Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
6:30 PM on 8/23/2020
P. Schaller –
As we were singing, I was thinking of folks here tonight that have been in Federal Hill this morning. Raise
your hand. Owings Mills. Silver Spring. P. Shibley is here. Keep Lewis in prayer. He’s from
Mexico. His dad down in the Yucatan has a missions. He grew up with a dad who had a motor
scooter and vision and preaching. He immigrated here. This is a short story. Then going to Bible
college here and moving on in education and mission and vision. Keep this mission in prayer.
We are together. It’s amazing because our mind and our hearts and minds we have something
together in Christ. In Ephesian 4, if you turn there with me, this is just a few thoughts to let you
know where we are going tonight in our message. Ephesians 4, behind this is our history, P. Scibelli,
me, P. Shibley, P. Williams. Some of the old timers.
A lot of people here who back in the days of Lenox we would have people come from the area Bible studies and affiliated churches and Springfield and Worcester, Boston, Revere, Peabody, Saugus, Rhode Island, Long Island, New York city. P. Moses would come, and we’d have lunch with Dr. Stevens. He would disciple us
and teach us. We were believing we were part of something incredible. Not the Bible Speaks
but it was more. It was what you and I have forever that God gave his Son. Our life would be
different. We’d be different. I want to ask a question. Is your life different? It’s a very good
question. Have you gained something? Have you understood something? Has something got
ahold of you? In Federal Hill, P. Justin and the team started two morning services today. With
people coming and the effort with the masks and social distancing and all that stuff.
To be together. And in Federal Hill, they might say at the “big church.” Big church? Where’s the big
church? Bible school is starting. In Silver Spring, at the big church, Bible school is starting up.
What is the meaning of it? Behind it is love and a mind, a mind that is called many words for it.
It’s called wisdom. I want you to see it here. The world does not have it. Ephesians 4:16 how are we
joined together? Fitly. There is a wooden building in Japan built hundreds of years ago, I think in
the tenth century. It’s a wooden building built hundreds of years ago and there is not one nail in
the building. It’s fitted. It’s framed. Like Lincoln Logs back in our days.
Today they are Legos. It’s fitted. The Body is fitted. We felt that back in those days in Lenox and through the years. We learned how to build up people and teach people and walk in faith. We taught people and they
were led by the Spirit. This is the grace of God around the world. This is the unity in India,
Africa, America. We just had our convention and whatever you want to call it, un-convention,
convention, super convention! The word doesn’t matter because what it was was real. The
Body is fitly framed and its love. This is the mind. 4:16. I remember we did mission work in
Hungary in the beginning of the 1990’s and we were so radical. I remember we would meet
people on the train and preach in cities. We go and preach and come back. There were people
that went home to their city, packed their bags, and moved to Budapest to go to Bible college.
When they made those decisions by faith, there is an addition.
When you come here on a Sunday night, there is something every joint supplies because of the things we have been going through in the last months. There is a possibility of a believer turning inward and having a
different mind. This portion – let’s get to the point. Vs. 16. There was some work that is
happening in every part. That’s beautiful. Every part there is some working in the measure of
every part. Works of faith. Works in making decisions. Decision making. We said this morning it takes only a few bad decisions and my life can go in a totally different direction. A few bad
decisions and I develop habits. Sometimes bad decisions. Makes increase of the Body unto the
edifying of itself in love. The human body if it is exercised there is an edification in itself. When
you turn it off, it just starts to morph. It starts to shrink, atrophy. You don’t use your body and it
starts to go the other way. Using your body and this is why we assemble all the more as we see
this day approaching in Hebrews 10.
The value of love and what it means to love. It says here it
edifies itself in love. It’s love. Love. What a good word today. Love. When you are on the street,
you know what I feel is needed today? “I hate so and so.” You know what I think is needed?
Love. I met a stranger yesterday in Laurel and said the world needs love. Love is what is needed.
We don’t need to argue. She had a sign in front of the post office and protesting something
about the post office. She said has the mail system failed you? I go, listen, I lived in a
Communist country and if you want to know about failure, I can talk to you. I’m not a
Hungarian. She said her grandparents were from Hungary from [?]. I said, you said that word
perfectly! I said love is what is needed. Love. We are edified in love. That’s what we are looking
for. Love. That’s why we assemble.
