Our lives, we often reduce them to the small. The walls close in. Life shrinks and tightens all around. We can see things in very immature ways. Love leads us beyond childishness. Growing up, we learn unload our failures, frustrations, and fears at the Cross. We escape the control of reason and feeling and enter into the picture of God’s greatness in missions, worship, others. (Matthew 22:36-37; 1 Corinthians 13; Jonah 4:1; John 21:18-21)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
9:00 AM on 3/22/2020
P. Schaller –
Thanks to the band and the singers. This is an empty room here this morning, and yet the Spirit of God is here
so strong. P. Love, thanks for the offering. Immediately after the sermon we will do a rap with
P. Scibelli, P. Andrulonis and P. love is welcome. We will have a rap on our theme, Love. This is
our subject this morning. Praise the Lord. It’s a unique situation we are in and a very important
one for our people across the nation. We read in the Scripture that we as believers have an
amazing benefit of having God as our Father. I’d like you to turn to a few portions.
The first is Matthew. 22:36-37. The key thing is love. The love of God. God loving us first. In our nature, you think
of when I am sleeping I don’t have any activity or an attitude. I’m unconscious and sleeping but
I’m a sinner as I am sleeping. My very nature is one of sin. When I wake up, I have attitude and
action. This is called sin. Sin in my attitude of anger or revenge, Matthew. 5:22 or lust in Matthew. 5:28.
Being convicted of that and realizing the need for being convicted and realizing the need for
God, I need God. This conviction happens by the Spirit in John. 16:8 and the Holy Spirit draws us to
Christ. We are born again by believing in him and are given a new nature, 2 Peter 1:4.
That new nature loves God. We love God because we are born of God. We have the seed of Christ in us.
John 3:9, Christ is not sin. Our new nature does not sin. Now we are born to love. When we live in
the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit is love and joy and peace. Three important words. Let’s speak
about it this morning. Love, joy, peace. In our nature, even without an expression by an action
there is an attitude and even when we are asleep, we have a new nature that God has pleasure
in. When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, a voice came from heaven, behold my beloved Son,
in whom I am well pleased.
Wow! Finally, there is a person in the world that God has pleasure in. Why hasn’t he had pleasure in other people? Because of the sin nature that contradicts him. God is so deep and interested in knowing and so caring who we are on a deep level. The deep calls to the deep in Psalm 42:7. He wants to know what is in our heart. Of course he knows it because he is God. He says to us we need love. Love is what is needed in life. Love is what is
needed in my present situation. Love is what is needed in my life all the time. We read about
what love is in 1 Corinthians 13. We’ll turn and read a few verses there. Vs. 4- The KJV has the word
“charity.” It’s in the Greek AGAPE.
Long time love, love. In the last weeks, we have been teaching here about worship and we said that people generally live in their feelings and reason. This world of feeling and reason is something like a box. We can draw it here on our diagram. People live in the limitations of their natural life by their feelings and their reasoning. But Jesus
came into the world to show us love. That Jesus came into this world to walk and speak and live
and sleep and reveal the nature of God. He is bigger than the box. He wants to show us that life
is bigger than our world that limits our life, limits our thinking, our feelings, limits our
Now we are home more than we were a week or two weeks ago and children are
home all around our feet. Finances are a concern. There is the constant news going on and
reporting. Overall we are in good shape I feel. Even in a good situation, I am able to worry or
fear because there is something I need to be exercised in and understand. Paul said he wrote
this chapter and he lists 16 things about love. Vs. 4-5 not easily provoked, – what a good word.
It might seem this list is way beyond myself, but it isn’t. It’s the Spirit of God that dwells in you.
This is the fellowship of God.
The first commandment and the great commandment, the key to life, the key that changes my world is love, God’s love. Not human loves but the Spirit of God, the worship of God, knowing God, the fellowship with God, the truth of God. There it is. That’s it. Vs. 6-8. I see that happening amongst us on the phone and the connection we have with
each other. We have the Spirit of God, the care we have for missionaries abroad. Dan Dunbar,
the Arman’s, Matt Sliva, the Robbinses, the Langes, Donna Parsons, the Moons, Stan Collins,
our brothers and sisters in Europe, Pivy, the many people that are living in various places and
the Spirit of God in us and what we are capable of.
