Reading: Mark 10:35-45
Additional reading: Philippians 2:1-13, Philippians 2:3
Blanks: know, baptized, belong, prepared, servant, slave
When God wants to change the world, God sent Jesus to change the world.
When Jesus wants to change the world, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to change the world.
When the Holy Spirit wants to change the world, the Holy Spirit creates the churches to change the world.
When the church wants to change the world, the church prays and trains God's servants to change the world.
So, to make God’s will be done on earth, God gave the Son of God.
The Son of God gave the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit gave the church.
The church trained new servants for that.
God is doing God’s own part.
Jesus is doing his own part.
The Holy Spirit is doing her own part.
The church is doing her own part to change the world.
In order for this process to work, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the church, these servants should have the very important inner attitude of serving:
They need to be willing to serve.
They need to be willing to live a life of servant.
Then God is serving.
The Son of God is serving.
The Holy Spirit is serving.
The church is serving.
God’s servants are serving.
In order to understand this process, let’s try to understand a business world:
In the business world, it may work like this.
Those who serve more customers win.
If Apple serve more through their products, Apple wins.
If Samsung serve more through their products, Samsung wins.
“It is all about who serve better.
If you serve better, you win.”
In a business world, it is like that.
If you serve better through your arts, your writings, or your works, you win.
In terms of our spiritual benefit, this can be understood like this.
If you want to be a good spiritual leader, you need to serve.
If you want to follow Jesus, you need to serve.
When you are willing to serve, you can be part of God's movement.
So Jesus may say something like this:
“I need those who use their power to serve others.
I need those who invest their lives to give people an advantage in life.
I need those who push their way to the bottom to serve the poor.
I need those who allow other people to serve and be happy.
I need those who are willing to leave everything to start over for God.
I need those who let others get ahead.
“Put your ego aside.
Live a life of service quietly and patiently.
Then you will bear much fruits.
Focus on serving others.
Then God will use you to bear much fruits in this world.
Help also those who try to serve.”
Jesus served giving his life to free many people.
Jesus also loved to give a chance for his students to serve.
Jesus didn't do everything.
Jesus loved to give the opportunity to serve.
When people could do for themselves, Jesus let them to what they could do for themselves.
For example, do you remember when Jesus called out Lazarus from his tomb?
At that time, Jesus asked other people:
“Remove the stone.”
Jesus could have removed the stone.
But Jesus didn’t remove the stone.
Because they could do that for themselves.
Jesus helped them to be part of this miracle.
At that time, they could not raise Lazarus from the death.
But they could remove the stone.
So Jesus asked them to do what they could do and be part of this miracle.
Also remember when Jesus multiplied the food and fed thousand of people: five bread and two fishes?
At that time, Jesus asked his students to give out the food that was multiplied.
Jesus asked his students to do what they could do and be part of this miracle.
Jesus gave them the opportunity to serve.
Jesus helped them to do something to serve people.
So we also want to give the opportunity to serve.
We want to give people a chance to go out and serve according to their own gifts and talents.
Then you may be able to help many people joyfully learn and grow.
Jesus empowers his people to serve through the Holy Spirit.
So we will find out what we can do.
We will learn to develop our gift and talent because we will find an opportunity to serve others.
So find what you can do for other people.
Hone your skills.
Then we may serve better and better.
In this way, we will be part of the ministry of Jesus today.
Jesus, thank you for serving us.
Help us to serve you and help people.
Help us to pray for people and seek their eternal benefit.
Help us to live like you.
In Jesus name, we pray.
Reading: John 15: 9-17
Additional reading: Joshua 6:1-20, Matthew 28:16-20, Matthew 9:35-38
Blanks: remain, joy, Love, friends, known, chose, appointed, fruit
(1) Have you heard about “Prayer Walk”?
What is prayer walk?
Simply put, it is to pray and walk at the same time.
You walk around your neighborhood and pray for your neighbors.
Or you walk around your school and pray for people there.
Or you walk around your room and pray for the world.
That is prayer walk.
Have you ever done that?
(3) Prayer walk can be done anywhere and anytime.
So, some people go and pray for various cities, and universities.
Some people visit other nations and pray for that nation.
