Jesus saw Zaccheus in tree and a lost one was found. Jesus invites us into His purpose. He gives us each a pound. We all have something from Him and we should spend that for His glory and await our reward. (Luke 19:11-24)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Bailey Norman
P. Bailey Norman –
Good evening. I know it’s customary to say that it’s good to be here but I think more than ever in my
life I want to say it’s good to be here. Really, I’ve been surprised this week of how good it is to
be here. It’s always good when I come because I stay with my parents and my family and it’s
amazing. But these couple days have been very special. I’m just going to pause for a second!
(Prayer). Romans 11, Greetings from Marlboro, MASS. We’ve got a few characters with us. P.
Douglas in the front row. P. Doug and Robert back there. We drove down. I won’t tell you how
long it took to get us here. It was frighteningly quick! No, it wasn’t bad. It was a smooth ride.
Thank you for praying. A lot of people mentioned that you pray for our church and you have no
idea how much it means to know there is a church behind us praying for us. It’s even more than
that. It’s not just that it’s a church behind us but to be a part of this ministry where we are not
separate in any way. It’s amazing! I tell you. It’s amazing! People pay to be a part of this. No
idea, P. Taggart! What we have by our teaching and by our unity is amazing. To think that we
reach the world.
Greater Grace has reached the world through what? Through preaching the
Gospel and through unity. That unity is nothing other than our salvation in Christ. Wow!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! How’s the year been? Fantastic, hasn’t it? It has been. Come on. It’s been
a great year. Has there ever been a year where you can say nothing bad happened this year
actually? This is the year I’ve been waiting for. What’s the difference? There’s no difference in
this year than any other year. Just that we hear it more. I don’t know. So we can just get over
that and think about what God is doing with us. God has not made a mistake by calling us, the
Body of Christ, to be his ambassadors at this very time. Romans 11:4 speaks of a character who
was in a specific time and he had a great work to do and he was overwhelmed by it. It was
Elijah. vs. 1-4. Has God cast away his people? No. No. Not at all. Certainly not. If you ever
wonder about your place in God’s mind, think about he foreknew. That you are secure beyond
yourself. Outside of your ability to do anything, outside of your ability or understanding of
anything, you are secure in the mind of God because he knew.
He foreknew. If you would question that, we have a lesson here. vs. 2. Isn’t that a great question. Or do you not know? P.
Schaller preached a message about the stories of our fathers, mission stories of our fathers.
This is it. Do you not know the stories? Do you not know? Do you feel you have been cast
away? Do you not know the stories about the faithfulness of God? Do you not know that God is
working in this earth? An amazing way he says it. This is Elijah’s request to God. vs. 3. We
know this story. Elijah is there with the 850 prophets. 850 to 1. How are you feeling, right?
Couple bulls. Multiple gallons of water. A soaking wet altar. Frustrated prophets of Baal. And
then Elijah there in humility before God and he is there. He says Lord, bring down the fire. Bring
down fire. What happens? Fire comes down from heaven, burns down the whole thing, the
structure, the stones, the dust and then finally the water around the altar is gone. It is consumed
by God. How do you think you would react after witnessing that? After being the one who is
standing before the altar, before the people, before the false gods. What a place! We’re
standing in a similar place, aren’t we? Where there is the false gods of the world and the
movements and everything that is happening.
Then there are the people looking on wondering who has power. And if you read the story in 1 Kings 18, these prophets are practicing something. It’s not just an idea. It’s not just hey, I got an idea. How about we jump up and down
and cut ourselves. No, they are doing this as a practice because when they do it, something
happens. But they have never done it up against God. They’ve never had to deal with Elijah. In
the presence of God and in the presence of the man of God, false gods have no ability. No
ability. They are frustrated and Elijah has fun with it. He says maybe he is napping. Maybe he is
on a journey. Maybe he is helping someone else. Is it my turn yet? And he does it. Boom! What
happens next though? What happens next? Jezebel. Jezebel. She comes with a little note.
Elijah gets it and he’s done. He said, you know what? That’s it. Wait Elijah. Remember the
flaming ball that just came out of heaven at your request. That didn’t come from no where. That
came from your request. I honored your request. I honored your prayer and I showed up for you.
