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.