God runs to our cries. We can obtain help from Him in any situation. We can be like Stephen and like Mordecai, people who stand with Him in His Truth. (Acts 26:22; Esther 3:1-2)
Speaker(s): Pastor Steven Scibelli, Pastor Renaldo Brown
6:30 PM on 1/17/2021
P. Renaldo Brown –
Good evening. We’ve had an interesting 12 months. Some would say that. Use the word
“interesting.” They’ve been troubled, chaotic, confused. And there are voices that suggest that
possibly this week and the coming weeks will be more of the same. But the church has to have
a different voice. We have to have a different voice. So in light of that, there are some that talk
of rebellion. There are some that talk of protests, but that’s not the voice of the church. We
have decided to do the weak thing, the unpopular thing. We have decided to pray. So this week
in our church right here we are dedicating a week of prayer because our voice is different than
the voice of the world. We’ll be here during the day and in the evenings praying. Come. Join us.
Assemble. Pray. You can pray at home but come assemble with the Body and pray. Help us
enlarge our faith fields and trust God for what he can do. We’ll be here. Tonight there’s Prayer
and Praise. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we will be here praying doing the quiet
thing that moves a loud God. We’ll be doing that. As we think of prayer, in Acts 13:2-3, they
Then it says in vs. 4, they went. After prayer, there is a going. In our history there is
prayer but in our history there is also going. We had a Zoom meeting Saturday. There’s a lot of
people thinking about missions. Young people. People in general. It was amazing to see this
Zoom meeting. There were five continents represented. Hundreds of faces. I haven’t seen that
many different faces since Convention two years ago. India, Africa, South America, Europe,
North America. It reminded me of the plurality of our mission. The “we” of our mission. This
year for summer harvest, we want to think globally. We want to think about the “we” in our
mission. When other churches are closing their missions budgets deciding not to go, this is who
we are. We go. We keep going, Matthew 28:19. We keep going. Now more than ever, this is our
moment. This could be our Moravian moment. We could go when no one else is. So pray about
summer harvest. Pray about it. There’s four places we’re looking at, one in America; three
outside of America. You can talk about covid and travel. “It’s not save to travel.”
When has it ever been safe to give the Gospel? Never. So don’t give me safety. Don’t give me science. Give
me missions. That’s our heritage. So think about summer harvest. The theme is “This is Our
Moment,” Esther 4:14. Let’s make it OUR moment. His fullness and our fullness. Amen.
P. Scibelli –
Turn to Acts. Someone once told me it’s the only book I preach from. I said, thank
you! I thought that was interesting. Acts 26:22, Paul is speaking. I think this is a great portion.
We heard about Acts 26 this morning. Paul is saying this is not going to happen unless I obtain
help from God. P. Renaldo was sharing, and I thought of something. We have two countries in
which Greater Grace is in Africa and I thought of them where both are controlled by dictators
for 40 years a piece. In those two countries, we have 70 churches. That’s amazing. You think
you can stop us? You think you can stop God? You can forget it. That’s not going to happen.
Sometimes we hear news and don’t realize there is the Good News and it’s moving on no
matter what the other news is saying. We cannot continue unless a couple of things take place
first. I did a church service in Marrakesh, Morocco. Maybe I shouldn’t have said that. The leader
of the church said he was put in prison for the Gospel with his wife and children.
How does that affect your ministry? He said, not a bit. This man is not soft. We met him, P. Steve Morello and
my wife and 20 years he stayed with God and the ministry. These men he is raising up they told
me some things happened after they got converted. They lost their job, got kicked out of school
and college. Everything happened to them after they said yes to Jesus Christ. These are strong
men. We have a church that is strong minded. Paul said having obtained help from God. “Help”
means God runs to your cry. Did you get that? God what? God runs to your cry. When God
hears our cry, he doesn’t just like [He’s strolling along]. He runs to our cry. He runs to my cry.
We just ask help from God. We’ve heard that satanic saying, “God helps those that help
themselves.” That’s from the devil. It’s not in Christianity. It’s in “worldianity.” I thought of Hebrews
4:12-16 and some great things said about Jesus Christ and God the Father and the Spirit. He’s
the Word of God, John. 1:1. It’s alive and sharp and powerful than a two edged sword and pierces
and divides and cuts. Then he’s called the great high priest.