Because you had faith that I would. I demonstrated something in front of my people and in front
of a false god that I am in control and I am in charge.
Do you remember? No, no God. You don’t understand this. You don’t understand. Do you realize what I have done for you? Do you realize what I have given up for you? Do you realize what they have done to your other prophets? Do
you realize this God? I’m the only one left. What are you going to do with me? And God could have impatiently said, what do you mean what am I going to do with you? What did I just do with
you? This is Elijah’s spot, Elijah’s condition. But thank God that he thinks differently than we do.
What is our idea? Come on, Elijah. Pull it together man. Really? That is where you are right
now? Sitting under a tree asking to be taken out of this world. I have you between these two
things and it’s necessary that you are there, but look at it. Our idea is that. Come on. Snap out
of it. What does God say? vs. 4. What does the divine response say to him? What does the
divine response say to him? I have reserved for myself. For who? Myself. Don’t worry, Elijah. I
got an army for you. You guys will band together. You’re going to go crazy. It will be awesome.
No, I have reserved for myself 7,000 men. But the sentence is what does the divine response
say? What does the divine response say?
How much time can we spend looking for a natural response and as we are people who are standing before life and death and people are observing from either direction what is it that we need and what it is that we are looking for? We
are anticipating and we are looking for the divine response. Has there ever been a time in
history when the divine response has not been there? Has there ever been a time when God
has failed his people? Has there ever been a time where he has not responded with the perfect
answer? Look at how he responds. He responds by saying there already is 7,000 people. His
response is not a reaction but his response is queuing me into his control over everything. His
response is leading me into his wisdom. His response is leading me into the things that have
been prepared before the foundation of the world. So personally, here we are as sinners, as
individuals and we are here and we have sin on one side and we have a desire for
righteousness on the other side and we can say, what am I going to do? What am I going to do?
Lord, you haven’t given me the ability for righteousness.
The divine response says, I have sent Christ. We just sang the song about the cross. Wasn’t that powerful. The cross is the divine response to the lost, to us as lost people. We do not need to spend our time in between
wondering if there will be response because there has been a response and it is there. Romans
5:8, that word is not past. That word is always present. The love of God is always expressed to
us through the cross. That is a divine response. When was the cross prepared for humanity?
Was the cross prepared for humanity in response to their sin? No, no, no, no, no. That’s too
small. That’s natural. That’s too reasonable. But the divine response was prepared and Christ is
the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. And if the security of my salvation is
depending on something that happened before the foundation of the world, then what am I
worried about Elijah? Elijah, what’s the problem? Jezebel? You’re kidding me. Jezebel? Come
on. Don’t be bothered. Anticipate the divine response. It has always been there. And we follow it
through history. We follow it from Genesis 3:15 all the way up to the point that Christ is hanging on
the cross. There has been divine response and he has never left anybody.
And now here we are in an amazing time in history, in an amazing opportunity to bring people to know Christ.
What do we say? We say I got a program. I got this craft thing. I got it all planned out. No, listen
for the divine response. Depend on it. Lean on it. Take a step based on knowing that there will
be a divine response. He loves his people. He has never forsaken us. I have never seen the
righteous forsaken or his children begging bread. That’s us. That’s us. By the grace of God, we
are here. We are his people and we are not just removed. Isn’t that amazing. The divine
response doesn’t remove us from this place but gives us a message. God could use anything.
God could use anything in his Creation to communicate his love but he has chosen us. And
here we are. What a privilege. And we have been moved out on a mission. That mission
depends on a divine response. And that mission will move forward based on a divine response.
That mission will come to a completion based on a divine response. So we continue. We
continue. We say I don’t know what is ahead of me.
I don’t know what God has in store except for his faithfulness, except for the consistency of his response which is not a reaction. It’s not structured based on my failure. It’s not structured based on my desire, but it’s structured based
on the perfect mind of God against whom there is no wisdom, no counsel, no understanding. So
let’s go forward listening, tuned into a divine response in anticipation of his faithfulness. Amen.
