March 19th, 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’s Son has the Gospel habit”. We have been looking at the journey of Christ, the Son of God. Today, we will look at Matthew 6. Habits might not seem that great, at first glance. When you look at habitual actions, they are so strong that they can overturn things and take over our minds. We live in a society in which you are acknowledged for your accomplishments and skills. So, people try to always improve themselves. No matter how much you try to improve yourself, someone will surpass you. There are certain people who are born with intellectual skills and are able to excel. There are individuals who are born in affluent families. There are also those who possess so much wealth so that it becomes a problem solver for them. You may feel limited when you meet others. When we go against people who seem to have it all, it seems difficult. There is a clear answer regarding our habits. Habits enable us to overcome our reality. In the beginning, it may seem like a lot of work, it will give us the strength to do great things. When these habits become a part of your life, then all other things will become easy. If you do research, a lot of books detail the habits of successful individuals. I will talk about a few of them.
1. The renowned successful individuals in the world have their own habits
(1) The habit of putting their realizations or resolutions into their lifestyle
(2) The rule of reaping what you sow does truly exists
(3) In the beginning, we make habits, but after that, the habits make us
First, they always woke up early. Since they are up before anyone, they can manage their time. Second, they can keep their promises. Even if it is small, they still keep it. Third, they can tell stories. We even share our own opinions. What is important is that we leave behind words that are memorable. If you want to say something, you have to say it in a story-like way. If your words are disorganized, then the person listening to you will not listen. Some people may talk too much and complicate things. A lot of business people use story-telling as a marketing tool. Samsung is the biggest company in Korea. Their leader was actually arrested recently. In the midst of that, they recently released an ad in India. India has more than a billion people. They may even exceed China. When you look at the intellectual capabilities of Indians, it is something but they haven’t acknowledged their advancements. It is possible that the population of India is even greater. Samsung captured the hearts of people in India. I watch an ad on YouTube. It was moving. This shows how vital story-telling is. It is so influential. It is good to have these skills. The 4th habit is to lead rather than command. There is a difference between a leader and a boss. The boss commands. The leader leads by example. Also, do not be afraid of failure. If you are able to correctly perceive the failure, you could see what the great failure behind it is. Even if you fail, you could correctly learn from it. Parents need to be supportive of their kids in failure. Next, you need to ask questions frequently. When you are able to ask questions, you are able to discover new things. You will be able to receive new answers. Seventh, be honest with yourself and others. We have heard of that honesty is the best policy. Of course, you probably prefer someone who is honest. Eighth, give yourself rest. You need time to organize and prepare yourself. Ninth, have a habit of recording. A lot of people say that healing takes place in meditation. People say that it is therapeutic. If you write down goals or even to do lists, it sets a clear path for the day. I have shared things that have helped people succeed. You might say that this belongs to the people of the world so we don’t need it. Should we leave kids at complete freedom or restrict them? How do you feel about physical discipline or giving kids independence? It is correct and incorrect. What is the standard? It is who and how disciplines or leads them. When a person knows God and when a person is moved by the Holy Spirit, whether you spank them or not doesn’t matter. At the same time, if you leave them as is, then leave them. As someone who is not captured by the spirit, that is when it’s wrong. As a parent who is filled with the Holy Spirit, you are helping them. The works will take place that way. It is not whether you choose one method or another. It is vital for whichever person performs this. If you don’t know God and don’t go to church, but have good habits, then what will happen? The higher up they go, the more impossible it is to meet God. Therefore, success for non-believers are a curse. When they are lowered and their spirits are broken, then the light of the Gospel can shine. All of these amendable practices are about who performs them. There is a law of inertia. If you are accelerating to succeed in the world and you stop, you still go forward a little bit. That’s why you don’t need to be envious of their success. But, there is a significance in the habits. It deepens their lives. It doesn’t allow you to shake. It is about who performs them. The renowned successful individuals in the world have their own habits. Aristotle says this. You may wonder why I am talking about secular figures. I am not saying that we need to follow them. There are certain orders of the world that have been discovered because they focused and spent time on them. Honestly, we do not have as much time as the non-believers to anguish our lives or to introspect ourselves as children of God. Because we have the guarantee to go heaven, there are few who live walk of faith deeply. That is why when people of God enter into society, they are caught in sandals. We need to be able to correctly perceive this. When you look at these people who are called Christians, they are usually at the center of controversy. Remnants will see this. Even if they have salvation, believers still crumble. Saints need to have the depth, width and height to rise. Many people left behind legacies even though they were non-believer because God allows them to be revealed. This is a reason why I give a sample and mention. Aristotle asked what is the most tremendous of all. “It is your habits, not your action.” He is a philosopher. He lived a multi-faceted life. That is why he was able to realize. The habits of your daily life are vital. Let me introduce the habit of the people who succeed in the world. You guys know Walt Disney right. The CEO is Robert A. Iger. He wakes up before 4:30am. Research says that the first 2 hours after waking up are when you are the freshest. Benjamin Franklin stated that he asked himself what he need to get done. He had the habit asking questions. Timothy Farris spoke about this as well. It is vital to concentrate, rather than multi-task. Steve Jobs who already passed away is the mentor for many people. He had the habit of making his priorities clear. Warren Buffet who is the greatest investor enjoyed playing a ukulele for refreshing his brain. Hobbies allow you elaborate on your creativity and rest for healing. Oprah Winfrey is a representative of a black woman who is successful. She meditates twice a day. Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest people in the world. He spends time looking at all of project files that failed to review and examine the factor of that because of not repeating them. There was a person named Tom Collie. For 5 years, he researched and analyzed wealthy families. What he found is that over 70% of them do charity work volunteer over 5 hours every week. Jack Dorsey who founded Twitter works 16 hours a day on weekdays. Then, on Saturdays, he takes hikes. Then, one Sunday, he goes to church and after church, he reviews over the past week and lays out his plans in detail for following week. So, now, we can come to a small conclusion. You will reap what you sow. It is written in 2 Co 9:6, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” Habits are a way for you to plant these vital things. In the beginning, we try to make these habits. After that, habits will make you. They will drive your life. They may seem insignificant to us, but they have great power to drive your life. How can we form our habits as one who has the true Gospel?
