October 22th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
3. What we must start now as the sons of God
It’s good to see everyone. There’s this old saying as part of an old Korean proverb. Back in the days, especially in Asia, they used to write with a brush. In the Western Culture, they generally used an ink-based pen. So in Asia, when they wrote with brushes, they had to come up with their own sources of ink. Many of them came from solidified ink which they had to melt to use, and if they touched it, they would blacken their hands. I was trying to explain this proverb and found something similar in Western culture that says that if you lay down with a dog, you rise with the flea. This isn’t an opposition to any of you who have pets.
There’s a famous Asian philosopher who had to move three times when he was young. He and his mother lived near a graveyard. Because they were close to the cemetery, they watched a lot of funerals. When he was young, he used to pretend and play like he was in a funeral, and his mother decided that it was not beneficial, so they moved near a market. Because that was what the boy watched all the time, his playtime changed to the exchanges of a market, so the mother finally moved them again near a school where the teacher taught reading and writing. Here, the boy played by writing and reading. Because he was so literate from such a young age, he became a well-known philosopher. He left a lot of philosophical statements behind. I feel like I mentioned this before, but when I was in elementary school, I had a friend whose parents owned a noodle restaurant. That friend was ranked number one in our school. At the time, I realize that if I went home with him, I would get free bowls of noodles for supper, so I would play with him often. However, while I went along to eat the free bowl of noodles, I ended up studying a lot with him, which resulted in me being ranked number two in school. It’s not that I was studious but that I was around a person who was very studious, so I, inadvertently followed his steps. It was when I was in junior high when a family from countryside moved next to my home. Their second son was the same age as me. He loved to play with marbles and sticks (a Korean game), and because he was from the countryside, he knew how to throw around sticks and had good hand-eye coordination. While I played with him, I learned a lot.
The point is, depending on who you spend your time with, that will drive the influence that has a hold over you. It means that depending on who you meet and who you form your relationships with, that can decide who you are. That’s why who you meet in your life is very important. This coincides with the title of today’s message. We confirmed that Jesus didn’t leave behind anything like infrastructure but that He left behind disciples. Because we are the sons of God, we, too, must also leave behind disciples. We have taken this message and divided it over the span of three weeks.
Let me review: We have seen that all of the animals—including humans—left behind their descendants. We have seen that Jesus left behind disciples for His next generation, so we must do the same as well, and doing this is necessary and absolute. We said that Jesus left behind disciples, but what kind did He leave behind? He left behind disciples who abided with God just as Jesus abided with Him. Because this is the fundamental blessing, a person who does this will never be destroyed. You must realize that those who dwell with God will never be destroyed. He left behind disciples who, like Jesus, spread the Gospel. Those who put in effort will receive the historic blessing of those times. If these people are lacking, then God will fill in those needs. If these people are in poverty, God will provide them with riches. If these people commit sin, God will forgive them to use them. He also left behind disciples who chased away evil spirits just as Jesus have. Jesus chased away illnesses and demons. Looking at that we’ve realized what we must do in order to be successful and victorious in our lives. What must we also do to be victorious without finances and children? The most pivotal point in your life is when you’re able to chase away these demons and evil spirits. This is why you must fight this spiritual battle. Even if you are tired right now, you must hold onto the Word and fight this spiritual battle. These are the things that we have talked about up to now. What is it that we must start with? What did Jesus start with His disciples?
You’ll see that Jesus and His disciples lived together. It said that He brought along with Him those He wanted. It meant that they had a deep relationship. That is why the disciples were influenced by Jesus. They learned from Jesus the thoughts and words that Jesus used. They learned from Jesus how they need to treat and serve others. The disciples learned how they need to react to different situations and problems, and they grew to resemble Jesus. They’ve learned how to evangelize and how to change people when they were travelling with Jesus. They saw that in this field, people are being changed while the evil demons were being cast away. But you might say that Jesus is not with us right here right now because He ascended to the right-hand of the Father.
