August 5th, 2018
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
In the church we have Sunday school for the young children so that is why we call it Sunday school. However, in the past, in the US and even in the beginning of Christianity in Korea, when we say Sunday school it was from young children to adults. However, now days, when we say Sunday school, we only think its only for young children. However, originally, Sunday school was a worship where church member will come and have bible study and learn about the bible before the worship. They would say or call it Sunday school lesson which means they are receiving teachings. We come to church and learn about what? For those who entered inside of Christ, the first thing that they learn is faith. By faith we have become the child of God. God has given us the grace to have faith and he has also given us the strength to believe. What does it mean that he gave us the faith to believe? It means that he has given us life. He has given us the strength to have faith. You will have the faith to believe who Jesus is and what works he did. You will have faith that God is alive, and that Jesus died on the cross for me. This is through God grace. You will have the faith to believe that he is answer to all our problems in life. Using that as a platform, God will guide you on how to live your life. Living your life with faith and the life living by the law of faith. God will train you to make decision with his faith. That is the life of faith. That is the Sunday school lesson the spiritually we need to learn and practice. Its been already 15 years. We pioneered Immanuel Church of Austin in 2003. It during a very hot summer. At that time, I had many thoughts. When I was in Dallas, my main pastor, suddenly, told me to pioneer a church in Austin. I told him this, I don’t have any intentions to be an assistance pastor under you. I will only be assistant pastor for 100 years. The reason I said those words is because, I will not pioneer a church near you and take your congregation. What I was implying was that I will be an assistance pastor under you until you die. However, he had his own plans to send me far away from him. It was a strategy to send me far away from him so that the church members will not follow me because it was so far away from their homes. I caught on quickly and noticed that it was his humanism. I didn’t fall in to his humanism and I simply replied to him, yes, I will go. Inside, I was very afraid. I never thought about pioneering my own church. I never prayed that I will pioneer a church. I never thought of building my own church. I just thought of being an assistant pastor for that church. It was the opposite direction of my prayer. However, within that, I did not fall. Another factor was my eldest daughter. At that time, my daughter was becoming a senior in high school. She was in a good high school and in a good program. If we moved to Austin, the high school does not have the same program. So, all the credit that she received will not be acknowledged. I could have said to the pastor; my daughter is attending high school right now and she is taking the IB program. Can you postpone sending me to Austin because she will graduate soon? Within that, I did not crumble. Inside of myself, I was facing a lot of hardships. It was to the point where I could not support my daughter and I was sending her away from all her classes. There was another thing that was a burden in my heart. As you all know, my loving wife, she was very skillful with her hands. She does her work very well and gets recognition from people. She knew this person who was the owner of this one sandwich shop and they entrusted us that sandwich shop. We ran the sandwich shop and we saved enough money to purchase a second story home. Of course, we didn’t pay it all in cash. We paid it through mortgaging. If we moved to Austin, at that time, we had to pay the mortgage for the house and the apartment rent in Austin at the same time. As you all know I have this weakness in money. Despite that, I was not deceived. Of course, inside, I was very afraid and frustrated. However, I told the pastor, yes, I will go to Austin. I could have used my own humanism and thinking. I could have made this plan making my daughter finish school in Dallas and making my wife stay in Dallas running the sandwich shop while I moved to Austin by myself doing my ministry. However, myself and my wife were not deceived. We all came down. For my wife, she immediately went into fasting prayer. For 12 years since I was here in America I’ve been doing part-time jobs, but I stopped it because of the prayer my wife gave. I would give up everything I had and come down to Austin and pioneer this church. I’m not saying that I am better that anyone. I confess, I was afraid. At the time I didn’t understand. My heart was burdened whenever I thought about my children. At that time, God gave me this faith to believe. He allowed me to come to Austin and pioneer this church. Because of that faith, God has guided me until now. I am very happy. I am blessed. My mother is here. God has blessed me. God wants you to go through and have experience of lesson of faith. If you learn and receive the teachings of lesson of spirituality, this one thing will follow. If you live by faith, you will receive all the answers. When you live you walk of faith this way, you will succeed. This is the method in the bible on how to live our life and be successful. This is not a theory on how to receive success like the books sold in a book store. Why did God save me? Because he put pity on us on going to hell? Why do I have to come to church and give worship? There is a reason. Of course, we all have different reason. However, for God there is only one reason. What is it? The reason is, God wants to give us his blessings unto us. That is his reason. Do you believe in that? Then why did he save us and why does he want to give us his blessings? He wants to give us blessings