We have to let God open our eyes to what He’s doing. His story ignites the flames in our hearts. We could easily sink into despair like those two on the road to Emmaus. But Jesus open the Scriptures and make Himself known in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:13-35)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor John Love
Sermon 11983
6:30 PM on 11/1/2020

I wanted to ask P. Steve if he could come up and we’ll do a quick interview. How about two other guys: Marty and
P. Pete, would you like to come up? The three of you stand here. You were here this morning.
Oh, you weren’t but your attitude. Tonight, we have a few words just for fellowship. We had a
good morning. Moses said the Jewish people murmured in their tents. They had said, did the
Lord bring us out of Egypt because he hates us? Deuteronomy 1:27 how easy what is on the outside of us
can affect us on the inside and what we say in our tent or at home or in our heart is very
important. We had a good – the Holy Spirit ministering to us. We are in a time when I feel that
this is perfect. God is in our hearts and leading us in life. It’s a beautiful time to learn how to –
for example, the last couple days I’ve been reading 10 chapters of the Bible at a time. Reading
and getting a lot in my heart from the Bible. I’m amazed when I think about the fact that God so
loved us he came here and spoke to us and showed us love and spent time with us and loved us
and served us and washed our feet and didn’t condemn us but forgave us and loves us and
ministers to us.

This is God doing that all the time to us. And to the church where Christ washes
us and ministers to us. How important it is that the Spirit would put it in us. And to those at
home and also Bible college students, tomorrow night we have classes online and here in
person if you can make it. We’ll have our psychology class in this room. There will be classes.
We’ll continue with the Bible college with Zoom and those who can come in person. In one
week, where will we be? In two weeks, where will we be in regards to attending and our whole
attitude? It’s amazing. I’m very encouraged. I’d like these guys, – they don’t know what I’m
looking for. They have to do it all on their own. I don’t know what to ask them but just love
them and think they are somebody who can say something.

P. Steve –

Is this here you want me to bring the sandwiches?! I missed that because I was doing
something. What are you doing in your tent and murmuring. What you say at the table is
important. The people of Israel were let out of a bondage where they didn’t have to make too
many decisions but when they got in the wilderness, they had to learn about the provision of
God and what they believed about it. When they came out of their tent, they would be exposed
to what was happening. It was a series of things. In the tent, you should be learning how to flee
from things and follow things and also to fight the right kind of fights. 1 Timothy 6. Fighting the
wrong kind of fight in the tent, you won’t be prepared when you get outside for what you face
there. Even like a laughter from Sarah. You did laugh. God is kind and gracious and gives us
what we need. We can trust him. That’s the point in the wilderness.

Marty Veader – This is a surprise. I went to be last night thinking about the voice of God.
Ironically, Sarah heard some voices. She said she didn’t laugh about it. That was this morning.
Everything that is, was created by the voice of God. Psalm 139 describes God communing with
us before we were formed in the womb. Again, it’s the voice of God. I believe that believers
have a message in their heart that God has put there. It’s not a building we are called to. It’s a message. We love that our hearts resonate with the grace of God and with the love of God and
seeking the lost. We have a list of things that resonate in our heart as believers. I said to P.
Schaller a few weeks ago, the church is behind you and I love that you know that, and it
emboldens you. We need to cover our pastor and tell him I got your back. Some may never
stand in front of a crowd or do a Bible study, but it is a fearful thing to stand in front of people
to say a message from God that maybe it’s the most popular thing today. It’s not bubble gum
and lollipops.

The pastor has to have the boldness and courage to preach as God gives it. That’s
why we love him. Donald Trump goes to a rally and they chant “we love you.” In this church, we
love you. You are our pastor.

