What does God have to say to us? The words of Jesus nourish us, establish us, and fill our hearts. These words also flip the world on its head. It prepares us and stirs us In His mission. Track Christ and follow Him. (Acts 17:7-16; Amos 8:11-12; Luke 4:18, John 6:54-60)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Adam Speedy
6:30 PM on 4/23/2023
P. Adam Speedy –
Jesus Christ’s first message preaching in the synagogue in Luke 4:18. We had a precious time on the
streets in front of the post office in Lilongwe, Malawi which is just a very small country in
southern, eastern Africa. It was one of the first ones that we launched out of from Zambia, and
which began about 20 years ago.
This was a verse that spoke to P. Scibelli in ’86 I believe. He’ll correct me. It was in June of ’85!
When he was in Ghana on a visit with P. Cooper I believe and standing in a very impoverished
African market place and seeing people who had been broken by life. Jesus in Isaiah 53:2 was a
root out of dry ground. He came in Galatians 4:4 in the perfect, fullness of time. It had been 400 years
since Malachi. It was a period of dryness. Religiosity had begun to be, to infiltrate in Mal. 3 after
being deported. And then after coming back, they began to backslide. Isaiah 1:6, the whole head is
sick and there’s wounds and bruises. Talking about an entire nation. Mental illness in an entire
nation and no one had bounded up. It had not been bound up.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a wound that’s not been bound up. We were with a precious
man on the streets a few days ago who had a withered leg. He was standing there and he was
begging. He lives in a society where this common false doctrine of suffering always being a sign
that you are cursed from God and we thought what some people might think is a throwaway, a
casualty of a wicked doctrine where he thinks that God is against him because maybe he’s
failed in some way. “If God should mark iniquity, who could stand?” Right? None could stand.
And just able to just minister the precious love of God, unconditional, free love of God. God
being for us like we just heard in the song right now.
And Jesus in this hard, religious time says that I’ve been sent on a mission by my Father to bind
up the broken hearted quoting from Isaiah. I believe it’s Isaiah 61:2. To bind up the broken hearted.
This is why I have been sent. Hearts of people that have been smashed by life. Hearts of people
– I remember seeing a precious woman and she had a baby who was sick. And she was
surrounded by two people from a certain denomination and I asked my translator, what are they
saying to her? They’re saying she’s sick because you don’t have enough faith. That’s why the
baby’s sick. You don’t have enough faith.
Imagine the religiosity and the legalism, and just lack of the heart of God from those who claim
to represent him. They’d rather stick to the letter of the law of Moses to stone a woman in John
8 then to have just a little fraction of the heart of God. And Jesus says I’ve come to heal. I’ve
come to heal the brokenhearted.
And that’s how – I was driving through Houston the other day and just kind of glanced at the
map on either side of the freeway, and just saw millions or hundreds of thousands of little dots of
homes and thinking how many people are lonely here? How many people are really broken by
life? How many people they hide and they disguise it with a fake smile and they sublimate and
they get on drugs because of the pain. It’s the only thing that will numb the pain. And Jesus
Christ says I’ve come to bind the brokenhearted.
I feel like when our ministry entered into Africa, it became a magnet for the broken hearted.
People say, why don’t you have more normal people in your church? Because that’s not the kind
of ministry. We’re a ministry for the broken hearted. And by the way, who’s normal anyway? This
is, I mean the crème de la crème client nation and he said the whole nation is sick and no one is
there. No one cares. No one’s got the compassion. And then he says come reason together with
me, but I’m not going to reason with a mad man. Here’s the reasoning: “Though your sins be as
scarlet, they’ll be white as snow.”
It’s kind of unilateral, divine grace logic that he gives to them.
And he begins to heal the broken hearted. Not in a kind of spectacular thing on the stage. And
sometimes not even instantaneous, but in a process of just coming in the Word. He said I sent
my Word and it healed them. And it does. It really does. People say that’s too simplistic and
that’s too old-fashioned. We’ve got to go into our past and rehash it and analyze it and dig it up
and bury it and talk about it and have a mutual admiration society someone used to preach
about. And we got to go through it and feel it and discuss it.
