Mary took to heart what she heard. She pondered. Spiritual understanding grew in her and this can happen in us. The Bible is what we to need to study slowly, imaginatively, prayerfully, and obediently. The Word is about the Person of God being revealed. (Luke 2:1-20; 1 Corinthians 2:9-14; 2 Timothy 3:15-17)

Speaker: Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 12629
Date: 2023-12-10
Time: Sun 11:00 AM

P. Schaller –

It’s a special day today cuz we’re celebrating Christmas. Thank you, guys. You did a great job. Don’t they do a
good job? You’re awesome. For our church to have such a great band, live music, and just
Spirit-filled people. It’s precious. Really great.

So, it’s a good season. Christmas season. And we here at Greater Grace we love it because it’s a
great holiday. A Christian feast of celebrating the Incarnation of Christ. What a gift. What a
work. Unbelievable that God would be so good to us and show us his love by being incarnated.
Coming into the world so that we could touch him. We could actually see him and follow him in
the gospels. It’s just unbelievable that God came for us, for us. Turn to your neighbor and just
say, he came for you. He came for you. I mean really. He came for you.

Wow. So, one of the things we do is we have a Nativity scene and we moved it from outside.
Last year, we did it outside. Animals and so on. We have that tonight but there’s actually
theater. Like a 20-minute, 30-minute theater on the stage tonight. And I think there’s a little
lamb. I think the farmer who is renting out the animals is going to carry the lamb in. I think
there’s another sheep or lamb in the play inside which raises sanitation questions, doesn’t it?
We got it all covered. It will be great. It will be raining probably. A lot of rain is coming but we’re
going to be here, and it will be a good time. So, there will be two of them. They’ll be hot cider
or hot chocolate and some festive pieces or parts to it tonight. That will be starting at 6:00 I
think with two plays and a word, a short word at the end of the play.

Let’s turn to Luke 2 for our reading this morning. Vs. 1. Wow. Isn’t that a common thing today.
The leader says I got a solution. I got a solution. We’ll just tax everybody. And things haven’t
changed. Vs. 2-10. Thank you, Lord. We were in Israel. Unfortunately, we didn’t go this year,
but in the year’s past we’ve been out in the Bethlehem area and out in the fields. We were right
where this happened in proximity generally speaking of course. This is where they were
shepherding the sheep and angels came and told them this great message and told them they
could go and see the baby in Bethlehem.

This is vs. 11-20. Our message this morning is on this phrase, “Mary pondered them in her heart.” I just want to give you an introduction to the message and have you think about it for the few minutes.
Mary was told in the gospel by Gabriel that she would have a son and that the Holy Spirit would
come upon her, and she would have a son and his name would be called Jesus. That was one
event that she had in her mind. Now, these events are accumulating in time, and she’s putting
it together in her mind. She pondered. The word “pondered” is in the Greek this idea to throw
together, to bring together, to bring together in one’s mind, confer with one’s self. To come
together to meet.

“The virgin Mary had her matter of her private meditation. She said little but kept all of these
things and pondered them in her heart. She laid up the evidences together and kept them in reserve to be compared with the discoveries that would be afterwards made her.” Because
she’s now on a journey in her heart and in her mind. I want to say that regarding us. If you
broke your life down to two parts, you have a natural life that we all live like we were at a
funeral yesterday. Like cancer or health or whatever happens in your kitchen or bedroom or
bathroom or car or backyard or at work or in the cafeteria.

Or what happens on a weekend paying bills, talking to your children, getting in a little bit of a fight with somebody. A
disappointment. A broken heart. A broken marriage. A broken relationship. Financial trouble.
Health problems. Life. Natural life.

Mary was pregnant but she didn’t know a man. That’s like a problem in her life. Like honest,
honest, honest, I don’t know a man but I’m pregnant. But she didn’t talk about it. She pondered
in her heart. Cause there’s something going on in her life that is from God. That’s the second
part of her life. You have your natural life and then you have. I want you to really understand
this. You have, you have a life with God. God gave you Christ. Christ is in your heart.

