July 23rd, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
(Intro) Life is all about timing.
How was your week? The weather is getting hot. I hope you take care of your health. Don’t just stay in home, but go outside in the morning or at night when it is not too hot and take a walk. Today’s title is “God’s son follows the time schedule of heaven.” If someone asks me what is most important in my life, I would say it’s timing. Life is all about timing. You cannot just do everything at any given time because things take place in a certain time and place. For those of you who have lived for a while would agree with me. You cannot fulfill everything with just your passion. Also, you cannot fulfill everything in the world with your power and finance. Even if you have prepared everything in line, you cannot fulfill it unless the right timing comes along. When you are in the right time schedule, you can wisely fulfill the things you planned. For example, a student is writing an essay all night long but do not turn the paper in on time, then that student will not get a grade. It is the same in the sports field. During practice, plenty of baseball players make home runs, but a lot of them make mostly strikes during the actual games. In actual games, they cannot get in the flow and make mistakes. This kind of situation happens a lot in our life. Many people do not receive proper medical treatment at a right time and eventually die. There is a common characteristic of people who lose hold of the right time schedule. They have common phrases they like to say. They say, “I should have done this and that,” “I should have been better to my wife...” My eldest son is going to Dallas for college. I might think this way too. “I should have been better to my son.” Likewise, people say these things in regret. However, you are sons of God. I pray that you would be in God’s time schedule and live a good walk of faith. Everyday, confess that Jesus is the Christ. When you have good health, go out and evangelize. Also, diligently devote yourself to the ministry and the church so that you won’t regret in the future. Sons of God need to rightfully hold onto the time schedule that God gives them. I bless you that you would live a walk of faith in God’s time schedule.
1. There is the time and season for every person and happenings. (Ecc.3:1)
(1) Even if we can't touch Him, the one with high authority is living. (Ps.18:46, 2Sam.22:47)
(2) Even if we can't see Him, the one with high authority is working. (Jn 5:17)
(3) Even if we don't know Him, the one with high authority has the time schedule for all happenings. (Ecc.3:1-8, 17)
It is recorded; there is the time and season for every person and happening. King Solomon already knew that there is a right time schedule for everyone. He also knew who manages that time. I think because of that, Solomon is the wisest king. We know that there are higher authorities in our life. David confesses in the Palms, “The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.” King David acknowledged that God has the ultimate authority in managing his time. He knew this since he was a shepherd. He probably realized God’s authority even more when he was running away from King Saul. Also, when he became a king, he gave thanks to the Almighty God. When you acknowledge the Sovereign God, who is invisible and intangible, as your master, He will acknowledge you as well. God is in control of everything. In John 5, Jesus is healing the disease. Seeing that, the Jews criticized Him and wanted to kill Him. The Jews didn’t think Jesus was sovereign over the world. Jesus Christ is sovereign. The Jews didn’t know that Jesus has the authority to crush Satan. They thought they were the only chosen people. They only cared about their fame, possession, and benefits. Do not forget that the Sovereign God is still in work even today. We should also remember that our Sovereign God has specific time schedule for each one of us. Everything happens according to an order and time schedule. At one time, we were born; at another time, we will die. At one time you plant seed; at another time, you gain fruits. At one time, you might be diseased; at another time, you might be healed. At one time, it is perished; at another time, it is restored. The Bible tells us how this time schedule takes place. God is in control of the time schedule and He carries it out. So we must obey His time schedule. Only God judges the righteous and the wicked. God has time schedule for everything that has to be fulfilled. Entrust your time upon God’s time schedule. You have family, children, and important things regarding finance. Entrust everything to God and follow Him. Once you entrust everything to God, then He will work. There was one person who prayed diligently, however, he got no answer. Another person prayed and received an answer right away. Sometimes God answers swiftly because the problem is urgent; sometimes He gives answer later on. If God never answers your prayer, maybe no answer IS the answer. We should believe that God answers us in the best way at the best time.
2. Jesus had a different time schedule from other people.
(1) Our lord had a different wage from other workers. (Mt.20:1-16)
(2) Right before Jesus' time schedule on the cross, the disciples wanted a high position. (Mt.20:18-21)
(3) When the disciples commended people to be calm, Jesus had mercy on them. (Mt.20:30-34)
We should look at the different time schedule that Jesus had. In Matthew 20, there are workers who are working in a vineyard. The workers are working during the 4-hour window. The owner of the vineyard gives wages to the workers who came the latest first. The workers who came early were enraged because they earn the same amount of wage as the ones who came later. The wage the workers calculated and the wage the owner calculated were different. We should find God’s covenant within this. There is important method of God. Whether coming early or late, God ensures equal right to His people. In another words, there is nothing late or early in His time schedule. It is not important who came early or late. What’s important in God’s eyes is who was diligent and loyal in his work. We have to hold onto this covenant. Also, God sees the workers’ attitude. The workers who came early and grumbled only thought about the wage. We are also the workers who are called to work in the vineyard. There are people who came early to do the work, others, later. We should not forget about the attitude we need to have as workers. We should fulfill the commission that has been given to us. The owner sets the final wage or the price. We should reflect ourselves according to this parable. We should be thankful for God’s grace and mercy. Right before Jesus’ time schedule on the cross, the disciples wanted to achieve high positions. In Matthew 20, the disciples are quarrelling. Jesus prophesized that He will be arrested and die on the cross. However, the disciples didn’t keep Jesus’ prophesy in mind. They were anticipating the new kingdom to come in Jerusalem. One of the disciples brought his mother and requested a high position for her. You can see what they have in their minds when following Jesus. As Jesus’ ministry is nearing an end, the disciples’ true motives came out. Seeing that, Jesus gives a sermon about authority and power. In Matthew 20:25-27, Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave.” Sometimes we try to use Jesus to fulfill our desires. We see this motive in our lives. How would our remnants and children, seeing that, turn out to be? You confess that Jesus is the Christ, but in your heart, you are calculating the benefits. I hope you look back on yourself. We need to know who the Lord is and what He wants from us. We need to know what His will is. Without any excuse, we should obey Him. Most importantly, we should love our Lord. Everyday, confess and pray. You see that Jesus had a different time schedule than His disciples had. In Matthew 12:30-34, Jesus heals two blind men on His way to a different region. The two blind men heard the news that Jesus is passing by. They asked Jesus to heal them. They shouted, “Put pity on us the descendent of David.” Not being able to see, they shouted out loud in desperation. However, the crowd rebuked the blind men because they were wicked in their hearts. They condescended to the disabled people. However, with such wicked heart, the crowd cannot evangelize others. We should examine ourselves whether we have the sense of superiority, belittling others. Jesus saw the blind men with a different time schedule than the crowd. Jesus called the blind men and asked what they wanted. The blind men answered that they want to open their eyes. They asked Jesus specifically what they wanted. We should also ask God specifically, so that God will answer us specifically. We need to see the hearts of the blind men. Jesus took pity in them and opened their eyes. Likewise, God sees us pitifully. In another words, God is watching over us with His love. Also, He provides us His healing hands. I hope you become humble in God’s word. Don’t be seized by the sense of superiority. Look after your neighbors as your own body.