But all that stuff without the heart of God and the compassion of God does nothing but does
nothing but just heal them – what was the verse earlier in Jeremiah 8:11 is it? Heals them? How does
it go? Slightly. Just heals them slightly. Just kind of puts a bandaid over. That word in 61:2 of
Isaiah speaks of being completely enveloped. It binds up. It totally envelopes. Kind of like the
turban they would use in those times. Think of Joshua the high priest clothed with filthy mitre
and he says I’m going to put a new mitre on you.
This is what God starts to do as we come in and sit down. We had a gentlemen come into the
Houston church a year ago just completely confused and nothing dramatic but just slowly as the
Word comes in. He starts to reconstitute my thinking, Isaiah 55:1-5. He starts to give me his
thoughts. He starts to give me a new value system. He starts to replace my natural thinking that
always connects what I do with God’s blessing instead of connecting to who he is in his
unilateral character to me. Instead of looking at everything from the perspective of what he’s
done, right? And I start to get healed. Healed of a self-image rooted in Adam. Healed of my
works. Healed of my legalism. Healed of striving. Healed of comparing. Healed of a system of
continual doing to a brand new system of one time done.
And he heals me. It’s amazing! He heals the broken hearted so much so that Joseph would say
I’ve been, I’ve forgotten my toil. I’ve forgotten. Some people say that’s a little bit impossible. It’s
possible when God’s thinking replaces my thinking, when the mind of Christ in 1 Corinthians 2:13
begins to dwell in me richly in Colossians 3:16. I begin to not live in the effects of the first Adam but in
the effects of the Second Adam. I live with healthy thinking, healthy emotions, healthy self-image
and God begins to bind that broken heart, that heart that has been smashed.
No one has compassion like Christ that comes over and comes over to where I am and then
picks me up. Puts me on his animal and starts to heal me and pays the price. There’s no one
that does that. There’s no one that has the heart of God. There’s no other religion that has it. No
other words. A lot of chatter. A lot of empty, idle chatter out there but it doesn’t heal me because
it lacks that compassion.
And then he begins to – he brings me and it says he sets the solitary in families. He puts me in
a place where there is a continual manifestation of this very divine heart of God. And no, they
are not perfect, but they got something that is not existent in the world. It’s the life of God. And
so, we met precious people.
I told P. Schaller this morning that we met precious folks. One by one were coming to me not
realizing other leaders had said the same thing and said that P. Chris he touched my life. He
changed my life. I lost my wife and God used it to bring me back to the church. And I came and
he loved me and he had humility. I’ve never seen anything like it. That guy didn’t touch a church.
He touched a body. He touched the life of God. He touched the compassion of God in a man
and he’s been healed. And it’s amazing to see it as God binds up the broken hearted. This is
what he does in the Body. This is why this is a hospital. We’ll put a sign out there. Greater
Grace Hospital! It’s an amazing thing. Sinners are welcome to come and maybe sometimes we
have a little bit of a – there’s a little bit of a measure of longsuffering with the small souled
because we know there is a process of healing going on.
This brother said I’m coming back for year #2 in Bible school, amen! He said I’m coming back
for year #2, right? It’s like a spiritual detox, right? 2 Kings 5, Naaman’s like I thought he’d wave
some magic hand over – he said just go dip. As we dip seven times in the finished work, we get
in this river that makes glad the city of God. I find that I can come out and there is a measure of
healing that you cannot experience outside of the Body of Christ. You cannot experience it. It’s
right here in the Body of Christ. Praise the Lord! God bless you all. Amen.
P. Schaller – Thanks, Josh. Wow! That – do you think that was difficult to sing? I just had a lot of
sympathy and care! That was, wow! It was good. Thank you. Let’s give him another hand for
that. And the band, too. The band. Yeah. It’s not like the kind of songs that I sing, you know. Like
simple. That was, that was – I liked it. I did. It was good. Wow. Okay. So, it reminded me of an
old rock and roll band that I used to listen to. Okay. Wow.
