There’s a roaring that gets into our bones. Dryness, deadness enter into us. We must learn to forgive. It’s the only way to be truly free. A message from our Evening Parking Lot Service. (Psalm 32:1-5)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 5/13/2020
P. Schaller –
We’ve heard great news today. I just want to say to all the folks listening here that we are so blessed to have
a church like this one – praise God! – where we can assemble and worship in these
circumstances, and we can seek God in our hearts and worship him and share the message out
on the street and to everyone listening. We’ve had new families come into the church who
have not been in the church yet. They have come and come to Christ. They have heard a great
message about forgiveness. That’s what I want to share about tonight. Forgiveness can change
a person’s life. Forgiveness is so important and so powerful. We’re going to read from Psalm 32
but before we start, I want to say again I’m so blessed to be working with a staff of people like
We had a staff meeting Tuesday morning and I had two cups of coffee and a honeybun
donut and we were cracking jokes and having a good time, enjoying our liberty and our
freedom, knowing our constitutional rights to gather and assemble. That we know very well.
Yet we are respectful of the local authorities and President and government. We are great
Christian people. Christians are excellent citizens. We are. We are humble, obedient, God-
fearing, but also, don’t underestimate us because we have some steel running through us. We
are very lamb-like and then also we are the ones that really made this country unique because
we have such respect for people.
We have respect for how we are designed. We have respect
for our freedom. We have respect for godliness. We have respect for education. We have
respect for worship. We have respect for our heritage as believers with a couple thousand years
of amazing history where we have started universities, hospitals, human enterprises, social
concern and all kinds of things we have done through history and we are those kinds of people
tonight. And the reason why is because we are not enough for these things. God has sent his
Holy Spirit into us. In his Holy Spirit, we learned how to think. We’ve learned how to listen.
We’ve learned how to speak.
We’ve learned how to act. We’ve learned how to treat our fellow man and people that have enemies, which I also want to speak about that tonight a little bit, too. There is a story during the Revolutionary War where a popular pastor, his name was Peter Miller, was “loved by everyone in the community. There was one man that hated him and lived near the church. This man was not only a hater of the church but a traitor of the country. He
was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. The trial was in Philadelphia. This Pastor
Miller heard of it and he set out on foot to visit General Washington and intercede it.
Washington told him, I’m sorry. I cannot grant your request for your friend. Friend? Miller cried.
Why that man is the worst enemy that I have in the world.
What? General Washington said. Have you walked 60 miles to save the life of an enemy? That in my judgment puts the matter in a different light. I will grant him a pardon for your sake. Washington gave him the pardon,
signed it, and Miller went 15 miles to the place of execution. He made it just in time. The man
that was to be hanged saw him and said, Oh, he walked all this way to see my death and his
revenge on me, but Miller pushed his way through to the condemned man and handed him the
pardon that saved his life.” Forgiveness. If you’ve had it, it affects you. If you have been forgiven
of a crime or a sin of some kind that is so destructive, but you have been forgiven, it changes
your heart. It changes your life.
In Psalm 32 it says there – I’d like you to read it with me from verse 1 – The word “blessed” means happy. Happy is the man whose sin and transgression are forgiven and covered. Vs. 2. When we came to Christ, we were deceitful people Jeremiah 17, Romans 3, Isaiah 1:5. We know what that was like. Psalm 101 talks about how God cannot have a deceitful man dwell in his house nor a man who speaks lies. But we are liars and deceitful until we come
to Christ. When we come to Christ and he forgives us, then we are blessed. We have something
knew that happens like the thief on the cross that was forgiven. Jesus showed himself when he
was hanging on the cross, he said to the man, today you will be with me in Paradise. The
psalmist said, vs. 3.
