5.28.2016

Matthew 10:1-15

Healing in the presence of Jesus!
Reading: Matthew 10:1-15
Additional readings: Luke 5:17-26, Luke 7:1-17, Luke 13:10-13, John 11:38-44, John 14:11-15, Matthew 11:2-5, Matthew 21:19-22, Mark 5:39-42, Mark 8:22-27, Mark 9:17-29, Mark 16:17-18, Acts 9:39-40, Acts 20:9-10 or 2 Kings 5: 1-14 (Naaman Healed of Leprosy)

Have you ever prayed for a healing?
Have you ever tried to pray for a healing?

When we read the gospel, we see Jesus often asked his disciples to go and heal the sick.
In Matthew 10:1 we read:
“Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”

Jesus asks his disciples to heal other people in the power of God.
In Matthew 10:8, Jesus said to them sending them off two by two:
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.”
Were they able to do that?

They believe that Jesus can heal people through them.
Then even after Jesus was ascended to heaven, after they received the Holy Spirit, they continue healing the sick.
They were continually doing what Jesus asked:
So we read: Acts 5:16
“Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.”

Does Jesus still ask us to use this power to heal the sick in the name of Jesus?
Then how should we use that power as a church?
How as a church may we use the power to heal the sick?
How are we going to use this power that God has given us?

Let’s think about some practical steps.
Let's think about some basic principles for healing ministry.

When Jesus healed people, Jesus sometimes asked them if they wanted to be healed.
If they wanted to be healed, Jesus healed them.
So the first thing that we may need to know before we pray for healing is:
Do they want to be healed?
Do we want to be healed?
Then we may be free from illness.

Secondly, Jesus says: Matthew 10:8
“Freely you have received; freely give."

Jesus gave this power freely.
So we receive this power freely.
So we give freely.
We do not ask any payment for using this power.
We do not ask people to honor us because we use this power.
We honor only God who has given this power to people.

When Apostle Paul was using this power to heal people, Christians knew that God healed people through Paul.
But some non-christians tried to honor Paul as if he were using his own power to heal the sick.
So Paul explained that he was only a human.
And they needed to honor only God whom Paul preached and through whose power he healed the sick.
Paul guided them to honor only Jesus the Christ.
In this way, Paul used this power humbly and freely.
He was not misguided and ended up honoring himself.
He didn’t feel superior because he used this power.

When we use this power, we also need to know that is not the sign of our salvation.
Remember what Jesus said.
Jesus said something like this:
In the day of judgement, some would say to Jesus:
“We have prophesied in your name.
We have worked miracles in your name.
We cast out demons in your name.”

But Jesus would say:
“Away from me, you evildoers.
I never knew you.”

Jesus also warned us that in the last day there will be many people who perform miracles and deceive many.

So I assume that some people may use this kind of power with a wrong belief.
I assume that some people may use this kind of power without knowing who God is.

So then we may be able to say:
Some may use this kind of power.
But that does not mean they are saved.
We need to use this power according to God's will.

That means, listening to Jesus is more important.
Obeying Jesus is more important.
Learning to live according to his will is more important.
Then we may use this power, according to his will.
Then we may live in the same faith of Jesus the Christ.
We may share the same message that Jesus shares.
We may do what Jesus wants us to do.
We may experience his presence.

When we read the Bible, the church is asked to pray for healing in the name of Jesus.
In James 5: 14 we read something like this:
“Is anyone among you sick?
Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them in the name of the Lord.”

This was a practice of that particular church.
In this way, I am sure they overcame illnesses.

Those who follow Jesus pray for healing.
Then God works through them.
Jesus gave this power to the church.

We may also use this power for evangelism like his disciples.
We remember that when Jesus asked his student to go and evangelize, he asked them to heal the sick and share the gospel.
In Luke 9:2 we read:
“Jesus sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
So we may use this power for our neighbors as well.
This will help people to believe in God who loves them and cares for them.

Nowadays we also need to think about healing of mental illness.
Do we believe that Jesus can heal mental illness?
Does Jesus only heal physical illness?

Jesus heals those who have a depression, paranoid, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
Jesus can heal people to have a good intellectual ability, a social togetherness, a good speech and behavior, a balanced emotional expression, a good common sense, and live a balanced life.

We also know that some Christians may have a mental illness.
When that happens, either they need to learn to cope with or they need to be free from these illnesses.
We may need to pray that God’s Spirit may work among them.
We may need to pray that Jesus may heal their mental illness.

We also know people who may have an anger disorder or other emotional disorder.
Jesus can help them to handle these emotions as well.
So we may pray so that people may learn to handle their emotions in Jesus.
Because Jesus can help any heart to find rest and peace in him alone.

What about Han?
Koreans have talked about this symptoms of Han.
Especially Korean women talk about this symptoms of Han.
It's not just self-pity.
It kind of a anger plus other problem?
Is it something deeper than that?
But do we believe that Jesus can heal this symptoms of Han?
Yes.
We may pray so that they may be healed and also live a less stressful life and live in peace.

Each ethnic group may have their own problems.
Do we believe that Jesus can heal each ethnic group and their own illness?
Do we believe that Jesus can heal them all?

Jesus can heal their souls.
Jesus can free them from old hurts and painful memories.
Jesus can heal our hearts.
Jesus can set us free in love to follow the way of Jesus.
Jesus can heal all people.

Now let's think about corporate faith.
It seems in a certain degree Jesus needs people to respond to his faith.
For example, in some places, Jesus didn’t do many miracles because of their lack of faith. (Matthew 13:58)
In some village, they collectively didn’t believe in God.
They were talking with each other reducing their faith.
They were influencing each other and didn’t expect healings.
So, Jesus left them.

