Description: The will of the Lord is something we should seek. Can we put our things before Him and hear His leading? There’s beauty and oil and garments of praise for us so we may glorify God.
Luke 22:41-43; Isaiah 61:3; 2 Samuel 5:17-24
Speaker: Chris Arman, Thomas Schaller
Time: Sun 6:30pm
P. Schaller –
Praise God. Amen. Thank you, Jesus. Wow, that was good, wasn’t it? Let’s keep going for a minute here. Thank
you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. (Prayer). Would you like to lean over with your neighbor for a
minute and just have a prayer with your neighbor? Something.
Okay. Would you turn with me to one verse in Isaiah 61. What a beautiful day we had today in
the Lord. P. Pete Westera’s message today at the face to face was amazing. It ministered to the
family, and to all of us a lot and I’m so thankful for the reality of the Body of Christ. The reality of
church life. The reality of what it means to us to have a church. Lively, living church. And to have
words. Words. The anointing of God teaching us, preparing us in life. You know, we are blessed.
I was saying to my wife yesterday and again today I think that we have had three weddings,
haven’t we? Yeah. Three weddings in a year, and the Lord gave us to our grandchildren. We
have Benscu. Mikah and Benscu.
The Lord gave us a great man, Benscu. And then my grandson, John John, married Hannah. And I tell him he won the lottery when it came to getting his wife. I mean the Lord gave us in our – and there’s no guarantee. Who knows how life works, amen. Who knows how life works. Then we had my son, Kyle, married Deb. Another treasure.
Another treasure. Beautiful.
My wife and I often reflect, and it’s not about good things or being blessed as people in one way.
It’s something more. It’s that trouble is part of life. Trouble – I don’t want to be gloating or waving
some weird banner, but I would like to glorify God and say that he answers prayers. And he
helps us in many ways. And he’s a friend of publicans and sinners like we said at the 11. That’s
so amazing that his whole system cannot be mixed with the other system of the Pharisees and
Sadducees and scribes. It doesn’t work. He’s saying I am totally, I am totally of another spirit. My
ministry is not that way, that way. It’s this way. I give grace to the publicans and sinners. I sit with
them. I have many of them around me, because I am God. And in my presence is fullness of joy.
That’s a beautiful thing to be in the presence of God where there is joy.
One thing recently, I dug out – Ulla helped me – I got a pile of my newsletters from the 1990s
and early 2000 when we were living in Hungary. I’ve been just reading them and thinking about
what we did, what happened and so on. And I am very encouraged, very encouraged that like
Psalm 16:11, in my presence is the fullness of joy. And whenever people are around you and I,
when we walk with God, we have a freshness about us. We have the Spirit of the Lord with us.
And people are attracted like when it says Jesus sat with them and many came to him. Many of
these people came to him, cause they had the feeling of it or the sense of it that this is amazing.
To go back as I’m doing with those newletters and just to think about it and to glory in God of
what he did and what he can do in life.
We want that to be communicated to people. We want people that have had a hard time to find God and in his presence is that joy and that grace. So, it says it here in Isaiah 61:3. This is what the Messiah does. vs. 3. If you think of sacrifice, you think of ashes, you think of burning like fire and you think of burning animals and sacrifices, you
see ashes. You can see ashes in different ways. In disasters and tragedy, you see ashes. But
for God to give us beauty for ashes. This is in a way how can that happen? How can you take
ashes and make something beautiful out of ashes? How can that happen? God is the only
reason, the only answer. The Messiah.
The dead child. The dead son. The Messiah. And it’s beautiful. The disciples forsaking him. Ashes. And then they are apostles preaching. Beauty for ashes. The Apostle Paul murdering Christians becomes oh, King Agrippa, I wish you were like me. I wish you were like me. Agrippa said, you almost persuaded me to be a Christian. Please,
Agrippa. Come on. Come on. Almost persuade you? Come on. Come on. Make the decision. I
want to persuade you. Don’t say almost. Come on. Let’s go. Let’s go. Beauty for ashes. Wow.
