5.27.2017

John 14:15-21 (1)

ppt
ppt #2

Get connected wirelessly
Reading: John 14:15-21
Additional reading: Mark 6: 7-13
Blanks: love, forever, come, Whoever, loves, show

(3) What are these?
These are a modem and a router.
What is modem or router?
When you have an internet provider and install this modem and router, your TV, cell phone and laptop can be connected to the internet wirelessly.

If you only have a modem, you cannot be connected to the internet wirelessly.
But when you have a good router as well, many TVs, phones and laptops can be connected wirelessly and work very good.
Then you may watch Korean news, dramas and surf the internet and so on.

Now when Jesus was finishing his ministry, he said something like this to his students:
“I am like God’s modem.
But the Holy Spirit is like God’s router.”

Two thousand years ago, Jesus served people for about thirty years.
At that time, he could not be in two places at once.
He could only be teaching one group of people at a time.

But after Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus went back to be with his Father in heaven.
Then Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to his students.
Then through the Holy Spirit, Jesus and his students could be connected wirelessly.

So Jesus spoke to his students something like this:
“I can help you to be connected with God wirelessly.
For that purpose, I am going to send you the Holy Spirit.
I downloaded on you my teaching.
So now you can receive the Holy Spirit.
Then you will be connected with God.
You will receive God’s messages and God’s power through the Holy Spirit.
You will receive my messages and power, I am sending to you through this Holy Spirit.
Then you may also hear heavenly words, and see heavenly visions and heavenly dramas.

So now through the Holy Spirit, Jesus could be many places at once.
Jesus can be with many people at once spiritually.
He can send messages to everyone in the world.
Jesus can say something to you while he is talking with me.
Jesus can listen to your prayer, while he is listening to mine.
God’s people can listen to Jesus and talk with Jesus all the time.
Jesus is connected with all God’s people at all times.

So when two thousand years ago, Jesus had to say goodbye to his students, Jesus said something like this:
“It is good for you that I am going away.
You should feel good about this.
Besides, I am going to be with my Father whom I love.

“Also I am not really going away.
I am going to be with you through the Holy Spirit.
I am sending my Spirit to you so that I can communicate with you.
Through the Holy Spirit, you will have a good relationship with me.

“And the Holy Spirit will be with you forever.
The Holy Spirit will be your friend forever.
The Holy Spirit will help you remember and understand my words.
The Holy Spirit will let you understand God’s will and God’s truth.
The Holy Spirit will help you experience me and my Father.
The Holy Spirit will make you come alive in God.”

So today, we experience Jesus in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus still loves us and explains himself to us.
Through the Holy Spirit, God is with us and cares for us.

So, all those who love Jesus, need to welcome the Holy Spirit.
All those who love God need to receive the Holy Spirit and grow in their relationship with the Holy Spirit.
They need to get to know the Holy Spirit.

Then the Holy Spirit reminds us of many words that Jesus spoke.
The Holy Spirit likes to work through the words that Jesus spoke already.
The Holy Spirit guides and empower us to obey his words.
Then as we listen and obey his words, we experience Jesus all over again as the Holy Spirit helps us.

So Jesus himself says like this: John 14:15
‘If we really love him, we try to obey him.’

When we try to practice what Jesus says, Jesus understands that we really love him.

So the Holy Spirit helps us to really understand and obey his words which are God's truth.
So when we understand and obey his words, we experience Jesus and the power of his words.

When we we study, think about and obey the word of Jesus, or when we try to practice what Jesus says, we experience the Holy Spirit who helps them feel the peace that Jesus gives.
This is how we know about the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit loves to talk about Jesus.
The Holy Spirit likes to help us get to know Jesus and understand Jesus.
The Holy Spirit likes to help us connected with Jesus and follow Jesus.
Then as we seek to do what Jesus asks us to do, the Holy Spirit will move powerfully among us.

Jesus also said something like this: John 14:20
“I am in the Father.
You are in me.
I am in you.”

