June 3rd, 2018
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
Hello. It’s nice to meet you. Greet those around you. I watched this video clip. It was about a boy who was a senior in high school and for 3 years he exercised continuously. For 3 years he took a picture of himself while exercising. Diligently he exercised and previously he was very skinny but now he was built. The summer is coming up and most men desire a nice body such as wide shoulders, large biceps and a well-constructed chest. The boy’s physical body changed as well as the size of his body. God also wants to completely change us. God has a goal and purpose for us. God is diligently and continuously leading us. Completely transforming us is His goal. The title of today is the ‘Me’ God is making. How does God want to change and transform us? He wants us to change us to the summit. He also wants to change us towards strong faith. In today’s scripture we can see that God is calling Abraham to change. In Genesis 12 God called Abraham. Many things happened and then in Genesis 13 God is giving Abraham His word. What happened? I will tell you briefly. God calls out Abraham who was at Chaldea and Ur. In what city? It is in the city of Chaldea and Ur. Abraham was supposed to leave Chaldea Ur and head to Canaan, but he stopped in the middle. Abrahams final destination was Canaan, but he stopped at the city called Haran. Which city did he stop at? It was the city of Haran. Where did he start and where did he end up? He was supposed to leave his home town, Chaldea Ur, and go to Canaan but he stopped at the city of Haran. Where was he supposed to go? He was supposed to go to the land of Canaan but however he stopped in the city of Haran. He was supposed to go but he didn’t. Because he did not go to Canaan, he had to face two deaths in his family. His older brother as well as his father passed away. After that Abraham realizes. So, he leaves the city of Haran and heads towards Canaan. He arrived where? He arrived at the land of Canaan. It was the land that God chose for him. Abraham has to live in the land of Canaan forever. When he lives there forever, he will fulfill the covenant of Christ being born in Bethlehem. However, something happened. There was a famine in the land of Canaan. They had nothing to eat. Without praying to God or discussing the matter with his wife, Abraham left to the land Egypt. Abraham must reside in the land of Canaan before the coming of Christ, but he went to where? He went to Egypt. He wanted to live there but something happened again. God called Abraham but however incidents kept happening. Continuously accidents and incidents occurred. When he was making a living in the land of Egypt, Abraham lost his wife. Abraham was about to lose his wife. However, God worked upon with all his power and was able to save Abraham’s wife and Abraham himself. Abraham went back to the land that God wanted him to go. However, something happened again. He thought he was making a living but now he was making disputes with his nephew Lot. Problems inside the family is the most terrible thing. You can’t sue one another, and you can’t tell other people about your situation because it is embarrassing. Abraham was taking care of Lot when his father died however, they were fighting over finances. At the end Abraham comes down to his resolution. Because Abraham was childless he thought of Lot as his own son. I understand where Abraham is coming from. I have one son, but he moved out. I have no one to run errand for me. I was frustrated. Tuesday evenings I have to collect all the trash and put it out for Wednesday trash collection day. But after my son moved out, I now have a Son-in-law. Now I tell my Son-in-law to do everything for me. Mostly likely my Son-in-law is frustrated now. When you have someone to do your errands, it is a big difference. In my opinion, I think that’s why Abraham had Lot around him. Now Lot was causing problems with money so that’s why Abraham came down to a resolution. Abraham, myself, was called by God but however, problem keep happening. Now I know what God is saying. He said to leave your hometown, your father’s hometown. My father passed away as well as my brother so now it is time to let go of Lot. So, Abraham sent him out. After sending Lot out, God comes to Abraham. After letting go of Lot, God comes to Abraham. The blessing of God that was given to Abraham is today’s scripture. Four things arose. That is what we are looking at today.
