March 26th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
It’s good to see you. Greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is, “God’s Son has different things”. God is alive and has special plans for us. He has saved us. He is with us. He will work through us. He will fulfill His will through us. It is in Psalms 71:6. “From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb.” In Psalms 139:13, it says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.” God told Israel in Isaiah 44:2, “This is what the LORD says-- he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you.” From the start when God created His people, He interfered in their lives. It was foretold that the prophet John the Baptist would be a great person in Luke 1:15. “for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.” God has planned his life from his birth. It is also written in Phil 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” The Bible records that He has plans for you. In fact, He has chosen us before creation. He has selected parents for us. God has worked His plans. God will work so that we will fulfill His plans. That’s why it is written in Rom 8:28, “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.” He will not have any regrets and will fulfill His plans through us. We are His creation. Before our Father God, we are His sons. Within His Kingdom, we are His people. We have a great identity. We have no choice but to have His plans. Jesus Christ is our big brother. Within Christ, we are His siblings. Christ is the Lord and master of our lives. He will teach us everything. We are not His fans, but followers. We are a temple which possesses the Holy Spirit. We are the beings who possess great things from the Holy Trinity. God has special plans for us. There was an author named Michael Lindberg. He wrote a book, “Make each day your masterpiece”. In the book, he writes that our current life is our first destination. When we are born, we cry. Everything is our first. We’ve never had it before. We are the unprecedented beings. We are unprecedented jewels. No one has potential nor skills like you. Only you have that power and strength. God is watching over us and thinks of us preciously. We only live once. We live this life as a present. When you grow and mature, you realize how you should live your life.
1. Do not be deceived by the wide paths where worldly people gather (Mt 7:13)
(1) Life relying on food, clothing and shelter (Gen 3)
(2) Life following popularity and seeking acknowledgement from people (Gen 6)
(3) Life relying on success and world conquest (Gen 11)
The Lord said to not be deceived by the road that the people of the world take in Matthew 7. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” There are many doors and paths. That is what people will walk into and enter. The earth that we live in is a big flow. I will explain the 3 things. What are the flows? Many people rely on nourishments and necessities. You might ask that you need food and clothing. What is the problem? Making a living is not a sin. As a child of God, if you worry about making a living, that is the problem. You are obsessed with it. When you worry inside of that, there is disbelief. You worry about making a living, you deceive people. Genesis 3 was the first incident regarding this type of deception. Satan deceived Eve. God said that you will die, but Satan said otherwise. You could be deceived by being too obsessed on making a living. If you don’t make money, you will starve to death. If you don’t take interest, then you will die. That flow comes from worrying about what you will eat. Who makes you question things like that? It is Satan. Satan deceived the Son of God about making a living. Satan asks Jesus in Matthew 4:3, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Satan tried to deceive Jesus, so of course he’ll try to deceive us. He will bring us a heart of worrying on making a living. This is the work that Satan does. This is why Jesus is teaching His disciples. If you look at today’s passage, it says, “When Jesus had finished saying these things” Shortly before, we had the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6:25, it says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” Is food or your life more important? It is your life. What about clothing or your body? It is your body. God promises us that He will feed and clothe us. He gives parables in v26. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” “So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear? 'For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” When you worry about secular matters, you begin to fall into worries and deception. This the flow of Genesis 3. This is the lie that Satan tried to tempt Jesus. The 2nd flow is in Genesis 6. What happened? The sons of God married the daughters of man. The sons of God saw that the daughters of man were beautiful. They only saw their outer appearance. They only looked physical things. It is the life following popularity and seeking acknowledgement from others. Isn’t it good to have skills to be acknowledged? Shouldn’t you be popular in order to spread the Gospel? It makes sense. It is good to be acknowledged. What is the issue? You will lose ahold of the vital things if you are very conscious of people. You are supposed to be considerate of others, but, if you are too conscious of what others think, you will lose ahold of what God wants. You will ignore His needs if you only desire the popularity of people. If you only try to gain physical things, you will lose ahold of God’s order. It is recorded in Genesis 6 that mankind lost ahold of God’s acknowledgement and took what they wanted. “the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.” As a result, the Nephilim came about. Even Satan tried to tempt Jesus. Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' If you jump from a high place and land like a superhero, then people will be amazed. He was trying to make Jesus gain popularity. There are many celebrities with fans. It is a good thing to raise celebrities to donate to charity. However, most of them become corrupt. This is where people’s interests lie. The young generation is envious of fame. This is the flow of Genesis 6, which takes the vision and passion of the young generation. Next, we have the flow of Genesis 11. It is the flow to gain success in the world and take control. What is the blessing that God gave to Adam first? He said to increase in number and conquer the earth, so what is the issue? If you gain success in the world and spread the Gospel, then, there is no problem. The issue is that you won’t do that. After having success in the world, people become corrupt and try to force others into submission. That is the strategy of Satan. The people try to maintain their success and popularity to control others. It is the process of gathering your power over everything. If you look in Genesis 11, they tried to build the tower of Babel. “Let us not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” They had politics in that. In order to build a tower that touches the sky, they tried to raise money. They had their own method to build it. God said to scatter throughout the world, but they brought a unifying religion. We are living in the last days. You will see that we have a globalized economy and political field. It seems as if it is good to be united, but they are trying to control you. There are international companies that try to take control of everyone. In order to maintain their power, they try to control the population. If there are too many in number, then they will rebel. They spread diseases and cancer. On nice days, you will see a streak of plans that leave behind a streamline. It is smoke that the plane spreads. In the future, we will all be implanted with chips for control. It is the flow of Gen 11. Satan tempted Jesus that he would give Him his whole kingdom if Jesus bows down. It means that the creation is asking the creator to bow down. This is arrogance. He was trying to take God over. We are under control without you knowing it. You are in that flow and you are caught. Many people are following that path. That is why Jesus is telling you to enter inside the narrow gate. If you look at Matthew 6:8, it says to not be like them. You need to see the people of the world accurately and do not follow them. There are religious people who say that the world will perish soon, so they live on mountains. They misunderstood that. God knows this and has given us different things. The Sons of God have a different content from the world. If we possess what God wants, we will make God be happy.
2. God’s sons have a different content from those of the world (Mt 6:8)
(1) Once you seek for the kingdom and righteousness of God, everything will add up (Mt 6:33)
(2) The absolutely key for interpersonal relationship is the duty of a disciple (Mt 28:18-20)
(3) Establishing a church, the body of Christ, is the only true success (Mt 16:18)
Through today’s passage, God has given us answers regarding the 3 flows. We need to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness. It is recorded in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” God will provide everything when we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. God promised that He will provide everything for us. We are children of God and sons of God. Who are we? Even if we do not get the benefit of the world, we need to do what God wants. People in the world will not do anything that brings them a loss. Jesus is the Son of God. We are sons of God. We need to seek His kingdom. It is not to the point where we live a good walk of faith. Because we are sons of God, it is rightful thing to seek His kingdom. We need to boldly take the path where God wants us to go. We need to put down the things to make a living. You possess different things. It is rightful for us to make the time and devotion for God. This is the appearance for sons of God. It is the flow of being very conscious of people. Because of that, you could be tempted or hurt. Because of that, you can lose ahold of the truth. You should not be shaken by others. When you are conscious of others, then you have a relationship. When we make relationships with others, raise them as disciples of God. That is what is different from the world. You have a different path as a son of God. Find someone who reacts to the word of God. It is difficult to raise disciples among people you know like friends and family. It is not easy to turn your friends or family into disciples. I am not trying to discourage you. God allows you to renew yourself through them because God uses them as tools. Open your eyes. Don’t expect anything from your children. Look only to God and relay the covenant with your children. There are people who shake because of their kids and vice versa. Do not expect anything from your spouse. I am not telling you to neglect them. What you need to do is seek the Christ and serve or help them regardless of situations. Just be in the place of the Gospel. God will take care of everything. Wives should not rely on your spouses and just obey them. It doesn’t matter if they are powerless. Just stand in the Gospel. If your husband doesn’t make money, then that is what it is. If your spouse causes trouble, don’t rebuke them. He is still your lord who makes troubles. You need to open your eyes to see the