4.28.2009

I'm Amazed

Can you feel it?
Can you sense it?
Can you see what Jesus is doing in your life?

You may listen to this at I'm Amazed Live

John 11: 46-57

Narrator: But the religious group that had a strong reaction against me gathered after this incident. They were at a very nice looking conference room.

LEADER #1: What do we do now? This man keeps on creating God-signs. If we let him on, pretty soon everyone will believe in him. We will lose our job for good, then.

CAIAPHAS: I see that then it is our advantage that one man dies for the people.
(Everybody surprises by the remark and looking at him)

JESUS (V.O.) : I think he sort of prophesied that I was about to die for the people so that all children of God might be gathered together into one people.

Realizing their decision in my spirit, I no longer went out in public. I withdrew and secluded myself there with my students.

But still people were very curious about me. There was a lot of talk of me:

PERSON #1: What do you think? Do you think he'll ever show up again?

4.27.2009

Luke 8:22-25

Jesus Calms the Storm
Reading: Luke 8:22-25 (You may find this story, also at Matt 8: 23 and Mark 4: 35)



Can a person still a storm?
Jesus did.

Now it was one of those days when Jesus got into a boat with his disciples.
Jesus said to them, "Let’s go over to the other side of the lake."

So they launched out. But as they sailed, he fell asleep.
A wind storm came down on the lake.
They were taking on dangerous amounts of water.
They came to Jesus, and awoke him, saying, "Master, master, we are dying!"
He awoke, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water.
Then they stopped. It was calm.

Jesus said to his students, "Where is your faith?"
Being afraid they marveled, saying one to another:
"Who is this, then, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?"

Why did Jesus say, “Where is your faith?”

Did this page increase your understanding of Jesus?
Jesus does not want us to fear, because we can pray.
There is no reason to fear. There is too much reason to pray and trust.
What is Jesus saying is that Jesus is the Lord over nature.
Jesus is God who creates everything. And this God loves you.
So, when you truly understand who God is, you can relax.
You can follow Jesus in faith, regardless of any situation.
So, they just need to trust in Jesus and stay with him.

To show this truth, Jesus commands the wind and sea to be quiet.
Jesus hopes that this would help you trust in Jesus.
God creates the heaven and the earth.
So we can say with confidence, "Jesus is my help. I will trust in Jesus. We just need to say with Jesus. He will do things for us!" (Heb 13:6)



4.23.2009

Reading the story of Jesus

Repetitive readings

How to read the story of Jesus?
Reading helps us think.
When we read the Gospels, it helps us to think.
Then we may understand who Jesus is.
Reading is like giving yourself something to think about.
Then you may want to ask questions to Jesus.
You can ask questions to Jesus.
The answers will come one day.

In the story of Jesus, we read his philosophy of life.
We read about how Jesus thinks.
Then we may learn who Jesus is.

As you continually read the story of Jesus, you understand who Jesus is.
Then you can explain who Jesus is.
Reading the Gospels is very important.
Reading repetitively the story of Jesus is important.
Then you may get to know the mind of Jesus.

If you read slowly, you may be able to think more about the words that you read.
So, read and have a time to think about the text.
Then read the same passage.
Then you will get to know more about the text.
You may remember some related text.
Then read that too.
In this way, you may get to know Jesus.

If there is some meaningful text, read again.
Try to read that portion again, maybe after doing something else for awhile.
This will help you to read and pray.
You may read anther translations of the Bible to know how this text may be understood.
If you cannot understand, you may read a children bible.
You can write down about your thoughts after reading.
Some people think much well while they draw something.

When you understand the text, you may try to practice what it says.
When you practice, you experience the power of words.

Then you can come back and think whether you practice the words right.
Sometimes, we misunderstand the text and suffer.
So, we need to know whether our reading produces good fruits or not.

Anyway, let’s practice what I said!
Pray first before reading.

Read: John 1: 29-34 (Jesus, the Lamb of God)
Next day, John saw Jesus coming to him and yelled out, "Y’all look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!
This is the one I’ve been talking about when I said, 'the One who is coming after me who is ahead of me because he was before I was.'
Even I was not sure of him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that I might show him to Israel as the God-Revealer."

Then John pointed out:
"I saw the Spirit come down from heaven like a dove and remain on him. As I said, I was not sure about him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
Well, I saw it, and I’m telling you that this is the Son of God."

Read again: John 1: 29-34
Next day, John saw Jesus coming to him and yelled out, "Y’all look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!
This is the one I’ve been talking about when I said, 'the One who is coming after me who is ahead of me because he was before I was.'
Even I was not sure of him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that I might show him to Israel as the God-Revealer."