1. Restore the me that was created in God’s image.
God called Abraham out of Chaldea. Why? What kind of land is land of Chaldea? It was the land Abraham’s ancestors lived. Because of that, Abraham just lived there. It is reported in Joshua that the Land of Chaldea Ur was a land filled with idols. Abraham who was away from God was called out from the land of idol worship by God. Do not be with evil spirits and idol; come out of it. Receive God’s salvation. What does this mean? Original man kind was created in God’s image, so you must restore your image. From his ancestors who lived according to idols and evil spirit and living diligently in the world. You must come out of that. God was saying receive my salvation. Meet God and restore the image of God. You believe in Jesus and come to church. You must believe that God’s image has been restored. It’s not having your physical appearance change but your image is completely changed. It is a spiritual thing that is invisible to our eyes. You might not notice it but in reality, it took place. Inside of you, the image of God has been changed so on the second coming of Christ, you will be raptured. Since the image of God has changed inside of you, when you command evil spirits to flee, they will be cast out. Do you believe in this? How did you receive salvation? How can we receive God’s salvation? You can only be saved by only Jesus Christ. I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me. Through whom can we restore the image of God? In 1Cor. 4:4 we can restore our image through Jesus Christ. So, what does it mean when God called Abraham? To receive God’s salvation. To restore God’s image. So, you must accurately know the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and serve him. When you receive God’s salvation and restore his image and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord, believe and know that you are forever a child of God. This is His law. When you become a child of God, all curses and disasters will crumble. I am a witness of that. My family was always poor. I was always sick. Everything was a failure in our family. Everything was a problem in our family. That is why I do not like meeting with other people. However, one day the gospel came in to our family. One day I was able to hold on to the name of Christ. All the diseases were gone. Poverty was destroyed. There was peace in our family. Everything was changed. I didn’t even think about it but work still took place. Later on, I realized. In the beginning I thought going to church and believing in Jesus was it. Because of the image of God that was inside of me was completely restored, all the curses and disasters in my family went away. Before knowing Christ my main concern was how can I not receive damage or scars from other people? After knowing the covenant of Christ, I was able to save others. I shared the Christ that was inside of me and the opposition would be saved. A female who cannot bare a child was able to bare a child. Until now from my ministry many people changed. I am not boasting about what happened in the past but because I was able to change, I was able to change others. Do you believe in this? What is the name that can completely overcome the three curses? It is Jesus Christ. What kind of curse? Disasters that come upon you as you live your life. The curse of death as you leave this world. It is not the end after you die. There is judgement and hell. Jesus Christ was the one who solved our three curses. The curse of hell he has guaranteed the throne of heaven. The curses of death, he has given us life. The curse of Satan, he gave us the identity of God. This is the covenant, the gospel of Christ, the eternal covenant. This is not by my might. This is not by my merit. Unconditionally, God came to us. When you share this message, you will receive the same blessings. It is because God’s image has been restored. God wanted to give all these blessings to Abraham. That is why God told him to leave Chaldea Ur. For all of us, we all have our own Chaldea Ur. A time before we knew God and gave ancestral worship and lived according to our own will. The bible tells us that if you live the way your want, you are seized by Satan. It doesn’t matter how much you struggle. When I was young, I always cried inside. For some people when they suffer they take their own life. When you are completely powerless you can’t do anything. However, God with the power of resurrection, came to me. He saved and revived everything. He has saved me physically, mentally, and spiritually. He was even able to revive all possessions. He was able to save my family line as well as my in laws. He was also able to save my wife’s side of the family. To give us this blessing he has called you and I and also Abraham. Secondly, after he was called by God, where did he stop? He was not able to go to the land of Canaan and instead stopped in the middle at a city called Haran. There is an important meaning behind this. After being called by God and after coming out of the land of Chaldea Ur, he was not able to realize this. Which means that he still was relying on his father and older brother. He was taking care of Lot and also relying on him as well. Because of that, problems arose. They have been freed from original sin that come down from their ancestors. Even after becoming a child of God. Even after restoring the image of God. However, he was stuck between Chaldea Ur and Canaan. They are believers of God however, they are hesitant. There are many people that live without knowing his assurance. That is how Abraham lived his walk of faith. After seeing his family members die, that when he was able to go back to the land of Canaan. Abraham came down to a resolution. He boldly came down to his determination. He came down to the resolution of only the Gospel and only God. That is all we have to do however, there are many believers that cannot do this. God is not upset in our current spiritual state however, he is waiting