Jesus, Judah and Joseph


Jesus, Judah and Joseph
Readings: Matthew 1:1-17
Additional readings: Gen 42: 36-38, Gen 43: 1-14, Genesis 44: 14-34, Genesis 45: 1-8, Revelation 5:1–5, Genesis 49:8-12
Blanks: praise, lion, kings, king

(3) The gospel of Matthew listed the names of ancestors of Jesus.
He wrote:
"Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers."

Now let's stop here.
(3) Jacob had many sons.
Even Joseph was his son.
Among many sons, Judah became the ancestor of Jesus.
How did this happen?

Let's think about this:
(3) Jacob lived about 3000 years ago.
But when he was an elderly man, there was a severe famine in his land.
So, his sons went to Egypt and got some grains.
But then many days later, they needed more grains.
So Jacob asked his sons to go down again to get more grains.

But there was a problem.
The governor of Egypt told his sons something like this:
“You will not see my face again unless your brother Benjamin is with you.
Next time, bring Benjamin the youngest son of Jacob to get more grains.”

But Jacob really loved Benjamin and didn’t want to send Benjamin to Egypt.
So Judah tried to persuade his father Jacob like this:
“Let Benjamin go with me.
I will be responsible for Benjamin.
I will make sure he is safe.
If I don’t bring him back, you can blame me forever.
We have to go to Egypt to get food.
If you had let us go before, we could have made two trips already.
You know we have to go down with our brother Benjamin to buy food.”

Then, Jacob was like:
“If it is really true, take Benjamin with you.”

But then in Egypt, there was another problem.
The governor of Egypt wanted to have Benjamin with him.
He accused Benjamin for stealing his very important and special cup.
So he insisted that Benjamin becoming his slave.

(3) Then Judah said something like this to the governor:
“I cannot go back to my father if the boy is not with me.
For my father, this boy is everything.
If I go back to my father without Benjamin, my father will die.
So, he didn’t want to send this boy here.
So I said to my father:
‘If I don’t bring him back, you can blame me for the rest of my life.’
So now I beg you, I will stay and be your slave.
Please let the boy go back to his father.”

(3) A long time ago, Jacob loved Joseph like this.
Joseph was his everything
So, other sons were jealous.
So Judah with other brothers sold his brother Joseph to Egypt.
Now Jacob loved the youngest brother Benjamin.
Benjamin was his everything.
But Judah became a different man.
He was willing to be a slave for him so that he could send Benjamin home.

Then the governor told them who he was.
(3) The governor was like:
“I am Joseph your brother.
Come close to me.
Is my father still alive?
I am the one you sold as a slave to Egypt.
But don’t worry.
It was not you who sent me here.
It was God’s plan for me to come here.
This terrible famine has continued for two years now.
But there will be five more years of famine.
So God sent me here ahead of you so that I can save people.
God even made me the governor over all Egypt.”

(3) Then many years later, Jacob was dying.
Then Jacob blessed each child.
Then he blessed Judah like this:
“Kings will come from Judah’s family.
Then from Judah’s family the real king will come.
The nations will obey and serve him.”

After one thousand years later, this prophesy was fulfilled.
The Messiah Jesus came from the tribe of Judah.

But some people might that Joseph should have been the ancestor of Jesus, because he was the one who saved his family and many nations.
He even forgave his brothers.
The life of Joseph could show how Jesus would live.
Jesus also suffered but understood that it was God’s plan for him to suffer so that he could save the human race, through his redemptive life.
Jesus lived like that.
Joseph is another model of Jesus.

But God decided to choose Judah who made various mistakes in his life as well.
Then God sent Jesus to solve the problem of human family.
So Jesus came to became a servant or a slave.
Jesus in fact died for his human family to save them.
Then through his death and resurrection, he defeated the power of death.
In this way, Jesus gave eternal life to people.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for being our Messiah.
Help us to follow your good will.
Help us to think well and lead well.
Help us to keep our words in the power that you give so that your peace may be accomplished in our life.
In Jesus name, we pray.


John 1:43-51 (2)


The power of God's words
Reading: John 1:43-51
Additional Readings: 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:28, Psalm 37:4
Blanks: Follow, good, saw, believe, open

(3) Last two weeks, we read the story called Pilgrim’s Progress.
In that book, there were two particular moments when Mr. Christian experienced the power of God’s words.

(3) For example, Mr. Christian experienced the power of God’s words in the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Here when he was afraid, he remembered these words in the Bible: Psalm 23:
“Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil: because God is with me, guiding me and guarding me all the way.”

At this very moment, God reminded him of these words:
“I am with you, guiding you all the way.”
(3) Then because of these words, he was able to pass through the Valley of The Shadow of Death.

(3) Secondly, Mr. Christian experienced the power of God’s words at the Doubting Castle.
(3-3) If you remember, Mr. Giant Despair captured him and imprisoned him in the dungeon of despair and doubts.

How did he get out of this dungeon?
(3) Mr. Christian remembered that he had the Key to open the doors of this Doubting Castle.

(2) What was the key?
The key was God’s Words.
(4) Then because of the power of God’s words, Mr. Christian was able to open the doors and ran away from Mr. Giant Despair.

(3) So, the power of God’s Word freed Mr. Christian from fear, despairs and doubts.
God’s words were powerful enough to help him.

(3) God’s words are powerful enough to help you as well.
(3) So we encourage you to read the Bible, because God has spoken a lot of words in the Bible.
God has spoken those words to guide you in your journey of faith.
God has spoken those words to free you from fear, doubt and despair.

(3) In order to speak more clearly God sent Jesus to speak God’s words.
So, Jesus spoke to guide us and encourage us.
Jesus spoke to help us enter into the Heavenly city.

(1) So, we encourage you to read these words that Jesus spoke, expecting that he has something to say to you.
Then when the time comes, through those words, Jesus will protect you and guide you and give us freedom.
Through those words, Jesus will accomplish his good will, his good plan in your life.

(3) For example, if you doubt about your forgiveness, Jesus will say:
“If you repent, God forgives.
If you forgive others, God will also forgive you.”

(3) When you doubt about God’s love, Jesus will say:
“God loves you.
That is why God sent me.
I am the proof that God loves you.”

(3) When you doubt about prayer, Jesus will say:
Then God will answer.
God will give you the desire of your heart.
If you pray in my name, everything is possible.

“Pray for the Holy Spirit.
Then God will give you the Holy Spirit.
Then the Holy Spirit will give you freedom.”

(3) So we want you to read his words.
And here is a good practice as you read the Bible.
As you read the Bible, you may pray :
For example:

(3) The Bible says:
“Love God.
Then all things will work together for good.”

Then you may pray:
“God, help me to love because then I know that all things will work together for good.”

(3) The Bible says:
“If you give to the poor, God will open up your bank account in heaven and save all the money that you give to the poor.
No one can steal it.
Nothing can destroy it.
It will be yours forever.
In fact, whenever you give to the poor, you are giving to God.”

Then you may pray:
“God, help me to give generously to the poor.”

(3) God says in the Bible:
“You are my servant.
I have chosen you.”

Then you may pray:
“God, help me to serve you well.”

Reading God’s words, you may pray like this.
Then God may freely work in your life.

Then God will accomplish what he says.
Jesus will accomplish what he says.
Then you may experience the power of God’s words.

(3) So, as a homework, read the Bible and try to pray accordingly.

(3) When you read the Bible, God may speak you, teach you and guide you.
Then when you sense God speaks to you, you may pray about it and think about it.
You may write them down.
Then you may read carefully again to understand the meaning of those words:
You may ask: what does Jesus try to say to me?

Then when you understand, you may plan your life accordingly, as Jesus helps you make some good plan for your life.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for your words.
Help us to find the words that you speak to us.
May we pray, live accordingly and experience the power of your words.
Help us to continually focus on your words so that we may move on with the power of the Holy Spirit.
We pray this in your name.


Matt 25:14-30 (2)


Use your gifts to serve God and people
Reading: Matt 25:14-30
Blanks: Blanks: servants, ability, returned, faithful, many, happiness, money

(3) Jesus said that one day, he would come back, right?
But what would happen when Jesus is back?

(3) Well, we can think like this, too.
Jesus will find all those who use their gifts.
Jesus will be happy for all those who use their gifts, because these people allow the Holy Spirit to work through them.
So they were able to help people using their gifts.
So Jesus will ask them to live with him forever.

But then what is a gift that we are talking about here?
What is like to have gifts?
It is like this:
(1) Look at this baby eagle.
This baby has a gift.
Her gift is the ability to fly.
So, she is practicing.
This eagle cannot fly at this moment.
But when she grow up, she will jump from this tree and fly.
But as you can imagine, it requires a lot of courage to jump from the tree.
(4) But one day, she will jump and fly.
In this way, she will use her gift.
And God will be very happy for her.

(2) What is the gift of a squirrel?
His gift is the ability to climb.
It is natural to him.
And his feet are perfect for this.
So, when he becomes a good climber, God will be very happy for him.
This squirrel will also have fun climbing up and down.

(3) Jesus also gives us a gift.
So, think about what your gifts are?
Find your gifts and use them.
Using your gifts, you can help people.

