1.30.2012

Matthew 13:31-33

ppt
"The kingdom of God"
Reading: Matthew 13:31-33

Jesus told many stories.
Many of his stories were told to explain about “the kingdom of God.”
He said “the kingdom of God is like this or like that.”
In this way, he often explains about who he was.

Jesus didn’t like to say, “I am the kingdom of God.”
Jesus knew that people would experience this kingdom of God, as they discover Jesus is the kingdom of God.

Jesus said that the kingdom of God was not a location.
So, you can not say the kingdom of god is here or there.
The kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)
So, you need to find the presence of Jesus within you.
So, you need to find the kingdom of God within you.
Then you experience it is Jesus who is working within you.

Let’s me explain what it means.
Let’s read a short story that Jesus told about the kingdom of God.

First, Jesus said something like this:
“The kingdom of God is like a small mustard seed.
It is so small that it could not even be a lunch of a small bird.
But this seed is planted in the field.
Then it grows.
Then it becomes bigger than any vegetables in the garden.
Then the birds come and build their nests in its branches.”

This mustard seed is the life of Jesus.
When you have him in your heart, you experience that the life of Jesus grows in you.

It is like this.
In the beginning, you only know a little bit of Jesus.
You cannot really explain well who Jesus is.
But the more you ponder about his words in your hearts, the more you experience him in your life.
Then you learn more enough to identify who Jesus is and what Jesus is like.

Jesus provides good teachings and energy so that you may grow.
You may sense his peaceful and patient presence.
This Jesus will help you when you make various decisions.
When you make decisions, try to depend on Jesus.
Then Jesus will guide you through his peaceful presence.

Then more and more you may be able to identify God’s small voice.
Then you will know how to live like Jesus.
Your character may also change as you follow Jesus.
You will become more like Jesus.

It is like this.
Sometimes, when you pray, you are not sure whether God is hearing you out.
You may wonder: does God listening to my prayer?
But soon you see the result of your prayer.
Then your faith will grow.

It is like this.
In the beginning, you may not understand why Jesus says:
“Love your enemy.”
But when you hear it and try to follow it, you may find it difficult.
Then you may wonder why Jesus did say this.
But still you try to love your enemy.
You keep on trying.
Then you discover the very heart of God.
You will discover that the very Spirit of God working for you.

Those who are close to you may not understand why you want to forgive, love and bless the enemy.
They may feel like you are not loyal to them, by forgiving the enemy.
But anyway, you try.
You bless them.
You bless everyone and your friends.
Then you experience that your minds are cleansed and your hearts become calm.
Then God may be able to heal people and reconcile people through you.
Then God’s protection will slowly show up in the life of people around you and in your own life.
God will show that God recognize your action, decision and obedience.
You will be glad seeing many good results of your efforts and prayers.
Then you want to obey God more because you realize God can build something good and meaningful through you.

When you live like that, God may be able to use you as a leader of people.
God will work behind the scene where no one notices.
God will support you.
Then you will start to see more fruits through your life.
As you live humbly, you may produce better fruits.
Then God will use you more, because God can work with you and through you easily.

So, today God is trying to plant a hope, faith, and love in you.
God is trying to plant the Kingdom of God in you through Jesus Christ.
So, let this hope, faith, and love of Jesus grows in you.
Then, God can abundantly bless you and people around you.
It will be easier for God to support you and work.
So, God may use you his leader to serve people.



note:
So, Jesus said something like this:
“The kingdom of God is like yeast.
A woman mixes it up into a lot of flour.
Then this yeast works all through the dough and makes it rise.”

The mind of Jesus is this yeast.
In the mind of Jesus, there is always hope, faith, love, compassion, patience, humility, gentleness and kindness.
God likes to mix this mind of Jesus into your mind.
When the mind of Jesus is gradually mixed into your mind, it will produce peace in your hearts.
Even your inner life becomes calmer.
Then you tend to listen well when the Holy Spirit whispers to you.

