To get into the house that God builds, we have to humble ourselves. We must see how small we are. We are in a world full of pride. But God has words that will fill us and enlighten us, words that put joy into us. The Word of God changes people; it takes us a different way into life. (Isaiah 9:6; Psalms 19:7-14)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 12/22/2019
p. Schaller –
You sat down before I could get you to stay standing. You may be seated. I missed it! Good morning and
Merry Christmas. Here we are. Diane is here from the Himalayan mountains from Nepal. How
far did you travel this morning to be here? P. Fred is here from India. Did I miss anybody?
Anyone fly in for the holidays here from the mission field or here in the States visiting family?
You want to do a wave. Julie is here. And her grandpa and grandma from New
Introductory comments for our message this morning. Big subject. It’s on counseling. Isaiah 9:6 Put it up on the screen please and turn in your Bible. That phrase “child is born” is not really repeated. They’re too separate things. “A child is born” is the humanity of Christ and “a son is given” is the eternal Son of God given for us. They are one person. The Son of God became a child. What does it say about him? Vs. 6. This is good government, God’s
government. Turn to your neighbor and say it’s God’s government. Say we are hungry for God’s
government. We are hungry for God’s government. Isn’t that a good word? Where is the
government of God? On his shoulder. Isn’t that good. He is righteous. He is wise. He is the
Christ. Vs. 6-7.
The sermon today is about Christ being a counselor. I’ll draw a house. I want to
make it different from the other houses. I don’t want to confuse it with the other houses we
draw. We draw a lot of houses. We’ll put additions on and everything! In the house, you would
normally have a normal doorway that goes into the house. This is the house that God has built.
In the house is wisdom, counsel, conviction, truth. In the house there is singing. There is
There’s sorrow. There’s tears. There is God. God’s house. God is the counselor and he
has – we call the house of God, the Body of Christ, the temple of God. The place where God
dwells. There is something about the doorway of the house. I’d like to cut it down to make it
like this. It’s a small doorway. Big people can’t go through that door. This
door is only for the humble. How can you get in that door without humility? How can you get
into the house without the fear of God?
How can I be prepared to get the wisdom of God if I’m proud? How will I hear if I’m proud? The humble will hear, and they will be glad. Who is the counselor? He is called Wonderful. I read two things on that. One is it’s an adjective for the kind of counselor he is. The other one is his name. I need someone to help me understand it better,
but I would like to say regardless, he’s not only Wonderful, period, but Wonderful, adjective,
Counselor. He is. His counsel is different from the proud. To get in you got to get small. You got
to bend over, get really little.
To get into the house where you can sit and receive counsel that
is different from the counsel in this world. There is a lot of counsel in the world with the proud.
A lot of knowledge. A lot of opinion. A lot of advice. A lot of talking. A lot of movies. Can you
imagine I don’t have any Bible counseling and I just have my natural life. I’m a proud person like
we all are. I just go to a movie and get my counsel from a movie. After the movie, I just go sleep
with my girlfriend because I saw it on the movie.
That’s how I live my life. I’m counseled by Hollywood or movie makers or worse I take my life in suicide because my counsel is not good counsel. It’s very common. Not the suicide but the common counsel of the human heart. I
believe, I honestly believe and please I want to say this seriously, for me. I had a little bit of
sadness, a mood of sadness come over me one of these days this past week. I went to my office
and I sat and let the process of the sadness happen in my heart. I went to God in my heart.
He comforted me by the still, small voice. By his love, by his presence. I don’t want to be a man just
living my life in a phony way, pretending. I want God to lead me. I want God to speak to me and
help me in my life so I can help others. I believe you and I gather here on Sundays and
Wednesdays and other times too because we are listening. I want to hear a word from the
Wonderful Counselor. This counsel is different.Very different from the world. It’s amazing. We’ll speak about that this morning. It’s a big subject. Wow. Can go in many directions in the subject but I believe God will lead us this morning.
