We have not passed this way before. There are things some people cannot shake off. But in a family, in a church, there’s an umbrella of love over us. Things can offend, but we can take it. We are on a mission. The Ark is ahead of us. God is leading us through. (Joshua 3:1-4, Revelation 2:1-6)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11636
7:30 PM on 2/27/2019



P. Schaller

Praise the Lord. Great singing. (Prayer).

One visual for you before P. Barry comes up and does the offering. Turn to your neighbor and say God bless you and good to see you tonight. The Spirit of God is here. Wow. The Spirit of God. The Spirit of God. Fall fresh on me. Isn’t that good? On us. Praise God.

One thought that’s been with me through the day is this picture of an umbrella with a bunch of people under the umbrella. That’s like us. The umbrella is the covering. The covering which means a lot. God has baptized us under the headship of his Son. We hold the Head tightly or relate to the headship of Christ. The Spirit does it. The Spirit teaches us and leads us. The Holy Spirit does it. I’m shocked how godly we can be. Turn to your neighbor and say that! I’m shocked at how godly you are. I’m amazed at how godly you are! That’s fun.

The furthest part of the world, they say 90% of the world is an oratory culture. Oratory meaning speaking. They are not reading books. I’m not saying 90% of the world doesn’t read books but their culture is one of relation, relational. We hear that from P. Scibelli. People in Africa are relational and they talk. I’ll give you the details later when I’m preaching. We are literary people. We read, have books and have libraries and a lot of mission work is done this way. Greatest thing needed in the world is not the internet going to the third world but human beings with real feet and real language and real missions with the Holy Spirit on the laborers to go into the mountains and deserts and big cities in the third world. I’m amazed that God does this. The umbrella does this. Not the umbrella, the Lord, by his covering leads us in missions and in faith. This is a very big thing. I was thinking of great big things that are kind of impossible.

Luke 14 I have two pictures for AV to put on the screen. Here is one of them. Jesus said how can you sit down and build a big building and get it done unless you count the cost? How could you ever do this unless you count the cost? That’s the Empire State building in Manhattan. Big project. I don’t know how to count the cost. The umbrella, God leads us and the Spirit of God leads us. How could I ever do this, be part of this, think this way except the Holy Spirit is leading us in the local assembly by the teaching of the Scriptures. That’s our subject tonight. Second illustration was an army of 10,000 going against an army of 20,000. There’s a stadium with 20,000 people. How could my army go against this army unless I count the cost? Both of these are big projects beyond the average person.

We are doing something beyond the average person. We are going to the mountains of the Himalayas and the deserts of China and Chile. People are lost. Meaning we said last Wednesday common grace and the world is filled with grace. People live in grace and bathe in grace. They go into stores, ride their cars down I-95 all by the grace of God. They take showers, vitamins, cosmetics, hairdos, new shoes, children, dogs, second homes, vacations – all common grace. God has given a sinful world blessings and he’s speaking to them and saying I am a good God, a living God and I care about you. I gave my Son so you could have eternal life and not go to hell. I gave my Son to take your sin away, so you could be anointed, love each other, so you could – one little boy said I love my stuffed dog but I hate my sister. The dad said you got to learn to love your sister. I don’t want to!

Those are the messages we need to hear under the umbrella of God. You love your stuffed dog but it means if you can’t love your sister, you aren’t really loving your stuffed dog. If there is someone I hate, there is nobody I love.

Woe! That is just the introduction. I’m ahead of myself. We’ll have a good time tonight. Turn to your neighbor and try to explain what I just said to the best you can. You got a couple minutes.

Ever been stuck? What do you think? Unstuck, stuck. Ever been stuck? Yeah. What does that mean? Stuck. I went back to my high school and our football team 1968-1969 was an amazing team. Four years of undefeated seasons. When I got on the team, we lost and broke the streak. We had a reunion and I brought my mother to it. This was some years ago. I went up to Rome, New York and some of us knew one another. Ever gone back to a reunion and felt some of the people you are with are stuck in the past? Maybe stuck in their life, stuck in their ways, stuck in their mentality, stuck in their identity. We are like this. We get stuck as Christians. Ever met someone who went through some period in their Christian life, not necessarily this church but some church years ago and they have a little bit of a nasty attitude of what happened. You can’t help but think, are they stuck?

