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Sermon Notes: 7/2/23

"The Secret Ingredient"

Pastor Eric Dammeyer

The Title of today’s message is “The Secret Ingredient”

The Apostle Matthew described something which happened in his house, when he was still “tax collector Matthew.”

  • “Traitors” who taxed their people

  • The worst, most hated, low-life

In Ch. 9 of his Book, Matthew described how

  • Jesus (Messiah) came into Matthew’s house, and

  • Jesus was reclining at his table.

And he tells us about other people who were there:

  • Other tax collectors and “sinners”

  • and also disciples of Jesus.

When the Pharisees saw all that, they said to His disciples,

“Why is your Teacher eating with tax collectors and sinners?”

Can we admit that there are times when we sound the same?

  • Yes, I have compassion on people…. but not those people.

  • I don’t like them.

  • We don’t get along and you know why.

This is when we’re like the Pharisees:

“Tell me…Why is your Teacher eating with tax collectors and sinners?”

Here’s what happened next: Matt. 9, verses 12 and 13:

But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.

“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13

We all get the first part: “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.”

But I want us to gather around on what Jesus said about learning the meaning of …“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

When Jesus said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” He also told the Pharisees to ‘go and learn what this means.’

Shall we do that, Motion Church? Do you want to go higher?

Let’s learn what this means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”

So, when Jesus said the word ‘Sacrifice’ to His Hebrew audience, they would be thinking of the rituals of giving something to God, hoping that it will win His approval of you or somehow it will be enough to get God to forgive your sins.

But that legalistic religion puts us on a treadmill:

“If I could just do better, God will accept me…until I mess up again.”

But when Jesus said that, Jesus was saying “Instead your animal sacrifices for your own sake, I would rather see mercy given from you towards somebody who also needs mercy.”

Like, mercy for the tax collectors around you,

Mercy for the “sinners” around you, … See the shift?

Consider this: When you ask for mercy from the Lord,

  • you’re admitting that you know you aren’t able to save yourself by your deeds…and

  • you have also come to finally understand that the only sacrifice that will save you is the one Jesus made on the cross.

And, when Jesus said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” He was quoting from Old Testament scripture, Hosea 6:6. And in the Old Testament the Hebrew word Hosea used, that Jesus used in Matthew 9 is usually translated as ‘lovingkindness’:


It’s one word with two parts:

“Loving” and “kindness.” It’s not about good deeds from our religious treadmill, right?

Lovingkindness is the actions that come from you having love for another.

This is what we call “Love In Action”

You could also use the word ‘compassion’.

Some translations of Matthew 9:13, Jesus talking to the Pharisees

Telling them to ‘learn what this means’ will actually say

‘I desire COMPASSION, not sacrifice.’ Another one word with two parts:

  • “Passion” today is about something you find in a romance novel,

    • but it originally meant ‘suffering’.

    • As in the “passion” of Christ

  • And “Com” means ‘with’.

Compassion means “suffering with” another person.

Jesus is saying ‘‘I desire COMPASSION, not sacrifice’ meaning he would rather see us willing to suffer with someone who is hurting.

Jesus, in His compassion, suffered for us and nailed Himself to the agony of our cross.

This is why Motion is inviting you to do something, like joining a D-group,

Yes, for your own sake but also for the sake of others!

Maybe you have an understanding of how they are suffering, BECAUSE

You actually know exactly what they are talking about, what they are going through – because you’ve been there!

Or maybe you have no idea what it is like for them, but you choose to care BECAUSE somehow you feel led…to give…lovingkindness.

This is what is happening weekly in our Grief Share D-group and the recovery D-group 5:17.

  • But compassion is not an emotion. But Sympathy is – just a feeling.

  • Compassion calls you to action.

    • The action might be listening

    • The action might be understanding

    • The action might be sharing your similar experience

    • The action of compassion costs you something.

What happens that makes us willing to do this for another person?

(It’s the Secret Ingredient)

Let’s talk about the Secret Ingredient some more

  • the four gospels tell us about Immanuel (God with us).

  • His birth,

  • Then, His life and His moral teachings

  • And then they tell us of His death and most importantly His resurrection.

