems, in my attitude. How did I get this holy
attitude that came from God. It came by surrendering my life to God at the cross.
Now read Php. 3 please. Vs. 18. These are Christians. For many Christians walk. He’s talking to
the church at Philippi. They are Christians. They are the enemies of the cross of Christ.

How could they be the enemies? Because my self-life is more important to me. My life is more
important to me than God’s will, God’s way. Paul is saying they are the enemies of the cross.
They haven’t found the power that is there. The mind that is there. They haven’t found the way
of God.

Remember God’s ways are not our ways, and his wisdom is not our wisdom. There are many
talented people in life. They’re living very good lives, but they don’t have a cross. They have
many talented, many rich, talented graduates and successful and everything but you look at
their life. Go a little deeper and see. Do they have authority over their sexual passion? Do they
have authority over sexual addiction? Do they have authority over their medications? Do they
have authority over their attitude? Can they keep their marriage together? Can they raise their
children, and their children feel right at home because there is life and there is love that is in
the home.

Do they have the authority to forgive or are they bitter? Do they become grumpy,
bitter, old people that are selfish and very rich and very capable people and very smart but they
don’t have the wisdom of God. Christ. They don’t have the cross.

Yeah, I’m talking about me and you. There’s no way I would ever be doing what I’m doing. No
way I would be here except Jesus Christ was gracious to us to teach us how to live our life. And
we made decisions. I didn’t want to be in that church up in Maine. I was in Maine up in church,
the church where Dr. Stevens and I’m from New York. And there was like differences and I, you
know. The whole way it was and everything. But you look again at those people, and you see
Christ is in those people. Their culture is different. Accent is different. Language can be
different. Music preferences can be different. Disposition, age differences. All kinds of things
that we make our life around the natural man.

But when you accept Christ you not only are accepting Christ, but you are starting to listen to
Christ, believe in Christ, lose your life for Christ. Embrace Christ. And find Christ and what did he
say here? There are many that are not walking that way and I am weeping about it. Look where
they end up.

Vs. 19. Their end is destruction. Their God is their belly. Okay. Let’s have a light moment here.
Okay. Tap your tummy. Go ahead. Tap your tummy. God is my belly. God is my belly. What’s in
my belly. I have an appetite. Their God is my appetite. God is my hormones. God is my personal
preference, is my natural life. God is my belly not the cross. My belly governs my life. My belly
drives my appetites. My belly determines for me my life. My belly leads me into an addiction
that I cannot get out of. My belly did it.

How does adultery happen? Your belly does it so to speak. You follow me I’m sure. You know
what I’m saying. I’m serious about it. I am serious about that sin is wicked. That sin is evil. That
sin destroys families. That sin has destroyed people. You get a wound that you cannot be cured
from it in Prov. 6. You have something wrong in your soul. Means you forgive your enemy.

The cross means you control your appetites. The cross means that you flee from sin. That cross
means you flee from your fantasy in your mind that you’ve invented in your mind about that
person. That you fall in love with and you’re not falling in love with that person if you knew that
person. You’d run away from them. You have no idea what you are getting into. That is simply
wrong. It is evil. It is wicked. It is wrong. You know what I need in my life?

The cross. What did Paul say? I glory in it. It’s the thing that changed my life. I glory in it. The world is
crucified unto me. The world. The world lies about me. But it doesn’t bother me because it’s
crucified unto me. You know their name – sticks and stones may break my bones, but names
will never hurt me. The lies, the accusations. The way the world is and what they say or do
about you and I. That is all crucified unto us. That has no power over you and I. We are above it
through the cross. Then our sin nature, we are crucified with Christ and now we are alive and
yet not I but Christ lives within me.