Who is Jesus? Turn with me to Joshua 3. Great to be with you. Thanks for your love and prayers. Pray for the Easter play, Eurocon, and Poland. We are all on the same team and drinking of the same Spirit. The people at home stay by the stuff and get the same rewards in 1 Sam 30. Convention is coming up in June, just around the corner.

Spring is coming. I love the changes in the season especially when we get around this part of year.

Joshua 3:1-3, It sounds good, doesn’t it? When you see the ark, when it moves, go after it. Change your clothes. Follow the priests carrying the ark. I once calculated the distance was between a quarter and half a mile. You can see it off in the distance.

vs. 4. That’s about 3,000 feet, about ½ a mile. You have not passed this way in time past.

vs. 4. You are going to be unstuck. You’ve been stuck in the wilderness eating the manna and now you’ll be unstuck and you’ve never been this way before. Some people go round and round. Some believers go round and round like this because they don’t have an umbrella. They are stuck. I’ve been stuck many times in my life. I’m sure you have. Things I can’t shake off. Things that bug me.

I was thinking how great it is my wife loves me. I know it’s hard to believe. You marry someone and you love the thing about them. Maybe she thought she could take care of me, clean the house. She knew how disorganized I was. What a sloppy person. All the dirt on the dashboard when I was single. Bibles, old tracts on the dashboard…everything about the car was a disaster and my wife married me. Maybe she felt the thing she fell in love with now becomes 43 years later. Can you hang up your own towel?

We get stuck. Maybe we are stuck in a critical attitude. Or we’re kind of critical about everything. It grows. We don’t even realize it. I love my stuffed dog. This kid 8 years old but I don’t like my 10 year old sister. Dad says you also have to learn to love your sister. I love my mother. Then can you love your sister?

In a family, there is an umbrella. There is a dad and mom. Though imperfect, God used the wisdom of the people that come here and receive and listen to what the Holy Spirit wants to say to us. Yes, Lord, I have wandered in this wilderness long enough. Lead me to a place you have not passed this way before. I have been walking 40 years and I have never gone this way before. Is it new? Yes, thank you. Have I been this way before? No. You have never been this way before.

This happened under the umbrella of the Holy Spirit in the assembly. It happens in your closet and Bible study when you open the Bible and start to read it. There are believers not opening the Bible and reading 10 passages every morning. Just keep reading it. I don’t understand it. Keep reading and pray to God in heaven and he will lead you to a place you haven’t gone before. He’ll minister to you and restore your soul and renew your mind.

My wife is able to say I love my husband 42 years ago and I still love him now.

What can I say about that? I would also like that kind of maturity where we could say it must be under this umbrella because we have a big building to build. To count the cost and to keep my marriage together is a huge thing but God can do that. He can teach me, show me, help me with my children which sometimes is almost just I give up. There are a lot of people that give up. They abandon their family, their children. They can’t take it. Yes, they can. They can do it. They just don’t have that umbrella, that love, that Holy Spirit ministry that is promised to us. Yes, they can. We can do all things through Christ. We haven’t been this way before. I’m not taking it anymore. I’m not doing it anymore. It’s the same old, same old. We are stuck in ourselves, our self-life.

I wrote down a couple things that happen to us. I feel and I think I am somebody when actually I need to be checked. When I get offended and getting offended is a part of our culture today. I got offended. The posting on the social media, I got offended. The newspaper article, the politician, the kid at school. We’re all going to get stuck in being offended.

Our whole faith is about a man who was offended to the maximum and said forgive them. It’s okay. I came for this reason. Forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing. I love them. He is not stuck. Jesus is in a place we have not gone that way before.

We have found a way of thinking where go ahead, you can do whatever. I have found some kind of maturity that is happening. It grows and sometimes in slow increments but it’s happening to you. I love this church because I realize this church is about people loving God, knowing God, believing in God, trusting in God and have some skin in the game, paying a price, counting the cost. They are believing and saying here I am and guide me so I will be in a place I have not been before. It means I’m not easily offended. Do whatever you’ve got to do. I’m going to love you and pray for you. I have business to do with God. I have something going on with God.

