Fear can control us. Enticements come and so spring many leaks in the cistern that are in us. But God has given a love that doesn’t run out. He pours out His Spirit and the Word. (Proverbs 1; Jeremiah 2:13; 1 Corinthians 13)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 10/23/2022
P. Schaller – Great band here.
Singers, excellent. Jesus Christ is our Savior. He’s our Lord and Savior, wow! Heather is here
today. It can’t get much better than that. Thank you, Lord. It’s a good day. Praise God. Amen.
Today our theme is about love. Love. You’re going to crawl out of here this morning. It’s pretty
– wow! It’s a great subject. You’re going to be built up and edified this morning as we share that
message on God’s love. It’s good. We’re going to do a baby dedication this morning, also. P.
Jason is going to do that. We’re going to see some families up on the stage in a little bit, a few
minutes, with babies and young people and dedicate them to Christ. How many are a part of
that? How many are into that? Okay.
Now, how many know what a bank account is that you put money in the bank, and then what
usually happens? What? It disappears! You draw money out of the bank. I want to say
something as an introductory. We have love tanks. This is a love tank. What’s wrong with this
tank? It’s got a leak here. Does your bank account you put money in, does your bank account
have a leak?
How about your love account in your family? You put a lot of love in your family and then
there’s actually some leak. Where is this written in the Bible? The idea is in Jeremiah 2:13. Put that
up on the screen and there it is. Your job right now is to read that verse and talk to your
neighbor about it and how that relates to what I just said. I’m going to walk over there for a
minute or two and you’re going to do your job and I’ll come back and do my job. Okay? Go
Okay. How are you doing? Let’s read it. Two evils. Regarding the tank here, there has to be a
source. Where does the love come from? Or if you say this is a bank account, where does the
money come from that goes into the account? They have forsaken the source. There’s two
things they’ve done wrong. They have forsaken the source.
But this is God. They have forsaken me, God. They don’t have any flow inside. Now, what we
are talking about is our lives and that we need God in our lives. That’s our theme today is this
one. That we need God. We need the fear of God. We’ll speak on that this morning. This is the
first thing. This is the problem that people don’t have God.
But they have a love tank but the source is not God. There’s some other source. The nature of
man loves. But he can’t love like God loves. And also, not only is the source not God, but it’s
self-love or passion, lust. It’s my own devices. My own kind of love. I have forsaken God.
And the second thing is there’s a leak there. Look at it. vs. 13. The word “cistern” is a rock they
would cut out of the limestone in Israel. There’s a lot of limestone there. It’s soft rock. You can
carve out a holding capacity for water. Ground water running off the ground into the cistern.
They would have big cisterns the size of this stage and as deep in the ground and the water
would run off into the big cavernous cistern. He says they cannot hold water because they are
broken. There’s a crack. There’s a leak. This is what is the problem with people. We don’t have
the source and then we have a holding tank that is leaking. Leaky bucket. Leaky holding tank. I
have my limits. We will explain that this morning and also encourage you in what Jesus Christ
has done for you and me. I’ll say a couple more things about it.
This leak is really the fear of man. It’s connected with my fallen nature, and I actually am afraid
of people. I’m afraid of society. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of what you are going to say
about me. I’m afraid of how you are going to perceive me. I’m afraid of people. It’s a good
indicator that I don’t have love.
When I’m afraid of people, it’s a good indicator that I don’t have the love that is of a higher
order, the love of God which has no fear. The love of God that is really making us who we are.
We are bigger than our problems because we have God. When you have God and you can hold
that capacity of love, you’re able to love and love and love. This is the work of God. It’s the
Spirit of God in you. It's the nature of Christ in you.
But what happens is we invest in the love bank but there’s a leak. This is where we just find
there’s a constant deficiency. Constant lack. Constantly a problem in my family that just doesn’t
go away. You need to change or this has to be corrected and we easily live like feeling all the
time that we have some problem and we lack this satisfaction. We lack the sense of
There’s another picture and it is this one. We have God. God is the source that is constantly
there. God is coming in. He is satisfying us. We have a capacity for love. We can love as God
loves. This is our message today. Amen. So, turn to your neighbor and say, what’s he talking
about? While you’re doing that, P. Jason is going to come up. (Baby dedication).
God is doing something right now. Isn’t that a good word? God is doing something right now.
