12.25.2009

Matthew 6:5-13

Jesus, prayer and ideas
Reading: Matthew 6:5-13

Jesus lives a life of prayer.
Jesus prays regularly.
When Jesus prays, his divine sensitivity was wide open to his Father and his Holy Spirit.
Then his whole life is connected divinely with his Father.
Jesus consciously made an effort to maintain this relationship.

So, we read about Jesus going to the wilderness.
So, we read about him praying in the mountain.
So we read about him doing an overnight prayer.

Then Jesus says something like that:
And when you pray, pray like you pray to God.
Don’t pray in order to show your piety to someone. Then that would be your reward: people think you are pious.
Instead, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who likes to listen to your prayer and reward you.
Praying a lot or talking to God a lot is not a true prayer.
Instead be ready to listen to God who knows ready what you need to pray for.
So, find a quiet place where you can be alone with God. Then simply be honest to God as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense the grace of God.
There you can pray humbly and patiently. Then only God can answer you because only God knows your prayer.

Don’t try to follow nice prayer techniques to get what you want from God.
It is too precious time to waste like that.
Don't fall for that nonsense.
If there is no God, we may need to do all these shows.
But there is God.
God is your parent.
God knows better than you what you need.

Another reason that we need to do this, is because in prayer we really get to know God. We will have better rewards coming to God in secret.
Brining a lot of great ideas Jesus is knocking our doors.
When we open the doors, Jesus with these ideas may enter in.

When we pray, when we worship, when we meditate, we often get wonderful ideas. That is why people say that prayer is listening.
When we pray, God generates wonderful ideas within our head.
Then when you obey that intuitive idea, you may produce a wonderful result.

Wonderful ideas are generated out during your prayer time.
Have you been listening?
Are you writing them down?
Are you trying to produce someone out of it?
Don’t forget them because it really can be from God.

God is generating wonderful ideas in you.
So sometimes, you need to seek and struggle in prayer.
Or sometimes, you just need to be silent and rest before God.
It is a birth pain.

It is so important time that we don’t need to pray like hypocrites.
We don’t need to pray thinking if we say a lot, God may hear one of them.

We don’t need to pray standing in the meeting places and on the street corners to be seen by people.
Since we want to receive the real reward from God, we pray, in our room, when no one sees.
There we pray to our God, who likes to sees what is done in secret.
Then God comes to us with many good ideas.
So, I wish that we may sometimes silent before God knowing before you ask God; God knows what you need and is ready to give that to you.

We just need to be silent and be able to listen what God is saying; inspiring our spirit; or giving to our intuition.

12.19.2009

Offering prayer

Dear Jesus, as we return these gifts to you, we are reminded that it is you that that brings us joy and happiness. So we share freely and joyfully, because you meet our needs according to your riches of glory.

12.16.2009

Luke 1:46-55

(A children sermon)
Shared at UPC

Micah 5:2-5

Preparation: the list below written in various papers

The list:
"Give away a smile to strangers.
Make someone laugh.
Bring a neighbor some cookies.
Say a prayer for those who are away from their home and family.
Share your toys with friends."


What does this look like?
I have in various colors.

This is your homework.
But this is something fun to do. (Give children lists.)

I want to go home and pick one of these activities and do it.
Let me what is in there. (Read the list)

Why do I want you do these things?
Well, I think Jesus likes to use a small thing and a small action.

Let me explain.
Now do you know where Jesus is born? (Ask children)
Yes, Bethlehem.
Bethlehem means the house of bread.
It must be a small village that makes bread.
It is a small town.
God wants to use this small town for Jesus to be born.

By the way, who is the father of Jesus? (Ask children)
Who is the mother of Jesus? (Ask children)

Mary was about 13 years old when she gave birth to a son, Jesus.
Mary was a young lady.
But God want to use her for a greater purpose.

God chooses Bethlehem a small town.
God chooses Mary, a young lady.

Since God can do all things, God want to use our small action to touch people’s hearts.

So, I have given you these.
Choose one of them in the list.
You may need to ask your parents to help out.
You don’t have to do everything.
But choose one you like.

Ok? Let's us pray.
Christ, you have given us so much. Thank you for all your blessings.
Help us to be a blessing to our neighbors.
In you name we pray. Amen.

12.12.2009

How to prepare a children sermon

sermons4kids.com
eSermon.com
textweek.com

If you like to see some examples of children sermons, these are my recommendations.
First one is free. For the second one, you need to pay an annual fee.

For children sermon, it is a good idea to have a prop. Using some "prop" you can get their attention.

It is a good idea to ask some questions.
It is a sermon that is preached in children's terms.
Think about preaching to your child within.

I think you can only address one main idea or one theme at a sermon.

Opening Prayer

Christ Jesus, you are our inner light.
In this Christmas season you send your peace on us.
It is your kindness that we experience.
It leads to a change in our lives.

As we're sitting here, an inner voice arises in us.
And that voice is already our prayer.
If our lips keep silent, our heart speaks to you and listens to you.
In this way, the will of your love is accomplished within us.
Amen.

Note: It is a modified prayer out of a prayer of Taize. If you like to have this kind of prayer for your worship service, you may go to here.

12.11.2009

Call to Worship 1

May God receive our worship today.
We give God thanks for being able to worship God.
Let’s approach God’s throne praying in the name of Jesus.
Let’s pray:

Call to Worship:

Jesus is here.
Jesus is close to each one of us.
He lives within us.
He is there in secret.
He is the peace in the heart.
He is the inner light that shines the way.
He is inseparably connected with us.

Let us worship God who is so close to us.

Opening prayer:
Christ, now we have come from our mission field.
May your Spirit inspires us, loves us, encourages us and gives us faith so that we may go out and do all things in Jesus Christ! Amen

Offering prayer:
Jesus, our hope, we have these wonderful minds, gifts, times, and talents in our hands.
May we use them for your joyful kingdom.
May you guide us to be more fruitful in all that we do.
In your name, we pray. Amen.

Benediction:
God, you declare that your kingdom is within us.
Open our eyes to see it, our ears to hear it, our hearts to hold it, our hands to serve it.

Our loving God, now we listen to you as your call us:
"Go in peace and let your soul live!
God of peace, bless us.
Jesus Christ, keep us.”

Call to Confession

Unison Prayer of Confession

Christ, you see who I am.
You were familiar with the human condition.
I do not want to hide anything in my heart from you.
You know that I am sometimes pulled in different directions at the same time.
But when my inner being experiences an emptiness, the thirst for your presence remains within me.
And when I am unable to pray, you yourself are my prayer.
(a prayer of Brother Roger of Taizé)

Silent Confession

Assurance of Pardon

When we pray, our poor words are often scarcely able to express our desire for communion with Christ. But Christ Jesus already forgives us and welcomes us.

Christ spoke these challenging words: “Forget what has gone before. Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up. Do you not perceive it?”

12.05.2009

Invitation to the Table:

Brothers and sisters, this is the joyful feast of the people of God!
Every nation and every people come and sit at this table.
We are all welcome in the kingdom of Jesus.

So, come, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed are those who find rest in Christ!

We celebrate an open communion.
All baptized persons who desire to commune may do so regardless of worldly conditions or denominational ties.

You do not have to be without sin.
Jesus forgives our sin.
You do not have to be good.
No one is good but God alone.
You do not need to feel worthy.
None of us comes here by our worthiness.

It is enough if you want to love Christ.
It is enough if you want to serve Christ with all your heart.
It is enough if you want to turn your back on your sins.
It is enough if you want to live in love and peace.
It is enough if you desire to live a new life.
It is enough if you desire to do the will of Christ.
So, come and participate in this communion.
Come in faith.

Presbyterian Youth Triennium

Triennium

July 20 - 24, 2010 at Purdue University. For grades 9-12.

