All of us are blemished and deformed in some way. But we have been changed because the Lord is for us, Our God should be seen in us. He does what He pleases.
Our Lord is sharp, wise, penetrating. We who follow Him are something like Him. (Psalm 115:1-18)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Roger Robbins
Sermon # 11492
7:30 PM on 6/20/2018
Roger Robbins (Izmir)
I don’t think my dad knew I was here. I haven’t seen him for a couple months. It’s nice to see you. Thank you P. Schaller for this opportunity. It’s amazing to be in Turkey. For all of you who asked and filter through your mail and TV watching and only choose to love people and think the best about that part of the world. That’s what God is asking us to do. I often thought why I live in Turkey because the question is asked a lot. I live in Izmir. I want to thank my wife who is watching my kids tonight. I have an amazing team: Charles Hadley, Matt Laflame, Morgan, and Brittany. Right now Charles is leading our church services and he has a pastor’s heart. We have a growing church. By God’s grace we are growing. That’s a miracle and something I know nothing about. I want to thank my team in America (naming people), that help me so much. I want to thank all of them.
My thought tonight is this: 1 Tim. In this book, Paul writes to Timothy.
In 1 Tim. 2:1-4 (ESV) God has a desire. His desire is all people may be saved. That’s it. In a country where it’s 99 percent Muslim, does God desire all these people be saved? I believe he does. He has invited us to be part of his desire. That is our Christian life. Our Christian life is to be part of his desire. That desire is an adventure. It’s a mystery and a great joy. I discover there are miracles performed every day by the work of God. His desire can’t be stopped, can’t be resisted. I hear from people in Turkey and think about how the Holy Spirit in so many ways and dimensions is working and moving.
Is. 30, the Lord waits to be gracious. He is waiting to be gracious to the Muslim. He marks on his heart and he waits and serves him. We are invited to serve them. That’s what I do. I live a peaceful life, a godly life. I’m not perfect. When I think of going there, it’s very simple. I went back to work and this guy from Trinidad is a Muslim man. He said it’s nice being in Turkey but it’s so Muslim there. What is it like for you? You’re a Christian. They are born Muslim and you are born Christian and it’s different. I didn’t want to get into it. I said I love you man. Let’s go play soccer. I really don’t believe in that. They are born free. We are born free with a choice. That choice is God’s love. God’s love is displayed through our choice. We choose to follow Christ. We show people a better way. That is what God is calling us to do in this part of the world. It’s the fastest growing and biggest religion in the world. It humbles me and makes me think deeply about my God. Does it motivate us?
1 Tim 4:10, I say to you do you believe he is the Savior of the world? He is the Savior of all people, especially those who believe. That challenges me. Do I believe when I’m there? You can be alone. Do I believe? God says especially to you I am with you always. I’m so encouraged there. To say in short, we’ve had a wonderful conference a month ago on the other side of the mountain of Ephesus. Seeing and hearing of the testimonies of Turkish people that say God came to me. He spoke to me. He heard my cry. My dad died. I lost my way. In those stories, God becomes personal. He says to them, I am the Savior of the world. What an encouraging thing we have. We have this. Our God serves us this way. He says I am trying to save everyone. It is my desire. I am so desperate for this. Come with me and join me. I think of this church and the possibilities that have happened or the impossibilities. The things that were impossible and because of prayer and supplication and thanksgiving for all people. We are together this way believing this way. Thank you and for all of you who don’t know but you need to know that God is there. He is working. His desire is through the streets. It is in the building at night. I see a landscape of millions of people and think of it when washing dishes. His desire is there. Praise God we are there. I just want to thank you for that.
That was touching, real, profound and right on point. I can’t help but repeat it. And think about it with Roger and with you. The Spirit of God in us desires for the unbeliever and we have that desire. It’s so easy to say it’s impossible or not going to happen or I don’t understand it or I don’t believe that or so on. We have the Holy Spirit in us and we’re able to say God desires.
He wants. It’s his will to save people and he draws them, Jn 6:44. He mentioned prayer. Prayer and the H.S. It’s so good. I’m stirred up by it. That was right on. Point, right on.
I would like to teach from Ps 115 tonight. I could ask before we start, to have a prayer with your neighbor and say in your own way Lord, more souls. Help me to believe what I just heard from Roger.
