Life in Christ can be an adventure if we answer His call. He gives us living waters, that He draws out of us through His Spirit and His life. We are turned from old ways and released to victory in Him. And we cannot help be tell this truth in little places and big places. Matthew 14:25-28; John 4:3-14
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 8/30/2020
P. Eugene –
In a couple minutes, we’ll watch a video about the Bible college, but I was thinking this thought. Friday
night we were talking – P. Schaller, P. Scibelli, and Pastor Love – end times. I think all of us
realized we are living in more than interesting times. The Bible calls it in 2 Timothy 3:4 we’re living
in perilous times. But what’s interesting is it says there, and I was thinking we have the internet
and so much learning going on. Education is on the rise. You can google this and google that but
what’s interesting is it says in 2 Timothy 3:7 ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge
of the truth. We can say it this way, ever learning but never being brought to the person of
Truth. Because information is out there but we ask this question, just because it’s out there, is it
true? It is truth? Is it reality? Our reality may not be God’s reality.
My viewpoint of a situation may not be God’s viewpoint of a situation. So what do I have need of? Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says come to me. Come to me. It’s a personal invitation and from the One who is the lover of our
soul, He says, come to me. Not only come to me but learn of me. I love that. Because it’s
personal learning. It is a relationship. It is intimate. As we are learning of him, Jesus is the only
one that equates learning with rest. He says learn of me for I am meek and lowly of heart and
you will find rest for your souls. Not maybe. Not possibly. Absolute. Bible college gives us the
opportunity to sit and learn of Him and then I see my whole life, I see my generation, I see my
family, I see my job, I see my neighborhood, I see my unique situation from God’s viewpoint.
That’s so needed to see things from God’s viewpoint.
Because let God be true and man a liar. Maybe you came to Bible college in the past and you say I graduated. Or maybe you came but you didn’t finish. Come back. You say a long time has passed. God is still meek and lowly. You
will still find rest for your souls. As a family, lets go to Bible college. Kids get in the car we are
going. Are we going for ice cream? No, we’re going for Bible college. So look at the screens.
P. Schaller –
Praise God! Amen! Beautiful song. Beautiful song. Matthew 14 this is the story of Jesus
calling Peter to walk on water. Stand for the reading of the Word. Vs. 25. Read it out loud with
me. They saw him walking on the sea and they were troubled and cried out. Vs. 27. Sense of
humor. Be of good cheer. It is I. Be not afraid. That’s one thing I want to say about humor. I
want to share about the value of a sense of humor.
Look at each other for a moment and laugh! Fake joke. Look at each other and laugh! You guys aren’t doing it that much! We have a great need in life to have a sense of humor. Even being silly. Being silly. We’re going to have a
pastor’s choir. We’re going to start that a week from today. We’ll sing Sunday night a week
from now. We’re not necessarily good but a good time because the Bible says make a joyful
noise. It doesn’t say make a joyful melody or harmony. It just says a noise. So we qualify. The
Lord is walking on water, and he says, be of good cheer. We could say, be relaxed. Enjoy what
you see. Recognize it is me. Do not be afraid. It is I. be not afraid. Fear is something that can
increase. Anxiety in life can increase. We can be more and more worried in time about things in
life. But a merry heart does good like medicine (Proverbs 17:22). Vs. 28. Where in the world did he get the idea? Where did he get the idea? If that’s you, bid me come on the water. This is an adventure, an adventure of faith.
Up on the map, I have the area where we live. We live in Baltimore near Washington. On the map I’ll make a white mark where we have by faith on Saturday we get in the car, a small group of us, 4 or 5 or 7, and we go within an hour or hour and a half and drive to a small town. How do we decide where we want to go but by prayer. I
have in my office this map of this area and I’m praying about the towns and cities and I want to
meet people. We go by faith. And It’s an adventure. Do you want to know how you can have an
adventure in your life? Yes. How? By faith. Many ways. One of them is to provoke people to
think. People you don’t know, people you’ve never met before.
People are the greatest thing
going on in the world. People are a lot of fun.