We may have different gifts.
That is good for us.
Then we can help each other.

But if we don’t use our gift, as a group, we may not function very well.
But when all of us use our gifts, as a group, then we can do some good works in Jesus.

So, what are your gifts?
Your gift may be speaking.
You can explain things well.
And God prepares you to speak so that people may understand.

You gift may be explaining who Jesus is.
When you explain, people may realize God’s love for them and God’s goodness for them.

(4) Your gift may be having a good conversation with other people.
You listen to them well.
And when you listen, you realize what God wants to do with them.
So, you pray for them.
Then, they may experience God and get to know God.
They may have the faith of Jesus Christ, knowing what God is trying to do with them.

(3) Your gift may be worshiping God and praising God.
The Holy Spirit has taught you to worship God and praise God.
So, you now know how to worship God and sing praise to God.
Now you may even know how to help other people to worship God and praise God.

(3) Your gift may be managing media and various machines.
God may help you to manage well those tools.

(4) Your gift may be communication.
You can write.
You can use PowerPoint to communicate ideas well.
You can draw well and design to communicate ideas.

(4) Your gift may be welcoming people.
The Holy Spirit may make people to feel welcome through you.
The Holy Spirit may help people experience God’s comfort and God’s healing through you.

Or you may have the gifts that Jesus had.
Jesus also had gifts.
(1) For example, he had the gift of knowledge.
So, he knew who he was and what to do with his life.
He knew how God works, and how he should carry out his ministry.

(3) He also had the gift of healings.
So, he healed people.

(3) He also had the gift of faith.
So, he saw things through the eyes of faith.
That is why he started his ministry trusting that he could finish his ministry on the cross.

(4) Then when Jesus rose back from the death, he asks his students to receive the Holy Spirit and become the students of the Holy Spirit, because from then on the Holy Spirit would give them gifts according to their calling.
Using these gifts, the students can help people in the power of God.
They can help people to get to know God.
They can live like Jesus the Christ.

(3) So, the Holy Spirit will give you gifts.
You will receive some gifts.
The Holy Spirit will help you to use these gifts to serve God and serve people.

But if you don’t use your gift, it may be taken away.
Even the Holy Spirit may be taken away.

So, we want to use our gifts and serve God and serve people.
In this way, we can live with the Holy Spirit.

So, ask God to give you the Holy Spirit.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you use your gifts.
Then God will help you use your gifts humbly and patiently.
In this way God will work in you and through you.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for the Holy Spirit and for the gift.
Help us to use it faithfully.

And if there is anyone who has not received the Holy Spirit, may you give your Holy Spirit to them so that they may also work with you.
May they allow the Holy Spirit to work in them and through them.

Thank you Jesus.
We worship you and praise you.

In Jesus’ name, we pray.


Matthew 25: 31-46 (2)


The shoemaker and his guests
Reading: Matthew 25: 31-46
Actors/Puppets (For Puppet Show): Martin, street sweeper, woman carrying a baby
Props: bible, shoes, baby shoes, window

While these musicians prepare next songs and so on, I am going to tell you a story.
This is a children story.

(3) Once upon a time, there was a man called Mr. Martin.
He was a shoemaker.
He owned a little shop.

(3) One day he was reading the Bible.
The story was about how the wise men visited the baby Jesus, and offer their gifts.
Reading this, he was like:
“If I were there, I would have given him this gift!
(3) I would have given him this tiny little shoes!"

He was happy just to think about this.
Then he closed his little shop and went to bed.

(3) In his dream, he heard Jesus calling his name.
Jesus was like:
You have wished to see me.
So tomorrow I will pass by your window.
When you see me, please ask to come in.
Then I will come and stay with you.”

Then in the morning, he remembered this dream.
So he cleaned his little shop and prepared his table.
He prepared something to eat and drink.
(3) Then he started to wait looking at the window.


(4) Then he saw someone working outside, in that cold winter.
Martin was like:
“Oh, poor fellow, he must be half frozen.”

Then he opened the door and called out to him:
“Come in, my friend, and warm yourself.
Let me offer something to drink.”
(3) So, the man came and warmed himself up and ate some cookies and got back to work.


(3) After an hour, Martin saw a young woman poorly dressed and carrying a baby.
When the winds blew, she hid herself in the shelter of his doorway.
Then Martin was like:
“Oh, poor lady, she must be half frozen.”

Then he opened the door and said to her:
“Come in, my friend.
Warm yourself and have some cookies and a hot drink."

Mother was like:
“Oh, thank you.”

Looking at the baby Martin was like:
“Is the baby alright?
He doesn't look so well.”

She sighed and sadly explained:
“Yeah, I am going to the hospital.
But I don’t have any money.
I hope they will take care of him.”

Then Martin prepared something for her to eat and gave a cup of milk to the baby.

Then he noticed and said:
“How come your little one has no shoes?”

The mother was like:
“I have no shoes for him.”

(3) Martin was like:
“Then can I give this shoes?"
Then Martin took down the soft little shoes that he wanted to give Jesus yesterday.
When he slipped the shoes on him, they fit perfectly.

Then, as they leave, Martin says:
“Here is some money for the doctor.”

Mother was like:
“No, no, I can’t take that.”

Martin was like:
“Please for your baby’s sake.”

Mother was like:
“You are very kind.
Thank you.”
Then she left.


(3) Many people passed by his window.
He invited some people who needed his help.
So, his neighbors loved him and respected him.

But he expected that Jesus would be there.
Then he was like:
“ I thought Jesus would be here today.
Well, it was just a dream.”

Then being disappointed, he closed his shop and went to bed.

(3) Then in his dream, he saw a strange light.
(3) Then all the people he helped during the day appeared before him.
They were all smiling.
Then a gentle voice was saying:
(3) “You have seen me.
I did come and stayed with you.
I was cold, and you welcome me.
I was hungry, and you gave me food.
I was a stranger, and you take care of me.”

Then Mr. Martin was like:
“What do you mean?

(3) Then Jesus appeared and reminded him of this text in the Bible: Matthew 25:35-40
“I was hungry.
You gave me something to eat.
I was thirsty.
You gave me drink.
I was a stranger.
You took me in.”

“When you welcome these people in my name, you welcome me.
Whatever you did for these people, you did for me.”

Then Mr. Martin understood.
The end.

Let's pray:


Matthew 25:31-46 (5)


Help the poor
Reading: Matthew 25:31-46
Blanks: Enter, gave, Get out, visited, reward

(3) One day Jesus will be back.
He will come back as the King of all nations.

But what will happen, when Jesus comes back?

Jesus said this kind of things will happen.
(3) When he is back, Jesus will try to find all those who help the poor.
Jesus will find all the people who helped another person.
Jesus will find all those who take care of the sick.
Jesus will find all those who visit people in prison.

Then Jesus will thank them and said:
“I was sick.
But you looked after me.
I was in prison.
But you have visited me.
I was alone.
But you have come to visit me.

“You took care of God’s children in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was very pleased taking care of the poor with you.
So, now come and receive what I prepare for you.”

(3) But then Jesus says to those who didn’t help the poor.
“I encouraged you to help the poor.
I gave opportunities to help the hungry.
I gave you couple of chances to visit those in prison.
Like this I showed you those who needed your help.
But you were not interested in helping them.
What happened to you?

(3) I was hungry.
I was thirsty.
So, I ask you to come and help me.
But you ignored me.

“All these years, I was inviting you to be part of God’s mission on earth.
I wanted to help you so that you could show God’s love to the poor.
But I could not work through you.
So our relationship was weakened and eventually broken.
So, go away from me, because I don’t know you anymore.”

What do we learn from this story?
We learn that when we see the hungry, we are seeing Jesus who is hungry.
When we see the thirsty, we are seeing Jesus who is thirsty.

So, we have done some ministries to help the poor.
Let’s see what we have done.

(3-3) For example, you have went to Salvation Army Soup Kitchen to provide a lunch for the poor for a couple of times.
When you provide lunch, I am sure that Jesus may be saying to you:
“When I was hungry, you gave me food.
When I was thirsty, you gave me drink.
You provided what I needed.
I was able to use your hands to serve the children of God.
So, thank you for feeding the hungry with me.”

(3-3) You also have done a car wash to raise funds to help the poor in Nicaragua.
In fact some of you went to Nicaragua to help the poor.
I know it was difficult.

We are continually supporting them.
We also donated some money so that they could build a medical facility in Nicaragua.

(3) You have performed many concerts at various nursing home to comfort the elderly.

(4) We know that many people need clean water.
Millions of people die every year because they don’t have clean water.
Many children under the age of five died because of it.
That is why you are practicing today for annual charity concert.
In this way, every Christmas season, you have raised fund like this.

(3) Then we donate those money to Living Waters for the World.
(3) Then this organization goes and sets up a water purification system at remote villages to provide clean water.

(5) I also know that some of you sponsor a child through this organization called Compassion.
What does this organization do?
When they receive donation from you, they find a child who lives without schooling and without proper food and clothing.
Then, they provide them food, and new clothing.
They educate them so that they can become at least a High School graduate.
In this way, they share God’s love with children.
In this way, they share the story of Jesus with children.