Then Jesus, the one who saves. The Son of God, perfect deity who has taken our infirmity, perfect humanity. Son of God, Son of Man. On a throne, King of Kings. But the greatest thing I think is he is my helper. He runs to my
cry. My wife runs to my cry when I yell this word “sock.” Because I can’t get my sock on! She’s
an amazing woman of God by the way. When you can’t get your left sock on, I don’t care. I’ll
walk around with one on and one off. Half baked! God says I have all the help you ever need.
When you sin, I run to your cry with mercy. When you are weak, I run to your cry with grace.
When confused, I run to your cry with peace. When have trials and troubles, I run to your cry.
God is a helper. His situation here is not called the best. He’s on his way. I was thinking about
him. He gets arrested, put in prison, put on a boat, the boat starts to sink, he comes in on a
board, lands in an island and gets bit by a snake! What else is going to happen. It’s one thing
after another. He says I obtained help from God.
I obtained help from God. And if the church, we all need to grow, not this church, the Christian church and the believer, because sometimes we have gotten so sophisticated in our technological ability to make things happen and change
things and to cause things to take place that we think they should, that all of a sudden God is
like, okay. I’ll get to you God later only for the real crisis. I need God’s help to put a sock on.
Help God. Help me in my marriage, help me in my walk with God, to learn in the Bible, to
preach, to evangelize. We were out this weekend Friday and Saturday and I met some obtuse
people. I don’t even know what that means! One guy said, what do you want? What do you
want? I said, your soul. He goes, what do you mean by that? Jesus can save you, your life. That’s
what I’m talking about, he said. I thought you were down here doing something really strange,
some kind of movement or something. People need help from God. You think of drug addiction
and alcohol addiction and the addictions; the pornographic addiction, the addictions to the
natural and the carnal and the media.
There are so many addictions out there and the only deliverance is getting help from God. I obtain help from God. You have a financial problem? Ever try God? We got it all figured out. Check book. Do this. Sit down. Go to the bank. Get a
loan. Do that. Do this. God, help me! I need help. By the way, God is so willing to help us. He
doesn’t just walk to my cry; he runs to my cry. I remember I was on a boat one time and the
boat was crossing Lake Victoria. I’ve told this story before. What was following us was these
eyeballs, crocodile eyeballs. Lake Victoria eyeballs are not baby gators. These are 2,000 pounds that can swallow you whole. I don’t like boats to begin with. Don’t ask me to take a boat trip
even the ones they used to do. The ministry had a few of those. Remember those? I don’t like
boats. I don’t like the way they move and in certain places I don’t like what is in the water. I’m
not so keen what is in the water. We used to go swimming in a place one day until I saw this
[shark fin]. It’s time to depart from this place! This says help!
Don’t go back there again. We need help from God. It can be in anything. You see something that could be occurring like an accident of some type, and you cry out help to God and all of a sudden everything disappears.
We ask God, we cry out and God intervenes. I obtain help from God. David said in Psalm 12 – I
love how he said it too. He didn’t just say help God [quietly]. He said, help God! [loudly]. Help!
It’s in the command tense. He commanded God. I need your help. For the godly man ceases,
the HESED man. The man with lovingkindness and grace, he’s vanished from the earth. David
said he was the only one left. You know he had others. Help me! Help God! Help! He’s crying
out to God. This is king David. This is a great warrior. This is a man who can fight. This is a
soldier. I was thinking of his mighty men that turned on him to stone him at Ziglag. He
encouraged himself in the Lord.
I bet he was screaming, Help God! He was crying out, help God! I was reading about those guys. Do you know there is one of them called the Tahkemonite. He killed 800 people at once. I got to meet this guy when I go to heaven. I got to ask him, how did you do that? Where did you stack the bodies, I mean, 800 people. Then you have Benaiah who
killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day. He took a spear out of an Egyptians hand and killed him
with his own spear, and then slew two lion-like men of Moab. This is significant in Christ.
Benaiah means in the Hebrew, “son of my right hand.” A lion in the pit – he slew the devil. An
Egyptian – he slew the world. Two lion like men of Moab – he slew the flesh. You’d like to have
him around, right? You got in a little trouble? Where is he? These men were with David 45
years. They were on his right and left. You’d be nuts to try and get around them. I like the
definition of them. I always wanted to be like this.