There are dear people that have never heard about Jesus Christ and this mission is to bring us before people who have not heard about Jesus Christ and his shed blood and Incarnation and resurrection. We are on a mission and following the Ark of the Covenant ½ mile away. You can see ½ mile in front of you. There it is. We are going to follow and he is going to lead us. I had another text I wanted to use.

Rev. 2, I’m enjoying so much this thought. Turn to your neighbor and say get unstuck.

A whole bunch of us guys were in the sauna, 14 of us at midnight and this verse, I’m sitting there sweating and enjoying the heat. This verse came to me, Oh, King Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer you in this matter. All the guys in the sauna started to say it. Our God is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace. Oh king, we are not careful to answer you. Our God is able to deliver us from this fiery furnace. But if he does not, but if he does not, we will not bow down and worship your idol. That verse was so good. I want that in my life. I’m a coward. I can’t do this. I am unable. I am too weak. I will collapse under the pressure. I’m not a strong person, a might hero, a great iron man. This is what the umbrella is about. You don’t get there by your temperament or lifting weights or saying I won’t deny him. You may do it and go ahead. But the Bible says trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. There is the umbrella. It must come from some other place. That is why God has ordained pastor teachers and for the teaching and preaching of the Book. Read your Bible quietly and confidently and the Holy Spirit will lead you in a way you have not gone before. You get up and beyond the clutter and chatter and unforgiving spirit and the sensitive, touchy, you have offended me. I have to correct that. That’s not right. I can’t believe he said that. How much money was that? I can’t believe that happened. All that little small talk that happens amongst all people in the world and they get stuck on the silliest thing.

My wife is so clean and neat in the house. She doesn’t like when I talk about it. I’ll hear about it when I go home! I take a towel and hang it on the door. I think the ladies know this. P. Fred Aruda has no idea what we are talking about! Don’t do that. So in our 38th year of marriage, I decided to change my way! I want credit for that! I’m saying, I’ve never been this way before. Okay, finishing.

Rev. 2:1-2, it’s too of a good verse to cut short. I’ll close the service and say this portion 2:1-6 shows you how he corrected the church at Ephesus. The Spirit corrected the church at Ephesus with words. We need exhortation. We need to be rebuked. We need comfort, insight, and understanding. I need to live an unstuck life. I want to grow in his grace. I want to worship God, not just in this assembly but in my bedroom. I want to have it in my heart as a way of life. I want to have my Bible school days returned back to me. It was fresh. That was amazing. I love the pastor, the Bible, the prayer meeting, the vision. Though frail and stubbornly stuck at times, I could take the rebuke, the correction. I would receive it as from God. You have left your first love. I would be sitting there saying, yes, Lord. If I left my first love, teach me what that is all over again. I want not to depart from love. I want to learn about love, grace, faith. I want to rediscover.

Don’t you believe the Holy Spirit in all our prayers and all these men of God that follow God in faith and women of God who follow God by faith are saying we can do it. Put back up there those two pictures again. Yes, we can do it. Can we go against a big army? We have counted the cost and I will be stuck with Rome, New York with my old football buddies telling the same lousy, meaningless stories. I won’t get out of my old life because of my flesh. I have found a place where I can come under the umbrella of God. You have not been this way before. Change your clothes, clean up yourself and I will take you into the Promised Land. No more manna. No more small talk. No more small provision but you will eat the corn of the land, the resurrection power. You will have conferences and God will be in them. I got a piece of food to eat you don’t know about. I have a victory in my spirit over drugs and other stuff and over being a liar and a deceiver. I’m not stuck in my old ways. I have found Christ as the way, the truth, and the life. If I forsake the local assembly, what will I have? A Bible study maybe. Maybe I’ll read my Bible and listen to the radio. If I leave the local assembly, I won’t have real human beings that will challenge me. I love my puppy, my stuffed dog, but it’s my sister in the morning who looks at me and says you can’t have any Cheerios. I don’t like her. That’s the way people are.

I need my sister and brother and reality. I need God to put me in a real world to show me King Nebuchadnezzar, I am not careful to answer you. You can put us in a fiery furnace and our God will deliver. If he does not, we will not worship your small, little idol. It’s just crap anyway. Amen.

Praise God. You’re almost dismissed. Pray with me.

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