People are interesting and also people are very
dangerous. People are thinking. I have a statistic here. Sometimes we don’t realize how many people are asking big questions in life. Statistics may surprise you. According to pollster George Gallup, 8 out of 10 Americans say religion is at least fairly important in their lives. It doesn’t mean people go to church, but it means they believe it’s important. Then it says public opinion and researcher George Barna has found that among unchurched Americans, 1 out of 5 of them reads the Bible and nearly 7 out of 10 pray in a typical week. You know that many Americans
are asking big questions about life. What is the meaning? Is Jesus the answer? Is it real? Does it
make sense? Is it important? Should I believe or not? Actually, I’ve been with unbelievers riding
in a car and as I’m sitting in the back seat thinking about how to talk to them about Christ. Two
of them start talking and asking these questions between each other and I’m sitting in the back
thinking what should I say? I want this to continue.
They are wondering about different religions and talking about faith and atheism and how do they know and what do Christians believe. It’s fun. If you are at the working place and there is a break room, a coffee break room
at the school or police station or hospital or cafeteria and you say those statements that are
shocking like I don’t believe in evolution. I believe that God made the universe in a moment and
he made animals and people. That would get people’s attention. I believe in heaven and I
believe in hell. Then be quiet. The room empties. One remains. Is abortion killing a human
being? You can ask it in the coffee room. As you speak lovingly and in the heart about things
you really believe, maybe people ask questions. In a way, it’s an adventure. It’s an adventure to
say that I believe all the religions in the world is rooted in a deep human need to somehow pay
for our sins, pay for our mistakes.
And in religion, often times there isn’t any living God, just guilt and payment. I lived like that in my Christianity. I lived in guilt and payment. I felt that paying for my sin was what Christianity was about, until I met Jesus. When I met Jesus, I realized my sins are gone, Psalm 32, Romans 4:7. I found a new life. The new birth. How about in the coffee room you say this statement: If you are born once, you die twice. But if you are born twice, you die
once. “I’m confused!” But you can learn what that means in the Bible and it’s true. If you are born
twice, that means born physically and second time born again spiritually so you will die once
physically. But actually, even then you won’t die because you will never die because you
believed in Christ. Physically you do. But if you are only born once, you die twice. You die
physically and then in the lake of fire, the second death. If you said that in the coffee room, the
room is empty. Someone is calling the police!
That’s an adventure. You know when Peter said call me Lord. We wonder where it came from? I think it came for love. I think it came from being outward. I think it came from an adventurous spirit. I think it came from seeing Jesus. If Jesus can do this, if Jesus is walking, that would be very cool if I could walk on the water. And he did. I don’t think God cares so much about us walking on water like that, but he wants us to
discover the satisfying relationship that we are made to have with Him even in troublous times.
Even when in our country we see a whole political party adopt a platform that parallels Romans
1:20-32. That’s incredible. That they would adopt a whole list of things that are listed there in
Romans 1. In our church, we don’t tell you who to vote for, but we tell you about God and the
righteousness of God and the love of God.
We are citizens and have a responsibility to vote. Oftentimes we get what we vote for and sometimes we don’t, but it’s part of the process of being a human being and being an American citizen. I have a privilege. I can vote. What do you believe? What do you believe that is written in your heart? What are you voting for? That’s
That’s not our message because even though I vote, and go on in my life, no matter
what is happening, with a mission. Two things I want to say this morning about this. This is
looking up at the map. A few weeks ago, a month or more we went to Glen Burnie with Manny
Harrison. Drove around, ate some, prayed and talked and said let’s have a church in Glen
Burnie, Md. Manny says “Let’s go” and they’re down there, looking around and soul winning,and sharing, and praying. They are going to find someone and invest in them. Something is going to happen in the
spirit of one person. Sometimes we thing we are talking about millions, but we are talking
about one person. One person.