2007 Presbyterian Youth Triennium Highlight Video from Presbyterian Youth on Vimeo. Note: Other Conferences like this: Excel 2010 (January 15-18) PYWA

Matthew 7:7

Give a try: Hope
Reading: Matthew 7:7

When Jesus says, “Ask it will be given to you. Seek you will find. Knock, the door will open unto you” what does he wants to say?
Why did he have to say these words?

He asks people to hope and try.
Doors open up when people have hope and try.

So, Jesus says: Ask, ask, and ask.
Jesus is saying to us to work toward your goal and hope.
Try to pursue your goals.
Then we will have what you desire.
It is very simple.
It may not happen so simply.
But Jesus says it will happen.

12.03.2009

Communion

Thank you, Jesus, for remembering us.
We gather around this table with a grateful heart.
At this communion table, we remember you, saying, "This is my Body. This is my Blood."
There we remember you have forgiven all of us.

Our faith in you is that you, the Son of God, have lived, performed great miracles, presented wise teachings, died for us on the cross, and rose from the grave.

In this way, you have revealed yourself in history.
And you have given us the mystery of the incarnation, death, and resurrection.

Our faith in you is that you still live within us.
You fulfill your divine ministry in and through us.

So, we eat together from the same bread and drink together from the same cup.
Participating in this communion, we become the living Christ, here and now.
Because you live in us.
You are living in us.

So, we say, “Thank you.”
Thank you for guiding us, helping us and nurturing us.
Thank you for inviting us to live with you.
In your name, we pray.

12.02.2009

Luke 3:1-6 (2)

Christmas is approaching.
What do you celebrate on Christmas?
Whose birthday is it?
So, at the moment, we are waiting for Jesus to be born.

Why is Jesus born?
Jesus was born to love everyone no matter what.
Jesus was born to love everyone no matter who they are.

Then before the birth of Jesus, God said something like this:
“I am sending my messenger ahead of Jesus, who is going to prepare his way.”

Who would that be?
Who is going to prepare the way of Jesus?

His name was John the Baptist.
John started his ministry to prepare the way of Jesus.

I wonder how he did that.

He started to preach near the Jordan River saying:
And he said:
“If you know you have done something wrong, come to God and say that you are sorry.
And be baptized.
Then God forgives you.
Then live a better life.”

This is how John teaches people so that they can be ready to meet Jesus.
In this way, John prepared people’s heart to meet the holy one, Jesus.

Just like John, we can also prepare the way of Jesus.
How can we do that?
We can prepare our heart to receive Jesus.
How can we do that?

We can also say “I am sorry,” when we have done something wrong.
When we feel like:
“Umm, I wished I have been more kind to people I know.
Umm, I think I should have been more loving and caring.”

Then we can say to Jesus:
“I am sorry about that, Jesus.
I don’t want to be like this.
Thank you, Jesus, for forgiving me.
Now help me to be a good friend to people from now on.
I bless them in your name.
Bless them to have fun and enjoy their life.
Bless them to know that you love them.
And help me to love them and kind to them as well.”

In this we also prepare the way of Jesus.
In this way we also welcome Jesus in our heart.
It is so simple that everyone can do it.

Let’s pray:

Jesus, thank you to coming to our world to share your love.
Help us to love and be loved. Help us to share the love that you have for the world.

12.01.2009

Call to Confession


Jesus, you are the Way, on which road God comes to meet us.
But sometimes, we are like those disciples on the road to Emmaus.
We see you and yet don’t know that we see you.
But you are our companion on the way.
Then when you open our eyes, we realize that you are with us and speaking to us.

Jesus, you are always with us.
You love us.
May our heart fully knows this.

May we follow you humbly every day.
May we also love and forgive with you.

Jesus, you invite us to walk with you.
You offer us your energy so that we may always begin anew.
You place in our heart, your forgiveness and confidence in us.
Thank you for guiding us and helping us to see and understand you in our lives.
In Jesus name we pray.
Amen.




Call to Worship

We have come to worship God.
We have come to give hanks because God has given Jesus Christ, the Son.
We have come to honor Jesus Christ.
We have come to give you thanks to Jesus Christ.

Jesus, it is good to proclaim your love and faithfulness.
It is good to sing to you.
You let us sing for joy.
You let us sing for our salvation.
Open your heart so that we may give thanks with a grateful heart.
Explain to us what we need to understand about you.
May you prepare our heart as we want to worship you.

11.26.2009

Luke 15:8–10

Jesus tells a lot of stories about the lost and found.
In those stories Jesus always shows God’s love for the lost.
Jesus comes to find the lost.

Jesus told this story:
There is a woman has ten silver coins and loses one.
She then lights a lamp.
She sweeps the house.
She searches carefully until she finds it.
Then when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me. I have found my lost coin.”
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. (Luke 15:8–10)

She is throwing a party because she found 1 silver coin.
She is rejoicing over this one coin.
The ministry of Jesus is about finding this one coin.

Reaching out to the neighbors, and strangers, we help God finds this one coin.
God wants to find them through us.
Jesus searches carefully until he finds the lost.
In the same way, this lady looks for her money.
This explains why Jesus spent so much time with “sinners.”

Jesus reveals how God thinks and how heaven thinks.
God is searching for the lost.
God is looking every corner to find them.
Then, there is a great joy, when anyone understands the very heart of God and returns to God.

This desire of God is so strong that the Son Jesus is even crucified to find the lost.
This is how God thinks.
God thinks that forgiveness of sin is possible through Jesus.
God thinks that the blood of Jesus heals the world.
Through the blood, God makes a new covenant with the human beings.

When we are in tune with the Divine, we rejoice over someone who turns toward God.
This returning leads to the salvation of human races.

Christ Jesus knows this.
Jesus wants to reconcile God and human beings.
In this way, God wants to have God’s beloveds back.

11.20.2009

Waiting with Patience

By Henri Nouwen (modified)

How do we wait for God?
We wait with patience.
But patience does not mean passivity.
Waiting patiently is an active waiting in which we live the present moment to the full in order to find there the signs of the One we are waiting for.

The word patience comes from the Latin verb patior which means "to suffer."
Waiting patiently is suffering through the present moment, tasting it to the full, and letting the seeds that are sown in the ground on which we stand grow into strong plants.

Waiting patiently always means paying attention to what is happening right before our eyes and seeing there the first rays of God's glorious coming.

A Reflection from Junior Highs

How would you finish these sentences?

Being created and chosen by God means____________.
I can feel good about myself because______________.
God wants me to shine like a star by______________.

These were asked to our junior highs who attend our Sunday school.
Some of their answers show that they understand that they can make God happy by just being who they are. I am glad that they feel good about who they are.

Would you like to see their answers?
Here we go.

Being created and chosen by God means:

“I am blessed”
“I am loved”
“I am an individual”
“I am unique and extra special”
“I am thankful”

I can feel good about myself because:

“I know that God loves me”
“I do the right thing”
“God loves me”
“I was chosen to be alive for a reason”
“God made me and I am special”

God wants me to shine like a star by:

“Being who I am”
“Being awesome”
“Doing His will and being the best person I can be”
“Doing short and simple acts of kindness for others
To make their everyday lives better”
“Shining as bright as I am”

11.18.2009

Opening Prayer

Christ Jesus, you plant in us your very word.
You pant your forgiveness and your confidence in us.

You are the Way.
We want to walk in your footsteps.
Then you offer us the energy to begin anew.

Help us to follow you through the humble events of our day.
Help us to discern a way.
Help us to know that you are not burdening us with obligations.
But when we walk in your way, we find that on this road you come to meet us.

11.12.2009

Prayer

(A children sermon)
I am so glad you are here today.
I wonder whether you know how to pray.
I want you to know that you can talk to God anywhere and anytime.
So, I want to have 30 seconds silence together.
You don’t have to say out loud.
God hears even when we speak silently to God.