(1) I also know some of you bought shoes from TOMS.
What does this company do?
This company is found to give out shoes to the poor.
If they sell a pair of shoes here in US, they give a new pair of shoes to the poor for free.
One for one.
If they sell a pair of glasses here, they give a pair of glasses to the poor for free.
One of one.
This is a new shoes company that gives out shoes to those in need.
With this One for One business model, they are continually able to give out shoes.
And they are growing and sustainable.

(3) Lastly, you are doing a food drive today to help the poor.
On Thanksgiving season, we donate food to the Bethesda House of Schenectady who provides food to the hungry.
We’ve also donated some clothing to them so that they can give to the poor.

Last year, I was asked to deliver our donation to them.
Then it was funny when I gave them our donations, I felt the presence of God.
I felt God was with me as I give those donations to them.

Anyway, we do these services because we know that Jesus would love this and say:
“Thank you for helping the poor.
Whenever you share God’s love like this, I am there.
Whenever you share God’s love like this, you become the body of Christ.
I love to take care of those who need clean water, food and clothing.
I love to help the poor with you.
So, I will help you so that you can use God’s power to help the poor.”

You see, Jesus wants to work through us.
Jesus wants to help the poor through us.
Jesus tries to teach us so that we can help them better in God’s way.

In this way we also share the story of Jesus with our own hands.
In this way, we can share the story of Jesus.
So, let's continually help the poor in the way that Jesus guides us.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, we pray for the poor.
They are your precious children.
You want to help them.
So, help us to serve you and work with you.
Help us to live your life in your power.
Help us to use your gifts and talents to serve you.
In Jesus name, we pray.


Matthew 23: 1-12 (1)

Let God do God’s own work in us
Reading: Matthew 23: 1-12
Blanks: practice, preach, Notice, equal, one, Messiah, humbles
Prop: dried noodles

(3) In the time of Jesus, the Bible was very expensive.
So, many people didn’t have the Bible at home.
So how could they learn about God?

Well, there was a group of people who studied the Bible together at their religious schools.
Other people thought that they understood the Bible.
So people respected them, and asked them to teach.
So, this group of people started to teach.
But they didn’t really know what they were talking about.
They didn’t know how to practice what God said.
They misunderstood the Bible.

But then people asked them to give them some spiritual rules to follow.
So, they made spiritual rules, a lot of spiritual rules for them to follow.
But since they really didn’t know who God is, they made some wrong rules.
Some of those rules had nothing to do with God.
Besides, many of those rules were too difficult to follow.
Even God could not keep those rules.
The fact is God does not like many of those rules.
But then they were proud of being the religious law and rules makers.

But because it was difficult and impossible to follow those rules, many people didn’t practice what they taught.
Then when they didn’t follow their rules, these proud religious lawmakers said to them:
“You sinners!”
This wasn’t nice.
This wasn’t fare.

But then they made more rules.
Then they asked people to practice these rules.
They made their life difficult, more difficult than what it should be.
And they took secret pleasure in watching them struggling to keep those rules.

(3) (Example) It is like this:
When they prepare a meal, they could have cooked their food.
They could have cooked their noodles or pasta.
But instead, they gave food that was not cooked.
Their food was difficult to eat.
But then they asked people to eat it.
If people didn't eat them, they said: “you are sinners.”

They really didn’t understand God.
They didn’t know how to obey God, either.
But since people treated them important, they wanted to be called, Teacher, or Leader.
They liked to receive honors.
(3) And they started to make religious garments like this.
Then they liked to show up.
They wanted people to watch them and talk about them.

Thinking that people admired them, they wanted to have more authority over people.
They wanted more attention and power.
Without knowing, they wanted people to obey them instead of God.
So, one day, they would be humbled.

(3) So, Jesus came to stop this nonsense.
Then Jesus said something like this:
“Just be content and simply be yourself.
Don’t try to puff yourself up.
Don’t try to stand out.
Just be yourself.
Or if you want to be greater, then try to step down and be a servant.
Humble yourself so that God can lift you up.”

“Also know that God is looking inside of your hearts.
And know that God cares more about what is going on in your heart.
God is not interested in your rules but your heart.
God cares more about who you are.
So God wants to change your hearts.
Let me help you to love God and love people.
Otherwise, you have no chance to get to know who God is.
Then Jesus said something like this to all the people:
“Well, because you don’t have the Bible at home, I guess you may listen to these law makers.
But know that you don’t have to do what they ask you to do.
Because sometimes, they don’t understand the Bible.
I think that people cannot become your teachers anymore about spiritual matters.
From now on God has to be your only teacher.
And everyone else is your classmates.
God is your teacher.
So, don’t have another teacher.
Don’t be another teacher.
Simply give God the chance to teach you.
Allow God to lead you.
Allow God to work in you and among you.
Allow God to help you believe in God.
Then you will see clearly.

Then since Jesus is God, Jesus is saying:
“I am your only teacher.
And everyone else is your classmates.”

So, let Jesus be the Teacher.
Let Jesus show you the way.
Let’s learn from him.
Think about what he said.
And try to understand his words.
Then you will learn more of God.
Then you will learn how to live your life.
You will know what is like to put God first in your lives.

In fact, only when Jesus helps us, we get to know God personally.
Then you will know how to be faithful to God.
You will be able to love God.
You will be able to love like God.
Only God can help you continually believe in God.
Only Jesus can help you grow in God and be a follower of God.

Let's pray:
Jesus, you know what's in our hearts.
Come and change our hearts.
Continually do your work within us and among us.
Thank you for your works within us and among us.
Thank you for taking care of our future.
We pray this in Jesus name.

Bring our Heart to God to change us.


Matthew 23:1-12 (4)


How can we tell whether someone is a Christian?
Reading: Matthew 23:1-39

When you meet someone for the first time, how can you tell whether that person is a Christian?
How can you tell whether that person goes to a church?
How can you tell whether that person loves God?
How can you tell whether that person makes God happy?

Can we tell it by the way they dress?
(3) Let’s say that that person wears this kind of hat.

By the way, what does it say?
“Know Jesus Know peace”
It means that if you know Jesus, you may know what peace is.

So now, can we say that the person who wear this is a Christian?

What about this?
(3) Someone may wear this WWJD t-shirt.

By the way, do you know what WWJD stands for?
Right it stands for:
"What would Jesus do?"

Some Christian think about this question a lot, because they want to know how Jesus would live in their particular situation.
So they ask this question to themselves:
What would Jesus do?
What would Jesus do?
How would Jesus live in our situation?

They want to know the answer, because they want to live like Jesus.

So, if someone wear this, can we say that that person is a Christian?
Can we say that that person is committed to follow Jesus?
We don’t know.
That person might borrow this t-shirt from his brother.
That person might wear this without knowing that it means.
Who knows?

What about this?
(4) Here are some big expensive necklaces.
If someone wear these crosses, can we say that they are Christian?

(4) What about this?
Someone might wear all of these together, like this.
Now, can we say that that person is a good Christian?

Can we say that that person follows Jesus?

This person may follow Jesus and may be a Christian.
But we don’t know.
Maybe this person just wants to wear something like this, because that person thinks it is pretty.
We don’t know.
We cannot tell by the way they dress.

Then how can we tell if someone truly believes in God?
We cannot see their hearts.
So, how can we know whether they really love God or really believe in God.

Then the only way that we can find out is by looking at how they live.
Do they love God?
Do they love people?
Do they obey Jesus?

Are they careful in what they say thinking of Jesus?
Do they thank God for all blessings?
Do they put God first in their lives?

What do they produce through their life?
Do they produce something good because God helps them?
Do they experience the power of the Holy Spirit?

If they do, we may say that they are Christians because they live like God.

But here is one more questions:
How does Jesus know whether someone is a Christian?
How does God know whether someone is a Christian?

Jesus knows this by looking at their hearts.
Jesus understands people’s hearts.
Jesus understands their unspoken words.
Jesus knows how they think.
So, Jesus just knows.
God also just knows.

God has been working in their hearts so that they can believe in Jesus.
So God always knows whether they belong to God or not.
God helps them to love God and love Jesus.
God helps them to receive the Holy Spirit.
God works in their life for them to follow Jesus.

So, we can be a Christian, only if we allow God to work in our hearts to help us to believe in Jesus.
Then we will be a Christian.
So, let’s allow God to live among us and lead us.

Let's pray:
Jesus, you know us.
You can see what is in our hearts.
If there is something that you don’t want, change our hearts so that we can believe in you.
Change our hearts.
Make our hearts ever true to you.
Change our hearts so that we may be like you.
In Jesus name, we pray.


Matthew 23: 1-12 (2)


Be Humble and Patient
Reading: Matthew 23: 1-12
Props: Running Shoes and Dress Shoes

(3) Jesus says something like this:
“Those who exalt themselves will be disappointed and humbled.
But those who humble themselves will be lifted high.”

What does it mean?
Let me explain with this story.

(3) Once upon a time, there was a gentleman who had these two shoes.
These shoes were at his shoes’ place at his house.
But these shoes were very different.

So. let me introduce them to you.
(2) One is Dress Shoes.
He is good looking.

But he ignored all the other shoes.
Then he only talked with other pretty dress shoes.