2. Gods’ sons rightfully had their own degrees within the Gospel
(1) Jesus had a custom of reading the Bible in the synagogue (Luke 4:16)
(2) Apostle Paul had his own manner in his ministry (Acts 17:2)
(3) Daniel had his own habit of having scheduled prayer 3 times a day (Dan 6:10)
Gods’ sons rightfully had their own degrees within the Gospel. When you look at Luke 4:16, you could see the habits of Jesus. It says, “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.” This was His custom. It was His habit. “on the Sabbath day” is the time. “the synagogue” is the place. “to read the Bible” is the method. Jesus Christ who gave us salvation as our Savior had this habit, appointed the time, place and method. We need to realize that this is the habit of the Gospel. In Acts 17:2, Apostle Paul who was an evangelist had this habit as well. It says, “As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,” That is his regular method. It means that Apostle Paul had his own method to do the work of God and to preach the Gospel. For us to have habits, it is important. In Daniel 6:10, it talks about Daniel’s habits. “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” He knew that he would be sentenced to death, but still went through with it. He did scheduled prayer 3 times a day. He lifted up the Lord. He prayed with thanksgiving. Who was the greatest public servant of all? It was Daniel. He was able to serve 3 kings who didn’t believe in God. It is hard to serve even 1 president. When the king changes, his court changes, but Daniel served 3 kings. That was his sense of specialty. He was well-respected. When we look at the people of the world or the people of God, they all have their habits.
3. The prayer Christ taught to His disciples is the exemplary Gospel habit
(1) Confess God (Mt 6:9-10)
- He is the unique almighty being, has authority and fulfills His plan
(2) Ask for yourself (Mt 6:11-13a)
- Even though we are weak and needing detailed guidance, we can win the spiritual battle
(3) Give all glory to God only (Mt 6:13b)
What must we do? We have the Lord’s prayer in Mt 6. Jesus is teaching His disciples the Lord’s prayer. It is the example of the creed of the Gospel. What does it say in Matthew 6:9? "This, then, is how you should pray: " What did it say before that? He is saying that everyone is praying incorrectly. They are praying in a way that is showing off. So, Jesus correct them. This is the method of prayer. There are 9 points to pray. 'Our Father in heaven’ It means that He is in the highest place. ‘hallowed be your name’ It means that His name is holy. He is the unique God that the world cannot come against. ‘your kingdom come’ It means that He is the sovereign God who holds all things. ‘your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ It means that He is the only one who will fulfill His plans with the absolute sovereignty. That is how we should pray. We need to pray for yourselves. ‘Give us today our daily bread.’ He is confessing that we need His detailed guidance. ‘Forgive us our debts’. He is confessing that we need His forgiveness because of our sins. And lead us not into temptation’ It means that we frequently fall into temptation. It means that we need to know the spiritual facts as well. ‘but deliver us from the evil one.' It means that we need to do the spiritual battle. It is confessing that even though we are weak and we may fall into temptation, we need to have spiritual battle against evil one with the power of spirituality in the Gospel. ‘For your is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ It means that we need to return all glory to Him. King David who prepared everything to construct a great temple for God confessed that God has done all this. You need to be able to pray in this way. It means that you start with God. Place yourself to Him. Give all glory back to Him. This is the perfect prayer. Even if you don’t receive answers to prayer, we at least need to have an accurate prayer. Then, God will repay you. This is what Jesus is telling His disciples. He is telling them to have a habitual prayer. It is the Gospel decree regarding prayer. The disciples who had this were blessed.
Word, prayer and evangelism that we talk about are the 3 things to do during our walk of faith. Find the decree and have the habits to imprint the word, to root prayers and to have nature to evangelize in your life. God desires you to have the Gospel decree and habit. It is a vital tool for you to use to develop your walk of faith. Satan fears the people of God who are firm in their Gospel decree and habits. What must we leave for our children? If you wish to form your own prayer decrees and habits, I will hand out booklets. In Ephesians 3:17, it says, “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,” In verse 19, it says, “To know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” That is when you will have the fullness of God. That is the end of everything. This is telling us that we will receive the fullness of God through the decree and habits of the Gospel. I bless that you will be able to be rooted in this by being established the Gospel decree, you can experience His fullness.
We praise the merciful name of the Lord. Help us to witness your will being done. We believe that you will answer those who seek you out. From the beginning to the end, let us give glory back to you. We confess that the 24 hours you give us is a gift. Allow us to use it for the Gospel decree. Allow us to experience the fullness of the God so that we can testify it. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen