Israel’s parents were teach their children to give thanks for the what God had done so that they would remember Him and His ways. He brought the people out. Today, He gives us power to work and to live and to love. We should make altars in a sense; that is, kneel before the Lord and give Him the stuff we count as precious. We offer our lives. (Exodus 13:14; Deuteronomy 8:17-18; Revelation 7:11-12)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 11/24/2019
P. Schaller –
I could interview P. Steve for a second and ask him a couple questions. That was so good what he said about the
holiday. How many folks as a family tradition you get together and have a thanksgiving dinner
together? He said something about reconciliation. Is that right? Can anyone, do you understand
what he is saying? Let’s ask him more specifically what do you mean by that? Reconciliation?
Well, you know. Families, they are families, and they are family-like which means we step on
toes and we say things and sometimes those things become long estrangements. We want
those things to be healed.
What do you think? Right, so, we are in church and maybe God will
say something to our hearts about that. Forgiveness, love, kindness, prayer, encouragement in
our families. Isn’t that important. What was the other thing you said? Too much about turkey!
Let’s see, we’re going to get together. After the service, we go down the sidewalk and they got
250 pounds of turkey breast that have been cooked and that will be for us to eat right after
Everybody is welcome. Last minute, get on your iPhone and invite all your
relatives to come down here to 6025 Moravia Park Drive! Could we – oh, no, no, – could we
expect that God could do some beautiful work this week? Even the months ahead of us and in
this season and with the people we love and also maybe estranged. God can do something and
there can be disappointments in our hearts with people we love and each other but actually to
learn how to be stable and to learn how to be wise when you are under stress. Learn how the
Spirit can lead and guide you.
We are speaking to each other as brothers and sisters and we all
have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and our Comforter, and he’s going to teach
us and lead us. We’re going to have a good time. That’s what I believe. Amen. One last thing –
hey! You are a believer, so you are different from an unbeliever. Unbelievers sometimes they
have hatred. We have a different kind of hatred. We don’t hate people. Do you hate people?
Turn to your neighbor and ask them. Do you hate people? is there anyone that you hate? Okay.
Hold it! Hold it! Let’s see, why we don’t hate people, but we do hate a lie, Ps. 101. I hate lies.
Lying. I hate iniquity.
Jesus said he loved righteousness and hated iniquity. There are things we
hate but it’s the right kind of hate. It’s different. It’s spiritual. But we don’t hate people. We
love people and pray for people, but we hate the lie that a person could be saying. We hate the
lie, but Jesus came into the world to minister for us, for people that are lost and to save us.
Why do I say that? How about our country? You don’t hate a county. How about your
neighbor? You don’t hate your neighbor. You love your neighbor. We don’t have hatred. We
have love. Things are wrong, fine.
We are here to be part of a solution. We are here to have
love in our hearts and love our neighbors and love people different from us. To learn how to be
stable in an emotional world and insecure world. We learn how to think and how to be stable in
a world and love people that are different from us. The Spirit of God is love. Look on the cross.
That’s what the world things of God. They hate him. They crucify him. They are deceived. We
are in a world that is essentially wrong. If the world hated me, it will hate you. If the world
hates me, that’s fine. I expect that.
That’s a spiritual thing. But we don’t return hate for hate. We return love. God is love and God dwells in us and we walk with God. We live in love. Something to think about. A little warm up. God bless you. Turn to your neighbor and say good to see you today. God bless you in very way. Jesus is with you. Happy Thanksgiving. How manyfolks are here visiting from another country? P. Philippe, this is your sister. Good to have you
from France. Great to have you. Teija, was Josh sitting next to you? Is that Josh? Teija’s son Josh
is here somewhere from Budapest.
Then we have these folks from Finland, Mika and Samantha from the Helsinki church. That’s from Finland. Excellent. Do we have anyone else? We’re speaking about Thanksgiving. This week an American holiday. On Thursday, families get together and we have this from Abraham Lincoln made a proclamation in 1863. After the union forces won two big victories., Vicksburg and Gettysburg and then he in October asked the
country and this is what it says: “Therefore I invite my fellow citizens to set apart and observe
the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who
dwells in the heavens.
And I recommend to them while offering up the inscriptions dost justly
due to him, they do also” – this is important “with humble penitence of our national
perverseness and disobedience commend to his tender care all those who have become
widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are
unavoidably engaged, and fervently employ the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the
wounds of the nation and restore it as soon as may be consistent with divine purposes to the
full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.” What great language, huh? Wow. So
since then, we’ve been celebrating this day.
