March 5th, 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 calls people and makes disciples”. Because of all your prayers, I was able to safely come back from Korea. Today’s content is about how God calls people and makes them into disciples. Schools select students to be admitted. They will teach them into talented individuals. Also, in work places, they select employees. What kind of employees are sought after? They want diligent and skilled workers. We have the government and citizens. The citizens can select the leader of that country. The citizens prefer outstanding leaders. In the same way, God selects His people. He also has a desire. He seeks for sincere disciples. When God calls His people, that’s His way of giving salvation. When He makes them into disciples, what does that mean? He is going to give them growth and allow them to bear fruits. In today’s scripture, Jesus is calling His disciples, specifically Peter. This is from the start of Jesus’ ministry. There is something that He started with. He started by calling disciples. It is a vital work. When Jesus calls His people, it is the same as when God calls His disciples. God, the Creator, is calling for disciples. God was working directly. God calls us to use us. If you look in the Bible, there are numerous people that God has called. He does this to fulfill His great plans. He has also called you.
1. Remember that God called you because He wants you
(1) Our motivation and details on our Christian life
(2) God’s reason and cause for calling us
(3) The spiritual truth that we must absolutely realize (John 15:16, Eph 1:3-10)
As we begin our walk of faith, there is something we must realize. God wanted you, so He has called you. We all have our own reasons and motives for believing in God. There may be different problems. We cannot solve this on our own, so we can be anxious. There may be a lot of new-believers because of problems. This is our POV. How about we look at God’s POV? As we are in the midst of problems and sufferings, do you think that God was aware of that or not? He was aware of that. God permits problems in our lives. Why? It is actually the work of God to place anxious and a heart of urgency in us. The time will come for us to meet the worker of God. It was common for us to say that it was because of our difficulties that we came to church. In reality, you need to believe that God has allowed this. If we truly look at this in a spiritual way, what is the spiritual fact behind this. If you look at this, it is because of His selection. Why did God even give us a heart of anxiousness? It is because of His desire for us. Why did He give us the Gospel and allow us to come to church? He wants to give us the heavenly things of His kingdom. It is the same reason why God calls Peter today. He chose Peter and wanted to be with him. He wanted to bless him. We need to change our thoughts. We all think that because of our pain and suffering, we need God’s guidance for salvation. We all think that we started our walk of faith and church. What is the spiritual truth behind this? It is because God is the one who chose you because He needed you. In John 15:16, it is written, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit.” You must know this. If you are selfish, then your walk of faith will be selfish. You will resemble a non-believer. It is because God loves us that His desire for us made us start a walk of faith. When you correctly realize this, you are centered on God. It is this realization that makes you a disciple. We’ve already discovered this. When we think about this, we are trapped in Genesis 3. Even if you have received salvation, you may crumble if you are selfish. Your walk of faith should have true peace and happiness. You’re meant to enjoy this classy and outstanding covenant, but you will lose ahold of it. I bless that you will realize this. It is God who loved me first so He has chosen me. He has started all of this so He will be responsible for it until the end. We need to first realize this. This is the reason why from time to time, they will be shaken. We are proceeding with the answer in our hands. We are going on with the conclusion ahead of time. We are visualizing the end. It doesn’t matter what happens in the end. You have to believe in the fact that Jesus is guiding you. That is what it means to be called by God and living your walk of faith. That is how you give glory back to God. That is how you can set an example and an inheritance for them. May you confirm the meaning and significance with the end in mind. That’s why Paul confessed in Ac. 20:24, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” Also, Jesus said on the cross in Jn 19:30, “It is finished” It is the Lord who has called you and He is the one who guides and leads you. When you have this kind of faith, then your sight will be opened. So, you will be able to see today’s Christian. The Christians today are losing ahold of many things. That is why God is telling us to free us from mistakes committed by Christians toady.
2. Do not make the fate errors that today’s Christians make
(1) Fan vs Follower (Mt 4:20)
(2) Member vs Missionary (Mt 10:1-15)
(3) Church Breaker vs Church Builder (Acts 2:1-41)
Do you consider yourself a fan or follower? You know what a fan is right? Jesus also had fans. He performed a lot of miracles. God’s interest lied elsewhere. It was with His disciples. When you look at the crowds and great mass of people, they would witness His miracles and become fanatics. The crowds were His fans, but left later on. It is the same with fans of celebrities. They can change their minds whenever they want. As a fan, you can easily change your mind and support others. The disciples who were the followers of Jesus were different. I pray that we will be Jesus’ true followers, not just fans. We need to follow His Word. If He tells us to stop, then we must. Look at what happened to the 12 disciples. What did they do for 3 years? They dwelled together and Jesus trained them. The reason why He trained them was to give them missions. These disciples were commissioned out to the field. If you are commissioned a task in the church, you are considered an apostle. We receive tasks, known as missions. If you are in charge of any department in the church, then you are called as an apostle. When you relay the Word in the field, you are also an apostle. This is our mission. This is the reason why when you are pioneered out, you are a missionary. It means the same thing. With that mission, what did they do together. They raised the church together. People construct the church. Through the pulpit, we received God’s calling. We are His disciples who will relay the Word. There are people who go to church only to create problems. They will cause a ruckus. Do not be a church breaker and be a church builder. Follow after God’s training. With this mission, you are called back onto the field. That is how you fulfill God’s kingdom. You need to see this. This is the part that most of today’s Christians are losing hold of. I go to Killeen weekly. In Mrs. Parkinson’s house, we have a worship. They are the longest active members at our church. They’ve been coming here for over a decade. Her husband supports us. I also go to San Antonio. Why? Why do you think I go to UT? Do you think I just go to hang out? Building churches are the main content of our lives. All the things that happen don’t mean anything. They might seem big, but it is a reason for you to pray. You raise God’s church. You might be alone, but you are just a single-person church. Your body is God’s church. Fathers desire their sons to rise up. He wants us to become disciples to follow after the Word, to become apostles to take His mission to the field, and to become ones who raise a church. There are 3 time schedules, time schedules of disciples to receive training, time schedule of apostles to fulfill missions, and time schedule to establish the Darakbang, mission home or regional church. You need to discover and come to this determination. When you discover this, you will discover the knowledge to study. When you hold onto God’s covenant, then you can hold onto and challenge. If you come to a determination like that, He will prepare everything for you. I bless that you will be victorious.