Then John pointed out:
"I saw the Spirit come down from heaven like a dove and remain on him. As I said, I was not sure about him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
Well, I saw it, and I’m telling you that this is the Son of God."

Read: John 1: 29-34
Next day, John saw Jesus coming to him and yelled out, "Y’all look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!
This is the one I’ve been talking about when I said, 'the One who is coming after me who is ahead of me because he was before I was.'
Even I was not sure of him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that I might show him to Israel as the God-Revealer."

Then John pointed out:
"I saw the Spirit come down from heaven like a dove and remain on him. As I said, I was not sure about him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
Well, I saw it, and I’m telling you that this is the Son of God."

End with a prayer:
Jesus, thank you for giving your words.
May we find ourselves in you.
May you take care of our future.

How was it?

4.21.2009

Jesus and his political activity

Situation
Jesus was dealing with those who didn’t know much about religion or the Bible. At the same time, Jesus was dealing with those who knew a lot about the Bible. So, Jesus tried to show his understanding and interpretation of the Bible, using common sense. In this way, Jesus spoke to both.

Jesus and his father
When we look at the life of Jesus, we understand who Jesus is. When we read about his ministry, we understand the nature of Jesus. Jesus tells many stories. These stories explain who Jesus is and who his Father is.

Jesus mentions about his Father a lot. Because of that, Jesus was asked to explain who his Father is. When they realized that Jesus was talking about God, as his Father, they thought Jesus was blaspheming. They were not ready to hear this kind of the truth. Does the Bible say that the Messiah is to be God? That is how Jesus understood. Once, Jesus also implicitly showed the divinity of human life.

Jesus is talking to 1st century Jews, here. Jesus is explaining things according to their custom, culture and understanding. His students are also the first century Jews. But Jesus knows that his teaching will be handed down to centuries and will be retold over and over. So Jesus decides to explain the relationship between Jesus and his Father.

Jesus and his people
Jesus is a Jew under Roman rule, politically. But Jesus is not seeking political independence. Jesus is not supporting a typical Jewish independent movement. Jesus, however, has one student who is formerly involved in this kind of political belief. But this student now follows the messiah who is a healer. Jesus does preach about a new kingdom. But it is radically different. Even John the Baptist once does not fully understand the meaning of the Kingdom that Jesus is building. Jesus heals people and preaches the gospel to the poor. His kingdom is manifested in power. His kingdom is understood by what Jesus is doing. Jesus is preparing common folks to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The message of this nation is designed and spoken to the poor. This is how Jesus is causing a political revolution. Jesus is building a nation that is empowered by the Good God. The nature of this nation is compassion, forgiveness and love. The power of this nation is shown in healing. The building block of this nation is in serving.

This revolution starts by each family in any town. So, Jesus sends out his students to various towns to preach the good news, saying “the Kingdom of God is near.” In his kingdom, children are welcomed. This is a new nation. All the nations in the world should copy it in faith.

The change that Jesus believed in
Jesus is trying to change showing who the Father truly is. As far as Jesus is concerned, his Father is compassion, forgiveness and love. According to Jesus, the Father is the father of prodigal son: the Father who simply forgives his two sons. In this way, the Father simply loves the world. And the Father wants his children to love one another.

So, providing the knowledge about the true nature of the kingdom is what Jesus is trying to do. Jesus wants unity, reconciliation, harmony and peace. It is what Jesus is trying to do. Jesus wants to show the Father by living among his people.

The language of faith

Jesus knew that the Church is going to be universal. But he didn’t seek it in his life time. Through his ministry, he showed a glimpse of it. His goal was to preach to the Israelites. In this way, Jesus was to make the story: the story of faithful God. And this story is going to be told everywhere.

This story was predicted in the Bible. It wasn’t comfortable for Jesus to live the story out. It was a challenge for him.

Faith
Faith is a prerequisite for everything Jesus did. Faith is the language of the Kingdom of heaven Jesus mentioned. Faith makes a way into the Kingdom. For this reason, Jesus understood that since the faith is the language now Asian, African, European, and American can come into his Kingdom. They will get their citizenship if they have faith in this kingdom. Since this is the only requirement, it opened a way to diversity in God’s kingdom. Those who have faith enter into God’s kingdom.

But in order to remain in this kingdom, it is very important to strengthen your faith. Because you enjoy the privilege of this citizenship, as you keep your faith. You need to nourish your faith.

How?
Reading the story is important. It is because the story tells you how to live by faith. It tells you about prayer, having a goal, expecting positive future, “Act as if it is impossible to fail,” and “Love in action.”

When you hope something, you have faith. When you obtain a sense of certainty in your thinking, you have faith. Faith is being certain of your bright and imaginative future. So, faith makes you succeed. Faith moves mountains, according to Jesus. Faith changes things. Faith heals you. Faith makes you walk on water. Faith makes you an heir of the kingdom.