I remember years ago Lena Bridges who is sitting in the back there. In Finland, she was about 16 years old. That was about 70 years ago!! Oh no! In the Finnish high schools, you could go on the loud speaker and speak to all the students for a morning devotional for a few minutes. She would do that in her school in a small town in
Western Finland called Loimaa, Finland. I heard about her through her sister. She was a fireball
because she would tell the whole school about Jesus Christ. It takes one person like Lena. It
takes one person like the woman at the well in John 4. It takes one person in Glen Burnie. The
next week we go up here to Northeast, Maryland. The streets are empty at that time or a few
people here and there. We don’t know anyone. Just walking through praying. I end up at the
fire station. This fireman is outside sitting on the side walk.
I walked up and he said you want to sit down? Sure. They don’t know me, or I don’ t know them. They are wondering if I am a Democrat because I’m from Baltimore! Anyway, we had a talk. We talked about Jesus. There is
silence. It’s quiet, touching the heart. I could see. There were maybe five guys. They have seen
fires, car accidents, trouble but you never know. We drive back and tell our stories. We
encourage each other. There’s five of us in the car or 6 or 7. Next week, we go up here to
Hampstead. We do the same thing. The street is empty. We start knocking on doors. I meet a
kid in the house. What’s he doing? Playing video games. 24 years old. Do you have a job? No.
Do you go to school? No. I said I understand you. I understand how empty life can be. I know
that. I’m here for one reason. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. I came from Baltimore
to say something to you. Jesus Christ is real.
That was fun. We get in the car, one or two or five or seven of these encounters with people. It’s an adventure. Another adventure is to talk to your relatives about the Lord. Is that called an adventure or a disaster? Huh? Is that tough? Sometimes. Scary. Scary. How about your neighbor? How about it. Lord Jesus, if that’s you, call
me. Call me. If that’s you on the water. People aren’t supposed to walk on water. People cannot
reach their relatives. People can’t change the life of a Democrat! I’m joking. Pray for me that I
stay in my place! No, but you can’t change a drug addict. You cannot change a pedophile. You cannot change a pornographer. You can’t. Jesus if that is you walking on the water, call me. I
want an adventure. I got to see if it’s real. Are you real? Is this real? That’s amazing. The next
week, we go out to Westminster. I told you this story.
There is a guy and I don’t want to talk to him. I can tell by looking at him, but I do anyway by faith. He takes the paper and says I went to this Bible school. I know Pastor Love. I go, when were you there? He said, 2001. It changed my life. We get in the van after a couple hours and grab something to eat and come back home. I
feel something good about it. I feel it’s right. I feel it’s a walk of faith. This past weekend, a
group went to Tennessee. I think a van of 15 people. Pirjo took a group to West Virginia. P.
Scibelli and a group up in Philadelphia. And of course Wilmington. And Jason Moore is going to
Frederick. We’re praying for this. From here and from there how many does it take? One. And
what happens? If Jesus Christ comes into the heart, if his peace and his life, his forgiveness and
his grace comes into your life, that’s called salvation. You know they went to West Virginia.
Yesterday we went to Emmitsburg. It was raining.
The streets were empty. We didn’t see a person on the sidewalk for a period of time. Then we went to the doors and started knocking. It was amazing. One woman said thank you for coming. Someone told me about Jesus a long time
ago and I’ve been thinking about it. It’s not hard but it takes faith. As you share, sometimes
your own mouth ministers to you. It says the righteous are a tree of life and we are satisfied
from our own mouth. The words of God in Proverbs 18:22 are fitted in our lips and we start to speak
in terms of faith. Even as we are talking, we are ministering and realizing this is what God wants
to do. Speak the word Lord and your servant will be healed. Thy word was hid in my heart that I
might not sin against you. The entrance of your word gives life. It gives understanding to the
simple. It can take a simple guy like me and like you.
It can take a simple person who would not know and give light and understanding and give us purpose and call us. When Peter was walking on the water, he was saying is this normal when I walk with Jesus. Is this real? As I am
walking on the water, can this be happening? We might say in the gospel that’s a miracle but
today I’m living with a lot of trouble and pain in life. That’s how it is for some people. John 4:3-
4. This was north of Jerusalem. I don’t know maybe 40 or 50 miles north. It was the way
wouldn’t normally go. That was over land through dangerous territory. You’d normally go up
the Jordan River right up to Galilee, the Decapolis, and then go over west and up around that
way. He went through the Samaritan territory. They were antagonistic to the Jews. It would be
like people going to parts of the city or parts of the country or parts of the world where it would
not be very convenient or favorable.