If they asked Jesus to forgive their unbelief, Jesus could have healed their unbelief.
If they asked Jesus to increase their faith, Jesus might have helped them.

What about our society, our town?
We are living among anxious and insecure people.
We don't know what these insecure and anxious people would do.
If we become like them, we may have more stress.

Then what would happen if we have the faith of Jesus?
What would happen if we become less anxious, or not worry at all?
What would happen if we have faith and become thoughtful?
What would happen if we relax in God’s power?
We may create a place where people can be healed.
We may experience the presence of God.
We may create a place where people experience the presence of God.

In the presence of God people are healed.
Then we may not even have to pray for healing.
People will be healed.
If we have this peaceful faith in Jesus, then our people may also learn to have faith and be free from illness.
How can we become like that?

Well, we may learn listen to Jesus who says "Don't worry at all."
We may learn to reduce stress.
We read the gospel, so that God build up a great faith within our souls.
We learn to pray.

Or we may even pray to have greater faith than the Centurion whose servant Jesus healed.
Remember that story?
Jesus didn’t even see his servant, because the centurion believed that Jesus didn't even need to see his servant to heal.
The centurion believe that if Jesus speaks a word, his servant would be healed.
He understood what Jesus says is going to happen.
He seems to understand Jesus is the Son of God who created heaven and earth.
So the Centurion only wanted to know what Jesus would say about his servant.

Jesus said to the centurion:
"Go!
Let it be done according to your faith."
Then his servant was healed at that moment. (Matthew 8:13)

We pray to have greater faith than this.
How can we have faith?
What is faith?
Faith believes whatever Jesus says will happen.
Faith encourages us to believe what Jesus says.
So the first step for us to have faith is to listen to what Jesus says.

That means, before we pray and heal the sick, we may pray first so that we may know what Jesus is thinking.
Sometimes God may ask us to do something that will bring healing.
Sometimes God may say “go to doctor.”
Sometimes God may say "exercise."
Or Jesus may say:
“Forgive.
Otherwise God would not forgive you.”
Then when this person forgives someone, this person may receive healing.

So knowing God's will, discerning God’s will we may be healed.
Being able to understand God’s perspective, we may have a greater comfort and healing.

So we need to know God’s thoughts before we pray for healing.
We pray to hear from God first.
Then we pray according to God's will.

Then we may hear Jesus promises that he would heal that person.
Then we know that that person is healed.
We thank God and feel peaceful for them.
We know what God says will happen.

When the church believes and has this atmosphere of corporate faith, Jesus may simply say:
“Let it be done according to your faith.”
Then the church may provide a very safe atmosphere where people could be restored and be whole physically and mentally.
They they may find out how much God cares for them and heals them when they arrive in heaven.
Jesus can also heal a nation.
Jesus can bless a nation.
Jesus can unite all nations, even when they are unaware of it.
Jesus can heal the secret wound of every nation so that people may be able to show a heartfelt compassion toward each other and toward others.

In that faith, we pray for nations.
We may pray for our city.
We ask God to let us know what God wants to do in this city.
Then we pray accordingly.

Today we want to pray for healing.
It can be a spiritual practice.
If you want to pray for healing for someone or for yourself, or for this nation, why don’t we pray together in silence at this time?

Let's come to God asking for healing.
But first ask God about how we should pray for that person, or ourselves, or a nation or town.
Then we may pray accordingly.
Let's have a time of prayer.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, you want to heal us and give us salvation.
Touch and heal our bodies.
Heal every sickness.
Make us whole again.
Heal our minds, and fill them with your words.
Give us patience, courage, and faith.
Enter into our lives and heal our hearts and minds.
We entrust to you our families and friends, all who have asked for our prayers and who pray for us.
In you may all be turned to light and made whole:
In Jesus name we pray.
Amen

5.21.2016

1 Corinthians 12:3-13

ppt

Holy Spirit, you are welcome here
Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3-13
Additional reading: Ephesians 4:1-16
Blanks: Lord, same, services, healing, chooses, one

Traditionally, today many churches are celebrating Trinity Sunday.
On this week we celebrate that God is 1 in three persons.

(3) Last Sunday we saw this sign that explains the relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It says the Father is God.
The Son is God.
The Holy Spirit is God.
But the Father is not the Son.
The Son is not the Holy Spirit.
They are different in ministry and services.

But Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.
They are one God.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit work together and are one God.

So when pastors bless people, they say like this: (2 Corinthians 13:14)
“May the grace of Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

And when the Church baptizes people, we baptize in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19-20)

But 2000 years ago, this concept of Trinity was new to Jewish people and Greek speaking people.
So people were asking a lot of questions about this.
Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven.
But then later years people talked about the Trinity.
People asked:
Is Jesus fully God?

Then eventually, the Christians answered this question through this statement:
They wrote:
“Jesus is God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made (not created), of one Being with the Father, through whom all things were made.”

They said Jesus is God from God.
Jesus was not created like an angel or like us.
Jesus is God who created everything.
Jesus is true God.

Then, people started to ask these questions:
What about the Holy Spirit?
Is the Holy Spirit is fully God?
Can we worship the Holy Spirit?

The concept of Trinity was very new to them.
So those Greek speaking people were asking this question:
Was the Holy Spirit created?
In other words, was there any time when the Holy Spirit was not God?

So, the early church discussed about the Holy Spirit.
And they made this statement:
“We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.”

