God knows everything about us. Our age is one of impersonal generalities. God, however, is intimately aware of who we are and what we are about. He numbers our hairs and keeps us as the apple of His eye. We are His and all that He is is ours. (John 6:66-68)
Speaker(s): Pastor Steven Scibelli
7:00 PM on 12/4/2019
P. Scibelli –
(John. 6) I told my wife if I go home to be with the Lord, for a celebration service I’d like everyone in the church
given gospel tracts, a song, a short message and then everyone goes out and gives the message.
Resurrection service, face to face with someone! I’m holding you to it. Let’s go and evangelize.
John. 6:66, Jesus never stops challenging in a loving way. Vs. 67. Will you also go away? Am I going
to be alone in this? I love Simon Peter. He can cut your ear off and then preach the Pentecost
message. Vs. 68. I’ve been thinking – are you here?
Halleluiah. I’ve been thinking about my wife a lot the last couple days. She never likes me to do this. We met in 1966, 53 years ago. I saw her in Holyoake Community College. We were in the basement which was a dirty lounge. It was a lounge, but it was not – this school was really something actually. I saw her walking. The first
thing I noticed about her was her hair. She had hair almost down to her knees. I thought, who is
this person? I tried to stop her from going through the door and she gave me an aggressive
shove. I thought to myself, this is the one!
This has got to be the one! Between the two of us, we’ve been in 110 countries. God took these little teenagers, like 19 years old, and I don’t know what happened. I praise the Lord for his mercy, initiation and his life. And for the church. Because if it wasn’t for the church or the ministry, I don’t know what I’d be doing today, even as
a saved person. I’m really thankful to God for this ministry. I had a great time with P. Schaller
today. I said sometimes I feel I’m not doing enough to help you. Can I do something else? Just
let me know. He’s a great man, a great pastor, great vision. We had a great time just ministering
to each other in my office. There’s always going to be things going on. This never ends. In this
world you shall have what? Tribulation.
The word is FLIPSIS, pressure from trouble. Can you say that word? It’s kind of hard to say. But be of good cheer. Not the kind most people think about. Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. How important it is as we’re thinking of John 6:68 and there is a great miracle takes place. In John. 6, Jesus multiplies the bread and fish and feeds thousands of people. They say estimating even with the men and children it might have, there
could have been 8,000 people. Imagine that. Sometimes I pass by these truths in the Bible and
don’t even take them into effect. Can you imagine 5, 6, 7, 8,000 people sitting there and what
was five loaves and two fishes is now feeding everybody?
That’s a great miracle. Then Jesus preached a great message, giving them great words. Some of the words they got offended at a few of them, a lot of them. Eat my flesh and drink my blood or you have no life in you. He asked
them, does this offend you? Does this scandalize you? Does this cause you to turn around and
go away? And they left. Great message, great words that are spoken, great provision, great
miracle and then a great apostasy. Everyone is gone. Aren’t we interesting people? Wow! What
a miracle! What a message! And then see you later. This is not exactly what I thought it was
going to be. What was left was some great disciples. I was thinking of what he said to Peter.
Peter said to whom shall we go.
You have the words, the rhemas, the personal words of eternal
life. Isn’t it amazing that an eternal God wants to speak to me personally. Think about that.
Sometimes it gets abstract or I just read the Bible or what not. God wants to speak to me
personally. At 3:10 in the morning, I realized I was wide awake. There wasn’t too many choices
but to open my Bible and start thinking with God. This afternoon at 3:00, I think I was ready for
another kingdom! Going down the count to sleep! God speaks to us personally. That’s
incredible. God will minister to us personal words. Mary said when the angel Gabriel came and
told her what was going to take place, she said be it unto me according to your word. That’s
rhema. According to your personal words to me. When I open my Bible and when you open
your Bible or when you hear messages or take a Bible class which I highly recommend, God is
using these opportunities and in the Body and in the church and in our fellowship, he’s using
these amazing sources to speak to us personally. This is what this time of year or every day is all
about. God speaking to me.
I can remember many times when God spoke to me. It ordered my
steps and kept me going in a certain direction. Dr. Stevens preached a message on Thursday
night in 1986 in Springfield, Massachusetts in November. He said in Psalm 16:11 God will show us
the paths of life. In your presence is fulness of joy. There are pleasures at your right hand
forevermore. I was sitting on the left side of the church in the fourth row and that message
struck me. It was almost as if God was saying Africa. I heard another message in New Freedom,
PA in 1987 on a Friday night. It was “I believed God.