for us and at the same time guiding us step by step. I believe we will transform just like Abraham. Abraham came to his senses after losing two people in his family. He realized that God is the one in control of our life and that no one can block the will of God. Giving us that realization, God is trying to change us. That is how he is trying to transform us. Through problems and incidents, God is trying to change Abraham. I hope that you can do only God. I hope that you can do only the Gospel. I hope that you can do only Evangelism. It is easy to say these words however, it is difficult to put it in our hearts. However, when God gives us his grace, it is easy. I believe that it is only through the grace of God. Me being me is by God’s grace. Just like Abraham, when God’s grace came upon him he changed it is same for us. The third incident, it was by force, Abraham obeyed the word of God and enter inside the Land of Canaan. He thought that was it however, God knew deep inside of Abraham. Something that God wants to nitpick on. That is why famine came on to the land. Abraham was very startled. If this continues we will all starve to death. In our walk of faith, these things will happen. If something happens we can say we might starve to death. When Abraham came to his sense and came to the Land of Canaan, famine arose. He was taken back on that and went back to the land of Egypt. There are some people who want to live a good walk of faith however, great problems arose, and they want to give up or quit everything. The famine that happened to Abraham was a reality. Before his famine and reality, he crumbled. The weight of reality was so grand that he wasn’t able to bare it. Most people to avoid it they let go of things. God knew Abraham had that characteristic. Not even praying to God just to make a living Abraham leaves to Egypt. People think everything is solved when our lives are comfortable. There is evidence that a comfortable life isn’t everything. When Abraham was able to make a living in Egypt, he almost lost his wife. But by the grace of God, God was able to solve that problem. God wanted to change that Abraham. For us we need to be prepared.
2. To prepare the me that God will recreate
There are things that God wants to change in our self. There are parts where he wants to recreate in us. We must realize that and prepare for it. I hope that you will hold on to the covenant. When you are faced with reality, hold on to the word of matt. 33:3. First seek his kingdom and his righteousness and all things shall be added on to you as well. Is this true? Abraham was able to realize this later. After saving his wife he came back to the land of Canaan. Forth, what happened? The one who he brought all along, Lot, was causing problems. Abraham was able to let him go. Do you know what it means that he was always with Lot? It means that he did not let go. It was a problem that was stuck with him. The things that you cannot let go is your non-belief. It can be concerns, worry, and fear. Abraham was always worried and concern because he was childless so that’s why he brought Lot with him. After coming back from Egypt, Lot was causing trouble. After going through this and that problem, Abraham realized. Before God he realized. He gave Lot options. Telling him to go wherever he wants to go. If you go left I will go right. If you go right I will go left. This was the determination Abraham made before God. God has called me as father of all nations. I held on to his word and his promise. I believe that his word will be fulfilled. Because God is with me, I will accomplish his work and let go of Lot. So, he sent Lot away. After making his resolution, God came to him and gave him important word. It is recorded in verse 14. Lord said to Abraham after Lot had parted from him. The lord said to Abraham, “look around from where you are.” He didn’t say look at the land and where ever you step on I will give you and your future descendance that land. Then what did he say? He said, “All the land that you see I will give it to you and your offspring eternally. Eternal blessing is only given by God. It is the absolute blessing. God, who is eternal, will give you the eternal answer only when he is with you. It also states that, “I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth.” Simply put, God was giving Abraham a great blessing. Abraham has been guaranteed all his blessings. Abraham accepted that covenant. One by one, Step by step God was changing Abraham and when Abraham came to God’s goal, he was given the promise. Do you understand this? In verse 18, Abraham was at peace in his heart and goes to the land of Hebron and builds an alter and give worship to God. Abraham didn’t just go there hastily to give worship, but he came with all his belongings and went to give worship. Which means that Abraham had a realization and possessed faith. Which means that Abraham was changed. Believe that God changed Abraham. Just like Abraham, God will change us step by step and recreate us. When you come to know and realize this, then the time line of blessing will come closer. The time of wondering will shorten. Times of suffering will decrease. I bless that you will have wisdom in your mind. Come to this organization. Coming out of Chaldea Ur is receive salvation. In the land of Haran, you were being hesitant. You have one foot in the church and one foot in the world. As you are stuck between one another you will break. When you break something, it hurts. When you hurt, you will bleed. I bless you that you will not go through that suffering. After entering in the land of Canaan, there was a weakness that Abraham had. God was able to change that. Those things could be trying to make a living or idolizing your children or wife or wanting fame and also ideology. All these things can be an idol and Abraham was able to let go of that. The calling of God was everything to Abraham. When those things are healed and restored, God will give you the absolute blessing.
