King Ahab got a word of truth because someone loved him enough to say it. Was he open and vulnerable to hear? He was not. He could not love or be loved. To love is to surrender self and envy and to be free to give and suffer with others and for others. This is the winning way. (1 Kings 22:8; James 3:13-18; 1 Corinthians 13)

Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller, Lenin Maxwell Stanley
Sermon 12457
6:30 PM on 2/12/2023

Good evening, church. That was an amazing song, “Thank You Jesus.” Yeah. He saved us. He
applied his blood on us. And we are from the darkness and eternal, everlasting light because of
him, right?

I’ve been here five months, five and a half months. I’m here as a senior Bible college student
from Mumbai, India. It’s been an amazing time here so far, and it will be. Just glad to be here in
the church and all people here, different families sharing love, faith. Learning from many people
not just leaders. There are many spiritually mature Christians whom we can learn from and get
encouraged from. I’m really glad and blessed to be here.

I thank P. Carl’s life and P. Benu and many other leaders in India for investing in me. I’m here to
just share a testimony of the Culpeper trip we had from MBC&S yesterday and today, and also a
few thoughts from the Word. I think around 25 people went to Culpeper yesterday and today.
Many Bible college students.

There’s a sweet group of people there in the church. Many mature Christians, lot of love. I really
saw a servant spirit in them. In the morning, you can see like people in their 60s and 70s they
woke up at 6 am and went into the church kitchen just to make breakfast and lunch for the
people there from Baltimore. The love really touched me. They gave a lot of food. So much
food! And we ate a lot.

We did outreach. We started with outreach yesterday. We split into four or five groups. We went
into different parts of the town. We saw people who were really open for the Word there. Some
things which I observed in the church they had some literature in front of the church like various
kinds of books and leaflets, tracts, Bibles. I think any new believers coming into the church and
also for the people in the church it helps for special growth.

They had some games in their basement just to encourage fellowship and bonding with the
church. They are doing youth time on Thursdays, and they are also reaching out to Hispanic
children in there area. Many Hispanic communities there in Culpeper.

And P. Schaller was sharing about God’s AGAPE love. We had a rap session yesterday. P. Bob
Colban came today along with his wife. He was preaching on 1 Kings 22. He was sharing about
having people in your life who can share truth to you, who can correct you.

I spoke to some other people in the church there after the message. They were really, they were
like giving feedback. These are amazing messages and it really spoke to them personally. I just
saw in Romans 1:11-12, Paul says he’s longing to see people in Rome to impart strength to them
and spiritual gifts. And also, to be mutually encouraged by faith between each other. And I just
saw like we were all encouraged by each other’s faith in Culpeper. That’s my testimony. P. Tom
and his family, I’m sure they are a blessing there. P. Tom has been through tough times and they
need our prayers and support.

I just want to share a few thoughts which I heard last two days from P. Schaller and P. Bob. P.
Schaller was sharing about God’s AGAPE love mainly from 1 John 4. He was sharing an
example of that he went to a village kind of area in some place and he was sharing about envy
with the people. He said some of you are envying. You have seven chickens and you are
envying someone who has a hundred chickens. And that really touched the people there.
And I was talking to some people after the message and we were talking like anyone in this
world can have envy.

Even a beggar on the street can say okay this beggar, he gets more
money than me. Or even a king or a president of a country can say I don’t want to be president
of this country. I want to be president of that country. Or a rich man can say I may have more
rich, more money than this rich man, but he has more happiness and joy in his life. I want to be that man. Envy and jealousy is not limited to some people. It can be there for all and it robs of
joy in our life.

1 John 4:20, like personally I would say if I say like I’m coming to the church. I’m worshipping. I’m
saying I’m loving God and what about the people around me. God has placed people around us.
It could be in my neighborhood. It could be in my office. It could be in my family, relatives and
friends. And if I can’t love, if I don’t have the capacity to love them beyond their faults and
failures, I cannot say I really love God.

Of course, God gives the capacity in us to love people, but it starts from where we are. I can say
I want to be a leader. I want to go to this country or city to share the love of Christ to people. But
if I can’t love the people around me in the place where I am, how can it make a difference if I go
to a different country or city and love them?

I think that spoke to me. 1 Kings 22, what P. Bob said about the context is King Ahab wants to war
with the King in Ramoth and he’s asking help with the king of Israel. The king of Israel is
Jehoshaphat and he’s asking for the word of the Lord. King Ahab is asking 400 prophets. He
has 400 prophets and everyone are saying you can go for the war and you will win. And king
Jehoshaphat is saying you should ask is there a real prophet of the Lord in that place you are.
He says there is a prophet but he always speaks wrong about me. He’s the prophet Micaiah.
Ask him. He initially says the same thing. And then he says that I see people of Israel scattered
without a master, without a shepherd. It means if you go to war, you will die.

