We have a connection with God and sometimes we don’t know it. Do we realize who we are in Him? There’s a wisdom of the world that cannot comprehend what life is all about. The devil knows what’s in us and he feels the mockery of his efforts. Acts 2:25-29; 1 Corinthians 1:18-19
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
8:00 PM on 12/31/2019
P. Schaller –
I love that. That was fun. That was great. This is New Year’s celebration/service/party time. This is our
version. Our version. Isn’t it awesome! It is and will be awesome. Great time to be together. P.
Don Barnes and Lori came out and with the two or three? Dave. I remember Dave from
Indianapolis. Ten and a half hours drive to come to church and be with us here tonight and
celebrate the New Year together.
Others if you come into town and with us here. P. Larry from
York. Great to have you. From York, Jerry. Lou from P. Dave Stambowski. Dover Plains. Mark
from the U.K. Absolutely! Thank you, Mark. Good to have you. From Mexico. Beautiful! Mexico.
Could I have that list, pastor? I asked P. Steve what are the common New Year’s resolutions
made in the world. Want to hear them? People are saying the new year – have you done this in
the past? You said this year I’m going to stop drinking.
How many did that? Raise your hand. Part of the meaning of the occasion is but we have good news tonight. Praise the Lord. Lose weight and get fit is number one. Turn to your neighbor and say I recommend that you would
seriously think about this!
2) Quit smoking.
3) Learn something new.
4) Eat healthier and diet.
5) Get out of debt and save money.
6) Spend more time with family.
7) Travel to new places, i.e. go to EUROCON!
8) Be less stressed.
10) Spend less time on my cell phone.
Don’t go there! We have good news for all of us because we have found something in Christ that is
amazing. What Christ does in our lives. That will be our fellowship tonight. It will be awesome.
I’m so excite about it. We have our service time and then communion, a message, prayer for
the sick. We’ll have time together talking and fellowshipping with each other and then our
break. We’ll go down to the family center where there is food set up.
How many brought noise makers? Did you bring a sound maker? We’ll bring the new year in with some sound, make a joyful noise, dance a little bit, and have a good time as we come into the new year. Then on our
knees. You used to be in a bar room slumped over but tonight you’ll be slumped over – no, on
your knees before God Almighty. We are serious about this. This is amazing. Jesus Christ is risen
from the dead and alive and on New Year’s. We worship him.
Stand with me please. Turn around to the people near you and make a little group and have a little group hug. Say God bless you. Say God is good. Praise the Lord! Wow! That was good (song). Nobody but Jesus.
How can you lose weight? I don’t know about that but there’s nobody, but Jesus can really
change my life. I might lose a few pounds but who can give me eternal life, forgive me of my
sin, give me a new heart and change my life.
Nobody but Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Turn to Acts 2 for one verse. I’m going to be all over the place maybe. I believe God will speak to our hearts. He has spoken to mine in the last few days. I’m so thankful for his grace and what Jesus Christ has done for everyone of us here. I wrote a little note while Jean Marie was singing. It goes like this.
Do you think you have a connection with God and don’t know it? Let me say it this way: Do you
think you have a connection with God? You can answer me. You look scared. Let’s get moving.
Do you know you have a relationship with God? Yes, we do. We have been born again and the
Spirit of God has come into our lives. Acts. 2:25. This is Psalm 16. Peter is preaching at
Pentecost. Year 2020 a vision, perfect eyesight, 2020. Could I be moved? Yes, I believe I know I
can be moved. But David said I have set the Lord before my face, so I am not moved. How can
that be when we have emotional, troubled, dying sick people could not be moved? Vs. 26.
Halleluiah! Halleluiah! My heart rejoiced. Vs. 27. I want to say it. Let me change the words a
little. Because you will not send me to hell and not allow my mortal body to deteriorate in the
grave. Well, the Messiah’s mortal body. Messiah’s body decayed three days and then glorified
and raised. He shifts from his own sense of security to the reality of the Messiah that would not
go to hell and his body would not deteriorate in the grave. Therefore my heart is rejoicing in
you. Vs. 28. We got to pause there for second.