(3) Some people go to a mission field and pray for people there.
Some people put down a world map and pray for the world.
So prayer walk can be easy.
You can just go and pray.
But I have some suggestion.
You may pray like this.
(4) Let's say you decide to pray for your neighbors.
So you want to prepare yourself first.
You may pray for God’s protection over you.
You may give praise and thanks to God for your city. (Psalm 100:1, John 12:32)
You may give thanks for all the things that Jesus has done there.
You may sing and worship.
You may pray that God may be honored, loved, lifted up, revealed and praised there.
In this way, you recognize that Jesus is the Lord of your city.
(3) Then you may read the story of Jesus to think about what Jesus may ask you to pray for.
His words may help you and guide your prayer.
(3) Then you may go and pray that Jesus may bless your community even more.
You may pray for people there.
You may pray that God may heal them and cleanse them spiritually.
You may pray that Jesus may manifest more in their lives.
You may pray that they may understand God.
You may pray that they may experience God’s power in their life.
You may pray that they may live peacefully and live a peaceful life.
(2) As you pray, the Holy Spirit may give you some idea.
The Holy Spirit may give you the word of knowledge. (I Corinthians 12:8)
That means, suddenly you will get a good idea.
Then you may realize what to pray about.
The Holy Spirit may give you a word of wisdom.
Then you may know how to pray wisely.
(1) But why do we pray walking around our neighborhood?
Can we just pray at home?
You can do that.
(3) But when you go and pray, you may get some new insights or impressions.
The Holy Spirit may guide you to see, hear, or smell something.
The Holy Spirit may give you some information.
(3) The Holy Spirit may say:
“I want you come here and pray for this people or that people.”
The Holy Spirit may guide your steps and guide your prayers.
(3) For example, the Holy Spirit may ask you pray for their forgiveness from sins.
Then you may pray for their forgiveness and their freedom. (Daniel 9:2-19, Psalm 51:17)
You may pray that God may help them understand God’s love and God’s forgiveness.
And as you pray, God will forgive them and free them.
Then you may experience God’s working in their lives.
(2) As you pray, you want to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit of God.
You want to pray according to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
When the Holy Spirit may guide you to pray and when you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, you may be able to feel what God feels about this place.
You may hear what God is saying.
You may recognize God’s hope and God’s plan for that city.
Then as you pray, you may experience more of God.
You may experience God’s power in your community. (Ephesians 6:10)
(3) God will guide you and lead your life.
God may open a door of opportunity so that you may get involved in what God is doing.
God may make you strong so that you may pray and serve your community.
So as you pray, you may hear more and feel more of God who says:
“I am here right with you.”
(2) But for some prayer request, you may need to pray for a long time.
You may need to pray patiently without giving up.
Some prayer request may take many days, or many years or many generations.
But then you will realize when your prayer is answered.
(4) God loves all the people, as you know.
So pray for all the people.
Pray for your city, your school, your family, your church and your world in Jesus name.
(2) And now before we end, let’s practice praying for our neighbors.
Why don’t we pray for our school, our classmates, our teachers, our neighbors or our family.
You may choose what you want to pray for.
Or you may ask God about what to pray for.
Then pray about what God is asking you today, ok?
If you don’t know what to pray for, pray for your school.
So now, we are going to pray about 30 seconds.
Use this 30 seconds to pray for some people, ok?
I am sure God is listening.
Let’s pray for 30 seconds:
(After 30 second)
Jesus, we thank you for your good works in our world.
May your good will and good plan be done.
May your eternal peace be experienced in this world.
Thank you for guiding us and leading us.
In Jesus name, we pray.
Reading: Matthew 12: 1-21
Blanks: bread, innocent, mercy, good, Stretch, hope
(3) Today again we meet a religious group called the Pharisees.
The Pharisees were those who tried to obey every detail of the Bible in their own way.
(3) For example, the Bible says that they should do no work on the Sabbath day which is Saturday.
Then, the scribes many forms of work that they should not do on the Sabbath day.
(3) For examples, they should do no harvesting on the Sabbath day.
(2) They should not prepare a meal on the Sabbath day.
It has to be done before the Sabbath day.
