A high and right concept of God is necessary. Let us be hungry and thirsty for Him and His righteousness. We need faith to make the most of our minutes. The world’s little gods are liars. Psalm 63, 1 Corinthians 15:34
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Eugene Davis
11:00 AM on 5/9/2021
P. Schaller –
Let’s move around in the Bible a little bit. We will speak a few minutes on this and this and this. The first one is that
knowing God. This is 1 Corinthians 15. Were the Corinthians believers? Anyone want to answer? You
can talk back to me. Yes, they were believers. Why did Paul write the epistle to them but
because they belonged to God. They were believers. Did they believe in the resurrection of the
dead? Yes, but then why did he write this chapter saying that they don’t believe in the
resurrection of the dead. That is amazing that he is teaching a church that does not believe in
the resurrection of the dead. So in this chapter – and this is for your study cause we don’t have
the time or taking the time right now – believe me they did not have an assurance about the
resurrection of the dead. And Paul said how can that be? If Christ is not raised, then we are still
in our sin. How can that be that you don’t believe this?
I bring this out to point out that there are people in the church that may have many different ideas about different things because they are not really students of the Bible. There are Christians that are not really students of the Bible. If
you are one of them, I’d like you to change. I’d like you to become a student of the Bible. You
might say how can that happen? I don’t read. I don’t read. I don’t read very much. I know how to
read but I don’t have time. My iPhone is busy all the time. You can’t believe how much I am
reading my iPhone. So, it happens this way. When you are born of God and the Spirit comes
into you, now you become aware and awake to God. God is here. God is in my life. Then when I
read the Bible, I realize God is speaking to me out of the Bible. I always think of it this way: if
you turn anywhere in the Bible and I take one page and I read it, one or two verses, one or two
verses or one part of it will kind of come off the page and go to my heart. I turn here. I read a
page. Something there. I may study it out for five minutes and this part is something I’m thinking
about. I had one yesterday.
It said that the angel came down with a great chain and took Satan and cast him into the bottomless pit. It was a great chain. You know what part of the verse spoke to my heart? The chain part. I took some time and thought about a chain. The German shepherd on a chain. A chain. Why did the devil need to be changed. Maybe because all the
time that is how he operates in this world. He is chaining people and what he has done to
people is coming on him. He is binding them, casting them into prison it says in Revelation 2. So you
see, you have a meditation. I’m not saying everything about my meditation is correct. Psalm 139
says Lord, search my heart and see if there be any evil way in me and then that my meditation
would be acceptable in your eyes. He is the one that will help you in your meditation but you
must learn to meditate. You must take time to meditate. You must read and think about what
you read. Read and write down a little something. Read and write a page. Read and think about
and talk to somebody and ask the questions. What is said? Why is it said? Who is writing it?
Why is he writing it to these people. Meditation.
Psalm 1. Blessed is the man. He’s a blessed man if he meditates day and night. Day and night. What does it mean? I get up to go to the bathroom sometimes in the night like many people do. I get up but I have something to think
about. I get up. I might go look at something in the Bible. I might not. I might just go back to bed.
I lay in bed and before I fall asleep, I’m meditating. Where did you get your meditation? I read it.
But I didn’t just read it. It got ahold of me and the Holy Spirit gave me a verse and then as I’m
falling asleep in bed or I’m spending some time at night in my study, I have something to
meditate on. What happens? You are meditating on the Word of God that reveals to you the
nature of God. I want to draw a picture. Here is the meditation in doctrine. And your concept of
God. I draw it this way to mean, comparing it to many people their meditation of God is so – the
meditation they have of God – I’ll put a small g here. Their God, their God is quite small. Their
God is decadent. Their God is a perverted God. Their God is a religious God. Their God is a
A small God. Their God is not God. I’m getting tired of holding my Bible like
that! Turn to 1 Corinthians 15 and we’ll look at this verse. vs. 34. By the way, I wanted to say praise the
Lord for P. Scibelli and Linda. It’s been on my mind this morning a little bit. I think they are
amazing. They are over there. And I mean we can say that about so many people amongst us
and of course to all the mothers that have done amazing job of love and nurturing and teaching.