You would go because of God. You would go because of faith. You would go because of the Gospel. That’s what Jesus did. It’s a lot of fun. The adventures of faith, there are many of them on boats, planes, buses, and cars. All kinds of things we have done. By walking, by donkey, by horseback and all kinds of means. Up
mountains, down mountains, in deserts, in big cities and ghettos and everywhere. For me, my
experience has been quite wide but not everything I just mentioned. I have been on horses and
that kind of a thing. It seems nothing overly dramatic. It doesn’t matter because it’s not the
adventure itself but finding God’s will and finding the joy of bringing the message somewhere.
Wow! P. Gromov told me a story. He was in Turkmenistan and a Russian drug addict who was a
soldier in Afghanistan and became a heroin addict.
He was lost in his soul. He had a lot of physical problems. He was very sick. He was a heroin addict for many years. He could not sleep at night. He watched a movie, or a CD, the life of Jesus, the gospel of Luke and P. Gromov met
him and said Jesus can heal you. He said, what do you mean? Jesus can heal you and take it
away. The man said I have not slept a whole night of sleep for five years. I have not slept for five
years like a night’s sleep. P. Gromov prayed for him and the next day he said I slept all night. He
got healed of drug addiction without any withdrawals. It was a miracle. Adventure. I think
people don’t have any. Maybe that’s why they do extreme sports and try to kill themselves.
Diving out of a plane without a parachute and hoping something will happen on the way down.
I mean why do they do extreme sports?
They don’t have any adventure. What are they looking for? They are looking for something. When Jesus came into the world, he knew what we needed. It seems in the Gospel of Luke there is such a contrast with the Pharisees and Jesus that it’s almost funny. The Pharisees and the way he was. He was loose. He was free. He was
wild. He was crazy. He was challenging them. Religion was unserving the people. It was
bondage. It was empty. Religion is not God. Much of it is not God. I want Jesus. I want Jesus to
go and go to this part of the area there and he said in vs. 5-6. The sixth hour is noon time. They
count from six in the morning as the first hour. The sixth hour is noon, in the hot sun. They get
the water in the morning and they get the water in the late afternoon because it’s so hot in the
day time. He was there at noon and this woman came who was notorious in the town as a
woman that had five husbands and the man living with her was not her husband.
Maybe she went there at noon to stay away from the gossips that were in the town. Maybe stay away from
shame. Maybe stay away from people that would talk a lot. She was a woman who in a way
maybe we could say was a victim of her own bad decisions and somehow suffering from them.
But Jesus was after her. Vs. 7. Sometimes you should ask people for things. Ask them for, hey,
could I have some money? That would be one way to start a conversation. Could you sell me a
good car? Could you help me? Could you help me carry this? My car ran out of gas. Could you
help me? I have to find some gas. They may be needed. People are needed. That’s one way to
start a connection. Can you answer a question? Can you give me some help? It’s an adventure.
People are talking. Some people are thinking. Some people are seeking. We met a man on the
street in Emmetsburg yesterday, a young guy, a college student at the university there. He was
stone quiet. I handed him a tract and he stopped.
I want to share a good message. He said, what? I said, God loves you. He’s not saying anything. I kept talking. He was quiet. He doesn’t move. He’s listening. A little more talking. Then he said, thank you. You don’t know how much I needed this. P. Randy said, do you have a problem? He said, yes. P. Randy said, is it a girl?
Under his breath he said, usually it is. He said yes, it is. I’m always having problems in this thing.
I don’t know if it was the same girl or not. He was serious. He was very thankful. We spent a
little time and then we left. You know, we are called to be fishers of men and we have the bait.
We also have a hook. We have God. God is the hook. What we say is the bait. How we talk to
people. How we love them and listen to them. This woman has a need. He says, give me a drink.