P. Schaller –
Let’s stand again and have a good attitude. I know you got it. You got a good
attitude and get happy and thankful and praise the Lord. Look around and see somebody that
you don’t know and just say, so glad you are here. Do that for a minute or two. Hey, hey, hey.
Security! Okay. You can be seated. You may be seated. Giovanni? Good to see you, Giovanni.
That’s great. Is Cody here tonight? Is Cody here? And Giovanni is here. Giovanni, do you want to stand for a second. This young man, new in the Federal Hill church. How many Federal Hill-ers do we have here? Would you stand up? What a great group. Praise the Lord. Yes. It’s amazing. Do I have that. Okay. In the 16th
century, there was a Portuguese ship that sank off of the coast of Indonesia. And this is, it was loaded with gold. Today they estimate today’s value at 22 billion dollars worth of gold and it was never found. I don’t know about you but I’m heading to the airport! I did read that some investor spent 20 million dollars in an effort to find it. They
haven’t found it yet but there will be quite a return if they do. I also know that – I want to pray
with you for this message. (Prayer). Turn with me to Luke 19. I want you to look at verse 11.
There’s a lot of text here and I don’t want to lose you as you listen. I sense the anointing all
week and also the hunger that we have for Christ. If you are new here, be patient, walk by faith,
keep coming, hang out with us, learn, don’t worry about it. God’s got your number. God cares
about you. It doesn’t matter who you are and on the internet. It doesn’t matter who you are and
what is going on in your life. The living God, not the gods of men, the pagan gods and gods that
can’t do much at all. No, not the stars and your horoscope and rabbits foot and the same socks
you wear to every basketball game where you do three point shots.
Like Bill Alexson, he has a pair of socks he hasn’t taken them off! Every time he wants to win a game, he wears the same pair! The outer man perishes. The socks too! Okay. Luke 19:11. When we read that, we want to
know what things is he talking about? It’s in the context, Zacchaeus was in the tree and he
stopped and looked up and saw Zacchaeus and said come down. We’re going to eat together.
Zacchaeus changed. He was so happy he met Christ. They ate. He said I’m going to return
money. I’m going to do the right thing. I’m going – Christ is real. I believe in Christ. This little rich
man was found. As he spoke as these things were happening, then he spoke something about
that. He spoke about winning somebody, finding somebody. That treasure, that gold out in the
sea for some people they want to find it. It’s valuable. I remember reading about the California
Gold Rush back in 1948, 49, and in three months times, 300,000 Americans went out there to
find gold. It was valuable. But we have found something. We have found something precious.
We have found Christ. We have found something of incredible value. We have found it
personally when we believed in him.
P. Pete Westera gave an amazing devotional this morning about the mysteries of Christ at the cross. The mysteries of Christ in his life. The mystery of the Incarnation. The mystery of what he did. That God became a man. That God became a man has to be the most incredible thing that has ever happened in the history of the world. That
Almighty God came wrapped in human flesh into this world and he found us. Maybe we weren’t
in a tree. Maybe in a classroom. Maybe on a street corner. Maybe in our own vomit after a
Friday night party. Maybe in a hospital. Maybe on a gurney. Maybe in a prison cell. Maybe on a
computer. Maybe on the telephone. Maybe on our knees. Maybe on a long walk. Maybe on a
Sunday afternoon. Maybe alone when we bowed our heads and said to God, help me. And
Christ forgave us of our sins, filled us with the Holy Spirit and came into our heart. This is very
important to God. This work of grace is very important to God. So he spoke a parable about it.
The disciples saw the Zacchaeus experience, they saw that and now they are thinking Jesus is
pulling them into the – he wants to instruct them.
He is pulling them in. this is what he says in chapter 19:11-12 like in other words, I’m going to tell you something. I’m telling you a story because I’m going to go away but I’m leaving you ten – he uses the number ten in this parable.