All that funnels down to the Book of Acts.

You might think the gospel account is over and now comes the sequel.

In Acts 1, Luke tells us Jesus is still rocking and rolling!

The saga isn’t over… He has just turned on the power He promised to His people.

The Promise He had already paid for in full at the cross!

Luke’s account in Acts starts with the resurrected Jesus.

Wounds and all – Speaking to His peeps! Walking in their midst!

A barbeque on the beach. He was still Immanuel

(God: STILL - with them- in person). God’s not dead, He’s surely alive!

Look! Let’s look at Acts 1: verses 4 and 5

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5


And so we know,… like we know from in a history book,

what happened and what was said – but do we get it?

But this is not just some history class where you can memorize stuff and pass the test. No!

  • This is a life-changing message!

  • world altering!

  • mind boggling!

  • truth!

  • THE TRUTH that came to live in…..YOU!

The Secret Ingredient!

And in Acts 3, let’s catch up with Peter, the Fisherman.

Peter, the sinner who said, “get away from me Jesus!”

Who also said, “You are the Christ”

Who also cussed and said,” Don’t look at me; I don’t even know that guy!”

After Jesus died and was resurrected, Jesus had to come to Peter

in order to reconcile their relationship.

What do you mean, Jesus had to come to Peter?

Peter was the one who owed an apology!

In Marriage ministry we have a saying:

Let the more mature person in the relationship be the first to seek reconciliation.

And we say a slogan:

“The First One to the Cross wins.”

Jesus was the first One to the cross, even while Peter was still working on wrecking their relationship.

Here’s what changed everything for Peter:

In the Upper Room, in Acts 2:2: Suddenly….

The fiery baptism of THE HOLY SPIRIT and THAT Peter arose….and he preached his first sermon.

And then… this happened in Acts 3:1-6:

One afternoon Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those entering the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.

Peter looked directly at him, as did John. “Look at us!” said Peter. So the man gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But (Instead) Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” Acts 3:1-6

How many times did Peter, coming to the Temple 3 times a year, walk on by this beggar? Maybe he had never noticed.

Just another druggie with a cardboard sign.

But Peter, filled with The Holy Spirit, didn’t just say it, he had compassion:

He delivered mercy, not sacrifice.

“Show the next slide” (Acts 3:7-9)

Taking him by the right hand, Peter helped him up, and at once the man’s feet and ankles were made strong. He sprang to his feet and he began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and leaping and praising God.

When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the man who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:7-9

What made the change in Peter? The same ONE WHOSE POWER healed the beggar!

How do we get from the Peter cussing by the fire, hiding from the only One who could save him, full of himself, scared to death, and abandoning Jesus when it really mattered?

How do we get from THAT Peter to that Beautiful Gate Peter where he says, “what I have I give to you…”!

What happened was that Peter had received The Holy Spirit.

He got the secret ingredient that changed… his… heart,

  • changed his very soul,

  • his DNA!

  • changed his destiny

Jesus was GOD WITH US. And now the HOLY SPIRIT is GOD IN US!

In Acts, Jesus knew what His friends were feeling ...feeling that they had failed Him …because they did.

Most of them, like Peter, had scattered into hiding and let their Messiah die alone.

We know that feeling, when it seems all hope is lost

...And I played a part in it.

They were hiding from God!…afraid…ashamed.

They were not “coming in to go back out.” They were isolated.

They forgot everything Jesus said to them quicker than you forgot your last high school math test.

Listen, they sounded more like the old Simon Peter.

But…Jesus appeared to them also….Resurrected.

See my hands?… and feet…?’s okay if it’s hard to believe

But then ….they asked Him,

“Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”

“Jesus…do we get to win... this time?”

You see, we’re all like that

They missed the church-wide email from Becky that says

“you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now”,

Jesus responded to their Peterific question this way, in Acts 1:7-8:

It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. Acts 1:7-8

POWER? HOLY SPIRIT? They’re thinking B-1 bomber. Where are the missiles, Jesus? I’ve got the “Thank you Jesus” sign in my lawn. NO!

You…you shall be My witnesses even to the remotest parts of the earth.

My friends! The secret ingredient they had, you have received when you made Jesus Lord of your life.