Give me a drink. I am thirsty. I’m weary from my journey. In a way, in hospital rooms, in court
houses – sometimes I’ve been evangelizing people outside of courthouses and studying people
as they come out. People come out quickly and they go away like they are running away.
Sometimes they come out and maybe they are devastated and linger for a while. Maybe they
are in trouble. Maybe they need a word. Maybe God is the one that will answer. I might not
ever see them again, but I could say if you are in trouble, God understands you and he forgives
and answers. What a good message that is. He said to the woman at the well, give me a drink.
Vs. 8-9. Why does race always come into the picture? Why is this racial thing? You being a Jew,
how could you ask me a Samaritan for a drink? Why is there so much talk about it? Isn’t life
deeper than that? Didn’t Martin Luther King, Jr. say, I have a dream that in the future my child
will be judged not by the color of his skin but by the character of his heart? We’ve shifted it. We
are talking more about our skin than our character. We are talking more about color and race
than we are about character. I think if Martin Luther King was here he’d say, it’s not based on
the color of our skin. It’s based on the character of our heart.
Are you a good man or a bad man? Are you a righteous man or an unrighteous man? That’s the issue. Are you are humble man or proud man. Who are you? What is your character? What is in your heart? Are you an
honest person or a dishonest person? She said this racial thing with Jesus. Jesus is so good. He
goes to where she is really living. I don’t care if you are a Samaritan or Jew or who you are.
There is something you need and it’s the well of water that I have access to. I got a well of
water of everlasting life. I can draw from it. It’s a deep well. It’s the deepest well you could ever
imagine. I have words that do not end. I have righteousness that is satisfying. I have holiness
that I will give to you and you will find me. You will know God. That’s why I came that you
would know God. What a word. Isn’t it beautiful. I read a story and I quoted it at 9:00. He was a
journalist in India. He was American and watching this conversion and salvations with a
missionary team and many Hindus getting baptized in the river.
One man watching from the village and he was drawn and went to his house and told him about Jesus. He was very
interested and then a wall went up in the man’s mind and heart. He didn’t know why. Later, he
was talking to his Indian friend and he said, what do you think happened? Why did he shut
down? He said I found out that the man enjoys and is part of cockfighting. When these birds
with razor blades attached to their legs are in a fight. Anyway, he likes it and he does it.
Cockfighting. He realized if he believed in Jesus, maybe he can’t do cockfighting anymore, so he
put up the walls and said, thank you very much. Good bye. I think this is what happens maybe a
lot more than we realize. I have something in my life, and I don’t want to give it up. One young
man said I am very sexually active. That’s my lifestyle . That’s how I live. If I believe in Jesus, I
can’t do that. I have to choose between the two. I choose my sexual activity, my sexual life.
That’s what I choose. That’s what I do.
The story goes like this. I’ll explain what I mean in a minute. Vs. 10. Could it be the woman doesn’t know the gift of God, vs 10. You know why cockfighting would be a challenge to Christ, that I won’t believe in Christ because of it? Because I like it because this is the water I drink from. This is the well I have. I come and go from this
well. Jesus said to the woman if you knew the gift of God, that’s what you don’t know and who
is talking to you. I am the Messiah. You would ask from me and there is another well I draw
from and it’s a well where you would never thirst again. With your sexual life, you will thirst
again. With cockfighting, you will thirst again. With stealing, you will thirst again. With false
religion, you will thirst again. With me, it’s over. You will not thirst anymore. You’ll be satisfied.
Has that happened to you? If that has happened to you, then you have a message. If that has
happened to you and it’s growing in you, then you have a ministry. If you have a ministry then
you have an adventure of faith. Walking on water becomes – it means there is a natural life and
a transcendental life. There is a life that everyone is living and another life that you are living by
faith. When you are able to share or believe or trust and sacrifice or turn and believe, then you
find yourself filled and you say, wow. I want to go in my heart with the message to the prison
and nursing home, court house, the mall, a parking lot at Sam’s Club, a quiet street in Littleton,
Maryland. Maybe a hospital room. Someone has a stroke and you are able to say to them
words of life. Maybe to your grandchildren or relatives.