They recognize that the Holy Spirit is a different person.
Then they defined the main role of the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is the giver of life.
The Holy Spirit is the Creator of life, and not a creature.
The Holy Spirit is like energy for true life.

That is what Jesus explained to Nicodemus.
At that time Jesus explained that the Holy Spirit is the giver of life.
The Holy Spirit empowers people to have life.
The Holy Spirit empowers a church to have life.
The Holy Spirit empowers people to have a spiritual life: John 3:1-21.

The Holy Spirit can change lives.
The Holy Spirit gives true life.
The Holy Spirit can guide people to truly live and follow the living God.
May we be full of life that the Holy Spirit gives.

It also says:
You can worship and glorify the Holy Spirit.
Why?
Because the Holy Spirit is God.
Because the Holy Spirit is God just like Jesus and God the Father, it is ok to worship Holy Spirit.
It is ok to pray to Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name.
Right?

The Holy Spirit is God also in the Bible.
The Holy Spirit and God are interchangeable.
For example:
The Bible says that we are the temple of God: (1 Corinthians 3:16)
The Bible says that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit: (1 Corinthians 6:19)
It means the same.

So we want to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We want to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We are not trying to do what we want here.
No, we want to do what the Holy Spirit wants.
Then there is true life.

Jesus gives this Holy Spirit to us.
The Holy Spirit is with us and in us. (John 14:16-17)
When we have this Holy Spirit, we can do what Jesus was doing.

The Holy Spirit knows Jesus better than any person in this world. (John 15:26)
The Holy Spirit can inform us about Jesus.
Then we can truly know who Jesus really is.
May the Holy Spirit help us to understand Jesus.

Jesus also introduces the Holy Spirit like this:
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth.
What does that means?
The Holy Spirit guides us to the truth just like Jesus.
The Holy Spirit speaks true words.
The Holy Spirit fills the church with true words.
The Holy Spirit fills the true knowledge of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit provides true reasons for us to believe in Jesus.
The Holy Spirit provides true evidences for us to believe in Jesus.

The Church discovered that when the Holy Spirit works in our midst, the Holy Spirit may give these fruits in us: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
To help us become the body of Jesus, the Holy Spirit gives these fruits in our spirits.
Jesus has these when he does his ministry.
So we need these when we do his ministry.

The Holy Spirit may give these power so that we may do his ministry: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning spirits, administration.
The Holy Spirit gives us different power so that different people may work together to do the ministry of Jesus.
We have different jobs to carry out the ministry of Jesus.
Each person has a different job or gift from the Holy Spirit.

But we cannot say one gift is better than the other.
The Holy Spirit knows that everyone is a sinner who needs the Savior.
We are brothers and sisters under the one Father and one Lord Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit gives this power so that we may serve each other for Jesus and for his gospel.
The Holy Spirit gives this power, so that we may listen to each other and submit to each other.

But when we look at history, some people have used this power in a wrong way.
They might have not known how to use the power in God's way.
They might misuse these beautiful gifts.
They might have bragged about themselves and feel superior.

Then some church may be afraid to welcome the Holy Spirit.
They may not allow Holy Spirit to work among them.
Or they may allow the Holy Spirit to work only in a certain degree and not more.
This can be a spiritual problem for the kingdom of God, as you can see.
So we don't want to be like that.

We want to understand the Holy Spirit fully.
We want to know how to use the name of the Holy Spirit in the right way.
We want to know how to use those power that we receive from the Holy Spirit.
So we may need to have some guiding rules so that we may use our gifts and everyone may be benefited.

Then we may enjoy that we have different gifts and different job.
We may compliment each other.
We may work together for Jesus and for the gospel.
May we serve and honor the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit does ministry in various ways.
And the Holy Spirit does not want a pastor to do a one-man show in a church.
No.
The Holy Spirit may use a pastor to do a ministry.
But that does not mean that God will only use a pastor to do his ministry.

We know that.
We believe the priesthood of all believers: lay ministry.
The Holy Spirit uses every believer so that they may work together.
The Holy Spirit works through various people.

The Holy Spirit uses those who receive Jesus the Christ as their Savior and their Messiah and their God.
The Holy Spirit uses those who confess their sins and is forgiven in the name of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit uses those who receive the Holy Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to live in them.

When we receive the Holy Spirit, we are candidates for doing ministry according to the will of the Holy Spirit.
So we need to give people chances to use their power that they receive from the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit works in our midst in various ways.
The Holy Spirit helps the church in various ways.
The Holy Spirit builds up the church in various ways.
In various ways, the Holy Spirit brings people together for God. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
In various ways, the Holy Spirit helps the poor and makes the world a better place to live in.

So as the Holy Spirit gives life to churches, we may need to notice:
What does the Holy Spirit is doing in our midst?
Who has received any power from the Holy Spirit?
Which power should be used in the Church of Jesus the Christ?

We need to watch out for that.
We need to watch out for what the Holy Spirit trying to do in our midst.
Any pastors should watch out for that.
Because the pastor is called to equip and build up the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12)
So I hope to know when you sense the gentle prompting of the Holy Spirit.
I hope to know how the Holy Spirit is working in you.

Now let's remember that the Holy Spirit is very gentle.
The Holy Spirit does not want to force anything unless we give the Holy Spirit our permission.

When Jesus was doing his ministry and casting out demons and so on, some religious people said that Jesus was using a bad spirit to do these kinds of ministry.

