Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11710
11:00 AM on 7/7/2019
Every day and every hour. He is my strength and my power. Isn’t that good. Praise God! Yes. Our power and strength every hour. All the time. Praise God! The hour of power!
Today I’m going to share about the subject of blessing. Being a blessed person. Who is blessed? How do you do that? Talk back to me. You know how it starts? Getting saved. If you’re saved, right? Stay standing for a while. If I’m going to have to stand, you are too.
Eph 1:3, read it out loud with me. Ready? How do you get blessed? Believe in Christ and you have all spiritual blessings in him. I have to ask the question. If I’m blessed, is it possible for me not to be living in my blessing? How else could I live? In the flesh, negativity. In my flesh, right? Where is my blessing. If I listen to everything I hear on the street, it might affect me. Ever happen to you? You are with the wrong group and end up in trouble. I came to church and want to have a good time. I have my blessing and I want to live in it. I want to experience it. I want to know what it is. I’m going to explain what it is.
There are some people who don’t live in it. How you can live in it and be a blessed person. Turn to your neighbor and say I want to be a blessed person.
Jonah, I want to show you a verse there that will help us as we start our message today. How many know the prophet Jonah, the book of Jonah? Very fascinating book. Unique in many ways. Was Jonah a prophet? Did he speak for God? Was he used by God? Did he run away from the calling of God? He was going to Tarshish and most believe it was Spain. He could go down to Joppa to catch the boat and the furthest part of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain. About 500 miles northeast to Nineveh. It was the capital of the Assyrian empire. They were ruthless, powerful pagan people that hated the Jewish people. They would torture them and were ruthless and barbaric. God in his ways beyond our ways sent his prophet Jonah to preach. He didn’t want to go. That’s how the story goes. He ends up going because of the way of God leading and getting him there. He didn’t want to be there or preach. But he did and the people repented. When they repented and God gave mercy to them as a nation the king and the people fasted, and they sat in sackcloth for three days. God looked at that and he repented of his judgment on the people. Jonah is angry about it.
Jonah 4:1, Jonah 3:10, he repented of the evil and didn’t bring the judgment but it displeased Jonah exceedingly. When I read that last night in my study and meditation, it caught me. It caught my interest. I could imagine a man of God being unhappy with God’s ways. Being unhappy with what God is doing, not understanding what God is doing. I made a little diagram in my notebook. Here is me or Jonah and my understanding. This area represents my maturity, my understanding of God, my world. Many of us our world is very small. It’s based on our desires, feelings, relationships, our experiences and judgments and opinions. Many of us are filled with ourselves and our world is this way. God judged the Assyrians. I was going to, but I sent you Jonah and I see they have repented so I’m not doing that. Jonah is exceedingly unhappy about that in vs. 1. He was very angry. That’s the world that got my attention, anger. As a pastor I do some counseling and through the years have found anger is a big problem in family life. We get angry with our spouses, our children, our jobs, our homes. We get angry in life very easily sometimes.
But Jonah is a prophet, a friend of God. Jonah has seen the hand of God. Jonah was in a fish for three days and nights. He survives it. He is sent to preach, and God uses him. It seems to me that his world would be a lot bigger than this world he is actually living in. I want to ask you, if you were close with God and walked with God and the same thing happened in your life, would you be angry if the people repented and you were effective and God had saved you from a fish? Would you be angry? What would your life look like? I think it’s based on a principle: faith and imagination.
I like this word imagination in regard to our faith. There are two parts to our message. This part and then we go to what we want to say. Imagination. Could you walk on water? Not without some faith and imagination. Could you feed 5000 hungry people with five loaves and two fish? Not without some faith and imagination. Could God forgive the Ninevites? Yes, he can. I need to get with God’s program and have some faith and imagination. Who is he, God, and why is he in my life? My life takes on something more than me. That’s a good word. Blessing is when I find something more than me and my world. God says to me as a stand on the edge of my world, jump. Jump and I’ll catch you. Wait a minute. I could fall and get hurt. It’s a long way down. God is saying it’s your call. It’s up to you. If you want to stay in your world you can but you will be angry again and again and frustrated and your life is going to be – you’re going to be more careful about your life than knowing and believing and seeing my blessing. He goes jump! I will catch you. Are you God? I am God. Trust me. Look at me and trust in me. Look at who I am and trust in me. So he jumps and this is what happens. He’s put up here. You set me on a rock higher than myself. You have blessed me. I see you. I see your nature. I’m not saying you have more money or look better or healthier. I’m saying you are blessed. This is the nature of life to know our blessing.
