Let consider our ways. Do we love one another as Christ loves us? This is how the world can see God. May we forgive and think with the mind of His agape love. (Haggai 1:5-6; 1 john 4:7-20; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Babou Bamouni
Sermon # 11289
11:00 AM on 7/2/2017

P. Schaller

Haggai 1. There will be little pieces in the message you learn and then it will come together, Lord willing. Do you ever feel like I’m missing something in my life? Someday I’m going to get it straightened out. Not sure if it is supposed to go this way. Am I hitting the target? Ever thought about that? Am I prospering as I should be? Blessed as I should be? Are my relationships good? Is there something missing? I think that happens to all of us.

Hag 1:5 Think about it. Consider your ways. In this history here the Jewish people are missing something. I’m not saying that is the case with all of you. It is good sometimes to stop and consider. I know God would like to teach me about tithing.

It’s prescribed in the Scriptures, Mal. 3. He said you have robbed me. Wherein have we robbed you? They had this attitude. They came back. What are you talking about? Ever have a teenager say that to you? Did you clean your room? Yes. It looks like a cyclone went through. You have a problem with that? I cleaned my room. This same attitude Israel had about tithing and the Lord caught them in it and spoke to them. There are areas in life God wants to – and it’s beautiful when he does it. You don’t come to this church thinking you’ll get beat up by the message. We are coming with an attitude of faith. Lord, I don’t want to miss what you sent me into the world for. I want you to be serious with me. We expect the Spirit of God to show us things. We want to consider our ways. If I’m depressed and that happens. It can happen to believers. Even what Dr. Stevens called bonified depression when Moses died and the children of Israel mourned 30 days. After he said change your clothes, eat, get ready and we will move on. 30 days he said that’s fine. You lost your leader. If I’m living in a depression and it goes on and on, God would like to speak to me by the Spirit. It’s time to change your clothes and move on.

Been around this mountain long enough in De 1. Let’s move on. We are learning about love. vs. 6. What have we sown? They were agricultural people. They sowed seed, wheat, rye, planted vineyards and gardens. They sowed much but brought in little.

vs. 7. Where did my money go? Consider your ways. We have a need for some of us to be honest enough to bring the whole issue before wise men and people that give advice. David Ramsay is on radio, very popular. Three hour program on finances. It shows you there is a need for us to put money in a bag that will hold the money. I need to consider my ways. Say with me, consider your ways. Consider your finances. Are you going to do anything about it? I don’t know. Consider. Maybe I have to do something. Relationships with people. Subject of love. Consider your ways. Third one, consider your mouth. How you speak. It’s private. It’s between you and God. It’s something I have to decide in my heart. Am I going to do anything about this mess, my broken relationships, my finances, my problems? The Lord is going to help you. God helps us. If God is for us, who can be against us. If I’m single, and I’m not married, God is for me. If I’m married, ahh! God is for me. If I’m unemployed, God is for me. If I have a bag with holes in it, God is for me.

1 Cor 13 a message on love. P. Scibelli gave a great class Friday night on faith. I was stirred listening and thinking of so many things we decide by faith. We believe in Christ by faith. When it comes to repentance, I had things in my life that was not good baggage I was carrying around. I decided to drop it by faith. My mother said I think you should be in Maine this summer. Mom, I thought you love me?!! I ended up in Maine where I met Dr. Stevens’ church. I was fascinated by the message, the Bible, the faith of the believers. Big fisherman along the shore line of Maine with hands the size of a basketball. They shook me and my hand disappeared and came out half the size, crushed! There was life and love and it convinced me. Pastor said we have a mission. We’re going to have a Bible college. This was summer of 72. In the fall, we will start Bible college and send teams into the world and do it by faith. I looked around and saw all the reasons it couldn’t happen. But one reason it could, Christ is in it. More than 40 years ago now we celebrate it every year in convention. And there is love. It would be easy to stop it and get nasty and critical and analyze and know each other in a wrong way.

1 Cor 15 the more excellent way at the end of chapter 12. I show you a more excellent way. It is an excellent way but not a natural way. It’s a spiritual way. Spiritual in our meaning, Christ, – I met in Hamden this woman who was kind of artsy, crazy. The occult is growing. The interest in it. People are interested in their future, palm readings, séances, and it’s forbidden in the Scripture. People who are hungering for K or connection or looking for the “spiritual.” Our spirituality is of a different spirit. This woman said I am spiritual. As she walked away, I wondered what she meant. It wasn’t the same thing. Our spirit is honoring Christ only. I asked P. Bamouni to tell a story about idolatry in Africa. A group worships the crocodile, and he is their god. They have to protect the crocodiles that cross the road, protecting them from being killed by cars. My god needs me to put a roadblock so he doesn’t get killed! The blindness of the mind. The god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not. I don’t need to live in Africa to be deceived, just anywhere on this planet without this Word. I need a teacher to open to me the Bible. Who is your God? A Crocodile? Bigger. The God who is from everlasting to everlasting. Consider your ways. As we learn God we also learn love. God is love.