You have something to ponder. It’s not from the natural. That too we ponder. We understand
life. We’re living it. Yes, that too. This is real. Yes. Do I eat lunch today or not. I mean am I going
to be sick or healthy? Am I okay at work or not? I mean this is life. We live life. But with the
natural life we have something to ponder that is from God our heavenly Father because we are
born again. We are born of God. We have something to ponder in our heart and mind that’s
from God in our life.

So, what are the pieces that Mary put together. Her pregnancy is one. That’s for sure. Now,
they are in the city of Bethlehem and that’s strange. She didn’t plan that. We don’t know what
she knew about that. Did she know that the prophet Micah said that this God from everlasting
would be born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2. Remember? When Herod the King asked the priest the
Jewish scribes where does it say that the Messiah would be born? They gave the answer, Micah
5:2. They quoted it. They knew. Did Mary know that? Maybe not. But that’s a piece potentially.
Now, she has shepherds coming to the baby and they’re saying we came here because we were
out there like a quarter mile away, half a mile out and these angels appeared to us and told us
that Christ was born and that we could find him here in swaddling clothes. And here we are and
we are telling.

Mary is pondering. Soon, wise men come. Soon, eight days later after the birth
we don’t know when the wise men arrive exactly, but we know that eight days after the birth
she would go up to the temple with the baby in her arms with Joseph and two people would be
there. Simeon, an old man and Anna, an elderly woman and they would both prophesy and say
that this is the Christ. This is the Savior of the world.

She is pondering. Putting it together. And she’s going to carry this in her life just like you. You
carry in your life what God is saying to you. How you observe life. You carry it in your heart. You
are carrying it in your life. And the point of the message this morning is I want to help you understand that you are carrying it in your life. And how you can know more about it and how
you can walk with God so that this becomes clear to you.

So that when you finish your life and you are on your death bed, and you reflect on your life, this is the anchor to your heart. It’s the anchor to your soul. It’s where you have your confidence and your faith. It’s where you can say I
live my life and I know whom I have believed. And he has shown himself to me in my life. It has
happened and I’m so thankful for that. So, that will be our message.

I’ll read this part. “She laid the evidences together, kept them in reserve. There would be more
discoveries coming. As she had silently left it to God to clear up her virtue that was suspected.”
She kind of knows that people don’t believe her. That she is a virgin. She kind of knows that, but
she leaves it to God. That’s up to God if he wants to clear my name or however that works.
That’s not driving me. That doesn’t have to happen because I have God who is speaking to my
heart. And the reality that I have from God is what I’m building my life on. I will not be
ashamed. I know whom I have believed.

“She silently leaves it to him to publish her honor now when it was veiled, and it is satisfaction
enough to find that if no one else takes notice of the birth of the child, angels do. Note the
truths of Christ are worth keeping and the way to keep them safe is to ponder them.

Meditation is the best help to memory.” Okay. So, this will be a good message, and help us to
think about how we have the two real worlds. We have this world, but we have more. We have
something more. We have God speaking to us. We have God in our lives, okay. All right. Amen.
Okay. You may be seated. Okay. You can turn with me to two places. 1 Corinthians 2:13-14, we have
Mary and her natural life. You and your natural life.

I was chewing on something the other day in my car and suddenly I felt a stone in my mouth. What do you think it was? My tooth! Yeah. You have teeth. Maybe a few teeth or maybe no teeth. That’s life, right? There’s so many things we could say about it. A medical person shared with me that somebody came into the
emergency room with their leg gangrened. They just waited. They had gangrene from diabetes
and of course why didn’t you come in earlier, right? Why didn’t you come in earlier? I don’t
know but that’s what happens. Life. We say life happens, right? The good and the bad and
that’s the natural life.

So, what we are talking about today is that Mary had something to ponder that came from God
and so do you. But you have to pay attention to it. You have to realize it’s there. You live by
faith. You actually believe in God and listen to him and walk with him.
So, I’m going to help you understand this I hope. Help you understand it and also how to
practice it so that your life is rich. It doesn’t mean you won’t lose a truth. It just means you have
something going on that’s beyond the truth. You have Jesus in your life. You have God in your
life. You have faith in God. You have words. Words.