Lead us in your heart and mind. Interesting verse is Lev. 21:16-17. These are kind of funny words. It’s regarding the priesthood. In the Levitical priesthood, Aaron was told by Moses they could not have any priest who had deformities or blemishes.
vs. 17. Offering the bread is the priest’s service, going to the tabernacle offering up. What are the blemishes? A flat nose.
vs. 18. Or anything superfluous like an extra finger.
vs. 19-21.I only mention that to say that everybody, all of us, we are disqualified. We are disqualified. It may not be a physical blemish but it is a moral one. We are far off the mark. We have sinned. Which is much more serious than a broken foot. A bitter heart, an unforgiving spirit, an attitude of pride. God hates it. Sowing discord, being rebellious, angry, cranky, all of those kinds of things happen to every one of us. We could never be priests before God. God is not looking on the outward. When he chose David, he said to Samuel I don’t look at the outward. I look at the heart.
Mt 7: 21-23 Our hearts are not there. This is the miracle of our new birth. The amazing priesthood of our high priest who has not an earthly house but entered into heaven on our behalf. He had no crooked back or flat nose. Nothing wrong with him. No blemish, not a bone broken. He entered heaven glorified to become our high priest and in doing so he reconciled us to God.
Col 1:15-20. The most remarkable list in the N.T. There is no description of Christ like this one point after point, verse after verse as to who is Christ. Why did Paul write it? The Gnosticism in the ancient world was prevailing and he was concerned it would prevail in Christianity. It’s what J.W’s teach that Christ is a creation of God and he’s one of the tiers in the spirit realm. Paul does not say he is the creation of God. He said he is over all of creation. He is the sovereign God. We have the image of God, the firstborn over creation he is called. The Creator, the head of the church, the first born from the dead, the fullness of God, the reconciler of all things. When we have Christ in his proper place in our understanding and we recognize who he is as a minister to us in the church, we can have an expectation that is spiritual for these days we have together. Some folks spend a lot of money to come here to Baltimore. $1,500 or a couple thousand dollars and they come year by year. They come by this. Our God is the most awesome God, the real God, the God that changes things, that fills us with his Spirit and gives us worship. The God that has us increase, that changes our way of thinking and renews our mind. Our God is not like other gods.
Ps 115:1 The registration for the whole week is $60. P. Gary and I were talking about it. Why not buy the pass and go to everything? I might miss mornings because of work and I might go to everything I can. This Convention is the Body of Christ. There will be many things happening in many venues during the week. The H.S. is moving in the heart and mind of a person and they share their heart and you can recognize the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is speaking, just like Roger right now. I love that thought. That’s the H.S.
vs. 1. We are excited that God gets the glory.
Is P. Ganesh here? 34 years ago he came into the ministry. He’s from Mumbai from a village not wearing shoes. He was in Mumbai and met Joe Schwaider. Joe gave him the N.T. He read it through the weekend and gave it back to Joe. He said I thought you were loaning it to me! He became a believer. For 34 years he has been trying to come to Baltimore. Finally, he came and in his interview at the U.S. embassy, they said why are you going to the United States? He said I am invited to a Christian conference by Greater Grace and I want to visit Billy Graham’s grave because he was a great evangelist in America and I will pray God will raise up a Billy Graham in India. The diplomat in the embassy said you got your visa! Welcome to America! Not unto us be the glory. We love it to give you the glory. We love it to recognize you are God and your Spirit is in these people. Ganesh goes out and preaches in India and says a certain man had two sons.
vs. 2. Why should the heathen not see our God? Why would the heathen question the Jewish God, our God? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Where is now their God? Our God is in the heavens. He has done whatever he has pleased. He is sovereign. Sometimes he is quiet. You don’t see his movement but he is there. Sometimes there is an amazing miracle. Sometimes he’s in the heart of a little woman like Ruth or a big decision like Esther in Persia or heart of a disciple following Jesus by faith. Our God is in the heavens and has done what he pleases. He gives some long life and others a short life. He has prevented a car accident and is in the accident. He has done whatever he pleased. He hides in darkness. He reveals himself to the humble. He’s hanging on a cross and the world can’t see, doesn’t believe. He is in heaven and has done what he’s pleased. Our God is not like other gods. People will pay $50 to see a man take a rabbit out of hat, or move a table from one side of the room without touching it. You have to be wise to find our God. You have to be patient. You have to recognize who he is. We must have a new heart and mind and learn what love is, who God is.
vs. 4. Their idols are silver and gold…
vs. 5-8. When I trust in one of them, I cannot speak. I have a throat but don’t speak because I’m like them. I have feet but can’t get off the couch because I am like them. I have hands but don’t know what to do with my hands because I am like them. I have lost my way. I have become an idolater. Something not moving me or touching me or filling me or satisfying my mind and my heart. We are like them. We have been like them in our past. A Buddhist has an idol and I say this because it is said popularly. Buddha is fat and dumb and happy. Who is our God? He is sharp, wise, and penetrating. When he came into this world, he was on the move. He was caring. He was there. He was confrontational when he needed to be. He was broken hearted. He was tragically murdered in the prefect will of God. Our God in heaven has done what pleased and we that are following him are something like him. I used to have a crooked back but now my high priest in heaven has made me a priest and I come before God with the H.S. We have the thoughts that make us realize our God is a living God, a moving God, an enlightened God, and a God that cares.