P. Pete Westera –

I’ll say two things about the last two messages. This morning about talking in
the tent. One of the great messages we have been taught from this pulpit is talking always
doesn’t help. One of the red flags is that something may be amiss is when too much talking is
going on. The bigger the problem, the more we like to talk. The house is buzzing. Everyone has
something to say. So easy to have an opinion but hard to make a decision. You need God, you
need the Holy Spirit for the second part. My wife was convicted about something and she was
right. We need to keep our tent quiet and keep our mouth shut….I love that though, the
reminder. Oops, thank you Lord. I loved last Wednesday’s message. The preoccupation with the
earthen vessel. We all have that problem. We can’t stop thinking or acting or responding to
things that the earthen vessel wants. A lot of the talking has to do with the earthen vessel. It
was freeing. It’s a freeing message. To think there is light inside of us and he has risen, and God
is real and there is a kingdom. I loved Wed. night’s message. If you didn’t hear it, I think you
should hear it. It changes us. Stop talking and stop thinking about this and think of the eternal

P. Schaller –

Wow, that was good. That was very edifying. Why don’t we do that more! Earthen
vessel message. That was very good. Beautiful. Tonight, we’ll have P. Love give our main
message. We want to welcome him in a minute and be receiving and encourage him. How
many love P. Love? We have his back. We got his back. Who said that tonight? Marty said it.
That’s good. Stand with me and be refreshed and encouraged and have a good attitude and
express that with you neighbor. Good to see you Joe.

P. Love –

P. Schaller must have told the congregation I was preaching tonight! I will tell a story.
Some of you might have heard it before. It’s kind of humorous. It was back in the late 1980s or
early 1990’s. We used to take our teens up to New York City all the time. We didn’t have a lot of
resources. We didn’t stay in a hotel room. We stayed in a missions house on West 51 st Street
between 8 th Avenue and 9 th Avenue. Some of the images in my mind when I think of that place.
If you had to use the restroom in the middle of the night, you would turn the light switch on
and see hundreds of cockroaches fleeing and looking for the darkness. You just waited a moment. Things cleared up and you felt more comfortable. There wasn’t a lot of room and
wherever there was space, our young people rolled out their sleeping bags and get out on the
floor. I remember one time there was a closet, and everyone was looking for a place to sleep.
The closet was filled. There was no room in the closet really. There was a box spring standing
up. A young man said, I’ll take this.

I said, you’ll be standing up. He said it’s okay. It’s alright. I’ll take this. It’s kind of like a bed. Okay. So we put him in the closet and closed the door. Next morning, everyone was waking up and getting ready for breakfast and he wasn’t there. We went up and sure enough we opened the closet door and sound asleep standing up. I
remember on the floor one night we were in our sleeping bags, myself and P. Rob Graff. Every
once in a while you would feel something running across your sleeping bag. One night, we felt
something. It was larger than normal. What was that? What was that? I said, I don’t even want
to think of what it was. I think the same weekend, we were ready to go to sleep, same thing, in
this room, and then outside in the street we heard a man screaming. He’s pounding on the door
of the mission house. He’s saying, my teeth! My teeth! Where are my teeth? He’s pounding on
the door. We opened the window and said, what do you want? I want my teeth. We said, we
don’t have your teeth.

Please go away. This all culminated on Sunday morning. The director of
the mission house was a wonderful man. He loved God. He was an Episcopalian minister, but he
loved God, he loved the Bible and he loved our young people. He never saw such young people
so enthusiastic about soul winning. Bold as they went out on the streets to share the Gospel. He
just loved us. On this Sunday morning apparently it was a special Sunday morning in the
Episcopalian church. I remember going up into his office and he said, you’ll be speaking this
morning. I said, okay. He handed me all this priestly garb to put on. Like clothes. I was like I
said…no I’ll put a tie on. He said you have to put this on. He started to go through each part of
the clothing and the significance. I was like, okay, okay. The reason I didn’t want to put it on is
because I knew the teenagers as soon as they would see me they would crack up and not be
able to stop laughing. Sure enough, when I walked down the stairs into the chapel and the kids
just lose it. I’m looking at them.