I believe nine times in his presidency he asked the country to be thankful or to repent. There were times it was a day of fasting, a day of repentance for our sins as a nation. Well, can we talk that way today in the public platform of
asking the nation to reflect on anything we are doing wrong as a nation and to seek God in
prayer and in faith? Times have changed but the Spirit of God in our hearts is the same and that
is that we are serious about what it is to walk with God and trust in him. Deuteronomy. 8 for one text
today. If you were in the 9:00 service, this was the chapter I couldn’t remember. It was on the
tip of my memory, but I couldn’t pull it in. I couldn’t remember exactly but this is the principle.
When the Jews came out of Egypt, God at Sinai taught them they were to be worshipers. They
could not just come to God naturally.
They had to have a priesthood, and they had to have a
tabernacle, and they had to have animal sacrifices. They had to be holy. God is holy and we are
not. In the wilderness, he was teaching them how to come. That’s what the book of Leviticus is
about. It’s about coming before a holy God but not empty. Coming with blood, with oil and with
incense. In Exodus. 13:14, the Lord said to the Jews when you come out of Egypt and your son asks
you what is this? When you come out of Egypt and on the other side of the Red Sea and
celebrate the Passover and your son says what is this.
Exodus. 13:14 there’s a couple things to say about it. When I came to church this morning I saw Andy Castro and his little son who is about this tall. His footsteps are about this long. He’s following his dad. I thought about this. Your son will sometimes say dad, why do we go to church? Dad, what’s missions? Dad, why do you read
the Bible? Dad, why do you believe in God? And in this case, Dad, why did we come out of
Egypt? Why do we celebrate the Passover? Why do we eat the lamb? What’s the meaning of
the blood? Dad? And if I don’t have an answer, if I can’t tell my son why I do this, why I believe.
Then he’s going to be left to invent his own thing and have his own ideas.
What is this? I believe not today but some day in the future that’s going to be a great message that phrase, “when my son says what is this?” That’s a great message. As parents I need answers. One reason why I have them is because I’ve been with you. I believe God has ordained the Body of Christ to be
wise and to know this book and understand the answers in life. It’s beautiful when your son
says dad, why do we prayer? Why do you love mom? Dad, why do I go to school? Dad, why do I
have to love Eddie? He’s a bad guy. And so on.
What is this? Then the answer, you shall say unto him. God is saying, you shall say unto him Another comment. Do you know that Jewish families typically don’t have the same problems – they have the same problems – but somehow the Jewish family this is like traditionally generally speaking they don’t have the same problems
other families have. They keep it tight. They talk to their kids. They talk to their kids. They warn
their kids. They teach their kids. One of the problems in our culture today is that the parents
are not talking to their kids. One of the problems is they don’t know what to say to their kids.
The Lord said here to the Jews, when your son says what is this, you shall say unto him. That’s a
When? Supper time. When? When they go to bed. What book are you going to read
them when they go to bed? When? In the morning when they have their Cheerios. What are
you going to be saying to them? Who are you going to talk to them, lead them, guide them? We
are in the United States of America and we are having a holiday. It’s called Thanksgiving. Does
any young kid say to his dad what does Thanksgiving mean? It means football. It means turkey.
It means family time. We have family time and what are you going to say to us? What is the
meaning of the holiday? What’s the meaning of coming out of Egypt? What’s the meaning of
the church? What’s the meaning of living by faith?
Isn’t that good. I’m not here to blame
anyone. I’m not here to embarrass anybody. I’m not here to shame any of us. I as a dad give all
the credit to my wife for the good things that have happen. I’ll show you what we do do in a
minute. I want to say something about it. Vs. 14. You know why? We have a great tendency to
twist things around. God didn’t bring us out of Egypt. What happened? Do you remember?
When Moses went off to the mountain, and they were left, what did they do? They made a
golden calf. What did they say? The golden calf brought us out of Egypt. They did say that. Did
you know that? We could take the time and read it.
This is what brought us out of Egypt. Should we try and find it. I’m going to get off of my message but it’s fun to teach you. We get things upside down. We do. Why are you thankful? Because we got Walmart’s all over the country. I had a 52-inch TV screen and now I have a 72-inch TV screen. I am thankful. Okay, now turn to
Deuteronomy 8. Did I already ask you to turn there? Deuteronomy. 8:17, how did you get wealthy? My hard work.
