Consider the eternal Person of Christ. God is very personal to us. He revealed His personal name to Moses at the Burning Bush. Progressive revelation in His purpose. We pray to the eternal God in the eternal Spirit. Every situation can be used. Even our neighborhoods are eternal. (2 Timothy 1:12)
Speaker(s): Pastor Steven Scibelli, Pastor Peter Westera
6:30 PM on 10/11/2020
P. Schaller –
When we were worshiping, I was thinking of people here in the church. Vicky Weyland and P. John, these two.
I think Friday night was the movie night outside in the parking lot. I heard there were 200
people and food and a movie on the side of the wall. We were up in PA with our pastors’
retreat by the campfire and bonfire. P. Liam was making jokes and P. Phil Norman. During the
day, P. Mike Plunkett spoke about prayer. Of course, so many brothers sensitive to God and
living in faith, supporting us, me, with a pure heart and us because we have a calling and a
vision to go into the world with the Gospel. It’s really happening, has happened, is happening
and will happen by God’s grace. I feel very honored to have a friend like P. Gary and Kathy. You
can go through this room and beyond and just say, wow!
We were on the deck eating lunch, P. Chuck Brookey and I and John and Sandy Williams and someone said, have you ever thought about the quality of women in our church? I said, what do you mean? They said it’s just
amazing. These women are so godly and study the Bible and they are so edifying and
experienced and I said, I know. It’s amazing. Also, we go on week, months, year by year. We
kind of learn. We learn and the Spirit is faithful to us to lead us and we find peace. There is a
great verse in Isaiah 48:18. It’s about God sending the Redeemer and the Redeemer says the Lord
sends me by the Holy Spirit. There is the Trinity in that verse. 16. If we will receive him, then our
peace will be like a river and our righteousness like the waves of the sea just coming and
coming and coming. That’s what I just love that. That’s what’s happening. Big Dave came up to
me and said, wow! That was all. Wow! I go, wow! That’s amazing. That’s amazing. I feel that
too. Wow! It’s just awesome. It’s amazing. Tonight, we are going to have two speakers. Both of
them are amazing guys.
The first one is P. Pete Westera. I mean what has happened in our youth ministry with P. Love and the team and P. Pete and the investment and his life. His life is amazing. Kim Shibley is another life. How do you do that? How did he raise five kids, run his household and voluntarily go to Washington, have a trailer loaded with sound equipment
parked in some back yard and with Kim Shibley Jr., go to the school, unload the equipment,
have a service, load it back and drive the trailer back and go back to work and do that and keep
at it year after year?! How does P. Pete Westera run a business and volunteer at the church and
visit kids and teenagers? Why does he do it? Someone said to me on the phone – how did it go –
how can you be a pastor? I would never want to be a pastor. How could you be a pastor? It
would be terrible to be a pastor. Don’t be one unless it’s in your heart and with all your heart
you want to be one. That must be God.
That’s amazing. Ian Thomas said one time when he was visiting in Lenox, I got to drive him to Lenox, He said don’t be a pastor unless God calls you. He said that to his son. In my life, it’s the greatest thing that has every happened to me beyond my salvation, meeting my wife, and meeting Dr. Stevens and this church and the rest happened. I
want to welcome P. Pete.
P. Pete –
I became a pastor for the money! It might surprise you it hasn’t worked out so well!
Actually, I grew up in a church where what I do is nothing compared to what many people do.
My whole life it’s all I ever saw. Whether it’s my mom or pastor or men overseas. The men we
were with this weekend is normal. It’s not normal and can’t be done but the Lord. He gets the credit. There’s no way. Psalm 22 last summer, I had something happened. Something happened
like it happens in our life and your life. A bump in the road or a little distraction or painful thing
or dramatic thing. It may be involving another person. These things can happen to us. When
they do, it’s crazy. I feel like I was in control of the bus of my life and then something happens.
Out of the back of my bus came my emotions and they grab me and throw me. I’m taking over.
You are not qualified. I’m taking over.
They grab the seat and stick the steering wheel in fifth gear and start directing. You know what I mean – rage, heartbreak, and I lost full control. That can happen. You talk a lot. The words aren’t wrong. There is lot of talking in the house. You go to bed and can’t sleep. Finally, you fall asleep and you wake up the next morning and
something is wrong. I call it a flesh hangover. I was so happy about that word. Thank you. Just
could you please always give me flesh hangovers? I could be right but something is wrong.
