Nehemiah refused to flee from the will of God. He stood though enticed many times to cut and run. He could not be bought and he gained an increase. (Nehemiah 6:1-11; 2 Corinthians 4:14-16)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 11/24/2021
P. Schaller –
that was amazing, huh? Beautiful. Amazing. How many visitors do we have here tonight? Alright. We
want to welcome them. Would you like to stand for a moment? Just stand up if you are here for
the first time. Good to have you. P. Eric. Is that P. Adam? Oh my. Great. Excellent. Okay.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and what a holiday. What a beautiful day that we would imagine our
government set aside a day where we would be officially thanking God for all that we have. Isn’t
that amazing? That’s amazing.
Let’s take a moment and you want to go to somebody in the room and just have a prayer with
them. Pray a blessing and pray for our country. Let’s do that. Personally own it and just say I am
thankful and we are coming together in a prayer of faith for our country. Okay. Go ahead.
Integrity. This is the word I’d like to share. If I can just get the Ipad here and make something
very simple. By the way, somebody sent me this email, “How to Behave Thanksgiving Day.”
How do you approach the event? How do you behave as a Spirit-filled Christian? Four practical
#1. Pray beforehand. Pray before the meal, right? To give you wisdom, grace, and patience if
there are tense moments that arise interacting with your favorite family members.
#2. Prepare to address certain topics. I think that’s true for us in life, like what should I speak
about today? If I have an opportunity, what should I share? Do I share a little? What do I talk
about? You can decide what conversations there will be in some cases, of course.
#3. Listen first. If something upsetting comes up, your gut reaction may be to lash out. How
many have been there? How many have done it? Lashing out. Quoting 72 Bible verses just to
prove I’m right! But don’t lash out. God’s Word says to be quick to listen, slow to speak. That
doesn’t mean that I don’t speak. It just means that you are wise in speaking. It doesn’t mean you
avoid confrontation. It just means that you are kind. You are gentle. You are humble. You are
Spirit-filled in your communication.
#4. Respond with love. How can you reflect Christ’s love to friends and family? I think this is
very good. Can I help you in the kitchen? I’m glad to be here. You’ve been a good friend of
mine. I’m so thankful to be in this family and so on. God can give you the spirit for the occasion.
It’s not only a thanksgiving event, but any time when you are together as a family. Words of
grace. Words of friendship. Words of understanding. It’s a great principle. Okay. So that’s that.
Amen. Some of you look very guilty! We suddenly get real quiet and obedient. No, okay. We are
Psalm 25:21 is the verse I would like to share tonight. This will be short I think. I always say that,
but it actually is, isn’t it? It is short. Not too long. vs. 21. Integrity. In math, remember when we
were in school we studies integers, wasn’t it? Integers. They were in distinction to fractions.
Fractions – 1/4, 1/3, and so on. But integers are whole numbers. The word “integrity” is from
this word. Integer, integrity.
What it means is you are not a fraction. You’re a whole person. You are the whole. You are the
same inside as you are on the outside. You have integrity. You’re not divided. You are one. You
have a spirit in union with God. God is one but he is three. But he’s not a fraction. He’s one.
There’s three that are one. The Father is the same as the Son as the Holy Spirit, and so that
oneness in those parts is seen in us, too. Because you are the same in the morning as you are
in the night and in the summer as the winter. You are the same in front of people as you are in
private with only yourself because this is who you are. This happened to you at your new birth
when you were born of the Spirit, born again. This is who you are. It’s very attractive when
somebody meets a whole person, a person that is honest. A person that is not really playing a
game like putting on a Halloween costume or pretending to be somebody we aren’t.
But we are who we are by the grace of God. This happened to you because by God’s grace you
were drawn to Christ. We see Christ on the cross and we see him as he always has been. He
doesn’t change. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. Who is he but the one that loves
you. He loves you when you have a good day. He loves you when you have a bad day. He
loves you in the beginning and he loves you in the end. He loves you to the end in John. 13:2. He
is God and he changes not in Malachi 3:6.
But we are people. That means that we are afraid. We are afraid of being honest sometimes. It
also means we are afraid of people. Remember the proverb, “the fear of man is a snare.” I get
caught in a trap when I fear men. If we could fear God and live before God and God be our life,
then that oneness that we have with him is really coming through.
It says in 1 Corinthians 8:3, “if any man love God, the same is known of him.” He might not be such a,
you know, he might not be a perfect person but I know something about him that he loves God.
That’s known of him. You can see it or discern it. It’s a joy when people with deceitful hearts like
we all have in Jeremiah 17 and that we have a new heart and out of the new heart is who you are.
You are very relaxed in that. This is who you are and you don’t need to prove anything or
perform. You just simply are in fellowship with God and you have set God before your face in
Psalm 16:8. It’s a great subject to think about. It’s one of your great blessings in life. You are
honest. You are honest. It’s amazing.
Remember Paul wrote to Timothy and said an elder – was it an elder or a deacon – did not be
double-tongued. He cannot be double-tongued. It means in front of some people he says it this
way and in front of other people he says it a different way. He has two ways of talking.