That’s what we are looking for. That’s what the world
doesn’t have. They have everything. They are smart and organized. They have everything but
they don’t have love. Go to the next verse. Vs. 17. What is a translation for that? You would not
walk as other people walk. How do they walk? In the emptiness of their mind. In the vanity of
their mind. It’s a vacuity, an emptiness of the mind. It’s shallow, hallow. It’s a mind that is not
thinking. It says a fool mocks sin. What does mocking sin mean? They make a joke of it. Sin is a
joke. In heaven, sin is not a joke. In hell, sin is not a joke. On earth, sin is a joke to the fool. The
person that has an empty mind. They don’t realize that the gun is loaded. What is that a picture
of? A fool could handle a gun but should ask the question, what is it? Is it dangerous? What can
I do with it? Is it loaded? It’s poison.
A cliff is a cliff. Hatred is hatred. Foolishness is foolishness.
Wise and foolish virgins. Foolish virgins had no understanding. They were foolish. Ever met a
man fully grown physically but in his heart and mind is like a child? Ever met a woman fully
grown as a woman but in her heart she has some silly ideas about life? Ever look in the mirror
and seen yourself that way? Has God ever woke you up and realized that was a close call. I was
foolish. Paul says don’t walk in the emptiness of your mind. Vs. 18. They don’t know what
they’re talking about. They don’t know what they are doing. They don’t know the end result of
their decision. They don’t know how to influence other people. They don’t know the effect of
their words. They don’t know the trouble of their own hearts vs. 18.
Why am I speaking about this? In our society, we are praying for our country and the churches and the pastors and the leaders. We are praying for good leadership. We are praying for revival, for changes, for God’s
mind. We are praying for wisdom. Not only on a national level but here with a teenager. I want
to say something about that. I read yesterday about youth conflicts. I mentioned it this
morning. One major conflict with teenagers has to do with their disability or their appearance
about their feeling of failure, their fear of coming short and not being included in the group.
Young people struggle a lot with identity. I like the word identity, but I think for this application
it’s overused. Finding Nemo, – that fish in the movie with a pectoral fin that was small…the runt
of the litter. The person that has the limp or stuttering or mole on their face. This is so tough for a teen to navigate in that world. You know what that teen needs to hear.
God made you this way. You trust God with all our heart and follow and trust him. Proverbs 3:5. What does he do in
your understanding? The teen’s understanding is not darkened but it’s enlightened and he
begins to understand. He needs help. He needs love. He needs to hear God’s Word and mind
and have faith and trust in God. He needs to trust in God. The average teen is in public school,
doesn’t go to church….47% of kids today grow up in a single family. My dad isn’t home. Why
doesn’t he care about me? …why can’t he take me out for coffee or donuts? He knows I don’t
like donuts. There is something wrong with me. We are wise. We have salvation. We have our
heavenly Father. My son, my son. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God. Because of this
verse, vs. 18. The world of our culture, the world on the media.
I like to think there are two worlds in America, the one on the media loud and shouting and people on the street who are humble and sweet and believe in Jesus. They are open and hungry for it. They are either very
good actors or actresses or to some degree it is real. I believe there is a hunger in the church, in
America, for people to preach and teach these things. I believe teens need to hear about it.
They have struggles in their heart that don’t go away when they are 40 years old. He’s now 14
but they don’t go away. When 40, he is still struggling. When you are born again, you start to
love God. You start to look for God and hear God. We said Friday night that Samuel was a little
boy when his mother brought him to the temple, the priesthood, and just gave him up. Every
year, she brought him a new coat. Why? Because he’s growing up.
When she first gives him the coat, the sleeves are this long and a year later are this long and time for a new one. The meaning of that by metaphor I am also changing and in my changing I need God to meet me
where I am. I am also changing. I wasn’t married and now I’m married, and I need a new coat. I
need a coat that addressed my married life. I’m a single person and need a coat for that. I’m 40
and I need a coat for that. I get cancer and need a coat for that. I get in trouble with my family
and lose my wife or son or financially some other thing happens to me. What I need is the
riches in Christ Jesus. That’s not some spiritual high sentence. That’s reality. That affects our
minds and our hearts. Because there are people coming behind us and wondering is it real?
Does it work? When you are thirty years old, does it work?
When you are 40 or 70? Is it getting better? Is it clear? Do you have any regrets? Proverbs 4:18, hard though. You can ask the saints. Is it hard. Believe me. Believe me. It’s got to be from above. It won’t make it unless it comes from
above. That’s the message there. Vs. 18. Don’t follow worldly people. Their understanding is
darkened. Disagree with them lovingly. Maybe it would be helpful for them. Another youth
conflict is a young person has regarding purpose. They are deep people. 14, 16, 18-year-old
kids. They are deep. What is the purpose? Why am I living? What am I living for? If it’s only a
paycheck, that’s beneath my dignity. If it’s not worth dying for, it’s not worth living for. I want
something real and deep and big. How about God? Thank you. I’m listening. What a great
purpose to live for God. I’d die for God. You’re going to die anyway.