We have two important principles. Scriptures. That’s #1. Scriptures or the Bible. And #2 is
prayer. So, we’re going to get around to that in our message. So look at this verse with me.
Chapter 2:13, context is that there are things we haven’t seen, things we haven’t heard in vs. 9.
It’s never entered from within our heart. From within us the things that God has prepared for
us, for them that love him. Vs. 13. From vs. 9, you can study that on your own today if you read
it and reread it and meditate on it.

vs. 13. We don’t need a university professor cause he can’t say these things anyway by nature.
By nature he can’t reveal it to us. It has to be from the anointing of God. The Spirit of God
revealed to us. It must be that the Spirit speaks to us, not man’s wisdom. That’s a very
important point that this is not an intellectual experience here today. We are not, it’s not an
intellectual exercise. It’s a fellowship. It’s where the Spirit gives you understanding. The Spirit
gives you wisdom from above. Wisdom from the Spirit showing us and teaching us and not just
in the meeting but in your personal life when you are reading the Bible. When you are learning
to read the Bible, and this is where we’re going with the message.

Vs. 13. That text if you look at Kenneth Wuest and what he says about it, it’s like this. This is
broken down really simple. You find a spiritual word here. You compare it with this part over
here. And you read this. You study this. You understand this. And this you compare with over
here. Cause the Word teaches the Word. The parts go together. When Mary pondered in her
heart, she was putting things together in her mind. Spiritually, God was putting it together for
her and this is how we are reading the Bible. But notice something in the next verse.

But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God. Vs. 14. So, we have the natural
life, but does that natural life receive the things of the Spirit of God like from the Spirit of God.
No, he doesn’t receive. He doesn’t receive the things from the Spirit of God. He cannot know
them. Look at vs. 14.

Vs. 14. Like you could say, do you believe in God? No, I don’t believe in God. I’m not involved. I
don’t care about any of that. No. We are believing. Yeah, whatever you believe. That’s your
business but I have no interest. I have no interest in that. Have you ever read the Bible? Yes,
I’ve read it. They might say that. Yes, I’ve read it or no, I’ve never read it and I don’t really care
about it.

So, it’s foolishness to them. It’s recognized by the Spirit. Here’s some examples. Jesus walks into
the room in the Gospel. Let’s say Luke 5. He walks into the room. The people in the room don’t
recognize him as anybody important, even some believe very bad things about him. But who is
he? Do you recognize him? Do you know who he is? Can you discern it? No, he’s nothing. He’s
just popular at the moment but it will die out. Yes, but he’s a deceiver person and so on. All
right. Nobody has any opinion about him. They’re not interested at all.

They just walk passed him and so on. You know. You can imagine how it is. You understand that. It’s like that for us in
life. There is the natural man who has his own addictions, appetites, mindset and it’s different from
us. The natural man is different from us. If you were to ask Mary about her life, she could tell
you by a natural description and actually have some issues in her heart. I don’t really know
what happened to me, but this is very strange, and I don’t like it. Yes, some angel appeared and
look at what happened to me. Look at me. Look at what happened to me.

My husband doesn’t trust me and many other things I could say. She could have been like that, but she wasn’t.
But the natural man, he is not – I have a short list here. He has a blindness. This is from
Jonathan Edwards. “The heart of man is full of sin and corruption and that corruption is
darkening and blinding his nature. It always carries a degree of darkness with it. The more it
prevails, the more it darkens and deludes the mind. It’s from hence the knowing that there be
any wicked way in us is a difficult thing.” Like if you say Mary, you got this all wrong. Like you
don’t understand. This is a very good thing. This is from God. This is an angel of God. Your
pregnancy is from God.

And of course, the Mary we know was like yes. Yes. It’s unbelievable what is happening. And
she worshipped. And she lived this way. I want to say can you and I live in such a way that when
our life on a natural level happens, that we are being equipped by God to live very close to God
and have the right spirit from God. Are we able to admit we are blind. There are things we don’t
understand and that we need help.

Are we able to say I’m proud or I’m deceived or I’m wrong about this thing. This is God. God is
in it. Especially when it comes to suffering. We get very upset when it comes to suffering. The
natural man is suffering and we’re just very frustrated with it. I’m saying all of us. I’m saying
myself. I realize this but I’m also saying to us today I want to share with you four words that will
help you in understanding how you are to walk close with God. We’re not there yet. I’ll do it in
a minute.