This is what makes Jesus happy.
When we are in Jesus and Jesus is in us, we are one.
When Jesus and His people are connected and become one spiritually, Jesus is happy.

So to establish this connection, Jesus was crucified and rose again and has done everything for us.
To maintain this connection, Jesus is still doing God’s ministry for us.

So we have talked about the fact that we are connected with Jesus, wirelessly through the Holy Spirit.
When we are connected like that, Jesus and we may share our feelings:
Jesus know how we feel about things.
We may know how Jesus feels about things.
In this way we have a fellowship.
Then as we know how he feels, it helps us to understand Jesus.
We may feel and understand how Jesus wants us to live.

When we are connected with Jesus together, we will also receive God’s vision together.
We sense together what God is up to.
We hear together what Jesus is saying to us.
We may sense what God is orchestrating something.
In this way, we understand together who God is.

Then also when we talk with each other, we may sense that we are all connected with Jesus.

Today we ask Jesus to take over.
We welcome Jesus to work among us.
As we pray like this, we have a real church.
When Jesus take over and lead our church, everything happens according to God’s good will for us.

Then we may be able to say:
“Jesus can changes everything.
It is all up to Jesus who is God.
It is all about Jesus.
We are nothing.
Jesus is everything for us.”

Here are some possible examples of what Jesus would do among us:
We pray that Jesus would take over.
Then Jesus may decide to use us.
Then Jesus may speaks first to us what he is up to.
Then he accomplishes his words.

For example, let’s say that God is calling us to tell the story of Jesus to children and young people.
Then what would happen as we pray?
God will bring children and young people to us.
Then young people of Albany area may know Jesus as their savior and friends.

Another example:
Let’s say that God is calling us to train new believers.
Then what would happen as we pray?
God will bring new believers to us.

Another example:
Let’s say God is calling us to help those who are depressed.
Then God will empower us to help those who feel depressed.

So as we pray and believe and obey what God asks us to do, we see God making this Albany area a better place to live in.

So it is important for us to be connected and experience the peace of God daily.
It is important that we maintain and cherish our connection with Jesus.
Then our life will show that we are connected with Jesus.

When we we are connected with Jesus, God’s people also know that we are connected with the Holy Spirit.
God’s people sense that Jesus is in us and we are in Jesus.
If we simply live connected with Jesus, our life may be able to teach even more others.
Then more people may be connected with God’s people in the name of Jesus.

Lastly, it is wonderful to feel that we are in Jesus and Jesus is in us.
It is wonderful to feel that God is working through us to do what God wants to do.
God’s working in our hearts through the Holy Spirit can be sign that we are in Jesus.
Then we may know for sure that we will live forever with God.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for remembering us.
Thank you for living your life through us.
Thank you for making us connected with you.
Thank you for helping us understand your life and your words.
May we live your life experiencing your peace.
We pray this in Jesus’ name.
Amen.


5.20.2017

Proverbs 17:10-28

The power of God’s Wisdom # 3
Reading: Proverbs 17:10-28

You are so wise that you don’t need to hear this.
But at the moment, we are reading the Proverbs.
So let’s go through some topics that the Proverbs covers.
The Proverbs talks about a lot of things.

For example, Proverbs 12:16 says:
The vexation of a fool is known at once.
But the prudent ignores an insult.

The unwise got stressed out very easily.
They may also quickly let people know that they are upset.

For example, if they hear some people gossip and lie about them, the foolish may lie back and fight back immediately.
They may spread false rumors about them as well.

But life may be all about how we respond and interpret.
So the wise say like this: Proverbs 20:22:
Do not say, “You will pay for this!”
But wait for God.
And God will deliver you.

The wise ask people to trust in God.
Then God control their emotion.
So they don’t talk about other people but just pray for them.

So even when other people insult them, the wise ignore.
The wise don’t talk about their insults or offences.
They don't get stressed out because they trust in God.
They ask God to help them.
They invite God to be involved.
Then God solve the problems.
When God solves the problems, it is always perfect.
So they enjoy the peace of God.

