Our roots are so important. Mary called by God to give birth God Incarnate, the hope of the world. Fellowship in the love of God and communion of the Spirit was with her as she went to Elizabeth. (Luke 1:39-44; 2 Corinthians 13:12-14)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11594
11:00 AM on 12/16/2018



P. Schaller

It’s amazing we have our spiritual family around the world and people have gone to Bible colleges to lead and plant churches and do his work. It’s all based on communion with God. It’s all based on God with us. Immanuel, God with us. God is with us. Wow. God came. God is with us. God became a man. God with us. God cares about us, anoints us, leads us, speaks to us, helps us, heals us, carries us, forgives us, anoints us, and hears our prayer. We have gathered in his name this morning. I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of Lord. I was glad about it. That’s good. I was glad when they said let’s go to the house of God. I love going to the church. I love it. There we can hear, gather and we have this communion. That’s our subject today. Elizabeth, Mary, Gabriel, angel.

Mary knew and her belly is getting bigger. She knows this is a miracle, and she needs Elizabeth. You need to meet someone who understands your miracle, who understands you are born again. We need to meet each other and bear witness to each other that what God is doing in you, it is happening in me. You and I know this is God with us. That’s called encouragement and hope. We have hope because we know what we know. God said it in the word and we have it in our spirit.

Years ago in Maine with Dr. Stevens which is where our church started, – for me it was forty something years ago, but for Pastor it was sixty something years ago. He started preaching the Bible and God started to speak to people. They started to come from fishing villages. Lobster men with huge hands. One brother told me, Mr. Murphy, he didn’t have a car. His whole world was on the shoreline of Maine with a boat. He walked to the store for milk and bread, caught fish, and lived there. When he heard Dr. Stevens on radio, he said pastor said come to church so he went out and bought a car so he could go to church. He bought a car and got a driver’s license – I hope so – and drove to church to see the preacher on the radio. That’s God moving and working.

The same thing is happening in your life and mine. J.C. is the one doing it. He’s speaking to us. Nothing stops us. We had a silly string message Wed. night. You’re a Christian and you go Sunday morning. God bless you. You go Sunday night. God bless you double time. You go Wednesday night and that’s a triple blessing. One preacher said if you’re not called a cult, then you’re not doing anything. I’m concerned that we are not called a cult anymore! We used to be called a cult more often. We need to get moving in God and do something so people talk bad about us. The people of God said amen. Halleluiah. God is on the move. He is. We’re going to Eurocon in March. Maybe one of your girlfriends or boyfriends will buy you a ticket. My mother is right down here, down front. She’s 96 years old. Mom, you know what I want for Christmas? A ticket to Poland. I should buy her a ticket! Your mother buys you a ticket. You buy a ticket for your children, a teenager. I don’t know. Let’s watch the video.

2 Cor. 13:12 if your girlfriend is next to you, don’t do this. If your enemy is next to you, do this! What does it really mean? Living in Europe, the three times, – one, two, three – is the way they do it. Sometimes it’s two and sometimes one. In Britain, it’s a formal (handshake). Is that right, Mark? More modest and conservative. He said terribly reserved. Sensibly reserved.

vs. 12. Sisters and brothers. Sisters are awesome. My wife is my wife and then she’s also my sister. Because she’s saved. She’s my sister but also my wife. It’s a unique relationship. I have many sisters and brothers and it’s holy. It’s freedom in holiness. Real love and respect for each other.

If you are dating, we teach no touch love in 1 Cor 7. We are not petting, making out, sleeping with others because we are looking at something bigger, God’s love. It got very quiet in here!

vs. 14. Our subject is the communion there. The word “communion” of the Holy Spirit.

1 Sam. 20:41-42. Ready? This is David and Jonathan. David cried more than Jonathan. David and Jonathan met and had an agreement together. David understood he had to leave town. He and Jonathan wept together. They had a unique relationship.

vs. 42. Great words. Wow. Say to your neighbor, the Lord be between you and me.

Luke 1 is the text for our message, but that was important reading so when I share from Luke 1, I can make reference to David and Jonathan and you will understand.

