In messy situations, there is the essence of grace. In us, we have Jesus, the Pharisee, and the sinner woman. We can be cold judges. Is there a weeping, sinful woman inside you? She could care less about the Pharisee. She falls at feet of Jesus. He forgives and heals her because of her faith. She went out in peace. God answers prayer. (Proverbs 14:4; Luke 7:36-39)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11678
11:00 AM on 5/12/2019
Turn to Proverbs with me to set the stage for later this morning.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the ladies. We’re happy to have you. My mom is here in the front with my sister. We have so much to be thankful for.
Prov. 14:4, let’s praise the Lord for a minute. Praise God! Halleluiah! We are in his house. We are in his house, halleluiah! Praise the Lord! Good group here this morning. We depend on you, Lord, to feed the flock. Minister to us in your name.
Here we go. vs. 4. Say with me where no oxen are. We’re talking about a farm. Where do oxen live? On a farm. Where you don’t have any oxen, the crib – what is a crib? Is that where you put your little baby? Place where they put the food. What happens after an ox eats food? Some hours later. That’s not mentioned here but it’s understood. If you don’t have oxen, you will not have food nor will you have to clean up. I have an idea. I have a farm without any animals, so I don’t have to clean up. Get a picture of it in the home garden magazine. It’s a perfect farm, well painted and clean. Some people want that and that’s not a wrong thing but the proverb is teaching us something. If I have that kind of farm without any animals, much increase. I could have a farm without the animals and don’t have to feed or clean up but what am I lacking? Strength. Much increase is by the strength of the ox. What does this mean? We could go to a level of thought here.
God could have said I’m not going to create any universe because if I do, I might have to clean up. If I create free will creatures, they may produce a mess and I’ll have to feed them and clean up after them and take care of them. I think I won’t do it. No universe, no Garden of Eden, no human beings, no angels. It’s a lot safer for me to live without giving freedom to my creation. What did God do? Great lesson. Theology 101. But so profound. God created us in his image with the possibility of sinning, failing and dying. If you eat of that tree, you will die. We ate of the tree and we die. God is looking at it and – I will save them. I will visit them. I will give my only begotten Son, my unique Son. I’ll roll up my sleeves and get into it. That’s God. Human beings. I don’t think I’ll get married. Why? Because that’s a huge commitment. Do you know what I’m doing? I might end up divorced. I would be better not to get married at all. Don’t even mention I won’t have any children. If you have children, where no children are, the crib is clean. Where no marriage is, the crib is clean both the feeding and cleaning up after. We don’t want to clean up. We don’t want the responsibility. My life is about me, my easy road. God didn’t think like that, did he? That’s a great thought.
Ever met people who want to check out. They’d rather have – what is the home garden magazine – Better Homes and Gardens magazine or more appropriately the Instagram picture, social media profile of a perfect world. I don’t know if they photograph the mess and post it. How is your marriage? It’s spot clean. Marriage is a mess sometimes. Much increase is by getting married. It’s not written like that. It might be when I live with another person, I have to learn something new. Feeding, cleaning up after, disappointment, broken heart. I have to talk. I have to learn to listen. I have to learn to pay attention. I have to learn to forgive. I have my own picture of life. God is saying to us, live life. Get in it and follow me. You might one day say I’m tired of feeding the oxen and cleaning up after the animals but I’m satisfied with the strength of the oxen, the benefit of the children and my marriage and my wife; the benefit of growing in grace and knowledge; the benefit of being hurt or suffering in some way; the benefit of being misunderstood; the benefit of increasing and growing in God.
What do you think? Come on. That’s amazing. Many things can be said. I don’t want to get that job because I don’t want to take that risk. I don’t want to go there because of what it might mean to me. God is saying follow me. I don’t want to follow Jesus because it might mean. God is saying follow me and I’ll make you a fisher of men. I’ll open your eyes and help you in your heart, be your counselor. I’ll be your heavenly Father. Trust me. I’ll give the increase. Much increase. We are changing from glory to glory. If you check out and don’t make any and build a wall around your life you can have the Better Homes and Garden picture of a perfect farm but you don’t know what a farm is. You have to roll up your sleeves, get busy and learn what a farm is. It wasn’t always easy but I found God. I didn’t like it all the time but life isn’t about me. It’s about glorifying my heavenly Father. Maybe it was good for me that I got my feathers ruffled. I learned to forgive and grow up and show up and be there. I didn’t like it but it worked out good. God is saying to us, I took the risk. I have to pay the price. I am God. I love you. I will come down to earth and die on a cross. That’s how much I’m into it. I will show you. Now I live in you. I don’t expect you to back off and play it safe but follow me and trust me and learn who I am.