Go to another thing that blinds the natural man is that he’s just simply unaware. He isn’t
sensible to the things of God. It’s a difficult thing to make him aware of the things of God. He’s
insensible to it. He doesn’t believe it. He doesn’t care about it. Because the same lust that leads
them in an evil way blinds them in it.

I remember living in another country and preaching and planting a church and seeing people
come and I saw a man come with his girlfriend. Many times he would come with his girlfriend,
and he’d come under conviction because he would be living with her, sleeping with her or
whatever. It was clear that God wanted him to make some decision. And so many times they
would decide the girlfriend. They go with the girlfriend instead of God.

One case I remember this woman who was living with a man for seven years, and she came
under great conviction. I remember it cause I was involved in the whole thing. She was under
great conviction, and she just moved out. It was like terrible thing in one way. The natural man
versus something God is saying. God is saying to me. God is in my life. God directs my life. I
want God in my life. I do. I want God in my life.

That’s a big deal that I would be relating to God, and I saw this with this woman and the joy that
eventually she had and also getting married and being blessed in so many ways and so on. I saw
that happen in that particular life. I think that’s a good example of how it is that the spiritual life
is – you can’t copy it. It’s not rigid and mechanical. It’s not natural. It’s not the law and legalism.
It’s not religious in a way. It’s a relationship with God. We hear that a lot in our ministry. We say
it’s not religion. It’s relationship. And so that’s our theme today with these four words.

Turn to the second part. Make a note of 1 Corinthians 2 and use that in your home studies. Turn to 2
Timothy 3:15. I got this piece. I didn’t read it. I’ll do it now. This is the natural man. “If he lives in the
way of malice or envy, the more malice or envy prevails. The more will it blind his
understanding to approve of it. The more a man hates his neighbor, the more will he be
disposed to think that he has just cause to hate him.” I hate my neighbor and then after I’m
hating him for a while I go, oh, yeah. Yeah. There is good reason to hate him. I do hate him.
Months later, I knew he would do that. I knew. Oh, yeah. I hate. It feeds on itself.

It says, “the more a man hates his neighbor, the more he will be disposed to think that he has
just cause and that his neighbor is hateful and deserves to be hated and that it is not his duty to
love him. So, if a man lives in any way of lasciviousness, the more his impure lust prevails, the
more sweet and pleasant it will make the sin appear. And so, the more will he be disposed and
prejudiced to think that there’s no evil in it.”

The more he is pornographic let’s say. Pornographic in his mind and heart. That can happen to
any of us. But the more that is part of our mindset, the more it is somehow justified by us. It’s
the natural man. And it blinds me. All the time, God in heaven is saying to us, I have a better
way. I am the way. I have something better for you.

Now, let’s go to really working on how does this work? How can I find Christ in such a way all
my life that I could live in such a way that it’s better that the Spirit will speak to me. That the
Spirit will lead me and guide me in my life. So, this is 2 Timothy 3:15-17.

I understood this was an infant. When Timothy was an infant, his mother and grandmother
were teaching him. He could hardly talk. Before he’s walking. A very early age he’s learning the
Scriptures. Vs. 16. There’s so many PhD’s in the world but they don’t know anything about
salvation. There’s so much on the internet. There’s so much information everywhere.

You can google anything and find out so much, but who knows about salvation? You can have
conversations about economics and politics and religion and everything but who knows about
salvation? How do you get saved? What is salvation? How does it happen? Who knows about
it? Very few unless you have been saved and you’re learning the Scripture. If you’ve been
saved, it might be that you have a hard time explaining it. I hope not but that’s understandable
if I don’t know the Scripture. The Scripture makes you wise unto salvation.

So, this is our first point. Scripture. The Scripture. I cannot emphasize it enough. This book. How
could this book get in me. How could this book? God was good to us. Have you ever been in a
lawyer’s office and all those volumes or a doctor’s office. God was good to us. He gave us just
one. Here it is. Thank you, Jesus. Not a hundred books. One with 66 books in it, little books in it
packed in. Here it is. These Scriptures.