Something is wrong. Lot of thinking and experience and brain cells operating at full capacity but
the wrong person is driving the bus. Day 2 nothing changes. There are those cries to Jesus in
between my own thoughts and will power. Nothing changes. Day 3 I wake up again. Same thing.
Flesh hangover then the Lord Jesus.
Okay. I know what I have to do. Time to get on your knees. I get on my knees with my Bible and read half a verse from this thing right there and it was resolved just like that. After my family this is my most prized possession. It shocks me. This is what I read. Psalm. 22:1a that’s it. I started meditating on Jesus and have been ever since. It’s not even Easter but thinking of Jesus on the cross. Two realities. Two extreme realities. Two
opposite thoughts while Christ was hanging on the cross. The first was his heart. A meditation
on his heart. The outburst of our Savior is a revealing outburst of two realities. The first is the
very purity of his heart. So white, so pure, unadultered, full of love. Never sinned, full of purity.
Full of others. Full of you and me and everybody else. This beautiful heart has no interruptions.
No flesh. No selfish thoughts.
I love my wife and our love is growing. I think it’s growing because we are getting older and getting to know the Word more and more. There are less interruptions, less selfish thoughts. The less selfish we are, the more love enters in. Here is Jesus on the cross who never had a selfish thought. Can you imagine the love, not just one
lifetime but eternity? This beautiful, pure heart without interruptions now comes across the
second reality for the first time ever, sin. Sin enters the picture. Sin comes upon him. Sin is
present. I can’t imagine it. I can’t imagine that pure, beautiful heart touching or realizing or
seeing it coming. I don’t know how it goes. We know that he who knew no sin became sin.
What was that like? What was that pure heart? More innocent than any baby or anything we’ve
seen or known capable of producing hearts so pure. What was it like for that heart to come
across sin, not just one person but thousands of people’s sins?
Thousands of millions, anyone ever walked on this planet. Two realities collapsing into each other and with it, separation for the first time. That beautiful heart so one with God, so geared to God and God looking at Jesus
and Jesus at God and connecting every minute of every day and then sin. He cries. Of course, he
cries. He says, why God? He can’t handle it. How could he possible handle it? I love I can read
half a sentence and repent before God because of my selfishness. No movie has ever done that
to me. No words from a man could ever have done that. But Jesus could. He could correct me and change me. After the meditation, someone else comes out from the back of the bus. It’s
the Holy Spirit. He says get out. l’m in charge.
Peace comes into my heart. Like wow! I’m so
interested in the subject of the Holy Spirit in my life. I’m so interested in meditation on that. I’m
learning how to find him and sense him and see him in these beautiful ways. I don’t care what
is going on in your life. We were meant to be connected to the Holy Spirit. We were meant for
an eternal being to take over our thoughts and emotions and reactions. My soul was made for
him. That’s beautiful. Amen. Praise the Lord.
P. Scibelli –
Acts 9, this was the verse I read in 1976 when I asked Christ in my life. Somehow
God opened up to me the initiation of the Holy Spirit. Paul is on the road to Damascus moving
in a direction not eternal but is a purpose. He’s in something temporal as he is going forward.
Something takes place in his life. This has happened in all of our lives in some measure. Vs. 5.
Good evening. Great to be here. I think I’ve been gone for five weekends. Houston, Brooklyn,
PA, Tennessee, and Miami. After a while, the traveling thing gets to you. It’s the longest – other
than those trips – in my entire Christian life standing still and haven’t traveled overseas. It’s
been great and God’s timing. I was thinking of the person of Christ and getting to know him. I
love Philippians 3:10 that I may know him. It wasn’t about knowing himself first or knowing what God
does but I just want to know him. It’s in a personal tense with a desire to grow in knowing God.
I think this is vital for my life to know him continually, progressive in a personal way.