Faith makes Jesus happy. When we understand this language of faith, we join the kingdom of Jesus.

4.20.2009

Mathew 11:28-30 (2)

An invitation to rest:

Here I would like to invite you to rest your mind here.
I would like to listen to Jesus who says:
"Come to me. All of you are weary and are carrying burdens. I will give you rest."
"Take my yoke on you. Learn of me. I am gentle and humble. You will find rest."

Jesus promises:
"My yoke is easy.
My burden is light."

It is because in Jesus, we move in the power of the Spirit of Jesus.

Jesus gives the power to those who are "returning (repenting), resting, quieting and trusting."
We are invited to rest.

Jesus is saying
“Have a time of rest, and be quite and trust me.
Don’t jump around all over the place because that is not going to help you.
Just be quite before me.
Wait on me.”

So, we sing:
"Wait for the Lord, his day of salvation is near.
Wait for the Lord, just keep watch and take heart!"
Jesus invites us to rest because there is the Spirit of Jesus who is more powerful.

Jesus sends us God's rest.
God says:
"Do not occupy with things too great and too marvelous for you but be calm and quite your soul. (Psalm 131: 1, 2)
For I am enough for you."

God is preparing a Great Rest where there is no sorrow or no tear.

Worshiping Christ is refreshing.
Being humble before Christ is refreshing.
This is a mystery.
Christ is a mystery.
But Christ encourages us and strengthens us to enter into this mystical relationship.
When we focus on Christ, we meet the Person, Jesus.
This is an experience.
So, come to Jesus.
All you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and have many questions, come to Christ.
Jesus gives you rest.
Put down your questions, and take Jesus’ yoke on you.
Then, learn from Jesus, for Jesus is gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Jesus’ yoke is easy, and Jesus’ burden is light. (Matthew 11: 28-30)
Jesus is supporting you in this journey.

4.16.2009

Matthew 15: 21-28 (2)

ppt
Faith
Reading: Matthew 15: 21-28

At this time, many people follow him.
Jesus is heading to another town.

Suddenly a Canaanite woman travels far and finds Jesus.
She says:
“Master, Son of David!
Have mercy.
My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit."

Jesus ignores her!
It is very unlikely of Jesus.
Even his students find it odd and say:
“She is bothering us.
Would you please take care of her?
She's driving us crazy."

Jesus refuses!
Are you kidding?
Jesus is refusing her???

Here is the reason that Jesus comes up with:
He said:
"I've got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel."
He is saying that at this moment, his purpose is to help the lost sheep of Israel.
He says as if he wanted to focus on his plan.

If the story finishes here, we must have been disappointed.
But the woman comes back again, goes to her knees, and begs:
"Master, help me."

Now, we all may say:
“C’mon Jesus, help her, will you?”
But Jesus comes stronger:
“It's not right to take bread out of children's mouths and throw it to dogs."

She humbles herself and says:
"You're right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master's table."

When Jesus experiences this humble faith, Jesus turns around and says:
"Woman, you have great faith!
Your request is granted!"
Right then her daughter becomes well.

Here is an incident that shows us a very interesting Jesus.
If you believe that Jesus knows everything, including how she is going to response, it makes sense.
If you believe that Jesus is God who knows what is going on her mind, it makes sense.

The one thing is sure, here.
Jesus loves her faith and responses immediately.
Maybe Jesus is digging to draw her faith out so that everyone can see.
Maybe Jesus is teaching everyone:
“Pray and never give up!”

Matthew is writing this gospel for Jewish people, most likely.
So he is saying:
“We Jews are supposed to have faith like this.
Look at this lady, guys, who is not a Jew, but who experience salvation based on her faith: by her persistent faith.
She didn’t ask whether it is the will of Jesus to heal her daughter.
She asks and asks and will not give up.
She is going to discuss, argue, debate with Jesus if she has to.”

Jesus said, “That is faith!”
The will of Jesus is for you to have faith.
Pray believing and imagining healing.
Pray believing and imagining miracles.
Jesus knows how it is difficult for her to ask Jesus like that.
But she believes that if she asks Jesus listens.
That is faith, right?


4.15.2009

Romans 14:17 (2)

Peace and joy in the Holy Spirit
Reading: Romans 14:17

The Bible says: the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Then if you are a leader, your first job may be that helping people to find what gives them peace. Knowing what gives them peace and joy, you may make better choices for them. Then ask them to do just those.

If you like to think about your children’s lives, ask them what makes them feel peace and joy. As you ask these questions, you may help them to move toward that direction that they may have peace and joy.

Find the real source, not what is in outside.
When you think you find it.