It shall be even as he told me.” There are people who told me they researched that and that didn’t happen, but you’re wrong. Maybe I have the wrong night. I don’t know. It was personal words from God. Very personal words from God. I don’t know if P. Eugene remembers in Uganda. I woke up and I came to him and I said
God gave me a verse. Let’s go to South Africa. Remember the verse? Ruth 2:2 let’s go into the
fields at once. We decided to take a trip to South Africa with no money. We had no money and
we didn’t know anybody. We just went there. At that time they didn’t have the communication
we have now. I went to the post office and they had fax machines. Remember those? How
many of you remember fax machines?
I wired P. Guy Duff and asked if there was any money in my account. The last time I checked it was zero dollars. He said one thousand from an anonymous giver. There’s our tickets! We went soul winning and we met two men. One was Kirk. He had this big Eskimo hat on. And the other was Hector. They went soul winning with us
for five days. We met them on the street. I’m thinking who are these guys? Hector said these
men have the spitted mind. I didn’t understand what he was talking about! He was a very
interesting man. He just went home to be with the Lord. Wow, what happened here. God is so
personal. I went to the barber shop today and she said, hi Stephen.
I said, how did you remember my name? She said I remember your name. You told me so many stories about
missions and the gospel. Who wouldn’t remember your name? I said that’s interesting. Isn’t it
great to have a personal barber? That person really isn’t. I go to one of those places. What do
you call it? I don’t know what you call it. God is so personal. He wants to meet me in a personal
way every day. When God spoke to Abraham, get thee out of thy country, away from thy
kindred and from your father’s house. He kept speaking to him. God isn’t going to give us a
purpose or a direction or a plan and just leave us to ourselves and our own thoughts. He’s going
to speak to you and me personally.
Genesis 15, I am your shield and your exceeding great reward. Then after the next trial and text he said, I am El Shaddai, your sufficiency, the one who will satisfy your every need. Walk before me and be perfect. Then in Ge. 22, he’s Yahweh Jireh, the Lord who will provide. He’s speaking to Abraham throughout his life and his journey. This is a
great objective God has for my life and for your life to speak to us. I read a story about a young
boy who went with his mom in a cave in China. She took him in to worship an idol. He looked ather and said, how can God be in this dirty idol? This kid, he’s just a little boy. He said mom, God
can’t be in that. There’s all this old food around the idol. They put food at idols. And he said 8 or
9 years later, he was walking down the street and he met Watchmen Nee evangelizing.
Watchmen Nee spoke to him the gospel and he got saved immediately.
He said this is the second time I met God. I met God in that cave because God showed me he wasn’t in that dirty
idol. He got led to the Lord by Watchmen Nee and he became an amazing believer in China.
God speaking to us personally. Today, we had a great time with the 12 th graders. Any 12 th
graders here? I got 24 donuts from Dunkin’s. I know health fanatics. I know. I know. I had a
chance to give them as much sugar as they needed. I had a great time with P. Renaldo, and we
talked about the hand of God. How God’s hand is on us.
God is speaking to us. God is leading us, and he wants to speak to you and me and lead us. Step by step. If I go in the wrong direction, he gently – isn’t it great his gentleness will make you great. That’s why the word of
God is so important. That’s why during these days and in our lives I want to open my Bible and
say today I need to hear a word from God. When he came up to face Goliath, 1 Sam 17:29, he
comes up and he’s looking at the whole scene. Goliath is calling the children of Israel the
servants of Saul. He was intimidating them. He did it 40 days. Ever had initiations for a long time
and know it’s the enemy?
You know what he said to Israel and king Saul? Didn’t we get a word from God, a DAVAR, a personal word from God. David got a personal word from God. I’m going to kill that guy. God gives us personal words in our battle Anyone here ever have a battle, a test, a trial, a problem. God says in that I will speak to you how? Personally. I’m not afraid of the tests and trials and difficulties and the valleys when they come, I know when they come, God is
going to speak to me. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no
evil. You are with me. What does David call God in Psalm 23:1. The Lord is my shepherd. Read 2
Sam 22 if you have a chance. David uses the word “my” 27 times. He didn’t say your salvation
or the salvation. He said the Lord is my salvation. He didn’t say the Lord is the light of the world.
He said the Lord is MY light.