He’s saying ten and I’m going to give each of you one pound. I’m going away and you’ve got to
be here. There’s other Zachaeuses. They are in Romania. We heard the dogs barking this
afternoon on the video clip from P. Mihael who was a teenager. P. Philippe Rebe and Mark
Minnichello. Maybe he came a little later. But a team was in Romania. P. Mihael was in the
country of Romania. I think I got this right. I’ve told this before. I hope it’s correct. Out of the
country in the academic testing, he was in the top ten for math and science and in England, the
U.K, they wanted to take him for their Silicon Valley and train him as an engineer and he said
no. I believe God. He prayed. No. I believe God wants me to go to Bible college. I believe God
wants me to live in Romania. And eventually, I believe God wants me to be a pastor. Then in
California, he also got an offer there I believe also to study there.
But again, no. This parable applies to people like this. Like you and I. P. Bailey said this: Elijah saw the work of God and then he feared Jezebel. And I kind of feel that way in our country. We have seen God but then
maybe fear the government or culture. You might fear a little bit and feel unstable but then he
said there’s a divine response for our fears. God has something to say to us as a church. He has something to say because we are on a mission. We have something to do here. Like in
Hungary, Russia, – tomorrow we will hear from P. Gromov on the, in the program tomorrow.
He’s an other one. His story is amazing. Salvation. P. Mati went undercover in the Soviet Union
and the story is amazing. He went to a Finnish/Russian travel agency and they interviewed him.
He was in Bible college and he felt God wanted him to be in the Soviet Union. He went there for
an interview. He felt God wanted him to be a travel agent and they said, do you speak Russian?
He said, yes. They said come back for your interview tomorrow. He went home and went
directly to a Russian language book.
You know the story is funny. It’s embellished but he went for his interview. He had memorized – you know the way we do in language. May I have a cup of coffee. The park is beautiful. It is raining outside. What is your name? So he went for the interview and he tells the story in a funny way. They said, what is your name? He said, the park
is beautiful! Why do you want to go to Russia? Could I have a cup of coffee?! To make a long
funny story short, he was on a plane flying from Georgia to Azerbaijan sitting next to an
engineer and they talked. P. Mati says he was tired on the plane. He wanted to sleep but the
engineer wanted to talk to him. A Russian engineer. That was P. Gromov. He’s not saved. P.
Mati said is there anything I can do for you? Could you give me a Bible? Later in the years that
followed, I’ve talked to him. He’s a friend of mind, P. Gromov and I said, what – he said, I was
way out in Siberia in the university and there was a big university meeting. I said what made you
want a Bible. What made you interested?
He said there was a Communist lecture and they were making fun of the Bible. They said in the lecture it says that Adam gave names to the animals. Adam took a worm and said look at the worm. And everybody was laughing about it. He said that little story made me hungry for the Bible. He became a believer. Zacchaeus is in the tree
tonight somewhere. Jesus isn’t here. But he is. Because he gave you a pound. He gave you
something. He gave you a pound. Everybody gets a pound in the parable. Read it please. vs.
12. He’s talking about himself as a nobleman. He’s saying an aristocratic landowner with money
and wealth had to go to another country but as he went away, he needed somebody to
safeguard his territory to take care of the farms. He needed someone to manage the vineyards.
He needed people to manage the army that he would leave behind or the castle and housing
and so on. He needed people to stay here. That’s us. He send us here. We are here. We are
different. Because we have a Heavenly Father who sent us here.
We are different because we know there is some Zacchaeus in the tree in the picture of the story in application for everyone of us because we have been there in our own way. People look for gold but we are looking for
people. That’s amazing. What kind of people? Bad people. Good people. Democrats!
Republicans! Liberals, conservatives, all kinds. Americans, British, Africans, Indians, Chinese,
Burmese, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Island people. Educated, uneducated. Rich, poor. All kinds
of people. Fearful people. Worried people. Lonely people. There’s so much emptiness. You
know when Zacchaeus heard when Jesus was coming, he’s kind of short so he’s kind of
jumping to look over the crowd but he can’t see so he’s very kind of industrious kind of guy.
Those kind of guys that can get things done. He knows what he wants so he runs ahead and
gets up in a tree. Now he can see. All he wanted to do was see but that amount of faith heaven
knew and Jesus knew and he stopped and looked. So who’s going to do it today?