What was one time your actions or behavior were negative or you withheld showing kindness?
When do you feel bored? (Shopping?)
You may be doing things that you don’t want to get involved.
These may be the signs that you are not following your calling at the moment.

Because you don’t follow your calling, you may feel some negative feelings. Now invite God to walk with you.
Stop doing things that make you only tired.
Then try to come to God.
Rediscover your calling.
God will lead you on.

Sometimes, you may experience sudden fear so that you don't do things that may danger your life or not good for you. God can protect you in this way.

You may feel these feelings as you follow the lead of the Holy Spirit.
You may feel peace, gratitude and compassion.
But sometimes, you may feel anxious and irritated.
Don’t worry. God is still with you. Let God lead you.

But at the same time, in order to learn something, you may need to do things that you don’t receive good feedback.
God may ask you do this so that you humble yourself.
So, you can give thanks for various feelings that you have.
God is trying to teach you to find you calling and love more people in God.

4.14.2009

Galatians 2: 11 – 16

Freeing ourselves to reach out and love more people.
Reading: Galatians 2: 11 – 16, Acts 15: 1-35

I am going to talk about what happened after Jesus ascended to heaven.
There were two important leaders who follow the footsteps of Jesus.
They are Paul and Peter.
But once, Paul challenges Peter.
In fact, Paul challenges Peter in front of everyone.
It happened like this.
Peter and Paul were in Antioch.
They were having a nice meal with the Gentile believers.

Galatians 2:12 says:
“Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles.
But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.”

Who is this circumcision group?
They were Jews who strongly believed that Christians should observe Jewish religious costumes to be a good Christian.
In this case, it means that Jewish believers shouldn’t eat the gentile food with the gentiles.

Peter, being a Jew, was afraid of this circumcision group.
So, Peter began to separate himself from the Gentiles.
Peter simply did not know what to do.
Peter wasn’t sure about all the theological applications.
But he knew since this circumcision group strongly believed that Jewish costumes were to be observed, they would blame Peter if he continually ate with the gentiles.

This circumcision group did not allow multicultural fellowship.
They were not open to it yet.
So, they refused to eat with the Gentile, for the sake of their religious custom.

Having no conviction, at that time, Peter was afraid of dealing with them.
So, Peter excused himself, thinking “If they leave, I would eat with the gentiles, again.”
Unfortunately, he compromised the multicultural nature of the Gospel.

Peter knew that only faith in Christ could justify anyone.
This justification was not by observing the law.

But at this time, everybody was watching Peter.
They saw Peter gave up fighting with the circumcision group.
So, as Peter was about to withdraw from the table fellowship with the Gentiles, Paul was thinking, “If he withdraws from fellowshipping with the Gentiles, how can he share the gospel with the world?”

As for Paul, Jesus is more important than observing the Jewish customs.
Paul, being a Jew, knew that some Jews were not eating with the gentiles.
But in order to preach the gospel of faith, Paul decided to oppose Peter in front of everyone, because Peter was clearly in the wrong.
Paul shocked as well as he saw his compassion in ministry joining Peter.
He was Barnabas.

Jesus comes so that we can put our faith in him.
Jesus is helping the church to be free from any form and cultural attachments.
Jesus frees us from observing costumes and culture that was designed to separate us from associating with gentile brothers and sisters.

So, Paul confronted Peter in front of them all.
He thought this way he could protect the meaning of the story of Jesus.
So, Paul said to Peter:
“You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew.
How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?
We know that human being is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus. We are to put our faith in Jesus so that we may be justified by faith in Jesus and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”

When we are living in two culture, we may do not want to be criticized by anyone.
We want to appear normal. But sometimes, if we want to follow Jesus, we may need to do something faithfully.

When Peter didn’t know what to do, Paul criticizes him in front of all!
It was tough for Peter.
But Peter understood that Jesus is for everyone: for the Gentiles and Jews.

Paul understood that this was a crucial issue.
It is because Paul believed that Jesus was inviting the gentiles to join Christian faith community.

Jesus wants to welcome the Gentiles.
They didn’t need to follow Jewish costumes.
Jews can also be free to welcome them.
It is because only faith can free any human beings.

This issue is already discussed at the first church council of the church. (Acts 15: 1-35) The leadership of the church agreed that God is creating a multiracial community of faith.
In order to teach this concept, Jesus once saved the Gentiles, through Peter’s ministry. Then Jesus called Paul to preach to the gentiles.
Many Gentiles become Christians.
They were taught that they didn’t need to follow Jewish customs: e.g., circumcision or Jewish diet program.
It means nothing.