Our mothers, many mothers have been just critically important in our lives, our development as
young people. Nothing like my mother who cares and a little guy, little girl and mom. It’s an
amazing work of grace. It’s beautiful. Amazing. Precious. In the church life, we also have
authority from God. God is our father. And yet we see Christ. We read about the Holy Spirit as
the encourager, the comforter, the teacher and somehow I think of the Holy Spirit as that very patient person in the Trinity who endures being with us, lives in us, will never leave us, will
always be there as our teacher and as our comforter.
And the Holy Spirit being something like the mother heart of God maybe you could say. Because not looking for credit, not looking for recognition but being the servant that is always pointing us to Christ. The Holy Spirit shows us
Christ. That’s his function. We are living in this world and we are gaining from the ministry of the
Holy Spirit in our lives all the time as we don’t grieve him or quench him. My point here is vs. 34.
Awake to righteousness. Whenever we say the word “righteousness,” I think I lose half of the
people. I don’t know what it means to you. I don’t know this word “righteousness.” It’s one of the
most important words in our vocabulary. The meaning of it is very important. Righteousness.
You can take the front part of the word, right, just, right. Righteousness. Awake to it. What does
it mean? I’m sleeping regarding it. I ignore it. It’s not that important. We replace the concept of
righteousness with everybody does it. Relax. Don’t be religious. Don’t get uptight. Come on.
Everybody does it. This is how it works. But this is different because God is righteous.
Your little god here on your screen is maybe not righteous but God is righteous. He does what is right. He
is right. He is true. He is righteous. When we are born again and the Spirit of God comes into
our heart and we have this joy and wonder where did this come from? I’m free. I love. I love
God. And also, I love righteousness. That’s why we have a hard time living in a world where
there are so many lies. It’s not righteous. It’s not righteous. It bothers me. The cheating and the
lying on all levels. It bothers me. Thank you but I am awake to righteousness. I love it. I want to
hear about it. I want to hear about a hero. I want to hear about integrity. I want to hear about the
Boy Scouts the way it used to be. Like trustworthy, loyal, honest, brave. You know those great
words. Righteousness. I want to hear about Christ. I want to see Christ before Pontius Pilate not
caving, not being a whimp. Not caving and being afraid. I want to see Christ righteous. The
righteous are as bold as a lion but the wicked flee when nobody pursues. Here’s Bible trivia.
This is why you come to church! Listen to this: you may know this. Maybe you don’t. Ahab was a
wicked king. Every king wants to have sons.
Ahab had many wives and he had 70 sons. Okay.What does that mean for Ahab, the future of his empire, his dynasty? It will go to his sons and their sons and their sons and the seed of Ahab will go on and on. But there was a prophet. His
name was Elijah. Ahab was killed and Elijah said take the sons and execute them, all of them.
The authorities in that part of the country in Samaria and North Jezreel should have protected
those sons but they didn’t because they were wicked. The authorities in charge it says their
teachers, their guardians, the people in charge of these sons were wicked people. It says in the
Proverb the wicked flee when no one pursues. It’s like the prank phone call to somebody in the
city, and the prank phone call is by a teenager just randomly calls somebody. The teenager
says with a deep voice, we know everything. And then hangs up. The guy packs up and leaves
town! We know everything! The wicked flee. And you know what happened to these 70 sons.
They were not protected. They were not defended. They were executed and there was a pile of
35 heads on one side of the gate and 35 heads on the other side of the gate.
That meditation, and again meditation I had last night, first time, 2 Kings 10. I meditated on this and I go the
woke, the woke mentality in our country. Woke. The genders. Isn’t it funny before you’re born,
the baby is coming. The baby is coming. Is it a boy or a girl? Is it pink or blue? Is it going to be
pink or blue? The baby is going to be born. Is it a boy or a girl? Then, dash forward at the
morgue. The person died. Was it male or female, male or female? In between those two events,
are a hundred genders, a hundred plus genders. Does that make sense? Ahab had 70 sons and
not one will survive because when a lie is a lie, it’s a lie. And it’s hard to defend a lie. When
Ahab is a wicked man and Elijah said it’s over for you and your seed. It’s over. Then that’s the
way it is and God is in control of this world. You and I are not to be part of a lie. We are to
awake to righteousness. That’s good. So, what about the Corinthians. Chapter 15:34. I hope
you can follow this with me. I think you can. vs. 34.