At that time Jesus said something like this:
“If you guys said something against me, it will be forgiven.
Because I have come to forgive your sins.
But if you guys said something against the Holy Spirit through whom I'm working, doing ministry and casting out demons, it will not be forgiven.”

Some people might have sinned against the Holy Spirit because they could not discern well.
It is possible that some people may say something against the ministry of the Holy Spirit because they don't understand.

We should be very careful.
We do not have any right to say that something is not from the Holy Spirit just because we don't understand.
We should be careful.
We should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.

If we don't understand what the Holy Spirit is doing, we may need to learn and try to understand what the Holy Spirit is doing.
We need to learn what the Holy Spirit want to do here.
We need to discern the movement of the Holy Spirit.
We ask the Holy Spirit to give us the power of discernment.
We seek to understand.
Because if we understand, we can allow the Holy Spirit to work freely.
If we understand and discern well, we may welcome the Holy Spirit working here.

If we understand, we would not be fooled, because we know Satan can disguise as an angel.
We know many false prophets will arise and many false teachers will arise.
And they will do miracles and prophecy.

But how can we discern?
We watch carefully about their fruits.
Because we know the good tree produces good fruit.

Likewise, we also examine our fruits so that we may walk in the right way.
Jesus produced good fruits.
So we may compare his fruits with our fruits.
In order to do that, we read the gospels.
Then as we understand the words of Jesus Christ, we may produce good fruits that please God.

In these days, we learn how the Holy Spirit guides us and teaches us today.
We notice what the Holy Spirit is trying to do among us.
We listen what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church.
May we understand today.
May the Holy Spirit speaks through us as well.

We are grateful that the Holy Spirit chooses us to use.
We are grateful that we can do something for Jesus and for his gospel.

May the Holy Spirit continually empowers us to serve God and the world in power of the Holy Spirit.
May the Holy Spirit empowers us to listen to each other and serve each other.
Using the power of the Holy Spirit, may we serve each other humbly for Jesus and for his gospel.
May we experience the Holy Spirit and understand the Holy Spirit and work together very well with the Holy Spirit.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for living in us through the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for bringing us together through the Holy Spirit.
Thank you for helping us to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.
May the Holy Spirit continually build up the church, empower people, help the poor and make the world a better place to live in.
In Jesus name, we pray.
Amen

5.07.2016

John 14: 8-17, 25-27 (1)

ppt

Trinity (三位一體)
Reading: John 14: 8-17, 25-27
Blanks: me, authority, believes, ask, teach, peace

Today is the day of Pentecost.
On this day, we celebrate that God has given us the Holy Spirit.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

For a couple of Sundays, we are going to think about the Holy Spirit and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
So today we're going to start slowly.
First, we are going to think about Trinity, again because the Holy Spirit belongs to Trinity.
Let's think about the doctrine of Trinity together.

When we talk about Trinity at the church, what are we talking about, again?
We talk about the fact that Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit are different but one God.

(2) So we use this diagram to explain about Trinity.
Jesus is God.
The Father is God.
The Holy Spirit is God.
They are one God in three persons.

So, if you know one of them, you know who God is.
If you understand Jesus, you understand God.
If you understand the Holy Spirit, you understand God.
Because they are one God.

But God is also known as Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit.
They are three different persons.
That means, Jesus is not the Father.
The Father is not the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is not Jesus.
Meaning, there are some differences between them: J ≠ F ≠ HS

For example, we know that only Jesus has two natures.
Jesus has human nature and divine nature.
About 2,000 years ago only Jesus became a human.
Only Jesus was born, suffered, died and rose again.
Only Jesus is the son of man and the Son of God.
Only Jesus is human and divine.

Being born, suffered and died and rising again, Jesus understand so well what we experience and what we will experience.

But then because Jesus is also God, Jesus can explain about Trinity so that we may understand about God.
Jesus explains about the Father and the Holy Spirit in order for us to get the whole picture and understand one God.

So when we read the life of Jesus, we see Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit work together in unity, and with one purpose.
Remember when Jesus was baptized?
The Holy Spirit came on him like a dove.
Then the heaven opened and the father God said:
“This is the Son whom I love.”
Since then they show their oneness and harmony in the ministry of Jesus.
How do they show this oneness and harmony in the ministry of Jesus?
Jesus explains like this.

One day a student of Jesus, Philip asked Jesus:
“Jesus, show us the Father.”

Philip wanted to see the Father God whom Jesus talked about a lot.
Then Jesus said:
“Believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” (John 14: 10)
Well, what does it mean?

If we think about these words mathematically, it means:
(3) J ⊂ F
J ⊃ F
Then J = F.

(3) But instead of saying “I am the Father” Jesus only says, “I and the Father are one”: J + F = 1.

Jesus is saying:
“I and the Father God are one.
When you see me, you see the Father.
When you hear my teaching, you hear the teachings of my Father.
When you see me healing the sick, you see my Father healing the sick.
When you see me helping the poor, you see my Father helping the poor.
My Father and I are one.
So if you know me, you know my Father.”

Then Jesus introduced about the Holy Spirit.
He said something like this:
"I am going to ask the Father to give you the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is going to guide you.
This Holy Spirit is going to teach you and help you learn more things.
The Holy Spirit will continually help you to follow me.
This Holy Spirit is going to be with you forever.

Jesus has complete trust in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit is God.
In fact, Jesus even said something like this:
“It is better for you that I'm going to the Father.
Meaning, you will be fine with the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus trusts the ministry of Holy Spirit because it is the ministry of God.

In a sense Jesus was saying:
“When you experience the Holy Spirit, you experience me.
If you love the Holy Spirit, you love me.
Because the Holy Spirit and I are one.”

