As sons and daughters of God, we don’t always get things right. This mean correction must come. God is faithful to discipline us as His children. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. We can learn to see the right things and do the right things by grace and the Spirit. And there is a cloud of witnesses watching us. (Hebrews 12:1-8)

Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon 11847
6:30 PM on 3/1/2020

 

P. Schaller –

I had an idea of one or two short popcorn testimonies from Bible college students on what God is doing in your life.
(Testimonies). I want to ask the church to be praying for Eurocon. We want God to move and
speak to hearts in Europe. God works. Sometimes it’s very slow and maybe I can’t put my finger
on it, but God is working. Don’t underestimate the day of small beginnings but you are living in
faith. Our theme is worship and living by faith. We’ll speak on that tonight. Turn to the person
next to you and around you and say what is God doing in your life?

Hebrews 12, Are you ready to hear a short message? A long one? Do we have a row of brothers from some other place? Salvation Army. Thank you. Love you guys. Come on. Amen. You guys are right there. Hebrews 12, I
need a lot of help from the Lord right now. I can tell it to you very simply tonight. That is about
being chastened or chastised. Being edified by love and truth in the inner man. Being edified
and built up a lot by God. That’s very important. God loves you. God loves you a lot. When the
woman had a sick daughter and she came to Jesus, he said I didn’t come to the
Syrophoenicians. I came to the Jews.

These are my words. I didn’t come to the dogs, the word for Gentile people. The woman took the rebuke and she said even the dogs eat the crumbs from the table. I’ll take it. That’s okay but I need help. I believe you. I trust you. You can call me a dog, but I’m looking for the crumbs from the Jewish table where you are in Israel doing
miracles and teaching and ministering and some falls off the table and I’ll eat the crumbs. Can
you heal my daughter? Remember what he answered. I have not found this kind of faith in all of
Israel. She could have been offended but she had faith. In our series here starting last week or
two weeks ago, we talked about feelings and reason. Feelings and reason is where we live
often. Hebrews 12:2

The Salvation Army brothers are looking unto Jesus. What are you looking at?
What are you looking at? It’s important. I think we could come up with a lot of things people
look at in this world and it leads them into a lot of trouble. What do you think? I got to get you
to talk back to me because you’ll help me out. You’ll either mess me up or help me out! What
are people looking at in life? Reason and how reason rules in the lives of people. There are so
many things that reason will do for us. To be reasonable, sensible, live you life and be
contented with reason. We live in human reason. When we are in Egypt and want out, there is
no way out by reason.

They traveled south to the Red Sea and they were cornered behind and
before. Reason would say there is no way out. With God he said to Moses, stand still and you
will see the salvation of the Lord. The Red Sea divided, and they went over. The things of God
require faith and when you look unto Jesus, you must see him by the eyes of faith. The second
thing so common with people are our feelings. How easily we are shut down by how we have
been confused, trouble, hurt, disappointed, discouraged. We live by feelings and by reason and
we miss God. If we live by God and look at God and looking unto Jesus – remember Lot and
Abraham. Lot lifted up his eyes and saw the Garden of Eden, Sodom and Gomorrah and he
chose that place.

There are people who move around the country based on climate, girlfriends,
jobs, opportunities, a lot of things based on reason and feelings. Hebrews 12:1, Noah and Abraham
and Sarah and Moses. These people are watching us. There is a cloud of witnesses. Someone
asked me what are they doing in heaven? I said I believe planet earth is a constant occupation
with the people in heaven. Not as though there is some anxiety. Nothing like that in heaven.

