June 24th, 2018
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
Hello. It is good to see everyone. The title of today’s message is the ‘me’ that saves everyone. Let us talk about the ‘me’ that saves everyone. There is no star that shine by itself. Mankind is created to be together with one another. However, there can be disharmony between people. We have also experienced that it is hard to have a good relationship. Many disciples talked about personal relationships. The disciples say to give peace to the elderly, with truthful heart converse with friends, be kind to those who are younger than you. These are the words of Confucius. The worth and value of a person can be determined by others. If you want to know if the other individual is renown or not, you can see that through the relationships that this other person has. Many people say that 90% of happiness comes from interpersonal relationships. There are couples where in the beginning they fell in love and married but, as they live together, they have conflicts. Before blaming faults on other people, it is difficult to have a good relationship. Someone said that acting nice and having a close relationship from the start is usually because you don’t know that person yet. When you don’t know someone very well, you are usually very considerate to them but as time passes and you begin to know that person more, then the amount of consideration goes down. Today we will briefly look at interpersonal relationships.
1. Everyone has the scar in interpersonal relationship.
(Gen.37:3,4; 39:7-20; 40:23)
Everyone has these scars in their past or current interpersonal relationships. We read the scripture in the aspect of the life of Joseph who had scars in his experience of interpersonal relationships. For those who read the bible is aware of this. Before becoming the king of Egypt and becoming very successful, Joseph had many scars in relation to interpersonal relationships. For Joseph, he had 4 mothers. Of course, one of them was his biological mother but the rest were his step-mothers. He also had many step-brothers and he did not have a great relationship with his brothers. They were all jealous and envious of him. The reason why is because, his father Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his half-brothers. If the parents love one sibling more than the other sibling, jealously and envy is natural. Joseph’s half-brothers really despised him. This is not what Joseph made of his own. It was just an interpersonal relationship that happened coincidentally. Because joseph was isolated, and his brothers were jealous of him, he had this burden in his heart. In that situation Joseph grew. That is why I make the assumption that Joseph entered inside of deep prayer. Because the brothers despise Joseph so much they tried to kill him. Joseph barely escapes death because of one of the brothers who suggested the other brothers to just sell him as a slave. They did this thing behind their fathers back. In the time where Joseph was a slave, he worked hard and was acknowledged. However, because of the wife of Pharaoh, Joseph was in a difficult situation. He was falsely accused. As you know, the wife of Pharaoh tempted Joseph, but Joseph avoided that. Because of that he was taken to prison. It was not Joseph’s fault. He was falsely accused by Pharaoh’s wife and this was one of the interpersonal relationship that he came across. Joseph could have honestly testified what happened, but he was already acknowledge by Pharaoh which means that if he told he truth about the situation that happened with him and the Pharaoh’s wife, then the Pharaoh and his wife’s relationship will be broken because of him. Joseph remained silent and went to prison. In one sense it is very upsetting because he was falsely accused because of the wife and that he didn’t follow on what the wife wanted. Let’s think about it, it is not your fault, but you are in prison, how would you feel? When Joseph was in prison, with his specialty, he was able to help his cell mates. Joseph was good an interpreting dream. He interprets one dream for one of his cell mates and it came to reality and the cell mate was able to come out of prison. He was able to return to his position. After interpreting the dream Joseph requested this, I have no sin, but I was falsely accused. When you go back to your old position, please save me. Those are the rightful words and Joseph was asking that. However, if you look at Genesis 40, the person that Joseph helped forgot about Joseph. Joseph helped that person, but he was ignored, betrayed, and rejected. If you are in that situation, you could be upset. Joseph went through many interpersonal relationships that caused him scars. If you are in that situation what would you do? Do you just let it be? Are you going to tell everyone you see? However, Joseph did not do those things. Through those interpersonal relationships, people have scars and hardships. You can have a