He didn’t say God is righteous. He said the Lord is MY righteousness. He didn’t say the Lord is a rock. He said the Lord is MY rock. 27 times. There was something personal going on between David and God. God wants to speak to us. In 1974, there was this Franciscan priest. He came to me and I was with my brother at the time at the Bridge
Street Chapel. He said to me and my brother, there is something special about you, too. You
need the Holy Spirit. I said this guy is a whacko. I wasn’t a good Catholic. I did my Sunday duty
and lived like hell the rest of the time. Father Barnabas. He said you need to have the Holy Spirit
in your life. Lord Jesus, fill me with the Holy Spirit. He got on his knees and he’s a priest asking
God to fill him with the Holy Spirit.
I didn’t get it. My brother and I got saved. I think I’ll see him again. I began to understand a little glimpse of a personal God. God was initiating to you and me in pre-salvation work. Trace the hand of God ministering to you. We were at an Eric Clapton concert in Harford, Connecticut. He sang, surely the presence of the Lord. He talked about the presence of the Lord. He was a heathen. I don’t know what happened. The Holy Spirit touched
me. I didn’t get saved but something happened to me in that concert. I decided no more of this
drug stuff. That’s enough. I was high 24 hours a day for a decade plus. But God spoke and the
word came and personal words from God. Can personal words reconcile the marriage? Can personal words deal with the thorn in my flesh? My grace. It’s not the grace.
My strength is made perfect in your weakness. God being personal. Jesus rose from the dead if you read John
20 and 21 and first thing was to go to 4 people. He went to Mary and called her name. Then he
went to Thomas. What did he say? You don’t believe me, put your finger in my hand and put
your hand in my side and don’t be faithless but believing. What was Jesus doing there? It’s all
about a personal relationship with me Thomas. Then he would meet John and Peter. Peter, do
you love me? He’s dealing directly with Peter in John 21:15-17. Do you love me. Do you love me?
Feed your sheep? Feed my sheep.
I love John 10. My sheep hear my voice and they follow me. We happen to be God’s sheep. Are you listening? We are God’s sheep. I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, and no man can pluck them out of my hand. No man can pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. I have a personal Father, a personal Jesus Christ, a personal Holy Spirit. He places us in a church. Churches need to grow in the
understanding of a personal relationship with one another and Jesus Christ. The devil is not a
person. He’s a fallen angel. He can never be personal. What does he initiate towards
Christianity and towards believers and even unbelievers?
He initiates let’s have an impersonal word. That’s why you have to be careful with technology. I know there’s good reasons to watch it on the internet. I understand if you are sick and can’t make it, but I need to see people face to
face. I can’t even write to you anymore. I need to see you face to face. My wife got me an iPad
when I was overseas. Is that what they call it? An iPad? I don’t even know. One time I was
overseas on New Year’s and we embraced on the iPad. I kissed the iPad, that dirty screen. That
wasn’t real. It wasn’t like kissing her. Some of you unmarried people don’t try it. Don’t use this
as an initiation. It’s not good for someone to touch a person.
One time someone had their hand on someone’s shoulder, and it was too close to where it shouldn’t have been on this girl. They were unmarried. I said let me ask you a question. Is it easier to serve God with two hands or
one? He said, what do you mean? Get your filthy hand off that girl. I’m sorry. Maybe you don’t
like that. It bothered me. What’s going on here. You are a little too personal. You are taking this
too far. Is your husband here, Philippe? I love him. I was talking to him today. Him and I were
on a porch one time in Ghana, West Africa and he was talking about how he wanted to be a
missionary and come and live in Ghana.
Okay, sure. I’m thanking God that he didn’t come. He does a great job with MBC&S. He really does. I really like him. He’s a great friend to me. I don’t like hugging you because your beard is too sharp. Personal! God is so amazingly personal with us. He came to John in Rev 1. He said I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the
beginning and the end. I am he who was and is and is to come. I was alive, and I died and I’m
alive forevermore. John, it’s me, Jesus. It’s me and Jesus. It’s Jesus in me. When David
Livingstone died in Africa. I don’t think I’d want to die there. I don’t like what they do with
bodies. They found Livingstone dead in his hut. His Bible was on his bed and he was over his
Bible dead. They took it up from under him and on the front of the Bible, he had written four
My Jesus, my life, my king, my all. He’s my Jesus. He’s my life. He’s my king. He’s my all.
Livingstone had a personal relationship with God. In all kinds of troubles and difficulties God is
there with us. He has what of your hair numbered? Mt 10:30 I realize too that means eyebrows.