Heaven and earth will pass away but not one part of one alphabet letter; not one jot or tittle
will pass away from the autographs, the original Scriptures. We don’t have those. We have
copies. We have translations. But it’s enough to say this is the Word of God. The Dead Sea
Scrolls proved that the transmission of the information is 99.9% accurate. Hundreds of years
between that copy and this copy from 800 A.D. to like the earlier one, 200 B.C. the book of
Isaiah. Unbelievable accuracy in the transmission of the text. We have a reliable text. We have
the Scripture. Why not study the Scripture. Why not meditate on it. Why not ponder it in my
heart. Why not think about it. Why not have it in my heart in my life. It’s better than my own
thoughts.

How many of you get tired of your own thoughts? Go ahead. Raise your hand. I hate vain
thoughts. I get tired. I get in a rut in my mind. The same stupid thought. I mean it’s stupid. S-T-
U-P-I-D. It’s not valuable. It’s empty. It’s a – you know, when they took Samson and they put his
eyes out and they hooked him up to the millstone like a donkey would be doing it. But Samson
was pushing and he’s blind and he’s just going round and round and round. And I think of that
about people. That’s how you live sometimes. The natural man, he just goes round and round
the same foolish things and he cannot get out. But the Scripture, this is the living Word. This is
quick, living, powerful. It affects our heart, our mind. It renews our mind, Romans 12:2-3.

So, let’s read. Vs. 15. How much? We don’t know how much he knew. Did he know the psalms?
For sure. Did he know Proverbs? He read them. He studied them. They meditated on them. Did
he know Isaiah and Joel and Amos and Malachi? Did he know the Torah, the five books of
Moses. Deuteronomy, Exodus, Leviticus. Timothy, what did he know? He knew the Scriptures.
How about you?

You might say, I don’t read the Bible. I’m going to tell you, please read the Bible. I can’t
emphasize it enough. If you just read the Bible little by little. Have some teaching. Have some books to help you and study the Bible and get really quiet in your heart. Mary pondered it.
Pondered these things in her heart. She thought about it.

It will help you when you’re riding a donkey. When you’re riding a donkey as they went to
Egypt. I saw the shepherds. We had the wise men. We had Simeon and Anna. I remember
Gabriel. I remember my cousin Elizabeth. I remember Zacheus [Zachariah] that he couldn’t talk
during her pregnancy. John the Baptist. I got things that come together and I’m saying in my
heart that God is in this thing. I’m saying in my heart God has not forsaken me. I’m saying in my
heart when I’m under a car like Keven Smeltzer fixing, changing oil or something. I’m there with
a wrench and I’m all dirty and doing my job. I have it in my heart that I’ve got more than a
natural life. I’ve got God in my life. God is in my life. I got it in my heart.

Okay. Four words. When you learn to read the Bible, this is how it’s going to happen. This is
how I want you to read the Bible. #1. Slowly. Read it slowly. Take time. Like just distractions.
Shut her down. Shut her down in your life if you can. You got to do it. I’m not saying if you can.
You must. You’ve got to have a filter of some kind. Shut her down. Have quietness and focus
and concentrate.

My son when he was in medical school, I said how do you study so much cause he had to study
for hours and hours. He showed me a video of a guy studying. There’s a camera here. The guy’s
at the desk with his book. He has a pencil. He’s twirling the pencil and he’s studying. And
nothing else is happening. I go, what do you mean? He goes, yeah. I just watch that. The guy is
studying. He’s not talking. He’s just studying. That’s all.

I watched it for a few minutes. I go, are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? This inspires you?
This helps you? He goes, yeah. It helps me. That’s what it is. There’s nothing happening. There’s
no music. There’s no sound. He’s not talking. It’s simply sitting there with a pencil and he’s
studying.

I’m not telling you how you do it in that way, but I am saying #1, when you read this Word it’s
God’s word and read it slowly and understand and pay attention. Listen to what it’s saying. Pay
attention to it and read it. Have it as a way of life. Read the Word slowly. Have you ever read –
all the time I read a chapter and I finish the chapter and I go, what did I read? I don’t even know
what I read. I have no idea what I just read. I didn’t really read it. I just did a routine. I just went
through the motion. I didn’t read it. I didn’t study it. I didn’t ask God. I didn’t ask God. I wasn’t
listening to God. What is he saying to me?

