Love opens our hearts. John the Apostle was a man of love. Love makes us kings on the inside. We are conquerors in Christ. Saul and Absalom were not kings on the inside. Their trust was in themselves and their flesh. See the good. Be planted and grow in Him. (Romans 8:37; Jeremiah 17:5)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon 11875
11:00 AM on 4/26/2020

P. Schaller –

I want to start our message this morning by prefacing a request. We are all staying in our cars. I would like to make
an exception and ask if you are Greater Grace pastor, could you just step out of your car for a
moment and wave to us on the platform? And at the end of the service and we are all learning.
We are in a learning curve on what we are doing here, but Scott Dubay, one of our chief
engineers – give him a hand, a horn – he has suggested that our meeting will be moving from
that place and because of the rain here and next week weather permitting we will be up above.

We also want to thank Paul Nye and his tech crew that does such a great job. And we want to
praise God for our country, for our leaders. We are praying for you. We thank God for the
message we have in our hearts and God’s plan for each and every one of us. When we started
this six or seven weeks ago, God has given us a time out we said. We have become a refreshed
people, a disciplined people and a focused people. I want to speak about that. And saying to the
pastors that stepped out of their car, at the end of the service you are allowed to step out of
your car and wave to people as you stay in your car, that they are able to say hello and if you
have some need you can say it from your car because we love you.

God loves you. God loves us. We are assembling and hearing in our heart what the Spirit has to say. Turn to the first place in your Bible, Romans 8:37. What things? The things mentioned in vs. 35: tribulation, distress,
persecution, famine, nakedness, peril or sword. In all these things, we are more than
conquerors. A conqueror is always conquered one day. Alexander the Great was 32 years old
and conquered the world but alcohol conquered him, and he died as a young conqueror
conquered. Napoleon was conquered. Stalin was conquered. But you and I are more than
conquerors through him that loved us.

God so loved the world that he gave us his Son. John the disciple, whom I recently have become attracted to in the Gospel story, as I see him as a young, tender man, a quiet man with a brother James who are fishermen. They were not necessarily leaders, but John was a sensitive man who was near Jesus all the time hanging out maybe like
your granddaughter, a little girl may hang out by Pappy’s side. Or a little dog maybe coming to
you with a lot of love and affection. John was always with Jesus. At the Mount of
Transfiguration, at the Last Supper he laid his head on Jesus’ bosom as Jesus was speaking to
the disciples. Jesus died on the cross and John was there. John watched and it broke his heart.
He saw it and Jesus spoke to him about Jesus’ mother.

Jesus wanted his mother in good hands, and he wanted his mother to have another son and it would be John who would take care of her because John had a tender heart. Tender hearts sometimes know when you are loved.
When you have a tender heart, you watch facial expressions. You hear the words of Jesus, so
John went also to the tomb in John 20:2, 7. He says I am the disciple – he said the disciple whom
Jesus loved. He loves me. I can tell. He loves me. When he looks at me, I can tell. He loves me.
In a silent moment, I can tell he loves me. That’s what John knew. Everybody in this world
needs to know that somebody does love them. Life can be hard. Proverbs 13:15, sometimes we
make terrible mistakes and sometimes like Cain said my penalty is more than I can bear in Genesis
4:13.

Sometimes we get entrenched in our thinking and we bury ourselves in our own sorrow
and trouble and end up saying, no one loves me. When I look into a face of a person, I see their
hard judgment. I see the hardness in life. I see the hardness in my circumstance. I see the hardness in my family. I see the hardness in my wife or husband. I see the hardness in my boss.
I see the hardness in my schoolteacher. I see life is filled with sorrow and hardness. This is what
Solomon said when he looked at life and understood it was filled with a kind of vacuity and
emptiness. When John said he loves me it was deep. I hope that has happened to you. I hope
you have been visited by the Holy Spirit’s communion and I hope you understood that God
loves you.

A wounded spirit who can bear? But a spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity. I want
to bring out two illustrations this morning of how hard life can be and then how easy and
victorious it can be and it’s our choice how we think. P. Scibelli at the 9 service preached an
excellent message on thinking. How our thinking is important and determines for us who we
are. Here Paul says in Romans 8 these words. No, in all these things, in all these things. How can
you say that? Because Jesus left John and went into heaven, but he sent the Holy Spirit and he
is the same as Jesus. John was filled with the Holy Spirit when he wrote the gospel. He was filled
with the Holy Spirit as he lived his life and so are you.

You are filled with the Holy Spirit. You are given the Holy Spirit. Do not grieve him. Do not quench him but hear what he says to you in your heart, in your quietness, in your worship, and in your faith. He goes on and says I am
persuaded. I am persuaded. I am persuaded. Many times we are not persuaded. Many times we
doubt or question. We could read these words and say I know it says that. I know it says that.
Paul is saying I am persuaded. Even in our trials, and even in our everyday life, and even in our
quiet moments at home when there is nothing particularly special or excited, we are quietly
persuaded. What? Vs. 38. Are you worried about what is to come? Are you worried about the
end times? Are you worried about the virus and everything else going on in the world? Some
people are too worried, too consumed with the external.