We have a lighthearted Mother’s Day clip for honoring the day today.
We did graduation yesterday. We had a beautiful assembly and high school graduates, post GGCA graduates that attended from years past. They came. Families were here. Out in the parking lot it was full. After the service, we had people coming and talking and loving and then the picnics and barbeques in different places. We feel it in our bones, in our GG family. The banquet is coming in this room. Chairs will be out, gone, banquet served here a week from Friday. Tickets are for sale in the foyer. Saturday, the next one is the MBC&S graduation. You are all welcome of course.
Then in some weeks, people are coming in for Convention from different countries. We celebrate for a week of June, last full week we have our Convention. We set up a big tent, have barbeques and food and in this hall we have our session every day in the morning and evening. If you have never been, target that period of time. It’s a great time of getting to know Indian pastors, Africans, Europeans, Latinos, American pastors. Get to know the family. Dive in. It’s messy. I’d rather be in the mess with God than be without him. Isn’t there that song? Midnight Train to Georgia. You know that song. I’d rather live in your world than live without you in mine. What a line that is. I’d rather live in your world than live without you in my world. You put God in there. I’ll go with you in the mess, Lord. If you are there, I’ll be okay.
Luke 7, it’s a simple message but an important one. Did I cover everything?
The last week of June I’ll be moving into – we go with the Europeans sometimes on Saturday down to Abraham Lincoln Memorial and do a history lesson. There are things that week and the week before. There is intensified right here in our classrooms on beautiful subjects. We will have a good time. Keep it in prayer.
If you are a mom, I’ll read this quote from Spurgeon: “Oh dear mothers, you have a very sacred trust reposed in you by God. He has in effect said to you, take this child and nurse it for me and I will give you your wages.” That phrase caught my attention this morning. Take this child and nurse it for me. I will give you your wages. God’s like that. Remember Moses was put in an ark when he was three months old, put in a river. Because Pharaoh was murdering the male Jews, the baby boys, and murdering them because the population was growing too fast. Get rid of the men. Moses’ mother entrusted him to the river and Moses’ older sister, Miriam, was watching and Pharaoh’s daughter found the child and took it. She needed a nurse. How did it go? Miriam said do you need a nurse for the baby. Yes, we need a nurse. So Miriam got Moses’ mother. She got her son back. Take care of this child. I will give you your wages. I wonder how God pays you. I wonder how God pays us back for the things we get involved with in his plan.
Being part of a church you might say it’s safer not to be in a church. It can get messy. But God’s plan is a church, that we would love each other and know each other. I will pay you your wages. What wages? Increase, faith, attitude, learning, wisdom, friends. Maybe you’ll find a wife in the church. One of the smartest things you can do. I go down to the church and find a good woman. That’s what I did. Forty-three years later. I won the wife lottery! I got an amazing wife. I didn’t go there for that reason. To dramatize my point or to lie! I went to Bible school for good reason but there I did find this woman. She became the mother of our children, four, and grandmother. I’ll give you your wages.
If you are a disciple, Mt. 10:42. If you are a righteous man, you get a righteous man’s reward. If you receive a prophet, you receive a prophet’s reward. If you are part of a fellowship, you will get a blessing from the fellowship. I cannot explain it. I don’t know how it all works but God does do this. There is something God does for you and you can’t buy it at Walmart or the country club or the university or anywhere in this world. It’s not for sale. They cannot package it. They do not have it. They don’t know what it is. When you have Christ in your life, you know what that is. There is something there God gives to you that increases your life. This is real. This is the Lord with you. That’s what happens.