Okay. #1. Slowly. And compare one part with another part, and if you do it for five minutes, you
might end up doing it for thirty. And you might end up doing it for an hour. And it could be if
you had the time sometime you could be doing it for hours. There’s nothing l love more than
that. I can have my books around me. I can have quietness. And you might say yeah, but you’re the pastor or that’s the way you are. I know. But I didn’t start like that. I started like we all start.

There’s nothing to achieve here. I’m only trying to help you understand that you need your own
Bible, and you need to be reading it. And God will be speaking to you through the Bible to your
heart. Sometimes it is obvious. Sometimes it isn’t but it happens.

#1. Slowly. We got slowly reading. Read vs. 2. I want to know what verse 1 said. I go down to
verse 3. I’m thinking of verse 1, 2, and 3. I go to 4. I’m reading verse 4. I’m thinking about what
is it saying? You don’t have to study the Greek and the Hebrew. The translations are good
enough. You’re getting the meaning. And of course, if you want to study more, of course you
can do it. But you must have a bottom line habit of reading the Word because this is incredibly
unique. It’s not like other words. It’s not like other conversations.

It’s not like other reading material. It’s absolutely unique. It’s the Word of God. It’s what God says. And when he says it,
you will have something to ponder in your heart to put together in pieces.
#2. The word I want you to have for this – this is from Eugene Peterson by the way. These four
words. And the second word is “imagination.” When you read a text, put yourself in it. Read
yourself in the text like we’re doing with Mary today. When we’re reading about Mary and
what she’s doing, you put yourself in there and you think about it.

I like to read about the kings of Israel and Judah cause they were so bad guys. I can see myself in
those stories. Asa was a great king but then when he got sick in his feet – his feet were diseased
– he turned not to the Lord. He turned to the doctors. I read that and I go, yes, Lord. That’s like
me. I would turn to the doctors. I might even forget about you because they have the medicine
or the cure. And that’s what I would do maybe in my heart. Yes, Lord. I believe that about me. I
can imagine myself in that picture.

Or you see yourself in any part of the Bible. When you’re reading it, and you’re in faith and you
are prayerful – you are prayerful in the reading of the Bible. That’s word #3. Prayerful. So, that’s
how we read the Bible. You’ll be amazed. If my blindness and my arrogance – I’ll give you an
example. There are Christians that believe that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle. I have
to go to God with that question. Lord, is it an acceptable lifestyle? He directs me in my heart to
Leviticus 18:22. So, we can put that up there.

Lord, I have a friend who is like that we could say. I’m in prayer. Prayer. I’m thinking about it.
He’s a great guy. He’s a great guy. He’s a nice person. Yes. Okay. Okay. But this is different. This
isn’t natural. This isn’t about our society. It’s not about nice people. This is different. This is
about God. What does God say? What does he say about it to the Jewish people when he
establishes the nation? He goes it cannot happen. That is not good. That’s not good. That’s an
abomination to me. And then I say, yes, Lord, but I know you love them. I died for them. I love
them so much I died for them. I died for you and you’re not different. I’m no different. I’m a
sinner like we are.

We are sinners, but what happened? God convicted me of the fact that I am wrong, or I am
arrogant, or I am deceived, or I am misled, and I call good things bad and bad things good. Like
adultery. A man could say there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m in love with that. I love that.
Come on. I don’t care about your feelings. I don’t care about your opinion. What’s your opinion
mean? Look at where the world is taking the world, taking us in our society. Our broken world.
Our crazy people. People that cause more pain and I am one of them. I am one of them. So,
what do I want to do? I want to go to Jesus in my heart.

But how will I go to Jesus without this? Really. One important point, a side point, the
theologians of the 19 th century. 20 th century. 19 th century. Who would take the Bible. Analyze it
literarily and take it apart and say there’s two Daniel’s. Daniel before and Daniel after. There’s I
think five Moses’s. They take the text, and they analyze it and say this style is different from
that style and many other ways in the world of higher criticism. It’s a branch of theology which
we don’t engage in because we have a different view of the Bible.

