May 28th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
It is good to see you. Greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is, “The Son of God bears fruits of the Word”. When the farmer is planting seeds, he wants many fruits. People want good results. They want many fruits in whatever they do. I am thankful for our church members. Mrs. Parkinson’s son got married. Seonmi got married. Isaac passed all his pilot tests. Donghwan finished all his training. Linda got her certificate by passing an exam. Julia graduated high school yesterday. David Moon graduated from high school as well. God is working through our Remnants. Sandra is taking an MCAT. There are many fruits. Eunsu will be coming back here. When do you something you do, be happy and have a good result. Jesus said that when you plant a seed, something happens. Farmers plant and sow seeds on good soil. Good seed is vital. Even if you have good soil, but not good seed, you cannot plant anything. Farmers need to be able to plant seeds. In today’s scripture, you will see that Jesus said that seeds were planted in rocky places. You might not understand right away. At the time, the method of planting seeds was different from that of todays. They would take care of the soil and plant it. The Palestine grounds were filled with granites. It was difficult to take care of. They would just plant it in rocky places. Then, they would put soil. The seeds would fall into rocky soils. At this, we need to discover something. Why do you think that the farmers just plant seed regardless of the quality of soil? It is not that they are lazy or the soil is bad. There is a meaning behind this. Even if you fall into a bad soil, you would bear good fruits. This is the heart of God, who is a farmer. God already knows who would accept it. He does not calculate. To the heart of the path, rocky places and thorns, He shares a good message. That is God’s love without calculation. He does not calculate profit nor loss. We have parents here who raise children. Every parent sends their kids to school because they must. This is especially true if they kids are lacking. You will see God’s love through parents. Parents with handicap children want to provide a good future. I hope that you will gain strength from God’s love. What about the word that God gives, can you bear fruit? There are those who receive the Word, but not bear fruit.
1. Find out the things that make you not bear fruits of the Word and remove them
(1) The mindset of easily accepting Satan’s interference (Mt 13:19)
(2) The mindset of easily perishing in hardships (Mt 13:20-21)
(3) The mindset of falling under worries and temptations (Mt 13:22)
What about the hearts that are like a path? People walk the path so it is hard. You need to guard your heart from becoming hardened. It is the heart that despite receiving grace, you will not be thankful or even if you make a mistake. Remove that. As we have our walk of faith, you need to be cautious of having a hardened. If you are losing the heart of faith, you need to revive that through prayer. If you do not have a heart to give worship nor receive the word of God, you need to change that. If you do not have a heart to church nor listen to the pastor, you are in trouble. That is why Zechariah said, "But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry” They did not want to listen to the Word of God. They turned their backs on the Word of God. Their hearts were hardened. What is the hardest object in the world? It is a diamond. It is the hardest object in the world. The hearts of the Israelites were hardened, so God punished them. In verse 19, it says that if anyone hears the message, they do not understand it. Their hearts are hardened, so they cannot understand. It does not matter how smart you are. Your heart is hardened. As a result, you will not understand. Then, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. It does not matter how many times you hear the word. There are people who are shocked by the Word of God. John Bunyan heard the Word of God and wrote, “The Pilgrim’s Progress”. He used to not receive grace. He attended church for a while, but was not moved. John realized that Satan snatched away the Word. Because of that, he was able to change his heart and attitude regarding the word of God and worship. As a result, he was able to write a book, “Pilgrim’s Progress”. If your heart is hardened, then the evil one will take it away. Listening to the message is a spiritual battle. I pray that you will be able to break down the forces of darkness. We need to heal our hearts to not be deceived by Satan. With your sincere heart, you need to pray sincerely. After that, the hardened heart will change. That’s is why it is written in Hosea 10, “break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.” I bless that your heart will change. Secondly, it talks about rocky places where the grounds have many rocks. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. However, when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. It is talking about the heart without root. Some people say that they believe, but that is temporary. Even if people receive the Word, they turn back to the world. Honestly, after hearing the Word, our problems do not just disappear right away. Even if God is alive, there are many problems in the world. However, those who are rooted down with faith do not shake nor turn back to the world. Jesus said, “The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. However, since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.” We need to have one heart, whole heart and continuation in the midst of troubles in the name of Jesus Christ. If you pass the process of faith, you will receive greater blessing. The name of Jesus Christ is alive and inside of you. When you receive the Word and hold onto it. Thirdly, it talks about thorns. The soil is not bad, but the thorn is taking anything away. What did Jesus say in verse 22? “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” It is explaining 2 different thorns. It is taking about the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth. This is also in Luke. There is one more thing. It is pleasure. In the book of Mark, it says, “the desire for other things”. To integrate content, there are four thorns. “The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, pleasure and the desire for other things” These are the distractions that take away the grace from you. These are the distractions that ruin your faith. These are the distractions that make you be confused and die spiritually. Wealth does not make you crumble quickly. It makes you fall slowly. You heard about the Greek Gods and Goddesses. There was a horse race with a reward. One person was racing and was in 1st place. He had leisure because he was in 1st place. He saw gold on the ground and picked it up. Then, he saw more gold. He stopped and picked it up. He had temptation. He was now no longer in 1st. He lost his reward. It is about our spiritual walk of faith. People of faith may lose ahold of all our rewards. So, what must we do? Firmly discard it. Those things will give you a loss. You need to remove your temptations and deceit. You need to remove it so you can come out of your thrones. There is one church member in the country side. He became an elder. He was not able to quit smoking. He tried to quit many times and failed. Without the pastor knowing, he would hide and smoke. In the past, they didn’t have toilets. You would dig up a hold and then do your business. We had oil to kill the bacteria. The wife didn’t have oil so they put fuel in the hole, the elder threw away his cigarette and flame came up. He was sent to the hospital. He was begging God for forgiveness. No one knew what he was saying. Get rid of your worries and temptations.