(1) The meeting with the Lord – Personal worship, public worship (Ac. 1:3, 2:42)
Then you might ask what must we start with in order to receive the blessing of the 12 disciples? Is it by going on a shopping trip? Is it by going on a vacation? No, it is by worshiping. To dwell and abide means to give worship. When we give worship, we hear the Word. Through the Word, that’s when you learn about the characteristics of Jesus. Through the message, we learned about what God wanted, and that’s how we find influence. It’s during the time of message that you learn about the message and that you must return to the field. Because it’s the Word that you are constantly receiving, you will also receive prayer topics to think of. It’s through worship that we are praising God, learning how to resemble Jesus. When you are giving worship in this manner, that is when God will be pleased, and that is when you will rejoice. If we come before God at His seat of worship and listen to the Word through His messenger, God will rejoice.
It’s through a person that the Word is relayed, but if you listen to the voice of God, that is what will please God. This is what it means to meet God and have fellowship with God. On Sunday, we gather to worship together.
Then during the weekdays, you must give your personal worship to God. In the Bible, all the people who received personal answers enjoyed this personal worship. Abraham built up the offering to God and gave his worship and prayers to God. For King David, you will see that David worshiped God in the morning, during the day, and in the evening. For his son as well, King Solomon, he was able to receive the answer of wisdom through person worship. Even for Daniel, when he was faced with crisis and the brink of death, he did not yield personal worship, and that is why he was able to experience the miraculous works of God. Same for Peter as well, he first gave worship at the Temple in the morning. Paul also gave personal prayer and worship five times a day. This is when you meet God, when you learn of the Lord and resemble the Lord. Therefore, you must concentrate on your personal worship and plan out this personal worship. Challenge yourself so that you can give this personal worship. Let’s confess this to the people around: let’s give personal worship. Truthfully, this is the main theme of today’s worship. That’s all I can say, to be honest, because if you give your personal worship, that is when answers will come to you.
(2) The meeting with the co-worker – Team formation, praying together (Ac. 1:14, 3:1)
A person who enjoys this personal worship will meet with someone else who you align with and continue with as a “co-worker.” You naturally form a team together to give prayer together. In other words, you can see that these individual co-workers come together to fulfill God’s Word. That is when important doors will be opened. Last week, I gave this honest confession: for me and my wife, when we come together and pray, 100% we experience miracles. Satan, knowing this, uses 100% of these experiences to separate us together. It’s very strange because he tries to separate these times together every single time this week. After a long period of marriage, you might experience dry spells in the relationship. It’s not really about who to blame between the couple. There isn’t anyone who is sinless, who hasn’t committed any sins. Everyone has their faults, so if you zoom in on one person, you’ll see these faults. And you’ll have differences in opinions, but it’s not about that. What’s important is that when you come together and come together in union of prayer, in union of worship, that’s when God will open up the doors of Heaven. What happens when the Holy Spirit works on you? When that occurs, all the forces of the darkness will have no choice but to be expelled out of you, and it’s unfortunate because children of God never realize of this blessing they hold of, yet the evils spirits do know and they will prevent them from getting together and using these blessing, make you chalk it up to “personality differences.” For you and for myself, we need to realize this and see through this. We need to determine that we must seek out these available miracles of God. I believe that for you and for myself, when we come to the determination that we will hold these regular and deep meetings with God, that’s when the angels will come down and open all doors for us.
(3) The meeting that is prepared in the field – Pure Gospel, clean evangelism (Ac. 2:9-11, 8:4-40)
Also, it is through these angels that we will meet new people in our lives. That means that you will either meet a new disciple, a new soul who is waiting in the field. Who makes this happen, it’s the angels. If you look at Acts 1, Jesus and the disciples had concentrated meetings for an entire week, after which, Jesus ascended into heaven. The disciples who had these intense meetings with Jesus watched Jesus as He was lifted up to Heaven. Of course they were sad and kept on looking up, without any other thoughts. Then it was the heavenly angels who were fed up with this mindlessness and told them that they should not worried that Jesus will come back. The angels alerted them that they had to do what Jesus told them to do. Don’t leave from this place, but hold onto what you’ve heard. When they’ve heard this, that’s when they went to Mark’s upper room. When they gathered in Mark’s upper room, they saw that Mary, the brothers of Jesus, as well as 120 other disciples were already waiting in there. This is evidence that through the works of the Holy Spirit, Jesus had already prepared 120 co-workers that they could walk with hand in hand. This is what happens when angels start to move, and you can also enjoy these answers in your life. Also in Acts 8, you can see that Phillip spread the Gospel all through Samaria. God’s Holy Spirit worked, and the heavenly angels were mobilized to guide his direction. That is when he met the Ethiopian eunuch. This is the person that God had prepared. While reading the Bible, the Ethiopian eunuch had many questions. So he asked Phillip and Phillip gave him the answers. Soon afterwards, the eunuch asked Phillip to baptize him. Believe that this is what happens when the Word is fulfilled and when the angels come down. In Acts 10, Peter and Cornelius met. Because Peter failed to realize this, the angels intercepted his dreams three times. While praying, Cornelius heard the message from the angel to invite Peter. That was the first door that was opened to the Gentiles and the foreigners. So for you, when you enjoy your meeting with God, He will prepare you with the co-workers.