1 Cor 13:4-8. Love is. Eight love is. This subject, love, could take us years to learn about it and what it is not. Put up that slide. What love is not. Another list of eight things. We could go through our Bible stories and have a story for each. Envies not was Haman and Mordecai. Haman had a problem. When the king said to Haman what should I do for the man who is honoring me? Haman is saying he is talking about me. I’ll put him on a horse and put king’s clothes on him and take him through the city. He said do that for Mordecai the Jew. Love does not envy. Vaunteth not itself. Nebuchadnezzar, King Herod. If you be the Son of God come down…save yourself. Arrogant worlds. Not behaving rudely. Sarcasm. Not easily provoked.

Hannah in 1 Sam 1 couldn’t have children and the woman living in the house…was provoking Hannah. Really sticking it to her. Hannah wept. She was so saddened and stopped eating. That was a sign of depression. She was provoked by the woman in the house. That can happen. Love is not easily provoked. You can say things and it will go as water off a ducks back. Their anger is not in their bosom. Anger of a fool is in their bosom. Put your anger in the cellar so not quick to be angry. It will take time to go get it. You go down in the cellar and bring it up. It’s one way to describe it. When you pull on the highway and you’re angry with the traffic, – that is not love. Love is not easily provoked by traffic, by things people say or don’t say or the color of someone’s dress or shoes or missing an appointment by 5 minutes or 15 or your son walks on the grass. “How many times do I have to tell you don’t walk on my grass?” Easily provoked. This is a lot of material. Every one of those sentences or phrases is a short message in itself. We must learn it. We must consider our ways and learn what love is. When we talk about an offering, someone could have an attitude. Oh they want my money. Thinks no evil. Oh they are thieves. I knew they were going to be asking for money. You can live in the mind you want to live in. If that’s what you want to think, that is your call. There is a more excellent way. There is another way of thinking. There is an amazing aspect to this. God is teaching us and leading us in it. I need help and we are all learning. I’m excited about it. We are growing in it. It is amazing. Love is amazing.

1 Cor 13:4, sixteen little phrases I want you to learn and think about this coming year. You will find God will be with you and lead you and you’ll become a lot bigger than yourself. You’ll get to know God. There are going to be tests and trials. Life happens. Forgiveness is an amazing part of love. Charity suffers long and is kind. Eight things it’s not. Then rejoices in truth. Then the list there.

1 Jn 4: I’m so happy we have found the Bible. We have discovered the mind of Christ. We have a Bible, halleluiah! I would never make it without my Bible. We have seen God bring people into parts of the world with the message of Christ and we have seen people changed. In Africa they are not worshipping a crocodile and they are learning love. They have an outreach to people who are thinking differently and learning love. Getting hope and this open heart and mind. Here in America there is tremendous need. There is not progress like this lie about man progressing. You see the same old serpent, the same old man and the same old problems. This is hatred, jealousy, envy. Is that changing? No, that’s everywhere. Offices, bosses, rich people, poor people, non-religious people, religious people. It’s all the same. It’s called the old man or the flesh. In my DNA I have a fallen nature. When I leave my body and it drops to the ground, I’m gone out of my sin nature. It’s over. No more of that. Forever and ever. No more of that foolishness, judging, criticism, the arrogance. No more. That is how people live. That is what love is not. Every police station, hospital, prison, school, kindergarten – that’s my toy. “I hate Sally”…bitter, angry, and unforgiving. This is the nature of our human race. I don’t care if you have an iPhone or computer, you are a fallen man and can make a mountain out of a mole hill. Consider your ways. It’s no surprise. I got to come up with new stories. A guy at Dunkin Donuts sat down at the table. I don’t know him. It was two old guys to ourselves. I said what is your name? How many friends do you have? He looks out the window. Takes a sip. Two. No, one. I wondered what happened to the other one! How many do you have? I just changed the subject. I don’t know actually but I know it’s a miracle. It’s from God’s love. Love is what makes a difference in your life. Not your smarts, your skills, or successes or reputation or bank account. Who cares? At the end of the day really? Your life is measured by numbers? Things? It’s love. That’s what makes all the difference. I remember when we first went to the mission field and the snow was falling and very cold, we were a small team. So much room for discouragement and criticism. So much room for the whole team to fall apart. It actually did! Within 9 months’ time, half returned to the States. I didn’t realize there would be such a treasure in Finland. That the Finish people – I didn’t realize what J.C. would do with love. Don’t criticize a country. Love the people. You can criticize America all day long, your family, etc. You could actually be right about it. What is needed is not our judgment. What is needed is AGAPE love. When God looked at the earth and us, you and I don’t grasp it. It was repulsive to him, horrifying, a shame, a disaster. No one was deserving of anything. Not one. He’s not fascinated with our good looks, our talent, and our theater. etc. It’s all humbug. What he saw was something he loved. In the core, in the design was this potential to be like him. The price he paid and what he did to get it was exponentially way above and beyond incredible love. The word we are trying to understand. You say I love my dog. I love coffee. I love Target. I love my wife when she is nice to me. We put in a lot of things we love. God is saying you don’t know. I have to love you.

