June 17th, 2018
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
June 11th, 2018
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
The ‘Me’ That Blesses Other Than Me (Gen.47:7-10)
Hello. It is good to see everyone. May God’s grace be upon our remnants. The title of today’s message is, the ‘me’ that blesses other than me. There are things where it goes from the bottom to the top. Water vapor goes bottom to the top. Heat waves also goes from bottom to the top. For those who live in two-story houses will know very well that the first floor is cool while the second floor is hot. Our praises from us goes up to God. Our prayers also that we pray from this earth goes to the throne in heaven and God will receive our prayers. Conversely there are things that go from top to bottom. Water flows from top to bottom. God’s blessings come from the throne of heaven down to the earth. God’s answers come from heaven to the earth. God is blessing us from the heaven to the earth. We are currently talking about the summit. The person who is placed in the summit have the ability to bless others. What does it mean by blessings? It also means receiving blessings and praying for others. You are blessings them from heaven to earth. If you look at today’s scripture you can see that Jacob is blessing the King Pharaoh. Jacob was old in age when he did this. King Pharaoh, at that time, was the most powerful in all the nations. If it was for me, I would have greeted him this way, “have mercy on me. Frankly I thought my son was dead however, he was alive, and you took care of him and I thank you for that.” If it was for me I would have said those words however, Jacob said to King Pharaoh, who was at the King of the greatest nation and who is greater than President Trump, Jacob raised his two hands in the air and blessed him. That is the summit. The summit is not about blessing yourself but blessing others. If you look at Genesis 29 it is recording the blessings of his sons. It wasn’t a prayer or blessing that was about making a good living or living a good life. From his eldest to his youngest, Jacob was able to see themselves and blessed their souls. Jacob possessed great spiritual insight and prayed and blessed his sons. Jacob was a renown individual. However, he wasn’t like that from the beginning. Then we will look today on how Jacob was able to be in the place of summit. It is necessary to look at the life of Jacob. So, today, we will be looking at the life of who? We will be looking at the life of Jacob.
1. There are times where people want to live for themselves.
(Gen.25:26; 27:1-29; 29:28; 30:30-43; 32:1-32)
There are times where people want to live for themselves. Jacob lived a life where he only lived from himself. Let us look at this. It was before his birth when he was in his mother’s womb. Unfortunate for Jacob, he had a twin. Jacob wanted to be born first so he held on to the ankle of his older brother however, as you all know he became the second born. As he grew up and reached his adult hood, he wanted to receive the birth right from his older brother, so he bargained his older brother for his birthright for a bowl of porridge. He tricked his father Isaac and received the blessing that his older brother should have received. Because of this incident, his older brother wanted to kill Jacob so, Jacob ran away to the land of Haran. Jacob received guidance from his mother to go to his uncle’s house. As Jacob was working for his uncle, he met his uncle’s daughter. For 14 years without any wage, Jacob worked for his uncle. After that 14 years, Jacob was able to marry the woman that he loved. After marrying the woman, he loved, Jacob realized that he had no possessions, so Jacob makes a deal with his uncle where he will make his uncle rich in flocks of lamb. To carry out the deal, Jacob tries very hard to make flocks of lambs. In this way, Jacob is trying hard to make his own things, answer, blessings, and possessions. I am not trying say whether Jacob did good or bad. It was the same for us. In the past we tried to live like Jacob having the motive centered on ourselves. God has allowed me to experience poverty. For high school I even thought of going to commercial high school. In Korea after you graduate from junior high school there is commercial high school where as soon as you graduate high school you will be able to work. I was seeking at that time that after high school I want to earn money. Afterward, I was able to work for the government. As you know, the people who work for the government do not earn a lot of money. In order to make more money I wanted to work for a promotion. In the midst of that I was able to meet God and I experienced God’s power. Just like that, there are people that live for themselves. When we live for ourselves, we don’t see the people around us. You will take things for granted and you will not see things around you. To the people around and close to you, you could say things with little to no filter. People who live a life self-centered have these tendencies. This is how Jacob lived his life but how was his able to transform himself?