You made me to know the ways of life. Have you learned any of the ways of God in life? Have you learned the ways of God in life? You have made me to know the ways of life. You have taught me about life. I don’t fear like other people. I m not worried like others. I’m not afraid of cancer as others are. I hate the idea of it, but I got
in connection with the reality that is being spoken here in Psalm 16. Look at the next part. Vs.
28. That’s the part that got me today. Your face. Your countenance. I think in the first part of
the verse you made me know the ways of life.
Maybe a good Baptist might know the ways of life, but the second part is key. You shall make me full of joy because of your face, God’s face. Have you seen God’s face. Has the face of God connected with – I always think of a face behind my face. Face, eyes behind my eyes, ears behind my ears, face behind my face. When Jesus
prayed on the Mt. of Transfiguration his body was transformed to life. The reality of who he
was came through his mortal flesh. They were incredibly amazed as he was transfigured.
The Bible says the same is with us, 2 Corinthians 3 that we are changed from glory to glory. Have you had a
slice of glory. Have you had the Spirit touch you? Has the face of God released you? That’s the
thought here. A lot of people are wanting to lose weight, put their iPhone down and learn
something new like sing or dance and go to school and travel, – all these things that consume
our regular life. Many of those things happen to us. We quit smoking. We get serious. We get
Some spiritual thing happens in our mind. We become interested in the invisible
things. The people of the world can’t see them. Because of that kind of switch or new birth the
Spirit was sent. Jesus said it. We’re not making any of this up. We are quoting Bible verses and
learning from our Bible. He has filled us with joy by his countenance. Now comes the question.
Do you have a connection with God? Yes. Second question. Do you have a connection with God
and sometimes you don’t know it?
Now I’m afraid to answer that question. I don’t want to get it wrong publicly! What’s the answer. When did it happen in the Bible. Jesus is walking with them and they don’t know it’s Jesus. Mary was at the tomb and she thought it was the gardener. I believe God is with you and sometimes you don’t know it. It says that Jacob woke
up out of his dream and that’s what he said. God was here and I didn’t know it. I say it by way
of encouragement. We might hear a message like this and say that’s amazing. I believe you, but
it’s been a long time since the face of God has been shining on my face. We say don’t be too
sure of that.
Maybe he has been walking with you all the time and you haven’t known it. Don’t
be sure you are not what you should be. This night tonight isn’t about quitting smoking or
drinking or cigarettes and all those things people struggle with. This is about something
glorious. When that shines on us, when our inner man is changed, when we are renewed in our
mind, things drop off like nothing. They disappear. They melt. Psalm 68 even Mt. Sinai was shaken
by the presence of God. That’s a big, tough, legalistic place.
But when God visits anywhere in the universe, visits the simple heart of man and shows him his grace and shows him his grace like the Apostle Peter, he changes us. We are changed by his grace. Wow! So, that’s the
message. I have about three Scripture portions. We would be here until midnight and actually
that’s what we are going to do! I have a lot to say about it and I just love it. I know we are on
the same page. I believe that so much of what we are looking for you cannot even put it into a
resolution. It’s not about that. So much about what we are looking for is love.
Love. Where is he? Where is my beloved? She gets out of bed and starts looking and finds him in the garden.
He is buried over there. Martha and the Mary’s go take notice and they recognize it and love
him. They come back early morning the first day of the week. This is about love. This is about
the spiritual life in the believer. This is about a change that happens not by the wisdom of men
but by the wisdom that is different. 1 Corinthians 1:18. You see the cross, the cross, preaching of the
cross. What a disappoint it is to the intellectual when you cannot explain the cross to them with
the wisdom that they can articulate and explain and reason.
They are very smart, capable people but you are pointing to the cross. There is a naked man hanging there, rejected, crucified. The preaching of the cross. The cross. How about quitting smoking, losing weight,
being more disciplined. Okay. I know. I would like that. That would be great. Is there a way,
something I’m missing in this world. Is there something from God that is not me. Maybe I’m
missing something. Even if I lose 100 pounds and get that done. That’s fine. I don’t have any
issue with any of these things.