Jesus speaks to you, too.
In silence God speaks.
The voice of Jesus is very gentle, calm and peaceful.

You can easily brush it off.

But when you listen to Jesus, you learn a lot about him.

So, let’s have a 30 second silence together.
Try to say something to God in silence.
Try to listen to what Jesus has to say to you.
Let's quiet down and listen.
Let’s begin.
I will watch the time.

I wonder whether you were able to communicate with God.
How was it?
Thanks for your participation.

Let’s pray together: Christ, thank you for hearing us. Thank you for listening to us. May we have a very close relationship with each other. May I do what you would have me do for this world. In your name we pray.

11.10.2009

Bulletin

Gathering the Community

Prelude

Call to worship

Leader: God says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
All: “I still and quiet my soul. Like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
Leader: God says, “In returning and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
All: “Our soul waits for the Lord. God is our help and shield.”
Leader: “Wait for the Lord. Be strong. Let your heart take courage.”
All: “Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles.”
Leader: “Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.”
All: For God alone my soul waits in silence. For my help comes from God.

Hymn #485 To God Be the Glory

Opening Prayer:

God says, “Return to your God. Maintain love and justice. And wait for your God always.”
Jesus, take us by the hand so that we may cross over from hesitation to confidence, that we may abandon ourselves to you in body and in spirit, knowing that you offer us the sounds of joy and festival.

Praise Anthem

Unison Prayer of Confession

Jesus, you know that, without intending to, when we touch our neighbor, we sometimes wound, while your touch never wounds.
And yet tirelessly you remind us: “Don’t be afraid; I am here.”
So we pray, Christ: breathe your resurrection into our very minds, our very flesh. Receive me, Lord, and I will live. May my expectation be a source of joy.

Silent Confession

Assurance of Pardon

In our heart of hearts, in that place where no two people are alike, Christ is waiting for us. There the unexpected happens. The Risen Christ takes hold of us, and he takes over. He takes upon himself everything that is unbearable. It is only later, some times much later that we realize: Christ came, he gave his overflowing life.

Scripture Reading Psalm 131:1-2, Luke 24: 45-49

A Time with Children

Meditation “Wait, Empowered, and Move with the Spirit

Hymn #322 Spirit of the Living God

Offertory

Prayer of the People and the Lord’s Prayer

Hymn #316 Breathe on Me, Breath of God.

Benediction

Leader: May the God of peace fill you and me with joy, hope and faith.

All: May the peace of Christ guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

Choral Benediction

Postlude

11.07.2009

Luke 15: 11-32


Jesus told another story:

There was a man who had two sons.
The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate.”
So the father divided his property between them.
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country.
And there he squandered his wealth in wild living.

After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country.
And he began to be in need.
So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

Then he came to his senses.
He said, “How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired men.”
So he got up and went to his father.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him.
The father ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”
But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate.

Meanwhile, the older son was in the field.
The father totally forgot about him.
When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
He replied, “Your brother has come and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.”

The older brother became angry and refused to go in.
So, his father went out and pleaded with him.
But he answered his father, “Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!”

The father said, "My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." (Luke 15:11–32)

Again in this story, the father runs to the returning son!
Again this shows the very heart of God.
The father runs to the son who left him.
His son misunderstood about happiness.
But now he returns.
The father opens his arms and hugs the son.

God reminds the older one that everything is his.
When he is with God, he is able to do everything that makes him happy.

God Jesus is searching for all who have gone away from God.
And by forgiveness, God places on our finger the ring of the prodigal son, the ring of festival. (Modified from Taizé community)

When we join this divine endeavor of searching and finding, we serve God.
When we rejoice over the lost son, we please God.
It is easy to please the heart of the Father.
It is exciting to please the heart of the Father.

Telling the Story of Jesus

Written by Henri Nouwen

The Church is called to announce the Good News of Jesus to all people and all nations. Besides the many works of mercy by which the Church must make Jesus' love visible, it must also joyfully announce the great mystery of God's salvation through the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
The story of Jesus is to be proclaimed and celebrated.
Some will hear and rejoice, some will remain indifferent, some will become hostile.
The story of Jesus will not always be accepted, but it must be told.

We who know the story and try to live it out, have the joyful task of telling it to others.
When our words rise from hearts full of love and gratitude, they will bear fruit, whether we can see this or not.

10.31.2009

Opening Prayer

O Christ, in every creature you place these words: God’s forgiveness and your confidence in us.
To walk in your footsteps, you always offer us the energy to begin anew.
Following you through the humble events of every day means discerning a way – not a law burdening us with obligations, but you, O Christ, you are the Way and on this road God comes to meet us.

Call to Confession

Forgive us if we parade our goodness before people to gain their attention.
Forgive us if we pretend to look sad, like a hypocrite who puts on a grief-stricken air to attract attention.
Forgive us if we try to mercilessly find out who was right and who was wrong.
Forgive us if we correct only someone else’s fault.
Forgive us for not discerning Christ’s calling for our life.
Help us to remember the best we have found in others.
Help us to love our neighbors with words and deeds.
Help us to forgive and follow Christ who is the Lord of forgiveness.

10.29.2009

Love yourself and others

Do you love yourself?
Do you think God loves you?

So then when you love yourself, you join God in loving you.
When you love others, you join God in loving them.
When you love, you join God who truly loves others.

So, when you love yourself, you become one with Christ.
When you love others, you become one with Christ.

The bible says:
“There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.” (Acts 20:17-38)
Love is giving.
Love is helping.

Love yourself.
Think good thoughts for yourself.
Then you can help the world.

Let's pray:
Jesus, thank you for loving us.
We love you.
We love your people.
In your name we pray. Amen.

10.27.2009

John 19:30

“It is finished”
Reading: John 19:30

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”
Jesus was not afraid of death itself.
Jesus was afraid of suffering.
But now it is done. It is finished.

All the elements of fearfulness are gone.
Jesus took his execution and finished his race.
He got rid of the sins of his children.

Now he can calmly enter into his death.
Now the death can swallow him, he had nothing to lose.
Because no grave can cover him.
His presence and his smile will be there.

Like the light broke through the curtain of thick darkness.
Now the calm confidence enters into his soul.
Now the tranquility enters into his soul.
Now he can face his Father with confidence.
The Holy Spirit was proud of him.
He had finished the work which God gave him to do.
Now he could be glorified on the earth.
God is going to lift him up in front of everyone.
Now people can flee to Jesus, when the life hits so hard.

People raised their violence against Jesus.
But now he could say in peace “It is done!”
Now he finished the works of the Savior.
Now people can follow the pattern he set before them.

Will it be so with you at a dying hour?
Will your "work" be done?
Do we know what it is?
Don’t you want to say, “It is finished. I have done all the things”?

Jesus already makes the death powerless over those who believe in him.
It is going to be our new birth: our new birth to heaven.
We are going to enter into the world of our birthright because we are children of God.
We are leaving our exile.
We are leaving the life of living in the tent.
But now we are entering into peace.

10.24.2009

Matthew 11:28-30

Lord, in this time, what are you teaching me?
Lord, in this time, what are you telling me?

My love, take my yoke.
My love, learn of me.

Guitar Cord
Capo (1)
G--D--Em--C
G--D--Em--C
G--D--Em--C
G--D--Em--C

10.23.2009

Luke 4: 14-37

Reading: Luke 4:14-37

He decided to serve Jewish people, within a geographical region.
Roman solders were everywhere.
Jesus was a minority in his own land.
He carried on his ministry.

Jesus through his miracles and healing power catches people’s attention. (Luke 4: 14-15) He starts preaching in various synagogues.
Synagogues are very familiar places for Jesus. (Luke 4: 16)

Once, the scroll of Isaiah is handed to him.
Jesus finds the portion. (Luke 4: 17)
And he reads it.
Then Jesus sits down probably on the sit of rabbi.
Then, he speaks.
He proclaims who he is.
People start wondering who he is. (Luke 4: 20-22)

Even before Jesus speaks to his village people he knows their rejecting of who he is.
Jesus feels the rejection.
Then Jesus decides to move on.
He walks right through them and goes his way.