The hairs of your head can be eyebrows. Nose hairs. That’s how personal God is. Numbering them. How many have ever read the verses about I’m the apple of God’s eye? Stand up. Face
your wife. Look in the pupil of her eye. What do you see? You see who? Do you see yourself?
He’s ruining my illustration! What do you see in his eye? Let’s try this again! Look in his eye.
What do you see? Do you see yourself?
Here’s what the word means. When God looks at you, he sees himself. He says you’re the apple of his eye. You look in the eye of God and you see yourself. He looks at your pupil and he sees himself. De 32:10 I’ve been kept as the apple of his eye. We attack another believer and we stick our finger in God’s eye. Ever have that happen?
Deuteronomy 32:10 he keeps you as the apple of his eye. Translated in the Hebrew it means little boy or
little girl. You’re my little girl. You’re my little boy. That’s called intimacy. I’m the apple of God’s
eye. He keeps me. I’m the apple of his eye. Psalm 17:8, Prov. 7:2 he keeps me as the apple of his
eye. Lam 2:18 he keeps me as the apple of his eye.
Zechariah 2:7-8 I’m the apple of God’s eye and it will never cease. We live in an abstract, systematized world. Everything is so general. Nothing is specific. The devil is not a person. The world is impersonal and the osn is a person that is dead. God says I’d like you to be drawn to me. I want to be personal with you. When you fail, personal
mercy delivers you. God personally has mercy on me. Personal mercy. My sin. What did the
father say when the prodigal came home? I’m not going to call you a servant. I forgot all of you
over here. I don’t have a left eye. I only have one apple! The stroke knocked it out. That’s why
we got two! I just lost thought of what I was saying.
Personal mercy. Luke 15 he’s not coming back as a servant. He’s coming back as a son. This my son. My son was lost, but he’s found. 2 Samuel. 18:31-33. Oh Absalom, Absalom, Absalom! My son, my son, my son, my son! Would to God I had died for you, Absalom. Imagine David. Absalom tried to take his kingdom and violated
his wife on top of a roof in public view of everybody and David is lamenting and weeping over
this my son. Mark 2:5 my son, your sins are forgiven. How personal God is with his mercy. How
personal he is with his love, and his faithfulness. How personal he is with an eternal purpose for
my life. If I’m not careful, I can find myself living in generalities. Everything is so general. That’s
what scares me about the age we live in.
The age we live in is getting so advanced and the systematizing of everyone’s brain that we are losing that personal touch. We can find ourselves steering away from it. Evangelism is a personal love for a person who is lost. God loving them personally. He cares for me personally. Cast all your cares upon him for he what? He cares for
you. We might find ourselves in situations where we are struggling in a family, in relationships,
struggling with our friends but I’ll never find a time in my life when God is not personal to me.
Isaiah was unclean and undone. Isaiah 6. My eyes have seen the king. God became personal to
Isaiah, personal to Jeremiah, personal to Daniel.
What did the Holy Spirit say to Daniel? Daniel 10:11, 19, Oh man greatly loved. Imagine God saying that to you. And he does. You’re a person who is greatly loved by God. I don’t even love myself. Doesn’t matter. He greatly loves you. You take that love and let God love you and love God back and then love your neighbor as yourself.
A personal God. My prayers, personal to God. You have prayers and I have prayers that are very
different and unique and particular and personal. I don’t know what you are praying for but it’s
so personal to God. God hears my prayer. Do you believe that? 1 John 2:1, we have an advocate
with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
He ever lives to make intercession for us. We live in a satanic world that is so impersonal. You go to a city like Mumbai, a city with 30 million people.Do you know what that’s like? You can’t even walk down the street. Massive amounts of people. These massive mega cities and it begins to develop more and more an impersonal walk
and life, yet God has called us to know him personally and have this relationship that will go on.
You think it’s going to keep going in heaven. People say what will I do when I get to heaven?
You’ll get to know God more personally. Amen. You’re receive more love from God and get to
know him in a personal way because no sin nature, no devil, and no world. It will be halleluiah.
It’s going to be great.
You’ll get to know God in the midst of all the saints perfect and pure. A
personal walk with God. Thank you for sending Father Barnabas, who spoke to me in a personal
way that made me start to think of who God is. Thank you for the Holy Spirit. Thank you for the
Body of Christ which is so personal. Thank you for a purpose that is personal. Thank you God for
being so personal.
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.