1.30.2013

Matthew 5:1-12 (2)

ppt

8 Blessings
Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
Blanks: comforted, mercy, God, rejoice
Similar Words: meek – gentle; mourn – regret, sad; persecute - annoy persistently, bother

(1) These are 8 kinds of blessings or 8 kinds of blessed people that Jesus talks about today.
But it seems that we can say that these are eight steps toward our spiritual growth, or spiritual maturity, too.
That is, as we get to know Jesus, we may grow like this, following each step.
It is possible. So, let’s think about it.

1. For example, Jesus said that the first blessing is like this:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
We may understand it like this.
Our spiritual growth starts when we become spiritually hungry, or when we feel poor in spirit.
In other words, when we want to know Jesus, we start to grow.

Next, Jesus said the second blessing is like this:
2. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
We may understand it like this.
As we get to know Jesus, we may start to regret the fact that we didn’t pay attention to Jesus before.
As we become closer to Jesus, we wished that we have known this Jesus sooner.
We might regret that we didn’t pay attention to God enough.
We might wish that we have lived a different life.
We might feel sorry for our wrongdoings.
We might feel sorry for our spiritual laziness.
We might feel sad about this.
We might wish that we have used our life for God more.
Feeling like this, we may return to God.

(1) Then God may say to us:
“That is ok.
I am happy that you came back.
I will restore your lives.
I can bless you now even more.
Let me bring you to the right places.
Then you will flourish there, and be more useful.”

Like this, God may welcome us and make us live more fully.
(2) So, like this, let’s think about following each blessing as well.

3. The third one is like this:
This blessing may explain that when we experience God, our hearts will start to change.
You will become gentler.
You will become more generous.
You will become more kind.
You will become more patient.
That is, as you get to know God, you become like God.
You become like Jesus.
You become more and more like Jesus.

(1) Then what would happen?
People will get to know God through you.
Even when you don’t know, you will show them who God is.
God may speak to them through you.
They will learn more of God.
They may learn to listen to God.
Then they may make good decisions based on God’s will.
They may learn to do the things that God is pleasing and blessing.

4. Then as Jesus trains you a bit more, you will understand what is truly important.
You will choose to do what is right.
You can do what is right, because God lives in you.
You will do some good works.
You can really help people

(2) For example, you may try to create a society where everyone is welcome.
Or you may pray in order to include everyone into your circle of love.
Or, you may try to create a peaceful atmosphere wherever we go.

Because you want to have peace, you may help people to live peacefully.
Then you may find yourself living your life making the world more peaceful.

5. Next, doing that kind of ministry, you may become more merciful.
You may become merciful to yourself and become merciful to others.
You may become merciful, because you understand people and you understand God.

6. Next, the more you grow in Jesus like this, the more Jesus inspires you to think pure thoughts.
Jesus inspires you to think good thoughts.
Then as you think pure thoughts, you help Jesus to make this world pure.
When you think good thoughts, you help God to live in you.
When you think pure thoughts, you help God to help you to live a holy life.
So, you may examine your hearts, to maintain your heart pure.
Jesus may also empower you to think pure thoughts.

7. Next, you may understand what kind of world God wants to make.
That is, you will wish for peace.
You will pray for peace in this world.
You try to make peace in this world.

First, because you your find inner peace in Jesus, you understand about peace.
Because you feel peace in your heart, you cherish this peace.
You want to help people to experience this peace.
Then when people find this peace in their hearts, because of you, they will also live for peace like you.
And when these kinds of people increase in our society, there may be peace.

8. Next, you may grow even more.
You may gain some more understanding.
Living for Jesus and speaking for Jesus, you may be even willing to suffer awhile.

You know those who didn’t like the teachings of Jesus might not like yours, either.
So, you may experience some kinds of persecution.
Some people may complain about you.
Some people may lie about you.
Some people may insult you.

(1) But even in those times, you will try to build peace.
You will choose to create peace, even when you suffer.
You will bless those who persecute you.
You will try to bless them, like Jesus did.
Then because of you, the ideas of Jesus will be spread.

Because you know how much God loves everyone, you want them to live in peace and you love to build the true peace in this world.