Who is going to stop and look? I think P. Gary Groenewold is somebody that stops and looks with Kathy. And
they look around in the neighborhood and these little guys come to their house for a hamburger
or a fishing pole or a talk or a fatherly tap on the shoulder or a word or just a face. To look into a
face of a child, teenager. Beautiful. You do it. We do it all the time. It’s in our nature. But I don’t
think our natural man, – we see what the natural man is doing. He’s so worried and concerned
and troubled with himself that it’s hard to get out of that vortex. But if you have found Christ and
the Spirit of God is how you live by the Spirit of God, then you are aware of your pound. You’re
aware that something was given to you for the wealthy nobleman went away and left us here
with a pound. vs. 13. In the Amplified, it says “buy and sell” until I come. Be occupied till I come.
Maybe we could say, here’s your pound. Have a good time. Like that little joke. Somebody sent
me a dollar for my birthday.
They said – Kathy Groenewold I think. She said my grandmother used to say, here’s a dollar for your birthday and buy something nice for yourself. Here’s a pound. Occupy. Occupy till I come. Buy and sell until I come. Do the business as I go. You have a cow. Sell it and make a profit. Do something with the pound I give you. I give you 70 years of
life. What are you going to do with it? You are born again. The Spirit of God dwells in you. Walk
in him. Use your pound. Yes. We are celebrating that this Convention. This is a blessing because we feel that pound with us. We see it in so many ways. Beautiful stories of people that
are helped, encouraged, forgiven, comforted, taught, led, guided. It’s a funny story. P. Bailey is
my nephew, and just for a moment. This is a long message tonight. Our family, we tell family
stories sometimes. Bailey, my sister, Cynthia Norman and Phil. And Phil tells a funny story
about when we moved down here to Baltimore and we were on Putty Hill at Ed Canino’s house.
We landed there and we were sleeping on the floor. I was one of the leaders in the transition
with P. Stevens.
P. Love and I and some others and people were giving phone calls. We left
Lenox and we were moving down here and people are calling and asking. Phil tells a story
about we’re sleeping on the floor. Would you like to come up for a second? Just come down
here. Do you have the microphone? This is just the abbreviated. It’s a couple sentences. Oh,
here you go. Thank you. You know what I’m talking about? P. Phil: I know the one you mean.
There’s the Schaller family. There’s the Norman family. There’s about eight or ten Bible college
students crashing in the basement and on the back porch and everything. And we’re getting
these phone calls all the time. Bethany Schaller was maybe like 10 at the time. She’s nine years
old. We’re just about to have dinner and the phone rings. Bethany answers the phone, hello?
Okay. Yeah. Okay. No, he’s not here anymore. Okay. We’ll make sure he gets the word. He’ll be
fine. God will do it. Take care. Thanks, Bye. P. Schaller says who was that? Bethany says, that
was __ – name shall be left out for the telling. He wanted to know what to do with the rest of his
life! So Beth, you want to stand up for a second? There she is! What’s our date.
March, 10th. You’re going to be 43 years old. Isn’t that amazing! Give her a “happy birthday!” Praise the Lord.
I say also my sister and Phil and my wife and I, we were close together. We were in Lenox and
we moved down here. We wanted to live together, close to each other, because I just felt that
Justin and Bailey are brothers and can grow up like brothers. We lived next for many years.
That’s what happened. And when I look back at these kinds of things, I just say, I don’t know
what that pound can do but there’s many things that happen in life that are related to what the
Lord has given you a pound. Everybody in this room. Everyone. Does that mean answered
prayer? Does that mean a healing? Does that mean winning souls? Does that mean – what
does it mean? I just share that because it’s a precious thought. vs. 13. I believe that is what they
have been doing in Chicago in the church. In Miami.
Cross the ocean and around the world. We don’t know exactly what it means to be honest except that I want to be in a local church. I want to be feeding on God’s Word. I want to be walking in the Spirit. I want to take steps of faith that
are beyond my capacity naturally because I got a pound. I got a pound. I don’t know if you left
me alone, I don’t know what I would be doing but my Savior gave me something. He gave me
something and it’s really happening. It’s real. vs. 14. That’s the world we live in today. They
hated him and sent a message after him saying we will not have this man reign over us. Isn’t
that what is said today in our country? We will not have this man reign over us. When he went
away, the citizens said in Israel, he is not the Messiah. We will not have this man reign over us.