In the town of Capernaum, Jesus expects that he is going to have a wonderful time.
Jesus performs many miracles.

Jesus was even able to serve people of other race.
Then even the Roman soldier (centurion) confessed that Jesus was truly the Son of God.
In this way, Jesus became the Messiah.

Jesus makes difference because he is equipped for the good work.
Jesus focuses on the will of God, even when he faces difficulty.


The mission of God is to be who God is.
The ministry of God is to manifest who God is.
Jesus shows just that.
So, we experience blessings through Jesus.
Experiencing Jesus, we learn to be inspired by the living God.

10.15.2009

Matthew 5:43-48

Love
Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34, Matthew 5:43-48


In John 8:31-32, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

So, in order to become a disciple, you need to obey what he said.

For example, in John 13:34, Jesus said, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

When you love, you can show who Jesus is.
When you love like Jesus, you can set people free.

In order to do that, you need to work to make friends in this world.
You need to make your enemies your friends.
If you want to be the disciples of Jesus, you need to try.
In Luke 6:27-28, he said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

In Luke 6: 32-33, he said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.”


In Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”


When Jesus summarizes everything teaching in the bible Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

In order to teach this message, God has been preparing to send the Son of God to the world.

In Jeremiah 31:31-34, God says,

“The days are coming, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them.

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

In Hebrews 8: 8-13, Paul explains that “By calling this covenant “new,” God has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”
In Hebrews 10: 16-18, Paul remembers again that God says:
“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.
“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
Since through Jesus and the Spirit of Jesus who is given, our sins are forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

Matthew 17:24-27 (3)

What does coincidence tell you?
Reading: Matthew 17:24-27

Why does God use coincidence?
God may want to stay anonymous, because of the gentle character of God.
God wants to help in secret.
This may be an introvert aspect of God.

Jesus says, “Ask, seek, knock and it will be given to you.”
Here Jesus is asking you to think, pray and take action and see what happens. Invite God into your life and thoughts so that God can work with you.

In God, everything is possible.
God is the creator.
God can help you.
If you know God, you would have faith to ask God.

As you offer your life to God, saying, “Jesus, this is your life. Use me. And do whatever you want to do.”
As you seek the will of God, you may be in tune with God.
Then as you live an obedient life, you may hear people saying to you: “I was just thinking about you!” “Ah, we were talking about you!” “Would you want to do that?”

Don’t be surprised.
Be ready to serve. Be ready to be useful.
Just know that you are in the right place.
That is a good place to be.
You are there because your name is written in the book of life.

There try out some of teachings of Jesus.
Then you will know what God can give you.
In this way, you invite God to work with you.

Christ loves us.
Jesus wants to lead you to an abundant life.
Try to use your life for Christ.
Then God may show you in various ways that God is with you.

Do not fear.
Trust in Christ.
Everything will work together for you.

In the mean time, stay humble where you are.
God needs you to be humble so that God can use you.
Pray also for others and bless them so that they may move toward God.
As you do, God will also bless you.

Here is an interesting thing about obedience.
Let’s say you want to be a medical doctor.
But you misunderstand that God wants you to be a pastor.
But in fact God wants you to be a good doctor for his people.
Since you misunderstood God, now you try to be a doctor thinking you are not doing what God wants.
Then you may not have a good time.
The only reason is because in the depth of your heats, you didn’t want to obey the will of God.
If you want to do the will of God, you may still be a doctor and feel peaceful and purposeful.

We pray.
God listens to your prayer.
Christ is listening to your thoughts.
In fact the whole universe is ready to follow your thoughts.
So, God may want to guide your thoughts so that you are on the right track.
God may even send some coincidences.

10.09.2009

Mark 4: 39-40

Being still and waiting is not wasting. You will have power afterward.
Reading: Mark 4: 39-40, Acts 1: 4-8; 2:1-4

We grow spiritually when we learn to wait for Christ.
Here is a selection of Scriptures that explain being still before Christ and waiting for Christ:

Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4: 39-40)

We experience God when we can be still.
Then we learn who God is. (Ps 46: 10)

When we return to God and rest in God, we experience salvation.
When we pray showing our trust in God, and when we pray in quietness and in trust, we experience God’s strength in our life. (Isaiah 30:15)

When we stilled and quieted our soul; like a weaned child with its mother, we experience God’s guiding light and power in our life. (Ps 131: 2)

So, Jesus needs to make us quiet as well so that we would learn of God.
We need to wait for God.
We need to strengthen ourselves and have courage.
Then we need to determine to put our hope in God sometimes. (Ps 27: 14)
We need to hope in God.
We need to wait for God, who is our help and shield. (Ps 33: 20)

There is a blessing for those who wait in hope. (Isaiah 30:18)
Trusting in God we sometimes, need to return to God and serve for what is right and just, and then need to wait for God’s timing. (Hosea 12:6)

That is why Jesus also says to students, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 1: 4-8; 2:1-4)

When their waiting ends, they were able to work with the power of God.
When their waiting time ends, they were able to preach like no others.
They were able to heal people like Jesus.
When we pay the price by waiting, we receive an extraordinary power of God to do the will of God.

Luke 15 : 11 - 24

Jesus tells this story to explain about the heart of God.
Telling this story, Jesus explains why he does what he does.
That is, this story explains the philosophy of his life and his ministry.

Jesus explains that God is so forgiving. God is like a father who would always love his son.
Since Jesus knows this heart of God, Jesus is willing to dedicate his life for God and for the world that God loves so much.

The father in this story is there like a breath of fresh air.
He is just there to uphold you.
He is there waiting.
He is there giving.
He is always there for you.
You are the child of God.

Jesus truly believes that this is the heart of God.
That is why he left everything to talk with people on earth.

God loves you. Everything happens because God loves you and makes you a wonderful and successful person.

Let’s here the story Jesus told a long time ago:

There was a father who had two sons.
The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate.”
So the father simply divided his property between them.

Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.

After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.

He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.”
So he got up and went to his father.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
So they began to celebrate.

10.08.2009

Matthew 27:46

After silence

4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Reading: Matthew 27:46

From noon to three, the whole earth was dark.
Around mid-afternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" (Psalm 22:1-18)

Jesus prayed again.
He might have said: "Why? Why? Why are you abandoning? Why?
Is it needed?
Is it unnecessary?
My feet are pierced.
I am bearing of the cross for your sake.
And are you abandoning me?
I preached your love, your truth, your promises, your sustaining grace, your sufferings, and your glory.
And I am near the end.
This is my darkest hour.
Are you going to leave me when I need you the most?

Do you have to leave me like this?
But I am not going to leave you. I will love you until the end."

Jesus as a peaceful protester submitted himself to his father.

This feeling of being abandoned. must have been Jesus' great tribulation.
This must have been his greatest trial.

But then this was the cross.
He was here as a sin offering.
He was to be abandoned like a scapegoat.

After this prayer, and after this suffering, he will be welcomed again into the everlasting arms of God.

Note:
Psalm 22
Col. 1:24; 2 Cor. 1:5, 4:10; Phil. 3:10; 1 Peter 4:12-16

#100 When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
#98 O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
#102 Were you there?

Relationship

Once upon a time God creates the human being.
God and the human were having a wonderful time together.
They communicate with each other very well.

Soon, the human being fell in love with something else.
Then their relationship was infected and broken.

Then a big gap was formed between God and the human being.
Some people were faithful to God and experience God in their life.
God has been speaking to them in a small and still voice.
But people were having a difficult time understanding who God is.

Then Jesus came.
Jesus explains who God is.
Jesus explains how God thinks.
Jesus explains how we can have a new relationship with God.