Don’t you say anything! They are just dying because there I am, really, truly, Father Love! The service begins and because it was a peculiar Sunday in the episcopal church there was communion. Unlike what we have here for communion everyone has their individual little cups and pieces of bread, there was one cup, one chalice. That place
was filled. I mean there were people, homeless people, and this was when the AIDS epidemic
was reaching its height in New York City. There were street walkers. Everyone was in this
chapel. Why? Maybe not necessarily to come and hear the preaching but they would feed
them, so the place was packed. It’s communion Sunday and he breaks out the one chalice with
grape juice in it. He says we’re all going to partake of communion. I’m thinking, oh my gosh.
Everyone has to drink out of the same chalice? He said, you begin.

Thank you, Lord Jesus. I take it and pass it along. You saw the kids with the look of fear and fright, and I think some of them wanted to call their mothers and say “goodbye” and “I love you.” It’s been wonderful to be a
part of your family! It goes through the whole congregation, every person, and then it comes
back. He looks at me and he goes, now take and drink all of it. I said I already had mine. I was
the first one. He said, no. You have to drink all of it. No, I can’t. I already had. I’m full. I had enough. He kind of leans over and says you have to. Now I look out and all the kids are looking
at me like. Some of them are like, goodbye! I was just like, Lord Jesus, if I’m going to die, I’m
going to die. If I perish I perish. Then I drank it all. Praise God that I survived. That was the most
frightened experience of my life up to that point. I couldn’t believe it went through the whole
congregation and everyone’s lips were on the cup. It was just great! Okay.

Luke 24:13 this is the resurrection Sunday, and this is the story of those two disciples on the road to Emmaus. V.s 13- 35, I always love reading this story because it reminds all of us what we are supposed to do
with our disappointments. What we are supposed to do with our discouragement and
disillusion. If there were ever two men discouraged and disillusioned, maybe on the brink of
despair. We’re not sure but it’s pretty clear that when Jesus met them, he could tell based on
their countenances that they were discouraged, saddened by all of the events that had
happened. Again it’s a reminder to me what do I do with my discouragement. I have it. We all
have moments we have to deal with it. What do we do with our broken hearts and when our
hopes are shattered and the things we hoped would happened don’t come to pass, and the
things we are believing will come to pass don’t.

For these men, it’s almost as if their hopes were buried in that same tomb they put Jesus in. Here they are discouraged. It’s like their world came crashing down on them. It caved in on them. Maybe the shoulders droop a little bit; the head hangs down. We’ve all been there. Sometimes when we are filled with courage and
confidence and don’t have any fear or worries in our lives we can walk a little bit taller. In our
shoulders, we can kind of put them back. Our head is high. That was no doubt not the case with
these two men. They are talking to Jesus and not realizing it was him about everything that had
happened. Maybe their conversation before Jesus arrives goes along these lines. How could this
have ended this way? How could this have turned out the way it has? How could the people
have turned on him so quickly? After all, one day they are crying out and proclaiming him as the
Messiah. One day, they are saying he is the king of Israel.

They are throwing their palm branches down as he makes his way in Jerusalem and the next day they call for his death. Maybe some of their thoughts are like this, he could have come down from the cross. Why
would they say such a thing? We are supposing, just imagining what they might have been
talking about. Maybe they did say that because they probably concluded he did greater
miracles than that. We witnessed them. We saw them. We heard about them. There were
people that were raised from the dead. There were people blind and given their sight. Why
didn’t he come down from that cross? Why did he let Pilate push him around like he did? We
know who has more authority. Jesus seemed to, much more so than Pontius Pilate. Why did he
let Pilate deal with him the way he did? Why did he let him reach that conclusion and allow
him to be crucified? Maybe while they are talking about these things, Jesus comes to them and
they don’t recognize him.