Even at the end of his life 2 Timothy 1:12. Even at the end, he just wants to know God. I want to know God in
every situation. No matter what is taking place. At times, the enemy likes to come in like a flood
and tell you what you are doing is insignificant. It’s just another day. No matter what is taking
place whether working in this world in business or raising a family, whatever it may be, it’s
important to understand how eternal and the effect that is eternal there is in my life and in the
Body of Christ and in the purpose of God. The enemy would like to get us thinking only in the
temporal. I hear people say I can’t wait to do this. The details of life. No such thing as the details
of life. That’s life. That’s what life is. That’s the way it is. That’s life. I was at a gas station trying
to get the water fixed on my wipers to wash the windows and I couldn’t get the hood up. The
man said you also locked your keys in your car.
I’m calling my wife and there is no pick up. I’m realizing it’s walking in the Spirit today. You don’t even know how to put your keys in your pocket! God keeps us in a place you really don’t know what you are doing. The guy said, see
your keys inside there! I will be back. I was thinking when I was walking of who God is. What
Jesus said about Abraham. Before Abraham was, I AM. I love that statement. I AM. It’s more
than those two letters put together. The scriptural understanding of I AM is. I AM not only
personal to you but eternal. Unchanging. Exodus 3:11-14. God meets Moses at the burning bush
after all these years of what Moses has gone through. Whom am I that I should deliver the
children of Israel from Egypt? It’s not about who you are. It’s about who God is. I AM is sending
you. He changed it a bit in vs. 13. I AM that I AM is sending you. Many have heard this even
from P. Ben. He added the I AM to say alone I AM but with you, I AM that I AM. That’s amazing
to understand who he is. Jesus said it in John 8:58.
Paul says it in 1 Corinthians 10. I am what I am by the grace of God. This brings us into the understanding of the eternal. If I’m always focusing on the temporal and natural, I can get distracted and look at life as a bunch of things piling up. I miss that which is eternal. When you approach tomorrow and the rest of the week, do we think
everything taking place because you and I are eternal, did you know that, everything we are
involved in can be a reflection of the eternal. Rather than saying it’s Monday morning and can’t
wait to get home from work and read my Bible when everything we do is the Bible. Everything
that seems tedious and mundane there is an eternal aspect to it. Rather than focus on the
temporal and the natural we begin to focus on the importance of the eternal. Moses had 40-40-
40 in his life. Boy was there some trouble there. Exodus 32, I don’t even mind dying right now. Ever
see some of the men that wanted to ask God to take their life?
At the end of Moses life, he was reflecting on the eternal. Underneath are the everlasting arms. He will thrust out the enemy. This is his testimony at the end of his life. 40-40-40 and 120 years and trouble on every side.
Driven out because of Exodus 2 and 3 and having to spend all those years with Jethro. I’m taking
care of sheep and with Jethro. This isn’t a few days. This is 40 years. He brings them out and
there is another 40 years with Israel in the wilderness. You could look at those 40’s. I calculated
this today. In an 80-year life there are 2, 488, 320,000 seconds. God saves us in a moment. Ezra
9:8, he could have had an attitude. He said the eternal God is my refuge, my shelter. He hides
me. I have protection from him. He carries me. Underneath are the everlasting arms. He’s going
to thrust out and give me victory. I’m looking at that which is eternal.
Some people and myself included I can get caught up in things temporal and yet God is eternal. I was talking to some men today that traveled to western Uganda. We have 9 churches out there and all nine of their
pastors are being trained in Bible school in another part of Uganda called [?]. So, tell me what
happened the last couple days? Where we are sleeping is not so hot. Between rats and
cockroaches, we have to fight things off all night. I said, you got an eternal home. I just started
talking of other things because I had to get them out of that which is, yes, a reality, but then we
just started talking about the eternal. Do you understand what is taking place in those people
lives as they learn grace and the finished work? As they learn about doctrine and a vision and a
purpose. Focus on the eternal. If I’m focusing on the natural, I’m not leaving the Ur of the
Chaldees. I love it how progressively patient God is with Abraham. Genesis 12 he takes him out. Ge
15, I’m your shield and exceeding great reward. Genesis 17 I’m El Shaddai.
Genesis 22 I’m Yahweh Jireh. He is showing him that which is eternal. He’s patient in that it’s progressive and comes to a place where there are no more problems so to speak. Also, with Luke and Peter. In Luke 5 they
are out fishing. They are doing what they do. Cast your net on the right side. Who is that guy?