That’s why we are on the earth to know God as an Almighty great God of grace that shows us who we are and expands our world into understanding and believing his nature. I’m afraid to say we reduce our life by emotion. There are a couple of illustrations. The emotion of anger. Why anger? Anger is connected with control. When it’s not my way, I’ll remove somebody and do it with anger. When it’s not my way, I will express this emotion out of frustration. We use anger to manipulate people. We blow up and everyone gets a signal to stay away from me. I learn how to do this. Children do it, and adolescents and adults do it. In marriage, it’s used as a tool. Jonah was angry and said something doctrinal. Jonah 4:2. He was saying I knew you were going to do this. You were going to forgive those people. Didn’t I tell you that when I was back in my home country. I know who you are. Vs. 2. I knew you were merciful and gracious and that’s why I didn’t want to go there. I knew you would forgive those communists. Put in there any label you want to. The people you think they don’t deserve God’s grace and mercy. Those atheists. I knew you would forgive them and have mercy on them, so I didn’t want to go to there. Your world is small. Why don’t you get with God and know who God is and have the heart of God, the Spirit of God, the mind of God. Why do you have such a small mind? You are hanging out on the street too much. You’re listening to what is said in the barber shop, on the news, iPhone, or whatever it is.
There are many believers who need to get ahold of what we are trying to say today. It’s good. Eventually we’ll get there. You’re following me. Okay. I knew you would do this. I know you would forgive him. I knew you would give our patio furniture away. I knew you would be gracious and kind. I knew you would give the money away. I knew this would be happening. Maybe we are done with that. I like vs. 3-4. Take my life! It’s better for me to die than live. This guy is living here. Okay I’m not going to get my way, then I want to die! I want to die! Take my life. It’s like Jonah is a prophet. Why is he behaving like a child? Jonah is a prophet, a believer. Hasn’t God done a lot for him? Why is he behaving like a child. He’s not living in his blessing. He doesn’t know what it is. When we walk with God in faith, we get to see and understand a bigger world. More of the promises, the Spirit, the nature of God. More of his generosity and giving.
It’s the same with tithing. I think people don’t believe in tithing. They don’t want to bring their money to the edge and say God this is your money. God says jump. I jump and get up here and realize what money is. Money is not mine. Money is God’s money. I get to use it every day. It comes and goes all the time. It’s a tool used by God. I get to see what money is. Back in the old school where I came from, my money is mine. My world is mine. Be careful cause one day you will be so selfish. If I’m not going to get what I want, take my life. I’m finished. That’s the spirit of the flesh and the way of man. That’s how it goes. Way of man.
I remember this lady was engaged, no they were boyfriend and girlfriend and she wanted him to ask her to marry her. She was desperate and pulling out all kinds of tools out of the bag to get this thing done. It came down to manipulation. If you don’t ask me, I’m going to jump. Like, really? You’re going to die? Yes. If you don’t ask me to marry you, I’m going to jump off the cliff. He’s thinking. Wow. Do I want to marry a woman that is manipulating me? Does God want to hear his prophet say I want to die? Doesn’t God want to hear us say I want to live with you and be like you. I want to grow and see who you are. I want to experience that. I want my life to be blessed by you. I want Almighty God to be blessing my life.
Two people both have a business. Both collapsed and one is blessed of God. Two families both a disaster but one family the head of the family is blessed of God. What is blessing? Not necessarily what I have or don’t have but where am I living. What am I believing. What is God doing? Who is God?
Ps. 1:1 years ago P. Stevens preached on Ps. 1. I took it to the bank. I heard the message and believed what he said was the key for my life. I was 19 or 20 but started to believe what the psalm is teaching. I started meditating on the Bible. I would do it morning, evening and noon time. I started meditating on the Bible because of the psalm. It said blessed is the man. I’d like to pass that on in the church all the time. We are blessed people, but certain things need to be defined but not only to know I’m blessed but walk in it. Jonah did not. Jonah wanted to die. A blessed man says I want to live a thousand lives. I am blessed. I love life. God is with me in my life. It can be hard and painful no question but when you are blessed person, you find what that is and enjoy it and receive and benefit from what that is. Blessed.
Vs. 1. We’re not in a super big hurry here but I think it’s simple. Vs. 1. Blessed is the man. Blessed. I don’t know how to say it. You’re just blessed. Everything is messed up, but you’re blessed. What happened? I trusted but I had to stay away from three things. I had to do one thing.
Look at the three: counsel of the ungodly is everywhere. It’s in the world. Hollywood movies packed with counsel of the ungodly. Going after women. Going to a strip club. Going to a church but not serious. Hypocrisy. Making jokes about things unclean and filthy. Hanging out with people and getting counsel and they tell you to do all kinds of things. Spurgeon said he was walking down the street and this blasphemy came to his mind regarding God and it showered him. He said those thoughts are horrible. He said…I made a mark in the book and will read it to you one day. It was very instructive. The devil sends projections to our minds but also from people to. They give ungodly counsel to us. We follow it. Birds of a feather flock together. There are people that talk about this subject all the time and I end up talking about it all the time. I become like them. I’m not changed by a transformed mind or renewed in my spirit. Instead I walk with the counsel of the ungodly.