But you also know that in order to create peace, you need God.
(2) So, you pray.
You pray for peaceful relationships and peaceful societies.
You pray for peace between denominations and between religions.
You pray for peace between nations.

In this way, you will help the world to find peace.
You will help the world to find the right path.
You will help the world to understand what is important.
You will help the world to experience God.
You will help the world know Jesus.

(3) So, the more you know Jesus, the more you may live like this.
The more you get to know Jesus, the more you may live like this.
Then you will see the good result of your life.

And because you seek the happiness of this world like this, you will also find happiness for yourself as well.
Then, at the end, you will truly rejoice, knowing that you have lived a good and blessed life for the glory of God.

Let us pray:

1.22.2013

Matthew 6:25-34 (3)

ppt

Positive questioning
Reading: Matthew 6:25-34 (3)
K-hymns: 358, 359
Words: positive => good
Blanks: feeds, need, given

(2) Jesus said something like this:
“Don’t worry about anything.
Don’t worry about your future.
Don’t worry about your health.
Because you worry, you may make things worse by worrying.
So, instead, trust that God will do good works in your life.

(1) Jesus was like:
“Look at the birds.
Look at the flowers.
God is taking care of them.
You are very important to God.
So, God will take good care of you.
Live one day at a time.
God knows what you need.
God feeds you and clothes you.
So, don’t worry.
Then think about the story of Jesus and listen to God.
Then God will take good care of the rest.”

Then some of us may ask like this:
Why do we have to stop worrying?
You know, when we worry, we may realize our problems.
Then we can try to solve it.

But the worry that Jesus is talking about is something more than that.
Worry is like imagining worst scenario.
Worry is expecting the worst possible situation.
Then since you worry like that, you may become fearful.
When you are fearful, you may not be able to think in terms of faith.
Then because you are fearful and afraid, you may make mistakes.
It may make you think something wrong and say something wrong.
Then you may be bothering other people and annoy them.
You may not even be able to do where God wants you to do.
Instead, you may open the door of actualizing the very thing you fear.

(2) Besides, worry can suck your energies out of you.
Worry tends to leave you powerless.
So, you become tired.
You don’t want to do anything else.
You cannot enjoy your life.

Here is another thing.
Worry gives birth to another worry.
(3) Worry invites more worries.
If you start worrying about things, you may have more things to worry about.
Some problems may occur just because you have worried about it.
Some problems may happen, because you worry.

Why is that?
Because when we worry, we focus on it.
We think about it and put our energy into it.
So it may happen in our life.
It is because somehow your worry becomes your prayer.
Without knowing, you may really believe that it would happen.
So, it may happen.

(3) So, Jesus gently speaks to us sometimes:
“Don’t worry!
Listen to me.
Trust me.
I can make your life go smoothly and nicely.
I am doing something good in your life.”

But then another problem may be that sometimes, we don’t know how to stop worrying.
We may not know how.
How can we stop worrying?
How can we believe in God and serve God instead?

So, here is something we can do to stop worrying.
It is by asking some positive questions.

For example, if you find yourself worry about someone, you may ask:
What if that person lives a healthy and happy life for all his or her life?
(2) What if that person finds their dream job and lives a good life?
What if that person makes this world a better place to live in?
What if that person learns to understand others and serve them?

If you worry about yourself, you may ask some positive questions like this saying:
What if I would live a healthy life for all my life?
What if everybody wants to help me? Then how should I behave?
What if everybody loves me? What should I do then?
How can I handle that popularity?
How should I then keep myself humble?
What if people love to listen to what I have to say?
What if my family loves to listen to what I say?
How can I live in the way that God wants me to live?

If you have some health problem, you may ask:
“What if my present bad health rather serves me to become healthier later?
What if I live a healthy life even in my 90s?
Then how should I live my life now?”

We may become fearful and worrisome when we try to do something new, like going to another country, going to a new school, or starting new sports.
When we face some challenge in our life, we may worry.

(1) Peter was like that, too.
Do you remember Peter who follows Jesus?
He was a fisherman, when he first met Jesus.
Jesus asked him to forget about his nets and to follow him.
It means that Peter needed to change his job.
But he had his family to take care of.
However, Jesus said to him:
“Fear not. Don’t worry. Trust me!”