Practically speaking, sometimes that’s what disappointment does to all of us. Disappointment keeps us from recognizing Jesus in the midst of our trouble. Sometimes disappointment has a way to closing our eyes to spiritual realities, to spiritual truths. We see our problems rather than the principles or precepts of the Bible. Sometimes we
see our troubles rather than believing that God is going to cause us to triumph. We’re more
occupied with our troubles. That’s what disappointment does. It blinds us to the presence of God, blinds us to the promise of God, blinds us to the power of God. It also makes us look at
ourselves. We look within. We stop looking unto Jesus. We start looking more at ourselves,
what’s troubling us, what’s discouraging us. It wasn’t just disappointment. Maybe they were on
the break of despair. Despair is that point in your life where hope is gone. I don’t think any of us
can ever afford to let that happen in our lives. Having hope is essential. Having hope as an
anchor in our lives is vital. It’s crucial to facing an uncertain future.

As P. Schaller said this morning at the 11:00 service, we are going through some really challenging days 2020. Who can ever imagine it would be like this. Who could have ever imagined this virus would have the
impact not only on our nation but on the world. Then you see all the covid fatigue that is
happening reaching people’s lives. Then he said this, he said this may not even be the greatest
challenge we face. There could be even greater challenges that await us. There could be more
of a mountain of trouble around the corner. We don’t know. We don’t look for it. We’re not
anticipating it. We’re certainly not praying that it will happen, but we don’t know. We are all
brought to that place where we have to fight off even despair in our lives. Despair, when you
get to that place, you can even harden your heart. You can become cynical. You can start to say,
where is God in all of this? Why aren’t my prayers being answered?

Why aren’t we being covered and protected from this virus? Why isn’t this happening and why isn’t that happening?
All of those things can begin to happen in our lives. Disappointment begins to grow, and it
becomes discouragement and disillusionment, and we reach that point of despair. Some people
go through life and maybe they get hurt in a relationship. They risk loving someone else and
they get burned. They got hurt and sometimes what they do is they close their heart and make
a decision never to love again. It’s not worth the risk. Too much pain involved. Or maybe they
had their heart broken and they are just not going to let that happen again. No matter what
happens to them, they won’t let that happen again. No more risks. No more new relationships
in their lives. No more possibility of taking a step of faith and just giving life a shot. They got
burned and don’t want it to happen again. By nature, all of us, the old nature that is, we all
have a way of nursing those kinds of wounds but at some point, we have to move on. We have
to let Jesus do for us what he did for these two men on the road to Emmaus.

What was it that he did to them? He came to them. That’s just like Jesus. Here he is. He’s conquered death. He’s
paid for the sins of the world. He’s become the Lamb of God that would take away every
person’s sin. He finished the work on Calvary’s cross. He’s been three days in that tomb and
now he’s raised again from the dead. You would think all he needs to do now is ascend to his
Father and wait until all his enemies become his footstool. You know what he says? No, there’s
two hurting men on a road to Emmaus and I’m going to go to them and reach them. He does
the same thing with each one of us. He becomes personal to us. He understands our pain. He
understands our disappointment. He understands our disillusionment. He doesn’t want us to
stay there. Just like God everywhere in the Bible, whether it’s in the book of Genesis in the
Garden with Adam and Eve, he will come to them. Here on the road to Emmaus, Jesus will
come to them.

When we can’t make a decision to draw near, trust me, God says I will draw near to you. I know we’ve often heard it. I’ve heard it. It’s even in the Scriptures. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Sometimes we have that thought if I don’t draw near to God, he’ll never make a step toward me. No, when he sees us in a desperate condition, when he sees our hearts and those hearts have been open to this kind of doubt, fear, discouragement, he’ll come to us just like he did with these men. He didn’t come to them chiding them. He didn’t
come with a spirit of discipline. What’s wrong with you guys? Didn’t you see enough? Didn’t
you hear enough? Didn’t you witness enough through my life, through my miracles and words?
Why don’t you get with the program. Why do you always live this way. Why do you always have
to have these moments? No, he met them at their point of pain.