They’re saying that in the secular word today. They do not want Jesus to reign over them. Are
they saying that? Yes, they are. But that’s okay because we got a pound.
That’s my business. I’m sorry about the world but there will be somebody up in a tree. All of Israel will reject Jesus
Christ but Jesus Christ is saying no. They reject me but not Zacchaeus. And not P. Gromov.
And so many people have a story and we are amazed at those stories of people that come out
of terrible situations. They do. University campuses, some kids are walking around saying I’m at
the university – the covid thing is a complication but you can imagine in principle I’m here but I’m
just going through the motions. My heart isn’t in it. What’s the meaning of life? What is
happening? What do I need? vs. 15. He wants to know what you did with it. He wants to see
how you lived with it. He wants to see did you ever look up into the tree and find somebody.
Have you found fish? He makes us fishers of men. Fishermen and hunters are fascinating
people. They go to great lengths to find the fish by sonar and whatever other technologies. They
read out in the ocean where the fish are and they are very patient. They spend an enormous
amount of money sometimes.
They are finding fish. Well, we have something to do here. We find children, teenagers, people. And you know that. It touches my heart to think about it. Added to it is the thought of people being lost. Lost people. I can never get over it. It shocks me. I believe it. I just am touched deeply by it. I thank God that I can’t really get a hold of it the way
that I think I would be shaken to the bone. I would be collapsed on the floor. I would be utterly
undone. I would be totally touched, moved. I don’t know. It would be unbelievable to think of hell in the reality that it is and the reality that my neighbors, my people are the people that I see or
know at work or a baseball team or a friend that I have in the military or a business partner or
something to think that they would go to hell. So we do think about it. Maybe the Lord doesn’t let
us see it so clearly but believe it and say that’s part of the pound I gave you. I want you to get a
feel of it. I want you to realize I need you. I want you to open your mouth and say something. I
want you to sometimes that silence is a real thing. We all have it. I don’t have anything to say. I
know I should say something and I don’t have anything to say. I know I should say something
but it’s awkward. I can’t say it.
Or I know I should. I know I should but I just can’t get there. I don’t know what it is. I’m frozen. I can’t do it. Do we all know that? Yeah. So Paul said pray for me that I would open my mouth. He didn’t say that I would be a street preacher, that I would open my mouth and I’d be yelling on the street. He didn’t say that. Open my mouth to make
known the mysteries of Christ. That sounds to me that in a cafe conversation I would be able to
say something that would catch somebody’s attention and they look kind of twice across the
table and they say could you say that again? What do you mean by that? Do you believe that?
Yes, I do. And so on. It seems to me that in our families we would not only be saying something
that is mysterious, not mysterious in a weird way, but somehow beyond human reason that we
believe we are actually going to heaven. That’s a mystery of Christ, isn’t it? We have eternal life
now. We’re not really afraid of dying so much.
On the phone, you know, somebody I know. Let’s say they died. I say on the phone call to another person, oh I’m so sorry. Don’t worry about it. They are with the Lord. There is silence. You don’t mean it like an affront. You’re just saying the reality is this is how we think. Where did you spend Friday? I was at the church. You were at the
church? What goes on Friday at a church? Bingo? No, I was at a conference. What did you do
on Saturday? Well, I was back there. What did you do on Sunday? Twice. What did you do on
Monday? Church. What did you do on Tuesday morning? Church! What did you do on
Wednesday? Church! It would be sad if there wasn’t so much joy in it and reality. Our family.
How much we love each other. What God has done in our spirit in connecting us with each
other as sister’s and brothers and our heavenly Father and to say to us that our new life is we
got a pound and we can do some business in this world. The business we are doing is in our – I
was thinking the other day. I had this kind of thing for a little while.