P. Adam, that was good. That touched the heart, didn’t it? That was good. Really. Compassion.
Wow. Beautiful. We’ve had a great time here last weeks, these weeks and the new people
coming. P. Jason did such a good job and his team and Josh too. Baptizing his sons this
morning. We had 15 water baptisms there and after the service, one guy came up to me. He
said, could you throw me in there right now? I go I think they drained it already. But he wanted to
do it. His life is changed. I don’t know if he is here tonight, but he also said you know, I also want
to marry my girlfriend. I said I’ll sell you a package. You can get, you know, you can get a
driver’s license, water baptism, marriage certificate and you know a free coffee for $199!
Okay. The heart. I think pastor shared it beautifully tonight, so let’s speak about it for a few
minutes here. Go back to Amos 8.
That was this morning’s message about the famine. It doesn’t
get old that message. I think we preached it in Budapest also. And we just honestly, every day
my wife and I we just say we are just with the, in the midst of a great group of people who are
worshipping the Almighty God and God is taking care of his people.I love that song, Amen.
Ahhh-men. Ahhh-men. How about that? Ahhh-men. He cares for you, right? He cares for you.
What a song. What a song. Beautiful.
Look at Amos 8:11. And you know, we read about famine this morning. This is our text for this
morning, and just to touch on it for a moment. Famine. When people are starving to death, it
goes in a sequence. Malnutrition, disease, dehydration of course. Loss of appetite. Dying slowly
without food. A famine in the land. If we could think about there is another famine he says in the
verse, vs. 11. A famine of hearing.
We said in the Communist world, they would get rid of the men of God. First thing. Close the
churches and take away the Bibles. And we lived in that era living in Finland. We would go to
the Soviet Union and be invited. We would go underground literally in the church they had their
official meeting and we would be visitors and be invited downstairs. Downstairs they would
gather and we would just quote Bible verses all day. Honestly, we would just be with those
people downstairs. Eighty people. One hundred people. Probably the secret police would know
about it. But we would speak like they were not there. And sometimes forbidden to go back.
That happened to me. I was told by an Estonian that I was told by the secret police that you
would never come back here. Cause I was also in a Finnish newspaper.
They identified me not the Finnish people but the Soviet people that I was a CIA agent. So, we know about this. We
know about this whole world where they want to take the Bible away. They want to take the
We said the Gideons used to go to the hotels. Ninety-five percent of the hotels would accept
Gideon Bibles for the rooms but now it’s down to 48% of the hotels will do that. It’s changing.
Take away the Bible and churches, too. Take away the Bible. Also, the seminaries. They are not
teaching the Bible but we are. D. L. Moody did it. R. A. Torrey did it. Dr. Stevens did it. And we
pray that it will continue to be done in our country where we will have Bible schools and we will
be on a heavy diet learning the Bible little by little.
Oh, isn’t it good? Is it good or not? It is good. They are in Malawi. Did you hear what he said about Chris Arman? Six men at different times came to him and said Chris Arman has changed my life. Chris Arman is a man of God. Chris
Arman is a humble man. Chris Arman has taught us the Bible. Chris Arman. Isn’t that beautiful?
Where did he come from? From God. Who is he? He’s a man of the Word. But there is a famine
of the Bible, a famine of the Word. And that’s what we want to look at there, vs. 11-12. I would
say people are running around seeking the Word but they don’t know that they are seeking the
Word. Some are seeking a baseball game, a vacation in the Bahamas. A business opportunity in California. A relationship in Colorado. They’re looking for an extreme sport in Utah. They’re
looking for – they’re looking for the Word of God. They’re restless. Looking for healing. Looking
for friendship. We know about this.
Another thing here, vs. 12. Did you go to the party? Yes. Did you find the Word of God? What is
that? Did you get a relationship? Did you find the Word of God? No, what is that? Did you find a
broken heart? Did you find frustration and so on. You know the whole thing. You know what
Another thing about a famine is that you may eat junk food that does not nourish your body, and
you might be eating food but you are malnourished. You are not getting what you need. There’s
nothing like the words of Jesus. In John 6, my words. He talks about eating his flesh, drinking
his blood. And then he talks about words.
Would you turn there and notice the relationship, John 6:53. There’s the first verse. We know
this is an extraordinary statement. It’s called a hard saying, isn’t it? Doesn’t it say it’s a hard
saying? Yeah, vs. 60. Often we refer to this verse as something challenging to our natural man.