3. Enter into the time schedule that Christ has allowed to you.
(1) You can be one as much as the length and depth of your love towards the Lord. (Ge.39:2-3, Mk.3:13-15)
(2) You can work together as much as the length and depth of your training from the Lord. (Ge.14:14, 1Tim.4:7-8)
(3) You can be complemented as much as the length and depth of how you are utilized by the Lord. (Mt.25:20-30, Lk.19:17)
Lastly, we need to make God’s word our own. We need to discover the time schedule that God gave us and be inside of it. We saw Joseph in Genesis 39. In whatever situation, Joseph was with God. It is recorded; the Lord is with Joseph. Joseph was prosperous in everything. It is because Joseph grabbed hold of the covenant that he received from his great grandfather about the offspring of women. This covenant was with Joseph throughout his life. There is a way you can become one with the Lord; love the pulpit message and enjoy the length and the depth. Naturally, you will become one with God and discover your calling as a disciple. In Mark 3:13-15, Jesus raised 12 disciples. I hope you receive the blessing of becoming one of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus’ disciples were trained together and evangelized others. They had authority to cast out evil spirits. Disciples are the ones who hold onto the Word and follow the Word. Also, they are utilized in the ministry according to the time schedule. I hope that you will hold onto the pulpit message and receive the blessing of becoming one with God. Abraham had 318 armed men in his household. That means he had about 1200 people to feed and take care of. He trained them and raised them as skilled soldiers. Trained soldiers can diligently carry out their duty and are victorious in battlefields. God also trains us. Sometimes, the training is not easy. Because some of you have your own business, it is hard to make time for training. Sometimes, being with many people is not easy. Sometimes, it is not easy because of financial reasons. Despite all these, there is God’s hidden time schedule. When you are in the place of training, God’s word comes upon you. Also, you receive a blessing of meeting. You will find God’s answer according to His time schedule. We have the 1st camp training in August in Dallas. I bless those of you who participate in the training to receive many blessings from God. The Apostle Paul tells his spiritual son, Timothy, “Discard all the things that are useless.” This means to discard all the worldly things and become righteous. 1 Timothy 4:8 says, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” I hope that through training, you may be inside of God’s time schedule and receive power to remain in His ministry until the end. Then, you will be at the place where God utilizes you as lay leaders and evangelists. In Matthew 25 and Luke 19, there are parables regarding talent. There is a reason why God gave you the talent. We should use the talent in our lives and leave behind many blessings. With the talent, devote to God and evangelize others. At the end of our life, God knows how much we devoted ourselves to God and in His work. We should find a covenant within this—the Sovereign Lord has given you the talent. According to the ability of the servants, the Lord entrust works. You don’t have to worry about your talent. I hope you use your talent wisely to bear many fruits and give thanks and glory to God. Remnants, I hope you use your talents in your studies and in your personal relationships. Lay leaders, I hope you use your talents in Christ’s work and for His kingdom. Then, our church members will become the evangelists that God compliments. With your talents, discover the fruits that God has prepared.
(Conc) Let us draw near to the throne of grace, that we may find grace to help in time of need. (Heb.4:16)
It is the time schedule for you to go before the throne of grace. Believe that the Sovereign God is accurately working in us. Pray that God’s special time schedule will come upon your children, family, and church. Also, find God’s important time schedule within the pulpit message. Be in the flow of water that comes out from the church. And this is the time. Lay all your possessions in front of God’s throne so that God may lift you up. Go deeply inside of the time schedule that God has prepared. Acknowledge that this is the time for you to be one with Christ. To do that, receive training. I hope you ponder upon the work you need to carry out in Christ’s ministry. Believe that God will reward you at the end. I hope you become the sons of God in the time schedule of heaven.
Father God, we thank you. May the blessing of Your word come upon us at this time. Let us have the faith to entrust everything to Sovereign God. Open our spiritual eyes to see the correct time schedule. And help us to lay aside everything in order to go before your throne of grace. Give us strength as we go through trainings and help us to become the evangelists that work together in Christ’s ministry. We pray in the name of the Jesus Christ. Amen.