Even then he was rarely listening to them.
He didn’t care what others had to say.
He always talked about himself.
He talked about how good looking he was; how handsome and beautiful he was.

He was like this because he thinks that he is very important.
So, he never volunteer for anything, thinking he is saved for a special purpose.
That is him.

(2) Now let’s meet this Running Shoes.
This Running Shoes is different.
He is very nice.
He loves everyone.
He is thankful for God.
He is smiling all the times.
He is willing to serve.
In fact, he was used for various purposes.
(3) Sometimes, he was used to to play soccer.
Sometimes, he was used to go to the post office.
He was used to go to the mart.

(1) Sometimes, he was even used as a toy for kitten.
They played with him and rolled him.
They hid themselves in him.
They loved him.

Then one day, the owner of these shoes was invited to a birthday party.
(3) So, he was preparing for a present.
Then these shoes were watching him.
Both wanted to go to this party.

But the Running Shoes knew so well that the owner would not wear Running Shoes to go to a birthday party.
So, Running Shoes decided to wait patiently to be used for another purpose.

(3) But Dress Shoes was ready.
He looked up and waited to be picked.
Well, he was right.
He was picked.

So, he was so happy to go this birthday party.
He wanted to be looked good and show up at this party.
He hoped that everyone would talk about him and how good looking he was.

(3) But then the birthday boy called and asked everyone to wear casually because they are going to play games outside.
It was a special birthday party with a lot of games to play outside.

So, for this occasion, Running Shoes was chosen.
(3) And he was happy, playing a lot of fun games outside.
He was also happy because he could serve his owner.

(2) Maybe that is what Jesus says here like this:
“Those who exalt themselves will be disappointed and humbled.
But those who humble themselves will be lifted high.”

Jesus is asking us to be humble and patient so that God can use us and bless us.
So, I hope that we practice our faith very humbly and patiently.
May we believe in Jesus very humbly.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to be humble and patient so that you may use us and bless us.
In Jesus name, we pray.


Luke 5:27-32 (1)


Reaching in and reaching out
Reading: Luke 5:27-32
K-hymns: 431/432

Jesus saw a man, Levi at his work collecting taxes.
But God has been working on his life.
He started to sense God who started a good work in him.

People might have thought that Levi became spiritual.
But he was more and more interested in following Jesus as well.

Then Jesus came alone and said to Levi:
"Come follow me."
Then he walked away from everything and walked with Jesus.
Then Levi gave a large dinner at his home for Jesus.
He invited his friends who were tax men.
Some of them didn’t have a good reputation.
They all sat at the dinner.
Then Jesus talked with his friends.
Jesus recognized that Levi was not his student.

But the proud religious law-keepers didn’t like this.
Who knows why they didn’t like this.
They were like:
"What is he doing eating and drinking with thieves and sinners?
Those who hang out with these sinners become like sinners.
Those who tried to live a holy life should not be associated with them.
These people are good cheating people.
They remarried four times and so on.”

When Jesus heard them, Jesus was like:
“When I hear you, you seem to say that these people are sick.
They are sick religiously and socially.
So, you should not get involved in their life.
But if you think like that, how can I help them.
If they are sick, they need a doctor.
If they are sick, they need God who can heal them.
If they are sick, they need God who loves them.
If you cannot see that, you may be sick too.
You may also need a doctor.
You may also need God who can teach you how to think.
You all need a doctor.
You all need God.”

Jesus was saying:
“What is the point in judging these people?
What is the point in punishing these people by not being their friends?
If I can make them my students and teach them, I can help them.”

Jesus continually talked with those who are not religious.
Jesus wanted to help them to live a new changed life.
Jesus became their friends because he wanted them to get involved.
Jesus spoke to their hearts so that they would know how to live.

Then Jesus took care of them spiritually.
He loved them and cared about them.
Then they were interested in knowing the kingdom of God that Jesus talked about.
They wanted to know more.

Jesus lived this kind of life.
In this way he made God happy.
Jesus focused on reaching out these people, because God wanted them.
Jesus focused on welcoming outsiders.
Jesus focused on teaching these people and serving them and changing their life.

Jesus wanted his students to follow his example.
Jesus encouraged all the churches to practice reaching out.
Jesus was like:
“How can you change people by judging them and condemning them?
Then what is the point doing those?
So, I want you to reach out to them with my gospel.
Reach out for those who are not well accepted in their society.
Sinners are welcomed in my church.
Help all people even though they have grown up differently and have different culture.
Reach out to those who are isolated.
Be ready to be uncomfortable sometimes.
But pray and make efforts for this.”

We may constantly try to live this life of Jesus.
We may constantly pray.
Jesus is working today to reach out the outsiders.
So, we need to do something good to those who are outside.
God is calling us to seek their happiness.
Following Jesus means that we seek their happiness.
We make efforts to help them find God and help them find that God loves them.
So, we try to become their friends for God.

In the church, you may practice like this.
Some of you have seen this video.
But let me remind you:
Let’s watch this video:

If you try to find the lonely, they are always with us, right?
Then, you will never be alone.
Helping them to be part of the group is also what is like to reach out.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to practice what you want us to practice.
Help us to love you and love people.
Help us to be patient and kind.
Help us to follow you.
In Jesus name, we pray.

For this kind of life, Jesus asks us in Luke 6: 27-39:
“Do not judge; Do not condemn; Forgive.”

Pastoral Prayer 12

Jesus, you have washed our feet.
You have served us.
You have given us the grace of God.
You shine your truth on us.
You pour out your Holy Spirit on us.

May we listen to you and be changed.
Give us faith to be changed.
Give us understanding.
May we be transformed according to your words.
May we also serve your people and submit to each other.

Jesus the Christ, You are with us.
Even when we are afraid, you are with us.
Even when we doubt, you are with us.

May we understand more and more of you.
May we discover what you want of us.
May we obey more and more of your will.

Jesus, we want to be changed by you.
Change our hearts by your words.
Open our eyes to see your movement.
Open our ears to hear your voice.
Help us find the answers to our life.

Help us find the life, way, and truth in you.

The Spirit of Jesus, help us to trust you.
Help us to be free from worry.
Help us to forgive and move on.
Help us free from stress.

Jesus, you are the resurrection.
Through you, we can live.
Through you, we will rise again.
You bring our soul back to life.
So, we come to you knowing that you wait for us.
Help us to live a good life because of you.

May we follow your footsteps, spreading your Gospel.
May we love you and give our life to you.
May we follow you faithfully just because you love us.
Help us to find God who love us.

Inspire our teachers to share your wisdom and knowledge.
Inspire our kids to listen your words and live according to who you are.

It is meaningless to worship you when you are not with us.
So, Jesus opens the heaven and comes and helps us to worship you and receive your blessings.
And your blessings may overflow to the world that you love.

We pray this in Jesus name.

Pastoral Prayer 18

Jesus, you love us.
You emotionally, voluntarily and unconditionally love us.
So you gave your life to free us.
You gave your life to guide us and lead us.

Then risen from the death, you always live among us.
Thank you for your presence, peace and joy.
Thank you for taking care of our weakness and taking care of our life.
Thank you for liberating us to live your life.

May we live and live in harmony with you and with your people.
May we recognize your presence among us more and more.
May we recognize your guidance more and more.
May we serve each other according to your will.
In this way, may we understand you more and more.

Thank you for sending your people to serve you in various countries, in various forms and in various ministries.
Bless them to teach and speak for you.
Bless them to serve you.
Bless them to have your joy, peace, love, power, faith, and victory in life.

Now we entrust to you our family and friends, all who ask for our prayers and who pray for us.
May your good will be done among them.
Inspire them to do what you will.
May you speak through them and live through them so that people around them may experience you.

We also pray for those who always remains in our heart.
Give them your peace and healing.
Bless them to understand you more.
Heal their minds and create in them a new spirit to serve you.
Fill them with your love.
And help them to live your life.

Jesus, now we pray for our church.
May you accomplish your good will through us and among us and in us.
May we love what you love.
May we live understanding your plan and your will and your mind.
May your good will be done in our life forever.

In Jesus name we pray.


Mark 10:13-16 (1)


Jesus loves children
Reading: Mark 10:13-16
Additional reading: Isaiah 11:6-10

It was when Jesus became very famous.
He was well known as a good spiritual leader.
So, people brought their little children to Jesus.
They wanted Jesus to place his hands on them and bless them.

But the disciples didn’t like this at all.
So they rebuked them.
But Jesus saw this, he was mad.
So, he said to his students:
“Let the little children come to me.
Don’t you ever hinder them, because I belong to them.
I am serious.
Those who do not welcome me like these little children will never have me.
I belong to people who are like little children.”

In a sense, Jesus was asking his disciples:
“Can you feel this joy of God here?
This joy belongs God.
Can you feel my joy for these children?
When you welcome these children, you are welcoming God?
This is so true, isn’t it?
Those who are like children love God.
I feel the joy and peace of God, the joyous peace of God as God welcome these children.”

Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Welcoming these children, Jesus was welcoming those who welcome him.
These little children trust him.
They feel joy, as they come to him.
Jesus feel joy as he blesses them.

Then Jesus might have said to children:
“I belong to you.
You are special.
I like you just as you are.
Just continually live with God.
God will give you joy and peace.
Don’t lose God.”

