July 24th, 2016
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
Absolute Goal for the Gospel Noble Family – Restoration of the Gospel (21)
The Love Towards God Makes Miracles (Jos 23:1-16)
It’s good to see you. Greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is, “The love towards God makes miracles”. Jesus is the master of our church and worship. I would like to start with His word. In the first few chapters of the New Testament are Matthew, Mark and Luke. They all talk about Jesus. In one book, it talks about 1 incident, but the other doesn’t. However, this specific phrase was in all 3 books. It is in Matthew 22. This person who was legalistic was trying to give Jesus trials. What is the first thing you should give? It is the command of giving eternal life. Jesus gave 1 answer. He said you should love the Lord, your God. Therefore, you should love your Lord to the point where you use all of your might. The people here should know that the beginning of mankind started from God. Mankind must be with God. Going further, we must not only know Him, but also use our lives to love Him. We are the being who loves God. Have you ever fallen in love to the point where you’re crazy? What are we crazy about now? In the 20s, people are obsessed with love. In the 30s, people are obsessed with ambition, and in the 40s they’re obsessed with work. In the end, people are obsessed with possessions, honor and loneliness. People who are obsessed with something are said to be happy. They’re said to be happy. There are people who make achievements among those who are obsessed. Michelangelo was an artist. He drew drawings on the Sistine Chapel. He had to draw by laying down. He was obsessed with it. Edmund Hillary was able to conquer Mount Everest. Luther did religious reformation. President Lincoln abolished slavery. They were obsessed with achieving their goals. You know Coca-Cola. Most companies could not enter into communist nations, but Coca-Cola was able to. Why did Coca-Cola enter? You can understand that by what the CEO said. He said that it’s not blood that flowing in his veins, but Coke. In Korea, Mr. Chung was a famous businessman. He would shout every morning at the sun to rise. He was obsessed with his business. If you are deeply into something, you will be successful. I bless that you may stake your life on things that are eternal. If we are obsessed with God who is eternal, God’s miracle will take place. In today’s scripter reading, Joshua who loved God to the point where he was obsessed with Him gave his last sermon. What was the content of His last sermon?
1. Look back on your past, confirm your present, and look forward to your future
(1) Those who forget the past will also lose the future (Jos 23:3-4)
(2) Having received the strength from God today, do not sway back and forth (Jos 23:6)
(3) You can make the future according to the picture that we will have drawn (Jos 23:5)
Look back on your past, confirm your present, and look forward to your future! This is what Joshua did. We must receive this answer. This is Joshua who led the Israelites after Moses passed away. And, Joshua was about to face his death. What did Joshua do in his last days? He called all the Israelites. He gave them the last sermon. During normal sermons, people would boast about what they did. Joshua didn’t do those things. He gave an honest and strict message. He’s telling them to look back on what’s happening. God is with all of you. Even though there were wars, God fought with you. Everything is His work. You must be courageous. Behave on the word of God. Do not go to neither the right nor left. That means have assurance and do not sway. That’s what you must do today. Also, he’s talking about the future. Just like God has been with you in the past, He will be with you in the future. We must find the land that God has prepared. He is proclaiming this answer. What does He say in verse 11? We must be very cautious and love your Lord. Because he was the one who once loved God, he was forcing them to love God. Joshua was obsessed with God, so his life was the continuation of God’s miracles. He started as the servant of Moses. He took Moses’ position after passing. In today’s terms, he’s like a president of the Israelites. Moses was never in the Land of Canaan. There were miracles in Joshua’s steps. Just like Moses wrote his own books, so did Joshua. He had God’s evidences. God utilized Joshua to fulfill His will. In verse 3 and 4, it talks about how God fought alongside them in the past. It is vital to look back at the past. It is a problem to be bound by your past, but also to forget it. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Once you forget about it, you will do it again. If the people of God forget about the works of God, they will repeat the failures of the future. Through the history of the Israelites, there are many evidences of it. They are people of God and called by Him. God used them to fulfill His will. When they strayed from God and fell into Idols, they lost their country. This repeated over and over. When we have this passion and love towards God, we have answers. When we are dimmed, then we have problems. Joshua is telling us about the past and emphasizing the works and answers from God. That was what Joshua wanted to say. May you not forget the answers from the grace of God. Even from the smallest things to the biggest, write down what you’re thankful for. If you are able to continue with this, you will receive the great answers. May you look back on the week and write down the answers you received. This is the way to live your life, preciously. In these days, people live about 80 years. Multiply that by the number of days. That would be more than 30,000 days. If you count the days, it will be a lot. Starting from the day we receive salvation, we receive a present from God. When we receive strength from God, we will receive courage. We will overcome nonbelief. We can look forward to a better tomorrow and future. May you do that. Once you hold onto, write down and confess God’s word, it will be given to you. I bless that you may be able to look back the pass, have assurances in the present and have hope in the future. In 1 Co 10:11, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.” Do not throw away your past. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad or good, write down everything and find God’s plan in it.