We are able to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things and it never fails. Paul says in vs. 11 – at one of our Conventions I think last June I shared a message and drew a picture similar to now and I want
to repeat it and give two examples of how men of God, men of God can be children Two
examples of how men of God in the Bible can be in a very small world. Two examples of how
easy it is for us that are in the ministry and you at home absolutely we can take our situation
and reduce it to something and see it through the eyes of child which is not a good thing. When
I was a child, I thought as one. Vs. 11. I understood and thought.
I’ll write these two words. Children fear. Children imagine. Children can panic. Children are in their playground in their little area and in the bedroom with their Teddy Bear. Their room is their room. They are not
mature. You can’t expect a child to fly an airplane or make a major adult decision or deny
themselves. You can’t expect a child to grasp the bigger picture or understand what is really
going on. The Apostle Paul was in many situations where his life could be reduced to something
small and say God doesn’t love me. I am in prison for a total of 8 years at many different times.
He could say God doesn’t love me. He’s punishing me.
Where is God? He could take the beatings, the bloodshed regarding the guilt he had for persecuting Christians and martyring Steven. He could have thought and understood as a child. Where is the love in this picture?
Where? You love me. A child will say. You love me. What do you have to give me? Help me.
Give to me. Care for me. I need a Chick-fil-A sandwich. Help me. We understand that. A child is
a child. You can’t have a child continually be a child. They are to grow up. Paul said when I
became a man – what did he say here? I put away childish things. I put away something. This
can happen to you and I. We can learn to put away the childish things.
This is why we have this incredible spiritual life we treasure so much amongst us as believers. We may not be
geographical close at the moment but spiritually connected. We may not be sitting in the same
room, but we have the same mind. We may be socially distant from each other but spiritually
one. We put away childish things and grow up and realize there is a big picture going on. Let me
draw it like this. There is a bigger picture that is needed for us and this is God’s work of love.
Love is patient. Love is kind. I think of a dad and mom raising a family or single mom or dad.
Your world can shrink, and the children are frustrated or there is argument or not a nice
atmosphere in the home.
As the head of the house, I can bring love. I want my kids to be secure. I want my children to be loved. I can be frustrated at home especially them running around…and they have to do everything at home. The food and the cleaning up and many things can challenge my life in the new circumstances. The greatest commandment, the great
one that changes lives, the Savior came into the world and showed us a love that never fails.
Believes, rejoices in truth. Worship becomes a major part of your life when you and I are mature as believers. We are unloading our childish things at the Cross and being Spirit filled. The Spirit is showing me something and I want to realize what is God doing.
My world can shrink and expand and shrink again. I make my confession. I draw close to God and I realize what love is. I want to know who God is. I want to bring it into my family and have it in my
church. I want to have it with my friends. I want to build relationships that endure the
hurricanes of life because love never fails. Two examples. The first one is Jonah. Turn to Jonah
as we look at these two. It’s great to be here and online. I miss the fellowship with face to face,
but I have a good group down here of 4 people! They’re a great group those that sang in the
service. Let’s draw a picture of Jonah.
Jonah was in a way a child. He was asked to go to Nineveh and prophesy. I want to say after reading the book many times I’ve seen it in many ways that Jonah was a prophet of God. I’m not a critic of him in one sense. He’s way above and beyond anything that maybe we are or ever will be. I realize this about life. We are not judges
of people, Matthew 7:1. Be very sensitive not to be critical of God’s people and God’s work. He ran
away from his calling. God put him in the fish. He ends up on the shore. He goes to the city and
preaches three days and the people repent. The work of God was something like this. This is
God’s work. It’s a lot bigger than Jonah.
The city repented. God did it. Jonah’s message was not that great in the city. They feared God and changed and repented and it worked. Jonah couldn’t see it. Jonah was angry. Jonah 4:1, He was very angry. How could it be that a great work of God happens, and I am angry about it? How could it be the church is amazing and then I in my
smallness am angry about it? God said Jonah doest thou well to be angry? What’s your
problem? Don’t you see what I have done? I want to relate this to our family. Do you realize
your family is a work of God? You have sisters and brothers, a family, a mom and dad and kids.
Do you realize what a gift that is? But I can be some way angry.