Then, Peter believed that everything would go well.
Whenever he worried, he might have asked himself:
What if because I follow Jesus, God will take good care of my family even more?
What if my study with Jesus goes well and then I can teach my children really well?
What if my following of Jesus becomes so good and beneficial to all of us?
What if because I follow Jesus, we all can do what God asks of us?

Likewise, when we begin a new thing, we may worry a bit.
Then, we can ask ourselves these questions:
What if everything goes well?
What if everything moves smoothly?
What if it turns out to be a blessing to all of us?
What if this becomes the best things ever happened to me and to us?

Here is another thing.
Sometimes, I see those who are very talented on something.
But they worry that other people may be jealous of them.
Have you been there?
(2) Then you may ask yourself:
What if my friend and neighbor rather enjoy with me?
What if your brother and sister rejoice with me and find happiness for their soul?

Then what would happen?
What would I do?
How can I keep myself humble and holy before God?
How can I use my life to help others?
Then in order to help others, what do I need to learn now?
What do I need to do next?
How can I share my blessing with others?
What can I give back to God and people?

Then as your mind answers those questions nicely, you may add at the end, “In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.”
Then that would be your prayer.
In that way, you may have a great prayer out of worry.
In this way, you may invite the Most Powerful God into your thoughts.
(2) Then we may live a healthy life trusting Jesus.
Then because you feel peaceful, things may go well.
You may learn to enjoy our life.
You may be able to do what God wants you to do, right?

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to think like you.
Help us to move on in faith.
Help us to begin new things in faith.
We pray this, in your name. Amen.

Note:
Make positive.
Surrender all to God.

Also when you worry, you can pray saying, "I pray that these kinds of things would not happen. In Jesus name. Amen."

1.21.2013

Luke 9:27-36 (2)

ppt

Jesus transformed
Reading: Luke 9:27-36
Additional readings: Hebrews 1:3-14, 2 Peter 1: 16-18
Blanks: Pray, Listen

(1) Jesus prayed a lot.
But a lot of times, Jesus prayed alone.
So, we don’t really know about what Jesus pray about.

But it seems he wants to be in conversation with God all the time.
It seems prayer is necessary for him to follow God.
It seems that the more Jesus prays, the more he can help people.

But how did Jesus pray?
How did Jesus discuss things with God?
What kind of feelings did he experience when he prayed?
Did Jesus experience something supernatural during his prayer time?

Jesus also prayed for a long time.
So, it seems it was very important for him to pray.
It seems that through prayer, Jesus figured things about his life.

Then, today Jesus invited his students into his prayer life.
It was because Jesus wanted to show his students who he really was.

Then as they enter into his prayer life, they realize who Jesus really is.
They learn Jesus is superior to any teacher.
They learn that Jesus is superior to any angels.
They learn that Jesus is fully God and fully human.
Then they learn that Jesus can really teach them about God and about God’s plan.

(2) The story goes like this.
Jesus went up on a mountain to pray.
This time, Jesus took three students with him: Peter, John and James.
When they went to a quiet place, Jesus started to pray.
Then the more Jesus prayed, the more his face has changed.
(2) His clothes became really, really, really bright.
(3) Then two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared also shining.

Now who is Moses?
(1) Moses is a prophet who lived on earth more than fifteen hundred years before the time of Jesus.
He was the one who receive Ten Commandments from God and gave to the people, right?
(4) What are Ten Commandments?
Do you remember?

(2) Next who is Elijah?
Elijah was also a prophet who lived on earth more than 8 hundred years before the time of Jesus.
Elijah served God well.
Then after finishing his ministry, Elijah went straight up to heaven to live there.

(3) Now these two people were visiting with Jesus.
Moses must have been about fifteen hundred years old by now.
Elijah was about 8 hundred years old.
But they both looked great.

They came to talk about the death and resurrection of Jesus.
They all agreed that Jesus needed to take up his cross and die in Jerusalem.
In their minds, it was so clear.
This is what Jesus had to do.
So, they asked Jesus to be courageous.

Jesus of course was willing to lose his life to save all people.
Jesus also knew that he has to die and rise again.
In this way, everyone will be forgiven and saved in Jesus.

(3) At this time, Peter, John and James waked up and saw Moses and Elijah.
Jesus helped them to recognize them, right away.
They also saw for the first time the shining Jesus.
This Jesus was little different.

Even though Jesus was living on earth, he was able to live in heaven too.
Jesus was able to talk with anyone who lived in heaven.

Many people studied about Moses and what he said.
But Jesus was talking with him directly.
People needed to study the bible to know about Elijah.
But Jesus talked with them to know about what they were thinking.
And because Jesus was in conversation with them, Jesus was able to teach really, really well.

But only three students saw this.
Some of you may wonder why Jesus showed it to only three people.
He could have shown to all the people.
(15) Jesus might have walked around like this shining.
But Jesus didn’t want to show off, like that.

Jesus wants to show only to these three who are very close to him.
They follow him faithfully, as leaders of his movement.
So, Jesus wants to show them more so that their faith may become stronger.

Here is the deal.
So, if you are close to Jesus, you will know more of him.
The more you learn of him, the more Jesus will teach you.
The more you learn of Jesus, the more you know of Jesus.
The more you follow Jesus, the more Jesus shows himself to you.
The more you join him in his prayer life, the more you will learn to pray.
The more you pray, the more you know that Jesus listens to your prayer.

(5) But this Peter was in shock.
He didn’t know what to do.
So, Peter spoke up:
"Jesus, I like this place.
Let us build three tents for you guys!
You guys just need to stay right here all the time."

But, before Peter making a mess out of this wonderful experience, God decided to appear.
(17) First, God sent some cloud.
The cloud came down.
Then when they were in the cloud, God said something like this:
"This is my Son.
I have chosen him.
Listen to him.
Peter, you need to listen to him. (smile)
He knows everything.
He can teach you all the truth."

God trusted Jesus.
God was very proud of this Son.
As for God, Jesus was the most important person in the world.
But God decided to give this Son to us.
In order to teach us, God sent Jesus to us, because Jesus can really show who God is.
Jesus knows exactly who God is.
Because Jesus was in conversation with God all the time.

So, it is important that we learn of God through Jesus Christ.
In fact, if we see Jesus, or understand Jesus, we understand God.
That is, if we are in Jesus, we are in God.

(18) Anyway then the cloud disappeared.
Then Jesus was left alone.

Then, Jesus asked his students not to tell anyone about what they have seen until he rose from the death.
Now why do you think Jesus ask them not to tell anyone about this?

I don’t know maybe Jesus wanted to pray alone.
If everyone knows what can happen when Jesus prays alone, they may want to see it.
They might secretly follow Jesus.
Then Jesus might not be able to pray alone.
Who knows!

Anyway now Jesus is in heaven.
Now he can listen to anyone.
When we pray, Jesus will appear.
(9) In fact, Jesus wants us to join him in his prayer life.
Jesus is calling us to enter into his life of prayer.
Because then God can really manifest in our life.
Then we will also know that Jesus really listens to our prayer.

How is your prayer life?
Do you pray?

As you pray, you may be able to work with Jesus.
As you pray, you may be able to help others to know Jesus.
As you pray for each nation and its people, you may learn how powerful your prayer can be.
Through your prayer, you can really serve God.

(10) But then how can we learn to pray?
We learn to pray by praying.
As you pray, God will teach you how to pray.
If you don’t give up, you will learn to pray.
It is something that we need to learn alone.

As we learn, we may be able to live like Jesus
Then we may follow Jesus.
We may be able to live humbly, in Christ, like Jesus, right?

Let us pray:

1.20.2013

Matthew 4:1-11

ppt
Reading: Matthew 4:1-11
a children sermon
Props: A flashlight that holds many batteries.

Do you know what this is?
Yes, it is a flashlight.
Let’s see what is inside.
It has two batteries.

Each battery has a plus side and a minus side.
You know that right?
So, if we put these batteries in the right direction, (Putting the batteries in a right way) then the flashlight will work.
See!
But when you put this battery in a wrong way, (putting batteries in a wrong way) this flashlight will not work.
Like this.
It doesn't work. (Show them)

Now let me tell you a story.
(1) A long time ago, Jesus went to a wilderness to pray.
(2) He was there for forty days without food, without cookies, without cupcakes.
So he was very hungry, right?