so that I will receive his blessings and share it to non-believers. I am weak and lacking however, almighty God blessed me to this point. God wants us to share the tremendous blessings that we receive from him to others. I have no right to receive his blessing and answers however, because of his love and tremendous power, I received his blessings and I am very thankful. When you are truly thankful, you have no choice to talk about it. When I receive a gift from one of my congregation, I feel very thankful. For me, I would show my appreciation to the saint and share my gift with my family. Its no different and it is the same. God who created everything, why did he call us? To bless us and to share that fact to others. You think about this, let’s say that someone else is judging you saying that, oh, that person is a very good person, don’t you think so? When you look at him doing this and that, he does it very well. When you hear those words from someone else how do you feel? You will be very satisfied and feel good about yourself. God himself, who created us in his image, he will feel the same. We call that giving glory to God. We are his witnesses. What is the reason on why we are saved? Because, God wants us to make us successful. God wants us to rightfully receive his blessings. For you, you will rightfully receive his blessings and answers. I tell you this, if you do not do anything that is considered “crossing the line” for 3 years, you will be able to purchase a house. All your health will be restored, and you family line curses will be gone. All you need to do is be still and keep your faith. However, people continuously do the wrong thing and say wrong things that’s why all these blessings are being delayed. Then for today, what must we hold on and meditate upon? If you look in the bible and in history of the faithful individuals, you can see that God’s plan never changes. Then rightfully you will ask this question, what must we do? What is the method of success the bible says? That is what I will talk about today. I will talk about Joseph who was a person of faith. First, what was Joseph good at? He did 5 things very well. You must imprint this in your heart and relay this to your next generation. God will make you relay this to your next generation because he will bless you. first, what is it? There is a word God is trying to give all of us. We call that the covenant. You must have assurance in the covenant. You must hold on to the covenant which was relayed throughout his words. What must you do to hold on to it? You need to hear it. To hear the word, you must have success in worship. Do you understand? If you just listen to a sermon and do not get anything from it, then you will fail. You will go to church and be cursed. At the end you will say, there is no reason to go to church. That is because you lost hold of the covenant that God is trying to give you. My father is a model for this. He was a Sunday school teacher however, because he didn’t have the covenant, he left the church. My mother and my family received the curse that followed. It wasn’t himself that received all the disaster, but it was his whole family. If you go to church, you will be cursed. If you go to church, you will have disasters. If you go to church without the covenant, then you will fail and fall into disasters and curses. We must hold on to the covenant. With that covenant, you will see God’s plan. We call that vision. This is what Joseph did very well. The vision that God has given to him, he held on to it with his life. We call that my dream. This is what Joseph did. The covenant that God has given to Joseph, he held on to as his vision and made it his dream. The dream he had in his heart, he pictured it and drew it in prayer and he had this anticipation. We call that image. He drew that dream as he lived his life. He had that image according to the covenant, the vision, and his dream. We say that we are praying. For you and me, we must be certain in our covenant. People without vision will perish. Person with out dream will wonder. We must picture that as our image and we call that prayer. According to my dream and vision I must move along with it. According to my prayer I will pray and put it in practice. This is what Joseph did. Joseph did not lose hold of that dream despite his brothers jealously towards him and his father rebuking him. But for us, we cannot do that. When you husband or wife makes mistakes, you fall. When you see strange people inside the church, you fail. When you have this illness, you crumble. When your children face hardships, you fall into dis-belief. For you and me, we have been called to have success holding on to these five things. All your thoughts and words must be done inside of these 5 things. Why do I attend this church? Why do live in Texas? During this hot weather, why must I do this work? You must find the covenant. You must continuously pray that the covenant will become your dream. Then you will gain strength. You will be able to apply according to your faith. It doesn’t matter whether you receive answer or not. That is the way to succeed. We call that the covenant journey. This is what Joseph did. He said that the sheaf of my family was bowing down to my sheave. The sun and moon and the 11 stars bowed before me. What does this mean? It means that Joseph will become the head of his family and the world. He had that dream. Because he had that dream, that dream became a reality. As evidence that it was his dream and vision, he did not crumble in any circumstances. His brothers and his father did not acknowledge it however, he held on to this. Why? Because it is the covenant that God will achieve. It is because it is the vision that God will complete through me. He did not hinder when he was sent as a slave. That is the mystery of the covenant. I bless you that you will become the person of the covenant that will not be hindered in any situation. This is the first way to have success. Second