How does our church grow? How do we mature as a person? How do you get beyond yourself.
How do you get beyond your subjective, abstract mind? How do you get beyond your feelings
and touchy feelings. Artsy kind of you know. Well the mood and the mood and the ideas and
the philosophy and the feelings and all of that. How do you and I grow up so that we can do a
real battle for God to the glory of God and obey him even when it hurst us. How can that
happen? The cross. Man, that’s good. That changed our lives years ago and we haven’t forsaken
it. we believe it and by God’s grace it’s being taught in the world wherever God’s people are
teaching and sharing and leading people into a deeper life. I got to go into a deeper life. I want
to find a deeper life.

Remember the river in Ezekiel that went up to Ezekiel’s ankles. And the angel said come up
further, a thousand more cubits. And it went to his knees, and it was very slope of the water
was so fine slope. Walked a long way to get to his knees. And then another thousand cubits in
the river and it went up to his hips and another thousand. I mean he’s way out there. He’s a
quarter of a mile out there before he’s swimming in it.

That’s like the Christian life. When you’re only up to your ankles, you go, you’re in the water
like at the beach, you know, up to your ankles. Okay. I got enough. I’m done. When it’s up to
your knees, hey! I can still get out of here. I’m up to my knees and I’m out of here. And that’s
how it is but if you want to really, your life to really go for a ride, you want God to take over
your life, keep going. You’ll be swimming in the river that’s from God.

It says in Psalm 46 the mountains may be removed and the earth shaken but there is a river
that makes glad the city of God. There is a river for your life. The only thing is that you want it
to go your way. And I want to go my way and Paul is weeping and saying there is a better way.
There’s a way that will take over and help you little by little. It isn’t necessarily like one meeting
that will do it, but it’s little by little, decision by decision and you will find your way. You will find your way living a life that is beyond you. For you to live, for you to live is Christ. Amazing, isn’t
it?

Let’s finish it. it says God is their belly whose glory is their shame. Whose glory is their shame.
Okay. I got to illustrate that peace there. Their glory is their shame. Anybody have an old
photograph of you with a funny hairdo or kind of aged clothing or something. How about a
photograph that you would be ashamed of? But at the moment when it was taken, you were
very proud of your hairdo. You’re very proud of the fashion. You’re very proud of the clothes
that you had on.

But now when you find the photo, you destroy the photo. I don’t want anybody to ever see me
with that haircut. You get the idea. There are things in this life that you are glorying in that later
you would be ashamed of when you stand before God. I am ashamed of what I did. I am
ashamed of what happened. Of course, understand please our sins are forgiven. Our life is new.
We’ll go before God with boldness. We will stand before him in Jude 24 and our shame will be 1
John 2:29 momentary. Momentary. But we’ll realize we did live a foolish life. We pursued our
belly instead of God. Yeah.

Wouldn’t it be funny to do an autopsy on somebody. Pull their stomach out of their body. It’s
probably vulgar for you but my dad was a butcher, so I’m not moved by it. But that stomach,
that stomach or God. How did that man live? By his stomach when he could have lived through
God. What do you think? Okay. Point made.

They mind earthly things. Look at the last part. They mind earthly things. That’s us. We do.
We’re afraid of people. We’re afraid of what will happen. We’re afraid of our retirement. We’re
afraid of getting sick. We’re afraid of our house. We’re afraid of losing our family. We’re afraid
of – let’s make it all clear right now. We’re going to lose it all. Everything. People. Everything.
We’re losing it all in this life. Take up the cross and your life will be like up on the screen here. If
you are in the center, you’re going to lose it all. It’s all going. You’re saved by grace. You’ll go to
heaven by the grace of God. Hallelujah.

I hope that’s clear to you. I don’t want you to misunderstand me, but we’re talking about a way
of life that you look for. You’re searching. You say, Jesus, I want that deeper life and I want the
cross in my life and when I get the cross, I might end up with a family. I might not but I will have
God. When I get the cross, I might die young. I might die in old age. I do not know. God knows
but I will have God. When I have my money, I will have my money, but I might lose it all or I
might gain more of it. I’m not sure how that will go but I have God. I have the cross with my
money. I have the cross with my family. I have the cross with my future. I have the cross in my
life. And I glory in it. That means that is my honor. It is the crown that I have.