2. If you are truly the man of God, there are times where you have to put your things aside.
(Gen.31:7; 32:3-11; 34:1-2; 34:25-27; 35:19; 35:22; 37:33-35)
If you and I are truly people of God, we must be able to discard or put down our things. We are looking at the life of Jacob. Jacob was able to experience many things where he was able to discard himself. First, he worked and suffered under his uncle Laban. He tended the flocks and that was physical suffering. He was not able to live a comfortable life and that afflicted him mentally. When he is working, he wasn’t able to take breaks when he wanted to. Because he was working under his uncle, he couldn’t eat whenever or rest whenever, so he lived an uncomfortable life. Jacob had to let go of his pride. When his uncle ordered him to do something, Jacob had to follow and obey his words. This is how Jacob suffered for 20 years. After 20 years with many ups and downs, he was able to leave his uncle’s household. With many servants and possessions, Jacob was trying to move back to his home town. As he was returning home, he hears this one news. His older brother Esau is coming to meet him with 400 men. His brother is bringing 400 armed men. Esau and Jacob are twins however, they are now enemies and they were separated because Jacob deceived his father and took his older brother’s birthright. He took the blessing from his father Isaac that was supposed to be for his brother. If you look at it in one point, it is right to take revenge to his brother Jacob. Jacob started to feel frustrated and afraid. He was in a situation where he could lose everything. At that moment Jacob prayed near the Jabbok River to God. By God’s grace, God was able to overturn the heart of his older brother Esau. The two was able to reconcile and hug and forgive one another. After making up with his older brother, Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, was assaulted. Jacob had this burden in his heart after hearing that news. Dinah had older brothers and go to the land of Shechem and kills everyone. The two older brothers did not pray before God or address this issue to their father and went to the land and killed them. After that incident, the people of Shechem had an uproar and brings out war to them. If there is a war, all the family member of Jacob could die. But, through God’s grace, Jacob’s family was able to overcome that. When they went to the land of Bethel, one of his wives that he loved very much died. After his wife died, who was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, the two sons grew up without a mother. Jacob hears another news that his older son, Rueben, slept with his concubine. As for a father, it was shocking news. Afterwards, Jacob hears the news that his son joseph was killed by an animal. If you look at the life of Jacob, compared to the life of Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph, Jacob was the one who went through the most suffering. Why did God allow those sufferings to Jacob you may ask. Is it because God is a fearsome God? That is not the case. This is the important content. I hope that you can open up your heart and listen. There are separate answers and blessing selected for Jacob. However, Jacob was holding on to his own things and possessions. Because of that God brought up incidents to make him let go. God wants to give Jacob greater things however, Jacob was holding on to needless things. To let go of that, God brought incidents to him. God wanted to give Jacob God’s will and answers however, Jacob was holding on to his own things. In order to let go of that, God brought incidents. For example, the mother is trying to give something good to the child, but the child is not letting go whatever he is holding in his hands. That the same thing. Do you know how to catch a monkey? The natives in Indonesia, Myanmar they are able to catch a monkey very easily. Of course, they would have traps to catch them. They make a hole inside of the tree. They drill a hole in to the tree just enough for the monkey to fit his hand in. They fill the hole with food and wait for the monkey to come. The monkeys smell the food in the hole and they try to grab the food. When the monkey makes a fist to hold on to the food that is in the hole, they are not able to take their fist out of the hole. The monkey is dumbfounded by this situation however, they will not let go of the food because they cannot give up the food. The native who made the traps are coming for them however, the monkey still not letting go of the food. The monkey is not able to let go of the food in their hands and they are caught by the natives. In order for Jacob to let go of his things, God is bringing him incidents to make him let go. The blessings that Jacob sincerely prayed could all disappear if God allows that. The wife he received by working for 14 years can be taken by God. All the possession and servants that Jacob had can be gone through a war. Little by little Jacob was changing. Jacobs thoughts changed as well as his center of heart. Through all these incidents Jacob was changing and transforming.