It’s got to be that way.
vs. 3. And I like that. I think we have the spirit of joy in our hearts. I always love the beginning of
Bible college. Another semester. It’s a miracle in my mind that this is another semester. This is
another work of grace. Students will come through those doors excited. They will go at bed at night excited. They will have the spirit of joy. It happens every year. Every year it happens.
All the time, there’s a spirit of joy that happens in Bible school. Coming to our meetings and finding
God, and maybe also a prayer meeting with a hundred people or two hundred people. I look
forward to that this semester. And we just have a time of prayer one evening. And do it on a
regular basis in a fresh way. And to have the oil of joy. I like fresh things, not in a program, but I
like it when the Lord leads and says now is the time for this. Now is the time for that. I love that.
That’s a beautiful thing. So, we are waiting on God.
And then the last one. The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Do a little test
sometimes in your heart. Can I praise God? Can I slow down and be quiet and have the
garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Praise God in the morning. Praise God at night.
Praise God in the middle of the night. Praise God for the good things. Make a big deal for the
things that are simple.
We had a picnic. We had a picnic. I did that today. We had a picnic. We had a picnic yesterday.
It was a sweet time. We had a beautiful time. I don’t expect everybody to go to everything, but
those that went I was so happy to be with them. We had a picnic. It was so nice. It was beautiful.
Great day. Great people. Beautiful time. We had a picnic. Thank you, Lord. Garment of praise
for the spirit of heaviness. These three things. “That they might be called trees of
You know, righteousness does that. Say that. Roll the R. Can you do that? R-r-r-ighteousness!
Go ahead. R-r-r-r-righteousness. We are trees of r-r-r-righteousness. Yeah, we are righteous.
What happens when you are righteous? These things happen. Beauty for ashes, joy for
mourning, garment of praise because we are the trees of r-r-r-righteousness. We are righteous.
Where did you get it? From Jesus. Why do you make good decisions? He is righteous. How do
you overcome temptation? Righteousness. Where’s that come from? It’s imparted to us. It’s
imparted. The Holy Spirit is righteous and he dwells in us. That’s where our joy, our strength, our
praise is coming from. God is righteous, and he’s made us trees of righteousness, the planting
of the Lord that he might be glorified.
Let’s finish. How many of you are gardeners and planters? How about it? Some of you. How
many of you watch your plants die? How many of you – we bought a house, a beautiful holly
tree and within years it was dead. I go, why is it dead? We moved in. why did that happen? We
killed it. I don’t know what happened. It died. So, we plant, my wife and I plant things
sometimes. We all go to get the deal at the end of the season and everything. How about deer
eat our plants. The deer eat our plants. How about you guys? The big rodents. The deer eat our
plants. How about – I have no idea. They just die overnight. Beautiful and then they die in the
middle of the night. How does that happen? Another plant lives. Another one dies. It’s the
sovereignty of God!
Listen. You are the planting of the Lord. He has planted you. You are a tree of righteousness.
You have something. R-r-r-righteousness. You have something that’s not from the world. It’s
from God, and this is why we are known as the happiest people in the world. We do the best. I
believe we study better. We go to school better. We go to work better. We live better. Our
families are better and we die better. We do everything better than the world. Everything better.
We rejoice more. We are more thankful. We talk better. We’re smarter. Not that we’re smart in
ourselves, but the wisdom of God is with us. We have something to say sometimes, and we are
smart enough to know to keep our mouth shut when we don’t know what we’re talking about!
We’re gifted by God. Isn’t that amazing! We are the planting of the Lord in these great days that
the world needs help.
So, we have a ministry. We have a ministry of joy, a ministry of life, a ministry of
encouragement, a ministry of love. And pour it on this week. Why not have this week the week
of grace. Pour it on. Everybody you see. Pour it on. You look very good today. What
happened?!! You look very good today. You are improving every day. You are nice to be with.
You are pleasant company. You are an encouraging person. Even you can say it to unbelievers.