He doesn’t look like a fisherman. They throw it out they have so many fish can’t haul it in. You
can see Jesus doing miracles with these fishermen. See how practical Jesus is and patient with
them. He stills the storm. We’re going to die! What is going on here? Something supernatural.
He stills the storm. He walks on water. Then he takes a coin out of a fishes mouth in Matthew. 17.
Then he has another miraculous catch in John. 21. Five miracles on their lake to progressively
teach them that which is eternal. I read a story about Mary Dyer. She was a Quaker. Puritans
didn’t like Quakers because Quakers talked about the Spirit a lot, being spiritual. They didn’t
like them that much. She goes from Rhode Island to Boston.
They imprison her. She is going to visit Quakers in prison because of their faith and they imprison her. They imprison her for a while and then they escort her back to Rhode Island. Three months later, she comes back again.
Prison again. She’s there for a while then they send her back to Rhode Island. She comes back
again the third time. Read about her sometime. Prison again. This time they are going to hang
her. They put a noose over her neck. They put a hood over her head. The contraption didn’t
work. They decided let’s send her back again. Guess what she did? She came back again. They
said we give up. What did Mary Dyer see? That which is eternal. She was entering into the
eternal while she is in this temporal life. This is what happened with Nicodemus. He didn’t get
it. Can a man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again? Living in the eternal. Am I
going to let finances control me or am I going to let the riches of his grace which reveals that
which is eternal get ahold of my life?
Am I going to let circumstances and situations and someone’s flesh dictate to me and cause me to live in my emotions when I could live in that which is eternal and initiate eternal things to people where they can be changed? I met a man on the street and he was aggressively arrogant. He was rattling on about politics and all kinds of
things. I sat there smiling. Aren’t you going to say something? I said, when you’re done. I put
my hand around him and said you know how much God loves you. He said even after all that
what I just said? I said yes. There can come in a moment of time something that is eternal, the
eternal Spirit, the eternal word of God, the eternal mind of God. The prayers we pray we throw
out there do we realize we are praying to an eternal God? All of a sudden something takes
place or something else takes place we don’t know about. It’s beyond the temporal, the
natural. We have eternal life.
I don’t want to just have it. I want to live in it. I want to respond to it. I want to believe it. I want to be on a boat in Acts 27 when everyone else says we’re going to die. We can’t swim! By the way, this night an angel of the Lord stood by me and told me the ship is going down but everyone is going to make it. I remember eternal moments. I remember
the first time I heard P. Stevens preaching from Psalm 16 and something eternal took place. You
read the Bible and you are reading not just something that is black letters on white pages but
I’m reading something that is absolutely eternal. All of a sudden, a verse or a word from God.
Didn’t we get a word from God that can change my life? Any situation we are in – financial
struggles, physical things going on, relationships not going the way they should go, all kinds of
things happening in the world and the atmosphere and in a moment of time. Isn’t that what
happens in the Rapture? In the what of an eye? In a twinkling of an eye we are gone. That’s
eternal. I know we are an awesome church and we believe.
Thank God we have eternal life and we’re eternal. Do you know this church is eternal? I think you know that, don’t you? This church is eternal. It was started by Jesus Christ who did an eternal work at the cross. I don’t want to
look at my life outside of that. It’s easy to get discouraged and to get thinking and to have
anxiety and then human reason and fears come up. God is saying I want to take you out of that.
Only way it’s going to happen is me coming into that where you are and bringing in what is
eternal. You are down at Johns Hopkins, aren’t you P. Mark? You are on an eternal mission. It’s
an eternal mission whatever you are doing. Don’t let the devil lie to you. Can’t wait until this
day is over. How about meeting the eternal God in the workday? He is my refuge, my shelter,
my protection, my hiding place. He wins the victory in every area of my life. He is eternal.