We also like, we also say let’s be careful with the hard sayings. When we go to church and we
hear something that hits us and it’s hard. It’s a hard saying but be patient. Cause I can’t forfeit
the Word of God. I can’t sell it. I can’t forfeit the Word. It is the Word that will nourish us, that will
establish us, that will speak to our hearts like we heard.
This is related in this text. If you look at vs. 53 down through the 60’s. It’s a hard saying. Jesus
kind of clarifies it in my mind. He says, vs. 61, does this offend you? He kind of clarifies it. Does
this offend you? And he says, vs. 62. Then he explains in vs. 63. Is he saying I told you to eat
my flesh, but then I’m saying to you the flesh doesn’t profit but my words. That’s what I’m talking
about. How do you eat Jesus? You eat his word. How do you eat his flesh and drink his blood?
You receive his Word. His Word quickens you. It’s there in vs. 63. Okay.
Let’s go now to the part that I want to get to here, Acts 17. Around the world and this is really
true in so many parts of the world when Greater Grace missionaries and we have a graduation
coming up in May. I was so happy Garrett got baptized today. His whole family came to the
service. We met afterwards and it was so beautiful to be with the family. And Garrett’s life and
what has happened in his heart and his life. How beautiful it is.
Now, in chapter – when Greater Grace people, not us. I’m just saying we get trained. If the Spirit
speaks and we learn how to focus and learn how to keep our focus tracking. You know, when
you’re tracking something, like with our technology or with some laser or some way of following.
It’s a beautiful, beautiful thought that in my heart I can be tracking God. Or in my heart I can be
after the truth cause the truth is what Jesus is saying is life. The Spirit is truth and life. The
words of God.
But people don’t have anything to track. It’s a secular world that doesn’t have roots and this is
causing a lot of confusion. I talked to a mechanic today who is a friend of Todd Parsons and me.
And he confided. We had a good talk cause he did some work on my truck. And he’s a great
guy. Wow. It was beautiful to talk to him.
He said my daughter has a problem. I was on the phone with her and they talked. He said do
you have any Bible verses. I am a Catholic but do you have any Bible verses? I had my phone,
so I read a few verses that addressed the question. He said, thank you so much. And then he
had a friend there and we were talking an hour and a half or so. We just had a good fellowship
in the garage. A good time just talking about Jesus and they enjoyed it. It was like, it was
I want you to look at this. Did I ask you to turn to Acts 17? Okay. vs. 6. these that have turned
the world upside down. I think it was Tozer who said the world is upside down. We just turn it
right side up. It’s already upside down. We just turn it back up the way that it’s supposed to be.
You know, how could, how could the preaching of the gospel turn the world upside down? How
does it happen?
When we as missionaries, we learn what we do and we keep tracking. We keep following in
good times, bad times. We have a word. We have a word and we’re following. We keep that and
it’s God that uses you. And so, we start a Bible school in – I was going to say in Malachi! We
start a Bible school in Malawi. And we start a Bible college in Uganda. And a Bible college in
Ivory Coast. A Bible college in Ghana. A Bible college in South Africa. Bible college I think in 28
countries in Africa.
And how does it work? It’s, the world is turned upside down in somebody’s life. And they start to
pray. God answers. And we tell the truth and they hear it. They start eating the flesh and the
blood of Jesus, but this is really the Word, his Spirit and life. We are being fed. We are in a
famine. The world has a famine and you have found the Spirit and you have found the truth and
you are not afraid, but you actually go again. Remember they were driven out of Philippi. They
went to Thessalonica. They’re driven out of Thessalonica and the people were afraid of them
because they had turned the world upside down. So, they drove them out and they went to
Berea. In Berea, they studied the Word to see if it was so. They studied the Scriptures daily in
vs. 11. Acts 17:11, could we put that Scripture up? vs. 11.
I want to digress for a minute and make a side note. Readiness of mind. There’s a word
“prepare” in the Hebrew. And it’s used in Ps. 90 where it says count your days. Number your
days or count your days. The word there is “prepare.” Prepare your days. It’s not count. It’s
prepare. It’s the same word used for God prepared a fish in the book of Jonah. And he prepared
a gourd, remember? And he prepared a worm that ate the gourd. And when you prepare your
days, you’re actually kind of stepping back and saying how can I number my days? How can I
prepare my life but order my steps according to your Word. How about my thoughts?