In our country now with what is happening now with the rules and regulations, I am accepting this as God’s way for us. It’s a time out. It’s time for us to be tested. It’s a time in our hearts to draw near. For me to have my
own personal church at home, my Bible at home, my wife at home, my kids at home, my quiet
time at home, my prayers at home. Get on the phone and encourage my brothers and sisters in
the faith. I don’t want to be talking about the news. What is God doing? God is speaking to our
country and having mercy on us. He is saying something deep and person to the hearts of
people. Death. Death is at the door.
Are you ready to meet God? Death is knocking. The four horsemen in Revelation 6 is coming the future. Famine, pestilence and war and a large part of the population will die. We are giving a bit of mercy to say to the nation there is a pandemic. What are you going to do about it? You have a need. It’s not time for us in our smallness like Jonah
couldn’t see what God was doing. He was angry. I could get angry with my family and lose my
family, lose my sons and daughters. I could get angry with my wife and lose my wife, lose my
husband, lose my friends. I could get angry with my church and the affiliation with the churches
and lose the wonderful fellowship of love in my heart.
God had a way of dealing with Jonah. It’s the funniest little thing. He had a gourd go up, some kind of plant. Jonah got occupied with it, fascinated with it. God had it grow up and he liked the gourd, and God had a worm come in and
eat the gourd. Jonah was so angry. God said Jonah, your little world. The gourd, are you kidding
me? The grass in your yard, your automobile, your new shoes. Whatever it might be. Your small world. You can’t handle life because life is about love. Life is about the greatest commandment.
It’s love. Loving God with all our heart, with all of our soul, and with all our mind. What does
this mean? Missions. What does it mean? Worship. What does it mean?
Others. What does it mean? Let’s pray for our medical workers, our hospitals. Let’s pray God will take the plague and pluck it up and cast it into the sea. Let’s pray for others. Let’s be aware of our neighborhood
and what is happening. Let’s share the message of Christ on the streets. I was with a man in the
parking lot and we had maybe 20 minutes. I said, don’t you need to go somewhere? He said I
have no where to go. I got time. John 21, Peter has denied the Lord. Undoubtedly in a way
Peter immature, learning, growing, a disciple of three years. At the Cross, Peter denies the Lord
as an example for us, realizing that I could do this also.
How easy it would be to be drawn back into my world as I am. Here’s Jesus. Jesus’s work. Jesus’ nature. Jesus’ life. Here’s Peter. He meets Jesus and he said, do you love me? The word AGAPE is there. Do you love me? Peter says
you know I love you. The Greek writers use PHILEO. I love you. We understand this. But Peter
do you realize what is happening? Christ has been raised from the dead. He is giving you a
ministry. He’s telling you to feed the sheep. You are going to be growing in your faith. You’re
going to be increasing in your faith. In this exchange three times Jesus said do you love me, and
Peter answered. Jesus prophesied in vs. 18. You’re going to go beyond yourself. You’re going to
go beyond yourself, Peter.
You won’t even realize. It will be, you will go beyond yourself. I love
you. You love me. You’re going to be stretching out your arms speaking of his death on the
cross. He’s also going to be girded. He used that word in his epistle, girding up the loins of your
mind. Peter is going to be maturing in his theology of who Christ is and what the church is and
he’s going to be increasing. Vs. 20-21. What shall this man do? Is there a little bit of envy,
jealousy? Is there a little insecurity in Peter? Is he comparing himself with John? What shall this
man do? In the ministry, the greatest thing we can do to make progress in love is grow up in
The greatest thing we can do for our family, our marriage, is grow in love. The greatest
thing we can do for our country is grow up in love. What we can do in reaching the people with
the gospel is increase and grow up in love. That is what God promised us is an increase in love.
We grow up in love. There is a tendency to go to our childhood and be hurt and wounded and
draw back to a small world. Don’t do it. Learn how to grow up in love and stay connected. Learn
how to minister to each other. Be wise and mature in your understanding. Increase in this
amazing book that will teach and guide us in God’s mind and in God’s ways. Amen.
Failure, frustration and fear happens to children a lot. When we fail, let’s confess and live beyond our
failure. When we are frustrated, let’s stop and be quiet and give it to God and asked for
guidance in the Spirit. When we are angry like Jonah and insecure like Peter, let’s keep our eyes
on that love and know it will make me a man or woman of God, a teenager for God. I think of a
child. Sometimes children become very mature because they learn love. They do excellent.
Sometimes they are more mature in their attitude and response than adults. That’s our
message today. God bless you. 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.