When his society look down on children, Jesus wants to welcome them and spend time with them.
Then Jesus said to his students:
“If you welcome these people, you welcome me.”

When his society look down on the poor, Jesus welcomed them and spent time with them.
Then Jesus said to his students:
“If you welcome these people, you welcome me.”
I pray that you may see God in this action of Jesus.
God is with them.
We need to buy into this.
God's ministry starts right there.

When we look at the life of Jesus, we may see that Jesus lived his life like a child, without worry or care.
Jesus simply expects God will be kind to him and satisfy his needs.
Jesus feel so much peace because of God.
Those who know God, can feel his joy and peace.

Where there is Jesus, there will be children.
Where there is God, there will be children.
No one can say:
“I love God but not children.”
If you are like that, may God change your mind and make you see what God sees.
May you feel God’s joy looking at children.
May you intuitively sense this joy of God.
May you enjoy God and God’s children.

Jesus says: (Matt 18:5)
"Whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me."
Jesus was saying:
When you welcome children in the name of Jesus, you welcome Jesus.
When you welcome children in the name of Jesus, we welcome God.
When you welcome them, thinking of Jesus, you welcome God.
Think about how Jesus may want to welcome them.
When you imagine to welcome them like this, you welcome God.
When you help them worship God and listen to God, you welcome Jesus.

But still if you say:
“I love God but I don’t like children.
I don’t understand what they are doing.”
Then Jesus may say:
“I don’t understand you.
Can’t you love those whom God love?
Can’t you love what God loves?”

Then what is like to welcome children?
We cannot welcome children and say:
“Don’t act like children.”
“Don’t cry like that.
Don’t behave like that.
God does not like that.”

Just say that you want them to be quiet or behave, but do not use the name of God to say what you want.
In Korea, if a child cries or misbehaves, a parent may say:
“아저씨가 이놈하신다.”
Now in the church, a parent may say:
“하나님이 이놈하신다.”
Please don’t misuse the name of God.
Just communicate that you want them to be quiet or behave.

At the church, if you want to welcome children, you welcome their childlike imagination.
If you want to welcome children, you accept their shorter attention span.
If you want to welcome children, you accept that they can make a mess.

If you continually welcome children at church, they may become like Jesus.
Then they may look up to Jesus.
Then they may learn to act like Jesus.
Then Jesus may become their mentor.
Then they may eventually play like Jesus and become like him.
They may think like God.

If you want to welcome children, you also need to live a simple life.
In other words, we cannot place very fragile things everywhere in the church, and welcome children.
You know what I mean.
Jesus can welcome them, because he lives a simple life.
He does not try to welcome children after preparing a high quality welcoming party.
Jesus didn’t prepare cookies and candies to welcome them.
He didn’t rent a house to welcome children.
He didn’t spend a lot of money to welcome children.
He just welcome them.
Then he share his life with them.

Maybe Jesus was saying:
“I just want to share my life with them.
That is it.
I want to see them.
I want to spend time with them.
I want to pray for them.
That is it.”

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for welcoming us when we are sinner.
Thank you for loving all people.
Help us to welcome children and the poor, so that we may live our life pleasing you.
We pray this in Jesus’ name.


Mark 4: 35-41; 6: 45-52; 8: 14-21 (2)


Jesus in three different boats
Reading: Mark 4: 35-41; 6: 45-52; 8: 14-21
Blanks: sleeping, faith, obey, Watch, understand, understand

Jesus wanted his students to understand that God loves them.
God sent Jesus the Son of God to them, because God loves them.
If they understand that, they may live boldly, because God is for them.
They may not be afraid of anything.
They may not fear of anything, because God who is in control loves them.
Then they may follow Jesus without fear.
They may trust in Jesus.

Now in the gospel of Mark we see three different boat rides that Jesus had with his students.
Let’s see what happened in those boats so that we may learn more about Jesus.

One time, Jesus and his disciples were in the boat: Mark 4:35-41.
It was evening.
A huge storm came up.
And the waves were poured into the boat.
So, they thought that they would sink.

But Jesus was sleeping on the boat.
So they woke him up and said to him:
“Teacher, do you not care that we are about to die?”

Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves:
“Quiet down!
Be still!”
Then the wind died down and the waves became completely calm.

Then Jesus said something like this:
“Why are you so full of fear?
Why are you afraid when you are with me?
Don’t you know who I am?
Do you have no faith in me?
I am God who loves you.
Don’t worry.”

Jesus wanted them to understand that God who created the wind and the waves was with them.
Jesus was trying to help them understand that Jesus is God who loves them.

But they could not understand that at this time.
So, they were like:
“Who is this man?
Even the wind and the waves listen to him!”

(1) In another time, it was right after Jesus miraculously multiplied foods and fed more than five thousand people.
After that Jesus asked his students to go to the other side of the lake.
So they were again in the boat: Mark 6:45-52.
But Jesus went up to a mountain and prayed alone.

Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake.
The wind was against them again.
They thought that they were in trouble again.
So, they worked hard and rowed the boat very hard.

Then about three o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea.
Then the disciples screamed thinking they saw a ghost.

But Jesus said to them:
“Don’t worry!
It’s me!
Don’t be afraid.”

Then again he got into the boat.
Then the wind died down.
But they didn’t understand who Jesus is.

So, Jesus performed more miracles to help them understand that Jesus is God who loves them.
So, again Jesus taught people and miraculously multiplied foods again and fed more than four thousand people.

(2) Then later, Jesus and his students were in another boat to go to the other side: Mark 8:14-21.
On the boat, Jesus said to them:
“Be careful.
Watch out for the yeast of the proud religious law-keepers and of Herod.”

(3) What is yeast?
(3-4) What happens if you add this yeast when you make a bread?

Jesus was asking them not to add stuff to God’s words, not to twist the original meaning of what God says.

Like this, Jesus was talking about spiritual matters.
But the disciples didn’t understand.
So, they were like:
“Jesus is talking about bread, because we forgot to bring our lunch.
We forgot to bring our bread.”

But Jesus was like:
“No, it is not about bread or lunch.
Don’t you understand this?
Don’t you remember?
After I fed more than five thousand people with five loaves of bread, how many baskets were you able to fill with the leftovers?”
They replied:
“We filled twelve baskets.”

“And then, after I fed more than four thousand people with seven loaves of bread, how many baskets were you able to fill with the leftovers?”
They answered:
“We filled seven baskets.”

Then Jesus was like:
“Don’t you understand?”

Maybe Jesus wanted to say something like this:
“See, I can multiply food and create food.
I am God.
I can do those things.
So, I don’t worry about food.
What I am telling you is that in this world some people will try to twist my teaching to push their agenda and serve their purpose.
They may add stuff into my teaching.
Then they may ask you to rethink about Jesus.
They may add wrong opinions about me.
So, I am saying: watch out for this.
And don’t mix them with my teaching.”

As for Jesus, it is very important how we understand him.
If we understand him, we will live differently.

So, Jesus tries to help us understand who he is.
Jesus tries to help us understand that Jesus is God who loves us.
Jesus tries to help us maintain this faith without compromising it.

Jesus hopes that we understand and find peace in Jesus.
Then we may even live proclaiming that Jesus is God who loves everyone.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to understand who you are.
Help us to live understanding you are God who loves us.

So, may we live humbly and patiently according to your teaching.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.


Matthew 21:18-22


You must give something back
Reading: Matthew 21:18-22
Additional reading: Mark 11:12–14
K-hymns: 268, 492

Jesus was about to finish his ministry.
Then early in the morning, Jesus was on his way back to Jerusalem city.
He needed to have a breakfast.
Then when he saw a fig tree with a lot of leaves, he thought:
“Since it has a lot of leaves, it will have a lot of fruits.”
So, he went up to it.
But he found no fruits.
Then Jesus realized that this tree only receive all kinds of nutrition but don’t give its fruits to the world.
So, he cursed the tree saying:
“May you never bear fruit again!”
The tree withered immediately.

The disciples said:
“Wou. How did that happen?
The fig tree withered so fast.”

Then Jesus was like:
“If you have faith and do not doubt, you can do that, too.
(4) If you have faith, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
If they don’t doubt, this kind of things will happen.
If they pray for something and then have no doubt, God will accomplish it.
This kind of power is available to you.”

But don’t you think that Jesus was so mean to the tree.
Why did Jesus use his power against this fig tree like that?
Why was Jesus so mad at this tree?
I don’t think Jesus was just hungry.
Using this fig tree Jesus was giving a warning.

Another time, Jesus told this kind of story: Luke 13: 6-9
A man had a fig tree in his vineyard.
He went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.
So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard:
“For three years I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any.
Cut it down!
Why should it waste my land and my soil?”

Then the man replied:
“Sir, leave it alone for one more year.
I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.
If it bears fruit next year, fine!
If not, then let’s cut it down.”

Basically this person is saying:
“Let’s be more gracious to it one more year.”

God provides sun and water to this tree.
But it only receives and receives and receives.
It receives good energy from sun.
It receives good nutrition from the land.
It receives good stuff.
But this fig tree contributes nothing back.
It gives nothing back to the world.
This tree is supposed to produces good fruits.
This tree is there to give something back.