1 Jn 4:7 the world doesn’t know God. It crucified God. The world does not care about God. They do not care. I’ve met people that never think about God. They are just living life. My neighbor at one time I brought to church and he said on the way home do you think about God every day? Every day? I don’t know what his concept of God is. I was trying to be as kind as possible. Yes, actually. It’s not work. Imagine being in love with someone and they are in your heart and mind all the time. When we know God, that’s what it is. I can’t pull away from him. The love is too good. When we learn who God is and how tough he is in this love. I had a dog in Hungary and went to the gate to enter the courtyard, and this dog is so excited to see me. I’d have my suit on from preaching and he’d jump up on me. Maybe give him a love tap! That would never stop him. It encouraged him all the more. All the years we had that puppy dog, he would never stop. I go he is like God. And the Africans go amen! I want to know him. Don’t think he is like us. He is like your mother on the best day. I agree. That’s one but also when you are in trouble and need someone in charge, God is like that. When he is hanging on the cross, he is saying I am serious about this. I paid a big price for you guys. Without this, you are history. With giving my Son, I want you to see what love is. I am love.

vs. 8. That sappy, worldly love doesn’t work. How many find it in romance. A hot romance for three months and then the guy can’t remember your name. Flowers, chocolate, ringing the door bell and then swept away. Do you know what is in this man’s heart? Do you know his intentions? Is it empty, phony and he’s getting his way. A woman that has this inbuilt integrity is beautiful. Not easily caught in that way. She’s discerning and recognizing what is happening. You can be deceived by the occult. Have nothing to do with a séance. You can be deceived by a movie. A Christian can be totally sold by a movie. And goes and does what they saw on the movie.

1 Jn 4:9-12. Nobody has seen God but have seen us loving one another. Years pass and we love each other. Decades. Dickty’s were here in the 9 service. And we see each other in the Lord and there is the love and the edification. No man has seen God but gets to see us. They recognize our liberty, our peace, our joy, our contentment, our attitude.

vs. 13-14. vs. 20. Husband and wife, I’ve seen this happen. They have problems and there is not forgiveness. They can’t forgive or one does and one doesn’t. There isn’t love. If I don’t forgive, there is not love. I have to learn to forgive but it is hard sometimes. Now I’m a liar. What do you mean I’m a liar? You love all of these but this one you hate. Yes, but I don’t really hate but can’t get along or forgive. I got issues and that’s true. The Lord knows my heart. You know it’s in you heart you’re not forgiving. Ok but I love all of these over here. You are a liar. I’m always telling the truth. But you are not telling the truth. That person is forgiven and you are saying they aren’t. God says they are forgiven so they call me a liar. If I record you for the next week, I will hear you lying through the day about your wife you are not forgiving. You’ll say she is selfish. Let’s say she is selfish but you are lying because I’m saying I’m forgiving her and you don’t know her heart. The problem is with me. She could be wrong but I am wrong by not forgiving her. Isn’t that amazing? I got to forgiven her. “I’m not forgiving her cause she’s not sincere.” God could say I feel the same way about you. I’m a liar. Who is the father of lies? The devil. I’m a child of God but now God calls me a liar. AGAPE love is required of believers. I must not only say it but apply it. It’s called the more excellent way. The woman has to forgive her husband. I forgive you, you scoundrel!

You have to learn it. I don’t care if they are right or wrong. Forgiveness is the way AGAPE love rolls. I know there is a need for more explanation on the subject. I believe we consider our ways and one of them is the subject that is the excellent way of AGAPE love.


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