My bones are speaking of my spiritual life, the marrow for my red blood
cells my white blood cells. My bones are an important part of my health but when my bones get
dry, my bones are broken, my bones are roaring all day long. It reminds me of the story of
Leonardo DaVinci who had an enemy painter, a fellow painter who was an enemy who he
didn’t like. When he painted the Last Supper, he chose that painters face to be the face of Judas
Iscariot. He painted that face first. When it was time to paint the face of Jesus Christ, he
couldn’t do it. He tried. He didn’t have the inspiration. He didn’t get it. He couldn’t paint the
face of Jesus.
God spoke to his heart. He said you cannot paint the face of Jesus because you
hate that painter and you painted his face as the face of Judas. Forgive him. Forgive him. He
blotched out Judas’ face in the painting and then he was able to pain the face of Jesus. You
must learn to forgive. You and I must learn to be forgiven. You and I must learn to say I’m sorry.
You and I must learn to receive God’s grace and forgiveness for our sins. If we do, we are
blessed. Forgive you wife. Forgive your husband. Forgive your ex-wife. Forgive your ex-
husband. Forgive your children, your mother, your father. Forgive the pastor. Forgive the
church. Have forgiveness as part of your life because you and I have been forgiven.
The psalmist was quiet but there was a war going on inside, was roaring all day long. Why can’t I sleep
tonight? Maybe because I can’t forgive. I hold a grudge. Why don’t I have peace and I’m a
Christian and I read my Bible, but nothing seems to be flowing, nothing seems to be working. I
don’t have any real revival in my heart. Nothing is really happening in my spirit. I feel dry and
dead. I must forgive. Vs. 4. God is speaking to the man by emptiness. By emptiness God speaks
to us. He says come to me. Be naked and open before me and trust in me. There’s a missionary
that went to some Eskimos who didn’t have the word “forgiveness” in their language, so they
had to invent the word.
They made a compound word. It’s very long, and I could never pronounce it. It’s a long word and it means for those that understand it, “not being able to think about it anymore.” That’s one word. Not being able to think about it anymore. I cannot think about it anymore. It is forgiven. What if God has forgiven and forgotten of all our sins and
he cannot think about it anymore. You are a righteous person. You are forgiven by God.
Therefore, you are blessed. Vs. 5. He’s totally out in the open before God. I cannot hide my
iniquity. I bring it before you. Sometimes that is hard to do, but not when you know God. God is
the X-ray machine, the MRI machine, the One that knows.
God is the One that cares. God is the one that forgives. Vs. 5-6. We will pray to God in that time, in this lifetime. We can find him. We can say to him, vs. 6-7. Have you felt that? God is my hiding place. Though the mountains be
removed and cast into the city, there is a river that makes glad the city of God. Years ago, up in
Maine when Dr. Stevens was outdoor preaching like this, I remember going to those meetings
and he set an example for many of us pastors and preachers. Never give up. God is on the move. The Spirit is moving. These are unique times, but it is an opportunity. A stumbling stone
for man is a steppingstone for God. God is here. We discovered a new platform for our
meetings. We discovered a new audience for our ministry.
We have found new neighbors walking in the streets. We have found new phone calls, new internet connections and new social media opportunities. All of this because we have been forgiven. We have been forgiven
of all our sin, every day. Millions of them. God cannot remember them anymore. We are
forgiving others a lot. We forgive others a lot. We enjoy the joy of grace. If we have received
grace, then we are able to give out grace. That’s what we have here in the parking lot, songs in
our hearts. Songs of hope. Songs of reality. Songs of forgiveness. I have another story here
about a Korean pastor, “a Korean civilian was arrested by the Communists and shot.
The young Communist leader learned the prisoner was in charge of an orphanage caring for children. He
decided to spare him and kill his son, so he shot the 19-year old boy in the presence of his
father. Later, the war changed. The Communist leader was captured, tried and condemned to
death. But the man who lost his son pleaded for the life of the killer. He declared that he was
young and that he didn’t know what he was doing. Give him to me, the father said. I’ll train
him. The United Nation’s forces granted the request. The father took the murderer of the boy
into his own home and cared for him. Today, the young Communist is a Christian pastor. What
could forgiveness do for us? A new heart, a new spirit, a new attitude. Psalm 32:8, God will
guide you with his eye.