Then today, Christians eventually learn and understand to say:
God is the divine community.
Meaning, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the divine community.
They love each other.
They serve each other.
They honor each other as one.

Love is found in this Divine community.
Love is the foundation, daily activities and daily reality of this community.
So where there is this divine community, there is love.
So, we even say God is love.
All God can do is love.
So wherever there is God, there is love.
Where there is love, there is God.
Where there is God, there is compassion.
Where there is God, there is kindness.
Where there is kindness, there is God.
Where there is compassion, there is God.

We also know where there is forgiveness, Jesus is there.
Where there is Jesus, there is forgiveness.
So, when people sin against God and ask God to forgive them in the name of Jesus, God forgives them.
In this way, in the divine community there is fullness of forgiveness.

This divine community has enough love for the whole world.
The divine community is loving the world and filling the world with God’s love and power, so that the world is full of love.

But some may wish that God only bless them.
We may wish that God only bless our church, our family or only me.
No.
God is perfect.
God bless everyone unless they stop God from blessing them.
God does not only love Christians but also loves everyone.
God does not only bless Christian organizations but also bless every organizations.

The Divine Community invites us to live in the power of God.
The Divine community shows how we are supposed to live as a community of Jesus.
The Divine community shows how we can live as as a person, as a friend, as a family, as a community, as a church, as a company, as a nation, and as a world.

Then Jesus invites us to see first how Father Son and Holy Spirit is doing their ministry as one.
Jesus invites us to see how this Divine Community is one.
Then Jesus is inviting us to love and serve like Trinity.

Then Jesus has given us enormous power.
Then Jesus teaches how to use that power.
Jesus says something like this:
“Have faith in me.
Then, you will do the works that I do and will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.
Ask in my name.
Then I will do so that the glory of the Father be shown through the Son.
Ask.
I will do what you ask in my name.
I will help you.
The Holy Spirit will also help you."

So we dare to pray.
We dare to ask for God.
We dare to pray for our community so that the glory of the Father be shown through the Son Jesus and through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus explains to us about Trinity because this Trinity shows us how to live as a community.
Trinity shows us how we may use the power that is given to each one of us.
The divine community shows us how we may love each other, serve each other and build up each other according to who we are.

Can you imagine Jesus insisting his authority over his father and over the Holy Spirit?
Can you imagine the Holy Spirit insisting that she has more power over the world and she can do whatever she wants without consulting father and the son?
Can you imagine the father become arrogant and not listening to the Son and the Holy Spirit?
Can you imagine that Jesus is insisting that he is better than the other?
Can you imagine that kind of division or power-play in Trinity?

If that happened the whole universe would be gone.
The universe will cease to exist.

Thank God that Father, Son and Holy Spirit work together and love together as one.
This is what we learn from Trinity.
We are called to learn this together.
Then we can show the world what God is like.
Then we can talk about who God is like.
Then we can help the world to learn this way of existence.
Then our human society may develop accordingly.

So we learn something like this:
We are different.
Everyone is different.
So sometimes we don't understand each other.

We are different.
So we should not insist that other person should think like us and act like us.
We should not insist that my character and my personality is better than the other.
When that happens, problems may occur in our relationship.
But if we work together, we can help each other and compliment each other.

For example:
Some of us are big thinkers.
Some of us are not big thinkers.
Some of us are good in detail.
Some of us are not.
Some of us are good at carrying out a plan.
Some of us are good project managers.

Some of us have gifts of healings.
Some of us don't have gifts of healings.
Some of us are creative.
Some of us are not creative.
Some of us are articulate.
Some of us like to cook.
Some of us don't like to cook.
Some of us like to clean and organize things.
Some of us don't like to do that.

Some of us like to welcome people and talk with them.
Some of us enjoy being alone.
Some of us have a good memory.
Some of us admire those who have a good memory.
Some of us have a navigation in their head.
Some of us have to have a navigation to go anywhere.

We are different.
So sometimes we don't understand each other.
And being a human sometimes we don't even understand ourselves.

So all we can do is to be honest with each other and learn about how we are different.
All we can do is to try to understand each other as much as we can and pray for each other and hear each other.
But sometimes we know even though we try, we may not be able to understand each other.
Then we just recognize that we think differently.
We recognize that we like different things.
But still we can love each other and pray for each other.

If that is possible, then because we are different, we can really help each other and complement each other.
We can encourage each other to do what they do well according to their gifts and talents.
It may not be easy.
But we want to try.
Because then we can complement each other and help each other.

We are different.
That can be a really good thing, sometimes.

We want to encourage each other to recognize and use their gifts according to their personality unless it is sinful.
We, as a community, want to think about how each person's gift may be used in our church.

In fact I'm praying about that.
I sense that some of us have spiritual gifts: e.g., the gifts of healings.
So I pray that we may somehow learn together to use the gifts of healings for the benefit of the church and for the world.
We may have different gifts that God has given us.
We want to find the way for us to use those gifts in the church.

Today we learn from the Divine community.
And we want to try to live like the Divine community.
Father Son and Holy Spirit are different!
Father Son and Holy Spirit may serve differently in the world.
Father Son and Holy Spirit serve in their parts.
But they are one God.
What a powerful image for us to learn together:
One God in 3 persons.
What powerful persons that they are.

Learning from God, we may be able to say:
Yes, we are different but we serve together.