Through Jesus came the grace.
Through Jesus came the forgiveness.
Through Jesus came the reconciliation.

So now, we can be united with God in Jesus.
So now, we can be one with God in Christ.
So, now, we can have relationship with God, through Jesus.

This is the result of what Jesus has done for us.
This relationship is very peaceful.
This relationship is exciting.
This relationship with God is mysterious.
You are invited into this kind of relationship again.

10.07.2009

Clean water

Props: a cup with clean water and a cup with dirty water.
A T-shirt from livingwatersfortheworld.org

What do you think this is? (Dirty water)
What do you think this is? (Clean water)

What do you think you would do if someone gives you this kind of water to drink?
Will you drink it?

In many part of the world, people don’t have clean water to drink.
So, they drink this kind of water.
You may not believe this.
So, let me show you this 3 minutes video.



As you see, in many part of this world, people don’t have clean water to drink.
But we can do something about it.
We can do something to give them good water.
If they don’t have good water, they would get various kinds of pains.
They might get a bad stomach pain.
But we wish that they would live healthier.

So, there are many organizations that are working to provide clean water to our neighbors in the world.
I am inviting you to join in this journey.
How?
Tomorrow when you come, bring some coins and put it here.
Then we are going to collect all of them and give to an organization that helps people to have clean water.
In this way, we will provide clean water to many parts of the world.
Sound good?

In our case, we are going to send money to the Living Water for the world: (http://livingwatersfortheworld.org/) I am wearing their t-shirt. Because water is important, on my back there are many words that say water in many languages.

Also, we know that spiritually Jesus is our source of living water. (John 7:37-38) Those who don't know Jesus will be thirsty for life.
Those who know Jesus will have eternal life.

So, let's pray that everyone may know Jesus as well and have eternal life.
Also let’s pray that everyone would have clean water as well. Ok?

Let's pray: God, we welcome you in this place. May you come and give eternal life that you promise us. And may you give clean water to each nation so that they would have drink and be healthy. With their good health, they may come to learn of you, too. In your name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Luke 15:2

ppt
Welcomes sinners
Reading: Luke 15:2.

Jesus loves sinners.
Jesus welcomes sinners.
Jesus purposefully welcomes them.
Why?
Because he understood who God is.

Pharisees didn't understand that way.
They practice religion differently.
They live differently.
That's Jesus’ ways are not like those of Pharisees.

So, Jesus wanted you to build some new movement where people believed like him.
So, Jesus wanted to work for sinners.
Jesus was interested in helping them.
Jesus even said that he was not call to serve the righteous, but sinners.
Jesus was interested in bringing sinners, to repentance.
Jesus was interested in talking with sinners.

Some may call them outcasts.
But Jesus didn't.
Because Jesus knew that secretly, they were regretting things.
They easily felt guilty.
They were also wounded.

So, they wanted to bring those things to Dr. Jesus.
They couldn't explain what's wrong with them.
They didn't know how to turn to God.

But when they came to Jesus, they found forgiveness and a gracious welcome!
Their wound may be covered with a deeper than any bodily leprosy.
But Jesus was able to heal them.

Even if they were sinners, they find comfort in Jesus.
Pharisees may treat them badly mocking unkindly to their tears.
But not so with Jesus.
He welcomes sinners.

When Nicodemus came at night to talk with Jesus, Jesus was available.
So Nicodemus was able to observe who Jesus is.
Many people in every age have done the same in their night of sin and sorrow.
They find a heavenly friend.
Jesus didn’t punish their timidity by shutting his door against them.
Jesus didn’t reject them.

As the Bible said:
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. (Matthew 12:20)
And Jesus did just the same!

Then Jesus was arrested.
He was charged as a blasphemer.
But he only opened his mouth for faith and love.
He performed miracles only full faith and love.

And to those who come for his help, he said:
All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
(John 6:37)

Are we from this to think lightly of sin?
Or can we overlook some bad conduct and its consequence?
Not so!

Sin, as sin, is harmful.
But we must seek carefully to distinguish between the offence — and the offender.

But we don’t mock their sigh of a guilty spirit.
We don’t send the trembling outcast away, with the despairing feeling of "No hope."

Jesus welcomes sinners.
Shall we?

He allows the worst garbage of human wrongdoing to hide at His feet.
Jesus welcomes with his forgiving appearance with the uplifted eye of hope.
Jesus wishes we also dare not to deal out harsh, and severe and crushing verdicts on an offending brother.
This brother might have done something that is deeply offending.
But still Jesus shows us what to do.

We may not also pronounce sins and sinners, beyond mercy.
Because Jesus does not.

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this:
Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20)


Rather, when a sinner, lawbreakers, and backsliders cross our path, we should not talk down on and keep them away.
We need to bear, endure, and deal tenderly with them, as Jesus did.
Jesus does so!
Jesus desires us to arm ourselves like him with the same mind.
Jesus desires us to have within us his love of souls.
Jesus hopes that we have his desire for the everlasting happiness of sinners.
Jesus hopes that we may help them in words and love, making sure that they don’t receive no other than harsh looks and repulsive words.

If this mind really is in us, which is also in Jesus, we would more frequently ask ourselves: have I done all I might have done to help them experience grace?
Do I remember what grace can do and what grace is made up?

10.06.2009

Luke 2: 41-52

Reading: Luke 2: 41-52

Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.
At this time, Jesus was twelve years old.
His family went up to the festival, according to the custom.

Now the festival was over.
While his parents were returning home, they didn’t know that the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.

Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day.
Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.
When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him.
The boy Jesus was in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions.

Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him, they were astonished.

His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

He said, “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
He knew who he was already.
But he folded his ideas as he saw that his parent did not understand what he was saying to them.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.
But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
After gaining more understandings on who he was and how he should live, he restarted this process.


Matthew 13:44-46 (1)

A children sermon
ppt

Do you like basketball?
When I was young, I love basketball.
I pray a lot.
I shoot a lot.
I failed many times.
At first, I didn’t have much success.
But then I learn that the more I played, the more I was better at it.
Then I learn something about this life.

So, I want to ask you?
Do you have something that you want to do with your life?
Do you have some goal for your life?
What do you want to be when you grown up?

When you try to do those things, you may fail couple times.
You may be not able to accomplish at your first trial.
If it is that easy, anybody can do that.
If you have a high goal, you may need to be comfortable in your some failings.
It is very natural.

As you fail some of your trials, you may learn how to do better next time.
Then you can move forward.
Then you may accomplish you goal.
So, I hope that you prepare to fail some.
Through those failures, you will finally succeed.

Now what happen if you know what God wants you to do for your life?
What if God asks you to do something that you haven’t done before?
Would you hesitate because you haven’t done it before?
I think you may need to prepare to go beyond your couple of failures.
Try one more.
Try one more time.
And try one more time.
Doing so, you will learn a lot.

If you read the Bible, God also fails couple of times.
God wants us to love God.
God wants people to love God.
But people didn’t really love God back.
So, God tries again and again so that we may know God and love God.
That is what Jesus did.

I hope that you will be someone who tries and tries to do what God wants you to do even though you may fail couple of times, ok?
Good.

Let’s pray: Jesus, thank you for showing us how to live.
Thank you for helping us to try one more time and one more time.
Help us to be strong so that we may live fully and wonderfully in you.
In your name, Amen.

Jesus Living Within Us

When we come to the communion table, we eat from the same bread and drink from the same cup.
Then we say, "This is the Body and Blood of Christ."
Then we also become the living Christ, here and now.

Our faith in Jesus is not that Jesus, the Son of God, lived long ago, performed great miracles, presented wise teachings, died for us on the cross, and rose from the grave.

It means that we fully accept the truth that Jesus lives within us and fulfills his divine ministry in and through us.