I pray the secret ingredient is no longer a secret to you and

I pray the secret ingredient will no longer be kept as a secret!

Paul said it this way, in 1 Cor. 12:1

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 1 Cor. 12:1

Paul is saying to them what AB and Logan and Holden and others are repeating and saying to you:

Here’s your owner’s manual that shows you WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN INSTALLED IN YOU!

Paul reveals the spiritual gifts to us.

The reveal of the Secret Ingredient in the mother’s box was that the Secret Ingredient wasn’t in the box….it was in her! The box reminded her what she had in her heart.

The reveal of the secret ingredient for you is in 1 Cor. 12…

the Gifts are of the Spirit:

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware.

…There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.

There are varieties of effects, but the same God

who works all things in all persons.

But to each one is given the manifestation (DISPLAY) of the Spirit (WHY?) for the common good. 1 Cor. 12:1, 4-7

He’s giving us HIMSELF! Show the next slide; they can’t wait!

For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and

to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

to another faith by the same Spirit, and

to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and

to another the effecting of miracles, and

to another prophecy, and

to another the distinguishing of spirits, and

to another various kinds of tongues, and

to another the interpretation of tongues.

BUT ONE AND THE SAME SPIRIT WORKS ALL THESE THINGS, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 1 Cor. 12:8-11

We don’t conjure up anything!

Paul says, you gotta get this: THERE’S NOTHING IN NO BOX!



....Want to go even higher?

But Don’t miss this!…verse 31, the last sentence of 1 Cor. 12 says

And I show you a still more excellent way. 1 Cor. 12:31

Why did he say this? We’re not done…there’s more…

Let’s see the “more excellent way” that Paul is talking about in Ch. 13:

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and I know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

1 Cor. 13:1-2

But, Pastor Eric, … love?... for everybody? How do I get that?

Listen… come close…let me whisper in your ear what I want to shout from the rooftops: “God is Love” 1 John 4:8.

Paul is telling us

  • Why we were set free

  • Why we should never forget where our “power” comes from AND

  • WHY we were given the Holy Spirit:

In Gal. 5:13-14 God says:

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement,


Gal. 5:13-14

The kind of love we’re talking about here is not a feeling.

It’s not an emotion.

It’s included in the gifts of the Spirit.

It’s included in the Fruit of the Spirit.

It includes “lovingkindness.”

With the Holy Spirit, we received LOVE Himself, implanted in us.

In 1 Cor. 13:4, the Holy Spirit defines Love, by describing Himself, like this:

4Love is patient,

Love is kind,

Love is not jealous;

Love does not brag and is not arrogant;

In verses 5-6, He says:

5Love is not rude;

Love is not self-seeking,

is not easily angered, and

keeps no account of wrongs;

6Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth.

1 Cor. 13:5-6

In verse 7-8:

7Love bears all things,

believes all things,

hopes all things,

endures all things.

8Love never fails. 1 Cor. 13:7-8

How can this be? How can I do this? You can’t.

I, for one, cannot make this claim to have done all this.

But I know God can. He’s the secret ingredient. God is that secret ingredient, which includes love, implanted in me.

We should depend on Love, God Himself, through the Holy Spirit.

We can have and give that kind of love we cannot naturally have.

The gift of this love gives us Holy Spirit power

  • to love the unlovable,

  • to love the crippled beggar at the gate,

  • to love people who just did what I have so often done,

  • to love people who remind us of who we once were,

  • to love ourselves as redeemed and changed, as John Newton, the Author of Amazing Grace, said he was,

I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.

John Newton (Author of “Amazing Grace”)

The word of God finally says…1 Cor. 13:13:

But NOW faith, hope, love ABIDE (remains)…;

but the greatest of these is love.

1 Cor. 13:13

In that scripture, now we know, that Love is not an action verb,

it is a noun,…. it is a person:

The ONE Spirit… The HOLY SPIRIT…



THE IMPLANTED HOLY SPIRIT IS the secret ingredient!

This is our bottom line, family. We’re called to freedom. Freedom from being kept in a box with the label “Secret Ingredient”…never shared.

The Secret Ingredient, Who is our God, was always meant to be revealed.


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