That was a great message this morning. It was awesome. I felt the Spirit speaking to us.
Preparing my heart. And another thing, I want to share this context about prayer. I noticed I
would just go to prayer quickly, automatically. Like this is common with us as pastors maybe.
Will you pray for me? Will you pray for me? Can you pray for my aunt? Can you pray for my
uncle? My brother? Can you pray? And we are inundated with people saying can you pray. And
I appreciate it. It’s an honor to be asked. I want that to always be a part of my life for sure.
But I also noticed with everything in life, you can do it just automatically. Read your Bible. Say
your prayers. Everything. But I like the word here “prepare.” Let’s write it this way. What do you
mean? Prepare to meet God. Prepare. Like step back. I’m going to approach God in a few
minutes. Not right now, but I got to think about it. Am I going to meet God? Will I meet God in a
few minutes from now? I’d like to prepare myself to meet God. In my heart, I want to come
before God. And Lord, you can prepare me.
The same with hearing. Remember he said you’ll have a famine of hearing. You won’t hear me.
They’ll be a famine. You know how your stomach shrinks when you don’t have food and you
read about that. Remember the Phillipines and the American soldiers and the Phillipines
starving and the death marches and so on. In Hungary, they forced marched Jews out of
Hungary to Austria walking because the trains were destroyed. And there were death marches
and people starving and suffering and so on. And hearing is like also that people are hearing so
much noise, but are they hearing what God has to say to us? What does he have to say? I don’t
want to hear – I want to hear what God, what’s God have to say to me? I’m in trouble. What
does God have to say to me? I have a life to live. What does God want me to do? What does he
have to say to me? How does he minister to me?
How about healing. What does God – remember Jesus did so much healing in the gospels.
Sometimes in front of thousands of people. Sometimes incredible. Sometimes alone like a blind
man. Tell nobody. How about raising the dead. How about removing people out of the room. But
overall, it was everybody knew. Everybody knew.
I love that picture of Christ that he was so busy healing. He was so involved. He was so
compassionate. It was so powerful. Amazing messages in the gospels. So, the life of preparing
to hear. Shut it down. Turn it off. Maybe sit in a dark room. Quiet yourself. Maybe even spend
hours. Say Lord, this is your time. This is about you. Maybe get real quiet. Maybe the anointing
of God will move you in prayer. And that prayer will move a mountain. That prayer will change a
life. That prayer will bless somebody.
How did they turn the world upside down? How did they do it? The Bereans had readiness of
mind to study it, to see if it is true and they did. Now, lastly, Acts 17:21. No chapter, 17:16. I
remember Dr. Stevens was in Maine, and then he goes we’re going down to South Hampton or
Framingham. Remember that? God led me. He said God led me to do a Bible study in South
Hampton. There was a, the Campbells’ house I think. They had a fellowship there. Some of you
came from that. And then they got a high school in Framingham. And they did it. And pastor
driving back to Maine was filled with the Spirit and so comforted and encouraged in his faith. He
was doing this cause God did that.
That was God that did it. And many of our people and many of you sitting here tonight. I’m sure of it. We all have many stories where we did something and God met us in that. We did something and we weren’t sure and we did it and God was in it.
And that happened here in Acts 17:16. The word “spirit” is in a small ‘s’ isn’t it? But we don’t
know actually. Was that the Holy Spirit? But something about him on the inside in his heart and
the Spirit he was stirred. Why? Because he saw the pain. He saw the foolishness. He saw the
emptiness. He saw the city was wholly given to idolatry.
I think when Darryl Jones went to Indonesia many years ago – remember Darryl? You and P.
Barry and went to Indonesia and any country where you have a lot of idolatry. You just look at it
and it’s like hits you. It’s amazing that people worship idols. Of course, they do. They’re afraid.
They’re afraid that there will be sickness in their house. They’re afraid they won’t have money.
They’re afraid they won’t have food. So, they worship idols. The idol will protect them. The idol
will bless them. The idol will give to them. Of course, they do. We are religious. Human beings
are religious. We’re filled with religion. We are looking to worship. We are looking to worship.
