March 11th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
It is good to see you. Greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is, “God desires a on whose heart connects with Him”. Buddha, Gautama Siddhartha used to live a long time ago. There were monks and he had disciples. He picked out a lotus and held it. He was just standing there without a word. When he was standing there, his disciples were nervous. However, one of his disciples, Kasyapa, was smiling. Buddha and Kasyapa, were watching each other and smiling. Kasyapa was appointed as Buddha’s best disciple. Buddha acknowledged that Kasyapa was able to read his mind. There is a saying in Korea. “The hearts connect”. When you have a lot to say, that means you are not connected. However, if you are connected, then you will not have to say much. If you look at today’s passage, Jesus was among the crowds. Then, He went to the mountains. The crowds fell behind. His disciples followed Him. Jesus began to teach them. The teachings were about the 8 blessings. It was the Sermon on the Mountain. It is written, “Blessed are,,,”. You may not understand what is talking about. It sounds like nonsense. However, if you know the heart of Jesus who is teaching this word, you will be able to understand that. In order to connect the heart of Jesus, what must we do?
1. When you follow the Lord as if you climb the mountain, you can hear the voice from His mouth (Mt 5:1-2)
(1) Those people who hesitate with personal problems
(2) Those people who interests are scattered because of their surrounding incidents
(3) Those people who focus on differing inter-personal conflicts
We have to listen the word of God, which is precious. In order to do that, we need to have the faith and wisdom to be able to go up to the mountain. As you go up to the mountain, if you follow Jesus, then you will be able to hear the word of Jesus. Those who did not go up to the mountain could not hear the Sermon on the Mountain. We must follow Jesus and go up to the mountain to hear His word, however, there are many issues and problems that make you cannot. First, you may hesitate with your personal problems. Because of your personal problems, you are not able to go up to the mountain. In Mt 22, Jesus spoke to people in parables, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come." Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.' "But they paid no attention and went off--one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. The main thing I am not trying to tell you is not the king’s anger. People were invited to the wedding banquet, but because of their own personal issues, they could not attend. There are cases when they were taken aback by their personal issues. That is why they are able to hear the vital message just like the Sermon of the Mountain. This is recorded in Luke 18:18. A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.' The officer says that he obeys all those rules, but Jesus refutes it. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When he heard this, he responded in Luke 18:23. He became sad because he was wealthy. When Jesus called Peter, he left behind his fishing nets and followed him. The officer was worried about all his possessions. I hope that you will have the spiritual eyes to see this. I pray that you will be able to have wisdom to overcome this kind of situation. Second, not only because of personal problem, you may hesitate because of your surrounding incidents. In John 6, Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. The disciples didn’t understand. They wondered if He was a cannibal. If you look at John 6:60, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Jesus did not try to bring them back, He let them go. He asked the remaining 12 disciples if they were going to leave. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” There are times when you lose ahold of the Word because of your surroundings. “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” There are disciples who can and cannot hear the important words. A long time ago, my son was 3 or 4. I lived in Korea. I initially worked as a tax collector and during vacation I went oversees to do missions work. I was the group leader of the missionaries. When I was about to leave, my son had a high fever. We rushed to the hospital, but he was not healed. My wife suggested that I not go to do missions this time. In my heart, I wanted to stay but I actually went. That was God’s grace. My son had a high fever and I went. My wife was probably upset. At that time, many miracles took place. There was 1 person who was crippled but arose. I can say that maybe I could skip. God gave me grace to be able to go there. Because of your surroundings, you can fall back. Third, you may focus on differing inter-personal conflicts. It is not your problem, but there are people who cannot follow Jesus because of conflicts. In Acts 15, it talks about Barnabas and Paul. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. There are times when people in the church fight because of money and leave the church. In mega churches, they have many services. So, if you don’t want to see someone, you just go to another service. This happens with other things as well. It happens with young people as well. When you fall into these kinds of conflicts, you will lose ahold of important things. I hope you will be like the disciples who followed Jesus up the mountain. If you really know the value of the Gospel, you can follow Him up the mountain. The Gospel is eternal. “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” The Gospel has the power to save the population of the earth. The Gospel that I have can save the entire of my family and family line. Because you come to Sunday worship, you will have the power to save others. When you know the power of the Word, you have no choice but to go up to the mountain. If you receive the word of God with faith, it should be fulfilled. “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The Word has the power to change people. It can heal others. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." You will live if you hold onto the Word. That kind of miracle takes place in worship. “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." Those who know worship, will not be hesitant. Those who have success in worship have success in life. Those who know the value of the Gospel and succeed the worship to hear the word of God cannot fail. Realize and make a resolution with faith! “Because Christ is in me, I will succeed in worship to listen His word.” Then, God will work. Your prayers will be answered. Jesus went up on the mountains to give teachings to discern who will hear His word and who won’t. Do not be hesitant and just go up to the mountain which is the Sunday worship to be able to hear the word of God. Do not be deceived by your surroundings. And, do not be seized by the conflicts. Giving worship is 1on1 with God. I hope that you can receive answers.