(3) Then a bad spirit came and said to Jesus that he should just forget about God and should listen to him, instead.
But, of course, Jesus refused to live like that.

But the bad spirit kept coming after him saying that he would give Jesus land and fame if only Jesus would just fall down and worship him.

Do you know what Jesus said?
Jesus said to the bad spirit to go away.
Jesus understood that this bad spirit was saying strange.
The bad spirit was saying:
“You don’t have to live like that.
You don’t have to put the batteries in the right way.”

But Jesus was saying:
“No, I have to live like this.
It is like this flashlight.
You have to put the batteries in the right direction.
Then the flashlight will work nicely.
Likewise, I have to live my life, listening to God.
I have to live right.
Then my life will work nicely.
My life will shine like this.
(Turn on the flashlight.)

Jesus knows how he should live, because Jesus knows the mind of God.
Jesus understands what God is thinking.
So, Jesus chose to live in the right way, listening to God.

(4) Then when Jesus chooses to live in the right way, then the angels came and served him a nice meal with cookies.

Through this story, Jesus is teaching us something.
What is it?
We also need to listen to God.
We also need to find the will of God for us.
We need to know what God wants from us.
Then as we obey, our life will work like this flashlight and like the life of Jesus.
Then as we follow the will of God, we will shine. (Turn on the flashlight)
Our life will produce something beautiful, valuable and nice, Right?

Let’s pray:
Thank you God for giving us your plan.
Help us to follow you all the way.
In your name, we pray. Amen.

1.14.2013

Mark 2:1-12 (2)

ppt
Let's go to Jesus
Reading: Mark 2:1-12
K-Hymn: 464, 347
Blanks: sins, forgiven, walk

(1) Jesus returned to the area where he began his ministry.
Then he visited a house.
There he started to teach people about God and about how to live in God.

Hearing that Jesus came back, many people gathered at the house.
Soon, the door was jammed.
No one could get in or out anymore.

But, in this town, there was a man who had a problem.
His leg didn’t work.
He couldn’t walk.
He couldn’t run.
He couldn’t ride a bicycle.
So, he had to lie down all the time, because his leg didn’t work.
But he has been refusing to go and see Jesus.

But he had four good friends who believed in Jesus.
(2) These four friends knew that Jesus made blind people see.
Jesus made deaf people hear.
Jesus raised people from the dead.
So, they believed that Jesus could heal their friend to walk again.

Then these four friends heard that Jesus was in town.
So, they gathered together to persuade their friend to go to see Jesus.
This time, they succeeded.
(3) Then, carrying their friend on the mat, they came to where Jesus was.

But when they got there, they could not bring their friend to Jesus Christ.
They couldn’t get in because of the crowd.
It was standing room only.

But they looked through the window and saw Jesus teaching in the middle of the room.
He was right there!
So they were like:
“We are not giving up.
Don't worry. We will get you to Jesus.”

Then they look around the house.
They found some stairs to the roof of the house.
Then, they took their friend up to the roof.
(4) Then, they start to remove part of the roof.
They made a giant hole in there.
(5) Then they tied up their friend’s mat and lowered their friend down right in front of Jesus.

Well, Jesus liked their boldness and faith.
(6) So, Jesus said to the man:
"Son, your sins are forgiven."

But some religious teachers started to whisper among themselves saying:
"He can not talk like that!
How can he forgive sins?
Only God can forgive sins!"

Then Jesus said:
“I know what you are thinking.
Then I will do this, just to prove that I can forgive sins.”

(7) Then he says to the man:
“Get up.
Pick up your mat and go home.”

(8) The man got up, grabbed his mat, and walked out while everyone was watching.
People praised God!
They have never ever seen anything like this!

What does Jesus prove here?
Jesus wanted to prove the most important thing.
Jesus wanted people to know that Jesus could forgive our sins.
But there is something more in this teaching.
Later, Jesus taught his students to forgive others.
If they forgive, God will also forgive.
Jesus gave this power to us as well.

If we believe that Jesus is God, then we can say that Jesus can take away the sin of the world.
If we believe that Jesus can take away the sin of the world, we can say to people that their sins are forgiven.

Now back to the story.
(9) At this time, Jesus knew that this man needed a healing.
But this man has been refusing to believe in Jesus.
So, Jesus wanted to touch some deep issue in his heart.
Jesus wanted to heal this man completely from inside out.
Like a very good doctor, Jesus wanted to cure him from inside out.