Some people in the church have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. Well, I want to look at this picture here. I am saying that the Corinthians are to have a mature knowledge of God and so are you and I. I have
to admit my God sometimes I might say in my heart, I don’t know maybe – I don’t know any
Bible verses, so could God answer my prayer? Of course because he’s God. How about the
unbeliever who is living somewhere in Saudia Arabia and he’s a Muslim. Or a Hindu somewhere
in India. But then he comes in his heart and God knows this. I don’t know it. But God knows this.
That man’s heart is like I need God. He has it in his mind. God. Like the Almighty God. The one
and only God. The living God. God is the one that I need. Our God is the one that hears the cry of the prisoner, the sinner, the wicked. In brokenness, in hunger, in desire I need him. Our God
is not far off from anyone of us. He is near us. He gave his Son so we could know him and a
sinner could call out to him. Our God is not just the God of the mountains but the God of the
valleys in 1 Kings 20.
Where the Syrians said this – picture up on the screen – they’re kind of
saying the Israeli God, the God of the Jews he’s the God only of the mountains. Meaning when
we fight the Jews they win when we are up in the mountains. They win. But if we will fight them
down in the plains, we will win because their God is only up there, not down here. How could
that relate to us but we could say that God is a God at the wedding but he’s also the God at the
funeral. He’s the God of the good times when I get a promotion and he’s my God when I lose
my God or I’m in the emergency room at the hospital or I have a cancer. Or I lost my faith. I
don’t have strong faith, but in a way, I don’t have faith God but I know who you are. You are
God. You’re the God of all grace. You’re the God that loves me and the God that gave me
Christ. The God that never leaves me or forsakes me. The God that understands my failures
and my weaknesses. When I sin, I just confess that to you because you are this kind of a God, a
forgiving God, a gracious God.
The problem in our secular society and I’ll read this from A. W.
Tozer. He said, “perverted notions about God soon rot the religion in which they appear. The
long career of Israel demonstrates this clearly and the history of the church confirms it. So
necessary to the church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure
declines, the church with her worship and her moral standards declines along with it. The first
step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.” Let’s go to Psalm
63 and we will finish with this text for our message today on Mother’s Day. And for all of us
today. Psalm 63:1, what do you think it means, “early will I seek thee.” Maybe early in my life.
Maybe early in a crisis. Maybe early in the day. Maybe early in any situation. I would like to set
God before my face first thing all the time because he is worthy of my honor and respect. That
he would be my God. Early. All the time in every situation. vs. 1.
Have any of you had a good, thirsty longing for God? Maybe if you haven’t, your God is small. You may not believe in the resurrection. You may not believe that Christ is really here. You may not believe that the Bible
really speaks. You may just have a general idea of God. And that’s very common around the
world and throughout history, but our blessing is to know him, to thirst for him. vs. 1. What
makes life mundane and normal like in the sense of following those kind of boring things of life
that people are doing all the time. Has your iPhone been boring to you? This great tool of
propaganda that every government in the world would be jealous to have such a device to be
able to communicate to billions of people the same message over and over again all the time.
And it’s guiding and leading our culture in so many ways. A teenager attached to the phone. I’d
like to say it in a good way that my phone is not my – sometimes I miss appointments because I
don’t look at it. I miss calls and text messages and emails because I don’t pay attention to it for
a while. I don’t have any calls.
Nothing. I don’t know where my phone is. I don’t care about it right now. It’s not my life right now. Aren’t you the pastor? Yes, I am. You need a pastor that walks with God not with his phone. You need a pastor that walks with God and the Word of God. Amen! We’ve got enough of that. Okay. Okay. Okay. Much honey – what does it say the
Proverb? Much honey, what? You loathe the honeycomb but to every bitter – to the hungry soul
every bitter thing is sweet. Look it up. I’m finished with that! That’s my capacity right now! vs. 1.