Spurgeon said, “You are called to equip the future man of God that he may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. If we get the Bible from our mom or grandmother – we many times met folks in Baltimore city and we talk to them and they say you sound like my grandmother. My grandmother told me to go to the church. My grandmother taught me the Bible but I’m not living there. You have it in you, don’t you? Draw near. What your grandmother said to you is true. What your mother imparted is valuable. You’ve been hijacked, lied to and misled. God loves you and is after you and cares for you. He will equip you. Saying to the child, “if God spares you, you may live to hear that pretty boy speaking to the mother, you may live to hear that pretty boy speak to thousands. You’ll have the sweet reflection in your heart that the quiet teachings of the nursery led the man to love his God and serve him.”
That’s what many of us have done with our families. We have been part of the church and in faith not knowing how to raise a family but the Body of Christ can help me. Not knowing how to keep my marriage together but knowing in the Body of Christ there are people who have kept their marriage together and raised their families and God has been good to them and helped them. If you have pain in that area of your life, don’t faint. God is for you. God has something for you.
Luke 7, I heard a message the seed thought in India when I was there a week ago. Thanks for your prayers.
In the night service, P. Scibelli prayed that I would be upgraded on my airplane flight and I got upgraded to business class. Thank you for your prayers. From India to England, I got upgraded there and went to the counter to check in and got upgraded all the way. I’m lying down horizontally on the plane feeling like a king eating roasted almonds and orange juice.
Luke 7 the Indian brother that gave the message, P. Shaker, it touched my heart very much. I preached it after him an hour later or so. I said that message touched me and I want to repeat it. Now I want to share it with you.
Luke 7:36-37 how many people are in the room in the story? Three. Jesus, the Pharisee, and the woman. In a way, you could say in me there are three. I have in me Jesus. I have in me the sinner, the woman, who has sinned and I have in me the Pharisee. In me and in you. In me and in you, the Pharisee. Have you seen the Pharisee in you lately? He stands there with his arms folder looking at the situation, looking at Jesus and the woman and he judges. He says something like if this man was a prophet, he would know who this woman is, that she is a sinner. He’s standing there with arms folded and judging. I’ve seen that in me. I’ve seen that in my life. I’ve seen the cold judge who is wrong. I’m missing the whole thing but I’m right. I’m so right in my own heart and life. I live by the law and got it all down. I know this woman is a sinner. I know that man Jesus, if he was a prophet he would know who that woman is. Has that ever happened in you that you find the Pharisee in you bubbling up? You are wrong in your judgment but don’t know it. You are proud in your judgment. If that mother who is doing her best, if she knew what it was to be a mother, she would not behave like that. That father, pastor, boss, church. The president of the United States. I’m passing judgment. Do I know what I’m doing as a self-righteous, judgmental person? In my house is Jesus Christ. In my life is Jesus Christ the living God. I’m blind to both things. I’m blind to him and that woman who is worshipping him.
Then in the story it says here in vs. 38, she stood at his feet weeping. I want to say in you, in that room is another person. And she is your new birth, your new life. I got to say there are people who come and go out of our church. Maybe you are new, first time. I got to say to the whole church, I think we realize this, it is amazing to me and I have been one of those people, I can take it or leave it. Very nice and never come back or go back and it’s some kind of accident I end up back there. I don’t know if you have this woman in your life that is weeping. I don’t know if you have the reality of Christ in your heart weeping, occupied with him. The woman could care less about the Pharisee. She doesn’t talk to him. It seems she doesn’t notice him. She is occupied with J.C. constantly. She is a worshipper. She has found him. He has forgiven her of all her sins. This is a game changer. This is shocking. This is in her. I am forgiven. I am a new creation. I’m washed clean. I have Christ as my God. I don’t have any other. Nobody could love me like him. Nobody would talk to me like him. He is the God of almighty, eternal reality. He is the almighty God, the living God. She knows it.