We are looking to be helped. We need help. Of course, we do.
And when Paul saw the city was wholly given to idolatry, he couldn’t take it. He goes, it moved
him in his heart. And that’s why never, never let us in Greater Grace, may we never forget our
mission. Our mission is to go into the world. Our mission is to turn the world upside down. Our
mission is to preach the gospel to the people. Our mission like P. Adam said, our mission is to
go with the words and the compassion of God. Cause there’s a famine. There’s a famine of
hearing the words that will change lives. Pray for us preachers and pastors that we could hit the
right, hit the right mark. And our churches will be filled with people.
Listen. I’ll finish with that. I believe this. I believe our country is moving in a direction and the
devil is doing his work. But I also believe there’s not a better time to be living with the message
of the gospel. I believe our message is sparkling. It’s powerful. Our message can turn things
around. Our message can save souls. Our message can heal hearts.
Like somebody, a young guy just starts tracking. He’s like in it. He just starts tracking and God is
speaking to him and he learns to pray and he learns to be quiet and prepare his heart. He
learns to live by faith. He repents of his own way. He starts living a different way. And the power
of God, the Spirit of God, the mind of God, the freedom of God, the joy of God, and now the
pagan temple is empty. Where are the worshippers? They are not coming here anymore. Where
are they? They’re meeting. They have meetings. They became Christians. And they’re at
meetings. And God is with them. Jesus is alive! What? That cannot be. Yes, it is. That happened
in history. This is what we believe. We are not afraid.
Listen. All this stuff that is around that is the junk food in the air. All the movies and all of the TV
shows and all of that. More and more, I have no interest in it. You might say, well, you’re old. Yeah, but you’re young so do the same thing. Hey! Don’t eat garbage. Eat the Word of God.
Hey! Don’t live like the world. Be tranformed. Hey! Don’t have the spirit of the world and the
spirit of the age. Have the Spirit of God. God needs you. Malawi needs us. Kenya needs us. The
islands need us. North America needs us and we’re tracking it and that’s a great privilege. And
we can do it. We have been doing it. We will do it. We are doing it by God’s grace.
I got to warn you. We had a great message Friday night about entitlement. One brother came to
me and said I’ve been thinking about that word all night. Entitlement. That’s a great word and we
talked about it a little bit. I go, yeah. This is a different kingdom. This is a big deal what is
happening in your life and I want you to stay on it by God’s grace. And then we can do it again.
Okay. Last. If I stay back, protect myself, build a fortress and kind of stay – hopefully the world
doesn’t – maybe I’ll be okay. Survive. The best defense is a good offense. And when Paul went
out and he kept going, God was doing it. God gave him joy. God gave him freedom. God
changed his mind, renewed his mind, encouraged him. And God used him to turn the world
upside down. And that’s what I’m thinking about right now. Amen.
Okay. Wow. That was fun. That was great that song, wasn’t it? I was just thinking prepare.
Prepare to meet God. Amos. “How can two walk together except they be agreed?” Really agree.
Really agree. That’s a miracle of Christ. We really agree with God. Before we would try to cut a
deal, but now we really agree. We walk together with God. Isn’t that amazing?
Then, prepare. Maybe we prepare before prayer. And we talk to ourselves I’m going to meet
God in prayer and I just want to prepare my heart for that. Maybe I prepare myself when I read
the Bible. It might be I just want to be prepared in faith and say to the Lord. Maybe I get
prepared when I come to the church. I want to come, Lord. I’m coming by faith. You know how
automatically we do things. I roll out of bed. I go to church. I roll back. I go back. I roll back into
bed. That’s how I roll! But hey? What about preparation in our heart? How about a meeting that
you are going to have?
How about before you get home, I say this to my son. I go, before you go home to your wife, like
take a minute outside the door and just say my wife is in here. I want to go into the house. I
want to bring what into the house? Complaints. Where’s the food? What have you been doing
all day? What’s going on? Why don’t you love me? Not good. Prepare before you go into the
house. Bring home the joy. Turn to your neighbor and say, bring home the joy. Bring home the
joy. Come on! Bring home the joy. Bring home the joy. I brought home the eggs. Okay, so,
prepare. Okay. Good word. 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.