That is why Jesus said:
“My child, your sins are forgiven.”

Probably, this man needed to hear this first.
He needed that Jesus says to him, “You are forgiven.”

After that, it was easy for Jesus to heal this man.
When this person heard that he was forgiven, he was already half healed.
(10) Then, Jesus said:
“Get up, take your mat and go home.”

We can learn so much from this story.
When we make a mistake in life, we know God’s forgiveness is there.
Jesus will forgive and give us a new start.

But this man or some people may say:
“If you know who I am, you wouldn’t forgive me.”
“If you know who I am, you wouldn’t love me.”
“If you know who I am, you wouldn’t want me.”
But knowing who he was, Jesus loved this man.
Jesus wanted to heal him.

Everybody knew that Jesus had the power to heal.
But this man might have been wondering:
“If this Jesus is a holy man, he might know about me and my past.
What if he sees through my heart?
Is he still going to be kind to me then?
If he really knows who I am, he might not want to heal me.”

To him, Jesus proclaimed:
“Are you kidding me?
Are you asking me whether I am willing to heal you?
Of course. I am willing.
I am even here to forgive you!
God has forgiven you!!!”

In this way, Jesus lets him know about God who loves him.

Because Jesus is a very skillful doctor, when Jesus comes to our life, he may do and say things that we may not understand at first.
But in this way, Jesus helps us to have the right mind and the right faith.
In this way, Jesus proves who he is, and who he can become for us.

(5) Jesus’ main purpose was to heal people and us completely.
Because then, we can live a new life.
Because that was his purpose, Jesus was not interested in becoming famous.
Instead, Jesus was interested in making our life something new.
Jesus was interested in healing us from deep inside.

Sometimes, when Jesus healed people, Jesus said:
“Your faith has healed you.”
Or, “Your faith has saved you.”

But at this time, Jesus didn’t even say to these four friends that because of their faith, Jesus was healing this man.
So, Jesus was just so moved by the situation.
At this time, Jesus was so free to work.
Jesus was in full communion with God.
Then Jesus knew how God wanted to work here in what order.
So, Jesus has done that.
Then, God was so happy.

But what would have happened, if these friends didn’t bring their friend to Jesus? (Pause)

Probably, it was God who inspired them to bring their sick friend to Jesus.
Likewise, God may inspire us.
Then we may also bring our friend to God through our prayer and through sharing the story of Jesus.
Then God may also show them God’s compassion through Jesus Christ.

When that happens, people see God in their lives.
When God works like that, we may experience physical, mental, social, or political healing.
God wants to bring those healings to our lives.

Through Today’s story, Jesus wanted to train us to understand God.
Jesus wanted to train us to minister like this.
So, Jesus may ask us to go to our neighbor and say:
“Your sins are forgiven.”
“Go walk in faith.”

When we can say that, Jesus will say to God:
(11) “Thank you, God.
Thank you for these people who can heal others like me.
I thank you!”

So, I want you to go and say to people that their sins are forgiven.
I want you to go and say to people that they can walk in the faith of Jesus Christ.
And I hope that we all go and heal people wherever they are in this world by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I hope that we are ready for that.
Let’s pray:
Christ, train us so that we may live like you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

1.09.2013

Matthew 19: 14-30 (1)

ppt

Following Jesus
Reading: Matthew 19: 14-30
Blanks: good, good, perfect, follow, easier, possible, first, first

(1) There was a rich young man.
This young man was a good boy.
He obeyed God’s law.
He respected his parents.
He gave one tenth of his income to God.
He gave his money to the poor.

But this young man wanted to be more perfect in God.
He felt there was something more.
So, the young man came to Jesus to find out about it.
He asked Jesus:
“Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

Jesus said:
“Why do you question me about what’s good?
God is the One who is good.
So, if you want to enter the life of God, just do what God tells you.”

The man asked:
“What in particular?”

Jesus said:
“Don’t kill.
Don’t commit adultery.
Don’t steal.
Don’t lie.
Honor your father and mother.
Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

The young man smiled and said:
“I have done all that.
What’s left?”