Jesus is calling Paul to be associated with the Gentiles in their own cultures, without reinforcing Jewish culture or custom.
Jewish couture does not save anybody, but Jesus does.
Only through faith, anybody become part of the body of Christ.
Everyone is part of it. (1 Corinthians 12: 27)

Peter saw Jesus associating with Samaritans.
Samaritans were half Jew and half gentile.
Anyway, it was less difficult for Peter to minister to Samaritans.
But then what about the Gentiles?
Peter for the first time, associated with the gentiles at the house of Cornelius.
God personally asked Peter to be associated with Gentiles and visit them.
Even though he obeyed, Peter didn’t have a full conviction about this issue.

When it was still a controversial issue, Paul challenged Peter to make a stand by freely eating with the various races.
This challenge was important for Peter to make a stand for multicultural gospel and worship.

We are also called to build a multicultural fellowship.
The more we live in various cultures, the more we need to open our mind to follow Jesus, not our own culture.

Jesus wants to reach out to Gentile Christians.
They are free from the law.
This freedom is not only for the Gentiles, but also for the Jews.
This concept was taught through the ministry of Paul.
Paul was persecuted for preaching this freedom of faith.

Many gentile believers were totally persuaded by it.
Just like ancient Jews, we also have our own culture.
We individually have our own culture.
Can we ignore our culture in order to reach out these who have another culture?
If we understand the grace of Jesus, we may be able to do.
If we experienced the grace of Jesus, we may be able to do.
The more we experience this grace, the more we can go out and reach out.
Eventually, we will be free from our culture to share the story of Jesus with everyone.

Footnote: Jürgen Becker, ed., Christian beginnings: Word and Community from Jesus to Post-apostolic times, Translated by Annemarie S. Kidder and Reinhard Krauss (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993), 126.


4.13.2009

Reading for Jesus

Here are some readings to get to know Jesus.

Who is Jesus:
Phil 2: 6-11 (Christ Hymn. Meditate on the self-emptying Jesus)
1 Co 1:22-25 (Jesus is the strength and the wisdom of God)
John 3:14-21 (God sends his Son into the world to save the world through him)
Luke 10: 38-42 (relax and listen to Jesus)

Healing:
Mark 1:40-45 (Jesus healing a leper willingly. Meditate on Jesus’ compassion and power. Jesus said, “I am willing. Be clean!” It builds faith)
Mark 2:1-12 (Jesus heals a paralyzed man. Meditating healing Jesus creates faith. Jesus further said, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”)
Mark 10:46-52 (Jesus said to a blind man, “Go; your faith has saved you.”)

Discerning Jesus:
Luke 4:1-13 (meditate on the discerning Jesus who answered the tempter, saying “One does not live by bread alone.”)
Mt 18:21-35 (Peter asked Jesus, “How many times should I forgive my brother?” Jesus answered, “seventy-seven times.”)

Obedience:
Luke 5:1-11 (Simon Peter, said “because you say so I will let down the nets.” Faith requires obedience)
Matt 1:18-24 (meditating on our life that has a calling under God’s bigger plan)
Luke 1:26-38 (what is like to be called by God in order to conceive and give birth to Jesus?)
John 1:19-28 (meditate on what is like to “make straight the way of the Lord.”)
1 John 4:16-21 (whoever loves God must also love their brother and sister).

These verses may be useful:
Matthew 2:1-4, 9-12; 5: 1-12; 6:25-34; 7: 7-11; 11: 25-30; 13: 44-46; 16:13-20; 21:28-31.
Mark 1: 9-20; 2: 13-17; 4: 26-29; 6:30-44; 10:13-16; 10: 17-30.
Luke 1: 26-45; 6: 27-38; 9:57-62; 10:25-37; 10: 38-42; 15: 11-32; 17:20-21; 19:1-10; 23: 33-49; 24: 1-8; 24:13-35.
John 3:1-8; 4:1-15; 6: 66-69; 10: 7-15; 12: 20-26; 13:1-15; 14:1-4; 15:9-12; 20: 1-10; 20: 11-18; 21:15-19.
Psalm 42, 51, 63, 73, 84, 34, 98, 100, 103, 121.


Jesus and faith

Jesus wanted to be surprised by the faith of people.
They have seen his ability and authority.
Then, Jesus found what he was looking for. Jesus was so pleased by the humble faith of the Roman army captain whose army was overruling that of Jesus. (Luke 7: 2-9)

This army captain had a servant.
He valued highly his servant, who was now sick and about to die.

So, when he heard of Jesus and where he is.
He sent some elders of the Jews, to ask Jesus on behalf of him. This Roman captain was wondering whether Jesus would heal his servant. These elders said to Jesus, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue."

Jesus said, “OK!”

But while he was coming to his house, the captain sent his friends to say to Jesus: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you in my house. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I, too, am a man with authority, having soldiers under my command, and I say to one, 'Go there' and he goes, and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." At this moment, this captain was thinking like a good solider, without understanding the culture of Jesus.