You might have your library or your office with a lot of diplomas and certificates all lined up and
you might have a lot of achievements in the earthly way and congratulations, and we
appreciate it. And may God bless you but without the cross, it ends when you’re dead. It’s over.
One of our Supreme Court justices got cancer in the throat and died. And I heard about them
going to his office and emptying the whole thing and I thought about it. His whole life. Supreme
Court justice. Very honorable man gone. He’s done. It’s finished. It’s ended. It’s over. Wow. Yes,
Lord, what do you give me, Jesus and he says I give you the cross and as you walk, and you trust
me.

Let’s go to the last part. It’s Exodus 15. This is what Dr. Stevens said in his message. Vs. 23. Better
word of the real meaning there is okay bitter or salty water. Like water that you can’t drink.
Brackish. Maybe bitter water or salty water or water that you can’t drink it. So the Jews had
come out of Egypt. They came to this place. They’re very thirsty of course. There’s a couple
million of them and they really need water. Vs. 24-25. What? A tree. Lord, no. I said water and
you’re showing me tree? It’s like I say monkey and you say tennis ball. You know. I say round
and you say square. I say black and you say white. I said water and you said tree. That’s God.
That’s the cross. That’s how God is with us.

You cannot put God in a box. You cannot figure it out. You cannot design it your own way. You
cannot put demands on him. He’s in charge. He is God and he’s going to show you something.
He showed Moses a tree. But Moses is humble and he’s saying what is it? What do you want?
He said throw it in the water in vs. 25-26. #1. There it is. What’s the cross? Listening. If you will
harken unto the voice of the Lord, I’m telling you. When I say knock it off. Knock it off. When I
say follow me. Trust me. Then do it.

When I say flee in your temptation then drop it. Knock it off. Grow up. Be wise. Trust God.
Hearken unto me. Get your face in the book. Have your heart before God. Trust him. Hearken
unto me. Listen to me. And then he said the second thing there. And will do that which is right
in his sight. Will do that which is right in his sight. He will do. He will hear and he will do it. He
will hear and he will do it.

My wife and I – I just share this as a personal testimony. I want to wrap it up here but the Spirit
of God is so strong here tonight. It’s beautiful. I think you know that. We were talking. We’ve
been married 47 years and there were times when I lived in Hungary without my family. Like
long periods of time. Like months. Like four months was the longest. And that was a long time.
But we would meet each other a couple weeks and you know the story maybe. And then her
also. And I said you have been such a loyal, loyal wife. Loyal. And she said I had to be focused. I
had to be focused because we had raising our family that she had to be focused. And I said I
also.

When I was living in Hungary, I also had to be focused. And I followed our teaching like not be
with a man or woman alone. Not be with a woman alone in a room. If you are attracted or
fascinated or drawn to somebody that is not your wife to all the men here. Can you handle
that? What did God say? You listen to me, and you do what I say? You listen to me, and you do
what I say? You flee. You flee from it.

We had Mark DeMoss here. He had 87 names of leaders
of organizations and churches where they failed in this area. And I thank you for your prayers
and for all of our pastors around the world. I can imagine all of our pastors around the world.
Hundreds of them with a sin nature. Hundreds of them. Maybe even thousands of them that
are in the world that are ministering and by God’s grace they can do this. They can take a tree.
They can have a problem. That water is bad. They can have a problem and they go to God, and
he says a tree. And that to me is like the cross.

You take the cross and you put it into the poison water and now they can drink it. The cross will
change your life. The cross will change your workplace. The cross can change your marriage.
That cross can change your family life. The cross can change our church. That cross changes our
life. That cross changes our old age and our young age. It changes a teenager, an adult, a young
adult, an elderly person. The cross is our way of life. You will be honored by me, John 12:24. So,
that’s a good New Year’s Eve message. All right. (Prayer).

 

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