Right now. That’s a good word. This is Pastor Appreciation month so I’d like to have – if you are
a pastor, would you like to stand up? We want to just give a word of – there we go. Give these
guys a hand. P. Risto, wow! Awesome! Thank you, guys. Thank you, beautiful [Thank you,
pastor]. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for your prayers. Great. Somebody said what could we
do for? I go, just show up and that’s enough appreciation, amen. We labor in the Word and
doctrine and in our faith as a Body and we come together and that’s just a great expression of
appreciation. So, thank you.
Turn with me to the book of Proverbs 1 as we look at this chapter. It’s a very unique chapter. I
love this chapter. I’ve read it many times. I have it broken down in my mind. It’s 33 verses and
there’s a context and a continuum in this chapter. I noticed there are two times we have fear in the chapter. There’s the fear of God in vs. 7. And then in vs. 33 we have what is called the fear
of evil. Fear of God and the fear of evil. If you look at the first five or six verses, we pray right
I was in West Palm Beach, Florida yesterday. We had a conference for two days, 1 ½ days in
Miami with P. Feyers and then the next day and a half was with P. Jeff Brunte and his church in
West Palm. We laughed a lot. We preached. We did raps. We shared. We had a lot of visitors.
People came from different places. We were greatly encouraged.
One of the thoughts that came to my mind was about the fear of man. The fear of man is a
snare. We suffer a lot because of fearing people but then we have gained so much by fearing
In the first six verses, we have the benefit of the book of Proverbs. The book of Proverbs is a
great benefit for us because it teaches us that we would understand a proverb in vs. 6. Many
times, in our travel, we could be in a third world country and listening to a brother or sister and
it’s so fresh what they say. It's like wow! That’s really wisdom. They have so little in a material
way but they are so focused on the important things. They are focused on God. The fear of God,
vs. 7. I always like that beginning of knowledge. It never says the end of knowledge. Because
with God, we just have to get the beginning right. If the beginning is right, really there is no end
The fear of God is the beginning. When the beginning is right, we end up in a good place. We
have this contrast in this first chapter. We have seven, eight, vs. 8. You don’t carry your Bible
with you maybe so we have the screen and maybe you have your phone. This is a lot of
material. I want to point it out to you. Vs. 8. Isn’t it amazing how our culture is against family.
Against fathers. Against mothers. Against our biological gender. Against – breaking up our
traditions,. Our history.
I was thinking actually this morning it came out how cigarettes are not a good thing. Who told
you that cigarettes are not good? Who told you that? Your mother (someone said). Do you
know that the Nazi Germans knew that cigarettes were not good and they were forbidding it,
smoking cigarettes. In the 19 th century, they knew that tobacco caused cancer. But who told you
to stop smoking? It was on the package. Cigarette, tobacco kills. Wait a minute. It was
forbidden to advertise it. You cannot advertise cigarettes. Our society went against cigarettes.
We stopped promoting cigarettes.
And what happened? People stopped smoking cigarettes. Wow. Really? They did. It’s actually
not a socially acceptable thing anymore. You know, you smoke outside. How did this happen? It
was just that the society directed the people, didn’t it? Isn’t it a shame? Don’t people do it in secret? Is it a shame? Is it popular? Is it acceptable? Is it prompted? No, it isn’t. And maybe you
went to a church where the church said not to do it. Interesting.
Do you know what is a problem with many of us? We fear men. We fear our society. We fear
what they say. We fear being accepted or rejected by our society. We have more than the fear
of man than we have the fear of God. Why do you live the way you live? Because I fear God.
Isn’t that amazing? Is that true? That’s chapter 1 of Proverbs. The fear of God.
What is a basic issue of fearing God? This is respecting God, reverencing God. Respect.
Reverence. It is the way you respect a train when it’s coming down the tracks. The train is
coming. You respect 95. You don’t go out there with a bicycle. You don’t walk along route 95 on
the shoulder of the road without a lot of caution. It’s dangerous.
How about electricity? High tension wires. A big box. Scull and bones. Beware. Lightning bolts
on the instrument panel. Like do not touch. Stay away. Do you reverence – how about covid
19? Did you have respect for the pandemic and the possibility of being infected. Yes. Somebody
said no, but I say yes. Yes.
How about a gun? A loaded gun. Do you respect it? You’re supposed to. You’re supposed to be
in a safe place. Don’t hand it to a child. It’s dangerous. Do you fear God? Or do you fear man?