I love that. Jacob understood something about it when he was out of his way out of the Promised Land and God appeared to him in Ge. 28 and gave him seven promises. He realized God entered
in and something happened. He laid his head on a stone for a pillow. He’s leaving the promise
land and the promises and God meets him in a vision. I will keep you until I have done unto you
what I have spoken of. It happened in Genesis 32 again in the Ford Jabbok. God appeared to him
again. Here comes the eternal one. Here comes Jesus. Here comes the Holy Spirit. Here comes
the Father’s provision and protection. The flesh, the world, and the devil want me to think in
the natural. It’s another day. Driving a car to work is eternal. Everything we do because we have
eternal life in us. All these things are a part of it. It’s amazing how easy it is to slip into the
temporal or natural. Slide into it. Realize what is going on here. I’m losing my focus. Hebrews 11:27
he endured as seeing he who is invisible.
“Endure” means he staunchly held fast. God held him and he held God and he endured. Nothing we can’t endure as long as we are looking at he who is invisible. We are looking at God himself. That’s what they saw in Matthew 17. Before they went to meet the demon possessed child in the valley, they were on the mountain and saw Moses and
Elijah. What happens when we come to church and read our Bible is the fuel and the light that
we have to go through all the things that are happening in this life that we think that are
natural and temporal. God has allowed them. 2 Corinthians 4:17 would you repeat that for me? All
things are for your sake. How many things? All. You mean everything that is taking place is for
my sake? Hello? That problem, that test. Just as I think about that, can the eternal be affected
or infected by sin? No, the devil cannot affect the eternal. Troubles, trials, tests, confusion,
health, finances, politics – none of them can affect the eternal.
They cannot get in. We can let things in in our flesh and they begin to control us by what is taking place but those things cannot affect the eternal. It’s impossible. How can the temporal affect the eternal? God wants
the eternal to enter into that which we see as temporal. He said that all things are for your sake
that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
For which cause we what? Faint not. Faint not. Giving into evil and giving up is what the word
means. For this cause we faint not. Though our outward man is perishing, the inward man is
renewed day by day for our light affliction is for a moment but works for us a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Paul had the perspective. It’s all coming down around
me in Corinth. Ever felt like everything is coming down around you? It’s not what is coming
down around you. It’s who is living inside of you.
It’s God eternal. Our prayers, our word, our relationships, the Body of Christ, the vision, the purpose who has saved you and called you not according to your purpose but his own purpose which was given you in Christ Jesus before the world began. When did I get that purpose? Before the world began. What am I worried about?
God knew about this billion of years ago. Let’s be a people that continue to be receivers of that
which is eternal and watch how that has an effect not only in our own lives but people around
us. When they see us with joy. When everything else is nothing but misery all over the place.
When they see us with peace when there is nothing but confusion. I was thinking about Martin
Kindegare today. Martin, stand up for a moment. We were on the basketball court and I used to
wonder about the basketball court if it was temporal or eternal. We met him on the basketball
court in Kampala, WMCA. Remember the smell in that place? It was horrible. Did you ever play
basketball holding your nose in one hand and drippling with the other?
He came to Christ and to the church and to America. Debbie is there and his whole family is there. It’s amazing. You
can use every situation and ask God, God bring in that which is eternal. At my work place, in my
neighborhood. I told my wife, did you bake that apple pie for those new people next door? I ate
the whole thing! I ate three pieces and it was big too. It was an 8-piece pie. I ate the whole
thing in one day. It’s my fault. We are going to bring an apple pie to the people that just moved
in. There is not going to be any saw or razor blades. It’s going to be done with God’s love. I want
to see these people get to know God. Maybe they do. I don’t know. My neighborhood is it a
temporal thing or eternal that I could reach out to people. Creatively. Ask God. I’m afraid to do
that. Well, so is everybody else. Perfect love casts out fear. We enter in and that which is
eternal is in our life so I don’t fear death because I have eternal life.
I don’t fear the devil because he’s going to hell and I’m going to heaven. You’re going to get a new body. Say
hallelujah to that. Every time I put my socks on, I say that! It’s like a torture. Some of you will
find out some day. We’re going to get a new body. No sin, no evil, no sickness, no bills to pay.
We won’t have to vote because Jesus is elected. Vote here though! Vote here. We will be in an
eternal place. We will look back and say thank you God I have this eternal one living in my life.
He loves me and has eternal grace in 1 Peter 5:10, eternal mercy in Psalm 136, and eternal
faithfulness in Psalm 89. Thank you for that which is eternal.
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.