You are made in the image of God. It’s so nice to work with you. It’s nice to be with you. I am
such a happy person. I am so thankful for so many things we have. Oh, thank the Lord for what
we have. What do we have? We have beauty for ashes, the garment of praise for the spirit of
heaviness, and then we have the oil of joy for mourning. Amen. Okay.
P. Chris Arman –
How is everybody? Good. Good. Good. Good. Good. Hey, let’s all stand up
together. Let’s all stand. Let’s just worship right now with the Word of God. Great to see all of
your beautiful faces. Let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke 22, and we’re going to read vs. 41-42. I feel
like the drawer of a desk with a puzzle inside. That’s like the message. I’m just going to take it
and kind of like dump it all out on the table. And then if you see an end piece, make sure you
bring it around, so you can try to put this thing together. Amen.
Thank you for amening that! All right. Vs. 41-42. (Prayer). You may be seated. Greetings from all over the place but
especially Africa. Malawi, Africa. Southern Africa. I’ve been in communication with them quite a
bit, and just to see what God is doing. In May, end of May, we left Malawi and kind of handed
the keys over to the vehicle to a new driver, a rookie driver. But they’re amazing and the leaders
there, the church there, is just wonderful. And doing, I think God will do exceedingly above what
we can ever ask or think using his people, much more than what we could ever do. And
because it’s his Spirit and his church anyway, he’s going to build his church. And the vision for
our personal family is that we are here for a season. And we have a vision to go to Namibia,
which is on the other side of southern Africa.
They’ve already started. A team has gone there
already. They’re starting a church. They had their first service this past – a week ago was their
first service. They just got a place to meet. They just started renting a place in Winhoek. It’s a
great vision for what God’s doing in that part of the world.
And I think this is a great picture for us as we think about God’s calling in our life. I’ve heard this
portion of Scripture taught a few different ways. That one, Christ when he asked, Father, if you
could let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not my will but your will be done, that he was
talking about the separation that he would endure on the cross. That for the first time in eternity,
eternity past and eternity future, the only time that God the Father, God the Son, and God the
Holy Spirit would be ever separated would be the time that Christ would be on the cross. And
that separation is what Christ said if there’s another way other than us losing fellowship for that
time while the sins of all the world past, present and future is on my body; if there can be
another way, please take this cup from my hand, Father.
But nevertheless, not my will but your will be done. And I like that idea of the closeness that Christ had with the Father, with the Holy Spirit, that was constant. And we have the same opportunity. We can have the same opportunity
in our life where we can have our own preference. We can have what we want in our life, but
then we have the heart of God and the mind of God that’s put in us. We say Lord, if this situation
could pass. I don’t want to go through this situation. If it could pass from me, please take it away
from me. I don’t know if I can bear it, but you know me better than I know myself. And not my will
but your will be done.
You can think of that for the family that’s going through the horrible trouble that their going
through that we had the face-to-face service. God will meet them in that situation. And look at
the next verse that you see here in Luke 22:43. Isn’t that amazing? God, God says you’re going
to drink that cup. The Father said that to the Son. But I’ll be with you as you go through the
process. We have that same opportunity. And this became very real for us.
We as a family, we had a vision to go straight from Malawi to Namibia directly. And in our mind
we had it prepared. We weren’t thinking to come back for a season to Baltimore, but the
leadership said think about it. Pray about it, and as we were making decisions it became more
evident that this is the right decision. And in missions, we have our whole plan. We have support
that’s been raised over a long period of time, and there’s a fear if we stop this forward
momentum, forward progress, all of this is going to be gone. We’re going to lose our
momentum. We’re going to lose our vision maybe. We’re going to get tied down with the things
of life. But God says, I’ll be with you. I’ll send an angel. I’ll come alongside you. And we say,
okay, God. Not our will but your will be done.
And there’s another place in the Scriptures that I think this happens. And it’s in 2 Sam. 5 if you
want to turn there. This is the man that’s after God’s own heart. This is King David. This
happens to him. Just the moment he becomes the king of Israel, there comes an onslaught
against him. Does that ever happen to you? You make your good decision for God, you trust
God, and then all of a sudden an attack comes against you. This is throughout history. This is
what happens. It’s in 2 Samuel 5:17.