Emily is here today. That’s amazing. She had a heart attack and some other things and here she is shining brightly. Good to see you.
As we said the subject is extensive, Counsel. The Bible is filled with counsel. God’s words to us and then specifically to his own people, the Jewish people. In speaking to them he also speaks to us
Americans and everybody else in the world. The Bible got levels or dimensions. The Bible, black marks on pages, but then it’s more. It’s words with meaning and deeper meaning. So much that the Bible is holding the universe together by the word of his power.
I was thinking of the way we can approach this in simple terms. We have God and a proud man. I’ll make him tall. We have a short man and another short man. God is called Wonderful Counselor. Does he counsel a proud man? The answer is yes. He does. Matthew 23, Christ was very angry with the Pharisees and
called them names and said woe unto you. Woe unto you. Eight times. There was a Pharisee in
the house, Simon in Luke 7. Christ talked to Simon. Simon, this woman has not ceased to wash
my feet with her tears. When I came to your house, you did not anoint me or wash my feet.
He speaks to the proud because he loves everybody. The unbeliever out in the neighborhood, God
speaks to him different ways. Psalm 19 speaks of two ways. General revelation that is, the universe
and the moral law written in the hearts of people. Then specific revelation by the Bible. By
quoting a Bible verse. Have you ever done that in a barber shop or in a hospital bedside? Or to
your neighbor lovingly with an attitude of humility and love and faith.
I believe those words can ring, ring. Like the young man who went to the country preacher and walking home he heard the bull frogs. He said the bull frogs were saying “rivet, rivet! You must be born again! Rivet,
rivet! You must be born again!” Meaning that the word of God does not return void. It
accomplishes a purpose. God is a Wonderful Counselor. He goes to the heart of the proud man.
He says how are you doing? Isaiah 50:11. He said when they make the fire it’s the sparks of their
own emotions. Like at an amusement park or a party or a discothèque.
I don’t know what they are called today. Or a club. Where the sparks are from the soul of a man. God said you shall lie down in sorrow for you have this at my hand. He knows how to deal with proud people. Don’t
worry about it. Mind your own business. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. How
could this man – remember Paul’s name was Saul and it was changed to Paul. He started to use
his Roman name and it means “little.”
The name change kind of paralled what was needed in his life: Humility. I’m not a humble man but if I have Christ, I have all the humility I need. He is the humble one. The Holy Spirit dwells in you and he fills you with the Holy Spirit and now you’re able to receive the counsel that comes from God. A couple points about this. The meek
will hear, Psalm 25:9. When Jethro said to Moses, you need help in what you are doing. You are
listening to people all day long. You’re going to get burned out. What did Moses do in
response? He agreed. I agree with you Jethro. That’s a beautiful thing when two wise people or two people that are open to divine counsel are in agreement.
There is no chiding or fighting. A number of times it happens in the Scripture where Paul and Timothy have fellowship with God between them. God is their counselor. It happened with David and Abigail. Remember David
was going to go kill Abigail’s husband, Nabal. Abigail met him with food and said please, David.
Do not do this. This is too below you. You are more honorable. Don’t you know that you are
anointed as king? David and Abigail, David understood Abigail. Though she was a woman, she
had God’s mind. Sarah and Abraham.
Though Sarah was a woman, God said to Abraham, listen to Sarah. She has my mind. When Mary broke the box of ointment and poured it out on Jesus, the disciples are there like this (hands folded) and Judas is there (hands folded) saying [indistinct]. You know what they said. Jesus said leave her alone. She’s right on. She’s got the
right mind. She knows what she is doing. She’s giving it all. She’s pouring it out. She’s giving her
most precious thing. Leave her alone. The world is filled with pride and counsel that comes
from men. They don’t need God.