Do you do what man says or do you fear God and obey God? Good lesson, isn’t it? It has a lot to
do with our love tank. Our love tank has a leak. What’s the leak? It’s really the seeking for
approval. The fear of rejection.
When Jesus was taken to the cross, everything about human beings that they look for and they
need – they’ve been made this way. Here’s a heart of a man and you know what he needs?
Honor. Do you know that? That man needs honor. Do you know that? Do you know that that’s
what you need as a person. You need to be loved. You need honor. I’m fascinated by the
subject. That little boys want honor so they wear a uniform. A police uniform or football
uniform or some uniform for recognition. They want little badges. They want their name
written in class. They want – at their birthday, they would like, do I get any? It’s my birthday
today. Anybody care about it? Anybody love me? Is anybody singing a song? Is there a cake? Is
there a party? What is this? This is the way we are made. This is from God. We are made to be
loved. We need the honor. We want somebody to know our name.
Have you ever ridden along the highway and on the rocks high above there’s some crazy guy
painted his name, “Ed loves Debbie.” He must have been hanging from with spray paint and he
wants everybody to know. He wants Debbie to know. This is beautiful. It’s people. It’s
Here’s the catch. Sin has put a big hole in our hearts. And the only one that fits in that hole is
God. We have little things in life that are kind of orbiting our life that we try to fit in there. It’s
my girlfriend. It’s the uniform. It’s the NFL. When your little boy – it’s a football uniform. When
you get older, it’s an NFL contract. When it’s a little boy, it’s your spelling test. When you’re
older, it’s your diploma on the wall. It’s the same thing.
The problem is when I don’t have God, I have the fear of society. I have the fear of my society. I
have the fear of man. And Jesus was rejected by his society and his clothes were ripped off. His
body was beaten. Words were thrown at him. They spit upon him, Mark. 15:15-20. They beat him
with a reed. They punched him in the face. They beat his body and took him out publicly and
crucified him. Where is the love? Where is the love? Is God love? God is love. Was Jesus’ love
tank, did it have a leak? Was Jesus’ love tank, was his source God? Did he obey God?
You see, the key in life and by the way, we fluctuate between the old sin nature and then our
new heart which has no hole in it. When you were born again, you were given a new heart and
new spirit. You are satisfied with God. Thar’s no leak in that tank. It’s Christ. Christ has no leak
in the tank. Never come to a place where Jesus is coming up short and not loving you, not
loving us. Not loving. He is always able to say forgive them. They don’t know what they do.
So, we fluctuate between these two natures. We said in the earlier service, the reason why this
happens is because two things: God is teaching us. He’s teaching us two things. God is teaching
you in this life. You are in the flesh. You are in the Spirit. You have a leaky love tank. You don’t
have a leak. You are not able. You are afraid of people versus I’m not afraid of people. I fear
God. I have the fear of God. God is my life. God is satisfying me. These two natures are in our
There are times when you come up short. There are times when you say I don’t love. There are
times when you say I can’t do it. There’s times when you say I quit. There are times when you
say I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m totally empty. I’m totally needy, God.
It teaches you two things:
#1. What is sin? It teaches you what is sin. I think I learned what sin is. Even though all my life
I’ve been a sinner, but it was when I was born again that I started to learn what sin is. I thought
it was just real bad things that people did. But then I realized it’s me. It’s me and my heart. It’s
my deficiency. It’s my anger, my jealousy, my insecurity. It’s the fear of people. I’m afraid of
people. What do they think of me? How do I measure up? How do I compare myself with
people? What are people saying about me? Do people love me or not? My personal insecurity
was a message to me about my sin, my sin nature.
So, this is being taught today by God in life. Cause to be honest, I think it would have been
better that we got saved and the sin nature is done. There’s no sin nature anymore. We’re
glorified. I got saved. Jesus justified me. I am without sin. Thank you, Lord. That’s a great deal. I
got saved. My sin nature is done. I’m translated into heave automatically and that’s all there is
to it. He saved me. No, the Lord leaves us here with a sin nature to teach us. Do you know yet
you are a sinner and who I am and what you need?