May the divine community help us love each other, serve each other and build up each other, celebrating the fact that we are different and so we can contribute in a different way.
May this divine community help us continue the ministry of Jesus by living like Jesus, loving like Jesus, teaching like Jesus, and serving like Jesus.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for helping us to understand who God is.
Help us to live like this divine community.
Help us to live like you.
In your name, we pray.
Amen.




Luke 15:1-10 (4)

ppt

God's family member
Reading: Luke 15:1-32
Blanks: ninety-nine, joyfully, rejoicing, lamp, angels

I am going to tell you a story.
It is not a true story.
But here we go:

There was a father who wanted to go to Disney World.
So he took his wife and his three children to Disney world.

Then in the morning he said to the kids:
“Now I am going to send you off to enjoy the rides.
But I want you to come back to this flagpole at 9 pm, OK?
Be sure to be here at 9pm!
Otherwise, we are leaving without you, alright?”
The children said “yes” and ran to the rides.

Nine o’clock came.
The parents were at the flagpole waiting.
The first child has arrived.
The second child has arrived.
But the third child was not there.

The father looked at his watch one more time and said to his wife:
“Okay, honey, let’s go home.”

His wife was like:
“We cannot go!
Our last child has not come back.”

The father was like:
“Listen, honey, he agreed to be here at 9 pm.
But he’s not here.
We have two wonderful children here who were able to do what they promised.
Let’s go home and raise them well.
OK?”

His wife was like impossible to move.
She was like:
“Have you forgotten that we have three children?”

The father said:
“Why are you so obsessed with numbers?!”

She was like:
“Because we lost our child.
We got to find him!”

Again this is not a true story.
Aren’t you glad that it is not a true story?

This mother will search to find her child.
This mother would not give up.
Then she will be happy when she found her child safe and well nurtured.

Today, Jesus told us this kind of stories.
As for Jesus God is like this mother.
God would like to find God’s missing family member.
God would search for the last.
God would not give up.
Then God would be happy when God finds God’s children safe and well nurtured.

In the first story that we heard, Jesus was saying that God is like a good shepherd who had a hundred sheep.
But when he found out that one is missing.
He didn't say:
“I already have 99.
I think I have plenty.
I'm going to just take good care of them.
Let's take good care of 99.”

No.
The shepherd left ninety-nine in the field and went to find his lost sheep.
Every one of us is found in this way.

Then when he found his sheep, he picked him up and joyfully carried him home.
Then he called his friends and neighbors and said:
“Let’s have a party.
I have found my lost sheep!”

In another story, Jesus was saying that God is like a woman who has ten silver coins.
But she lost one silver coin.
Then she lighted a lamp and searched carefully.
But she couldn’t find it.
So did she give up like that the father in the Disney World?
No, she cleaned the whole house searching carefully.
Then she found it.
Then, she called her friends and neighbors and said:
“Rejoice with me.
I have found my lost coin.
Let’s have a party.”

Telling these stories, Jesus explained his ministry.
He came to find God’s sheep.

Other shepherds in Israel would not take care of God’s sheep.
They were like the father in the Disney World.
So, many of God’s people were lost
Many Jews were separated from God.
They needed shepherds to take care of them.

But those shepherds were busy doing their own things.
They were busy keeping their tradition.
They were busy making people follow their authority.

They didn’t know how to help people to live for God.
So God’s sheep wandered off.
Some left to find another gods.

But those sheep were God’s, even when they lost their way.
They were still God’s people.
So God sends the Mother Jesus to find the lost and bring them home.
Jesus found the lost, one by one.
Jesus walked around the Sea of Galilee to to find them.
Jesus went and talked with them and healed them and helped them believe in God.
Jesus found the lost inside and outside the synagogues.
Jesus went to preach in their hometowns and in their meeting places and in their churches.
Like this, Jesus helped them experienced the heart of God the Mother.
And Jesus healed all the people who came to him.
Jesus healed people and worked miracles.
Jesus gave them reasons to believe in God.
When Jesus worked miracles, they experienced the kingdom of God appearing in their midst.
Where there is the Good Shepherd, the kingdom of God appears.
People saw this in him.

So many people followed him.
They knew that he was the good shepherd.
So they followed him even to the mountainsides and listened to him.
They knew Jesus is not like the father in the Disney World.
So they liked to listen to him.
Then Jesus found God’s family members.
Jesus brought Jewish people back to God.

But then even when people were gathering at his church, he left to find another church member.
So his church went with him to the streets.
His church went out with him because Jesus went out for the lost.

Who are the lost in the Bible?
They are not religious people.
They are those who don't know anything about God who loves them.
We don't care what their jobs is.
We don't care what country they live in.
As long as they don't know about God who loves them through Jesus Christ, Jesus may send us to help them.

When I read Jesus leaving his home again and again to find the lost one, I feel guilty sometimes.
Just like some of you I feel guilt that we haven't start a mission project yet.
And I'm also thinking of some people that I did not help.
I'm thinking of some people who I wasn't able to serve well for whatever reason.

But I sense Jesus encourages me to go once more and find the lost one.
So I'm thinking about how to help them to understand God better.
And I pray that they may get to know God better.

But at the same time, I know that people don't need me.
People don't need us.
People need to find Jesus the Good Shepherd, not me, not us.
We may love them.
But we are not the Good Shepherd.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
So what we hope to do is to help them find the Shepherd Jesus.

Jesus is the greatest pastor we have ever had.
Jesus is the great shepherd we have ever had.
Jesus is the great parent we have ever had.

We are glad that we found or we are found by this Good Shepherd.
We are glad that Jesus loves us.
We are glad that he is not selfish like us.
We are glad that he would sacrifice his life to find us God’s children.