I can’t believe we have a church that has the Spirit moving, international churches, hundreds of churches that have come from our graduates, our books, our schools and in many parts of the world people find Jesus Christ by evangelism. We don’t own any of it. The Spirit of God is moving and I can be part of that. I can be part of something that is much bigger than us. Some people looking at things like this. You know what I mean? Any number of things you could put in this guy’s mouth. “The parking lot is not big enough.” “The music.” Wait a minute. Fine. I know that. I know what that is. Have you ever found in your heart something that takes your breath away? That brings tears? That keeps you occupied with God? Have you found the fact that this is, none of us are that important. We have Jesus Christ in our presence. None of us have done anything right. We just ended up with the right person. We ended up with Christ in our life.
The woman doesn’t care about this guy. She’s knowing I’m not right. I’m a sinner. But he has humbled himself and come here and saved me. It’s a mess but God shows up in the mess. It’s a mess but God is the God of the mess. Believe me.
I have a piece here. “Learning agape love through wrongful suffering.” The chapter the Discipline of Delay. Great portion. The eternal essence of a situation. A bad situation but don’t miss it. In the bad situation, there is essence in it. There is something in there. It’s too easy to check out of our problems and try to escape. I’m the escape artist of the human race like Houdini. I’m the guy that said he did it. I’m the guy that wants to get out. We had the phrase, you got to face the music. Heard that? The principal’s office. The coach wants to see you. The boss wants to talk to you. The bank called you. Leave it on the voice mail. I never heard it. I want to escape. Change it. Learn by this woman teaching us something. She stood weeping and began to wash his feet with tears.
Where is the water, Simon? Simon later in the story Jesus said to Simon, let me bring your attention to something. Since I came in here, she hasn’t ceased to wash my feet with tears. You had no interest in washing my feet. In the ancient world, it’s a custom but you didn’t do the custom. You’re too busy judging me. You’re the guy that has everything calculated but you’re an empty guy. You have no love, no joy. You’re a good judge but a terrible servant. You can’t show up when things are bad. We love it in Baltimore city. We are here to roll up our sleeves and do something in Baltimore city. If you are born here, God sent you, not just to be at Baltimore but weeping at the feet of Jesus, occupied with Jesus so you can give something out. We are discovering his grace, his prayers.
Friday night, P. Atul has a prayer meeting, 35 people from 8 to 10 and so on every week. Every Friday night through the summer and year and many prayer meetings going on. God answers prayer.
I was in a hotel in India on the fifth floor looking out a window and saw a bird. I said, God, bring that bird over here. The bird was flying and he turned. I knew he was bringing him to me. He flew by the window. Thank you, Lord. He brought the bird to me. I don’t know if he did it or not. But I can believe it. I know this. He answers prayer. He does.
He will answer your prayers. He will answer you and honor you. God will listen to you in your meditation. God is listening to you as you fellowship in the word of God. This woman has power with Jesus Christ. Her life is not perfect. She has her tears.
Abraham Lincoln said no man is poor that has a godly mother. My mom might not have much but she has her tears. I might not live in the best part of Baltimore city but we got a lot of love in our house. I might not be at the best school, but I have a family listening to me. We have a godly church.
There are three people in the room. Who are they? The Pharisee, Jesus, and the woman. You and me. Born again, wiping his feet with our satin towel? Our hair. Spray bottles, lotions? We don’t have but we have a heart. That works. We have a heart. She had a box of ointment very costly.
She is a sinner, vs. 39. No kidding, Simon. You are, too by the way. No kidding. Take a look at yourself. Pharisee, judgmental, blind. You don’t know this is the Christ. The Christ is in your house. We need to pay attention to that. Christ is in our life, our church. Talk about it. Share it with people. Christ is in your life. You have the greatest gift in the world. Don’t worry about things. Relax and enjoy the ride. Have a focus on that person. He will give you everything you need. In your trouble, you will be blessed in your suffering.
This is the article in this book, Don’t Waste Your Sorrows by Billheimer. It’s a great book. Job 10 was so focused on himself. When he met God, he shifted to God.
You may be an unnoticed worshipper, an unnoticed giver, an unnoticed pastor, an unnoticed Christian, missionary, mother. You may be some forgotten person of some kind but use that situation to convert it into something beautiful. God notices me. God is occupied with me. I’m occupied with him and l that is all I need. I can do what I can do by his grace.
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