You know how you can see something from another perspective. I was thinking, that was crazy what I did. That was crazy. What was I even thinking what I did! Has that ever happened to you? But it was normal because
I had a pound. You know, the pound. I was on the Lord’s business. In was in his labor or in his
work or on his mission. And we have a pound. We got something God our Heavenly Father is
protecting and empowering and working. P. Mati tells a story in Bukhara, Uzbekistan back in the
years. We did so many crazy things together as a Body. We rented a jet airplane back in 1991 I
think it was or 92. We rented a jet airplane and the two pilots and landing rights and we went
through Central Asia on a trip. I think it was ten days and we loaded the plane with 30 of our
people from Finland and Russia and Hungary and America and we did this tour of preaching.
We land in the city in Dushanbe We landed in Kyrgyzstan.
We landed in Uzbekistan, a couple cities. We landed in Russia. It was an incredible trip. And we saw and we got back and we were like it was one of those things like, no, no. We shouldn’t do that. But we did it. That’s crazy. You
know. So okay. Let’s finish up here. I’m almost done. vs. 16-17. We all start very little. How little
are we when we start out. How little is the pound when we start. How little is our faith. How little
is our decision. I just remember I decided I’m not going to the church anymore. I kind of decided
that one time. I’m not going to the church anymore. I don’t need it. It’s okay. And then I got a
postcard in the mail that said come to church tomorrow so I did. And I never stopped. It was
such a little thing. A little decision but your pound, even though it is little, because you used it,
you have gained ten pounds. What else have we gained by using the little that we have? Maybe
we could say we gained our lives. vs. 18. They went from a farm to being over five cities. They
went from just having a pound in the territory that he had. It was very little.
It’s kind of like us getting up in the morning and get moving. It’s a very little thing but the results may be very great.
vs. 19-21. I want to skip over verse 21 and see what he says to him. Be sure to read it on your
own. vs. 22-23. You didn’t even do the very little thing. Nothing. You didn’t even do the little
thing. You could have taken your pound to the bank and left it there. You didn’t do anything. You
wrapped it in a napkin and put it away. There it is. How many Christians have taken that pound,
wrapped it in a napkin, if they are a Christian, – they have taken that pound, wrapped it in a
napkin and they don’t do a thing with it. I don’t know. It’s there in the story. Why do they do it? It’s hard. You’re an austere man. God is a hard taskmaster. But I heard P. Westera say today he
isn’t. He’s love. He’s our Father. He’s gentle. He’s loving. He wants to bless you. Bless you.
Bless you. Bless you. He wants to help you.
Encourage you. Wrap his arms – some of the feelings that you have that are bad you attribute them to God judging you. Those are not feelings that are from God. God is not condemning you. God is not judging you. That’s our own
guilt or our own conscience or our own flesh sin nature. That’s not God. That’s not the pound.
People relate more to their emptiness than they do to God and his gift. His gift of grace. His
promises. He’s for you not against you. He loves you. He is for you. Even if you fall many times,
come on. Come on. Let’s sing a song. I love you. Come on. Let’s go. Use your pound. Some of
you laugh at my singing. God is going to judge – no, sorry! What is the singing all about. The
croaking. What is that all about? What does he say? What does the psalmist say? Make a
harmonious, melodious song unto the Lord? No, he says make a joyful noise, right? You know
what it is? It’s just using our pound. That’s all it is. It’s croaking best we can and using the
pound. Some of you will be shocked one day where it all ends up. Listen. Maybe I can say one
other thing to the young guys here.
You might say, I can’t be a preacher. I’m not a preacher. We’re joking with P. Doug Wombolt down here because I had this incredible fear when I came into a meeting hall that P. Stevens would call me up to say something. I was horrified. I would slip into the back and get under – I was always interested in my Bible! No eye contact! Not
going to happen! I just, it was horrible. But you never know. Just use your pound. You might be
surprised what will happen when you use your pound. My sister and I moving down here to
Baltimore and our families, I have no idea how that works. There’s no guarantee. Nothing to say
about it except the grace of God, the love of God, the nature of God. God helping you and me in
his plan. There’s so many ways to say it. If I am disappointed or hurt and all of that, be careful
with your feelings. Those feelings are not the way you live and govern your life. You got
something to do here. Lift up your eyes. There is somebody out there hanging from a lamp post
by their hands and they are saying, help. I’m in trouble. Okay.
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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