What if I gain the whole world and lose my soul? What if I climb the ladder but it’s leaning on the wrong building? What if I save and win and get all I can imagine but miss God? God. I miss God. We’re not so smart as we think we are. So strong as sometimes we would like to think we are. We aren’t the answer. We don’t know what we are
doing. The world is drinking and partying and making promises and looking at the coming year.
One year from now, what do they have? Just another holiday to think about life the same way.
They think about life the same way. What can we do this year.
This is amazing. Vs. 18. I mean it’s as foolish as the tin can in the street, a tin can lying in the gutter. A crummy Starbucks coffee cup used and thrown in the trash. It’s as meaningless as any throwaway thing. This
means nothing. I’ve seen it. I listened to the message. I don’t know what these people are
doing. I have a life to live, a city to build, a job to do, resolutions to make. Vs. 18.
You see, when you are saved, that birth happens. When you’re saved, you start to look at the invisible. You
start to believe life is more than a cup of coffee or a paycheck. It’s more than having a nap in
the afternoon or buying a car or getting my way at work or getting hurt or disappointed or
going to jail for a couple years or being depressed or happy. I start to believe my life is a lot
more than what I am now experiencing. It’s more than me. I start to believe God is here.
God is here. God is here? God is here. Really. God is here. That changes everything. Is God here? God
Almighty is here. Amazing. This is a secret that the world doesn’t know. But you know it. I have
been living with you folks for quite a while now, decades in one sense, many decades together
and I know you know what I am saying. I know these dear people we send on the mission field
they are going not as a religious exercise but with a message.
They have experienced the reality of this person who is hiding from the world but making himself known to those that believe and will trust in God in all times. Good days and bad times. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and
do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path. David said he fills me with joy and the light of his countenance releases me and I realize I am in the very presence of God. He has shown me his ways and also put his face upon mine. Vs. 19. I know every time I make an illustration I realize I’m not hitting the point.
I may be hitting buttons in your heart that are not good or they may be good. I don’t know. My
illustration isn’t exactly correct. The wisdom of the wise. Someone said we can walk on the
moon, but can we walk in the park without getting killed or shot or lost or depressed? To make
sand and make an iPhone. Silicon is from sand. To take sand and make an iPhone is
unbelievable. You have more computer power in your iPhone than what it took for this country
to put a man on the moon. This phone is incredible.
It’s the wisdom of the world. Could you find an iPhone on someone’s dead body and say the wisdom of the world could not do what God does. Could you find an iPhone in their pocket and they are busy stealing someone’s money on the other side of the world. The world has made an amazing instrument but at the end of the
day, God is saying if you don’t have me, it’s an exercise of futility. In Ecclesiastes it speaks that
way. Where is the wisdom of the world when it comes to the real issues of life: fear,
depression, guilt, death, cancer, disease, broken hearts.
Where is the wisdom of the world? The answer is the human race is suffering so much we don’t have God. We can’t find God by the wisdom of the world. By the wisdom of the world we know not God. Vs. 19-20. Where is the
wise? That’s an amazing question. Go to the public school and get all the administration and
teachers. You have 200, 300 people and God could say which one is wise? Where is the wise?
Who is wise? You get all the pastors in the U.S. and put them all together. We pray for the
church seriously. I’m including myself in the illustration.
God is saying where is the wise? If you find a wise man, does anyone care? Jesus said it this way. The wiser of Solomon is here. The queen of Sheba looked for Solomon, but nobody is coming to me. We have two problems.
Where is the one in the thousand it says in Job. One in a thousand, Job 33. Once we find the
one wise man in Ecclesiastes. 9, we forget about him after he delivers the city. We got a problem, sisters
and brothers; we got a problem. We could be missing the precious stuff that is so amazing, but I
want to say better things than that tonight. Vs. 20-21.