What is he looking for? This is exciting to him. If you interviewed him, he wouldn’t have the
words. I can’t explain it to you. Not really talking. I can’t explain it to you but I am thirsty for God.
Wow! Who can say that? You and I. Because we have God born in us. We know him. We love
him. We seek righteousness. This is his nature. It kind of increases our desire, our hunger. Our
thirst is this way. We want to hear the truth and not fool around with the foolishness that is in the
world. We are after the truth. We go to the church. “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go
unto the house of God.”
My house Jesus said quoting Isaiah, “my house will be called a house of prayer for all people.” vs. 2. I’ve seen the power of God in a tornado. I’ve seen the power of God in a YouTube video. Tsunami. I’ve been out in a thunderstorm. I’ve seen in the city of Baltimore – and he lives in Mt. Vernon and he read this story and he wanted to meet this church
that was gathering regardless. So he got an Uber and he came over here and he’s been
coming. I saw him here this morning. Isn’t that a beautiful story. There is something about us
that we have that he wanted to be here and to be with these people cause there is power in the
sanctuary. Power to change our lives. We were at the Helping Up Mission Friday night with
Justin and Federal Hill, about 20 guys in the room. They’re coming off of drugs and they are wanting their life to go straight. I was listening to the clear sound of some of those guys as they
say they have found Christ and they are very encouraged and hopeful about their future. I’ve
seen the power of God in the sanctuary he said. vs. 3. This is the Old Testament word for grace.
Is better than life.
The lovingkindness is better than life. I don’t know what you think about life.
Let’s think about life. What’s the best part of life that you can imagine, the best thing. Maybe for
somebody it’s gardening. Maybe it’s cooking. Maybe it’s being with the children. What’s life to
you? Maybe it’s sleeping and eating good. Maybe it’s being in the ocean or under the sunshine
or under a palm tree somewhere or in the woods. This is better than life. Grace. The grace is
better than life. Be a gracious person. Be a person that forgives. Be a person that walks with
God and gives grace, encourages and loves and learn how to speak because you know the
living God. Don’t give people what they deserve. Give them grace. Don’t treat yourself with what
you deserve but give yourself grace. Gracious God. vs. 3-5. It’s not spray paint. It’s deep. It’s
marrow and fatness. Smiling in the prison cell. Paul found Jesus. Marrow and fatness. That’s
what we believe. But when I can’t pray anymore because I’m so depressed, is God still there?
Yeah. When I failed the 70th time times 7 times I failed in the same day, is God there?
Does he care about me still? Will he ever forsake me or fail me? Is he the God that the church is to find
God and his righteousness and to love the righteousness so we are crowned with marrow and
fatness. Out of your bone marrow, your white blood cells and many parts of your blood the
blood is replenished or produced from the marrow that is in our bones. Our life is in our bones,
in our blood. Jesus’ crucifixion, the prophet said none of his bones will be broken. Why? His
spiritual life will be intact. He’ll be mutilated, tortured and die but He’ll never not trust his Father.
He will have what it takes to be our Savior. He will not fail. He will finish the work. It says in Is.
53 that the Father said I will be satisfied in the suffering of his soul. I’ll be satisfied by this
sacrifice of my son. This living God that we are worshiping is the God of the Old Testament
who is saying to us constantly that I am not the God of the mountains only but also the God
when you are devastated. I’m the God of the valleys.
Come to me. Know me. When we know him, then we become salt in a world that is being strongly affected by the fallen nature of man and man’s little gods. Man’s little gods. They can’t do anything. They cannot get you off of
pornography. They cannot change you from being a liar and a cheater to being a righteous man.