But when Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd, (mostly Jews), following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel!" Jesus was praising a Roman, a Roman captain. No, Jesus was praising his humble faith. The faith was so powerful. Jesus simply said, “The servant got healed.”

Have you had an incident where you have expressed this kind of humble faith?

I think sometimes, this kind of faith just comes to us. We just know (in faith), sometimes, what will happen, right?

What is next?

This sine is beautifully depicted at this movie: Jesus of Nazareth @ Amazon.com.

All things are possible in Jesus

Jesus healed the lepers. We read it.
Jesus fed five thousands people out of two fishes and five breads. We heard it.

When Jesus does something great and impossible, he is inspiring people, to think, “all things are possible in Jesus.”
When Jesus solves problems, which nobody was thinking about solving, Jesus was making his disciples to realize, “all things are possible in Jesus.”

Wonders and miracles are possible. Great things do happen. This is to inspire you to move forward. Whatever situations you are in, no matter what you have previously experienced, you can have faith. You can overcome. You can do it. You can live a remarkable life.

You will see new opportunities. Let your brain works and finds out wonderful ideas and new possibilities. This is a reality that Jesus opened us to enter.

Open your imaginative mind, and enter in. Jesus says that you can do even greater things than he. “All things are “possible.” Jesus proclaims this truth. Help yourself to develop, create, invent and overcome challenges. Let the word “possible in Jesus” take hold of you. Let your faith create new meaning, in your life.

This is the power we experience when we tell the story of Jesus. The story gives a vision, a desire and a drive. Through his own story, Christ creates those who have faith. Jesus creates believers. Jesus himself sustains them. When the story of Jesus is told, people realize that Jesus is the center of everything. When you know the center, you will find that everything works according to your faith.

Paul understood this. So, he asked people to pray always. The reason is because he believed, “Jesus gave everything, his human life, his death. Don’t you think Jesus would now take care of your life?”

Ad from Amazon.com: Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time [EAT THAT FROG 3D]

4.12.2009

John 9 (Dramatized)

JESUS (V.O.): My students and I were walking through some of busy streets of New York. We saw a blind man from birth.

THE STUDETNS: (causally) Pastor, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?

Jesus: (casually) Listen. You are not here to find someone to blame. Try and see what God can do. We are here to work for the One who sent me here.
I am here to shine my light. So, as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. That is what I mean by saying, “I am the Light to the world.”

JESUS (V.O.): Then I spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man's eyes:

JESUS : Go, wash yourself.

JESUS (V.O.): The man went and washed, and saw.
Soon, the town was buzzing. His relatives and those who year after year had seen him as a blind man begging were saying

PERSON 1 : Why, isn't this the man we knew, who sat here and begged?

PERSON 2: It's him all right!
PERSON 3 : NO, it's not the same man at all. It just looks like him.

THE HEALED : It's me, the very one!

PERSON 3 : What? Hey… How did you get your eyes opened?

THE HEALED : A man named Jesus made a paste and rubbed it on my eyes and told me, 'Go and wash.' I did that. When I washed, I was able to see.

PERSON 1 : Really, what is that man?
THE HEALED : I don't know.

JESUS (V.O.): It turns out the healed belongs to a religious group. The leaders of his group didn’t like that I made the paste and healed his blindness on the Sunday, their Sabbath day. So, he was brought to one of their buildings and asked about the incident.

THE HEALED : He put a clay paste on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see.

LEADER 1: Obviously, this man can't be from God. He doesn't keep our holy day holy.
LEADER 4: How can a bad man perform this miracle? It is really a God-revealing thing.

LEADER 3: (after discussing among themselves) You're the expert. He opened your eyes. What do you think he is?

THE HEALED : He is a prophet.

LEADER 4: (Looking at the other leaders) I cannot believe this guy. (Looking back at the healed) Are you really born like that? I mean, were you blind to begin with? …And now you got your sight…

LEADER 5: Let’s call his parents.

LEADER 4: (They brought the parents) Is this your son?

THE PARENTS : Yes sir. He is our son.

LEADER 4: Is he really born blind?

THE PARENTS : Yes sir. We know he was born blind.

LEADER 5: Then, how is it that he sees?

THE PARENTS : Well, we don't know really. We haven't a clue about who opened his eyes. Why don't you ask him?

JESUS (V.O.): His parents are talking like this because they are intimidated by the leaders, who they know that anyone who take a stand that I am the Leader would be not welcomed in their meeting place. And their related business relation will suffer. That's why his parents say, “Ask him.”

They called the healed man back a second time.

LEADER 1: Give credit to God, because we see that this man is very questionable.