I would love to spend a little more time here, but I want to move along and say what I want to say and finish the message. This verse is what I just said, the wisdom of God and the world by wisdom did not know God. They don’t
know the ways of God nor do I. Let me close with this story. I woke up the other night at 2 in
the morning. I was spiritually just dead, guilty, empty, disappointed with myself or whatever,
not feeling the best. It is 2 in the morning, three in the morning. I started to think about God,
and I started to get hungry for God in my heart.
I said there was a time I would get up at 3 in the morning and get on my knees and seek God with all my heart. I’d be refreshed by God. I’m not evaluating and I’m not guilty or particularly religious. I know the difference. I love it when you in your heart say, where are you? I don’t want to do the ministry automatically like roll out
of bed and go to church or roll out of bed and evangelize and just say the words you know in
your heart and know them for decades for many of you. I definitely do. On and on it goes.
I’m not interested. Lord, Jesus. Come on. I spent some time and it wasn’t anything great. It was just
quietness. It was nakedness. It was weakness. It was just emptiness. It was the cross. It’s not
wisdom. It’s not a lot of talking. It’s not explaining anything. It’s simply God is present with you. God is for you. With God all things are possible. What if we enter this year with this
understanding. What do you want from this coming year? One thing I have desired of the Lord
that I will seek after, that I can dwell in his house and he could show me his glory and reveal to
me his nature.
I could love again. Be a child again. Be like a happy little camper all over again.
Just saying it is possible. It is possible. God is here. Beautiful. I don’t think the world has the
knowledge of the cross so they cannot be talking about these things tonight. They’ll be drinking
and maybe going to bed with some hope in their heart. Our story is after more than 40 or 50 of
these New Year’s Eve services, we come every time with the same message; that is, God will
take care of me this year. God will uphold us this year. God will take us through our trials this
Maybe a year ago some of our brothers and sisters that were sitting here a year ago are in
the presence of God’s glory and made it to heaven by his grace. And as they were living here
they were being prepared in their heart to one day meet him. That is an amazing privilege. That
we are being prepared by God in this life. When you go through your trials, rejoice in them all
the time. It’s a short time and we won’t have any anymore.
Use them. James 1:2, learn to have a good time. Come on. Learn to have a good time. Knock it off. Learn to have a good time. Don’t get stuffed up and stuck and you have to do everything right. Knock it off. Enjoy your life. Enjoy
your life. Learn how to sing and enjoy God and be free in grace. Enjoy the Body. Forgive a lot.
Don’t get so close to people. Be wise and Spirit-filled and discerning. Your relationship with
people may not be a good thing in some cases.
You learn to be wise and discerning. I can say hello and go away. I need you but I don’t need you. I need you but I don’t need you. Okay. You know what I mean? Dependency in the wrong way is not a spiritual life. There you go. Vs. 22. The Jews require a sign, because Moses split the Red Sea. The Greeks seek after wisdom
because they had Plato and Socrates. Vs. 23. But we preach Christ crucified. What a
disappointment. Where is the sign? Where’s Plato’s discourse? Where’s the homily? Where’s
the explanation? Where’s the big thick books?
We just see a naked man hanging on a cross saying I am the wisdom of God. I am the power of God. You actually look foolish and weak. You should get used to this. This is the way. This is not by you being strong but by you needing me. You needing the Father. You trusting the Father like I trust the Father. He put me here and this
is God’s way. The next time you lose something, walk with God and you’ll find God has a plan
for you. Don’t get so angry and upset with the world around you and other people. Learn to
take up the cross. When you are disappointed and hurt in life, learn to hang on a cross and be
there for a while.
Quiet down and submit yourself to Almighty God and learn how to look at the
things that are not seen. You would have a growing capacity in your new nature and walk with
God in a personal way. Sometimes we are drawn to the world. We say I want my kids to have
everything. I want to have things. I’m drawn to the reputation or the status or status things. I
want my neighbors to think we are good people.
We are drawn to a lot of things in the world not to mention sinful things we can be drawn to, sex and money and power. Let us take care and say I might gain all that but what is it if I lie down in sorrow. What is it if I lose my soul.