Luke 1:39, this is the series on “Mary, what did you know?” Gabriel came to her and said the holy thing born of you shall be called the Son of God. When her belly was growing and extending, she understood this was a total miracle. She was always looking for the next bit of information, just like us. We are always looking for the next piece of information that we need as people. We don’t understand a lot. We are somehow very limited in our understanding about life. Wed. night we had a message on the silly string, a suppressed can of stuff you spray and it makes a string of plastic stuff and we covered P. Andrulonis with it. We talked about how life happens to us and gossip and slander and sickness and death and cancer and prayer and worries and fears that happen in life. In our roots, like Samson when they bound him, he shook himself like at other times and he had power. When we have roots in our lives, it’s so important because Mary is called by God. When you are called by God, he gives you roots in your life, thoughts. We say wisdom, love, spirit, fellowship. We read the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and communion of the Holy Spirit. Mary also had this. She had Christ in her. I was thinking of the Catholics when they say the rosary. They say nine “Hail Mary’s” to one “Our Father” and do the rosary. They pray to Mary nine times more than to God. Which is in our mind, what? Well, let’s move on! Mary is a human being like you and me. The Immaculate Conception means in the Catholic doctrine she had no sin but she had sin. She was chosen among women not above them. She was among them. She was a sinner but she found grace. The Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Do you know what they could have done? They could have made a man in heaven with no sin and sent him here to earth with other people. God could have made a man without sin in heaven and sent him here. God could have taken two people and had a child and God could say that’s the Christ, but he didn’t. If he had made a man in heaven and came here we’d say he came from heaven. He’s not like us. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be a little child and hurt himself or hunger and thirst. We wouldn’t trust maybe that he was a human being. Like in the Dali Lama, they say who is the Messiah? Who is his parents? Human beings like us? I don’t believe he is Messiah. He had a woman, Mary and God the Holy Spirit came into her and he became a man and God. One person, who is a man like us. He was so ordinary his family didn’t believe in him. He was so non-special, you wouldn’t think he was the Messiah.

Jn 7:5 even his family didn’t believe in him but his mother did. Why did she believe in him? She had communion with the truth that came from the angel and from her relative Elizabeth.

Luke 1 we read in vs. 39 – are we good? I didn’t lose you on that? We’re right there. This is awesome. This is the most precious thing we could consider. God himself would come into this world to save us. It means so much. It’s so anointed to consider the Spirit of God is dwelling in the midst of us and showing things we wouldn’t otherwise know about. Mary is a simple, young girl but this thing happening to her is undeniable. She has to embrace it and believe it and walk in it. It’s going to be a lot of trials in her life, in her future, but she is capable because she has communion. Communion. This is important for us.

I’ll read this story. “The story is told of a shah [?} of a Persian monarch who loved his people very much. I don’t know if Afroos knows who this is in history. But to know them better, he would mingle with his subjects in different disguises. One day he went as a poor man to the public baths in a tiny cellar sat beside the fireman who attended the furnace. When it was meal time, the monarch shared the food and talked to his lonely subject as a friend. Again and again he visited and the man grew to love him. One day the shah told him he was the king expecting the man to ask some gift from him. But the fireman sat looking at him with love and wonder and at last spoke. You left your palace and your glory to sit with me in this dark place, to eat my food, to care whether my heart is glad or sad. On others you may bestow rich presents but to me, you have given yourself. It only remains for me to pray that you never withdraw the gift of your friendship.”

Through the years we in the church, we have found friends. I have to say, these men we all know because we have so much in our history. They are friends, real friends, amazing friends. Maggie Lockhart is here with her sister. Neil passed last week. It must be hard to lose a good friend like your husband or wife but like Jonathan and David said, David, you have to leave but let’s be clear about this, nothing is between us except the Lord and our seed forever. Wow. My children and grandchildren are going to be with your children and grandchildren because we are friends. We are in communion with truth. When we find truth, we find friends. We have found our best friend. When we find Christ, we find Christ with others. We have found friends that are forever. There might be things about me you don’t like or something disturbs you about us or me or anyone of us, but you have to also realize there is a lot on the table. A lot to win and a lot to lose. I don’t want to lose my friend. I want to follow truth. As we follow truth, we find more truth. It gets better and clearer. Mary is pregnant and I’m playing this out dramatically. What? What? I’m a teenager carrying the Son of God. Who will believe me? She meets Elizabeth and she tells her you are the mother of my Lord. Joseph has a dream. The wise men visit. She’s okay because even though she has little, it’s enough. That’s like us in our life of faith. Many of you young guys you don’t know what God has for you, but don’t give up on what God has for you. Young ladies, God has something for you and don’t give up on what God has for you. Pay attention to the big stuff. The silly string will happen in everyone’s life. It’s the big stuff that counts, not what people are saying but what God is saying and doing.