Because we experience the living Christ in our life, we can believe the mystery of the incarnation, death, and resurrection as historic events.

Because the Christ is in us, we can show the Christ to the world.
Because Jesus Christ lives in us, we can proclaim God’s forgiveness to all generations.
Because Jesus lives in us, we can remember and be connected spiritually.

10.05.2009

Call to Worship

God loves you.
God loves you more than you would ever know.
God loves you.

If we understand, we may live in confidence.
We may come before God with thanksgiving.
We may worship God!
We may sing and give thanks to God of our salvation.

It is good to praise God.
It is good to proclaim the love of Christ.
It is good to proclaim Jesus’ faithfulness.

The Call to Confession

Prayer of Confession

Leader: Whenever we lose our faith and hope,
All: Forgive us Christ who loves us so much.
Leader: Whenever we give in to fear,
All: Forgive us Christ, who loves us so much.
Leader: Whenever we lose our cool, love, or kindness toward your people,
All: Forgive us Christ who loves us so much.

Silent Confession

Assurance of Pardon

Leader: Jesus brings our soul back to life.
All: Christ sees our weakness and still loves us.
Leader: Even today, Jesus proclaims his forgiveness to all creation. Even today, Jesus shouts his love to all people.
All: Jesus teaches us to stand up again and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit.
Leader: Christ lifts us up to shine with the divine light within us.
All: In Jesus we are a new creation. In Christ we have a new beginning.

10.04.2009

Isaiah 11:6-10

The prophet Isaiah says a little child leads our way. (Isaiah 11:6)
Jesus as a child is going to lead the world. (Isaiah 11:6-10)
There will be innocent and pure joy.
Peace and joy are very important part of the kingdom of Jesus.

Jesus wants to lead people to the Kingdom of God.
Jesus is leading the world to peace.
Jesus is guiding us to a universal fellowship.

Jesus, the child of God, fills the whole world with the true knowledge of God.
That is why the story of Christ is to be known.
Through this story, all nations recognize how God thinks.
When we learn the story of Jesus, we experience that our nature and characters are changed.
We learn to accommodate this peaceful and joyful kingdom of Jesus.
Peace and joy become our nature as we are awakened to our new selves.
Then we see the glorious resting place of Jesus.

The peaceful vision of Jesus might have been this:
Young people grow up together having all kind of international friends.
People have new diet program.
Children play outside safely.

Telling his own story Jesus creates peace on earth. Jesus is awakening us to new reality. Jesus awakens us to see beauty in nature. Jesus awakens us to see peace and harmony in the world. Jesus awakens us to feel the very heart of Christ.

When we see beauty in nature, Jesus sees that beauty through us. It is because we are created in the image of God. Jesus feeds and nurtures your divine nature so that you would realize that you are God’s beloved creature.

When we feel good, when we experience holiness and purity, we feel Jesus in us.

Luke 17:6

Jesus says, “If you have faith, you can command a mulberry tree to be uprooted and plant itself in the sea, and it will be done” (Luke 17:6)

Since Jesus believes in this, he asks us often, "Where is your faith?"
All things are possible, for those who believe.

10.02.2009

Job

A children sermon:
Preparation: write a word, “Job” “Jesus” and "Faithful" on a paper.

Show to the children the word, “Job” and say, “How do you read this word?”
Show other two words and get to know these words.

A long time ago there was a man named Job.
Job was always kind to everyone. He was a good man. Since he was a good man, everyone liked him. Since he was faithful he became very rich as well. "Faithful" means that he was worthy to be trusted.

But then one day something bad happens to him. He experienced something very tough. Some thought that he must have done something wrong. Some wonder why he is still kind and faithful. Job was still good to people. He was kind to everyone.

Yes, something bad happened to him. But he was still good and kind. Job didn’t give up on being good. He must have thought “Everything will be ok eventually.” And he was right. At the end everything was ok.

Jesus also lives like this. Jesus doesn’t give up. He loves us until the end. He is faithful. He loves us no matter what. Jesus believes that by loving the world like this, he makes the world beautiful. Jesus believes, “Everything will be ok. Everything will be fine.”

Sometimes you may feel bored. What are you doing when you are bored? When I am bored I also get excited. Do you know why? It is because usually I get a good idea or a wonderful idea after I am bored. You see, whether you are bored or not, everything will be ok, eventually.

Let’s pray: Jesus, thank you for loving us. Thank you for being faithful to us. Thank you for being kind to everyone around us. Amen.

9.25.2009

Luke 8: 1-3

Jesus, grace and giving
Reading: Luke 8: 1-3

In order to serve God and people, sometimes, you need to raise fund to continue the ministry that you are doing.

As far as Jesus is concerned, he simply lives out his desire and his goal.
Then financial supports came.
Jesus is simply carrying out his ministry, having his own goal.
Jesus preaches for free.
Jesus heals people for free.

The more you did the works that God has given to him, the more people want to support his ministry.
The more he explained the mind of God, the more people see a new vision.
People want Jesus to continue his ministry.
So, the money comes.

This contribution didn’t make him do less and serve less.
He was giving people an opportunity to express their faith by donating their time, money, and efforts.

When people donate money, it was most likely the decisions of each household.
We can guess that because the supporters are usually women or wives.
And two thousand years ago, not many women have opportunities to make money.

But the bible says that women were supporting him.
They fed him.
When Jesus visited them, they fed him and his students, just like Martha did.
As donation keeps coming in, Jesus eventually hands the money over to one of his disciples to take care of it. Often Jesus has given this money to the poor.

As they give their contributions, the disciples of Jesus follow and learn from Jesus.
They are able to build the kingdom of God together with Jesus.

Jesus didn’t preach a sermon to inspire people to become donors.
Fund is raised by a voluntary desire.
Their intention was to support the ministry of Jesus with their money.

Those were supporting the dream of Jesus.
They are not paying for the grace that they receive.
Grace is free.
Salvation is free.
There is nothing they can do to earn it.
Grace is a gift.
God always gives freely.

When you know this grace, you can be healed from bad habits or addiction.
There is nothing you can to make God love you more.
There is nothing.
When we recognize this grace, we are healed.

Our faith is a response to that grace.
We cannot make that grace complete by giving.
This grace is already complete without our help.

But they were supporting so that Jesus could share his dream with them.
They wished that Jesus accomplishes his dream for all.
They wished that more people would get benefit from his ministry.

9.24.2009

Luke 6: 27-39 (2)

Reading: Luke 6: 27-38

He says: (Matthew 7:12)
“Do to others, as you would have them do to you.”
He says in other words, “Treat others as you would like them to treat you.”

Jesus says this in various ways.

So, Jesus says:
“But to you who are listening I say:
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.

Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you?

Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.
But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.

Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Basically, Jesus is saying the same thing.
Do good to others.
Jesus is saying that you need to be able to do these things.
You need to be what you want to see in the world.
You need to truly help others.

It means that you need to work on yourself.
Then you may face that it is difficult to change yourself.
When you can work some deep work within you in the power of Christ, you can talk about changing the world.
Then everyone knows that you love Jesus.
It is clear if you do that Jesus says here.

Think about what you want people to do for you.
Then do them for others.
Would they want you to forgive them?
Then forgive.
Would they want you to be easy on them?
Then be easy on them.

When you exist for God and others like this, God will exist for you.
So, Jesus says:
“Do to others, as you would have them do to you.”

Jesus says same things over and over differently.
Jesus says:
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.
Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also.
If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.

Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

You need to love those who may not love you.
You need to do good to those who may not be good to you.
You need to lend money without expecting repayment.
You don’t consider them your enemies.
You do good to them.

Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because God is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Then you can change the hearts of people.
Then you may be able to change the world for good,

Jesus says same things over and over differently.



Jesus says: Luke 6: 37-38

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.
Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Jesus is saying:
Since you don’t want to be judged, do not judge.
Since you don’t want to be condemned, do not condemn anybody.
Since you want to be forgiven, forgive others.