But in this world, there are many people who misunderstood about Jesus.
So they didn’t expect very much from God.
So they didn’t come to know God.
Instead, they may search for something else.

In order to reach out to them, what are we need to do?
One thing that we may try to do is to use their languages.
When Jesus helped people to understand, Jesus used their language.
They knew about farming, fishing, gardening, building houses, flowers, birds, rock, and seed.
So when Jesus explained the kingdom of God, he compared the kingdom of God with farming, fishing, gardening, flowers, birds, houses, rock, and seed.
Jesus explained heavenly things using what they knew so that they might understand how the kingdom of God works.
Maybe God created these things so that Jesus could use to explain the kingdom of God.

When Jesus teaches his people enough, Jesus may say something like this to some people:
“Go and live for me and for my gospel.
Share my gospel with people.
Explain to them and show them what you have learned from me.”

Jesus is not asking us to find a sheep that is already found in another farm of his.
Jesus is asking us to find some people who need to know God.

We may think like this.
Jesus is the missionary.
Jesus is calling us to be missionaries in US.
We are missionary in US.
This is not our true home.
Our true home is found in the heart of God.

But then who are missionaries?
What does a missionary do?

They get to know Jesus and help one more person to find their home in Jesus the Christ.
They help one person at a time to find home in the heart of Jesus the Christ.

They somehow give people a chance to learn Jesus and experience Jesus.
Here we're not talking about bringing people to church per se.
We are talking about bringing the gospel to people.

In these days I am trying to find a mission project that I could recommend to you.
I'm looking at some mission organization.
I'm praying about some missionaries wondering whether we should support them together.
I don't think I know clearly yet what God wants.

Then I also hear that you have various good ideas.
You may have a better idea.
So let's talk about that together.
And let's wait together for the Holy Spirit to lead us in this.

In the meantime I again encourage you to pray for one of your neighbors.
It does not matter whether they are Korean or not.
It does not matter whether they could come to our church or not.
Jesus died and rose up again for them.
That's enough for us.
So we want to reach out to that person.
So let’s remember to pray for that person.
In this way we may follow Jesus who comes to find the missing God’s family member.

Lastly, remember that we are missionaries in the world.
And Jesus is trying to help one person at a time.
Jesus is still trying to find one more person.
Jesus may need us to show a small kindness so that they may sense the presence of God.

As a member of God’s family, as a person who know Jesus, may we help one person at a time.
May we find one person for God.
May he or she find Jesus as their Good Shepherd in life and the savior.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for reaching out for us.
Thank you for searching for us and find us.
Help us to love one person at a time.
May we help one person at a time.
Help us to reach out and search for your sheep.
Help us to serve your sheep.
May you help us to take care of your people.
And, help us to be the church that you desire.
We pray in Jesus name.
Amen




5.01.2016

Matthew 28:16-20 (6)

ppt

Small group ministry
Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
Blanks: authority, disciples, everything

Today we are going to think about small group ministry.
We are already a small group of people.
But I am talking about a gathering of two or three people for their spiritual growth.

Sometimes smaller is better.
Sometimes less is more.
Because some good spiritual conversation can happen in a small group.
You know, in a small group we can ask a lot of questions easily.
We freely talk about our personal spiritual experiences.
We can talk about how our spiritual lives are at the moment.
So there is some good benefit of having a small group.

I think Jesus understood that sometimes people learned better when they learned in a small group.
So I guess that is why Jesus chose three students for more education.

By the way, do you remember who these three were?
They were James, John, and Peter. (Luke 22: 31)

As you know, sometimes, Jesus invited only these three to observe and learn.
When Jesus was transfigured, only they saw it.
When Jesus said “Talitha Kumi,” and raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, only they saw it.

Right before his death, when Jesus was praying at the garden of Gethsemane, only they were near him.
Jesus especially asked them to pray with him.

Jesus was teaching them more than others.
Jesus prayed for them.
Jesus was teaching them more and asking them more.
Then later they were supposed to share what they have learned.
They were able to help other students as well.

Jesus knew the effectiveness of a small group.
So Jesus chose a small group of people and focused on teaching God's word to them.

Jesus also understood about his small group of people: their gift, their talent and their character.
Because Jesus understood them very well, he could help them.

Then he answered if they had any questions about his teachings.
He made sure that they understood.
Jesus really tried to help them understand the way of God, as if his first job were to help them to understand.

Jesus understood that when they got the truth, the game is over.
When this small group of people understood his words, they could be multiplied 30, 60, 100 times more.
When God’s word is understood in their hearts, they could make disciples.
They could teach 30, 60, or 100 more students and even more.

Understanding that they could be multiplied and multiplied and multiplied, Jesus focused on teaching a small group of people.
Because Jesus believes in a small group ministry, Jesus didn’t mind teaching a small group of people.

But as you know, during his public ministry, many people followed and observed the ministry of Jesus.
But not everyone of them was his disciples or his apostles.
Jesus chose only 12 students to be his apostles.
Then he empowered them so that they could carry out the ministry of Jesus.
Then Jesus asked them to make disciples of all nations.

You may think like this, even during his public ministry, he focused on helping them.
During his public ministry, he taught them how to heal people.
He taught them how to make disciples of Jesus.
He taught them how to pray.
He taught them how to love.

Then right before ascending to heaven, Jesus told them:
“Now go and make disciples of all nations.
Teach people about what I have taught you.
Teach them to practice everything I have asked you to practice."