They don’t need God. It’s incredible when you live in a place where God is not talked about. God is not referred to. God is not listened to. The Bible is ridiculed. There is no living Bible. It’s a terrible thing. I read from Chuck Coulson an article yesterday. He said there was a group of 12 scholars. They had a red card, a yellow card and a
black card. They were studying the Scripture. When someone didn’t believe it was literally so,
they lifted a red card. Someone said it could be a combination, a yellow card. And if it isn’t true
at all, it’s a black card.
I’m so glad I’m not in a group of people like that. That is next to ridiculous. That is the foolishness of man, the pride of man. I don’t care what scholar is a scholar. There are evil men in every area of life. There are doctors that are evil. There are businessmen that are evil. There are politicians that are evil. There are pastors that are evil. Just
because they have training or education doesn’t mean the heart of man is walking in wisdom
with the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus Christ. Everyone of us. If you are a scholar of the Bible, the
word of God, the greatest thing you could ever have is humility before God and get it from God.
What is God saying?
If you are pastor, the greatest thing is to be anointed from the Spirit of
God. And you’re not important. You don’t care about it in the sense of your self-life. You’re
wanting God to minister to the Body and feed the flock and build up the Body and reveal to us
counsel. There is a little side point. I hope I don’t get lost in it. It goes like this. We come
sometimes and we think I need counsel for money, relationships. I need counsel for marriage,
raising kids, for my job, where I live. I need counsel. Wouldn’t it be great if we had answers for
all of these things? Pastor! teach me about money!
Teach me about relationships! Teach me about marriage! Teach me about raising my kids! We could say that to God. Teach me. And he does answer us. What does he say? If I gave you a mechanical answer, A, B, C, D, you might take that answer and do it. But what if I say to you Proverbs. 3:5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and
don’t lean on your own understanding and In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct
your path. Could it be any greater?
The problem is it’s not a mechanical answer, A, B, C. D. I can’t take that information and process it through my intellect and my emotions. Instead it requires my heart. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Sounds to me God’s not going to tell me maybe what I want to hear, but what I need to hear. And it is wonderful. At the end of the day I
don’t really care about my money as much as I care about why I am alive. Am I glorifying God?
Does my life have a divine purpose? Do I have wisdom? Am I able to take the two dollars that I
do have and share with people around me in my heart? Maybe $2 is, you know what I’m saying.
Or wisdom. Wisdom. It’s not about money; it’s about righteousness. It’s not about my marriage,
it’s about God. When God is in my life, God is going to help me. If I am divorced, God is in my
life. If I’m divorced a second time, God is in my life.
I hope so. I want that. Because he is the Wonderful Counselor. Maybe I’m going to learn something from God. The Spirit is going to satisfy me. What if God told me something about money but my heart is not satisfied? What if
he told me something about marriage but I still lie down frustrated. What if I got the perfect job
but live in the fear of losing it? It isn’t about these things primarily. It’s about God being a
Wonderful Counselor for us. Let’s think about a couple people. Jonah, doest thou well to be
angry? Jonah 4, first couple of verses.
Jonah, why are you angry? Are you doing okay being angry? How about Esther in the book of Esther. What did her uncle counsel her to do? Esther, you have to go in before the king and she is saying, you know if I go in and don’t have the permission I can be executed. Mordecai is saying, yeah. We’re all going to be executed. And if
you think you are going to escape this, don’t fool yourself. You are Jewish also and will be found
out. If it is God to have you in this place so you can go before the king on our behalf then let it
be done. If not, God will raise up someone else that will do it.
Counsel from my uncle when my life is on the line. Do you have a good friend? Do you have someone that can give you good counsel like in our picture over here? Where is it? This one. Do you have somebody you can get
good counsel from? The Bible speaks to you and God knows everyone of us needs not the
words of men but the counsel. When death is at the door, knocking at the door, I need a word
from God. Put the photo album away, beautiful photo album of days gone by. But I need the
living God right now. I’m passing through the valley of the shadow of death and I need a word
in season for him that is weary.