I love this portion of Scripture, because David is a man that was seeking God. And you know,
this can happen to us. I listened to the message this morning with P. Mat and I loved it. I loved it.
I loved just thinking about that. The thing he said this morning that the two times that God when
Christ came, there was the rich, young ruler and there was another Pharisee. And the rich,
young ruler was really seeking God with an open heart and really wanting an answer. The
Pharisee, he had a different motive. He was asking a question, what can I do to have eternal
life? He was asking a question to try to trip up Christ.
And I feel in every person’s life, God will break them down to move them from that wrong
motivation, and maybe the sarcasm that they would talk to God with or the arrogance. And bring
situations in their life to bring them down where they ask questions to God from a sincere heart.
And David found this very quickly. As a young person, he just became close to God.
vs. 17. He went down to the place where he met God. The hold is like in the wilderness, that
place where he and God had fellowship. That place where he would run away from King Saul
and some of his trials. And he would find God in the wilderness. Sometimes, that’s when we get
the closest to God is when we are in our wilderness situation and we get what we just heard
from P. Schaller just now. We get beauty for ashes. My capacity is like a popped balloon, like the
ones that you have to make a dog. Those balloons that they make. Balloon animals. And then
your kids play with them.
They get popped and it’s just like the head of the puppy and the whole
body is like [noise]. Spaghetti! God, here’s my capacity. This is all I got. What can you do with
this? God says I’ll give you beauty for that. I’ll use that popped balloon animal for my glory. I’ll fix
it. A smoking flax he won’t quench. A bruised reed. Remember P. Stevens used to teach what
that was, like the reeds for a flute. Those reeds, once they’re cracked, they’re good for nothing.
You can’t use it as a musical instrument. It can’t give a proper note. But God said I’ll use it. I’ll fix
Here’s David and in a similar situation like Christ was in. He’s in Gethsemane. He has all the
demonic forces that are against him. Here is David. He’s anointed king and now all of his
enemies come against him. vs. 18-19. That’s like eternal security for me. God, if I trust you, will I
be with you one day? Will I be in your courts? God would say, doubtless. Doubtless you’ll be
with me. Go live your life to my glory. Don’t be afraid of failure, cause doubtless you’ll be with me
on the other side.
Did you ever hear that story? I think I heard it in Bible college about – and I love this story. I
don’t know if it’s true. Hopefully it is. That the Golden Gate Bridge when they were constructing it
and repairing it, they had a lot of people that were falling off the bridge. Then, they had the
wonderful idea to put a safety net under there. And they put that there and then they had far less
people falling because they knew there was safety there.
That’s like what God is saying to David. Doubtless, you will win. So, David goes in vs. 20. Isn’t
that a great word, smote? You got to work that in to our modern day vocabulary. I will smite you!
vs. 20-21. Their idols, their gods were no match for the true God. That’s true in our life. When
people ask what we believe and we give them the answer of our faith, we give an answer, it’s no
match. The idols of this world are no match for what we have in our heart. The idols in the world
can’t help someone when they go through the valley of the shadow of death. So, we burn them.
I don’t need them, because I have the one true God. There’s no image that could portray him.
He’s the unknown God. You can’t see him but he’s everywhere.
So, this is the part that I think connects with Christ in Gethsemane. David, he has a great
victory. Now, something happens again in vs. 22. Now, this is like the same situation that David
just encountered. He just encountered the Philistines coming up. He just had a wonderful
victory, and now the Philistines come the same way. David could say I’m going to smite them the
same way I smote them before. We should conjugate the word “smite.” I’ll smite them the same
And but he doesn’t do that. He inquires of the Lord. This is like saying to God, not my will but
your will be done. In Bible college, a lot of students are saying there’s a lot of decisions that I
could make with my time, but I say God, what do you want from me? What would you like me to
do? Not my will but your will be done. David says that here to God. He inquired. It says David
inquired of the Lord again. And God said something different to him. I love that. God is so
unique. God said, no. You’re going to do something different.