Then you will feel what God feels, in various situations.
You may feel pain when God feels pain.
You may feel joy when God feels joy.
You may think like God.
You will be patient, because God is patient.
The more the mind of Jesus operates in you like this, the more love and peace become more important in your hearts.

Then you don’t like violence.
You don’t like violent games and violent songs and so on.
So, you don’t want to watch violent game, drama and movie.
More and more you want to stay far away from any forms of sin.

Gradually, you will experience that Christ Jesus lives within you and through you.
Then people around you will also feel God’s hand at work through your life.
Your words will have power.
People around you may also sense the value of believing in God.
You will be grateful.
You will know that God’s grace is sufficient for you.

What kind of hope, faith and love of God grow in you?
How does the life of Jesus grow in you?

1.14.2012

Matt 7: 7-12

ppt 1
ppt 2
Ask! Seek! Knock!
Reading: Matthew 7:7-12

Two thousand years ago, Jesus wants to introduce the faith to the poor.
In order to do so, Jesus became a friend to the uneducated.
Jesus became a friend to those who feel that living is just too difficult.
They felt tired and becoming forgotten.
Jesus came to those who didn’t even have enough hope left to ask God for help again.

(2) Looking at them, Jesus took courage and said:
“If you ask, you will receive.
If you seek, you will find.
If you knock, the door will be opened, because I have come to teach just that. (Matthew 7:7-8)
Your life will be changed according to your prayer.
It may not happen overnight.
But you will become what you are praying for.
As you start asking, seeking and knocking, you will start operating your faith.
Then you will find your hope.
You will change your future.”

(3) In Mark 11: 24, concerning faith, Jesus even said this:
“Pray. Then believe that you have received what you prayed. Then it will be yours.”

Pray and feel peaceful about it. Then it will show up in your life.
What you can pray in peaceful and humble faith is yours.
God will take action.
God will work through you.

In order to introduce this thought of faith, Jesus decides to show them how to live in faith. Jesus shows them how God manifests based on his hope and faith. Jesus shows them how to live a peaceful and purposeful life according to the will of God.

So, Jesus heals their sickness.
Then Jesus heals every person who comes to Jesus.
To some of them, Jesus said, “In this case, your faith has made you well.”
Jesus happily point out, “This is it!” when their faith start operating.
Jesus loves to work with these thoughts of faith and hope of them.
So, they tasted the eternal life.

Then ten lepers came to Jesus asking him to heal.
But Jesus wasn’t surprised, and didn’t worry.
He believed that God was able to heal the lepers.
So, he Jesus healed them through this faith.

When Jesus thinks somebody need to follow him and learn his way of life, he simply asks in faith, “Follow me!!!” then they follow him!
Faith says to him: “Have a go. If you think this is what God wants you to do, have a go. Some people are going to follow you simply because you ask. This is the will of God.”
Because Jesus had this mind of faith, Jesus was able to carry out his ministry.

Meditating on this Jesus, we experience change.
We learn to have a hope again.
We prayerize our worry and anxiety.
We believe that God wants to be with us, leading us and guiding us.

Humble faith convinces us saying God is still with you.
Humble faith says God has chosen you.
Thus humble faith asks us to share the story of Jesus so that more people can use their mind wisely and effectively for God.
This humble faith will lead you to those places where without faith no one can come.

What is humble faith?
Humble faith encourages you saying “You grow and mature through problems. Even through sufferings in life, God will help you to learn more of faith that really helps people.”

Now let’s think about Jesus again.
Jesus was a carpenter.
He grew up in a village where some people looked down upon.
Jesus didn’t have any prestige theological education.
He belonged to a people group that was treated badly in his own country.
Jesus didn’t know any powerful people who could help him to become the Messiah or the king.
The only person who believed in him was John the Baptist who lived in the wilderness.
But Jesus took the first step in faith.
Without knowing all the things that would happen, he just started his ministry.