#2. We learn what grace is. What is grace? Boy, this is a lot to digest today but maybe some of it
provokes your thinking and you can follow me cause there’s a lot here. And if you keep coming
to church and learn your Bible, learn your doctrine, and as you are studying it and learning it
then maybe some of this is going to stick with you. Cause it’s pretty cool that I can live in my sin
nature, admit it, admit it that I have a leaky tank. My wife needs my love but I don’t have it. My
children need the love but I don’t have it. I got other things that I’m dealing with. I’ve hewn out
a cistern that cannot hold the water and I can’t love. What should I do?
I turn to wisdom and I say to wisdom, what do you have to say to me? That’s this one, Prov.
1:23. Vs. 20. I like that. She’s in public out in the street. Another way, Jesus said shout it from
the rooftop. Look at our service. Is this a secret society today? Did you enter into his room by a
secret society like the Masons do or some other organization? No, this is totally public. We
shout it from the roof – actually, we did during covid. We were on the rooftop over here
shouting it to the neighborhood. And the voices bouncing off the buildings across the street.
Actually, there was a bus that pulled over at the bus stop and stayed there to listen to the
message. We are out. Vs. 20.
What is she saying? You simple ones. It says there, vs. 22. Three categories there: simple ones,
scorners and fools hate knowledge. Do you know what it means? In your life you have a leak in
your tank, okay. Where are we? In your life, you have a leak in your tank and you say I don’t
have any leak in my tank. The problem is with you. No, I don’t have the problem. Our society
has the problem. Wait a minute. I don’t have the problem. You’re selfish. I don’t have the
problem. You need to get used to the way things are. And there are fools and scorners. And
there are the despisers of good and they can’t face it that wait a minute.
I’m the problem. I cannot love. I cannot love like God loves. Wait a minute. I can’t forgive. You
hurt me so badly I can’t forgive you. I’ll never talk to you again. I don’t ever want to see you. I
never want to relate to you again. I do not love you. I do not love. This is what wisdom cries
out. And what does wisdom say?
Vs. 23. Meaning, stop. Vs. 23. Turn. I will correct you. That’s another thing people don’t like to
hear. Don’t correct me. You’re the problem. Don’t correct me. Wait a minute. I need it. I need
it. When are you corrected every day? Do you know you are corrected every day? All the time
you are corrected. When I take a shower, there’s the hot and the cold. What am I doing? What
am I doing? When I fry an egg, what am I doing? When I drive a car, what am I doing? I better
be corrected. I better get on the right side of the road. I better turn my blinker off. I better look
at the gas gauge. I better be corrected. I am making adjustments. I better be told there is
something wrong with me. I better realize that my life will stay very small. My life will be very
selfish unless wisdom corrects me and says two things.
I will pour out my Spirit, Holy Spirt and I will make known my words unto you. What do you see
in these two things? Spirit and words. Do you know what I see? That’s what I need. I need the
Holy Spirit and the Word to be poured out to me. That’s what I need. I need fellowship with
God. I need to fear God and wisdom will pour his Spirit out to me and open the Bible to me.
This is one of the things that every pastor looks for is when people start to read it and
understand it. And they get excited about it. I was just in Florida with a whole bunch of people
that are very excited about this. They are very much connected to us in our spiritual family. And
so many places around the world. It’s not us. It’s wisdom saying you need something. You need
to stop your despising people and your scorning and being foolish and get some gravity.
GRAVITAS. That’s the Latin word, right? It means some weight. You need to kind of get in there
and get some, get anchored because the wind will blow you.
Bu the way, that happened to me wind surfing just this passed summer. The most amazing
experience. I had this hook. You’re hooked into the sail. And you lean back and the wind was
strong. It was really doing really good. I was going really fast. I made just a different move. I
weigh about 200 pounds, so I was really leaning. And I’m heavy in a way. Not really but,
anyway, that thing. Do you know what happened? The wind took – the way the angle was
sailing – it ripped a hook right off my harness. It was like canvas. It ripped it right off. The whole
thing. I was thrown. I felt something in the water. It was the hook that sank in the Chesapeake.
Let’s have a moment of silence! It was gone. Wow!
What is the meaning of all that? I lost my way! What was it? What was it? What? Oh, gravity.
Gravity. Thank you. The weight. In life, if you don’t have that gravity in your life, the foolishness
of the world will throw you. It will rip you to pieces. The world is powerful but wisdom is
greater. The fear of man is powerful. It’s a snare. But the fear of God is the beginning of
wisdom. Wow. That was a close call. I told a story and I didn’t even know why!