Chafed in the mind and valiant hearts. They had hearts that were valiant and mentally insane! That’s a great combination for a believer. A leader especially. That’s Marty Veader. They were there and received help from God. When I’m weak and fail, I got help from God. Paul would say in 2 Corinthians 11, towards the end of the chapter,
he talked about 38 things that happened to him. Thirty-eight things he was in, 2 Corinthians 11:18 –
12:10. Beside all of this, the care of the church. Besides all of this on the outside, I got to deal
with the church and all the cares of the church, which was a privilege, but they were there. But
help! Help me. Help me start a Bible study. Help me evangelize people. Help me talk to
someone about Christ. I don’t even want to. I don’t even think I know how to. I’m afraid to do
it, but God says I’ll give you help. Why wouldn’t God help us to speak to people? Acts 26, he
says I’ve got help from God to witness day and night. You know what this did? Knowing that he
had help from God, he had a strong mind.
That’s what Christianity needs. That’s what’s needed in a family with a father, with a mother and father toward their children. Having a strong mind 2 Timothy1:7 Paul said to Timothy, God has not given you a spirit of cowardice. Timothy could have a tendency to be weak. He wasn’t like Titus. You know what you do with Titus? You send him to
Crete where everyone is a liar and brute beasts. You send Titus. He’s the guy. He can withstand
anything. Not sending Timothy there. He’ll have a bad stomach. Titus was something. He went to Dalmatia. He was in Corinth. He took journeys with Paul. He was in Jerusalem as a test case.
Titus was a guy with a strong mind. Strong mind. This is what is needed so much to have a mind
fixed on God. Psalm 57 a mind fixed on God with strength. A strong mind. A mind based in God.
Joshua must have had some kind of a little problem. He was good at fighting in Exodus 17, but when
it came to leading, there was as small problem. That’s why Moses said to him and God said to
him four or five times, be strong and of good courage.
You need strength from God, not strength from yourself to make it through anything. I don’t need my own strength. A strong mind. What do you think Stephen had when he faced the Pharisees in Acts 7. All alone,
deserted by the church, facing the enemy. They’re going to kill him. He’s a deacon. There’s a
good test for a deacon. Willing to die after one message! Stephen stands there and has the
whole Sanhedrin listening. By the way, he quoted and made reference, I checked it, he made a
cross reference to 48 verses. He was a living Bible in front of these people who knew nothing
about the Bible, only legalism. Stephen wasn’t going to back down from these people because
he had a strong mind. As we have been under P. Stevens for many years we saw a man with a
strong mind. He took in God’s thoughts. Taking in God’s thoughts. See I haven’t even gotten to
the place of “continue” yet. I get help from God, and God gives me his mind. Philippians 2:5 let this
mind be in you that is in Christ Jesus.
The mind of Jesus. The mind of the Spirit, Romans 8:4-6. The mind of the Father. Matthew 16:23, the mind of the Father. I need the mind of God. I need to think with God. I’m getting help from God. The greatest help God can give me is his thoughts, his Word. Developing strength in us as Christians in this world. I’m not intimidated by what is
going on. I could care less. I’ll just preach the Gospel and walk with God. You say it’s easy for
you to say. You’re in your late – you don’t know how late it is. I told my mother I’m going to
outlive her, and she was ninety something. If it’s God’s will. If I died tonight, hallelujah, praise
the Lord and see you in heaven. You know what? God wants to help us by giving his thoughts.
We have his mind. Noah would have to stand alone. It said every person on the face of the
earth. Think about that. Genesis 6:1-8 every single person, every single thought was only evil
continually. Can you imagine. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Are you with me?
Hallelujah. Are you here tonight?
George Hayes is here. He just got some of my wife’s sauce. He’s really excited. Hallelujah! Strong mind. I get help from God and he gives me his mind. Can you imagine we can think with God. Whatever is going on out there and whoever you are thinking with and it’s not with God in many cases. We can think with God and that develops in
us incredible strength in the mind. I need mental strength long before I have physical strength.
Mental strength does that. Strong in the mind I like when it says in Esther 3, everybody bowed
to Haman. Haman was in control of the kingdom. Even the Jews were bowing down to Haman.
Yes, Haman. Whatever you say Haman. Haman is really happy because he has everybody
submitted to him. All of a sudden one guy stood up. Mordecai. And it says in 3:1-2, Mordecai
bowed not. That irritated Haman. That irritated Human. It’s incredible. A man said to me, I’ll let
you go. Open the cell and promise me you won’t preach in our country again. I said cannot do
that. Cannot tell that. Cannot say that. Do what you have to do anyway. What’s the big deal?