2. Through Jesus’ cross, may you eternally enjoy and show salvation which is “already” complete with attitude of “still”
(1) Jesus is the Christ, and only Jesus is the Christ (Mt 16:16)
(2) Hold onto Christ and World Evangelization as a lifelong covenant (Jos 23:6, Phil 2:12)
(3) Do not forget that God has the authority to bring blessing and curses (Jos 23:12-16)
Through Jesus’ cross, may you eternally enjoy and show salvation which is “already” complete with attitude of “still” In today’s scripture reading, they are saying that no one will overcome the Israelites. Joshua is telling them to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses and do not associate with other tribes. If not, they will perish from that good land, which the LORD has given them. Joshua is telling them strict words. He wanted to give them the Word what God desired. He is asking them where peace comes from. His is telling them what they should do. He is explaining them what they should not do in detail. The last present that Joshua gave was what kind of present? It may sound rough, but it was beneficial. He was a leader and people of God. Why did Joshua have to say this? There is a reason. We must uncover it. He is saying that God’s promise towards the Land of Canaan was completed and still continued it. Paradoxically speaking, it shows that it was completed. “It was completed so you could have it.” God’s peace was being proclaimed. They must enjoy this. What is Joshua requesting? If they wouldn’t do properly, they would have been destroyed in this good land. This was the same with our situation. The work of salvation was completed through Jesus. That work of salvation was completed. However, Jesus is stilling doing that work inside of us. The work of salvation for us though Jesus, but we must have an attitude of “still”. In Philippians 2:12, it says, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” Because of this bible verse, there are many people who say that they can lose salvation even though they believe and accept Jesus. They’re saying that they may lose salvation because their life is unholy. But that isn’t true. Salvation isn’t action, but it’s faith. The Bible is assuring this. There is no debated. What does this mean? In the English version, it says that you must work it out. You must show the thing what you possess. If not, you will fail. It’s not that you will lose salvation. We must show others our salvation through our appropriate and proper lives. We work out to develop muscles. In the beginning you might be skinny. You still might have some muscles though. As you work out, you will develop muscles. Those muscles will show. I am telling you this. You are the chosen people of God. You receive power from God. You receive vision from God. Enjoy it and show it. If you do not have this answer nor enjoyment, then you will sway. As we are His sons, we have eternal salvation. World Evangelization will take place. We must be in that flow. This is the way to enjoy our salvation. At that time when we are able to see His work. We will forever live like this with holding onto the covenant of God. Joshua is saying that we must go neither to the right nor left. It is in Joshua 1. After Moses passed away, God told Joshua to meditate on the word night and day, nor sway. Joshua is saying that to his people. It was the lifelong covenant. Once you find and hold onto the lifelong covenant from God, you will have Joshua’s life. Christ which is the eternal covenant and world evangelization which is the covenant of the age are given to us. Jesus is the Christ and complete. World evangelization will be fulfilled. May you have this confession and enter into the life that God desires. Therefore, God’s miracles will take place to you. What would happen if you do not enjoy it? Just like if salt loses it flavor, it will be thrown away. If you lose God’s holy calling, people will step on you. It is not that you lose your eternal life of heaven. It’s just that you will struggle and won’t be able to give glory to God while you live on this earth. The history of the Israelites explains this. God is the one who gives blessings and curses. Do you understand? May you understand the will of God. You must be strong and follow. Can you live that life? It’s not easy. How can we show this blessing of salvation to others?
3. Love, love and love Jehovah God
(1) Do not allow unbelief, and stay away from idols (Jos 23:7-8, 2Cor 6:14, 2Thess 3:6)
(2) Rely on God who gives thousand folds of answers and fulfills the covenant (Jos 23:9-10)
(3) Be very cautious on your own, and love your Lord (Jos 23:11)
Just like Joshua, we have to love God. We love our Lord with all of our hearts. It may sound abstract. How can we do this precisely? Joshua is expressing this in a strong way in Joshua 23. “without turning aside to the right or to the left” It means that you must not fall into disbelief. “Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them.” It means that You must keep away from idols. You may perform and conduct the culture of the world, but do not be obsessed by it. In verse 10, it says, “One of you routs a thousand” It means that you must rely on the power of God. Then, he is saying that “because the LORD your God fights for you, just as he promised.” It means that you must look up to God who will absolutely fulfill His covenant. How can we love God? We must be faithful. We cannot see God and hear from Him, but we must be faithful. It is pretty sure that God chose and called us before the creation. We are in His time schedule. The reason why He isn’t sending us to heaven is because we need to evangelize and save people under darkness. We must save people bound by idols. We must change the culture of darkness. We must move on with that faith. That’s faith. With that, we share the love of God. Without faith, we cannot please God. He will be pleased if we have that faith. It’s the faith of the word. It is the way to love God. May you have victory.
God loved us ahead of time and it’s a miracle. When we do so, there’ll be miracles. God chose and called us ahead of time. Imagine how many people on this earth are swaying. However, He still called you. That’s a miracle. As evidence of God, He was crucified. A lot of people think that Jesus failed. He succeeded in giving us His faith through His resurrection. He gave us faith to entrust our lives to God. Because we received God’s love which was a miracle, we are able to love God to point to where we are obsessed with Him, then He will give us miracles. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you.” “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us” May you receive that love. May you accept that love. May you confess with faith. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” May you apply this on your weekly report. May you reveal the blessing of salvation in your lifestyle. That is how we will be expressing the love of God to others. The family that enjoys this is the Gospel noble family.
We are foolish to the point where we repeat our mistakes. Because salvation is complete, it’s so easy for us to be lazy spiritually. We confess that we are ignorant to realize Your love to save us. You have given us this message this week. May we find the answers through our past. Because we received salvation, allow us to reveal it to others. May we love our God. May we see Your miracles.