I realize there can be a tactfulness in our communication and maybe diplomacy, but it cannot be
misleading. We have to be honest and direct as much as we can be because we have to mean
what we say and say what we mean. This is your blessing and mine. It’s a great thing. It gives
you a kind of identity that is derived from God. This is a new identity. It’s something you know
about yourself. It’s actually why you are not afraid to come into the presence of God’s people in
Psalm 1. You are able to be in the presence of his people and make your vows in the presence
of his people. You are able to be naked and open with him whom we have to do. For the Word
of God is quick and powerful, sharp. It goes to the heart and it speaks to our hearts. It’s why
there is an increase.
There’s a very interesting word in the Greek. I looked it up today in 2 Cor. 4:16. I even have my
little book here. Maybe I can read it for you. This is – could we put it up on the screen there? vs.
14-15. That phrase “all things” to make more through the more. To expand, to become more, to
Have you ever made bread? Don’t they take a little bit of the starter yeast. What’s it called? The
bakers. Do you know. What is it? Yeah, you have more and then more brings more and more
brings more. It says here the idea is the increasing numbers, the many, the more that leads to
more. “The abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of
I like the way it’s written there. To make more through the more. There’s more and then through
the more there is more. And through the more there is more and more and more. And the sense
of God in your life. This happens to you. You start to believe and think like this. There is more.
I feel that in life. I think you do or you will start to. By the way, P. Carl is here. Good to have you
from Wilmington and the whole row there. Great to have you.
The more that leads to more. So, what’s the, what’s the cause? Our Heavenly Father made us
in his image not to be limited but to increase and that increase leads to more increase. Once
you and I get a sense that God is real and his eye is on you, once you start to believe that this is important, that this is real.
I never want you to become a believer who goes through the motions without God. This
ministry, the whole thing it’s like all my heart. This is what happened in our lives. All our heart. It
was all about God. Everything was about God. Not our behaviors, not our language, not our
activity. All that can happen but there may not be integrity in it.
It’s the integrity that preserves your life. It’s the integrity that is in the engine. God is the engine
but it’s that oneness with God that makes the increase. You got the real thing so look out! The
real thing is going to produce more which is going to lead to more which leads to more. Of
what? Of God, righteousness, truth, love, desire, hunger. This is amazing. Okay.
The last part is from a story in Nehemiah. Turn there with me. This is chapter 5. Nehemiah is a
church leader or the leader for the Jews after the return of the captivity. This is a historically
profound moment in their history. This is very, very important.
They go back to Jerusalem from 70 years of captivity in Babylon. Then they die in Babylon, but
there are people there that want to go back home. They want to go back home.
By the way, I met a Jewish man, an elderly Jewish man in Budapest at McDonald’s. We talked
for a while. He was from Israel. I said where you born in Israel? He said, no. I wasn’t but we
walked to Israel. I go, where did you walk from? He said Turkmenistan. So, I go how long did it
take you to walk to Israel? He said, four years. We had to work along the way to get the money
to go to the next area. He was six years old. He’s now 70s or 80 years of age. We had a talk.
There are people that want to go back to Israel. God said that, didn’t he, in the Scripture. They
do go back. They are drawn to Israel like a magnet. They want to go back to Israel.
Well, this happened in the time of Nehemiah. When Nehemiah went back, he had this
philosophy about what he was doing. One of them was he wasn’t going to take any of the
government allowances. The government over Israel would give him an allowance. He says
here in chapter 5:14-15. What is he saying? I don’t need the government handout. I’m not
looking for them to help me. God sent me here.
I’m not saying as a church. We have taken help from the government. I don’t want to mislead
you to think it can’t be done, but I want to say something deeper. He is saying God sent us back
to Israel and I want to be an example. I want to say I am here for only one reason. It’s God that
is in my life. That’s why I am here. God is with us. God will take care of us. God will do it. It’s not
about money, opportunity, provisions. It’s not about those practical things. No, I am walking with
God. I am walking with God.
It’s amazing. Just take the same principle of that integrity and transfer it to other situations. Will
you go to the mission field without money? Yes, if God wants me to go I can go. Can you love
your wife as Christ loved the church? Not really but yes if it’s God and it is God. That’s what I’m
going to do. That’s in my heart. If that’s God, that’s how I’m going to live. Do you have a vision
for missions or the lost? I want to have. That’s God. God cares about lost people. God cares
about forgiving people, restoring people and loving people. I want to walk before God.
This is the idea of Nehemiah in this story and it’s the reason why we gather because we are
here. It’ s not about Greater Grace. It’s about God. It’s not about Greater Grace World Outreach.
It’s about God. It’s not about you and me. It’s about him. He is the one.
Set your affection on things above. Not on the things below. The things below will grab your
heart and pull you this way and that way. The things above they establish you and get you
rooted and grounded in him.