Then, Jesus sends them the Holy Spirit so that they may be able to teach other people and make disciples and change the world.
Jesus also continually pray for them and help each person.

Then they notice various opportunities to teach and be taught.
They notice various opportunities to care for people and to be cared.
They notice various opportunities to love and to be loved.

We know that they were able to do what Jesus did.
They made disciples of Jesus.
They knew how to do it because they saw what Jesus has done and because they have been taught by Jesus.

This small group ministry can be very powerful.
Or one to one ministry can be very powerful.
Here is an example:
(2) Let’s say you are a disciple of Jesus.
You receive the Holy Spirit.
And now you learn enough to teach another person.
So you teach one person for about 1 year, something like that.

Then next time, you decide to go and find another person to teach.
Then the person who learn from you also go and share with another person about what he or she learn from Jesus.

When new people have learned enough, you each go and share with another person about what you have learned of Jesus.

So now four of you teach one person for about 1 year.
Let’s say that this process of making disciples went on like this for 10 times.
What will happen?

This will happen:
1 * 2 = 2
2 * 2 = 4
4 * 2 = 8
8 * 2 = 16
16 * 2 = 32
32 * 2 = 64
64 * 2 = 128
128 * 2 = 256
256 * 2 = 512
512 * 2 = 1,024

Then 1024 people have learned to become a disciple of Jesus.
Then because each of them learn from a one-to-one relationship.
They could teach others in a one-to-one relationship.

For those who want to serve many people, this is a very slow process.
Besides, this number is only possible when everyone understood the way of Jesus and be able to live in the power of Holy Spirit.
If someone didn’t understand or didn't want to share with another person, we would have less number.

But then again in a small group, a good education can happen because two people can ask questions and have long conversations.

Also a teacher can understand his or her student much better.
Then a teacher may recognize what Jesus has already helped his or her student to understand.
A teacher may recognize what Jesus is trying to do with that person.

A student may also learn better, as they have various chances to learn from each other.
They can talk about what they have learned so far.
They can encourage each other to follow Jesus.
In this way, they may learn to make disciples together.

They may learn to have a good conversations in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Through those conversations, they may really understand Jesus.
Then when a student learns enough and receives the Holy Spirit, that student could become a teacher and carry out the ministry of Jesus.

But some of you may ask:
“I don't know what I need to teach in a small group.
I have no idea.”

Well, thankfully, the gospel of Matthew was written for those who want to make disciples of all nations.
The gospel of Matthew is like a manual to be used to make disciples.
So simply reading together we may make disciples.
So simply reading through the gospel of Matthew together, we may learn what to practice and what to teach.

In the gospel of Matthew, we find many teachings of Jesus.
To understand, we may ask questions to each other.
We may discuss.
Then we may learn to practice what Jesus has taught us to practice.

In this way, we may learn of Jesus.
In this way we may learn of his ministry.
In this way, we learn to practice what Jesus says.

To understand even more, we may read three other gospels to see their viewpoints.
Then you may be able to see who Jesus really is.

It is very important to know who Jesus really is.
Then we will not make our own disciples.

Jesus is our only shepherd and our only teacher.
So Jesus has to lead us in this.
Jesus has to lead us to learn who Jesus really is.
Jesus has to encourage us to practice what we learn from him.
Jesus has to encourage us to know about Jesus.
Then we may share what we know of Jesus.
Then we may encourage others to live a life of faith.
Then we may pray for them so that they may live a life with Jesus.
Then we may make disciples of Jesus the Christ, as we help them to learn Jesus.

From time to time, I sense that we may need to start this process of making disciples here.
We may learn to help one person at a time.
We pray for that person.
We share with that person what we practice because of Jesus.

But I understand that this may be not easy.
Because we want to learn enough to teach others.
Because we struggle to read the gospel even for ourselves.
Because then we need to practice what Jesus said.
Because then we try to really understand the word of Jesus and practice them.
Because then we need to practice his love in this town and in this world.
So this may not be easy.
I confess that even I don’t like to find a random person in my neighborhood and ask them to read the gospel of Matthew together with me.

So I am thinking and praying about how we can easily do this ministry.
How can we encourage each other?
I am thinking and praying how we may practice what Jesus taught us to do together.
I am thinking and praying how we may be disciples of Jesus together.
I thinking and praying how we may be able to build the Church of Jesus in our own neighborhood and in our own home.

Today Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew:
““God authorized and commanded me to commission you:
Go and make disciples of all nations.
Teach people about my way of life.
Teach them to practice everything I have asked you to practice."

As we get to know Jesus, as we become disciples of Jesus, as we understand Jesus, we may have various opportunities to make disciples of Jesus.
Then as we share his knowledge, his wisdom, his dream and his hope for this world, we may learn even more.

These words really challenge us:
When we practice what we learn from Jesus, we are disciples of Jesus.
May the Holy Spirit help us in this.
May Jesus help us to really learn what Jesus said and did.
May we really practice what we have learned from him.
May we practice together the teachings of Jesus.

I think that Jesus invites us to be part of this movement.
So I pray that we may understand Jesus.
I pray that then we may share with others.
May we find energy to share with one more person so that people around us may be benefited.
May people get to know who Jesus is and experience his power.
May the Holy Spirit make disciples of Jesus through us.
May the message of Jesus be known and practiced in our own home and neighborhood.
May we together experience Jesus who works through us.

Let’s pray for this kind of movement may appear among us.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, help us to share what you share with us.
Help us to be bold enough to go and teach others about you.
We pray this in your name.
Amen.