2) Stand in the way of sinners. I’m hanging out with them. In high school, certain guys going in the snow and smoking cigarettes by the dumpster. They were soaking wet smoking a cigarette in the snow. They never got sick and I was the guy that caught a cold. When you stand in the way, when you live with these people you become like them. I want a blessing. I want to be different. We are different. It doesn’t fit anymore to be in the world. We don’t fit here. Like those big birds in S. America They fly for one month, the condors. They can be up in the air a month. They land and tumble and break their legs sometimes. They have a terrible time on the earth but beautiful time up there. Like the Christian living here and it’s kind of awkward because we don’t have the same values or way of thinking the world does.
3) scorners. A scoffer, one who scoffs at religion and mocks sin and judgment. Contemptuous, insolent, with extreme contempt. Do you believe in tithing? Are you out of your mind? The church wants your money. Really? Yes. Yes, I’m affected by the people that laugh at us in our ways. Are you homophobic? They have their strategy, their arrows, accusations against you and me. What? You are going to church again? All you do is go to conferences and sit around and talk about God? If we sit in the seat of the scornful and join them, our world is small. Like Jonah’s world was small because of his emotions. This man his world is small because of his intimidation. He’s afraid of people. He doesn’t have any authority in his life. His world is a Christian world but kind of afraid. He has his religion and belief, but we are saying come on.
God says jump and I will catch you and you will see. Jesus saw and had authority. You have authority based on what you know and experience and understand. I know what the world says about truth. It doesn’t bother me. I’ve been in Communist countries and understand what they say about believers. There is one thing they can’t do. I’m seeking him. I’m not perfect. I don’t know much. I know I can trust him. I got my Bible and can read my Bible. I need him. I got him. He’s going to set me up, help me, enlarge our mind and our hearts. We will be blessed.
Joseph is in prison. The dream. He says I got it. Where did that “a hah” moment come from? The baker had a dream. The butler had a dream. I know what it is. Where did that come from? God blessed Joseph. Joseph said I got it. He said to the butler when you get out of here, remember me. He knows the baker is going to die. The butler is going to tell Pharaoh and remember me. It says the butler forgot just like many butlers forget. That can’t change my blessings. A man forgets and I’m blessed. My boss doesn’t give me a pay raise. I’m a blessed man. My wife leaves me and I did everything I could, but it doesn’t change the blessing. We grow from faith to faith and glory to glory. Seven times it says we increase in our New Testament. This is one thing we got to learn. Three things we do not do.
The one thing we do is verse 2. He’s got his heart in the book. He’s reading it at 6 in the morning, 7 in the morning. Wherever it is. He does 10 chapters. He goes back another year and another year. He goes to church whenever he can, not just once a week. He’s learning how to get wisdom and growing in his faith. When the Syrians have repented, and God is giving grace…that’s your business.
I worship you. WOR- and then two letters and WOR- and four letters. Worry or worship. If you worry, you are not worshipping. If you worship, you will not worry. When we are blessed people, we become worshippers. Don’t get so troubled and heavy by the details. Don’t get caught in a small world. Be a worshipper. Don’t concentrate on the Syrian problem. Lift up your eyes about the guy who gave grace. Learn to be gracious and forgiving. Meditate on the word day and night. Read it and think about it and meditate on it. Come to church and think about it. You have your own Bible. Write it down. There are so many distractions regarding our minds. Our hearts are easily distracted. Our minds are occupied with moving things. Learn to concentrate and build yourself up in a faith and you will be a blessed person. You are not a blessed person if you are going to strip clubs and cheating and lying. Are you a believer? God knows that. If we are, why do we waste our life with foolish things and not have spiritual conviction about how to live my life. Bring it out in the light and put it before God.
I believe in tithing. It really works. There is a blessing in it. When I bring it before God, he teaches me. There is a blessing. Why are you blessed? Just because. I try to stay away from those three things and actively doing that one thing. You’ll be like a tree planted…bring forth fruit in his season. Long season, no fruit but then fruit came in October. No fruit in February but the fruit came in October. It took three years and the fruit came in his season. It came. It came. The fruit came in its season. The fruit came in your life. It’s coming. The fruit is there. You are a blessed man, a blessed woman. The fruit is coming, and the leaf shall not wither. The fruit is not there yet. Filled with green leaves and not withering. Where is the fruit? It is coming in its season. I don’t know when it will happen, but I know there is fruit there. You are a blessed man. You are a blessed by God and whatever he doeth shall prosper. Could it get any better? Is that a recipe for success? Whatever he does shall prosper.
One man said to me how do you do it. He said in Hungary I see all you folks are doing. It just happens easily. It’s a success. Everything we were doing in those years. I said I don’t know. It’s God’s blessing. Nobody could do what you and I and the ministry does around the world. No human explanation. Nobody has done this. God has done it because we are blessed of God. You can live in your small world. You can take it. The book of Jonah doesn’t end with any resolution. It just ends leaving us hanging.
Who do I want to be? Miserable like Jonah with no resolution or seated in the church and hid with Christ in God with a divine blessing in my life. That’s what we want and that’s what we got. Amen.
I know this is awesome and pray it will help us. Take it home with us.
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