This verse really spoke to us. Should we go into this new country like we went to Malawi? Should we go? We’re ready to go. We have everything ready. And God says, no. You won’t go up. You’ll go a different way. vs. 23-
24. David, you got the first victory. Now, I will go before you and I will fight for you. Isn’t that
I think if every person – you know, we have our own desires. For us sometimes it can be like an
idol. I’m a missionary. I have influence, you know. I enjoy that. When people ask what you do, I
can say I’m a misisonary. I’m a foreign missionary. And that can become like an idol. God can
say, can you just be a member in the Body? No, no. I’m a leader. And God says, maybe you
need to receive for a little bit. And can I take that and say God, okay. I’ll put that on the altar.
That’s not – what’s important? Is that going to get me through a cancer treatment? I’ve done this
in the past. No, it’s my relationship with God.
Can I take that and put it on the altar and say, okay, God. Not my will but your will be done. And put it there and say, okay. The issue in life is not what we’ve done in the past or what we’re going to do. The issue in our life is knowing you,
And in closing, the past few weeks I’ve been working a job where I drive and make deliveries.
And it’s been a wonderful, unique time. I work with a bunch of guys that I’ve worked with for a
long time. Every summer, I’ve done the same job for almost 20 years. And this time was really
special. One of the guys that work with us, his name is Josh Baldwin. Maybe a lot of you know
him. His dad, Moses Baldwin. He’s been in the Navy for the past 15 years. And he always brings
some of his friends to work at the job that we do. We work with a lot of believers and also a lot of
non-believers. So, a lot of times when we’re done working, a lot of guys will go and go drinking
and different things like that.
But almost every night we were together with some of his friends, it
felt like a moment in John 3 where they’re asking questions of Jesus. Jesus says, you must be
born again. And how can I be born again? And asking these kinds of questions. Every night, we
had these question from some of these guys that were Josh’s friends. Really sincere. How do I
know that this is true? How do I know? You’re a pastor. You’re a missionary. How do you know
what you’ve been doing all these years is really true, is really real?
And one question that really came that’s a simple question was, what is faith really? What’s the
purpose of faith? If I don’t really even believe in God, what could faith be like? I didn’t want to
give like the standard Hebrews 11:1 answer, cause it doesn’t have the capacity. Doesn’t even have
that mindset in his mind. I asked God, give me something for this guy who has a sincere
question. I feel like God gave this answer. Faith is the relationship that you have with your
daughter. That’s faith. You love that child. And you’re conveying the love to that child. What you
want from that child is a response. Do they recognize the love that you have for them?
And that response to the love that you are giving is faith. They trust. They say my dad or my
mom really loves me, cares for me, and they just smile. They don’t know how to say thank you
for loving me mom or dad, but they just love being near you. They give you a hug. That’s what
God wants out of the human race. He loves his creation, and he gave his life for his creation.
And he just wants a response, a simple response. Would you trust me? Would you trust that I
love you so much that I would give my life for you? P. Mat said that this morning when Christ looked at the rich, young ruler that he loved him.
The only place that it’s written is in the book of Mark. That’s why many scholars think that that rich, young ruler was John Mark cause he’s the one that recorded it cause it was real to him. And Gal. 5:6 says a faith that works by love.
And so, if we know that, if we know that this is the heart of God, and God puts a decision in our
path and says I care about you. I love you. You’re my child. Can you trust me? Can you say not
my will but your will be done? We say, God, I can’t do that.
I’m unable to do that. God says, I’ll put my heart in you. How about I put my heart and I’ll put my mind in you, and if you would just submit to that mind and that heart, you’ll be able to say it also. And I think it’s a daily – to me,
that’s what taking up the cross means every day. I say, God, I know you want what’s best for
me. Not my will but your will be done. And then God says, all right. Here we go. Here. Trade in
that broken balloon. I’ll give you something. I’ll give you a Ferrari, right? I’ll give you this for your
life. And it’s the best. It’s the best life that we can have, amen. It’s the best life. This is the best
life to be in communion with the Almighty God and just to respond to his love. Amen. (Prayer)
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.