2. The Sons of God will connect their hearts with their Father God’s and understand each other
(1) Israel that was suffering from spiritual poverty to the point where they lament (Mt 5:3-4)
(2) Israel that was spiritually thirsty to the point where they were too stubborn to disobey (Mt 5:5-7)
(3) Israel that did not know God’s will, was separated and did not have anyone who could endure the loss (Mt 58-12)
You will see that in today’s passage, Matthew 5, it is written about 8 blessings. "Blessed are the poor in spirit and those who mourn.” You may not understand it. If you connect with Jesus in heart, you will understand. Jesus came to this earth as an Israelites. Israel was chosen by God to be used as the nation of priest. However, how was the field when Jesus was looking at it? The Israelites were colonized by Rome. People of God lost ahold of His power and spiritual power. They had no chose but to fall and suffer spiritual poverty and thirst. This was how God saw that field where they should empty their mind and mourn with praying. Also, this was the heart of God toward them. On the contrary, this, they fell into religious authority and legalism and were seized by the custom system. “Blessed are those who are meek” The heart of Israelites was hardened to extent that the they ended up killing Him. Also, they were supposed to hunger and thirsty for righteousness but they focused on the reality physically. They were supposed to give mercy each other but they slandered other and ended up dividing. They were supposed to be the peacemaker but they filled with their own motives. Once, Jesus was really angry in John 2. He went into the temple. In the temple courts, he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. It was the place where the gentiles could receive the Gospel and pray but the Israelites ignored that. They were not able to fulfill God’s heart. They were divided as the Pharisees and Sadducees. They didn’t even want to be persecuted for righteousness. No one wanted to devote themselves for the kingdom of God and restoration of their country. Jesus was able to see this correctly. If you connect with the heart of Jesus, you will be able to understand this message. If you know the reason why you need to be poor and mourn, then you will be understanding Jesus’ message. God desires a son who connects to Him. This is the fields where we live today. There are not many people who worry about their spiritual state. There are not many people who pray for saving souls. It is written, “those who are the meek” It is different from being humble. It was described the personality of Moses and said that he was meek. Meek means that he was trained by God’s word. Moses was able to obey the word of God right away. Most believers take the word of God lightly during and after worship. In order to answer a question of pastor, they just memorize the title of pulpit message. They couldn’t hold onto and apply to the main topic. I hope that you could meditate on the Word and apply it. In the passage, you will see that there are not many who will fulfill God’s righteousness. This world is full of injustice. When you share the Gospel, you are called a heretic. I know that there is a time schedule of God. Our future generation will save the world and non-believers will see that God exists through them.
3. Embrace God’s heart as Sons of God, towards the Gospel and the field
(1) Be thankful for the grace of salvation that God granted within Christ (Ps 118:21, 1Cor 1:14)
(2) Lament on the field where God has entrusted you within Christ (Je 22:10, Mt 9:36)
(3) Expect the working of the Holy Spirit and be bold in the midst of Satan’s distraction (1Jn 5:14, Jn 16:33)
Jesus is teaching His disciples the heart of God. So, you have no choice but to come to conclusion. You need to give thanks for salvation. You will be happy and praise. And, when you see the field without God, you will mourn. You will have a heart for the field. You will preach the Gospel. You will anticipate the working of the Holy Spirit. You will break the forces of darkness in the field in the name of Jesus. You and I need a reason to give thanks and to lament through the word of God. You can say that you are unable to do that. I hope that our young Remnants will practice the BGM and give thanks. God will give you grace. If you know those who do not have salvation, write their names. You need to pray for that as well. God will give you His heart. Have this spiritual fight and battle with your study, marriage and future. I believe that God will give me 100 years of answers. God will give me power. Forces of darkness will break down. Darkness will try to deceive me, but you need to challenge. When you have the heart of giving thanks, lamenting, and being hungry for righteousness, you will connect with God. We have received Christ from God. When you deeply meditate on Christ, God will give you the heart to be able to give thanks. After that, you will be able to confess and praise Him. In the future, you will boast about Jesus. God will be happy. Every part of our life will be with God. Open your heart and receive the word of God! Change your mind and thought to see the world without God! There are many people in the world who are falling into the state of unbelievers. With realizing that, you will be able to discover the value of the Christ that I have. The world, it is full of the culture of darkness. You need to challenge to have spiritual fight for that. Through that, you will be able to experience the power of Christ. When you have the heart of God, He will guide you. You don’t do this by force. If you do this by force, things will not work out for you. You may blame yourself in the midst of limitations. However, if you follow with love, you will willingly cross the river of sacrifice. I bless that you will find God’s heart. Then, you will be connected with God.
Almighty Father God, I give thanks to you. Grant us faith and wisdom to follow you up to the mountains. Help us to see the field correctly. Help us to boldly challenge. Help us to have your heart of love and devotion. Help us to fulfill your will. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, Amen