The wise also know that they are sinners who are only saved by grace of Jesus the Christ.
So they know who they are.

They also know whose they are.
So they think about Jesus and follow Jesus.
Because Jesus has all the power and authority in heaven and on earth.
Satan could not even touch his people without Jesus’ permission.

So the wise want to obey God in all circumstances, because God can bless them, their family, their church and their nation.
And they thank God because Jesus can take care of them and their people and their circumstances.

Jesus also asks people to pray for those who persecute them.
Why is that?
Because some people tend to think more about those who they hate.
So Jesus asks them to pray for them and bless them: Matthew 5:44-48.
So the wise pray until they can really forgive all those who may make them upset.
They ask God to bless them.
They pray until they can really love them before God.
They pray so that they may experience the love of Jesus.
In this way, they become God’s children.
Then other people are also changed and find peace in Jesus.

Proverbs 20:19 says:
A gossip betrays a confidence.
Avoid a person who talks too much.

The wise do not wonder about what other people gossip about today.
The wise know that listening to gossips is not helpful to them spiritually.
So they listen to God instead, whom they trust.
They talk to God and listen to God.
Because they understand whatever God says will happen.

The wise know that those who gossip may need to have a peaceful heart first.
So the wise pray for them so that God may heal them and make them spiritually wise.

How could the wise live like this?
Because the wise know that it is God who produce a better future for them.
It is God who produces peace, joy and prosperity in their lives.
When God decide to bless them, nothing can stop God.

So the wise spend more times with God who helps them to think better thoughts.
Then thinking with God like that, they become friends of God.
They become a channel through which God bless other people.
God use them because they are God’s people.
Then other people see and learn how to live with God as well.

So Proverbs 17:27 says:
“The wise person says little and stays calm.”

Those who trust in God say little because they pray to God.
They are not anxious to express their opinions to other people.
Instead, they are talking with God.
Then God teaches them.
So they stay calm as they learn more and more from God.

Proverbs 18:20-21 says:
From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled.
With the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
The tongue has the power of life and death.
Those who love it will eat its fruit.

The wise know that what they say matter.
So the wise use words to serve God and others.

God created the world, through his words.
What God says matters.
So the wise learn from God to use words wisely and powerfully:

The tongue has the power of life and death.
So if anyone says to their family members:
“Jesus is the Lord.
God will use you.”
“God will come and save you.”
Then God will hear their prayer and may do what they say.

When God’s people speak in faith “May everything go well,” God may also say:
“I will do exactly what you say.”

But the opposite can be true:
In Numbers 14:26-28, God said to Moses like this:
I have heard the complaints and grumbling of Israelites.
So tell them:
“I will do the very thing I heard you say.”

In the wilderness, those Israelites were complaining and grumbling.
But it turned out those words they said created their future.
God did exactly what they said might happen.

God is saying:
If you change your words, I will change your life completely.
If you change your words you say about people, I will change them.
If you say to neighbors, “you are treasures of our society,” I will make them treasures of your society.

So the wise, after thinking with God, speak God’s words:
When they speak God’s words, they reap God’s reward.

Proverbs 20:28 says:
“Love and faithfulness keep a leader safe.
Through love a leader is made secure.”

The wise choose to be faithful, because they learn that God is faithful.
The wise love God with their hearts because God is love.
The wise choose love and faithfulness to lead well with God.
The wise understand and lead like God.
Then God secures them because they choose love and faithfulness.
Then the wise may lead and change their family, church or nation.

God continually helps them to think good thoughts so that they choose better path in God.
In this way God save them and make their life goes well.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways submit to him.
He will make your paths straight.

The wise may not insist their own will.
Instead, they listen to God to recognize God’s opinions about their life.
The wise wait until God speaks.
The wise wait to listen and receive God’s ideas to implement.
The wise want to listen to God.
So they pray and think and discern to know God’s will.