How did you succeed? I climbed up to the top. I did it. How did the United States of America
become a wealthy country? Because we worked hard at it and we did it. Because there is
talented people. Because of commitment. Because of sacrifice.
We did it. God said to the Jews. Don’t think too highly of yourself. You are the smallest of the people it says in Deuteronomy. You are the weakest, the smallest of the people in number. They were 70 people in number
when they went down to Egypt. God multiplied them in Ex. 1. When he brought them out it
wasn’t their strength that got them out of Egypt. It was God. After you get the cities and the
vineyards and you take over the Philistines and the Canaanite territories and take over those
cities, don’t think it’s you guys that did that. That wasn’t you, but you’re going to think it is.
You’re not going to get it. You’re going to stop being thankful and broken and humble. You’re
going to be proud and strong and you’re going to say I did it. That’s the idea here. Vs. 18. Do we
forget him? Yes. Look at that. It is he that gives you power. Let’s change those words a little. It
is he that gives you power to get wealth. Change the word power. It’s he that got you up in the
morning. It’s he when you sat in the car and turned the key and it started. How many can say
amen to that one! It was God that did that and the battery. I ate lunch. It was God that gave
you the power to eat the lunch. I had a conversation. It was God that gave you the power to
have the conversation and think a sane thought. It was God that did that. When you got your
paycheck, it was God that gave you that paycheck.
No, it wasn’t. It was the company I work for. Yeah, okay. I’m saying I understand that. But this is what he is saying. We don’t understand life as it really is. That so much of life we feel is because of us and if lose that then we’ll be where we are today as a nation. We could easily become proud walking around feeling and thinking
what it was that we have instead of realizing this is God’s grace that we have what we have. As
individuals, it’s his grace that gives us our health, makes us stand vertical, that gives us sanity.
It’s his grace that gives us his Spirit and love.
It’s his grace that allows us to hang out together and have a friend. It’s his grace that gives us a healthy child if we have one, and if we don’t have one, we have a sick one, we take that also as the hand of God in my life. It tells me that everything works for God. He’s a living God. We’ve lost our way because we have forgotten
about God. That’s something, isn’t it? You got it, right? Now we go to the diagram that we used
here a lot. You’re tired of it I know but bear with me. The whole universe is like a huge house.
The whole universe and all of it’s elements, heaven included. The whole universe including God
The average person lives only on the first floor of the house. They only live according to what they see and feel, and they have their senses, their thoughts, my perceptions, things that happened to me good things and bad things. My natural world that I’m born into. My first birth. I’m born into this world and I have my natural life. It’s very limited. I
live 70 years here of life and for me that is coming to an end pretty soon. I got only a couple left
and that’s it. I’m done. Maybe it’s longer. Anyway, it’s ending. Jesus came into the world to
show us the invisible world. Have you seen it. Have you seen it? Jesus said to Nathaniel you will
see angels coming and going on the Son of Man. He said I see what my Father does. He said I go
to prepare a place for you. If it wasn’t so, I would tell you. I love that little phrase. If it wasn’t so
I would tell you. I don’t want you to be misled.
I will tell you if it isn’t true, but it is true. I prepare a place for you. The third heaven where the Apostle Paul went. It’s the upper story of the house. We can say there are people there today, halleluiah, in great numbers. There are
angels and there is God. Christ is our high priest who has entered into the holy of holies not
made with hands. We look for a city whose builder and maker is God like Abraham in Heb.
11:16. We haven’t seen it, but we walk by faith and the Spirit is our teacher. He reveals it to us
in his word and we are born again. Now God is our father and we are the household of God,
Redeemed by his blood, indwelt by his Spirit and called by his name in Jeremiah. 15:16. The
Spirit is our teacher and our comforter. He guides us and shows us things we haven’t
understood before. One of the things about Thanksgiving, it’s category #1, we are thankful as
they’re in heaven today. We read about it in Revelation. 4:11, chapter 5 and chapter 7. We have a lot
of worship in heaven. It will happen to us when we leave our body and go to be with God. It will
be overwhelming. It will be incredible.
It will be the first time we’ve understood that what we have believed is true. We understand it now in part, 1 Cor 13. When we see it, it will be praise and thanksgiving of a huge magnitude. We will say glory to God in the highest. Let’s look at one of those portions. Revelation. 7:11-12, Wow! That will be amazing. Worshiping God. The details of
life on the first floor of the house that’s all clear now to us. Pain, death, suffering, demonic
activity, lies, deception, blindness, all these things we are seeing, understanding like never
before. This is what we will say in vs. 12. We could say that realistically there’s no end to this.