Why not die for God. I’ll give up my life for God. I want a purpose in my life. When young people meet people like you and I that have a deeper understanding than the foolishness in the world, you have an
audience. I pray for a revival. Franklin Graham on Sept 26 th is a day of prayer down in
Washington D.C. We will be down there with other believers praying for our country. You’ll hear me saying register to vote. I won’t tell you who to vote for, but I will tell you to vote. That’s
your civil duty. 4:18, they don’t have the life of God. They are dead. There is so much hypocrisy
in the heathen world. It’s amazing. They don’t have the life of God. They are alienated from his
life. Why? Because of sin. Sin alienates me from God through the ignorance in them.
Foolishness, ignorance, moron, morose.
No understanding, moron is our English word. Morose is sluggish. Not moving. Not really embracing anything. Kind of being dull and sluggish. How much sluggishness is in the world. How much slowness is in the world. How much dullness in the world and they could care less. It’s about them. It’s about them. That’s the emptiness there
because of the blindness of their heart. We could pause and make some observations about it.
Hearts are blind. They don’t have the reason. They don’t have the understanding. They are not
alive. They are not quickened. They are not fired up. There is nothing there. They go, mooo!
Like cows. Cattle. Moving in groups. Cows. They cow path. They cow path through the field.
Broad is the way to destruction, and many go there. The way to life is narrow and few that be
that find it. The Spirit of God is in the church. It’s why we pay attention, we gather, we provoke.
We are alive.
We had 85 kids in our parking lot with four basketball hoops last night. P. Love
was giving the message and Pat Lynch taking some in the gymnasium afterwards and
discovered we have a gold mine in Baltimore city because we have a message of love for
everybody. Wow! What do you do? Vs. 22. Put off concerning the former way of life or
conversation the old man. We change. You change. God calls you and you change. You don’t do
it anymore. I don’t go there anymore. When I was in college years ago there were 200 guys in
my dorm. They all knew me this way before I was saved. We would be together maybe 50 of us.
When I got saved, it was over. I put a big poster in my window “Jesus Saves.” It was florescent
orange and told everyone about Jesus. I lost all my friends except [he named a few of them].
They got saved.
The next year, David Moore went to that school and they said you should have
met this guy here last year. He was out of his mind. David Moore later picked up a hitchhiker
and that was a lost guy name Brian Lange and witnessed to him. He went to Utah to go skiing
and fell into a depression…He was going back to New York to find what that guy was talking
about Jesus. We all ended up in the same church years later. I wanted to finish and say I
remember those days through the years and the same thing happened whether you are in
Federal Hill or Africa or Havre de Grace or wherever we are going with the men and women of
God. This is God’s will. We are greatly honored. We touch it, taste it. We are greatly honored
and to have this in our lives. To say to a young person, your disability may be a blessing for you.
You can find God.
To say to a person who has family problems that maybe this is ordained of
God. Maybe you wouldn’t turn to God. Everything is a just balance with God. In his bag are
many weights. It’s filled with weights. You have a balance. Let’s say here is your life, Nancy. It’s
just the weight that Nancy needs. Then he has another person, Eric. And he knows he can do
something big with Eric. He has a huge weight. Nancy couldn’t handle those weights. But in his
bag is many weights. He knows how to handle you. Thank God we are not all the same. Not
everyone in here is Einstein. God made us and it’s a foolish mind that cannot find it. Let me give
you a definition of a fool. He’s having trouble here in Maryland, so he says I need a change. I’m
going to live in Africa, in South Africa on the beach and watch the sharks. He does it for two years. Somehow the same emptiness is in his heart. What is he missing?
The real issue. A fool cannot find the thing. He cannot find it. He’s alienated from God’s life. He has a darkened mind
and a blind heart. He lives his life chasing the wrong thing. I need a different wife, a different
country, a different job and so on. I don’t know but I know this: if we find wisdom, if we find
God’s heart, if we grow in faith, if we learn love, our world will change inside. We’ll start to see
things and understand God is here. I would rather have God in this world than have the whole
world without him. He’s saying you have a problem? I have a weight for it in my bag. I will not
make you and leave you alone. I will not make you the way you are without giving you a
provision. I am your heavenly Father and I will meet your need. I will be there for you. Do you
believe me? The wise person will somehow say maybe I don’t believe it so much but I’m going
to abide, listen, humble myself under your mighty hand and show me and give me a deeper
understanding, a deeper love, a deeper faith, a deeper solution to my life. That’s what I need. In
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.