is vision and third is dream. Forth is image and fifth is practice. At first, there is no change however, God will complete it. Because I have held on to his covenant, all the things I went through it was the plan of God. Apostle Paul had multiple seizure breakouts. It is not easy for someone with that kind of physical issue to stand in front and give message. Most people would be embarrassed to go to church because they are ashamed. Apostle Paul was a pastor and a minister who had seizures. What would happen to his congregation when he had seizure outbreaks? Most renown family members who were intelligent would have illness or diseases. You all know apostle Paul was a genius. He is from a family line of kings. You will see in those family lines people will have some sort of illness. Some theologians say Apostle Paul who wrote the bible 13 to 14 times did not have seizures but instead had issue with eye sight. Of course, with their will and strength they will interpret differently. Anyways, apostle Paul had this illness. However, he said that, his illness itself was his strength. People with the covenant and with the gospel, no matter what situation you have are all your answers and blessings. When I would see my mother, I would run away. I have that vivid memory of me doing that. For my mother, she is very beautiful and very well at cooking but, when she gets a fit, it is very scary. However, for me that was a scar. She had this anger. I would see her get upset and from that I was scared. When she got upset I couldn’t handle it, so I would avoid her because I was embarrassed. After realizing the gospel, I began to understand her that she had no choice to be that way. Despite all that, to the very end, she took care of both of us. The reason why I was able to come to America was because of her. My mother’s older sister came to America first. I would like to have all the pictures of my mother when she was young. She was very beautiful, and I love my mother. When your scars are healed, you can give that kind of confession. After realizing the gospel, I realized that the mother I tried to avoid was a platform to receive answers and blessings. My mother’s father, my grandfather, he was a writer and a movie director. He was one of the first top 3 movie director. He was famous for writing his own scripts and direct his own movie and perform in his own movie. He was a prolific writer. I think I inherited that from my mother’s line and I was able to write well. If I couldn’t inherit that from my mother’s side, I would not be able to write well. Until now, I have written about 2000 prayer journal messages. This one elder pastor from Korea asked me, young pastor, “where did you get those messages? I would like them as well.” Where are the writings from? Whatever I heard and thought, I would just write it as my master piece. That platform came from my mother’s side. When my mother gets upset she shouts. I also do that when I give sermons. When I would say something serious I would shout. What do they not have in heaven? They don’t have a trash bin. When I was young, I experienced poverty and through that I learned the importance of finance. When I first moved to Austin, the first thing that I did was pay off my debt. I paid it all off. The construction fee for the church, I paid 80-90 percent. Now days in Korea, 90 percent of churches are on the market. 90 percent of the churches they construct they put back in the market. Why? Because they cannot pay off the debt. But for you don’t worry, for us, our church debt is paid 80-90 percent. Hallelujah. How was I able to do that? I learned it from my mother. The experience she gave me, I used it as my platform. Whatever happens will be beneficial. Whatever happens will be blessings. Everything is a way and opportunity. Then, the main content.
1. My weak points - Motivation to make life masterpiece
If you hold on to the five things and live your life, even your weaknesses will become motivation towards your master piece. We try to hide our weaknesses and try to cover it up. When some people pick on your weakness, you will feel offended. You do that because you do not possess the 5 things. You need know that the 5 things are the way to have success from God. You will know holding on to the 5 things that your weaknesses and disadvantages is the motivation to leave behind your master piece. The writer, William Somerset had this issue with his ability to walk like elder victor. Please do not be in trail because I said your name. However, because he was not able to walk correctly he had this discouragement. He had this faith and held on to this covenant that even if he had issues with his legs, he will go to places where people with functional legs cannot go. With his writing, he was able to go travel around the world. Crosby who was blind. He held on to the covenant that he will see the spiritual things with his eyes that no one else could see. The hymns that she wrote is still influential to this day. Joseph and Moses were isolated where no one can help them. The weaknesses and disadvantages they had they used it as motivation to leave behind a masterpiece. They focused to God. Elijah, Elisha, and Paul faced an age of spiritual problems. They did not be discouraged about the age. With that great problem, they stood before God. God answered them that through you I will live you a life masterpiece. David who faced life crises made those crises as a life masterpiece. When I become a king, I will not become like King Saul. David become one of the greatest kings. It was King David that even non-believers know about. All those weaknesses he had, he used as a motivation for his life masterpiece that he will leave behind. Do not be discouraged and let’s have hope. They did not have this forced upon them. It is not up to that level instead you will know that God’s hidden answers and masterpieces are within this. I bless you that you will restore your faith to this point. What about the good things?