That was like – just to repeat that, that this love, this love that you have is, means a lot. You are
able to say I’m not smoking cigarettes because society says I shouldn’t. I’m not doing it because
whatever it is that you want to say about that. I don’t say God told me but I just realize that my
body is the temple of God. I want to keep it healthy. I want to take care of the temple of God
the best I can by God’s grace. That’s what wisdom says. 1 Corinthians 6, we have been bought with a
price. We are not our own. That’s one way.
But it isn’t only our body smoking cigarettes. How about psychologically? What is our society
saying to children about their gender? How could there be anything more confusing, anything more damaging? Is there any propaganda that could be more evil than to attack children and to
question their identity, their biological identity? How could there be anything more ridiculous
and more evil and more obviously wrong then to propagate in our public schools and in our
society something that is absolutely historically in our civilization they would say that is
absolutely ridiculous. That is wrong. Those people should go to – man, I’m so angry about it.
Okay, let’s go back to what we were saying. What was I saying, anyway? Wait a minute. You are
not afraid of your society. You are the salt of the earth.
You are the lights of the world. You are not afraid of people and being rejected by people. You are respecting truth and walking in the truth and sharing the gospel. Your voice is clear. Your heart is clear. I’m not saying you preach
like I’m doing at work. Like get up on the stool in the cafeteria and start preaching. That’s up to
you. Probably it would do everybody good if you did. I’m not saying – I’m saying you have it
growing in you. And you are learning it. And you are learning what love is.
I got to finish up here. Part 2 will be tonight but I want – I want you to come to church tonight
because it’s – what’s the month again? Pastor Appreciation Month. So, if you can make it. Don’t
feel bad about it but come because you can.
Here’s what love is. 1 Corinthians 13 and think of Jesus. It’s Jesus suffers. He can go a long time. He’s
kind. He rejoices in the truth. He bears all things. He believes all things. It’s written in the
Scriptures. He hopes all things. Everything that is said about the future, the coming, the
resurrection of the dead. Jesus was knowing it all. He believed it. He was living by faith as a man
though he was indeed God. He endures all things and Jesus never fails. That’s our life. That’s
our life by grace. That’s what love is.
Then what love is not is this one. In the same chapter. It does not envy. It does not promote
itself. It does not promote itself. Let’s say you buy a nice car. I’m happy if you have a nice car. I
believe in nice cars. Cars are amazing. They’re incredible things that are engineered by people.
It’s great. But if my car means so much to me in promoting myself. Like I’m glad about the little
boy with the uniform cause he – or a graduation cap. We understand this about us as people.
Or nice shoes or clothes or your profession or your reputation. We know about this.
There is a rightness about it and then there is something that’s missing. There is something
deeper that is missing. And that is if you take your car away from you, your life collapses. If you
lose your diploma, your life collapses. If you lose your house or your career or everything goes
against you, your world collapses.
Look at Christ. When Christ lost everything this world could give, he didn’t collapse. He loved.
He became our Christ, our Savior. He became – he is our God. He dwells in us. That’s our
reference. That’s our base line is AGAPE love.
If you have this envy in you then recognize it as sin. And say God, that’s my sin and you left me
in the world with a sin nature so I could learn what it is and deal with it. Say to God, I don’t like
it. I’m done with it. I don’t want it anymore. I want to change that. I want to think with you.
When I see I’m jealous or envious, I want to change it. Say God bless them. May you multiply
two times more for them. Give them more. They have a beautiful family. Bless the family more.
They have great possessions, pour it on. Help them. Protect them. Encourage them. Bless them.
Don’t be envious of them. Don’t try to destroy them. Don’t slander them or gossip about them
but love. Love them. God is love. This is new.
This is something – Christians that live in the flesh as a constant way of living and never change,
we are sorry about that. That cannot happen. You come to this church because you want – or
any church that is like it that is teaching and preaching these things and challenging me not to
live in my flesh but to live in the Spirit. To fear God. That’s the beginning of that new life. Then
there will be love there and there will be this kind of love that we are talking about.
I’m finishing. I’ll do it tonight. It’s not vaunting itself. It’s not puffed up. One is on the outside
like I want to project to you my greatness. I want to project to you me. I want to project to you
like how cool I am. I want to project that to you. And not puffed up is on the inside where I have
an inflated view of myself on the inside. Okay. 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.
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