THE HEALED : I don’t know about that. But I know one thing for sure: I was blind, but now I see.

LEADER 4: What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?

THE HEALED : I've told you already. Now you want to hear it again. Do you want to become his students?

LEADER 2: (With that, they were all over him.) You might be a student of that man, but we're students of the Bible. We know for sure that God spoke in the Bible, but we have no idea where this man even comes from.

THE HEALED : That is amazing! You claim to know nothing about him, but the fact is, he opened my eyes! It's well known that God listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does the will of God. That someone opened the eyes of a man born blind has never been heard of, ever! Because this man is from God, he was able to do just that.

LEADER 1: You're nothing but dirt! Get out. How dare you trying to teach us!
JESUS (V.O.): When I heard that they had thrown him out, I went and found him.

Jesus: Do you believe in the human being?

THE HEALED: Point him out to me, sir. I am going to believe in him.

Jesus: You're looking right at him. Don't you recognize my voice?

THE HEALED: Master, I believe! (The healed man prostrates himself before Jesus.)

JESUS: I came into the world to bring the clear light, making all the clear, so that those who have never seen will see.


Next?
Related link

If you like to have a dramatic presentation for your church, you may like this?

4.11.2009

Passion of Christ

Jesus walked through the death, just like Jesus walked over the water. When Jesus see the sign, “Impossible” he walk through it and make it possible.

If Jesus were born today, you might want to send him all over the world for his preaching ministry. But two thousands years ago, Jesus lived within a small part of the world. That is, Jesus traveled a lot within the Palestine, within 120 miles.

If Jesus had traveled outside of the Palestine, Jesus wouldn’t have died. But Jesus recognized the enormous works done by his Father for the Jews. The faithfulness of his Father was to be revealed through his life. By being faithful to the Jews who didn’t always faithful to his Father, Jesus revealed the unconditional love of his Father.
The ancient promises for the Jews were fulfilled in Jesus.

Is there any person who changed the world through Jewish fishermen?

Whether his loving human beings were faithful, Jesus was faithful, because Jesus could not deny himself.

This unconditional love is manifested, today.
This is the faithfulness that we see in Jesus.
There is no way Jesus could stop loving.
There is no way Jesus could stop faithful.
There is no way Jesus could stop compassionate.

I think if you learn of the meaning of the life of Jesus, you start living your life in a purpose. You learn that you cannot help but to tell people about Jesus.

Think about this, and let me know what you are thinking at twitter.

4.08.2009

Matthew 26:30-36

Jesus, the night and prayer


Jesus sung a hymn with his students after the Passover meal. (Matt 26: 30)
It looks like a regular night on the Mountain of Olive. But only Jesus knows that this night will be specially remembered forever.

Matthew observed that as Jesus was about to be crucified, Jesus prayed for strength. Jesus even asked his three key students to sit near him while he went “over there and pray.” (Matthew 26:36)

Jesus knew that he had to remain there while Judas was bringing the soldiers. Jesus would not run away. It was an amazingly important night. Jesus felt all over him. So, Jesus came to his Father for strength. He needed to strengthen his will to do what his Father and he agreed with.

His students don’t understand what is going to happen. So, Jesus cannot depend on his students for a comfort. Rather it is he who is going to protect them, from soldiers. It explains the faithfulness of Christ. Jesus keeps every student in his care. Every student is in the loving hands of Christ.

Since no one could really understand his concern, he chose a solitary place to be with his Father. There, Jesus prayed for his life. Jesus was still the human. By struggling with his Father he chose not to pretend that he had obtained a mental detachment from his body.

But Jesus obeyed the divine wisdom. Jesus chose to do the will of his Father. He knew that he came for this. Through prayer Jesus became bold. Out of this prayer, Jesus stood up to face anything. Jesus was able to go through what every human feared most at his time. Jesus was still the divine.

Jesus must have remembered the old decision that he made with his Father and the Holy Spirit. Remembering the old decision, Jesus brings himself up again.

Matthew remembered that Jesus sung his prayer. Jesus prayed many ways. Jesus sung Psalms. On the cross, Jesus interceded for those who were eager to kill him. In a sense, Jesus was praying for his own “enemy.”

Jesus prays quoting Psalms even on the cross. Jesus says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Mark 15:34)” and Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. (Luke 23:46)” These are from Psalm 22 and Psalm 31. These particular Psalms are explaining the nature of his life.

It is frightening to think that Jesus knows it from the beginning that he is to face the crucifixion. It is imaginable that Jesus is getting up frightened by his nightmare or the coming day of his crucifixion. That must have caused a lot of stress. For this reason, we must be so happy for Jesus that it is all finished.
Jesus is a good friend of prayer. That is where Jesus makes his decision. Jesus is making a plan with his Father. Jesus discusses with his Father and Jesus rests having made a decision. Through this process Jesus understands the will of his Father.
Through his death and resurrection Jesus opens a new door of prayer. Jesus opens the door to pray in the Spirit of Christ. Then, the students become familiar with prayer. They pray for people and ask for prayer for themselves. As they meet Jesus through prayer the students becomes one.