2. My strong points - Power to make life masterpiece
Your advantages are the power to make your life masterpiece. David wrote Psalms and songs. He was also a shepherd. Everyone could have done the work of a shepherd. It was an average work. David had the skills to write psalms and songs to God. As a shepherd he wrote psalms and songs to God. When he praised and played the music to King Saul who was filled with evil spirits, the evil spirits vanished. With the faith that I will not lose any of my flock, David was able to overcome goliath. This is the people of God. This is the person of the covenant. For you and me, if we are the people of the God, we must hold on to the covenant. Thought our advantages and good points we must carry out the works of world evangelization. Then God will fulfill everything. Then lastly, what about the things that happens suddenly?
3. My incidents - Shortcut to make life masterpiece
You need to know why God allow this incident? It is the shortcut to make the life masterpiece. What is it? God is trying to show you that shortcut to complete that life masterpiece. You must know and make that confession. For Joseph who was loved by his father was sent as a slave suddenly. That was the incident for Joseph however, for God, that was God’s shortcut for Joseph. Joseph who was under the arms of his father, it was God’s shortcut to send Joseph to Egypt to complete the life masterpiece. It would be impossible for Joseph to study abroad to Egypt during that age. First, Joseph’s father loved him so much, he would not send him there to study. Also, because the Land of Canaan was the promised land given by God, Isaac would of not send Joseph abroad. If that was to happen then the life masterpiece that God wanted Joseph to complete would have been delayed. God allowed that incident to happen for Joseph to take that shortcut to his life masterpiece. From now on, the incidents that happens in your life now, you must confess this, I praise you and thank you for allowing me to take this shortcut to complete my life masterpiece. For David, suddenly, an incident occurred. After overcoming goliath, David gained popularity. However, he had to run away from King Saul because he wanted to kill him. However, later he realized that it was a shortcut to become the King of Israel. He was able to go to different places and learn the region and terrain. When he was running away, he met many people and made new friends. Later, they became his loyal servants. When he was running away, he was gaining knowledge and strengthen himself to become a King without him even noticing. That is why every time David went out to the battle field, we would be victorious. Because he had a system he was able to give the throne over to his son Solomon. In Korea, because they were not able to entrust this system to the next president, all the presidents went to jail. Its not something to laugh about but need to take something out of it. Don’t interpret it as if they did bad things and went to jail. It means that they did not have the correct disciple to entrust and relay their system. They did not have the correct system for the disciples to receive the next orders. All the incidents that David went thought we all important. Weakness is your motivations. The strong points are your power. Your incidents are your shortcuts. You need to pray holding on to this.
You need to do schedule prayer for spiritual summit. It doesn’t matter whether people acknowledge you or not. It doesn’t matter regarding your language. It doesn’t matter regarding your nationality. For those who were called by God are child of God. They are spiritual summit because they are bound to receive answers. During your schedule prayer time you need to confirm the 5 things and pray. We call that evangelization. When you are by yourself you will gain spiritual strength. That is spiritual summit. The work that I do, I will be the best. When you have evangelization in yourself, then you will have the skill and it will become yours. God does not want it to just be yours. People around you will know your skills to the world. We call that globalization. Evangelization, specialization, globalization. Hold on to the 5 method to receive success. It doesn’t matter whether you have weak points or have strong point, which is better or if you have incidents, it is your shortcut. Confirm this every day during your schedule prayer time. God will raise you.
Let us pray,
Almighty Father God, I thank you and praise you. Help us to hold on to the covenant and embrace your vision. Help us to dream dreams and to hold on to your image. Help us to practice your methods in our field. I believe that our small steps of faith will become great steps of success. In Jesus name I pray, Amen