Maybe the relatives won’t understand because maybe they have something like cockfighting in their lives. There is something they enjoy that is going to keep them from God. It keeps me from God. If I find God, what do I find? I
find live. I find God. I find a deep – the woman said, you can’t get everlasting water because you
have nothing to draw it with. You don’t have. This drawing is not down it’s drawing like this
drawing. This is deep but this is very deep. Jesus could say I do have something to draw but not
this machine, this pully system or rope. Not a material rope. I have something to draw that is
my person. This everlasting. This will not condemn you. This will set you free. This will
encourage you. This will give you purpose in life. That’s another problem that we find in this
world. People are so busy going from work to Walmart to the health club to the soccer game
and to every other thing and they are burnt out and empty as they go.
If you do this kind of thing pulling up your water a couple times a day, it tires you out. If it flows out of your belly, if
it’s spiritual life that flows out of your belly, it refreshes you and you stay young. You stay young
in spirit, in attitude, in the freshness of a sense of humor and a satisfying life that you are able
to live in. And you say you are honestly; I don’t know why people aren’t enjoying life as much as
I am. If you go on an escalator in a big city and people are coming up and you are going down,
you wonder what is wrong? What’s wrong with everybody? Why is everybody ashamed? Why
are they guilty? Why are they fearful? Why aren’t they rejoicing? Why isn’t there joy in this
world? It’s tough at this well. You have to keep going back and it doesn’t satisfy. A dead bird, a
cock fight. What do you get?
A couple bloody birds at the end of the day. Wow! Wasn’t that fun? I don’t know. I’ve never been there. I don’t really care about it. I’m saying it as an unusual illustration, isn’t it? Crazy that two birds could keep me from God. Two birds fighting could keep me from God. I think a coke a cola can could keep me from God. I think a stupid excuse could
keep me from God. I think a stupid thing could keep me from God. I don’t know what I’m
talking about or doing. I need Christ to come into my life now. You might say America, America,
you got problems. America would say, yeah. We are struggling in a lot of ways. Does anyone
have a message? Does anyone have anything beyond the water? Could anyone walk on it?
Could anyone call us. It will never be us, America. It will be one person in Emmitsburg. One
person in Glen Burnie. One woman at the well. One person in Philadelphia. One person at a
time. And that’s where you and I come into the picture.
We cannot save our country, but we can bring the gospel to the world. We can share it and be part of the solution with this great message. Let’s finish up. Vs. 11-14. You know when we lived in Finland, I learned this thing I
have up here on the map by going out and ministering in small little towns and places and people’s homes. We did it up in New England. We had 120 Bible studies in one week on a
regular basis. We were in Holyoake and Hudson, New York and Marlboro and Worchester and
Peabody and Saugus and Rhode Island and Connecticut. It was an amazing thing we did with
people like you and me. In Finland, we did the same thing. In [?] we heard about Lena. We go
there and to [he’s naming different places in Finland]. A little town and 27 people came out of
that village and came into Bible Speaks. Mati Sirvio, Teija Petrone, Kiko, etc. All these various
people. P Matti has been to five our six countries. I didn’t know that. He’s a little guy from the
woods of Finland but the Spirit of God did it and look at its years later.
It’s happened. It means there is a woman somewhere at a well and she’s going to respond, and God is going to do it. You are going to go to sleep and not know what is going on, but they are going to be awake and
they’re saved. They are forgiven. Their name is in the book. God is their Father. Walking with
God and everything happens. In Turkey with Roger and Lizzie and Britany and the whole thing.
That’s how it works. It’s God’s work. It happens by faith. If you don’t want an adventure, I
understand. Maybe you are tired and worn out and beat up and hunkered down hiding behind
the couch. I understand how life can be. Keep listening and loving yourself with God loving you
and building you up. You might be like Peter saying if that is you, call me out of the water. You
go over to the boat like this and you’re feeling the water and it’s kind of spongy. You start and
start going like this and it’s a little spongy maybe. We don’t know. He’s out there thinking
they’re looking at me. And turns around, hey! Look at what I’m doing. That’s fun! Pray with me.
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.