But they both go even after hearing that. Both King Jehoshaphat and Ahab they both go to
battle. And King Ahab disguises himself as a normal person, as a normal soldier, but still he
ends up killed. The main point of the message was you can have 400 people in your life saying
yes to what you want to hear. Do you have one person like prophet Micaiah who can say, who
can challenge you into truth. When you need correction, is there someone in your life who can
come to your face and correct you with love?

The people who are saying yes with you, they may not be caring (about) you or having genuine
love to you. Prophet Micaiah maybe he is correcting him and he’s saying truth. It’s offending
King Ahab. But because he’s telling the truth, it shows genuine love towards him.
We need to have discernment to have people in our life when we go away from the way or when
we are doing something wrong, we need people. We need genuine friends who love us and who
can come and correct us. Amen. Thank you.

P. Schaller –

I had a funny story. Where is it? It was about a guy who was a politician and
wanted his picture taken and after receiving the proofs of the portrait he was angry at the
photographer. He stormed back to the photographer with these angry words. This picture does
not do me justice. The photographer replied, sir, with a face like yours, you don’t need justice.
You need mercy! Mercy rejoices over.

Turn in your Bibles to James. You know, what Lenin said touched my heart because actually
turn to 1 Kings 22. This happened to me this morning, honestly. This happened to me about
6:00 in the morning. A verse. I’m sitting in the chair praying and thinking about the morning.
Maybe 6 or something like that this morning. And this phrase came to my mind, “let not the king
say so.” Let not the king say so. And that was from the Spirit. I knew it. Where is that? That’s 1
Kings 22.

So, I turned there and I have a meditation about it. I wonder if I should preach about that today
or share it? And then he just said that Bob Colban preached on it this morning in Culpeper. And
I have the same. I do not know what Bob Colban said. I can imagine. But I want to point the
verse out to you. As Lenin said, King Ahab said I got 400 prophets that will tell me what I want
to hear. But there is one that will not, he will not, I never, I never like to hear what he has to say.
Don’t say that, Jehoshaphat said. Don’t – the king should not say that.

1 Kings 22:8, we should stop right there and draw one of our famous pictures and explain a little
bit about it. I was joking about the famous picture! That wasn’t funny I guess. What? This is King
Ahab. Better put a crown on him. Tonight, we’re speaking for a few minutes on love. There are
patterns of thoughts and patterns of behaviors in our lives that are actually against us. Love is
reality. Love is God. God is love. God needs to teach us about love.

This morning, we went through a list of words regarding this AGAPE love. Love is dialog. That’s
from Peter Kreft, one of his books. I like it. It’s from the Bible. God talks and we listen and we
talk and he listens. Love is a choice. Love is messy. Love is not afraid of diving in. Like a
surgeon diving into an operation. A house repair man diving into a problem. A plumbing
problem. An electrical problem. A structural problem. A counselor diving in. A pastor diving in.
Christ coming into the world. Love. Love cares. Love is vulnerable. It might get hurt but it will
survive. Love suffers. Love is powerful. Love works. Love is free. Love is ready. Love is
inclusive. Love is light hearted. Love moves. Love cares.

But we could see King Ahab here. He’s saying he’s in his world of power, convenience and self-
interest. He says there is a prophet but he will not tell me what I want to hear. I hate him. I hate him. And Jehoshaphat is trying to be a friend to Ahab. He’s from Judah. He’s the king from the
line of David. Ahab is an aberrant king. He’s not from the line of David. All the kings in the north
were various hodge podge guys that came to power sometimes by assassination. Ahab was not
a good guy. He’s a good picture for us.

The prophet said to him, Ahab said I hate him. I don’t want to hear him. And Jehoshaphat said,
let’s hear him. I don’t want to hear him. Let not the king say so. He corrected him. No, you
should be open to hearing him. You should be vulnerable. Because truth will invade our lives
and help us. But it’s truth with love. Like Christ loves us but he tells us the truth.
So, I just want to say a couple things about these patterns of thoughts here. I love it if the Spirit
would speak to us about it tonight. He did this morning. I praise him for that, cause when we’re
teaching and the Spirit moves and somehow it ministers to us, we rejoice in that. We’re edified
in that so much.

What about this picture? Love cares about Ahab. Truth is what Ahab needs. Ahab doesn’t want
to hear it. And we’re there saying, no, no, no. You need to hear it. There’s something more.
There’s something else. There’s something you haven’t heard. You’re not listening. You don’t
have capacity for that. And you should have.