relationship where you can love somebody or hate somebody. There are even times where you share finances with someone. You can have relationships where you regret, or you can have a relationship where you ignore and despise someone. Furthermore, you make them your enemy. In the bible, through many relationships God’s works are taking place. You all know the main figure of Exodus, Moses. His older sister, Miriam, who possess great faith and was called a prophet, supported Moses who was called by God. When Moses had an interracial marriage, his sister Miriam despised that, and their relationship turned out bad. This is when God intervenes and punishes Miriam. In Miriam’s perspective, she did not want to see her brother Moses. However, Moses helps his sister out when she had leprosy. He prayed to God saying, do not punish her. The relationship between Joshua and Caleb. They were both co-workers for Moses. Later when Moses passes away, Joshua was the one that took Moses’ place. But what about Caleb? They were friends and co-workers. Caleb was in the same position as Joshua however, Joshua took the place of Moses. Some people in that situation would just leave. However, Caleb was a man of faith and because he possessed faith, he served Jacob till the very end as his leader. This is not an average thing for the human would do. Another relationship was Jesus and his disciples. For 3 years they followed Jesus. What did the disciples do when Jesus was captured and was crucified? The best disciple, Peter, cursed Jesus. He betrayed Jesus 3 times. In the end Peter went back to his home town. After Jesus resurrected, he finds Peter. He did not say confess you sins. He asked, “do you love me?” That is how Jesus accepted Peter and took him back. Through that the relationship was restored. In the book of Acts there was barnabas and Paul. Barnabas was the senior and Paul was the disciples. They worked very good with each other. However, they fought a lot because of their ministry. Due to that, they parted ways. It doesn’t record in the bible how their relationship ended. The relationship between Philemon and Onesimus. Philemon was the master and Onesimus was the servant. However, the servant takes the position of his master. Afterward, Onesimus was caught and put in prison. In that prison, he meets Paul. He heard the word of God from Paul and accepts Jesus. In the prison, Onesimus was nurtured by Paul. Onesimus held on to the covenant and became a committed worker. When Onesimus came out of the prison, Paul commissioned him and wrote to him epistles which is the book of Philemon. Your sinner, Onesimus, has accepted Jesus. Do not consider him as your servant but your co-worker. Most people would not accept that but Philemon, who possessed faith, accepted that. Because of that, Philemon made a new relationship with Onesimus as his co-worker. Philemon helps out and prays for Onesimus. Later on, Onesimus becomes a pastor. Philemon supports him and becomes his committed worker. In the end, they had a very good relationship. There are many different relationships. What about Romeo and Juliet? They were enemies however, they fell in love and because they could not get married, one of them dies and the other doesn’t. it is a regrettable relationship. In American history, the relationship between Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton. Bill Clinton had many issues. A normal wife would just leave him. However, I think that Hilary had her own passion and vision. So, she stays with her husband. Of course, she needed him. In South Korean history, there was one politician named Jae-Meong Lee. When you look at him, he is a well-rounded person however, he does not have a good relationship with is brother. So, he would fight and belittle his brother. They were talking about their family and saying bad things to each other. Not just relationship amongst people but also through nations such as England and France. I just talked about relationships with many different examples. You could have a relationship with someone who you can be enemies till the very end. There are relationships where you can forget as time passes. There are relationships where there were good memories. There is relationship where you would like to share with your children. As I am doing my minstery, I have encountered many different relationships. There were relationships where I was very uncomfortable, regret, unforgettable, and on hold. As I mentioned, there are relationships where the scars are unforgettable. Especially Joseph which we read today. He also had interpersonal relationship that brought him scars. We can have many different relationships. Then what must we do? That is what the people of the world can say however, we are the children of God. We are the ones that are saved, and all of the problems of my life has been saved. Then how can we deal with relationships that we cannot control? Do we just let it pass? Do we just let it go? No.