I need God to show up for me and fill me with his Holy Spirit and be my wisdom and my counsel. I know what it’s like and many of you do too to have problems in life, in our families or at work or with your health. I’m so happy we have learned to hear the counsel that comes from Jesus. A couple thoughts about it. Jesus, our counselor. When
he is kind and counsels Peter who denied him three times. Where is Peter? I’ve got to meet
Peter. I’ve got to see Peter. I got to talk to Peter. I care about Peter. The devil wanted to sift him
like wheat, but I prayed for him.
At the resurrection of Jesus on that first day, there is no detail about it, but Peter met Jesus that day. I wonder what they said. There’s no record. But some days later when Peter was fishing back up in the sea of Galilee, Jesus met Peter and said, do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me? Three times. You know I do. You know I do. Feed my sheep. Feed my sheep. Kindness. He’s a wonderful counselor to the humbled and broken
because he’s kind. He loves you.
He’s a great counselor because he’s a finished work counselor. Finished work. The mysteries of Christ. He tells you about who you really are. I am a sinner. This man last night in the nursing home or the night before Justin was telling me, my son Justin, was telling me they did some singing in the nursing home. There was a 61-year-old man there with a bloated stomach with liver disease. Justin understood he tried to take his life by eating a lot of Tylenol pills that ruined his liver, so he has to get a liver transplant. The man is dying. He said I
ruined my life. I made a lot of mistakes. I know the Christmas carols. Thank you very much, You guys can move on!
Justin stayed there and somehow, you know, the Wonderful Counselor spoke to
that man. In a little bit, tears ran down his cheeks. Justin said do you want to receive Jesus? He
said yes. Justin knelt down beside his bed. He did. You know, I don’t know about you, but I
sometimes get angry about the counsel that comes from the world. They are miserable
counselors. They don’t know our iniquity. They don’t preach the gospel. There is no gospel.
There is no message.
There is no forgiveness with the world. They go on in their foolishness.
They go on from one thing to the next and they never come to the bottom. They need to come
to the real place. They can’t get humble enough to get into the house. I must be born again. I
must be hearing what God has to say to us. He will say you are not your sin. You are forgiven.
Your name is in the book of life. You have the Spirit of God. God is your Father. God is for you.
This book speaks. It says sweeter than honey.
We could go through Psalm 19 today and I can’t believe these verses. I’ll finish with this. This is so amazing. You know them by heart I think. He goes through six things. Let me help you. We can do it this way. I am a square. I am converted to a circle. The circle has wisdom. I’ll put a graduation hat on the circle. The circle with the
graduation hat is wise. He becomes wise and then he has joy. The next thing the word of God
does he enlightened his eyes. So he ends up with eyes enlightened and joy. Listen, without the
Bible, you stay here.
Let’s read it to you. Psalm 19 the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the
soul. That’s number 1. Your soul is converted from a square to a circle. You’re converted. That
means you are born again. Your life has changed substantially. That means Christ is in you. Then
what happens? The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. This is change #2.
How does it happen? The Bible. All these phrases are different ways of saying the Bible. The
testimony of the Lord, the law of the lord.
The next one the statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. That’s the third change. Heart is rejoicing. The commandment of the Lord is pure enlightening the eyes. That’s the fourth change. Do you know what this means? There is nothing in this world that can change people except this book speaking to them as a counselor.
It’s not like a religious thing. You are here listening to a preacher and you got your Bible and we
got the Bible on the screen and so on. It’s a lot. This is a great place for this to happen but what
I’m trying to say is, it becomes a way of thinking.
It’s something absorbed in my heart. It’s a way I process my life. It has to do with my good times, my bad times, my work, my practical life driving a car or walking into a mall or store or buying a phone or talking to a friend. It’s a way of thinking. This is what has happened to us and this is what it says. Please listen. More to be
desired are they than gold. Do you know when the California Gold Rush happened, 1849,
300,000 Americans went by wagon train and steamboat to California. Five to one men. Five
men to one woman.
Men, young men went to California to find gold. They put it all on the line.