What is it if I’m deeply depressed. I got everything I wanted but I’m alone in my house. I’m
sitting in my house. I used to deliver trunks up in New England for a part time job in the
summertime. You know about it. We went to wealthy families to deliver in New Jersey.
Five cars in the garage and a woman sitting alone by herself in a big house. What good is it if I gain
the world but I don’t have anything really. I can have that stuff but not in my heart. I have to go
to the cross no matter who. Daniel in Persia, Esther in Persia, Joseph in Egypt, high positions in
power. But if you know God, you’ll knee down and his throne is there. You go back into the
bathroom and kneel down there. You know where you came from and where you are going.
You humble yourself before the Almighty God. it adds a vulgar picture but makes a point. When
we come before Almighty God as a person and we say Jesus, I’ll always set you before my face.
You are at my right hand. I will not be moved because you show me your ways and you have
lifted up your countenance upon me. I find that joy again. You sit on your throne of influence,
but you have a heart of mercy.
People wonder where do you get the power, your life, your spontaneity, your freedom. I just know that God is a living God and if you walk with God, God will be in your heart and in your life and in your mind and motivation. God will be in your life in such a way that there is something going on. The devil knows it. Remember we said in the hot
Baltimore afternoon you open up a can of coke and put it on your back porch and what comes?
The hornets. If you put hamburger, what comes? Boat flies. Not just flies but boat flies. Why
don’t the flies go to the coke and the hornets to the hamburger?
The simple answer they are not stupid. They are not stupid. You know what I’m saying. If you walk with God, the demons will know it. The demons will know it. I’m not kidding you. I have to make that point stronger.
When Jesus showed up, the first ones were the demons. John the Baptist really was the first
one. After John the Baptist, the demons. The demons filled the man and came running to Jesus
and threw himself down. I know you the Holy One of Israel. Did you come to destroy us? Leave
us alone. We have nothing to do with you.
You take what we are talking about and if you and I find the cross as a way of life, the demons don’t mind if you believe in Jesus. If you are saved, they have nothing to say about it. They can be all over you day and night. The minute you take up the cross and walk by faith and learn the ways of God and his face is on you, you will have
warfare going on. The wicked will shoot their arrow at the upright, Psalm 11:2. You may have
more trouble than you an imagine. You wonder why did this happen. I don’t have an answer
and I don’t look for demons under every table.
Just as coke and hornets, with godly people the demons come. They are frustrated. They can’t believe it. How come I can’t get this guy? They can’t believe it. You are mocking me. This is a long message, but we got till midnight! I think you know it but worth saying it because it’s in a different context. When Joseph, you know what?
You know what? When Joseph was in Egypt there was a woman that wanted to sleep with him.
You know the story. He refused and he refused.
After he escaped, what did she say about him? This Jew is mocking me. He is mocking me. You know what the correct answer is to this? You’re right. You don’t have it. You don’t have enough. You don’t have it. you can’t get him. You cannot get that man, Joseph. He is mocking you. You don’t have it. I’m not interested. You can’t
get me. You can’t connect with me. That’s one way of trashing her in her mind. He wasn’t doing
it for that reason. He was doing it because he walked with God. You know what it means?
When you and I walk like this, the devil says you are mocking me. You are mocking me. We are
saying, you got that right. You don’t have it. You don’t have enough for me. You can’t offer me
the world. You don’t have a thing for me. You don’t have the power to take me on. You have to go back into your hole. You don’t have what it takes to get me. You know how much that means
in this world to the angels when they see this cross working in your life, and you walk on the
high places of the devil.
You say to the devil you are a mighty, great, incredibly intelligent, powerful being way above and beyond me a mortal man of the dirt that gets sick and vomits every once in a while because of sickness and has a fever and dies one day. How can a man made out of dust put you under his feet? How can that happen? How can a dumb person like
me who knows nothing about this whole thing, but God has revealed it through Jesus Christ.
We are walking as a Body in an authority in this world. I’m sure the angels stoop down to listen
in in 1 Peter 1:16. I’m sure it has a value way above anything we can imagine. Our lives touch
many people in many ways and helps them. I’m sure the root of this whole thing is spiritual.
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.