But soon he realized that he had to die and rise again.
So, he mentioned about his death and resurrection, again and again to his students.

Then one day, Peter, one of his students, was sick and tired of hearing this. He was like “This is wrong. It was impossible. It is too dangerous. Nobody has done this. You don’t have to do that! We must have a better plan. Let’s find another way.”

(6) In faith he saw what Peter didn’t see.
Jesus thought that it was possible and trusted that he would not fail.
Of course, Jesus was scared of his painful death on the cross.
He was sacred of the humiliation and embarrassment.
But he knew he would rise again.
Faith helps Jesus to be sure of what he hopes for.
Faith says to him: “God knows and God is in control! You can do all things through God who strengthens you! God is for you. Who can be against you!” So, Jesus was sure of what was going to happen.

So, Jesus tried.
He was fearful. So he prayed even harder.
Then he went ahead to Jerusalem to be captured and dead.

Then after three days, Jesus rose from the death.
Then Jesus came to his students and said, “Peace be with you! Faith works! Look at my hands! Look at my feet!”

Then Jesus was peaceful, because Jesus took away the sin of the world.
Jesus chose this way because he thought that there was no another way for human beings to be forgiven inside out.
The love of God must manifest in this fashion.

Before coming of Jesus, God has tried to have a good relationship with the humans. But God failed many times.
Then God found the way after many failures.
God was able to express God’s love to us in showing how the obedient death of Jesus could produce the resurrection of Jesus.
Initially, the crucifixion itself might look like another failure.
Through the cross, God opened a door for us to come to God.
So now we can now talk with God freely.

God is forgiveness.
God is love!
God is compassion.
All God can do is love.
In Jesus, this love manifests in your life.

God loves you!
So, God is asking you: “What makes you peaceful? What moves you? What makes you smile? What frees you? What gives you new power? What is your prayer list? What are you asking God to do here and now?”
God wants you to live in peace, joy, righteousness.

(7) Encouraging people to pray, Jesus said: (Matthew 7:9-11) “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are not good as God, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your God in heaven give good gifts to those who ask God!”

God is responsive, because God is generous.
God is willing to give you what is good.
God desires you to have a good health and a meaningful life.
God has a wonderful plan for you.
God desires you to live like a god on earth living out God’s heart and goodness.

I believe that Jesus has already planted good hopes within you.
So, I want to ask you again: What do you truly want? What is your true hope? What is your dream? What hopes that you cannot give up? What kind of hopes lives in you? How do you want to live that life? What is your calling in life and the purpose of your life? Think about it. Talk to God about it.

Allow God to give you good ideas, plans and awakening.
Allow yourself to walk on faith.
Many opportunities may be waiting for you.

(8) Then in order to tell people how to live in faith, in Matt 7:12, Jesus sums up the Bible in two sentences: What do you want people to treat you? Think about it. Then go and do it for them.

God asked God-self, what God wants people to do for God.
Then God decides to love patiently, and humbly.
So, when people knock doors of opportunity, God desires us to open it.
When people say, “There is no way,” God wants us to find another way for them. God answers our prayer, hoping that we will also respond to God, when God calls us.

God hopes that we love just like God loves.
God hopes that we become a giver and a helper, like God.
God hopes us to show kindness and try to reconcile between people.
So, God hopes that we be patient and endure those who may dislike us.

Your parents, children, and friends may require you to have a lot of patience.
“I am not going to be patient” “I am not going to feel pain because of you” means “I am not going to love.”
The more you love, the more you need to have patience.

(9) Jesus was able to live like this, because he lived thinking beautiful thoughts.
He thought those thoughts of faith.
In his mind, there is always hope, love and faith.

So, he didn’t remember someone’s wrong.
He didn’t get easily mad at something.

Then he is calling us to live like him.
Living like him has a spiral effect.
You give. God gives. You serve. God serve. You are patient. God is patient to you. In this way, the kingdom of God expands.
May you live like this serving many people.