Then as they listen and obey God, they learn of God.
When the wise obey to do God’s will, other people also see the result.
Other people see how God works.
So other people also learn of God.
Like this, they teach other people through their obedience.

Lastly, the Proverbs talks about health.
Proverbs 17:22 says:
“A cheerful heart is good medicine.”

From your heart, God may produce a good medicine for your health.
If God can produce a good and cheerful heart in you, God can make a good and healthy body for you.

So what does it mean?
We need to get rid of bad stresses out of our life.
We need to learn to remove bad stresses.
How can we do that?
For example, if you are upset or feel not so good, you may learn to shift your mood, by changing thoughts and activities that you are doing.
Study about yourself to know what shifts your mood.
If you understand what change your mood, you know how to have a better mood.

What make your heart cheerful and peaceful?
What helps you to live a good and peaceful emotional life in Jesus?
How do you take care of your feeling in Jesus?
Have you learned to rejoice always in Jesus?

Write down a list of activities that may help you smile in Jesus.
Write down a list of small good activities that if you do, you feel cheerful in Jesus.

We need to know when we feel peaceful because of Jesus the Christ.
We need to know when we find peace in our heart.
Then we may continually live for Jesus with a good mental health.

When we are moving with God, we find peace and joy in our heart.
When we think about and do what God wants, we feel God’s approving presence.

Even when we only think about those things that God wants us to think about, we feel peacefulness as a sign from God to our hearts.
We feel peacefulness as God is approving our steps.
So in this way, we recognize and diagnose whether we are moving toward God or not.

Also when we pray according to God’s deep desire, we feel heavenly peace, joy and happiness.
In this way, we discover God’s deep desire planted within us.

As for me, reading the story of Jesus is very helpful.
I feel like God guides my thoughts and calm my emotional life.
I find myself trusting God more.
I feel God bless me.
I feel peaceful.
I feel God creates a better physical health for me as well.

In the Gospel, Jesus spoke God’s words to help us understand God and live in God’s power.
So listening to him, we are prepared to enter into God’s full blessings.

God protects those who hear from God.
When we listen to God and obey God, we learn that whenever God speaks, God always fulfill his words.
We know when God speaks, God also change our inner character as well.
That is, God changes inside and out through his words.
When God speaks, God changes our thoughts and protects our inner attitude.
When God speaks, God blesses us emotionally and physically.
Yes, God also improves our health.

So we pray to listen to God.
We pray and plan along with God to live in God’s power.
May all God’s will be done in our lives.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for guiding us according to your wisdom.
You are our wisdom.
With you, we find all the good things here on earth and in heaven.
Thank you.
Help us to live with you all our lives.
In your name, we pray.
Amen.

5.13.2017

Proverbs 20: 3-29

The power of God’s Wisdom # 2
Reading: Proverbs 20: 3-29

Since last week, we are reading the Proverbs.
The Proverbs deals with many topics.
So let’s go through some topics that the Proverbs covers.

For example: Proverbs 17:18 says:
“One who has no sense, shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor.”

Proverbs 11:15 says:
“Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer.
But whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.”

Proverbs 20:16 says:
“Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger.
Hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.”

Proverbs 22:26-27 says:
Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts.
If you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.

The Proverbs forbid his people to shake hands in pledge:
The Proverbs forbid his people about this again and again and again: Proverbs 6:1-5; 11:15; 17:18; 20:16; 22:26; 27:13

The wise was like:
“Please don’t make this mistake.
People made this mistakes again and again.
So a lot of people lost a lot.
So put up security for a neighbor.
But instead give generously to the poor.”

The wise may warn like this:
Learn what you have before you lose it.

So the wise may say:
“It is not about how much you have.
It is about how much you could keep for those whom you love.
Concerning financial matters, our game is not really about gaining more and more and more and more.
It is about how much you could keep.
God gives and multiples abundantly.
So if you learn to grow your money slowly, you see God’s abundance.
Those who learn to keep God’s blessing, experience God’s abundance to share with the poor.”