They travelled for months to find gold. It happened to me. It did but it was this book. This is
more to be desired than gold. I moved from New York to Maine. I left college in New York and I
went to Maine because of this book. You and I make decisions because of that book. I went to
Finland as a missionary because of that book, and many of you have done the same thing. We
sat down with a small group of people. It doesn’t matter.
You don’t have to have a lot of people. You just need a couple of them. Humble people and Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor. This book is more to be desired than gold. Then it says than fine gold. Sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned. Have you been warned by coming to this
church and listening to the Bible? Have you been warned by waking up in the morning and
reading your own Bible with a cup of coffee? Have you been warned by listening to a video or
tape or audio or whatever it is?
Have you been warned by the Bible. Has it given you counsel and direction. Has it kept you from making stupid decisions. It has for me. What happens. We’re warned. In keeping of them there is great reward. Maybe you put your hand on your liver. I’d have a liver disease today but there’s great reward in reading the Bible. I don’t know I
just know he does. The Bible speaks to us. Martha, Martha you are troubled and cumbered
about and anxious about many things in the household. Mary has chosen the good thing that
will not be taken away from her. Who can understand his errors. Vs. 12.
My own errors. That’s called blind spots. Who can understand his own, my own errors. I don’t even know how. I don’t
know. I can’t understand why I did that stupid thing, hanging from a railroad bridge to fall on
top of railroad car traveling at high speed as a stupid kid. Who can understand my errors. When
there’s some woman involved, or some money involved or some other thing in life. Who can
understand our stupid errors. Please understand me. Putting a needle in my arm, being angry
about something, so angry about it I can’t sleep at night. I hate. I hate.
Who can understand the human heart. The nervousness, the worried life. Who can understand his errors. Look at verse 12. Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Is that up on the screen? Thank you. That’s another
message. Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins.
Let them not have dominion over me…innocent from the great transgression. Vs. 14. Lord, let’s
go back and finish. Lord, if you let me in this house, if I’m born again. I got really small. I can
walk into that house and I’ll be able to hear.
You’re a Wonderful Counselor. You’ll tell me about the cross, the priesthood. You’ll tell me about money. Pharaoh will say what shall we do, Joseph, and Joseph will say I got an idea. For seven years we’ll collect the grain in silos. There will be a surplus, a buffer crop. Joseph is saying this. Where is this coming from? He’s got a
Wonderful Counselor. Joseph is saying, Pharaoh, I know. Whatever you say. You are the second
guy in the kingdom. Whatever you say, we’ll do it. Joseph did it. When they were starving to
death, they opened up the silos and people from other parts of the world started to come to
Egypt including the boys from Israel.
I’m saying to you, you got the greatest asset anyone can ever have in this world and that’s God. He’s a talking God. He’s a counseling God. He cares about you. He’s going to help us. We’re going into the year 2020. By God’s grace he’s going to help us. Sometimes it gets scary. Sometimes looking into the future but don’t. Cool it. Don’t
worry about it. Cast your care upon him. Don’t worry about tomorrow. There’s enough evil for
the day. Hear the voice of God. Jesus is saying just pay attention. Worship me. Trust me. I’ll
speak to you. I’ll guide you. I’ll lead you out of trouble and I’ll lead you into blessing. I will be
your counselor. Lord, yeah but what about?
I know all about it. What you need is me. Trust in
me with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge
me and I’ll direct your path. I’ll cleanse you from secret error. I’ll show you your blind spots. I’ll
cleanse you from secret faults. And your meditation will be acceptable unto me. I will help you.
But beware. I might put my finger on something in your heart and tell you to obey me. That
might be tough. But you can do it. You humble yourself under me. I tell you to forgive and I put my finger right there in your heart. You’re sitting in your house and you’re getting counsel and
God is saying you know what I’m talking about. And you’re going like little puppy dog eyes,
yeah. Then do it. Forgive. You’ll be forgiven. 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.