3. You can be the summit only within God's time schedule.
When you remain inside of God’s time schedule then you can be the summit. Jacob who blessed and prayed for King Pharaoh who was the king of a powerful nation. Jacob who foresaw the future of his sons and prayed for them. His family members were able to his in the city of Egypt. That was all possible through God’s guidance. Regardless of his efforts, Jacob entered inside God’s time schedule, everything was possible. He didn’t get in to Egypt by applying for immigration. It was all possible through Joseph who abided with God. It says in today’s verse Genesis 47 that Joseph brought his father and presented him before Pharaoh. Because of the life of Joseph who entered in to God’s time schedule, Jacob was able to receive all the blessings. Jacob, who prayed and blessed King Pharaoh, confessed, “I am a stranger.” What does that mean? It means that the obsessions that he had in the world he let go. He realized that on this earth that he is a stranger and he will be on earth for a brief time. He realized that all his possessions and servants he had we all temporary. He knew that he will return to his hometown which is heaven. Realizing that he was a stranger, he was able to have great realization. He confesses that he is not older than his fathers and that his life was short and lived a up and down life. This is what Jacob confesses. Looking back at his life, he only lived for himself and comparing to his fore fathers that he was empty. Relative from his forefathers, Jacob had no choice to be humble. He is not saying that he suffered and made great possessions. Jacob confesses that God is the one who molded him and guide him. This is Jacob’s confession. He is saying, after he experienced the things from God this is what he had. Just like Jacob Moses makes the same confession. It is recorded Psalms 90 that people live to about 70 to 80 years. If they are healthy they live up to 80 years, but it says that yet the best of them is trouble and sorrow and they quickly pass and fly away. Since we live a life as a stranger to this earth Moses was making these confessions. He realized that the life on this earth is where you have to let go of the things that you are trying to hold on to. Paul made the same confession. If you look at Philippians 3, the things that he had are all unnecessary things. He confesses that everything he had he will lose them. Why? It is because to receive Christ. Do you understand? I’m not saying to live a rough life or a strange life. I’m not saying to go into the mountains and live. Live a life where you will rule and conquer this earth and possess the real things. Where you will manage on this earth and relay it to the next generation and go to heaven. People who enjoyed the summit made these confessions. Jacob was able to go through those processes. In worldly sense, Jacob was able to experience all the good and bad things. After experiencing the things of the good and bad of the world he said that life is in vain empty. He knew and realized the things that he gained through fighting and struggling are nothing when you receive the real things that God gives. The things that he gained on his own is useless. By God’s grace, the things that belong to God is real. Jacob was able to let go his things and was able to enter inside what God wants. Just like my life, everyone needs God’s blessings. For everyone need God. This is what Jacob realized and was able to enter inside of that spiritual state. Jacob was able to be in the place of summit. That’s when Jacob was able to see his surroundings and people around him. Whole heartly, with all his heart, Jacob was able to pray for others. Realizing God’s will, he was able to see and gain spiritual insight. He realized the standard of God and was able to meet that standard. A life where you truly bless and pray for others is a life. Because Jacob was praying for others and his sons, he was able to see the futures of his sons. From self-centered, Jacob’s heart was for others. From today’s disciple class we learned that being self-centered is like being inside of the curse of Genesis 3. This is the trap made by Satan. When you come out of the snare and trap, you will be able to see what belongs to God. True spiritual summit is where you will bless others. Do you believe in this?
It is unnecessary for us to suffer and realize things just like Jacob. Why? It is because instead of us he gave up everything and did everything for us. Because instead of us, there is some one who did everything for us. Who is that? It is Jesus Christ who died on the cross letting go of all things for us. When you deeply enter inside of Jesus Christ you will guided in your life. Without you realizing, you will enter inside of God’s time schedule. You did not fight or dispute however, you will be in the place of summit. However, people in the world do not know this. That is God’s strategy. People think lightly of the pastors. Including myself, God placed pastors like that. People do not listen to the pastor which makes them think of the church lightly as well. You will see that people inside the church lie even more. That is not your fault. All that is God’s plan and his strategy. Why? He did not allow anyone to know. He allowed only the people that are chosen by God to know this. Majority of people when they see pastors and churches will say I will not go to church. However, knowing all that you still came to church. You were able to see Christ and realize the gospel. Then you will see and realize everything through Christ. Then you will not fight and be like Christ. Like Christ, you will pray and bless others and know that it is not your lost. This is the life of the summit that God wants. Do you believe in this?
Let us pray,
At this time before we pray to God, let us have time with God. Silently inside to yourself confess before God. Repeat after me however, say it to yourself, silently. Father God, I have heard your word. Looking at the life at Jacob I realized. We live only live once however, we only seek for our things and possession. We lost hold of tremendous blessings of God. In order to receive your tremendous blessings, I am letting go of my things. I am letting go of my pride. I am letting go of my self-centered life. At this time, I am holding on to Christ. May you become the lord of my life. May you hold on to my hands. Help me to listen to your words. Help me to be guided in the field. Help me to discover the answer of the summit. Help me to see and taste the victory of Jacob who prayed and blessed others. May you grant me the spiritual sight to see and see the future. Help me to become the spiritual summit so that I may bless the successful people of the world. Because of the Christ and the gospel, help me to be considerate of others. Because of the almighty name of God, help me to bless others. Just as you provided mercy on me, help me to compliment, help, and aid others. I trust my entire life to Christ. In Jesus Christ name I pray, Amen.