It’s just incredible understanding amazing worship of realizing who this person is.
This is God. We will see like never before. Now, we kind of taste it. It’s like rapping on the pipes, Morse
Code in a prison. One prison upstairs rapping on the pipes. I now there is someone there. They
are talking to me in Morse Code, but I can’t figure it out. That’s like God speaking to us today.
God is showing us. He’s saying things to us and we understand it a little. Christ came into the
world and he showed us the Father. That was better. He was better than Moses, than Joshua
than the angels. He’s a better mediator, better sacrifice, better blood, better covenant. This is
in the book of Hebrews.
This word better is 11 times. A better city, a better inheritance, a
better priesthood. Now we see that. When we believe in Christ, this is what happens. We
become alive and become worshipers of God. We worship God by faith. The Spirit of God fills us
and teaches us, and we said yes. I do see that. I believe in it. Though I cannot see it with these
eyes, I see it in my heart. I see it by the Spirit of God in the message. I see it in the Spirit of God
in the Body. I see it in works of faith that we do. There is a verse in Ecclesiastes that says in the
day of prosperity be joyful. In the day of adversity consider, Ecclesiastes. 7:14. Put that verse up for me.
In the day of prosperity be joyful but in the day of adversity, put in another word.
Not consider. In the day of adversity be depressed. Be emotional. Day of adversity get rippin angry. Start
swearing at God and become hateful and angry. The day of adversity what does it say?
Consider. Be stable when it’s hard and you have adversity and get God’s mind. He hasn’t
promised you that every day will be prosperity. He has told us both will happen. Adversity too.
When adversity comes, and I have three points. When good things happen – I walk across the
parking lot and find a $100 bill. Probably you wouldn’t find it in this parking lot but some other
parking lot! You go wow! Thank you Lord! Do I have to return this somewhere? When you get a
good phone call from the doctor.
When your estranged daughter comes home. When you get a promotion in your job. In the day of prosperity, be joyful. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s easy to be thankful when you got that one-hundred-dollar bill in the Sam’s Club parking lot. Many things personal I can be thankful for and learn that. Helen Keller said, and she was the lady in the 19 th century deaf and dumb because of a childhood sickness. Was it meningitis? She said so much
has been given to me – she’s deaf and dumb and blind – that I have no time to ponder that
which I don’t have. Joni Erickson Tata, “giving thanks is not a matter of feeling thankful. It’s a
matter of obedience.”
A historian said the Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.
Nevertheless they set aside a day of thanksgiving.” In the day of prosperity, be joyful but when
the Pilgrims came and they had 7 times more graves than huts, they could consider. They could
say, God brought us across the ocean. Some of us have survived our first year. Maybe we’re
going to survive another one and it will be God that helps us. We can concentrate on what we
lose but maybe we should be more thankful with what we got. I have a troubled marriage, but I got a marriage.
I don’t know. Maybe God is using marriage as a way of training me and teaching
me that I should not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out of God’s mouth.
Maybe the mind of God. Let me consider when I am in a time of adversity and be wise. Because
unfortunately, my adversity can lead me into processing it and I get into more adversity and I
process that into more adversity because I left out God in my adversity, right? He said to the
Jews that when you get into the land, remember where you came from.
Isaiah says Abraham remember the rock you were hewn from and the pit you came out of. In a way, the Jews did
come out of a pit because Joseph was pulled out of a pit and sent to Egypt and God turned it
around and saved the nation. Sometimes the prophets would demean the Jews. They would say
your mother was and they would use a degrading term who their mother was. Cuz the pride
easily comes in life. As Americans we may have the wrong kind. It can happen. Whoever we are.
Or you got diplomas or money or success or whatever it is. Thanksgiving is just a big part of life.
George Mueller who opened an orphanage with a thousand orphans in the late 19 th century had
no food one morning. “he called all the children and staff together and prayed, thanking God
for the food which wasn’t there.
A few minutes later a baker knocked at the door. He told Mr. Mueller that God had led him to bake bread the night before and give it to the orphanage. Before the bread was given to the children, a milk man knocked on the door. He said the milk truck had broken down and he wanted to give milk to the orphanage.” It is true. That in my
adversity I consider and maybe God could teach me something and I could turn it around.
Maybe something happens. An answer. I want to warn all of us. I might not get the answer I’m
looking for. I might say I don’t have that testimony. Maybe I don’t have that answer but God is
with me anyway. Of course he is.