The little gods of this world are just little religious gods. But our God, Christ says, is the God of
the wind and the sea. He’s a God that heals the leper and raises the dead. The God that speaks
to us the Word of God. The God that makes you a discipler and a follower. The God that turns
your heart on fire and you say I am thirsty for him and I want him. I want to sit with an open
Bible in the garden and be reading it and have my heart stirred. I want to listen to someone sing
like an angel and have my heart stirred. I want to go out and serve somebody and help them
and pray for them and believe them. I’d like to get a good Bible book, a theology book, a good
book, a solid book, solid teaching, the holiness of God, the righteousness of God and just spend
I’d like to have my desk covered with open books and I’m there for hours. And
reading it and must meditating and worshiping God. I love that. Then I like to get up and go out
and serve somewhere. And go by faith and say that God is God. God loves you. God is
righteous. God is not like sinful person. God is a righteous person. He’s a loving person. He’s a
forgiving person. He’s a living person. He’s an almighty God. He’s the God of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob and when those women couldn’t have children like Rebekah and Sarah and Rachel.
There were the three women couldn’t have children but God is saying I am the God of the Jews
and I decide who has a child. Okay. Let’s finish it. Vs. 6-8. I like that. My soul follows hard after
thee. On the bed. On the bed. He’s on the bed, right? In the night watches. But his soul is
following hard after him. I kind of feel if I can go hard after God in my heart, then all of my life
will be taken care of. Matthew 6:33. Because if we seek first the kingdom and his righteousness – I
kind of feel it is a simple formula for life.
If I can get this part right, and know who he is and be a worshiper of him and he would have my heart and influence my desires and my way of thinking and look at the invisible world, the world of God almighty. If I can get that and go hard after him then he’s going to really – my life somehow will be like in proportion – some how those big
things. Look up at our screen and I’m going to finish here very quickly and simply. You see this
person, okay. God is big. My stuff is big too. My stuff in my life is big too but what’s bigger? This
one. My God is this way. This is the stuff they have in their life, and actually their stuff is a lot
bigger than my stuff because their God is so small. That’s all. That’s the way I think. That’s what I want. I’m not so good at it. I don’t know about it. I believe it. I want to go toward that. I’m
looking for it. I’m sure in being tested, I’m going to wonder what it means, but we are called to
faith. I can’t see him and I don’t totally understand but he said it again and again that if we
meditate on his Word day and night, that we will prosper and our tree will bear fruit in its season.
Not maybe every month but in its season.
There will be fruit there and it will come because you and I have found who the living God is. By the way, homosexuality is sin and so is adultery and so is lying. And so is a man dressing like a woman it says in the book of Deuteronomy. How do you know that pastor? Are you like a – no, I’m a Bible believing person by God’s grace. Wait.
Hold on. I’m not boasting in it and I don’t want us to be in any way arrogant. I just want you to
calmly think about this. There are things in this world that are wrong and people are not saying
they are wrong. If we say they are, we are not saying them as judges. We are saying as far as
we know who God is, he is telling us how to love. Don’t do those things. Don’t do witchcraft.
Don’t go to a séance. Don’t have your fortune told. No palm reader. Don’t do it. God said it. I
don’t need it. I’ve got God. I don’t need a rabbits foot in my car. I got God. I don’t need a
Christopher medal in my car. You can have it. I don’t care but I have God. Our God is bigger
than a car accident and bigger than our fears and bigger than our cancers and problems in life.
See what I’m saying? We are like everybody else except one thing.
That if our concept of God is the one that this is telling us and we are learning it, that is the best medicine for life. That’s the answer for my problem, for my empty heart. That’s the answer for my depression. That’s the
answer for my discouragement. What has the world done? It’s made God – this one here. The
world has said you can have your God but he’s whatever you want him to be. Come from your
own heart. But then you’re going to have to, you know, you need a glass of wine to calm down.
You need psychotherapy. You need this and that, many things that they say. I’m saying, I’m not
explaining it exhaustively. I’m just suggesting to you and I that I believe that God has put us in
this world so that he would be our Father. The Bible would give us instruction. That we would
find humility and love. We would be Spirit filled and find a way. And when God is God, then our
enemies – let God arise and let his enemies be scattered. And we will find a new way and a
new life and rejoice in it. And we will say to the people in the world that Jesus Christ is real.
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.