vs. 9-11 He went through those categories. He could go through all the categories in this room: Indians, Americans, Chinese, Russians, old, young, educated and not so, rich, poor. He could go through the room and say he is our trust, our shield, our help. The Lord has been mindful of us. He will bless us. He will bless them that fear the Lord both small and great. All categories whoever you are. I love to look at someone who has the misfortune of not having a home or a disease or in disappointment and they are my brother and sister and I say trust in the Lord. He is for you. Our God is not like other gods. Remember the guy at the pool of Siloam is there 38 years waiting? Jesus said you want to be healed and they had that short talk. Waiting for water to move but everyone stronger than me gets here first. If I make it first, I get healed. Jesus is saying I’m bringing something new to you. I’m the God that cares. I look at the heart of man. I am for you. I am for you. Cornelius is praying and the angel said, like a Muslim in Istanbul, the angel appeared and said your prayers have ascended into heaven. And they have been heard. Your prayers. You don’t believe in Jesus but he has something there. I love the story. Your prayers have been heard and I am the angel that came from God to tell you your prayers mean something and send for Peter. He will show you the way of salvation.
There are people in this world a similar thing could be happening. They could say send for, you know, and what can we say? Remember John who is always here. Jonathan. What a story. In Cameroon, he had a tract. He felt he needed to go. There was a tract on salvation and a Baltimore address. He walked across the Sahara desert, a stowaway on a ship across the Atlantic Ocean, 55 days on a container as a stowaway and landed in the Caribbean. He almost died in that container without food and water. What a story.
I believe we have been following the true God. There is no one like him. We have gone into parts of the world with a message that is the most worthy of them all. Our God has a throat and speaks, feels and he walks. Our God is like what we see amongst us. Our God is the God that cares.
vs. 14. What kind of increase? I like the quiet, spiritual increase of his presence amongst us. I like the feeling and sense that things are right in God’s house. Righteousness is important among us. Open my eyes to behold wonderful things out of your word. I like the feeling our life has value. We share the message and it’s not in vain. There is an increase in the natural things. Our refrigerator does have food and our cars do have gas. Our children do live and grow up and grandchildren come to. Our churches increase in numbers. Stephen couldn’t be resisted because of his wisdom and the Spirit couldn’t be resisted. His God is our God. He will increase you more and more. Maybe even increasing in tears, trials, in distress, in maybe some painful things we wouldn’t want to face. Our God is in heaven and he does what he pleases. We are not idolaters. If we are, we have a problem but if God is our God we are okay. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. We can glory in our tribulation and trouble. If we have a living God, it will be okay. My grace is sufficient for you. I am able to carry you through. I’m able to be with you in the deep water and prison cell. I’m able to comfort you in your trouble. Weeping may be for a night but joy comes in the morning.
vs. 16. He gave the earth to us is why it’s so messed up. This planet is unique because we are here. I believe the angels are in charge of all the other planets but this one has the eye of heaven on it. The believers in heaven anticipating the coming kingdom are saying how long Lord?
They are conscious of time in Rev. 6. The people in heaven like P. Stevens and Billy Graham. They are conscious of time in heaven. When will the change come? When will the kingdom be in greater degree? When will justice come on the earth? We are here praying in the kingdom of God. We are assembling in his name. We are indwelt by the Spirit. We are representing him on the earth. We are here in his stead. We are praying and binding the enemy and releasing heaven. We are the worshippers of God. We are the Bible study groups. We go to the public schools and teach these young kids about Christ. P. Gary goes to W. Virginia this weekend on a mission’s trip. All the time in our church by God’s grace increase that is only explainable by prayer, faith and the Body. The dead praise not the Lord. The idolaters are dead and praise not the Lord.
vs. 17. That’s a tragic thought. It’s over for them. It’s over. They got as close as they could to heaven being in this world but it’s over and God never knew them.
vs. 18. We cannot help but do it. We are praising the Lord. We are filled with praise. We are peculiar people showing forth the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. That humble man on the cross was God. It’s a mystery we can’t get a hold of. It lightens our heart and brings joy in our heart. It sets us free and gives us hope. Our God is not like other gods. He will be walking among us in our parking lot.
May God bless our parking lot and keep everyone safe. May he speak to us and go into the deeper water. I have toiled all night and caught nothing, Peter could say. Neverthess is important. I tried it before but nevertheless I will follow you and obey you and trust you. I did it for years but nevertheless I will do what you say and find you. Our God wants to be found and known. He is the fullness of God and he is with you.
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