Then Jesus loved this young man and said:
“Perfect! Then go sell your possessions.
Give everything to the poor.
All your wealth will be then in heaven.
Then come follow me.”

(2) Let me translate what Jesus said.
Jesus was saying:
“When you sell your possessions and give to the poor, you will have savings, treasure in heaven.
Then you can come and follow me.
I will show you how to live a perfect life.
Don’t be afraid.
Live like me.
I am here to show my life and teach through my life.
I am sent to live a perfect life and give my life to the world.
You know, God wants you to have this life.
God wants to give you this life.
Because then God can do something great through you!
And in this way, you can give your heart to God perfectly.”

This man asks Jesus to give him some rules to live by.
But Jesus asks him to follow his way of living.
Here Jesus asks everything, because Jesus gives everything and because Jesus can give everything.

(3) But that was the last thing the young man expected to hear.
This young rich man was not prepared to live the life of Jesus.
This young rich man couldn’t imagine leaving without his stuff.
So, being overwhelmed, he walked away.
He was holding on tight to a lot of things.
He couldn’t bear to let go.
He couldn’t give everything to the poor.
He thought he needed his stuff to live a respectful life.
He needed his stuff to live a holy life.
He couldn’t imagine living a “holy” life without them.
But Jesus was inviting him to see true holiness.
But this rich man worried thinking: “what if people look down on me, when I give everything away and follow Jesus?”

(5) So, watching him go, Jesus told his disciples:
“Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich person to enter God’s kingdom?
Let me tell you.
It is easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for the rich man to enter God’s kingdom.”

(5) It is like this:
Let’s watch this video:
http://youtu.be/TtwSLWtznI8

It is a funny expression of a camel going through a needle’s eye and rich people couldn’t go through because of all the money they had.

When Jesus explained like this, the disciples were surprised.
So they asked:
“Then who has any chance at all?”

(7) Then Jesus looked at them and said:
“No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself.
But you have every chance in the world if you trust God to do this.”

Then Peter interrupted:
“We left everything and followed you.
What do we get out of this?”

Jesus replied:
“Yes, you have followed me.
So, in the re-creation of the world, when I rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel.
And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields and whatever because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life.”

I don’t know what these words of Jesus mean to you.
But it is something to think about.
Sometimes, because we have things, or because we have a desire, we might not be able to follow Jesus.
We might not be able to do what Jesus wants us to do, because we have things or degrees that hinder us to follow God.
When that happens, we might need to make a decision about what to do.

(9) Jesus also said:
“There is the Great Reversal.
Many of the first might end up last.
The last may end up first!”

What does it mean?
For example, it may mean like this.
There was a person.
He might have sold everything to follow Jesus.
But it was difficult to live without them he things.
Then after ten or twenty years, he might end up with more things.
He might love things more than God.
Then he might become the last.
He was the first but became the last.
It is something to think about it.

(7) Now let’s imagine:
What would happen if this young man went home?
He might have remembered what Jesus said.
He still wanted to be perfect.
So, he might have looked at his stuff.
(1) He might have looked at his two iPad mini.
(2) He might have looked at his toys.
He might have looked at his train.
(4) He might have looked at his lego house.

Then remembering what Jesus said, he might have tried not to buy any more stuff.
Then he might have tried to sell some of them.
In the beginning, it might have been very difficult.
But selling his stuff, he might have learned to live with very few things.

(6) Then, he might try to find those who need his money.
Then he might have found a nice way to give to the poor.
He might have realized some good ways to use this money for the poor.
Then as he gives his money, he finds his calling in God.
His mind becomes clear.
He finds God in his heart.
He learns about God.
He understands Jesus.
Then as he seeks a higher purpose in life, he learns to live a truly “holy” and perfect life in God.
His inward eye can see.
The voice of his own soul will say “This was what I was looking for in this life.

(9) Then following Jesus, he might have understood eternal life and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Then he might have been able to share with others how to live a holy life.
Then he might have lived a perfect life for God with a right attitude toward everything in life.

(10) Jesus left everything to follow God.
Through his life, Jesus showed how to follow God.
Jesus was sure that the most holy life is to live like him.
Let’s think about what it means to our lives.

And let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to follow you in the way that you want us to follow you. In your name, we pray. Amen.