They are fascinated with our life of faith. They are looking at us walking and running and
looking unto Jesus whom they are in the presence of. We are living in our human bodies and
can’t see Jesus, but we are looking unto him. Jesus is in heaven anticipating for his enemies to
be put under his feet. If he is seated at the right hand of the Father and he’s anticipating, that
gives me the idea he is anticipating looking forward to the enemy being under his feet, coming
back here and putting things in order. Anticipating it and believing it’s going to happen and
knowing it’s going to happen. Why wouldn’t his people in heaven be anticipating the coming
kingdom? Our Father who art in haven hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. They’re watching us run the race. They have a view of history like no one has. You have the Scripture more open to you and alive than they ever had been. The coming kingdom
of God coming here on the earth. It says therefore we that are here let us set aside every
weight. What kind of weights? Heavy things. Little things. Disturbances. Troubles. Worries.
Sentences said by people. Division, heartache, brokenhearted, every worry and anxiety and
fear. Let’s set aside our differences. Let’s set aside things that trouble normal people. We are
on a mission. We are endeavoring. We are sent by God.

We are sent by God to bring a message. We have the empty tomb. We have forgiveness of sin. Our names are in the Book of Life. Let us run the race and set aside every weight. Ever get in an argument with someone and you said, don’t worry about it. You’re right. It’s going to get better and better. I’m with you. I care about
you. You are extremely very kind and flexible and working on it. You’re setting aside a weight.
I’m not a compromiser but some things it’s alright. I can be the mule. I can carry the offense. I
can eat crow. I can eat humble pie. God is bigger than all of this stuff. Something like that. Vs. 1.
The sliver.

Ever have one of those slivers in your finger? It’s almost microscopic. It’s so small but
it bothers you. There are things in our life that might trouble us very much. We realize my sin
can easily beset me. Easily. Discourage me. And beset me. Set me back on my heels. I don’t
want to run any race. I don’t want to run a race. I want to stay home and be discouraged. I got
hurt in my life somehow and I don’t want to run any race. Let us run with patience the race set
before us. When you run a marathon 27 miles, – I have never done it or care to do it. But if you
run a race 27 miles, you have to do it with patience. You have to pace yourself.

Figure out how to do it. Make a plan. I was once on an airplane talking to a guy and he told me how you do it,
how you get ready for the Boston Marathon. This life is a similar thing. I want to be able to run
the race set before me, but it takes some understanding that I will not get there by these two
top words, reason and feelings alone. Vs. 2. Looking unto Jesus. How do you do it? How do you
look unto Jesus? How can you see him? What direction do you point me in? How do I find him?
How do I navigate? How do I see Jesus Christ but through this Bible.

Learn to get on your knees and pour over the Scriptures. Read it slowly, word by word, and focus on it. Don’t let the cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches choke out the seed of the Word of God but nurture it
believe it and walk in it. How do we look unto Jesus? By getting my face in the Bible and coming
to the church and seeing my sisters and brothers. Reading missionary biographies and stories
about people of faith. I heard a beautiful story this morning Pirjo told me. They were knocking
on doors and they met this man who was in tears. His son was shot dead on the street in
Baltimore. I think it was three weeks ago. They asked who he was.

They found out that four weeks ago there was a boy 23 years old on the street. They shared the message with him, and he received Christ. Come to find out it was the same boy that was murdered a week later. They
were talking and they realized and the people in the area knew about this. The man said I was
praying recently that God would show me a sign my son is okay. That he is in heaven. Beautiful.
How do you look unto Jesus? Those stories help me look unto Jesus. We had a video this
morning from the Cambodian team. They showed the picture of the riverboat where they have
their weekly meetings.

They pay $15 every time they meet there. They gather the people and
share the message. We can see and believe God is at work in Cambodia. We are looking unto
Jesus because Jesus Christ is in that work. Vs. 2. Looking unto Jesus. What are people looking
at? It’s powerful what I look at. If it’s the wrong thing, it can change my whole life. I’m looking
at the wrong thing. I’m not looking to Jesus. I’m looking at the wrong thing. I’m so angry, upset,
or hurt. I’m so disappointed. I’m looking at the wrong thing. Jesus is the author and finisher of
our faith. Faith. He’s the author and finisher of our faith. Vs. 2b.