Next, Proverbs 13:7 says:
One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing.
Another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.

What was it saying?
“Don’t try to impress those who you don’t know.
Don’t buy things to impress those you don’t know.
Save money for those whom you love and know.”

The Proverbs also talks about how to recognize a good life partner:
Proverbs 31:30 says:
“Charm is deceptive.
Beauty is fleeting.
But a person who fears God is to be praised.”

The wise know what is important to have a blessed life:
So they cherish those who fear God.
They are friends of those who fear God.

Proverbs 31:31 says:
“Give a person the reward she or he has earned.
Let their works bring them praise at the city gate.”
The wise ask people to respect their good life partner:

The wise also warns against wrong partners in life: (Proverbs 21:9)
“Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome person.”

Proverbs 21:19 says:
It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry person.

The wise value a good and peaceful emotional life.
So they are far away from those who tend to become easily angry, critical, moody and opinionated.
Some may like to fight and argue.
They may have unrealistic expectation about things and people.
So they may initiate a fight or enjoy fighting, because then they may feel alive, excited, and important.
But the wise choose to be peaceful.

So the wise ask:
“Back down from their meaningless games.
Some could not be happy because they could not give up what is not necessary.
Give up what you need to give up.
Then learn to find peace in your heart.”

The wise know how to control their emotion.
They are matured emotionally and can be a good life partner.
The wise are agreeable, submissive, warm, kind, and cheerful.
The wise feel comfortable when there is peace, as Jesus gives peace to his people.
So they are kind to all and forgive all as God forgives them.

The wise also take good care of their inner need.
So they know how to help those who have inner illness, inner discomfort, or inner discontentment in their hearts.
They invite God to heal these people so that they may experience God’s peace.

Jesus explains like this: Matthew 12:33
“Make a tree good.
Its fruit will be good.
Make a tree bad.
Its fruit will be bad.
A tree is recognized by its fruit.”

When people welcome Jesus Christ into their hearts as their Lord and Savior, Jesus could come and create a new heart in them and produce good fruits.
The light of Jesus could remove all the darkness in their hearts.
Then they may become like Jesus.
They may learn to live like Jesus.
They may live graciously like Jesus.
They cannot lie, gossip and flatter, because Jesus is in their hearts.
Their hearts do not feel comfortable even when they think of evil.

Jesus saves his people so that they may be good.
Jesus sows love, forgiveness and grace in his name.
In this way, Jesus creates inner peace so that his people may love and serve and help the poor.

But Jesus also spoke like this against the Pharisees: Matthew 12:34-37
“You children of Satan!
How can you who are evil say anything good?
For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him.
An evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

“But everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
For by your words you will be freed.
By your words you will be condemned.”

Jesus is sowing good seeds.
But Satan is sowing bad seeds in this world.
Satan sows lie and hatred, murderous thoughts, and various wicked words. through his people.
Satan may seduce them saying like this:
“You need to fight, gossip, lie and flatter in order to survive in this society.”

But Jesus say:
“No.
God is in control.
God can take care of you.
So love God and fear God only.
Humbly trust in God who gives you peace.
Learn to have my faith.
Meditate on what I say.
Cherish them in your hearts.
And humbly love people and do what is right.”

Jesus says: John 6:38-39
“I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
The will of him who sent me is that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.”

Jesus came to sow God’s seeds for God’s great harvest.
Jesus sows good seeds so that he could produce godly people who live in the faith of Jesus.
Then Jesus will raise them up at the last day.

Let’s think about a last topic that Proverbs covers.
Proverbs 20:24 speaks in faith:
“A person’s steps are directed by God.”

What does it say?
The wise may say:
“God is in control.
So repent if you have to and then don’t regret.
Give up all hope of having a different past.
Instead, learn from your past.”

Even if you made mistakes, you learned and grew in wisdom.
Now you grew enough to notice you made mistakes!
So now you may help and guide other people to find a better path.
You may use your experience to help other people.