We have a view like this. The Bible is above me. It’s the Word of God. It’s to be respected. It’s to
be received. God is to be worshipped. And this Word has the authority to change a person’s life.
I’m not analyzing it as a critic. There’s room for science and study and so on. I’m not against
that. But when it comes to my way of thinking about this, it has to be this way. Cuz we will cut it
up in pieces. Explain it away and say it doesn’t apply now and so on.

Neo-orthodox churches die. Do you know that churches are dying in the United States of
America? You know that churches that do not have a message from the Bible with authority
from the Bible, from the Spirit of God. They empty out. Young people are saying, do you have a
message? Yeah, it sounds like some professor at the university. The young people say okay.
Thank you very much. I’m not interested.

But what if God speaks? What if God speaks to us? What if God changes our lives? What if God
fills us with the Spirit? What if he says follow me. Follow ME. Follow ME. That’s it. Come on. I
want to follow him. What do you say, Jesus. I don’t like that. And Jesus says, tough. It’s your
call. You want to walk with me? This is what I say. It’s your call. Humble yourself under the
mighty hand of God. Why not receive the engrafted Word with meekness? Why wouldn’t Mary
say this is pretty crazy what’s happening, but I can see it. I believe it. I know it. I’m in. I’m game.
Let’s go. And as she grew up and she developed as a mother, and she had her son, she saw over
and over again God. She saw God. I mean in the revelation of what God was doing. I want to say
the same with you. But how can it happen if we don’t have the Word of God?

All right. So, let’s finish. Read your Bible slowly with imagination and put yourself in there and
be submitted. Prayerfully, #3. Prayerfully reading your Bible as a way of life. And the Lord will
bless you with that. And fourthly, obey it. Yes, Lord. Amen. That’s the word “amen.” That means okay. I don’t have an opinion. I’ve surrendered. Amen. Let it be that way. I accept what
you are saying to me in my heart.
Now, here’s a very interesting point. Sometimes take, people take the Bible, and they say I need
help in my life. I need self-help book. I need some advice and how can I live a life and they read
this, and they go okay. I see that. I don’t totally understand it. They may misunderstand the
Bible.

This isn’t about like a system that will help make my life better. This is about a person revealed
to you. This is about faith. You cannot figure his way out. It has never entered from within my
heart. I have never seen it. But it’s revealed to us by the Spirit. And by the Spirit you are
walking, and the words are life. And the fellowship and you say, why didn’t this work out for
you? You read the Bible and everything?

You say, I ended up in prison, but I tell you Jesus is with me. And he’s speaking to my heart. I’m
trying to say it like Paul, the Apostle Paul. He ends up in prison and Paul, you’re not a very good
example of what it means to walk with God. And Paul would say, oh, yeah. I’m walking with
God, and by the way, I’m writing a letter now to the Ephesians cause God is speaking to me. But
you’re in jail. Yeah, but that’s like, that’s the natural. That’s fine. That’s God’s will for me.
But in the natural life where I have some problem or challenge or difficulty, in the natural life I
have found a life where I walk, and I hear, and I embrace and I obey and I’m enriched and it’s a
joy and a pleasure to me. I have found Christ in my everyday life. I have found Jesus in my
heart. I have found Jesus in my life. I have found Jesus in my trouble.

I have found Jesus in my difficulty. I found Jesus when my tooth was rolling around inside my mouth! Funny. Kind of a
chintzy illustration. I found Jesus when my life was broken. I found Jesus after my second
marriage fell apart. I found Jesus when my son went to jail. I found Jesus at the graveside. I
found Jesus in my life when I was in trouble.

Do you understand what we’re saying? Okay. I’m really finishing. This is a long message, but just
it was 2 Timothy. I just realized we didn’t read the words. This is what God’s Word will do to
you. Vs. 16-17. You will be equipped by God. You will suffer well. You’ll be equipped by God to
say please forgive me. I’m sorry. You’ll be equipped by God to love an enemy. You’ll be
equipped by God to look out our window and see your neighbor and not hate him but love him.
You’ll be equipped by God to say let’s do it. This can happen. God is with us. Let’s believe God.
How did you get there? It was a relationship with the Word of God and prayer. Okay. Amen.

 

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.