Did he have feelings? Yeah, he despised the shame of it. Did he have pain? Yes, he did. But he did it by faith. Was he hanging on a cross? He was hanging there by faith. What about the Christian? What about us? Things
we go through in our lives that are hurtful and difficult, but we do it because God is bigger. You
skip down to verse 5. I don’t know about you, but I think we are in a generation where corporal
punishment is not aloud. It’s illegal. You can’t beat children. Of course, I embrace that. We do
not beat children physically. At the same time, there was a time when that was accepted and
done. A switch, a physical chastening, a corporal punishment on a child.

There is a chastening that comes from God on the believer and it hurts you. You may not be able to endure it. It can
work bitterness in you. God, you are dealing with me too harshly. I don’t accept it. I cannot take
it. These kinds of words are understandable maybe. The context is take it and look unto Jesus
who also suffered but lived by faith and trusted in what his Father was doing. He did not go
against the Father. He accepted it. He understood this is the plan. Despising the shame. He
endured it. I’m saying this to myself and all of us think about it. Is there anything that would
happen in my life that would turn me away from God?

We were evangelizing in Dundalk and I met this woman at the shop. I was very kind to her. She was kind too. She said don’t talk to me about God. I said okay. I won’t. I stood there and was waiting. I said, why are you angry? She
said I lost my sister and my mother recently. I cannot handle it. I cannot talk about God. I’m
angry with God. I said I understand. I understand. Maybe someday. She said that’s what my
husband tells me. Maybe someday. Maybe that will change. Maybe someday. I don’t know
anything about this woman’s spiritual life or background. My intention was to share the gospel
and lead her to Christ, but she’s not ready.

I can always go back because I know the shop where she is. I think there are believers that have the same problem. They do. That’s why this is written. Vs. 5. Do not faint when you are rebuked of him. Don’t faint. I don’t know. Have you met anybody who has somehow turned away and gotten kind of very emotional about it. Look
on our screen. Feelings are powerful. I’m angry. I’m disappointed. Okay but looking unto Jesus
who is our example. He could have felt and sensed an amazing sense of emotional rejection and
disappointment, an amazing sense of being let down by his heavenly Father, but he endured it.
He went through it. He made it. He believed. He lived by faith, didn’t he?

This is how he overcame. That’s how we do it, too. We go by faith. There are many times in our lives if in the
past or the present or the future, I think there are times everything is brought into question.
That is why you have to be so careful to be rooted and grounded not in reason but in Christ. Be
in so rooted and grounded not in your good feelings. Everything is great. It’s amazing how
everything is working out. I hope it continues that way. So do I. I hope so. But here we are
reading something I think sometimes it’s avoided in our Bible teaching. Sometimes we don’t
read it as it is written there.

Whom the Lord loves he chastens and scourgeth every son whom
he receives. Vs. 7. I wonder what God’s beatings look like. When the Jews came out of Egypt
and they went into the wilderness, he said I led them into the difficulty to learn to live by every
word that comes from my mouth. Not live like it’s a recreational or what do you call those
places? A health spa or something. I brought them this way so they could learn to live by faith.
When you have troubles, sometimes when you have troubles God is so present with you in the
trouble.

The Spirit of God is teaching you. I am your food. I am your door. I am your way. I am
the answer for what you need. I am your reasoning. I am the wisdom. I am the answer for your
life. How comforting it is. Vs. 8-9. There are so many people in this church who have a great
track record of living by faith. They have been through so many trials and we look at them and
they keep on going in faith. There is some beautiful treasure that is there written in their
countenance, in their hearts, written in heaven and written in the glory of God.

I have to say I think this is written to say we run the risk, we stop looking unto Jesus and I start looking at my
life and I’m disappointed. I stop looking unto Jesus and I start looking at people who have this
and that and what happened to me. I start comparing myself and how blessed they are, and I
look at myself and I stop looking unto Jesus who is hanging on a cross, buried in a tomb,
rejected, the offscouring of all things, rejected by his own people, buried in a cold tomb. The
Father looking down from heaven saying this is my son the Savior of the world and saying come
forth and sit down at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool. This is our
example. That’s my message for tonight.

Amen.

 

 

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