(3) On the Sabbath day, they should not walk beyond 1000 yards (about a half mile) away from their home.
(3) They can tie a knot with one hand, on the Sabbath day, if they can.
That is fine on the Sabbath day.
(3) But they should not tie a knot with two hands, on the Sabbath day, because that is doing work on the Sabbath day.
(3) Even thinking about working was a violation of the Sabbath.
So they did every necessary work before the Sabbath day.
(3) In fact, many chapters in the books of Mishnah, Jerusalem Talmud, and Babylonian Talmud, talked about how to keep the Sabbath holy and do no works.
There were many customs, many rules and many regulations.
It was very difficult to keep all of those.
But the Pharisees determined to keep them on the Sabbath day.
(2) Then one Sabbath day, they saw the students of Jesus went to a field, and picked some heads of grain (which was harvesting and preparing a meal) and ate them.
And Jesus didn't say anything to them.
Jesus just allowed his students to ignore the rules that the Pharisees worked so hard to keep:
So the Pharisees were like:
Your students are working on the Sabbath day.
They should do no work today.”
Then since they read the Bible a lot, Jesus gave them a short Bible study again.
Jesus was like:
“Well, this is how I read the Bible.
(3) In the Bible we read about the shewbread: I Samuel 21:1-6.
The shewbread are the 12 loaves of bread that the priests placed on every Sabbath day on a table in the holy place of the tabernacle as an offering to God.
The priests put new showbread every week and ate what was placed before.
(3) “But then David and his people were hungry when they were running away from King Saul.
The priest had only the showbread to give.
So David and his people ate the showbread that only the priests were supposed to eat.
"But did God judge David and his people for this?
No, God understood that David and his people were hungry and needed to eat.
And for David it was fine.
"So I am sure that God would understand my students.
They ate because they were hungry.
God understands that.
And they are ok because they follow me.
(3) "Here is another example.
The priests had a lot of works to do on the Sabbath day at the temple.
They were especially busy on the Sabbath day.
But God allowed them to work, because people needed to worship God there.
God understood that.
So as long as my students follow me, it is ok.
“In fact, God made the Sabbath for people.
God’s purpose for the Sabbath day was to help people to rest and grow spiritually.
It was nothing more.
That was the intention of God.
It was for the people.
Then again, Jesus used this passage of the Bible which he often used to teach the Pharisees:
(3) “Again in the Bible we read: Hosea 6:6:
“God desires mercy, not sacrifice.”
Jesus was saying:
(3) Let’s say that you show mercy to someone.
And let’s say that you sacrifice your life for God.
Which is better?
Which one does God value most?
(3) Showing mercy.
God is like that.
(3) The Pharisees were trying to sacrifice their lives in their own way.
But Jesus was like:
“God wants you to show mercy, compassion and kindness.
God wants you to help people and be merciful to them.”
(3) “God understands our needs.
God is merciful, kind and compassionate to us.
If you understand that, you will not judge my innocent students.
You will not judge all those people who need God’s mercy.
You will be merciful to them.”
(2) “Showing God’s mercy is more important to God.
It was more important than the showbread and the Sabbath.
Following me is more important."
So Jesus was merciful to his students and to those who need his help.
And Jesus wanted to help them to understand this merciful God on the Sabbath day.
(3) That is how God wants to be known.
God wanted to be known as the merciful God.
And Jesus wanted to help God to be known like that.
(3) People might have been wondering what to expect from God.
When God shows up in our life, how does God show up?
Then Jesus says that God shows up as the merciful God.
(3) In other words, if you want to do something for God, if you ask:
What does this merciful and kind and compassionate God expect me to do?
The merciful God wants to help you to love people and understand people.
The merciful God wants to help you to be merciful to other people.
The merciful God wants to help you to make the world a more merciful place, in Jesus name.
When you live like that, you are living like God.
And people will know that you are God’s child.
Because you behave like God.
Because you serve God and people like Jesus.
Jesus, you have started this merciful work among us.
You help us to live in your merciful way.
May we become the merciful ones like you God.
Thank you for accomplishing these good works through us, among us and in us.
Thank you for your wonderful blessings in our life.
In Jesus name, we pray.