I got some tea here and it has licorice in it. It’s going to get me through. My voice gas tank is approaching E but this is a refuel.

Mary rose in those days and went into the hill county with haste and went into the city of Judah. Tradition says John the Baptist is from over there. Mary came down from Galilee to visit Elisabeth.

We had a nice time. It’s in our mind. We’re going to do another Israel trip in 2020 in October.

vs. 40-41. Have you ever been filled with the H.S.? Have you ever been on the streets filled with the H.S. and you just knew? Sometimes it happens to me. I realize this is the H.S. saying something. The H.S. is moving. The H.S. is in our fellowship, our activity, our prayer. Sometimes it’s very obvious. Much of my life is faith. We live by faith but sometimes it’s so clear this is God right now. God is right here right now.

vs. 42. Elizabeth just had a baby, John the Baptist.

vs. 43. Mary needs to hear that. What did you say to me, Elizabeth? You are the mother of my Lord. She is three months pregnant and maybe a little bit of a bulge. They know what this means. They are Jews. They know what this is saying. I want to say this one point. I don’t want to miss it. Some people are so passive in life they let life happen to them. They are so passive in decision making and their attitude about life, they let it happen to them.

That’s why I don’t like marijuana for our population. It makes people so passive. They are not decision makers in their attitude and action. And many other drugs may do the same thing. It’s happening to me. No, it must be deeper. I am a decision maker who can live and walk in truth because I decide to.

My wife and I were soul winning at Sam’s Club. We went Friday night with P. Scibelli with the school and we had pizza at Atul’s house. We had a rap session. It was a beautiful time. The people in Sam’s Club parking lot are very sweet people receiving and listening. We are bringing it to light. We are acting in life. We are putting God first. Seek first the kingdom of God and all these other things will happen and taken care of. If you don’t seek me, the world will seek you and put you in a pit. You’ll be put there. Stay there. You have no choices. Knock it off. Get back in your cage. Stay in your corner. That’s the end. We are coming to the church to hear the other message. I am like Mary could say God has given me favor.

Eph. 1:6, God has anointed you with his son. You are able to live a godly life. Because the grace came to us, we are righteous people. When we live in righteousness, we have authority in this life. Yes, pain happens but something greater than pain. A rabbi told a story about lobster. They mold, they get out of the shell and they are soft like a soft Maryland crab in a sandwich. They are soft and then they eat the shell and those minerals go back into the system and get another hard shell. They get uncomfortable and they break out. If we compare this to a human, when you feel pain you take Prozac. If you fed Prozac to a lobster, they would not break out. They would feel no pain. What’s wrong with pain if it’s part of my life in the will of God? I don’t want it. I’m trying to say we medicate ourselves into passivity and wonder what I’m going to do with my addiction and why I don’t feel good. Obedience to God isn’t in the picture anymore. What about obedience to God? I got to wash the dishes for my wife. I don’t “feel led” to wash the dishes. I use spiritual language that covers me. I don’t feel led to do that. I don’t feel that’s my place. I don’t get the vibe. I don’t have the feeling about the dishes. What do we say? Wash the dishes and you get peace afterwards. Do God’s will and God will fill you with his love. Walk by faith and God will meet you in the task. You think we do it because we feel like it? We have something bigger. People say I didn’t sign up for this. I didn’t sign up for it. Mary could say I didn’t sign up for this. What an arrogant statement that is. No, you didn’t. God never asked you to sign up for anything. It’s coming at you. You better wake up and realize it’s coming at you and it’s not like you’re in the pit. I didn’t sign up for this. You’re going to be destroyed and on top of that you may end up going to hell. No, you didn’t sign up for it, but it’s reality and you have to make some choices. God is gracious, so much he sent Christ. If you don’t pay attention to it, you’re in a bad place. By the way, there are believers that are just as wimpy and indifferent and easily offended and live in the pit and are angry at God, life, themselves and can’t handle it. Where did their capacity go for life? It was never developed by truth and getting hit beside the head in life. Hello? Maybe you should seek something more than Prozac. If you take that, that’s your business, but I’m concerned about the drug addiction in our country. ….I wonder what God would say about that. I wonder what God would say to those people in a lot of trouble. I came down into that pit. I took the curse of sin on my body. I came into your world to save you. To translate you from the kingdom of darkness into my kingdom. I would expect you to have communion with me. I will love you and lead you so you will wash the dishes whether you like it or not. I’ll lead you to wash the dishes and go to the church. I’ll lead you to forgive your neighbor and live in faith. This is the idea.