God is not asking the fig tree to produce apples or orange.
God is asking it to produce figs.
It is natural.
It is their gifts.
That is what fig tree does.

When it produces fruits, God will be happy.
God will look at the fruits and rejoice, saying:
“This is good.
That is good.
Thank you for these wonderful fruits.”

Telling this story, Jesus is saying to people:
Just like God does not like that fig tree has only leaves, God wants people to repent and produce good fruits.
God wants people to return to God, trust the promise of God and come clean and then bear God’s fruits.
For this goal, God provides faith and good promises and good words to people.
God provides prophets faithfully.
God provides good energy for them.
God provides hope.
God helps them to have faith.
God works in their lives.
Then God wants to serve others through them.
God wants to produce wonderful fruits, through them.
Then God will be happy for them when they produce something positive.

Otherwise, people may experience something like curse.
So, Jesus suggests the way of blessing instead of curse.
If we obey Jesus and learn to produce good fruits, we enter into the life of blessings.
When we live the life of giving, we enter into the life of blessings.
If you obey what God says, you live a happy life.

Jesus shows that those who believe in him can produce good fruits.
It is natural.
Jesus will help them produce something good.
Jesus will help them to believe in God so that they can produce something good.
It is natural.

This may apply to each nation, each city and each church.
This applies to the Jewish nation.
This may apply to Korea.
This applies to USA.
God gives and provides and expects that they produce something good.
Each person, each nation needs to allow God to produce something good through them.
God provides good stuff expecting this result.

But if some nation or some people do not want to serve others, they may wither.
They may be cursed.
If they are not interested in producing anything good even though they have received God’s grace and mercy, they may wither.
They may experience something like being cursed.

When I didn’t know this fully, I also lived like that before.
If there are two choices, I chose to receive, instead of giving.
Then I experience a curse, rather than blessings.
Then I have to pray saying:
“God, help me to serve you fully despite the time I wasted.”
Then when I live a life of giving, I rather experience blessings.

So, don’t make my mistakes.
Serve God instead.
If God wants you to study, study for God, for people for the world.
If God wants to you to work, work for God, for people for the world.

We are here to obey Jesus.
Jesus wants to produce some good fruits through us.
For this glorious goal, Jesus even promised us:
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
If you believe, God can produce something good through you.
If you believe and obey, Jesus can change your life.
So, ask God to help you to believe and obey.
Then God will be with us blessing you and enriching you even more.”
God is with us.
We just need to allow God to produce something good through us.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for giving so much.
Now, we offer our life to you.
Use it and produce something good through us.
We pray in Jesus’ name.


Matthew 25:14-30 (4)


God is like a mirror
Reading: Matthew 25:14-30
Blanks: doubled, partner, investment, invest, give

(3) Once upon a time, there was a man who owned a nice land.
He was a very good investor.
Then he heard that he could find more gold in California.
So, he decided to have a go.
But he also had a lot of gold already.
So, he entrusted his gold to his servants.
He gave five bags of gold to one savant, two bags of gold to another, and one bag of gold to another.
He gave them according to their ability.
Then he asked them to do something productive with it.
Then he went off to find more gold.

(2) All the servants knew that their Master wanted to increase his wealth.
So, the man with five bags of gold invested his gold and gained five more bags.
The man with two bags also invested his gold and gained two more.
Because they watched and learned from their master on how increased wealth, they were able to produce this wonderful result.
They were also trustworthy people.

Now they realized their master was a good teacher.
What their master taught really worked.
Now they were happy that they also learned to think like their master.

After this, they were ready to meet their master.
So, they enjoyed their life, waiting for their master.

(3) But the guy with one bag refused to practice what he learned from his master.
In fact he was mad at his master.
He complained about his master and the way that he built his wealth.
He didn’t want to live like his master.
He thought that his master was lazy and wicked.
So, he applied nothing from what his master taught him.

Then, this man played really, really, really safe with one bag.
In fact he played too safe.
He didn’t want to take a risk.
In fact he didn’t know how to manage risk.
So, he dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s gold.

(3) After a long time, the master returned with a lot of gold.
Then he wanted to find out how his servants were doing with the gold.

Then the man who had received five bags of gold brought five more bags.
The man who had received two bags of gold bought two more bags.

(3) Then the master was like:
“Wow, you are really good at this.
Let me put you in charge of many things.
Be my partners from now on so that you can enjoy your life with me!”

(3) Then the man who received one bag of gold came and said:
“Master, you are a very difficult man.
You don’t want to work.
But you know how to make people work for you.
You know how to make your money work for you.
You know how to invest your gold.
Since you know better than me, I just hid your gold in the ground.
So, here is your gold.”

This man enjoyed good life and good food that the master provided.
But in his speech, he sort of accused his master for not working hard, even though he was the one who didn’t work hard.

So, the master was like:
“Wait a minute. Hold on.
Why didn’t you invest my money at all?
Didn’t you learn anything from me?
Didn’t you learn nothing about how to invest your money?
Didn’t you learn how to make people work for you?
Didn’t you learn how to make your money work for you?

“Well, if you don’t want to work with me like this, why do I need you at all?
I could just put my money into my bank account and receive my interest.
That would be better than this.”

Then he said:
“Well, I am sorry.
I need to let you go.
You are not my servant anymore.”

(3) Then he took the bag of gold from him and gave it to the one who had ten bags of gold, because he knew what to do with one more bag.

(3) Jesus told this kind of story because he wanted people to learn from God and live like God.
But this person misunderstand God, and think that God is demanding and not reasonable.
But those understand God’s heart and God’s intention realize how much God loves them and is gracious to them.
Those who understand God, understand what God is doing.
Then they are even able to live like God.
They are even able to help people with the power that God gives them.

(3) God is like a mirror sometimes.
So, sometimes when people look at God, they only see themselves.

Like this story, the good and faithful servants think that God is good and faithful.
But the servant who was not good and faithful could not see that God is good and faithful.
He thought God is negative, judgmental and mean.
But in fact he lived like that: negative, judgmental and mean.

But those who are faithful and good, can see that God is good and faithful.
They are able to live mercifully, because they think that God is merciful.
You see, sometimes God is like a mirror.

That is why it is difficult to understand who God is.
But Jesus can help us.
Jesus can people to understand who God is.
Then, when people understand, they live differently.
They treat people differently because they understand who God is.

(3) Today’s story also tells us that God gives us something to multiply.
We have something to multiply.
We have something to invest and see the great result.

But in order to multiply, we need to learn.
We need to learn from Jesus on how to multiply in God’s way.
Jesus is accomplishing things, in God’s way, using God’s power.
So, God asks us to learn from his way of doing things.
God asks us to look at his ministry on earth.
We need to learn from Him.
Then we may be able to think like God and understand the mind of God.
Then we may be able to increase God’s wealth on earth.
Then we may be able to multiply what God wants to multiply.
We may be even able to help people understand God and increase God’s wealth on earth.

In this way, we are prepared to meet God.
Then when we meet God face to face, God may say:
“Wow, good job. Well done.”

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for helping us to understand who you are.
Help us to understand how you live so that we may live accordingly.
Help us to use what we receive for you as well.
We pray this in Jesus name.

Let God's gift work for you.


Matthew 26:36-46 (1)

Making you feel peaceful
Reading: Matthew 26:36-46

Let's think about the emotional life of Jesus.
Since Jesus was also a fully human, Jesus felt tired emotionally and physically, after a long hour of ministry.
So, he often went up to a mountain to be alone.
There he found a rest and relaxation.
He prayed there and release some of continual emotional pressure.
In this place, he had no pressing needs or worries.
He just spent time with God, who gives him new energy and strength to face another high pressure moments that were coming.

Jesus often withdrew himself from various emotional situations, because he knew his human limits and his breaking point.
So, he refused to reach his limit.
Instead, he stopped his ministry and sent people home.
Jesus withdrew intentionally to quiet places where he could unwind and refocus.
He took various emotional mini-vacations throughout his ministry.
Sometimes, it was just a momentary relief from the mounting pressures.
But he knew that he must free himself from these high stress activities, time to time.
If he had continual emotional pressure with no relief or downtime or rest or break, he would have felt depressed
Then he might not be able to continue his ministry.

But then right before the cross, Jesus felt sorrowful and troubled.
He might not have experienced anything like this.
This was the lowest point of his emotional life.
He said that he was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.
It was very painful to stand and wait knowing fully well what would happen at the cross.
So he wanted to pray.
So he wanted his disciples to stay awake with him.
He needed their help.
But they could not give it.

Jesus has been pressured in every way.
He felt the weight of the world bearing down on his shoulders, crushing him, and depressing his spirit.
He suffered as he was tempted.
Through this, Jesus has won the victory for us.
Jesus has died for us and shed his blood for our wellness.
Because he was emotionally healthy, he could have finished this ministry.

Today, depression affects all of us to some degree.
It is the common cold of our emotional health.
But for millions of people, depression is far worse than a cold.
It is a chronic, debilitating problem that takes a devastating toll on the overall quality of one’s life.