The main principle is: “Do to others, as you would have them do to you.”
He says in other words, “Treat others as you would like them to treat you.”

This is the principle: Give what you want to receive.
Then God will give you a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.
God will pour out into your lap.
For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

When you practice your faith like this, you can lead other people to the Promised Land.

9.23.2009

Jesus loves you and knows that you value your life

"Jesus loves you and knows that you value your life"


Jesus loves you.
Jesus loves you and wants you to live a wonderful life according the eyes of God.
God loves this world and is interested in your life.

God has given you a dream and a desire.
This is for your joy and a sense of calling in your life.

In this world, there are two kinds of people: those who think for themselves and those who need others to think for them.

When we talk about a life of prayer, we are talking about the fact that God helps you to think for yourself. You need to decide to do what you see right before God.

When you see various opportunities, you need to look at those through the eyes of God.
There are so many possibilities.
Everything is possible in God.
Your job is to be clear about what you want in life.
Clarity is power.
Know exactly what you want in life.

One day you will be asked, “Why do you do what you do?”
So, now you need to find what is truly resonated with you.
Think about what you would do if you are courageous and not shy.
What would you do if you know that you cannot fail?
When makes you have goose bumps?
Then now think about how you can do what you want to do in God.

If you find out what the will of God is for you, you need to get prepared for your goal.
Be prepared to do well what you will do.
Prepare yourself to be able to do what you want to do in Jesus.
Step by step, prepare yourself for your goal.

Then if God inspires you, change your goal.
When you are clear about your goal and purpose, write down the process that explains how you can achieve your goal. What is your part in achieving this goal?
How would you execute?
How would you make one step further to your goal?

If it is a true calling, you will be reminded about your vision and goal.
You cannot help but to do something daily to achieve your dream.
You cannot help but to think about your goal daily.
You cannot help but to think about it before you go to bed.

Somehow in this process, God is there.
God is there for you to understand Christ Jesus who achieves the will of God for his life.
Look at him often to be inspired.

9.17.2009

Let your light shine

Once upon a time, there were people who lived in a dark hall.
In this dark hall, everyone was “happy” with their life style, even though they bumped into each other a lot.
They have been living like this for all their lives.

Then there was a curtain.
No one knows what is behind that curtain.
Then one day a man saw a switch behind that curtain.

He has been searching for a meaning in life.
When he saw that switch he realized what he has been looking for.

He was sure that it would light the hall.
He thought through some creative ideas to explore this possibility.
He was sure that he was the only person thought about this possibility.

Then one day, he approached the curtain and looked inside.
Some people were close enough to see him doing that.
They screamed.
They complained to his parents.
They wanted to make sure no other young man would do such a thing.

But this person was sure that he saw a switch to light the hall.
So one day while everyone was asleep, he went beyond.
He passed through the curtain.
He traveled to an unknown place.

He was scared but slowly and slowly came to the mysterious switch that often occupied his mind ever since he saw it for the first time.

Then, he lifts the switch up.
Suddenly the bright light shines through the darkness.
He can see a bright light shining to every part of the hall.
He is so scared.
He turns off immediately.

But some people saw that light.
Some of them were thinking they had a dream.

This person slowly came back to his hall and lied down pretending that he was asleep.

Next morning his friend, John comes over to him.
John says that he saw the bright light, yesterday.
John says, “That light is so beautiful. We should have that light all the time. We should use that light. It is so dark in here.”

So, he explains to John everything.
Then, they often talk about how to introduce that light to the people in the hall.

Then one day, John couldn’t wait anymore.
So he started to talk about the light to all people.
“There will be someone coming to light this hall!”
Young people start listening to him.
And more people come to listen to him.

Then one day John meets his friend who went beyond the curtain and says, “I think now people are ready. Go ahead and light the hall. I know that they may kill us both. But I think we need to take a chance on this, for our next generation. They need to be able to see things in that light. Once they see they will never forget that beautiful light. Go ahead, Jesus, let the light shine.”

9.12.2009

Philippians 2: 6-11

Self-emptying Jesus
Reading: Philippians 2: 6-11

In Philippians 2: 6-11, we see the character of God.
It shows what God desired to do in this world.
This verses shows that God is a self-empting God.

It says:
Jesus had equal status with God.
But he humbled himself instead of asking people to treat him as God.
He didn’t seek to take advantage of his status.
In fact, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human.
It was an incredibly humbling process for him.
But he didn't seek to have special privileges on earth.
Instead, he lived a humble, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death which was the worst kind of death at that time.
Because of that humble obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
After ministering to the poor, the sinners, the sick, and the outcast, Jesus faced death at the hands of the established.

In this way, Jesus, the Son of God, sets an example by self-emptying.
Because he was self-emptying, we now can have the story of Jesus as it is.
That is why now we can have the gospel.

In this way, Jesus is showing us how we can also love and serve our brothers and sisters. Jesus is showing us how he thinks, so that we can also live by having this the mind of Christ.

9.11.2009

Luke 12:13–21 (3)

Reading: Luke 12:13–21

Someone in the crowd says to Jesus:
"Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me."

Jesus says to him:
“Friend, that is not what I am here to do.”

Then Jesus says to his students:
“Take care!
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

Jesus then adds this story:

“The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.
He thought to himself, “I have no place to store my crops. I need to tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
Then, I have plenty of good things laid up for many years.
I can take life easy.
I can eat, drink and be happy."

“But God said to him:
'I have given you all this for other purpose.
You are foolish to think that way.
What if this very night your life will be demanded from you?
Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?
Are you prepared?
So, it is ok to store up things for yourself but make sure also that you are rich toward God as well.
Start planning to be rich in God.
Have a passion to please God. Have a plan to love more people.
Serve more people.”

God is very interested in how we use money.
When we have a lot of money, we need to find new calling and move on.
We can only eat, and drink so much.
We can be happy by eating and drinking so much.

The thing is how having possessions will free us to do what God hopes.
How can we go beyond because of God’s blessings?
Otherwise, we will kill ourselves.
We will make us suffer.
We will create some wrong tension in our life.

Don’t be buried in greed.
When your life gets easy, open yourself up to God.
Don’t try to protect your life against God.
Open to God.
It is God who brings you there.
Now find some reason to bless God and others.
Find some ways that you can be a blessing to God.



9.10.2009

Luke 23: 46

7. "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."
Reading: Luke 23:46
K-hymn: 144

Jesus called out with a loud voice:
"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."
When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Jesus prayed.
He prayed, when he had conviction, and emotional comfort.
He prayed when he was going through suffering, when he was afraid, and when he died.

Because he lived like this, he asked his students to pray with him:
“Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray, watch and pray.” (Mark 14:38)
The disciples couldn’t understand it.

Now Jesus prayed again:
“Into your hands, Father, I commit my spirit.”
Then he entered into silence, again.
He does still think and pray.
He does still invite us to think and pray with him.

Jesus prayed, while his persecutors were looking at him:
“God, receive my spirit.
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."

Now he is to live in the enjoyment of greater nearness to his God.
The hour of departure does come.

God has the heart of child.
So, this God leaps at the thought of his son coming home.
God will say:
"Son, all that I have is yours.
You are going to be ever with me!"

Through the blood of Jesus, Jesus conquered the consequence of sin.
Jesus could introduce the true peace after this fearful death.

God gives us the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ!
So now we have the open grave.
Jesus does not have a tomb.

Facing his persecutors, he finds a path to life.
They can kill him.
But because of his obedience, Jesus proclaims to everyone, even to his persecutors:
"You are forgiven, not because you are forgivable but because of what I had done."

Now Jesus could prepare the opened heaven.
Now through prayer and worship, we may experience the grace coming from Jesus through opened heaven.

We will become more and more like him.
In this hope, we join God in purifying ourselves, even as Jesus is pure!