So, turn now to James 3 and this is the word. I think we could say it to Ahab. James 3:13, follow
this with me now. We’re a church here and who is wise and understanding among you? I want
to hear something that is, I want to hear love. I want to hear love. I want somebody to love me
and help me in life. The common people heard Jesus gladly. It’s a great word this morning. The
common people loved to listen to Jesus because he wasn’t afraid. Like the surgeon diving in. He
wasn’t afraid.

He was God that came into the world to speak to us and tell us what we need to hear. We are
like choking on – Ahab is choking on himself really. I only want to hear those that will be
pleasing to me, those who will support my regine. Those that will be behind me in my decisions.
Even as I murdered Naboth and took his vineyard and Jezebel was my counselor and even as
we are operating this way in this house, that is the way we are choosing and that’s what we
want. We say, no. Let not the king say so. Be vulnerable. Say you’re wrong. Say you need help.
Say you need, you need something deeper.

I was thinking about these patterns of thoughts. I’ll make a short list here. I think self-protection
is something we got to give up. Or to say we need to be vulnerable. Expose myself. Who is the
wise man amongst us? Let him speak and let his words and counsel address my need to be open to what God, wisdom from above has to say. It will be a kindness. The righteous, let him
smite me. It will be a kindness upon my head. Oil upon my head in Psalm 141.
vs. 13. Another pattern we will see here in a minute is envy. It’s repeated twice. I’ll put the word
“jealous” down as well. They’re a little different. One is more about possessions and one is more
about people. Jealous about people and envious about what they have. That’s the difference but
we know what it is. When we hate somebody, when we want their demise versus when love is in
our heart.

I like to hear stories about love, love that can bring tears to our eyes. Love that touches our
hearts. I just jotted down a couple. I read a story about a woman who went to a dressmaker who
said I want fabric that makes a lot of noise when it moves. And I want it to be kind of crispy and
make noise so people could hear me when I’m coming. And the dressmaker said, why do you
want that? She said because I’m going to get married and I want my dress made out of this
material because my fiance is blind and I want him to hear me coming when I’m coming down
the aisle. Wow. Nice story.

These sensitivities that love has for people. At the health club maybe you’ve seen it at a mall or
shopping. You see a family with a disabled child. I see it at the pool where I swim. A family has a
down syndrome adult precious man with his elderly parents. Apparently, they have been
bringing him around and he’s been part of their lives all their lives. And when you watch them in
the locker room and you think about it the kind of love that cares for our families and will
sacrifice something because love is like that.

But Ahab, you are like in a prison. You don’t know what it is to live cause you don’t know what it
is to love. Because your only love is about yourself and protecting yourself. And for sure your
envious and jealous of other kings like Lenin said it so well. We know what this is.
I also watch sometimes like you know in schools, public schools or maybe you’ve seen it at the
county fair, the Timonium Fair or you’ve seen people that are not as fortunate as us. Maybe they
don’t have the same abilities. Maybe they are disabled somehow and maybe they struggle with
something in their heart, in their life that they can’t do as well as you do. How do you feel about
it? We just have what we have and we can be thankful.

Another thing about this lack of love or this kind of self-life is that there is a lack of thankfulness.
Love is always thankful. Love is kind. It suffers. It endures. It is bold. It’s kind of like this list of
wisdom here if you look at the verses here, vs. 13-18. I jotted the words down. We got that list
there of Ahab and what he’s living in and the counselor, the king saying, “let not the king say
so.” Hear him. Because vs. 14. This is the English Standard Version. I’m sorry, I didn’t tell the
folks up above there who are running the screens.

vs. 15. That’s Ahab’s wisdom. vs. 16-17. Pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason. I don’t know if
you had the problem with somebody. They can’t hear you. They will not reason with you. They
will not discuss with you. They will not talk with you. They are not open to reason. But the
wisdom that is from above is reasonable. It will listen. It is full of mercy and good fruits. What
else? Impartial. It is sincere. It is righteous and it is sown in peace by those who make peace. I
think I have nine, right?

These words it seems to me go hand in hand with 1 Corinthians 13, what love is. I have it here. It is not
thinking or wishing others demise but it is thankful. Not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its
own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing. It rejoices with truth. It
bears. It believes. It hopes. It endures and it never ends. We give us childish ways and we
spoke as a child, thought, understood as a child but when we became men, we put away the
childish ways and we learn love.