Sometimes we are guided by a paycheck, guided by manipulation of a
personality, guided by hardship, guided by our troubles. Sometimes we are guided by
circumstances. Here it says I will guide you with my eye. God said about Moses, I will speak to
him as a friend face to face. When Peter denied the Lord three times, Jesus looked at him
through the distance and their eyes caught each other in the Gospel of Luke. When Peter saw
Jesus’ eye, he went out and wept. When we read the Bible, maybe we see God’s eye. When we
see the Body of Christ, maybe we see God’s eye. His face speaks to us. He forgives us. He gives
us mercy and grace. Vs. 9.
It’s much better to be guided intimately by love. When Emma Shibley was singing, I think it touched her heart. I could see it in her countenance. They say the computers can read the human face making 250,000 different expressions. Sometimes when we see someone’s tears, the eye guides me. Paul said to Timothy, I remember your tears.
Sometimes when we look in the face of a child, you can see their tenderness. They just want to
be loved. They want to be heard. They want to be cared for. They want to have a connection.
God guides us like this by his Spirit. We look at the ocean. It’s beautiful. But I have to see
beyond the ocean and see God’s eye, eye of favor, eye of forgiveness, eye of mercy, heart of
compassion burning towards the prodigal son and caring.
This changes our lives. It’s funny. We are not so religious people, but we are after the eye of God. Our disciplines are real but at the same time, there is nothing like being disciplined by the eye of God, the heart of God. Tell me
you forgive me, God. Tell me you love me. Tell me you are for me. Tell me that my name is in
the Book of Life. Tell me that no matter what happens, all things work together for good. Tell
me Lord by your Spirit. God is saying, I am telling you. Vs. 10-11. Soon we will be back inside our
building. I appreciate that very much, but I know that’s not the essential thing. It’s a gift and it’s
a precious thing but we have the essential things that are growing in our lives and hearts.
When we see each other, we will enjoy that so much. There are also the deeper things. What is God
doing through the summer? What is God doing into the fall? What is he doing? It’s kind of fun.
It’s a joy to be glad in the Lord. God has not left us without a mission, a heart, a message. Lastly,
there are so many people around us that don’t understand us. They don’t know what has really
happened in our lives. We would like to say to them and everybody, it’s simple. We have been
forgiven. That’s all. We have been forgiven by God Almighty and so have you. You have been
forgiven also and it affects us.
We are blessed people because we are forgiven. It’s great to wake up in the morning and not be guilty. It’s great to go to bed at night and not be guilty. Listen to this, even as I sin and God forbid, but it happens, Romans 6:1. In a moment, I can rebound and be forgiven, many times every day all the time. I’m not necessarily thinking of my sin. I’m thinking of his grace and realize what the psalmist said, vs. 1-2. I have seen so many blessed
people around here. I just want to say that Scotty Dubay and his team have been so awesome.
Paul Nye and his team have been so awesome. They have made P. Barry and every teacher at
the school and everything we are doing.
GGCA has been so awesome. Pat Lynch has young guys working out in the gym, a few guys here and there. They are working out and they are there. Everybody on our staff I am amazed and could go through name after name. I have very little responsibility in that sense. I have not done nothing except show up. We have seen the Spirit of
God do things, help us, encourage us and love each other and the Spirit of God does these great
things that we have seen in these last two months. It’s not over. We go on and the reason is
because we have been forgiven. If you are not a good soul winner and you do not evangelize,
let me introduce this to you.
Say to someone someday somewhere, it will come out of your
heart and out of your mouth, it is so amazing to be forgiven of all the bad things that I have
done. Say that to a stranger. It is so amazing to be forgiven of all the bad things I have done and
there are many. It is so amazing to be forgiven. Can I tell you? And on you go. There are hurting
people and they need to hear the gospel. Jesus Christ came into the world to take our sins
away. He did it and it’s done and walk in it. You are free. Be sure to share it and forgive others a
lot. Vs. 11. Pray with me please.
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