I like it that our faith, we have real things that happen. Someone said about work and prayer. Work and prayer go together. When I go to work, well, I go to work and get things done. I go to prayer and I might get things done in prayer. You might say, but that’s prayer. I have to go to work and it’s not going to get done unless I go to work.
But the same thing can happen in prayer. I might not get something because I’m not really
looking for it. I’m not praying. I’m not thinking it’s important. I met one brother who said I don’t
pray. I said why not? He said it’s all a matter of God’s will. If God wills it, it will happen. Why
would I pray for it if God is Almighty and he can do his thing.
But I said it’s the same with work. If you don’t make a sandwich, you won’t have a sandwich. And if it’s God’s will you’ll have a sandwich. But I find in life if I wait for God to make me a sandwich, I’m sitting at the table
waiting for God to make me a sandwich then I won’t have a sandwich. What are you doing? I’m
waiting for lunch. Why don’t you make a sandwich? Because if God wants me to have a
sandwich, he can make the sandwich and give me the sandwich. Apparently, he doesn’t want
me to have it. Well, maybe God gave you the ability to make the sandwich, so go make a
sandwich. Then you’ll have a sandwich.
In the same way prayer. Maybe you don’t have it because you are not asking. I’ve been waiting for God so his will to happen. Maybe his sovereign will wouldn’t be that will that is going to happen if you don’t pray. Why don’t you
pray? Maybe that’s his will that you would pray. How about that! I’m confused! I’m glad you
understood something about it. You probably just understood what I said a lot better than I did!
The Holy Spirit said something to you! That’s awesome! That’s amazing! Okay. Closing part here: I think we should stop and make altars at times in our lives. We should have an altar of
thanksgiving. I had an idea because I travel across the Atlantic Ocean.
Many years ago I started doing that. I thought I could put a pole in my yard, like a 2X4 and every time I come back, I put a mark on it. Years ago I had that idea. I never did it. I wonder how many 2X4’s would be in my
back yard with all those notches on them. Every time I could come home and kneel down and
say thank you. I went over there and came back. Thank you, Lord. How about it? We can make
altars. When you buy a home, I do this when we bought a home and so thankful I can’t even
believe I have a house. What? Me? A house? And go into a room, no furniture, it’s empty but so
thankful and kneel down and have an altar.
Thank you. Thank you for the United States of
America. I mean that in a spiritual way. Thank you that I have freedom. Thank you that I have a
Bible. Thank you that I have friends. Thank you that I have a refrigerator and there is food in the
refrigerator. Thank you that I have a passport. Thank you that the police are not knocking on
my door at night and taking me off to jail. That day may come but hasn’t come yet! I’m just
joking. Hey, thank you, God, for all this that we have. When Noah when he finished one year of
this whole thing with the water the flood, floating, waiting, animals on the ark and the whole
thing happening and the water drying up the land. He built an altar to the Lord. He took every
clean animal and every clean bird. ‘
Can you imagine the animal and the bird talking back to you.
They said clean animal. Are you kidding me? I just made this trip. I was for one year on that
boat. Are you kidding me? You’re going to kill me? I just survived that incredible thing with you,
and we became family! And now you are sacrificing me! Yes, yes. Put your head down on the
block! Noah built an altar to the Lord. Offered burnt offerings on the altar. You know the thing
that could be precious to me I could offer up on the altar and say to God you are bigger. You are
greater. You are worthy of this precious ointment that they poured out on Jesus. You are
worthy of my life and everything.
You are God. And one day in heaven they will say it. They are
saying it today very day. It’s overwhelming. It’s obvious. It’s clear. It’s so amazing. Everything in
this world is subject to this amazing person of whom we can hardly grasp the content and the
magnitude of who he is. Now we live in this world by faith. Thanksgiving is in this nature. 1) his
nature, 2) the good things and the bad things that happen to you in a personal way, and 3)
those things happening to other people. You got a good marriage. Thank God. May God bless
you. You have a group of beautiful kids. God bless you and multiply and bless you.
God has answered prayer over there. God has done a good thing over there. God has answered prayer
in history. God has answered prayer for others and doing great work. This is a lot of reason to
be thankful. It’s our new nature. Thank you O Father that you have not revealed these things to
the wise and prudent, but you have revealed these things to these children, to these babes, to
these fisherman. Thank you Father that your ways are not the ways of the world. Thank you
and you are glorified in it and praise you. That’s it. Beautiful. 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.