So, that was our message in Culpeper yesterday and this morning and also here tonight. I just
think that in my heart, I just kind of got a revival in my heart about it and I’m excited about it. It’s just the meaning of everything. Love. What it is.
And I love it in our church after service is over people are talking. And sometimes I wonder,
what are they talking about? What are they talking about? And we know. Common things. Heart
felt things. They are sensitive, comparing, compassionate, listening, prayerful, wise, rejoicing,
sowing righteousness with the Spirit of peace and reaping peace in our hearts. So we come
back. I come back. And one of my brothers or my sisters offends me, I can take it cause love is
like that. When they say something I don’t agree with, I can absorb that. I can think about it. I
can pray. I can look for it.

And when somebody invades my world, my life, and I think maybe in my heart maybe they are
right. I got to be open and vulnerable to that. Cause my brothers and my sisters can help me in
my life and they love me. I believe that.

In the parking lot at Walmart, we met this elderly woman and she was very spry. Old woman but
very awake and her eyes had a twinkle. She said I’m 93 and I’m going to be 94 and I love Jesus
and he’s taken me all the way. I said, do you take any medications? She said, yeah, I do. For
one thing I got. And she told me about it and everything. But you know, that’s fine.
You see, I kind of think about love like this: love, love, like life is messy and love is in it. And God
is showing in an imperfect world that he’s got us. He cares for us. That he’s with us. And we are
with each other and be careful of this now but I want you to hear it.

Sometimes, I’m not in a good mood. Sometimes, I don’t want to hear it. Sometimes, I’m a little
bit overtired. I ate something wrong. I’ve got something going on. Sometimes, I don’t want to hear it
but don’t let the king say so. You’re not going to get away with that. Draw near. Hear it. Get on
your knees before God and be real open before God and say to him, I need you very much.
People can say all day long, I love God. I love God. But then they don’t love their brother. In the
messy things of life, they just are too touchy. Too bristly. Too sensitive. Too grumpy. Too
negative. Too much like that. You know what I’m saying. I don’t want to emphasize that but I do
want to say that, wow. We have something going on that’s so important. And that is this love
from God. God so loved the world. God loves us. God so loved the world.

That love is the Spirit of God in us. And that love will just go on and on and on. And in our history as a church, we’ve
been through a lot of different things with Dr. Stevens, remember? All kinds of different things
but that love just goes on and on and on.
And we pick up the pieces and we go on and that love just never fails. And it makes you
sweeter, happier, joyful, believing, embracing, serving, prepared, trained, and learning about life.
And saying we can do this. Hey, honey! A guy says to his wife. A wife says to her husband. We
can do this. This is going to work. This is going to happen. We can do it cause love is like that.
Love is God’s reality. God made this world and he says I love you.

And a lot of people say, no you don’t. And we say yes he does. Wake up. He does. He’s all over
this place. He’s all over this world. He is after people. He saves them. He forgives them. He fills
them. He gives them a new life. He sanctifies them. He puts their name in the book of life. He
indwells them. He teaches them. He forgives them. They learn to forgive others. They learn to
endure, bear, and believe all things. They are the people of God.

That’s the last thing. Tertullian said, “it is our care for the helpless” – this is in, what was it? The
third century. Or was it the fourth? “Our practice of lovingkindness brands us in the eyes of
many of our opponents. Look they say. How they love one another.” This is the Christians in the
first century. “Look, how they are prepared to die for one another.”

Wow! We had snitches in covid time. They called up the authorities. Those people aren’t
wearing masks. And so on. We had people that could not endure. We had people that would go
against the church and shut it down. We had people that had a certain attitude and that attitude that just doesn’t trust and doesn’t love and doesn’t believe. Good. I got that in there! That was
fun. “Lucian, a Greek writer, 120-200 A.D., when he say the fellowship of Christians” – this is the end
of the message here – “it is incredible to see the fervor of which the people of that religion help
each other in their wants. They spare nothing. Their first legislator, Jesus, has put it into their
heads that they are brethren.” That’s what a Greek writer said. Isn’t that interesting?

Their first leader, legislator it’s called, put it into their heads that they are brethren. Yes, he did.
He put it in our hearts. He put love in us. And I know in our assembly through the years, people
have given cars, helped with apartments and housing and food and money and doing so much
and forgiving and loving and praying and going and believing. I mean we have one the Super
Bowl. When you have love in your heart, you have won in the big game. The game that counts.
That game that is eternal. The treasure that is in heaven. The love that never fails.
Love where you love yourself and your sister and brother and you love God. The evidence of
loving God is seen in how we love each other and the people around us. Okay. Amen. Would
you pray with me? (Prayer)

 

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