People enter into depression slowly through a process.
People slowly find ourselves depressed and beaten down more and more.
If you don’t know how to have rest and have a renewal in God, you enter into it.
Depression occurs because of harmful thoughts in a not healthy emotional environment.
Depression may accelerates when we don’t trust the word of God and the promise of God.

As one becomes depressed, his thinking becomes progressively more painful and harmful.
Then because of harmful thoughts, he feels more and more hopeless, helpless, and guilty.
Then these harmful thinking leads to more harmful thinking.
In this way people enter into a depression.
So, this person needs to change his or her mind.

Today we are going to think about how to help those who need to manage their feeling well.
We are going to talk about those who, if they are not careful, their emotion can be out of control.
They may be surprised by the sudden movement of your emotion or some thoughts.
They may find their emotion does not work against them.
Then they need to learn to take care of their emotion.

If your emotion does not function very well, if it goes up and down out of control, you may need to learn to manage this emotion.
You don’t have to trust your emotion, when it does not serve you.
It is your servant, not your lord.
So, question your thought or emotion.
If you believe a wrong thought, you suffer.
If you have a wrong pattern of thought, you suffer.
So, if your thought does not serve you, add doubts to your thoughts.
Ask: are you really sure?
And think about who you will be without these thoughts.

You can think about yourself as a machine.
How can you make it function well?
Can you fix it by changing your daily food?
Can you fix it by changing your daily routine?
Can you fix it by giving yourself more time to sleep?
Can you fix it by doing more of those things you love?

What makes you peaceful?
Write down when you feel good and when you feel bad.
Also learn about what thoughts makes you feel depressed.

Pay attention of your thoughts and emotion and learn to change your thoughts and emotion.

If you are depressed, find something make you peaceful.
Don’t worry about what other people need.
Find something make you feel peaceful.
Do more of those things that makes you peaceful.
In this way you can help people.
If you feel depressed, you don’t need to worry about forgiving people or worry about what people think of you.
Forget about them.
Then think of Jesus and focus on Jesus.
In this way you can forgive and help people.

So, read the gospels of Jesus.
You can read out loud to fight back your depression.
Read again and again.
If you feel depressed, try not to read Old Testament, because some stories of Old Testament are about how people made God disappointed.
It can be sad and depressing.
Reading it, you may feel more depressed.
So, read about Jesus who loves you and died for you.
Meditate on that.
Read and think about that.

Don’t worry.
Your every experience will work together for good one day
All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

In the New Testament, we read that Jesus healed many people.
Some of them were physically ill.
Jesus healed them.
Some of them were suffering from evil spirits.
Jesus healed them.
Some of them had mental illness.
Jesus healed them.
Jesus healed their minds.
I am sure that Jesus can heal those who feel depressed.
And Jesus can also sympathize with our weaknesses because he has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin.
So, he knows how to help us.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, you see who I am.
You were familiar with the human condition.
I do not want to hide anything in my heart from you.

Thank you for your guidance.
Thank you for your blood that you shed for us.
Thank you for dying for us to give us eternal life.
Thank you for delivering us from evil.
Change our mind and emotion for good.

Jesus, thank you for freeing us.
Thank you for your victory in life.
May we proclaim your freedom wherever we go.
In your name, we pray.


Mark 8:27-38 (1)


The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus
Reading: Mark 8:27-38
Additional reading: 1 Corinthians 6:14
Blanks: what about you, suffer, killed, rise, God, cross, loses

About this time, Jesus wanted to know how much his students have understood so far.
(3) So he asked:
"Who do you say that I am?"
(3) Who is he?

Peter came up with one of the right answers.
"You are the Messiah."

But Jesus didn’t give Peter the credit.
Jesus gave the credit to God, instead.
Jesus recognized that God has been working and persuading him to realize this.

Anyway, at this time, the disciples of Jesus roughly understood that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God.
Then for the next lesson, Jesus stated to teach them that he must suffer many things, as the Jewish elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law would reject him.
Then the Roman Government would kill him, even though they would not have enough evidence to convict him.
As if being the Christ is a crime, they could kill him.
But then after three days he would rise again.

Jesus wanted to help his students understand this part of his life.
So, Jesus explained to them again and again.
Jesus was like:
“It is God’s plan.
This is how God gives eternal life.
So, don’t try to stop me living like this.
But be part of it.
Prepare your mind for this.
And remember that I will rise back again.
I am aiming for my resurrection and your resurrection.
I prepare my mind for this.
So you, my students also must buy into this.”

But then Peter didn’t want to hear this.
So, he had a nasty argument with Jesus.
He just didn't want to hear about the death of Jesus.
It was scary.
He wondered: how could this be helpful to anybody?

So, he rebuked Jesus for talking about his death like this.
Then Jesus rebuked Peter saying:
“Get away from me, Satan!
You don’t care about the same things God does.
You care only about things that people think are important.
You have no idea how God works.
God wants to turn things around.
In this way, God will bring people to himself.”

Then, Jesus explained how God thinks.
Then Jesus was like:
“If you want to be my disciple, you must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
If you want to save your life, you will lose it.
If you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it.
What good is it for you to gain the whole world, yet lose your soul?
What can you give in exchange for your soul?
If you are ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, I will be ashamed of you when you come in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

It turned out Jesus was calling people to die and lose for God.
That was the situation that Jesus saw.
So, Jesus was asking them to aim at their resurrection.
Jesus was asking them to aim at the world beyond this one, because Jesus could help them to live there.

It was a difficult pill to swallow.
But Jesus talked about his death often until they understood.
Even after Jesus was resurrected, Jesus reminded them saying:
“The Son of Man was to be delivered into the hands of men.
They killed him, and after three days he rose.”

When Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to them, the Holy Spirit continually explained this so that they could understand.
The Holy Spirit asked them to aim at their resurrection as the Holy Spirit helps them.

God, who has raised Jesus, will raise us up through the Holy Spirit.
(3) But no cross, no resurrection.
We need to take up our cross.
Jesus will empower us to take up our cross.
Then we will have the resurrection of Jesus.
We will experience the power of the resurrection that Jesus bestows on through the Holy Spirit.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, gracious and loving God, you came to give us abundant life.
Thank you for calling us to be your followers of the truth.
Fill us now with your strength to take up our cross and follow you.
May we live the abundance of true life you intend for us.
May people around us also see your love and grace at work in us and follow you with us as well.

Jesus, you choose to suffer and have the glory of resurrection.
May we be able to live in this power of resurrection.
May we follow you all the way.
Through Christ our Lord, we pray.

You will be able to go there by your own power.
The Holy Spirit will help you there so that you may follow the right living.


Pastoral Prayer 19

Jesus, you are gentle and humble.
We hear your gentle calling saying:
“You, follow me.”

Sometimes, we wonder whether we are here, because you have called us here.
May you lead us into the right path.

You call us to follow you.
So many Christians are all over the world.
You send them all over the world to prepare your coming.
May we love your people wherever we are.
When you invite us to be part of your project and your plan, help us to obey.
And help us to feel what you feel about that project and plan.
May we follow you, giving our lives in the place where we live.
Help us to take the risk.
Help us to love and suffer with you.
Help us to forget about ourselves and follow you and work for the reconciliation of your Church.

Jesus, help us to follow you together.
May you establish necessary network of your people.
When you speak to us, help us respond courageously.
May we keep on moving forward, sustained by your Spirit.

Now to you we entrust our family and friends, all who have asked for our prayers and who pray for us.
May they realize that your love will always be with them.
May your name be holy in our family.
May you reign our family.
May your will be done in our family.
May we receive our daily bread.
May we forgive each other.
To you all the praise, honor, forever and ever.

Jesus, you want us to become new creatures in you.
Touch and heal our minds, and fill them with your Spirit.
In your name, we pray.

Forgive our nations' sin.


Matthew 5: 14-16 (1)


(A children sermon for a Hallelujah Night)
Reading: Matthew 5: 14-16
Prop: a box, candles and the Christ Candle

(2) Have you heard about this song?
“This little light of mine, I am going to let it shine. (x 3)
Let it shine. (x 3)
Everywhere I go, I am going to let it shine. (x 3)
Let it shine. (x 3)”

Ok, we are going to learn about the meaning of this song.

Now what is this?
Yes, it is a candle.
Let’s say that this is Jesus’ Candle.
This candle is not Jesus.
But let’s say that this candle represents Jesus, ok?
Using this candle, we can think about how Jesus can be our light.

The Bible says Jesus is the light of the world.
Jesus is here to shine the light.
How can Jesus be the light of the world?
Let’s think about that.
So, let’s light this candle.

Now have you ever been afraid of something?

What do people do when they are afraid of something?
They hide, right?
Me, too.
In fact, when I am afraid of something, I like to hide myself in the box.
(Hide in the box)
Then I feel I am safe.

But then Jesus come bringing his light. (Bring the Christ Candle near the box)
Then Jesus may stay with me awhile.
Then Jesus helps me to get comfortable with his light.
Then Jesus may also say:
“I am your light.
So, don’t be afraid.
I will be with you.
I will travel with you.”
Since Jesus is with me, I know I am safe.
Then I may feel peaceful.
Then I may travel with Jesus following his light.
I can go anywhere with Jesus.