For example, once Peter was kept in prison. Then the church prayed for him. (Acts 12:5) Then, Peter was freed by an angle. After that, Christ Jesus brought Peter right back to the room where they were praying. God was so funny.

There is sufficient grace in Jesus. We are discovering the divine grace through meeting Jesus in prayer. Moses also learns that through prayer, salvation come. (Exodus 17:11)

Jesus answers prayer, because it is a way to connect to his students. Praying and getting an answer from Jesus builds a relationship. It is a way to learn who Jesus is.

Prayer is so important for the early student of Jesus, Paul. He says “pray without ceasing!” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Why? Look at the life of Jesus. Jesus shows how we are to live. In the story of Jesus prayer and our salvation is intertwined.

Can you welcome Christ into your lives? Can you let Christ abide in you and become greater part of your lives? Can you let go and let God? Can you come to Christ “With Open Hands”? Can you ask for help? Can you call out for your salvation? Can you pray for grace? Can you pray for others?

4.07.2009

Thank you!

Jesus, thank you for coming to us and making us anew and giving us abundant life.
Thank you for living in us until we may reign with you forever.
Thank you for filling us with your Holy Spirit.
Thank you for enabling us to be the salt of the earth and light for the world.
Thank you for guiding our eyes to see, our ears to hear, our hands to serve, our lips to praise you, our hearts to love, and our feet to follow you.
May we truly worship you today.
Thank you!
In Jesus name, we pray.
Amen.

4.03.2009

Jesus and Mary

It is so amazing.

I have been noticing how Jesus was able to communicate with the lady who came in tear and wiped it out from the feet of Jesus and poured the expensive ointment out on his feet.
What really happens to her heart?
How is Jesus able to reach into her heart like that?

We know that Jesus is partying with the sinners and outcasts.
We know now that in those moments, Jesus plants so deep gratefulness into her heart.

Jesus communicates with her.
She understands the grace.
She doesn’t just like him. She really loves him, honors him and respects him.

In turn Jesus was so fascinated by her devotion. Jesus said to his students, “You go and tell about her whenever you tell my story. I want her to be honored. I want her heart, her understanding and her actions to be remembered. It will heal people. It will be a great part of my salvation story… Wow, I can see now. People like her will be so moved. Oh! I see a community will be formed, as well. It is fantastic!”
Do you see the gentleness of Jesus there? Then, you can also experience Jesus who is gentle and even soft. Jesus turns her tears and guilt into a greatest joy.

She feels the joy of Jesus hearing these words, since Jesus is so important to her. This is the day she feel a greatest joy. In that room, there are so many others. But she recognizes only one person in the room. She is validated by the very one.

According to John, the gospel writer, the name of this lady was Mary. Right after Jesus was resurrected; Mary was also the one who wept so hard when she couldn’t find the body of her Lord, because she thought somebody took his body away. She wept. Then, Jesus appeared to her immediately to comfort. (John 20) Jesus was so moved by her emotion. When Jesus was so moved by it, Jesus wanted you to read about, and remember, and think about it again and again. In this way Jesus is coming deeper and deeper to one’s heart.

(To be continued)

Share/Save/Bookmark
Subscribe

4.01.2009

John 3:18-36

Figuratively speaking, the Light came into the world. (A pause) Those whose ways are true are delighted and run to the Light. In this way, they come out into the Light, so that it might be clear that his or her ways are really rooted in God.


JESUS (V.O.): Next day, my students and I were doing some baptizing. There was a lot of water. People were coming to me and getting dipped.

Then a certain MAN came to John and told him.

A CERTAIN MAN: Pastor, you remember that fellow who was with you, and who you praised all the time? Guess what! Now he’s dipping and everybody is joining up with him!

JOHN: …We receive what is given from above. I told you, “I am not the Christ, but I was sent ahead of him.”

It is like this. Let’s say it is a wedding. Who is the bridegroom here? He is the one with the bride. I am his friend stand with the groom and share his joy. That’s why I’m so happy. His movement must grow, because he comes from above. He is everything. This spiritual man is above all.

I have told you what I have seen and heard. Take my words seriously… And become an evidence yourself that God is true.

JESUS (V.O.): John was sent from God to bear God’s message. God fully equips him with the Spirit…

The Father loves me and has put me in charge of everything. When you live in me, you have spiritual life. When you obey me, you catch an abundant life. God’s pleasure will be with you.