2. Have the mindset of the good soil that bears fruits of the word (Mt 13:23)
(1) The mindset of listening to the Word (Acts 16:14)
(2) The mindset of realizing the Word (Col 1:5-6)
(3) The mindset of trying to follow the Word (Luke 1:38)
Get of everything to prepare for good soil. There is one repeated word. “After hearing the Word” Have a heart to listen to the Word. It is recorded in Luke 8:15. “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” The good soil is the heart. The heart will receive the word. It is the heart of one heart. Therefore, we need to hear the word of God. In Acts 16, there was a woman named Lydia. “The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.” We are here to listen to the Word. We need to stake our life for worship. God will not abandon those who stake their lives for worship. You need to have a heart to meditate on and have a forum on the Word. In Col 1:6, “since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth.” You need to meditate on the word to realize that. Every day, we do the pulpit message quiz. I tell our church members to read the passage and write a quiz. People should do this to realize the Word. When you realize the Word of God, you will have a heart to follow it and discard disbelief. When the Word of God comes upon you, follow it at all costs. If you look at Luke 1, there was a woman named Mary. She met an angel. It was a glorious moment. She heard this message. The angel said that she would have a child. She was not married yet so she did not believe. The angel said that you would have a child with the Holy Spirit. That child will be the Messiah. People would think that she is crazy. Mary did not worry. "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." She was on the verge of death, but confessed her faith. She followed the word in the midst of death. She followed the Word. Protestants are upset by the Catholic practices of worshipping Mary. That is why they do not talk about Mary. It is rightful to share about Mary, but they do not talk about her. However, Catholics worship her too much. They are both wrong. Do you understand? Following the Word will please God. Abraham Lincoln’s favorite book of Bible is in D.C. He enjoyed one chapter a lot. He relied on God, he was able to have victory in Battle. He had so many troubles in his life, but held onto the Word of God. It was Psalms 34. “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” The faith to believe the word of God is good soil. As we give this worship, we need to have this kind of heart.
3. Find the fruit of the Word that God prepared and enjoy it
(1) Abraham and his family line that received the Word of God (Gen 12:1-3)
(2) Jesus and His disciples who received the Word of God (MT 28:18-20, Acts 1:4)
(3) Paul and the figures of Romans 16 that received the Word of God (Rom 16:1-27)
We need to find the fruit of the Word that God has prepared. There are 3 things in the bulletin. Abraham and his descendants, Jesus and His disciples and Paul and his figures. Abraham received the Word and it was passed on. What was the Word? "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." That is the representative, commemorative, fundamental, irresistible and historical blessing. Abraham received God’s Word, so it will spread through his descendants. It was the blessing of receiving God’s miracles. It was the blessing of receiving God’s guidance. The main figure of the Bible came from Abraham’s descendants. He was the ancestor of Jesus. In addition, he became the ancestor of faith. He received the blessings of health, finance and descendants. He received the answers regarding mission and evangelism. The descendants of Abraham are holding onto the Word. Jesus told His disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." After resurrecting, He also told them, "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. And, in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” After receiving the Word, they followed. They all joined constantly in prayer. Miracles took place. The Gospel was proclaimed. They were able to evangelize Rome. The Bible was recorded by the Jews. It is the story of Jesus’ disciples. The Word was proclaimed and they followed. Then, God allowed them to bear the fruits of the Word. Paul did not receive the Word directly from Jesus. He got it from Ananias. The Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.” This word was fulfilled. Paul received the Word to see Caesar and Rome. He preached the Gospel around the World. After Jesus, he was the most influential figure because of the Word of God. The church officers who received the Word with Paul became conglomerates in Roman 16. They went to Rome with Paul. They were able to become family members known for the Gospel. Jesus and His disciples were able to establish a church because of the Word of God. Paul and his co-workers were able to do world mission because they followed the Word of God. This Word was given to us as well.
We say that we dwell with God. In fact, Christ is God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. The being who created the world is with us. He came clothed as a man. When you dwell and follow Him, you will bear fruits. We call them sons of God. We are children of God. When you follow the Word of God, you will be able to overcome reality. Moreover, you will be able to find the truth. As a result, you will able to enjoy the spiritual fact beyond the truth because the Word of God is spirit. “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” There was a man who cut branches and stacked it up. A bird was making a nest. The owner wanted to burn that. However, the babies would die. Therefore, he just pushed them away. Later, the birds were making a nest in the same place. Therefore, he pushed them away again. The birds were upset. The next day, the bird was making a nest in front of the kitchen. The owner preferred that. As we live a walk of faith, we may realize that all doors are closed. In POV of God, if it were not beneficial, He would close the door for us. Whether it is your work or studies, God will guide you to put you in better circumstances. A bird needs its nest; however, the man tossed it out. That is our reality, which we see. Why did the man do that? The man wanted to burn the nest. That is the truth of the man, and it is hidden. However, the bird made a new nest in front of the kitchen. That is the spiritual blessing prepared by God. If you hold onto and follow the Word of God, you will be able to find the truth beyond reality and enjoy the spiritual blessing. When you experience this, you will not be swayed. You have never entered inside of the spiritual fact while holding onto the Word of God; you are growing louder and noisy. I bless that you will triumph.
God, thank you for allowing us to be your children inside of Christ. We realize that your word is everything. Through your Word, allow us to have heart to be able to enter inside of the spiritual realm. Holding onto this Covenant, help us to bear many fruits. May we become disciples of Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ name we pray, Amen.