But sometimes if I am afraid, I may want to go back to the box.
Then Jesus may encourage me to follow him, because then everything will be ok.

Jesus is God who created the heaven and earth.
Jesus can protect me.
Jesus is powerful.
Jesus can guide me into the right path.
So, I don’t need to be afraid.

So, I can come out of the box.
I can do something good with Jesus.
I can help people and shine God’s light.
That is what we can do with our lives.

In this way we can shine the light that Jesus gives us.
So, let’s practice.
We are going to give you a candle.
Everyone, have a candle.
(Give out candle)
When every one of you has a candle, we are going to turn off all these electric lights.
Are you going to be afraid?
Don’t worry.
I will keep this light of Jesus alive.

What we are doing is to practice shining the light of Jesus.
We will try to receive the light from this Jesus candle.
We will all share the light.
In this way we will think about what is like to share the light of Jesus.

Are you ready?
Ok, turn off the light please.
Now from this Jesus candle, let’s all share.
When you receive the light, share with your neighbors, ok?

When you have the light, you shine the light.
When you have the light, you can share your light with your friends and with your family.

Another way we can shine the light, is to pray for people.
Then God will do something good for them.
God will shine the light of Jesus for our friends and for our family.
So now let’s ask God to keep them safe.
Let’s pray:

God, thank for you giving us your light.
Thank you for giving us your peace.
May you be always with us.
May we share your peace and your light with our friends and family.
May you keep them safe.
May you bless them giving them wisdom and peace.
Give them power to follow you.
In Jesus name, we pray.

Now let’s sing this song one more time:
“This little light of mine, I am going to let it shine. (x 3)
Let it shine. (x 3)
Everywhere I go, I am going to let it shine. (x 3)
Let it shine. (x 3)”

Now we are going to turn on the light.
Now you can blow off your candle.
Teachers, please collect the candles.

Jesus says that we are the light of the world.
Jesus will shine God’s light through us.
So, now let us go out from this place and allow Jesus to shine God’s light through us.

Now for our second programs, we are also going to play some games and learn stuff.
Are you ready for that?
Ok, let’s go out.


Matthew 17:14-20 (2)

Reading: Matthew 17:14-20
Prop: mustard seed and a bandage
Actors: a mother and a child; the disciples; and Jesus.

How many of you are 5th graders?
Come forward, please.
I need your help.
You are going to be my actors, ok?
You are going to be a mother and a child.
(Put a bandage to the son)
You are going to be the disciples of Jesus.
You are going to be Jesus.

Ok, let me tell you a story.
One day, Jesus went up to a mountain to pray.
In the meantime, his disciples were just hanging around.

Then one mother and a child came and said:
Is Jesus here?”

The disciples said:
"He went up to that mountain to pray.
Can we help you?”

The mother said:
“Yes, it is about my son.
He needs of healing.
I hear that Jesus can heal him.”

The disciples say:
“Oh, we can do that.
We learn from Jesus.
We are his disciples.”

So the disciples try to heal that boy.
One by one, disciples try to heal.
(Ask disciples to heal.
Just pretend.)
But their all fancy techniques failed.
But they continue to try.
Then, Jesus returns.

Jesus says:
“What do you doing?”
The disciples say:
“Huh, we are trying to heal this nice young man.
But it does not work.”

Then Jesus sighs and says:
“Bring him here.
God loves you, son.”
Then Jesus heals the boy.
(Jesus take off the bandage and let him go.)

The mother says:
“Thank you.
Thank you.
He is completely healed.”
Then they left.

The disciples asked:
“Jesus, how come we cannot heal him?”
Jesus said:
“Because your faith is this big.
This is a mustard seed.
Your faith needs to grow.”

The disciples said:
“Well, our faith must be bigger than this.”

Jesus said:
If you have faith as big as this mustard seed, you can tell this table to move and it will obey you.”

Well that is our story today.
Thank you all the actors.
Now you can have a sit.

Jesus says:
“If you have faith as small as this mustard seeds, you can do amazing things.”
But then how can we have this faith?
We have faith when we listen to Jesus, his story and his promises.
Jesus can give us this faith.
So, Jesus asks us to pray and ask God to give us the faith of Jesus Christ.
Then we may have this much faith, right?
So, now let’s ask Jesus to give us faith so that we may do what God wants us to do, ok?

Let’s pray:
Jesus, give us your faith so that we can walk with you, talk with you and be happy with you.
In your name, we pray. Amen.


Matthew 17:14-20 (1)


Living with the unlimited belief of Jesus
Reading: Matthew 17:14-20

Sometimes, we may have a limited belief, a limited faith.
We may even have an unhealthy belief or an unhealthy faith.
We may also live with those who have a limited belief, a limited faith, an unhealthy belief or an unhealthy faith.
So, we may not recognize that we have a limited belief, a limited faith, an unhealthy belief or an unhealthy faith, because we have lived with those limited beliefs so long.
Since we have been living with them so long, we thought this was a norm.
And we learn to think like them and live like them.
So, we feel normal.
But because of it we suffer without knowing the full potential that is given by God.

Maybe you are living with those who always say:
“You cannot do that.
You don’t know anything.”
They may say this limited belief about you and about themselves.
Then since you grew up in that environment, you may be always complaining saying:
“It didn’t work.
It is too difficult or impossible.
I am too young. So, I am not able.
I am too old. So, I cannot do that.
I cannot do that, because I don’t have an education.
I cannot do that, because I don’t have a degree.
I cannot do that because of my situation.
I cannot do that, because I am a Korean.
I cannot do that, because I am an Asian.
I cannot do that, because I am an American.
I cannot succeed because my sister or my brother has not succeed yet.”

You may be saturated with these wrong thoughts.
Then saying these things, you may not resist doing new things even when God inspires you.
You may not even try, because you have a limiting belief.
And it limits your thinking.
Your limited beliefs lead to limited imagination.
A limited imagination leads to mediocre results.

How can we get rid of these limiting beliefs?
We change them by the grace of God in Jesus name.

But we may also do two things to help God work in us.
First, we need to read the story of Jesus.
We need to read about the unlimited faith of Jesus.
This unlimited faith leads to unlimited prayer and unlimited imagination.
Then we may need to verbalize these in our prayer time.
In this way, God may change our limited and false belief.
Then we may pray according to our unlimited belief which will lead to a great result in Jesus name.

So, secondly, Jesus invites us to talk to God.
When we talk to God, we understand what God thinks.
Then God may give us a wonderful imagination about how our life can go on.
God gives us an idea to bless other people and God.
When we pray, God can free us from all those false and wrong beliefs.
Then as we pray, you may understand.
As you pray, you may have ideas, visions or goals.
Then you can plan your life based on God’s vision and dream toward you.
So, praying in Jesus’ name, we can have a goal.
Then we can pray about various actions plan.
Then we can carry out those plans in Jesus name.
In this way, we learn to do more and do better and do well.

When we read the story of Jesus, we become a good manager of our mind.
Sometimes, God may intervene and ask you to obey Jesus.
Then we may learn to forgive and do what Jesus wants for our life.

For example Jesus said:
“You have so little faith.
The truth is that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.”
We need to learn this new powerful thoughts of Jesus.
We need to teach this powerful belief of Jesus.
In this way, we get to know God through Jesus the Christ.

Jesus was trying to help us going beyond some limited beliefs.
Jesus was trying to create an unlimited belief in us.
So, Jesus wanted us to say:
“All things are possible for those who believe in Jesus.
We are called to have power beliefs in Jesus' name.
Jesus can update our thoughts and beliefs according to the truth.”

You may also gather all the powerful promise and beliefs of Jesus Christ.
You may think of these beliefs to strengthen you.
For example:
“As for God all is possible.”
“We can do all things in Jesus name.”
“God loves you.
God loves you and gives the Son of God for you.”

Some of our limited and false belief may be hard to change.
One of the things that we can do is to add doubt to our false and limited beliefs.
(1) When you face some limiting beliefs that you have, you ask:
Is it true?
In this way, you may question and weaken these false and limited beliefs.
Some people have a weird belief saying:
“If I succeed, my siblings and friends would feel terrible or jealous.
So, I should not succeed.”
Then add doubts:
Is it true?

Some people add doubts when Jesus says:
“As for God all is possible.”
We add doubts.
Then because of it, we could not experience the truth.
So, we should add doubts to false, limited beliefs, instead.

Lastly, it is good to have an unlimited belief.
But having this unlimited belief does not mean that we can do whatever we want.
This unlimited belief also has a limit, because we want to have the unlimited belief to please God.
So, we draw a line according to our calling in life.
Then, we stay inside the line: inside of our calling.
That means we know when to say no.
We say no to other things that is not our calling.
When we know our calling, we know what we are not going to do.
It is good to know what we are not going to do, because we only have 24 hours per day.
Then we can say yes to our calling and devote our time to it.
Then we can follow our calling.

So when we have new opportunity, we prayerfully decide what we are going to do, based on our calling.
We also prayerfully decide what you are not going to do, based on our calling.
Then our life will eventually produce the wonderful results that God intended even before we were born.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, we believe that we can do all things in your name.
Help us to know what to do with our life.
Then help us to move forward with your plan.
In Jesus name we pray.