The resurrected Christ thought it was important to put back on human clothes and search for these hurting hearts, and he still does it with his people today. He’s still doing it around the world. He’s doing it in our church
and churches across the country. He’s doing it in our ministries around the world. He’s finding
people that are hurting and reinfusing hope into their hearts. Notice what they said when Jesus
said, why are you so sad? Why are you discouraged? Why are you disillusioned? Remember
their words very clearly. We had hoped. We had hoped. We pinned all of our hopes on Jesus.
We believed that he was to deliver Israel from their oppressors. We believed he was going to
come and defeat Caesar and remove Rome, our occupiers. No. It’s just like God. He’s always far
more interested in doing something for us that is greater than we think we need at any given
moment in life. They are thinking they need to be delivered from Caesar.

Jesus knows better. He’s thinking, I didn’t’ come to deliver you form Caesar. I came to deliver you from Satan.
Caesar has a temporal lodging in the palace, but he will come, and he will go. Satan will always
be there. He is the one I came to deal the death blow to. He is the one that I came to ultimately
defeat. He is the one that needs to be removed, not Caesar. We were hoping. They were hoping
Pilate would be out and Jesus would be in. The unfulfilled expectations. Don’t you know how
they are able to create some disappointments in our lives. Sometimes we believe this is the way
God is going to move. This is what I want God to do and I’m sure he’s going to do it, but he
doesn’t do it the way we had hoped we thought he would do it. He does something far
different and usually in the end, we look back and reflect and we say he did something even
greater. We say God I need you at any given moment in my life. Whatever you do, please don’t
show up late. We think he is late, but we understand he is always on time. Just ask Lazarus.
Remember when his family sent word to Jesus.

Lazarus, your friend, the one you love is sick. Jesus heard that. I’m sure they thought this is your dearest friend. You must come right away. What did Jesus do? He stayed where he was for three more days. I’m sure everybody thought, we know his sisters thought if you were here on time, if you had not delayed, if you would
come immediately, our brother would be alive. And again, yes, Jesus could have come when
they bid him to come. He could have showed up when he was sick, but instead he showed up
when he was in a grave. But when he showed up, he raised Lazarus from the dead. He’s always
on time with his provision. He’s always on time. Their attitude was we didn’t want them to die.
He said I understand that. I’m going to use Lazarus as a means of revealing just how great God’s
glory is and how amazing his power is. Often God will say to us no to something we think we
need only to say yes to give us something that we really need in our lives. Jesus shows up.
Secondly, what does he do? He tells them a story. I can’t get over this.

Today, we hear so many people wrestle with discouragement, disillusionment, depression, fear, worry, anxiety. They are all looking for different ways to address it, to deal with it and get it removed from their lives.
Yet there seems to be only one way that God choses to deal with all of those things. And so
many more things that we could mention, and that is to what? Open the Scriptures. Tell us a
story. That is essentially what he did. Jesus’ cure for a heart that is hurting, a heart that is
broken, a heart that is wounded, a heart that’s disappointed, a heart that had it’s hope
shattered is always the same. Review the story of God. Get into the Bible. P. Schaller said it this
morning. This is where we will get all of our hope. This is where we are going to find all of our
strength. This is where we are going to be renewed in our hearts and minds. This is where all
our answers will come from.

This is where we will be strengthened when we are weak and feel we can’t go on. This is everything. He tells them a story. I love the fact that it says beginning with Moses. Jesus goes all the way back to Moses. Then He finishes with himself and as he opened the Scriptures, that’s what did it for them. That’s what made the difference. That’s
what drove out the discouragement and removed the despair. It’s what we always need. They
needed to hear from Moses all the way to Jesus himself that God is in control. What that Bible
study must have been like! Only if we could have been present to hear it! Right? He could have
been talking about Jericho walls tumbling and Red Sea’s rumbling. Maybe even in the Old
Testament David stumbling in his sin. Who knows? But he went on and on and kept revealing
the power of God in story after story.