Then when we face the death, we may say:
"Jesus, into your hands I commend my spirit!"
"Holy Spirit, into your hands I commend my spirit!"
"God, into your hands I commend my spirit! It is time to go HOME.”

Let's pray:

Jesus, thank you for your life, death and resurrection.
Thank you for dying for us and to forgive our sins.
Thank you for what you have done for us.
May you continually live in us so that we may continually live in you.
May you heal and restore us in your power.
Thank you,
In your name, we pray.
Amen


Hebrews 9:1-28

Reading: Hebrews 9:1-28

(Random note are following)

Role of Great High Priest

The High Priest is hereditary and was traced from Aaron.
His job is cultural religiously.

He pronounces healing, and forgiveness.
The High Priest wears the Urim and Thummin to determine truth.
(John 11:49-52: The high priest that year prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.)
The High Priest leads worship. (Samaritan woman: John 4:4-4:26)

Jesus as the High Priest (Hebrews 9:26; 10:10, 12, 1 Timothy 2:5)
Jesus pronounced, “You are forgiven”
It is also our role.
(John 9:1-9, Jesus heals a person instead of judging) Our role is not to judge the world but to heal the world. Hate sin and love people, because evil spirit may be influencing him or her. Pray for them.

Jesus the Great High Priest: Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 9:1-28 explains that on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest entered the Most Holy Place behind the veil and what it means in Christ.
Eternal redemption – Hebrews 9:12

Jesus as the Lamb: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.(Leviticus 17:11)
Without blood, there is no sacrifice. The blood makes atonement at the cost of the life. (Hebrews 9:11-18)
In John 19:30, Jesus says, “It is finished.” Never again would the blood of any animals is needed to cleanse our sin.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Why blood?
Why the blood of Jesus?
Is it a blood of only person?
Is it a blood of only God?

Priest:
Our role: 1 Peter 2:9 “you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
The most important role is a proclamation of forgiveness.
Is forgiveness possible?



Lev 26:35-36: Forceful Sabbath. Rest otherwise, you will be kicked out. It may be a difficult self-denial.

Luke 23:34

1. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!''
Reading: Luke 23:34:

There were interesting comments made by Jesus on the cross.
Even at this moment, he wanted to save those who don’t understand him or support him.
Even at this moment, Jesus prays for those who consider him as a trouble maker.
At his most painful moment, he was praying for them.
Even though he himself felt rejection from people and deserted by God, he was offering this prayer:
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!"

For some reason, Jesus worried about their sin.
According to his perspective, those who sin are in trouble, not him.

So, when people insulted him and passed in indifference, he offered this prayer.
When people said a cold, unemotional, insensible remark, Jesus offered this prayer.
For those who were unkind to him, he offered this prayer.
He was able to pray for those who are not grateful for him to pray like this.

Is he faking at this moment?
Why he was forgiving when they didn’t ask him?

Peter once asked Jesus, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him, until seven times?"
Jesus said to him, "I say, until seven times; but, until seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21, 22)
Jesus was not joking.
Jesus was serious about this.

Jesus asks us to forgive people.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as Jesus forgave you.

Whether people were not grateful for what he was doing, he kept his heart pure before God. He didn’t die in bitterness.
He didn’t die feeling sorry for himself.
He was able to have a peace.

He could have.
His friend betrayed him.
His friend left him.
Even though he didn’t experience their sympathy, he didn’t lose his sympathy.
Because he was the source of all sympathy.
His friends didn’t understand him when he asked them to pray for him.
He was deeply wounded.

But he said, "Father, forgive them!"
What kind of spirit or mind does Jesus have?

He likes to help those who are failings and not meeting expectations.
He didn’t make fun of their frailties.
He didn’t show his suspicion and his doubt about his disciples’ ability.
Without keeping his anger, he is patience with us and forgives us.

Jesus seems already forgive all their mistakes.
He meets them with love and a benediction.
Even when he leaves them at his ascension, he lifted up his hands and blessed them!
I cannot do that.
Can you?

So, we called him, the blessed Redeemer!
Then after he has risen, Jesus disarmed their fears and to assure them saying, "Peace be unto you."
We see the God who is ever giving.
We see the Mother God who is ever giving.
We see the Father God who is ever giving.

I think he deserved our trust.
With him, there is no such word, as enemy.
He didn’t have resentful thought, or bitterness.
There is something within him to clean that out.
It seems he had a law of kindness in his heart.

Like Jesus, the first martyr, Stephen knelt down and cried out in a loud voice:
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
Then, he died. (Acts 7: 59, 60)
Stephen did not know whether they know or not what they do, so he prayed that God would not hold this sin against them.

God prays with this prayer.
God forgives.
We are in God, when we pray like this.
When you have a willingness to pray like this, you already have the heart of God.
When you feel like forgiving, you are in the Spirit of Jesus.


9.09.2009

Mark 4

(If Jesus were telling his own story, it would be something like this?)

Again I began to teach by the lake. Such a large crowd gathered around me. It was so large that I got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge.

I taught them many things by illustrations. I said: "Listen! A farmer went out to sow. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because it had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It brought forth grain, growing up, and producing a crop, yielding thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times."

And I said, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’ Even though I was speaking to everyone, I was especially speaking to the people who can understand all these. For those who understand, these teaching create a new life for them.

After that, when I was by myself, those who were around me along with the twelve asked me about the illustration. And I said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in illustrations; in order that ‘they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”

However, my own disciples were not even able to understand the illustration yet. So then, nearly nobody was able to understand how God works.

So, I said to them, ‘Do you not understand this illustration? Then how will you understand all the illustrations? The sower sows the word. There is a proactive action. There is initiation. There is creation.

Spiritually, the word is so precious. Everything starts with it. It is powerful thing.

Some people are like the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.

Others are like rocky ground. They hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they endure for a while. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

Your dream or the word may be attacked. There will be resistance. But like a good sport man or woman, you have to keep your vision and understanding.

Still others are like thorns. They hear the word but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

The word desires full attention from you. The word is life itself. The word is to grow. Like everything else, if you grow, you live.

So, some are like good soil. They hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.

When they are good soil, they understand enough to make a right decision. These persons has persistence and endurance. These persons pay the price.

Then, I said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? God is a creator of everything. God knows what the purpose of your light is.

“For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’

So, you don’t have to seek to be famous. All you need to do is to take care of your inner light. Even if you live like a hermit, if your inner light shines, your life is not hidden. So, take care of your heart.

Then I said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. The measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”
So simply, “Giver gets.”

Spiritual knowledge is like that too. If you understand a little, God will be so happy and give more and more. God wants to give anyone who can understand. God is giver.

Let God be a giver. If you consider carefully what you hear and understand, you will be wiser and your life will be easier.

I also said another illustration, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.

“The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.

“You need to wait awhile. But since you sowed, whether you sleep and rest, it will grow. You don’t need to understand how the word works its way to be great. The kingdom of God is working hard. The kingdom of God is like a man who is seeding. So, in the right session, listen to God since God is close to you. Let God sow in you.

But when the kingdom of God sees that the grain is ripe, then there will be the harvest. It will be quick. When the word grows enough and is saturated into every place and every people’s mind and thoughts, then there will be the harvest. So, let everything be influenced by the word of God.

I also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what illustration will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.

Again I said, "What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?

In my mind, the kingdom of God is like a reality that needs to explain through a story. So I told them another story.

“The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It seems small. But once it was planted, viola. Surprising thing is going to happen.

“You may think that a mustard seed is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade."

With many similar illustrations I spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. I did not say anything to them without using an illustration.
But when I was alone with my own disciples, I explained everything.

On that day, when evening had come, I said to my disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." And leaving the crowd behind, they took me along, just as I was, in the boat. There were also other boats.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. I was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke me and said, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

I got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

I said to my disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"