Luke 1:44 I was glad when they said to me, let’s go up to the house of God.…as a young guy going to the meeting to hear Dr. Stevens preach. I wouldn’t be going except P. Stevens is preaching and I want to hear him. The only reason I’m living in this God forsaken country side, the only reason I’m up here is I want to hear God’s word. If I hear this man bring things out of this book, it will be good for me. God is greater than silly string. God is greater than what the Philistines can throw at me. I kept going. I was wondering where is my life going to? I don’t know but I can trust the Maker, the Creator, the Redeemer, the living Savior. I can trust my Bible. I can trust these people living in faith and love and have a world vision. Pastor said would you consider going to Finland as a missionary? Where’s Finland? He said somewhere near Vietnam I guess! We didn’t know how it would work out…this highly educated world of knowledge and information but do they have the faith to go. Can they wash the dishes when they don’t want to? They find Christ is real just as Mary did. Now the baby born and they are back in Galilee and he’s 12 years old at the temple. At the temple, she finds him. He’s the smartest kid in the block. He has the soft answer and fervent heart. He has the wisdom of a fully grown man and he’s 12. Mary kept that in her heart and kept it all his life.

When he was 29, she says do what he tells you to do in Jn. 2. He’s a full grown man. At the cross, she is there weeping and she’s losing her son as he is being crucified. She knows who he is. This is God. This is the plan. This freshness you and I are looking for in our lives is similar. We want to find God. We know something. I know when these men and ladies that are ministering to us, I know that is God. I know this church is of God and many churches around the world. And those different from us in some way, but we all have the same Christ and the same H.S. I know our life on earth is short.

By the grace of God, I don’t want to live my life in a pit saying I didn’t sign up for this. I’d rather live my life set on a rock higher than myself saying glory be to God. I’m an object of his grace.

The Spirit is moving in us and through us. We are here for his purpose evangelizing in the world. Making disciples day and night. Praying for people not like us but they need love. To reach them and help them because they are in trouble. They either got there on purpose or stumbled into it and don’t have a message to get out. Let’s climb down and say there is a way out. Let us help them. Soon 2019 another summer and winter is 2020. Summer and winter, summer and winter, etc. and it’s 2025.

Time is passing. If you let life happen to you, you are in trouble. Get this and start making decisions based on what it says. You’ll find God in life. People say how did you do it? He is doing it. How do you have so much joy? I delight in his will. Don’t you sometimes don’t want to do it? I’m like a lobster but that’s how I will grow. Be there when you don’t feel like it. Showing up and obeying God and have all kinds of reasons not to. Honoring him and the Spirit leading and guiding us as a Body, a church. We do not have time to pamper ourselves. We do not have time to raise our children and families with anything other than truth imparted to them. They will have a very hard time without Christ. Our children and grandchildren need it. Our country needs it more than ever. We are nuts. We are crazy.

I can’t believe it the things being done. The lack of unity. The lack of love. It’s a time of love. It’s a time of getting in there and saying… he is the answer. He is the way, the truth and the life. The more than can be said around us, the better it is for all of us. The better it is for the world.

I’m so thankful for what God has done these amazing years or decades because of his great grace given to us. Amen.


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.