Maybe when he got to Isaiah 53, he made it personal. Maybe he said something like, I was wounded for your transgressions, the chastisement was upon – he could have used his own personal pronoun in there just to get the message across to them. He opens the Bible. Sometimes when life gets dark, sometimes when it gets
overwhelming, when we think we are at the end, I like what Corrie ten Boom once said. She
said when the train goes through the tunnel and the world gets dark and you can’t see
anything, what do you do? You don’t jump out. You don’t leave the train. You don’t bail out.
You sit and wait and trust the engineer to get you through. That’s all we need to do. That’s
what Jesus did with the disciples. He told them the story beginning with Moses and through the
prophets and opened the Scriptures to them and basically told them, look. The engineer is still
in control. The engineer still has his hand on the throttle.

The engineer is going to get you through. There’s going to be a hopeful tomorrow. The engineer has a destiny prepared for you and planned for you. It’s not going to be foiled by discouragement. It’s not going to be foiled by
a pandemic. It’s not going to be foiled or turned away because things are not clearing up at any
given moment in your life. It’s going to come to pass. He does it the same way in each of our
lives by telling us the story. When we are troubled or discouraged or on the end of despair,
what do we do? Go back to the story. Go back to the book of Exodus. Read the account of
Moses again and look how God never forgot his people. Sometimes we are thinking we have
been in this pandemic for seven months. God’s people Israel were in a pandemic for 400 years
in Egypt. God came through. He never forgot them. He delivered them.

Whatever it needed to be. If it’s to get them through a Red Sea, manna from heaven, God healing Joseph from the
wounds of his brothers, Goliath being taken down by David, Elijah beating back the prophets of
Baal on Mt. Carmel and the list goes on and on. It’s the story of God’s people that are scared
chickens, but he turns them into bold lions. He does it by his grace. Even when our lives are reduced to that of a bruised reed and a smoking flax, what is the promise of God? A smoking
flax I will not quench. A bruised reed I will not break. I’ll nurse you back to health. I’ll strengthen
your soul. Lord, how are you going to do it? Just keep reading my story. We’re not worried
about what is going to happen Tuesday. Someone says, aren’t you worried about who is going
to be in the White House? No, all I’m concerned about is making sure that I get myself into
God’s house and when I’m in God’s house, I don’t have to worry about who is in the White
House. I can keep worshiping the God who is completely in control.

I can keep trusting the engineer if things go dark in life, I can keep moving forward because we have his story. His story never fails to encourage us. His story never fails to build up our souls. God’s remedy for doubt,
his story. God’s remedy for fear, his story. Gods remedy for discouragement, his story. That
story rekindles the flame in our hearts. That’s what those men said after Christ separated
himself from them. What did they say? Did not our hearts burn within us? Notice the
progression. You’re not going to have open hearts, open eyes. Eventually it led to them opening
their mouths when they took a seven mile journey back to Jerusalem. None of that is going to
happen unless you first open the Scriptures. If the Scriptures are closed and we are not
rehearsing the story and not being reminded of how great God is, of how good God is, of how
gracious God is, of how merciful God is and how patient God is, how kind he is, if we are not
remembering and rehearsing those truths in our lives, then our eyes will remain closed. Our
mouths will remain closed.

But when the Scriptures are open, our hearts are open, our eyes are open, our hearts are on fire and we open our mouths. We can confidently go into a world in darkness. In a world that is, it’s closing down by the minute. We can say to them, God is still on the throne. The engineer is still controlling everything. He’s got this. Because he’s got it, he’s going to get you through. Don’t live in discouragement or despair. Don’t let those things trouble
you. Just read the story over again and what does it do? It ignites the flame of God in our hearts
and reminds us that God has a blessed future prepared for every single one of us in Jeremiah 29:11.



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.