When the Holy Spirit is the same that said to John, Jesus loves you, John. He’s the same one that says to us on a consistent basis continually he is our Comforter and teacher and guide. What does he say? No height or
depth….is able to separate us from the love of God. The love of God. That’s what we are talking
about today. Love. He loves me. Love that never fails. Love between a man and his wife. A love
that forgives. A love that tries again. A love that touches the reset button. How many times in
history has God touched the reset button and said let’s do this again. Let’s do it again. I read a
parable in the gospel of Luke last night about a man that had a fig tree and it didn’t bear fruit
for the first year, second year and third year. The farmer said let’s cut it down.

Then Jesus said no. Let’s fertilize it and see it will bring fruit next year. I was thinking that is a parable about
God. he won’t give up on us. He said no, I could cut you down but I’m not going to cut you
down. I’m going to fertilize the plant. I’m going to try again. I’m not giving up. I’m going to send
another. I’m going to do another thing. I’m not giving up. I’m going to save people. I’m going to
show them who I am. I want them to know my hands are outstretched to a gainsaying people in
Romans 9. I will not give up. My arms are stretched out. You can’t help but think that prophet
who said that was illustrating Christ on the cross.

He loves us. But there’s two men and because the message is short there are two men I want to illustrate for you that failed the grace of God. One of them was Saul. It says in 1 Samuel 28, follow it with me. Vs. 15. If you remember he went to a witch to bring up Samuel. Here is Saul and he’s in a terrible pickle. He has a real hard time,
and nobody is talking to him. He has no counselor. He has no prophet. He has no man of God or pastor or preach. He has no solution but he’s alone and feels his emptiness. He goes to a witch
to find Saul. Vs. 15. There are many Christians that don’t know what to do. Nobody is talking.
They are not having a message. Nothing is going into their heart. There are people like Saul
saying I am alone. I have no message.

I’m not hearing anything. Nothing is penetrating deep into my spirit. I don’t have any fellowship with God. He has departed from me. What would David say in this situation? Two chapters later, David is in a similar thing in 1 Samuel 30. The Philistines came and took the village away and they lost their children and their wives. They are
going to stone David. It said David encouraged himself in the Lord. David knew how to get ahold
of God. David knew how to wait on God. David knew how to be built up in the inner man. David
knew how to be quiet and bring all his stuff, his guilt, his fear and bring it all. Nay, in all these
things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. He will never leave me or
forsake me. I have forsaken my own mercy in Jonah 2:8.

I have forsaken God. He has never forsaken me. I haven’t heard him. The second person I want you to think about is Absalom. For your study later, if you turn to 2 Samuel 15 later or now in your car as you please. If you read the
first 10 verses, I did it the other day and made a note beside every verse and found how
Absalom was so blinded and misled with approbation lust and success and organizing his life so
he could be a king. He was looking to be a king, but he was not a king on the inside. He wanted
to be a king on the outside, but he was not a king on the inside, and he was conquered by his
hair. He was hanging in a tree by his hair and a donkey he was riding, and the branch caught
him, and he was hanging. Cursed is the man that hangs on a tree.

Why was he cursed? He got his mind on the things that he wanted to organize and succeed and conquer on the external and he didn’t realize what it means to be loved, loved in the Spirit. It says in Jeremiah 17:5, this is the
closing part. Thank you, Jesus, for the listening ears. We were visiting Body members yesterday
in the front yard. We were rejoicing a lot and I just heard this spirit of encouragement and this
joy that we have and this vision we have for world missions, the vision for what we do and our
community and the vision for the churches in the United States, the vision of faith. Jeremiah 17:5,
Absalom, you trusted in man. Saul, you trusted in man and there is a curse and you make your
flesh your arm and your heart departs from the Lord. He cannot see when the good comes.

Can you look around? Have you seen? God gave us a parking lot that is perfect for this situation.
Have you looked around? Have you seen good when it comes? When a check comes in the mail
from the government. Have you seen good when it comes? When a child comes home and says,
Dad, I love you. Have you seen good when it comes? When we assemble here. Have we seen
good when it comes in this life we are living? Have we seen the good when we have
missionaries in many different parts of the world bringing the gospel of Christ to lost people.
Have you seen good when it comes when somebody becomes a disciple like Joseph of
Arimathea. Right on time.

Have you seen good when it comes when David goes and recovers all
in 1 Samuel 30:19. Have you sent the good when it comes when Pentecost comes? Many people
don’t see the good when it comes. When we have a refrigerator filled with food. When we have
people that love us. Have we seen the good when it comes? We do because we are not trusting
in flesh. Blessed is the man that trusts in God. He will bring forth fruit in his season. His leaf
shall not wither. He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water and whatsoever he does shall prosper.

Life is a lot about what eyes I am looking through when I look at this world. John the
disciple who said about himself I am the one that Jesus loves. That’s the story for you and I
because of the new birth. You are the one that God loves. You are the one that Jesus loves.
Therefore you are more than a conqueror through everything we will ever face. May God bless
you in every way.

Amen.

 

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