1.11.2012

Philippians 2: 5-11

ppt

Christ Hymn
Reading: Philippians 2: 5-11

This is a well-known ancient hymn.
It is called as “Christ Hymn” or “Song of Christ.”
In first or second century, people were singing these songs.
It explains how humbly Jesus lives his life.
It is about sharing the mind with Jesus.

Then it asks:
“Have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus.
Though he was God, he didn’t use the power or his being of God selfishly for his own ends.
But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself.
It wasn’t just pretending to be humble but an obedient submission to the point of death—even death on a cross, because of who he was.
He didn’t think “what good was it to be humble?”

So, in God’s way, God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus was the very God who created everything.
But Jesus voluntarily humbled himself to lift people up.
He became a human.
As if it was not enough, Jesus became a servant.
As if it was not enough, Jesus was crucified by the mere humans.
How can this be?

Watching all these, God is amazed and so moved by his humility, obedience, and love.
He didn’t lose his love at that.
No one can move God’s heart like him.
So, God honors Jesus to the highest place so that all people can see.

God is like:
“You are the most beautiful. You are the best! The most people try to move up. You try to move down. That is right. If they try to go up, they get down. If they try to go down, they get up.
When people humble themselves they are honored.
In humility, people experience me.

There is no one like you.
You can be the truly, beautiful king.
You are a patient king.
You have shown to your people what is inside of you.
In this way, you have shown how humble God is and what is in the heart of God. Wow!”

In Jesus, all powerful God is defined by humble service.
Jesus is the King who comes to serve.
Throwing away his pride, he lives out God’s mind/wisdom.

In a sense, Jesus throws away his ego.
He throws away pride.
He didn’t come to show and say, “See, I am God. So, I can do this or do that.” Then God would hide his face in shame.

He throws away everything that does not show the nature of God.
He embraces the mind of God.
In humility and patience, God’s wisdom is experienced.

Singing these songs, the early students of Jesus also want to throw away their pride and choose humility like Jesus.
They decided to look at the humble Jesus, because then they could form a community.
They decide to look at the humble Jesus.
They are saying humility eventually leads to true happiness.
Without humility, it is difficult to live out one’s calling.
Why?
Because God will be very uncomfortable working together with him or her.

Having this mind of Jesus, we can be the person whom they truly want to be.

Through his life, Jesus is saying:
“Do you want to know your true potential in God?
Then throw away your pride.
Choose humility and patience every day.
You patiently live out your call, no matter how humble you may feel at the moment.
That is what God thinks it is beautiful.
God likes to work with people like them.
Then God can make something beautiful through them.
Often Jesus says:
You don’t have to try to look good, because then you may ignore your inner reality/mind/appearance.
God is not blessing you because you made things look fancy.
God is blessing you because you have the inner quality.
It is possible when we think long term.
Think eternity.
Have an eternal perspective."

Jesus lives thinking in terms of eternity, not 33 years..
Jesus humbly takes his cross all the way to the Calvary thinking of eternity.
So, for eternity, Jesus Christ is glorified.

As we pray, may we offer humble prayer, in humble faith, and humble vision.



Note:
Read: Phil 2:5-7

Because the Son of God, who was equal with God but emptied himself to be born in the likeness of a human and died, his death became a cosmic event.

Note:
Jesus = humility = God
Jesus = Patience = God

Jesus didn’t say, “I am the one who was crucified, not you.”

God does not say to Jesus, “I am the one who helped you.”
Jesus does not say to God, “I am the one who love people like that.”
Jesus does not say to Holy Spirit: “You are so introvert.”
Holy Spirit does not say to Jesus: “don’t be so proud. When you are baby Jesus, you were so funny. I was working hard to protect you.”
Jesus does not say to Holy Spirit, “You haven’t been born as a human.”
Holy Spirit does not say to Jesus: “I didn’t want to.”

If this kind of conversation happened, and trinity was disunited, it is more hurtful than explosion of an atom.