What do you think you can do to me anyway?
Put me in jail for ten years and I’ll start a church. Who cares? It’s just another location although I would miss my wife and children. Thinking with God. That’s why Bible school is important. That’s why learning the Bible is important, amen!
That’s why coming to church every church service if it is at all possible is vitally important.
Amen! I need to receive thoughts from God. Study to show thyself approved unto God a
workman that needeth not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. Study my Bible even
if it’s five minutes a day or tomorrow or next week it’s ten minutes and three months from then
it’s 15 minutes. Then you develop a capacity through habits of learning the Word. Halleluiah!
We develop new ways of thinking. God’s ways. I know the thoughts I think towards you they
are thoughts of peace and not evil to give you hope in the outcome, Jeremiah 29:10-11. I know what I
think. God says I know what I think. I want you to know what I think. I want you to know what I
think about this sin, this trend, this culture, this failure.
I want you to know what I think about mercy when you fail. When I think of all the evil antagonism that is out there. You don’t fellowship with it. It’s getting worse and worse. You need to know how to think with God. I
need to know every day how to think with God. This week I am on my way to Morocco. The
computer already has me down for two arrests. Let’s try for another. Someone said to me,
don’t you care? I don’t care. They don’t realize I have five passports. Don’t tell anybody! I got
help from God. I can think with God. I can think with God through a trial, through difficulty,
through all the things that are going on. I can think with God under dictatorships. I can think
with God whatever form of government there is. I can think with God with whatever is going
on. There can be pressure. There can be things happening in the family. There could be loss of
job. There could be sickness. Whatever it might be. There could be riches. There could be
poverty but in that I can what? Think with God. Do you know what the results of getting help
from God, thinking with God is?
I continue. We continue. By the way, do you know what the word “continue” is in the Greek language? The word is HISTEMI, which means “where you stand.” You can’t move me from where I stand. I’m going to continue with God. Moses did it 40 years in Egypt 40 years in the wilderness and 40 years with Israel, 120 years. I continue. 2 Timothy
3:14 continue in the things you have learned knowing of whom you’ve learned them and be
assured. Continue in the Word. Continue. We continue. Everything can be going down around
us. There can be people falling away. There can be people not interested that much anymore
for one reason or another. Paul said I continue. Drop off. Drop off. Going away. See you later.
Well, I don’t know. You know, it’s kind of difficult. I have to drive one or two miles to church.
How would you like to walk like the Sudanese used to walk like five or seven miles to church by
foot? I what? I continue. I’m not going to let changes drop me away from fellowship. I continue
when I’m 20. I continue when I’m 30. I continue when I’m 50. I continue when I’m 70.
I continue when I’m 90. Just push me to church. It doesn’t matter. I’ll sit in the front row and drool! I don’t
care. I want to continue. Halleluiah! I want to continue. That’s my desire. I have flesh like
anyone else. I can fail. Anything can happen. But my prayer is God give me grace. I need your
help. I want to continue. I want to continue in your love in John 15:9. I want to continue in your
Word in John. 8:31. I want to continue. That’s my desire. That’s my prayer request. I’m not
looking for a hair color change. Too late for that. I’ll continue. We continue to evangelize. P.
Renaldo said we want missions. Missions. “What do you think about missions? Some people
think about closing the church? Well, do you know what those people can do? Take a short run off a very short pier. Did you ever go off a pier? I’ve seen people do it. Randy Bertacki did it one
time. He ran as fast as he could right off a pier.
Then he preached the Gospel when he came back in and drew a crowd. I continue. I continue. Are you with me? I’m going to continue. The enemy wants to come in like a flood. We can give place to him, Ephesians 4:27. “Did you hear what happened? Somebody said something to me and I’m not going back to church. Somebody said
something to me. They made a face at me. I stuck my hand out to shake their hand and they
didn’t shake my hand. I’m not coming back anymore. I don’t know what’s going on I couldn’t
find a close parking space at the church. What am I going to do? What a tragedy. This is crazy! I
quit!” You think I’m exaggerating. Yes and no. Maybe just a little. I continue. I continue. Thank
you for being people that continue. We have been through ups and downs for 45 and 50 years
and you’re here. I am speaking to the choir. You are here on a Sunday night. Thank you. We get
help from God. We receive a sound strong mind. That’s the help we get and then we what? We
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.