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!"

9.05.2009

Matthew 5, 6, 7

Reading: Matthew 5, 6, 7

Do you want to understand the mind of Jesus Christ?
Reading the teachings of Jesus, we may learn the mind of Jesus easily.
Matthew chapter 5, 6, and 7 provides the collections of Jesus sayings.
As we read we can think about:
What makes him joyful?
What is his theology?
What is his philosophy in life?

Following is an imaginative summary of Matthew 5, 6 7.
I am trying to act out Jesus just to help you imagine how Jesus might have told this part of teaching. Here we go:

I saw the crowds following me.
But I continually went up on a mountainside.
They were continually following me.
So, I sat down waiting my students to come near to me.
Then, I told them what I believe in my heart.

If you feel poor spiritually, you are already in the kingdom of Christ.
It is okay to mourn, because you will be comforted.
It is ok to be meek.
You will inherit the earth.
Show patience, humility, and gentleness.

I know you want to do the right thing.
Keep at it, and you will be satisfied.
Are you a compassionate person whose hearts so soft and loyal?
Good for you! You will experience God’s compassion for yourself.
You are lucky, if your heart is pure. You will see God.
Is it important for you to have peace in your society?
Aha! You are already children of God. (Rom 8:19)

Have you ever persecuted because you were doing something right?
Were considered strange because you were doing something right?
Believe me then. You will inherit the kingdom of Christ.
You will experience God.
Have you ever been insulted, persecuted or falsely accused, following me? Rejoice and be glad. You will be greatly rewarded.
Just like people had persecuted the prophets before you, they might persecute you, because you are now prophets in this age.

Now, I want to emphasize this.
Do not worry about your life!
Do not worry about what you will eat or drink.
Do not worry about your body, what you will wear.
Because you will be fine.
(Work hard and don’t worry?)

Go out.
Have a look at the birds of the air.
Do those birds sow, reap or store away in barns?
And yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Believe me.
You are much more valuable than they are.
So, don’t worry.

Also do not worry about clothes.
Instead, have a look at how the wild lilies grow.
They do not labor or spin.
Yet they are beautiful, aren’t they?
This is how God clothes the wild grass.
But these wild grasses can be here today and tomorrow may be thrown into the fire.
So don’t worry. Have some faith.
God clothes you much better.

When people don’t know who God is, they worry.
But you know the Father in heaven, don’t you?
Your Daddy knows exactly what you need.

So, seek first to share the story of Jesus and try to what is right in the eyes of God. As long as you do that, you will be surprised by having all those other things as well. God will take care of you. So, do what is right.

Do not worry about tomorrow.
Tomorrow is another day.
You could start anew with each new day with a refreshed mind.
So, stop worrying and start living the now.

Ask and it will be given to you.
Seek and you will find.
Knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; everyone who seeks finds; and to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Think about it.
If your son asks for bread, will you give him a stone?
If he asks for a fish, will you give him a snake?
I assure you that your God is more loving and kind than you.
God knows how to give good gifts to the children of God.
Believe me.
Your Father in heaven will give good gifts to those who ask him!

Let me stop here for a moment.
I feel like praying.
Let me pray:
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”

All things have been committed to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

So, come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

9.04.2009

Repetitive Reading

Practice what Jesus says.

Scriptural suggestions: 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.

1) Choose a short portion of the Gospel from above.
2) Ask for various volunteers to read the text.
3) Discus after each reading.

Example: let’s say we choose John 14: 1-4.

1) Read: John 14:1-4

2) Read again: John 14:1-4

3) Read again: John 14:1-4

4) Concluding prayer:

You may say together, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Note for leaders of the group:

Be sure to read the text and study it for awhile, before leading the group.
You will have many chances where you share your understanding with your group while discussing the text.

Repeat back to what you hear.
In this way, you validate their experience.
Highlight good thought or valuable comment, as each member of your group shares their thoughts.

Note:
Ask the group whether they have any question about the text.
“Do you have any question or comment on the text?"
"Is there any word or phrase jumping at you?”
How does God speak to you?
Is there any word or phrase that speaks to you differently this time?
Encourage people to hare their thoughts.
Is there some words and thoughts give you peace?
What is the character of Jesus that you notice in the passage?
What kind of imagination do you have while reading this text?
In this time, what word or phrase speaks to you?

The process is the same.
Encourage people to share.
Be sure to share your understanding as well.

Have fun!
Thanks.

9.01.2009

Assurance of Pardon

Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come. We are forgiven and are at peace!

Mathematic Jesus

Mathematic Jesus


God = Father
God = Jesus
God = Holy Spirit

God = Jesus + Holy Spirit
God = Father + Jesus + Holy Spirit

God = Jesus – Holy Spirit
God = Holy Spirit – Jesus

∞ = ∞+∞+∞
∞ = ∞


Note:

Jesus +/- Nothing = Everything

Bulletin

Gathering the Community

Prelude

Call to worship (Unison)

Jesus, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in human likeness, Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Let us worship God.

Hymn # 316

Opening prayer (Unison)

Jesus, light of our hearts, since your resurrection, you always come to us. Whatever point we may be at, you are always waiting for us. And you tell us: Come to me, you who are overburdened, and you will find relief.

Praise Anthem

Prayer of Confession (Responsively)

Leader: Have pity, Christ, we have sinned against you.
All: Pardon, Christ, for all your People.
Leader: I confess my fault before you, and I will hide my guilt no longer.
All: Search and test me, Christ, try my heart and my desire.
Leader: In loving kindness answer, in your tenderness regard me.
All: Forget all my wrongs, and remember me in your love.

Silent prayer of personal confession

Words of Assurance (Responsively)

Leader: Christ is our pardon and goodness. Christ buries our past and opens new doors for our future.
All: Jesus heals our eyes so that we may see his way, truth and life.
Leader: Christ enables us to walk in faith so that we may live according to his good will for all people.
All: Christ nourishes our hearts so that our hearts may be free to worship God.

Hymn

Scripture Reading Mark 3: 1-6 Matthew 11:25-30

A time with Children

Meditation “Does Jesus work on Sunday: I mean, on the Sabbath?”

Offertory

Hymn# 324

Invitation to the Lord’s Table

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

The Lord be with you. And also be with you.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Let us pray…

Works of Institution and the Lord’s Supper

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Hymn # 322

Benediction

Leader: May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

All: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

Postlude