discipleship in order to have success interpersonal relationship. If they will not change, it means they are caught in spiritual problems. You need to accurately see that and help them. How? You need to break down the forces of darkness that work behind them. You need to help them to the extent that they can trust you completely. Then, you will be able to relay the covenant. They may reject or ignore the covenant when you share it. However, when they trust you fully, you will have the authority to relay the covenant. God said that He would be with you until the end. Therefore, you need to realize and hold onto the discipleship. I hope that you will not be swayed because of people. People built the Tower of Babel to gain personal success. What is our life’s true successas the sons of God? It is the blessing of raising the church, which is the body of Christ. Establishing the hardware and software of the church is true success. Relaying that to the next generation is the greatest blessing. God wants you to raise churches until His second coming. If you do so, He will bless you. In order to do so, you only need to do one thing. Confess Christ in every moment. “The Lord and Master of this moment is Jesus Christ.” After Peter’s confession, Jesus said that He would build His church on this rock. Whatever circumstances you are in, if you confess the fact that He is your Christ and Lord, He will work. He will be glorified. Remember 3 words! First, seek His kingdom and righteousness. Second, seek discipleship. Third, establish the church. In a certain area in Korea, there was an elder named Elder Chang-you Chung. He had a little store in front of the school. He didn’t make a lot of money. So, he couldn’t give tithe. One day, while meditating on the word of God, He realized that he still needs to give. Strangely, his life started to get better. After saving His money, he run a business to sell building materials. He managed the finance from the offering. He controlled the finances. He wanted to build a house. While planning, he thought about the church. He needed to build a church first. He built a church. The church members were grateful. In order to give thanks, they carved a stone in his name in front of that church. Afterwards, the elder didn’t come to church. They asked if something was wrong. He said he could not go to church where they were praising him with a stone carved in his name. They got rid of a stone carved his name in front of that church right away. He was an elder who truly served God as his Lord. He truly fulfilled what God wanted. He was a person who rightfully received God’s blessings.
3. As disciples of Christ, enjoy and use the things that are not a part of the world (Mt 7:28-29)
(1) The authority that destroys the forces of darkness and casts away evil spirits (Mk 3:15)
(2) The content that saves other souls and restores the field (Rom 1:16)
(3) The evidence that can impress the world (Acts 2: 7, 47, 3:10, 4:13)
If you look at today’s verses, Jesus relayed the message to the crowd and listened to their reactions. They thought it was amazing because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. God has given us something different. We who possess the Christ have the power to block. This is what we need to enjoy. We may have problems that we cannot share to others. It is not time for you to be discouraged. God has given you the opportunity to be used by Jesus Christ’s authority. “In the name of Jesus Christ who has the authority in heaven and earth, the forces of darkness will crumble. All the forces of darkness that make me be discouraged will crumble in the name of Jesus Christ.” You need to utilize that. “My soul is seeking Christ. Help me to give Your power. Please resolve this problem and gain that evidence. Help me to give others the answer if they have the same problem.” This is the prayer what God wants. You need to hold onto it as the opportunity. People often crumble with problems. Sons of God will possess different things. It is your fault, but you need God’s power. God has given you the opportunity to experience His power. Then, you can have the contents of saving souls and restoring the field. What are the contents of the Bible? It will be overturned regardless of situations or people if you confess the fact that Jesus is the Christ. If you do the word movement, forces of darkness will crumble in all the fields. You will see that they have all the blessings of God and are impressed. The Early Church Members had works take place. In Acts 2:7, it says, “Utterly amazed, they asked:” It is in Acts 2:47, “enjoying the favor of all the people” in Acts 3:10, they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. In Acts 4:13, Peter confesses before the court and they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. This week, you need to hold onto the covenant. “Please, provide me with blessings and evidence so that people around me will be notified. I will give all glory to You.” When you receive that answer, can you praise Him? Of course, you can praise Him. Who will do that to you? It is God. God will pour down evidences. It is in Ephesians 1:12, “in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” No matter how big the flow is, it cannot overtake God’ power. No matter how weak we are, He can do it. God should be the first priority. Keep discipleship in your mind. Focus on church establishment. If you open your eye to see these things, He will perform miracles. This is content different from the world and you need to enjoy it.
God, thank you for giving us your Word. Help us to enjoy different content. Because of the blessing that you have given us, help us to praise you. In Jesus’ Christ name we pray, Amen.