3. Let us uncover God’s blessing and evidences that comes when you follow God’s calling
(1) The blessing that changes the individual’s fate and the flow of the family line (Acts 4:8-14)
(2) The evidences that save other people, and establish the kingdom of God (Acts 10:44-48)
(3) The way to raise the future generation and prepare the future (John 21:15-17)
There are 3 things we must look at. Follow after your conclusions and blessings will come to you and your family. Peter received his calling and followed after it. He is from Galilee and had no education. However, He was able to overturn the flow behind his life and his family line. He was able to become the head of a church. He was filled by the word of God and the power of God was revealed through Him. He experienced true transformation. When we follow after the Lord, all things will change. We all have tendencies and we tend to frequently give up. It doesn’t matter if it will bring you a loss, just follow. Failure, poverty, drugs, violence, and glimpses of the opposite sex followed my family line. My grandparents were actually famous. He was one of the first directors in Korea. I have heard that he had exposure to drugs. A lot of artists try to look for inspiration by using drugs. My own father was involved in violence. We all have our good parts, but we all have hidden dark parts. That comes together to build a spiritual flow. That is what we must overcome. We need to overcome that with the power of the Lord. In order to become a family line of the evangelist, we need to follow after this. So, I decided to quit my job and become a pastor. I bless that you will have these important answers in your life. You will have the evidence to save people and establish the kingdom of God. The region of Galilee was in the country side. He wasn’t meant to be a leader to exert influence on others. In Acts 10, Peter changes the family of Cornelius. He was renowned. He raised his knees before Peter. He built God’s church. Peter established the kingdom of God. Peter was used for this kind of work. You and I have been called. This is the reason why we study and work. We help them become freed. God’s last command for Peter was to raise the future generation. This is the greatest command. In the book of John, He said to feed His lamb. There is nothing more important than saving descendants. In Korea, I had a lot of opportunity to have forum with a lot of people. We talked about our kids. I visited a mental institute. There was a pastor and wife who facilitate it. They actually separated. We prayed together with them. Coming back to Seoul, I ate with another pastor. His daughter was getting a divorce. He was telling me that they had difficulties but his daughter was devoted. She got a good job. She gave a lot back to the church. She took care of her younger siblings as well. She divorced and returned back to the house. I have been hearing that even in the households of pastors, divorces are becoming frequent. He asked about my children. He tried to adopt his nieces and nephews, but they gave him headaches so he sent them back. My adopted kids got into college. They are doing well. I calculated their expenses before adopting them. Why am I talking about them? I am sharing this because if things do not go well for your kids, you will be at a loss. I bless that you will experience blessed evidences.
There was a famous udon place in Japan. Let us say that the father was an udon maker, and he told his son to inherit the place. The son was probably disappointed because he wanted to aspire to something more. However, the kids yielded and fulfilled his promise. They found the longest standing family business in the world. There was this construction company in Japan. It was founded in 578. They continued this business for over 1400 years. It is outstanding. We are falling behind the people of the world. You need to manage until the 2nd coming of the Lord. Through you, other people will be able to follow. You need to be thankful for the fact that God has called you first since He loved you, then decide yourself in training, and, challenge to be utilized on the most valuable ministry. We should challenge to save people and build churches. It was God who called us.
Because of His love for you, you could follow Him. It is not because you live in this city, you come to this church. It is not that the pastor is nice that you come. Because of God who is alive, He is the one who has called me. If you could come to believe this, confess that you are determined to receive training for Him. Pray that with all that you have and know, you will build a church. Let us have meditative prayer silently.
Father God, we thank you. We see that because of your love, we have been called as your 1st disciples. Help us to become a disciple who follow You. Help us to manage your mission. Help us to see your evidence and fruition and raise up your church. Allow all the curses to fall apart. Allow us to save lives. May all the faith in be descended to our future generation. I pray in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.