Let’s wrap up and summarize. The blessing of meetings will have this flow. The disciples who had 40 days of intensive meetings with Jesus met 120 disciples, people who they could have unity with and have worship together. When they were praying together, that’s when they realized that God had given rise to 15 committed workers from 15 different regions. It means that when you have this meeting with God, your meetings with other disciples are being prepared, that you will meet with other committed disciples. When this happens, you can leave behind disciples. There are certain things that even if the parents tell their kids, it may not go through their heads, but sometimes when they have particular meetings with someone, they will be able to understand much better. The angels intercept those meetings by God’s will. Your children will also get married, so pray that they will have marriage within this Word. It’s very much within our business and our ministries. Believe that these blessing must be found and enjoyed because we are the sons of God.
If you look at Acts 2, the Scripture is about the early church. Through the teachings of the apostles, they had fellowship and prayed together. Because of these meetings and blessings, it was Peter and John who partnered together and worked as a team. Because they were a team, together they went to the temple and met a crippled man. That is when they experienced a miracle of healing and completely overturned the eyes of the entire village. This person wasn’t just a crippled man, but he was also the key to sprout the Word within that village. It’s these kinds of answers that are scattered all through the Book of Acts.
<Conc> God has prepared the disciple that will be discovered and raised only through you. (Mt. 28:19, Ac. 1:8, Ac. 13:48)
What must we begin with? Succeed in worships meeting God. On the Lord’s Day, you can receive the blessing through the public worship. During the weekday, you must succeed in your personal worship. When you’re meeting God through that time, it must be a time of joy and thankfulness. That’s when your meetings with other co-workers are being prepared. Our meetings and relationships are ones that are prepared by God. Because of the God-given vision, He allows us to meet the co-workers. Just as God loved us first, we must love our co-workers first, and that is when you enter the field and find the souls needed to save. Be caution of one thing: you must share the pure Gospel and only evangelism. When God came to us and Jesus gave us salvation, it was unconditional; He didn’t have any prerequisites to meet before we received this salvation. Jesus did not perform any calculations when meeting His disciples, so we have to do the same thing. Don’t try to be judgmental when you meet your co-workers. Enjoy this personal worship with God and apply love and faith with the meetings with your co-workers. With a clean and pure heart, without any ulterior motives, you must love the people in your field. When you follow through these steps, that’s when you will leave behind disciples and save new souls. Jesus told us to go to all regions, and it means that He has already prepared souls throughout these regions. Jesus told us to go to the ends of the earth because He has already prepared disciples throughout the earth. It is Acts 13:48 – “Those who have been designated for salvation will receive salvation.” What God desires from our lives is to meet the disciples He has prepared. What must we start with? Start with meeting God in your personal worship. Lastly, let’s declare and confess this before the people who sit around us. Let’s challenge us through our personal worship. One more confession: let’s leave behind disciples.
Our God, we ask for Your strength. All of us here today will make a challenge towards personal worship, and we will seek Your face. We will arrange to hear Your voice from left and right. We will experience the power that comes from Your Almighty right hand. We look forward to meeting with other co-workers who were prepared by You. Help us find the prepared souls within our fields, and let us complete the pure Gospel and clean evangelism. We pray that through all these personal meetings that we can turn them around and receive these absolute blessings. In the Name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.