3. God is trying to form the ‘me’ that is with Him.
God is changing us. What is his ultimate goal? What did Abraham realize? Abraham realized that God will take care of me. He will give me his word and will be with me forever. This is what Abraham realized. This is what God wants us to realize. God will be with us forever. He will be with me when I’m sleepy, poor, wealthy, whenever I do something good or bad. This is what you need to realize. That I belong to God. There are going to be things that he will fulfill through me. He will be with me forever. We call that Immanuel. That God is with all of us. God wants to change us and transform us. Whatever circumstance you are in listen to the voice of God. Where ever you are, you are holding on to God’s will and plan. Whatever meeting you have that you are holding on to his passion. Those who do these things are with God. Believe that fact that God will be with you till the ends of the Earth. I give you powers from heaven to earth now go make disciples. I will baptize you in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit and now go teach my word. You will see that I will be with you till eternity. Do you believe in this? All you need to do is hold on to the covenant. Whatever work that you do understand that it could fail or be prosperous. Because of that you can completely become a failure or become rich. Or, barely make a living through that. Regardless of your work, hold on to the fact that God is with you. Whatever situation you might be in you need to hold on to God. Where ever you go you must hold on to God. Whoever you meet with you must hold on to God. Because God is with me whatever situation I may be in, I will challenge. Whatever places I go to I will pass through it. Whoever I meet there is a plan of God. Then whenever you get to see that you will not be scared. You will be guided by God. When you are guided by God, He will bless you. Hallelujah. David did this. For half of his life, David was running away. His father-in-law, boss, tried to kill him. For us we can think, if he’s my father-in-law he shouldn’t act like that. What did David do? Did he say, he is the king of one nation. He should be ruling over his nation not trying to kill me. David didn’t say those things. He prayed before God with the situation that he was in. When I was a young Sheppard boy, I praised songs to God. I wrote psalms. That spiritual tool for David was helpful. When I don’t have the spiritual power, even if I was a king I have no choice to be afflicted with evil spirits. King Saul who was handsome and a good warrior, was afflicted by his spiritual problem so he failed. David was thankful for all the blessings that he received. God called me as a king and wants me to do the opposite of King Saul. Problems are not problems but answers. God blesses David. This is confession of David: Even though I walk through the valley of shadow and death, I will not be afraid because God is with me. Is this true? This is the confession of Joshua: God told him and gave him a covenant, no one can overcome you. Why? Just as I was with Moses I will be with you as well. I will not apart from you and I will not abandon you. Hallelujah. Inside of you and I Christ is inside of us. That Jesus said, I will seek for my father and he will send you the Holy Spirit. He will be with you forever. Is this true? He will remain in you forever. He will be with you forever through the Holy Spirits. This is how God wants us to change all of us. You must have this conformation with your faith. Confirm with your confession. God is with me. I am a child of God. Do you believe in this?
Let us pray.
All mighty father God I give you thanks. Today we have discovered your goal. May you change us completely to a person of faith. Because you are with us forever, help us not to be afraid. Because you dwell with us forever, help us not to be discouraged. I believe that your will and plan will be accomplished, and you will give us triumph. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.