2. The people of God fulfill God’s will through interpersonal relationship
(Gen.37:36; 40:1-4; 41:9-14)
The people of God fulfill God’s will through their interpersonal relationship. Let’s see Joseph. Joseph’s brother was envious of him and almost killed Joseph. He barely survives and was sold as a slave to Egypt. He had that relationship with his brothers. A relationship he could not bear. However, by God’s grace, he went under the household of Potiphar. This was the guidance of God. Even though he was sold, he was sold where? He was sold to Egypt, which at the time was the powerful nation, and that is where God wanted him to be. Even though he didn’t go to Egypt to study, he was sent there as a slave. Why did he go to Egypt? Because, it was God’s hidden time schedule. It was God’s hidden will to raise Joseph in the land of Egypt. So, the people of God, even though you may have a bad relationship with someone, if you wait for God’s answer, then God will guide you. Every second and every minute, God is watching over our steps and is guiding us. I hope you would praise the Lord. God is telling us to praise him with your whole heart. Do not trust your own power. Acknowledge the power of God every day. You must acknowledge the fact that God will do his hidden works. Then God will guide you. If you believe in God hidden works and confess, he will guide your steps. What was another relationship? It was when Joseph was falsely accused. Because of Potiphar’s wife, he was falsely accused and went to prison however, in that, there was God’s plan. Inside the prison there was government officials in his cell. It was a cup bearer and a baker. With God’s wisdom, he helps those two. Like I mentioned before, the cup bearer returns back to his position. Joseph said that the relationship was regrettable. However, later on the cup bearer remembers Joseph and brings Joseph before the King. In the end, it was a plan that enabled Joseph to meet the king. In the beginning it was his first meeting with the inmate but later on it became a meeting which led him to meet the king. This was God’s will. Important up brings in your life is through the blessing of meeting. It stated that the cup bearer forgot Joseph’s name for a long time. If the cup bearer did not forget about Joseph’s name, joseph could not have become the governor of Egypt because of his age. In the law of Egypt, when you become 30 you can run for government official. If Joseph was released during his 20’s, Joseph could not have met the King or become a government official. God protected Joseph inside the prison until he turned 30. The year Joseph became 30, Pharaoh dreams. It is something no one can know or interpret so king Pharaoh was frustrated. He said, “if no one can interpret my dream, I will kill them and get rid of all of you.” Because it was so urgent, the cup bearer remembers about Joseph. Joseph comes and interprets the dream. The relationship that Joseph had with the covenant transformed to where he can meet the king. This was a miracle. As I mentioned, if you are isolated and falsely accused and went to prison, what would the average person do? You helped someone with all of your heart, but you ended up getting rejected. What happens when those situations repeat? You will get very depressed or even commit crimes. However, Joseph was not discouraged. Joseph did not become a criminal however, he received answers that overturned his life. Who was Joseph that allowed all these things possible? This is the main content in today’s message. Who was Joseph and what allowed him to over turn the negatives in to positives? Lastly…
3. Those who hold onto the covenant of summit receive the answer to save
(Gen.37:6-10; 39:1-6; 39:20-23; 40:21; 31:33-37; 45:5)
Joseph who held onto the answer of summit had blessing of meetings. All the locations and places he had been, God’s kingdom was upon it. He did his best to save others. With the covenant of summit, he was able to save others. What kind of covenant of summit? It is recorded in Genesis 37 which is his dreams. You heard this many time. Joseph dreamt 2 dreams. It was a dream from God, a message, a revelation from God. The haystack from my brothers will bow down to my haystack. The sun the moon and the 11 stars will bow down to me. The sun is the father and the moon are the mother. The stars represent my 11 brothers. The family and the family line will bow down before me. His half-brothers could not accept this as God’s covenant and instead rebuked him. But that is not the case. Joseph’s possession. His fruits. The fruits in Joseph’s life is greater than his brothers live. The sun, moon and stars shine which means that the glory of his family is less than his because God’s glory will make him great. Why is that? Because God is with him and it is God’s will. From a young age, joseph held on to this. Joseph took in all the fruits and glory that was given from God. That is the covenant of summit. Why did God place Joseph in the summit? To boast. To make others