So, the second part of this story is in chapter 6 in my application tonight. Here you have the enemies of Nehemiah, Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem in vs. 1. They want him to stop
building. They send messages to him. Stop building. We have to talk to you. You’re out of
bounds. You’re trying to become king. You’re way out of bounds. We’re going to shut you down.
Nehemiah is saying in his heart I can’t talk to you. I’m not into it. I’m not there. I’m in fellowship
with what God has me do.
By the way, could I say one thing, one awesome statement to everybody in the room and
especially young people and elderly. Every one of us. It is find out what’s God’s will and do it.
That’s all you have to do in life. Find out what his will is for you and you do it. He’s going to take
care of you. He will. He’ll put his Spirit in you and move you. You’ll find his strength and
guidance in your life. Find out his will and do it and you’ll be satisfied.
There’s a lot of people like Sanballat and Geshem and Tobiah that are saying, come on down.
We have to have a talk. I say I have the integrity of God in my heart and I cannot entertain you
cause I have found the will of God and this is what I want to do with all my heart and all my mind
and all my soul and all my strength. This is what I want to do.
How many times did they send to him? P. Scibelli, do you remember? Ten times they said we
want to talk to you. We want to talk to you. Even they said we will even meet in the temple. He
goes, are you kidding me? I would use the temple as a meeting place with you? No.
And then this statement. This is the end part of the message. It’s vs. 11. I want to put that up
there. “should such a man as I flee?” That’s my memory verse for today and through the years
and have thought about it today. Should such a man as I flee? The pressure is there. I’m fleeing.
I’m running away. I’m out of here. I’m fleeing. I’m out of here. Should such a man as I flee?
Why can’t you flee? I can’t flee because of integrity. This is where I stand. This is what I believe.
My heavenly Father said. This is like Jesus, isn’t it?
Jesus is saying this is where I stand. I cannot flee. Do you know in the garden of Gethsemane
here’s – we got the city. On the east side is the Garden of Gethesemane. The high ground over
down to the wilderness in Judea. It takes 20 minutes to walk up this way and disappear. In
Gethsemane Christ could have done that. He could have said I’m out of here. In Gethsemane.
Because they are coming and he sees them coming with the lanterns, but should such a man as
I flee? My Father sent me for this reason. Here I am. I stand here.
What does this mean in your life? I don’t know. I would say there’s millions of applications where
you want to run. You want to run but you can’t because of your relationship with God. God is in
you and with you and teaching you. And you have persuasion and conviction and you cannot
flee. Should such a man as I flee? This is where he was living.
Nehemiah, you know you have an allowance from the government to eat, to provide 150 people
with you every day, your leaders and rulers and administrations. He goes, no. I’ll take care of it.
I’ll take care of it. This is about God. I don’t need you. This is about God leading us. This is what
God is doing.
Do you know the devil loves to find where he can buy you? He can buy you. He can persuade
you. He can mislead you. The devil loves that. How about a man with a woman that’s not your
wife? Where is the handle in your soul? How can you be moved? Yeah, its in our hearts. That
happens. It happens in this world. Politicians, Christians and non-Christians. I mean unbelievers
don’t have a chance to do what we are talking about. Unbelievers don’t have. They can be great
people but they are not that great.
When it comes down to this, Nehemiah said these words cause he’s with himself with God. He
goes, shall such a man as I? That’s identity. Should such a man as I? I like that. It’s not pride.
It’s just a feeling. All of us can be tempted. We can fail. There’s not a doubt about it.
But when you get rooted and grounded, you start to think no. I don’t lie. I don’t cheat. I’m not
fooling around. I’m serious. I’m serious. I got a focus. My eye is single. I’m not playing around.
When you meet me, you will see and I don’t need to show you anything, but the idea is this: that
if you are a believer and you’re this kind, eventually people will say he is serious. He is serious
about it. And then he’ll live that way.
Should such a man as I fool around with the flesh and the sins when there is the increase? This
increase happening in your life. This increase that happens from God. Oh, no. I cannot move.
I’m increasing. I feel it in my heart.
Are there temptations? Yes. There are temptations. Is there failure? Yes, there is failure. Is
there God? Yes, there is God. Who do you love more, your sin or God? I’ve tasted God. I love
him more. I’m angry with myself when I sin.
One brother said I took, I got saved and took one drag on a marijuana joint and I just got sick of
the smell and I never did it again. I was done with it. I met people that smoke cigarettes, the
same thing. God took it away. They said I can’t even smell – I hate the smell. Isn’t that
These are miracles of grace that happen to people that make decisions of faith and it gets to be
sweet and precious in our lives. I think we have a lot to be thankful for. And if you happen to be
somebody without a family or you are missing a loved one at the table this year or there is a
heart-broken situation, then be comforted by the fact that if the fig tree does not blossom, if
there are no cattle in the stalls, no flock in the fold; if it’s a disaster on the outside, yet I will
rejoice in the Lord my God and in my salvation. We have found him and we pursue him. We
have found him and we love him. We have found him and he promised us an increase. Amen.
Would you pray with me, please.
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.