suffer? To gain power? That is not it. It was to set him up in the highest place to save others who are below him. Not in a sense of controlling but supporting. God, who gave him the promise of summit, was with him always. Joseph, who enjoyed Immanuel knew, where ever I go, God is with me. That is why he prayed and anticipated and waited. Rightfully because he was saved by God, he was able to save others. When he worked under Potiphar, he saved his house hold. He saved his and raised his finance. He had God be with the fields. Even though Joseph was blamed, he did not make any excuses because he was trying to preserve the relationship of husband and wife. When he was in prison, he held on to the promise of summit and was able to save his cell mates. The person who was in charge of the prison praised Joseph. He entrusted important works to Joseph. Because he held on to the covenant of the summit, others were able to see that value. Later, he helps monitor and assist the king. He was able to manage the polities as well. He interprets the dream of Pharaoh and saves him. He also saved Egypt which was bound by famine and disasters. In today’s scripture Genesis 45, he restores the relationship with his brother rather than making them enemies. He did not take revenge on them but rather saves them and comforts their hearts. It is not you who send me, but God sent me here ahead of time to save you guys. Those words are very considerate of others. He brings his father Jacob. Jacob had Joseph as a burden in his heart. The children who died before their parents and bared in the parent’s heart. Senior deaconess Kim had this incident. I heard that I use to have an older brother and he passed away when he was young. If you have not experienced that you will not know the feeling. This is what Jacob went through. Joseph who he loved very much died. However, after realizing joseph was still alive, he brings his father. Great disaster and famine was on the land and all the family line of Jacob would have died however, Joseph bring him to the land of Goshen. Joseph never took revenge against others. To his enemies, he gave them kindness. He did not roughly save other, but he saved everyone around him.
Through today’s pulpit message it has given us a challenge to save everyone holding on to the covenant. Do you believe in this? This is our calling. This should be a memory for the rest of our life. Do not discriminate others and be fair. Do not belittle other or ignore them and respect them, complement, encourage, yield, help, precious them. it is recorded in 1Thessalonian 5, wherefor comfort yourselves together and edify one another even as also you do. It is recorded in detail in verse 14 and 15, now we exhort you brethren. Warm them that are unruly. Comfort the feeble minded. Support the weak. Be patient to all men. See none render evil for evil rendered to any men but every follow that which it is good, both amongst yourselves to all men. If you enjoy your identity as a son of God and place yourself in the summit everything else will follow. Do you believe in this? This is the way to reveal Christ inside of you. You all know John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. To not make anyone perish, he gave up his own life. It is recorded in 2 Timothy, God desire everyone to be saved and be in the place of righteousness. It is also recorded in Romans 5, through Christ, God saved us. It is talking about when he saved us. It is recorded in verses 6,8, and 10 where it explains our state when he saved us. In verse 6 it states when we have no strength. In verse 8 states when we were sinners. In verse 10 is when we were enemies. Christ himself died for us and confirm the love for us. You could be nice to people who brings good things to you. However, those who are under you, you could ignore them. To sinners, you may not even look at them. For enemies you want to take revenge. However, for Jesus, when we were weak, sinners, and enemies, he died for us and gave us eternal life. Walk the path of Christ that will reveal Christ who is inside of you. Be the witness of Christ as well as the messenger of Christ and life. When you have Christ inside of you, that is when God’s power will be reveal through you. Do you believe in this? You could think if I do things that I did not do before and live according to my own way and nature that is not it. Believe that we do not belong to our nature, but we belong to God. I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ that you will be able to become the me that saves everyone.
Let us pray,
Almighty father God, we hold on to your covenant today. Help us to become the disciple of Christ who will save everyone. Help us to use the relationships as a platform. Help us not to be sad or discouraged. Help us to have the faith to find and seek your will. Help us to realistically discover the covenant of summit. Help us to become the summit who will save everyone. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray, Amen.