When we return to God, God turns our experience into a life lesson to teach others.
God may use our experience and produce wisdom out of it and guide us to help many people.

Proverbs 16:9 says:
In their hearts humans plan their course.
But the Lord establishes their steps.

Again sometimes, because our plan fails, we find God’s plan which is better.
Then we realize God knows the best.
God creates us and knows how we should live for God.

Like this, the more God is involved in our life, the more we have faith.
The more we have faith, the more God is able to be involved in our lives.

So we allow Jesus to freely direct our steps.
Jesus is the most powerful.
So we ask Jesus to work freely and powerfully.
Then we learn to be with Jesus, and learn to live with Jesus.

When we learn to live with Jesus, we feel happy.
When we surrender all to Jesus, we learn that he has already prepared a better future for us.

Like this when we learn how Jesus works and how to work with God, we may plan better.
Then as we learn to live with Jesus, God bless our lives.
As we move along with Jesus, we see God’s great works.
As we move with Jesus, we see God’s miracles before our own eyes.
As we learn of Jesus and listen to him, we enjoy our journey of faith.

Then the Bible promises this kind of blessings: Deuteronomy 28:2-6:
“As you obey the Lord your God, you will experience all these blessings:
Your towns and your fields will be blessed.
Your children and your crops will be blessed.
Your investments will be blessed.
Your house and its items will be blessed.
Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.

Psalm 121:5-8 also says:
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
So the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm.
He will watch over your life.
The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

God bless us beyond our imagination.
Then as we experience God more and more as, we gain understanding.
Then we become wise in God.

God directs our steps to experience God’s blessings: Proverbs 20:24
So we want to plan according to God’s plan.
We want to do what God wants as God guides us and loves to work in our lives and to be with us.
Then God gives God’s blessed peace in our lives.

May we allow God to work freely within us to do what is good.
May we trust in God who watch over us now and forever.
May we live all our life in the name of Jesus.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you.
Thank you for using our life to show your glory.
May we be filled with your words, faith, love so that we may live in your blessings.
In Jesus name, we pray.
Amen.

5.06.2017

Proverbs 13: 1-25

ppt

The power of God’s Wisdom # 1
Reading: Proverbs 13: 1-25

God sent God’s Son, Jesus to show God’s wisdom: 1 Corinthians 1:24
If then how did Jesus display God’s wisdom?

Jesus teaches and heals people and performs miracles:
The spiritual wisdom of Jesus works powerfully in the physical world as well.
Jesus uses God’s wisdom to guide, empower, and bless all those who love Jesus.

When his students learned his wisdom, they could teach and heal as well.
When they learn the wisdom of Jesus Christ, they see the Holy Spirit work powerfully in their lives in the name of Jesus.

God is spirit.
God’s wisdom is spiritual.
But God’s spiritual wisdom rules over the physical world as well.
So as God’s people become wise spiritually, they experience God’s possibility in their physical world:
This is how God’s wisdom display in our lives.

Sometimes, we may not know what is the best for us.
So Jesus persuades us to obey him.
If we are willing, Jesus restores our life in spite of ourselves, and blesses us regardless of anything, even when we don’t fully understand.
Jesus can bless us even when we don’t understand our situation.
Jesus even guides people around us to choose right things for our life.
Jesus can bless us in spite of ourselves.
Jesus can bless us to display God’s wisdom.
If Jesus wants to bless, no one can stop Jesus.
In this way, we experience God.

But Jesus still wants his people to understand him.
So Jesus says: Matthew 13:44-46
“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years.
A trespasser accidentally found it.
He was ecstatic: “What a find!”
Then he sold everything in hurry to raise money and buy that field.

“God’s kingdom is like a jewel merchant on the hunt for excellent pearls.
Finding one that is flawless, he sells everything to buy it.”

Those who don’t know who Jesus is, may pass them by.
But those who understand the price sell everything to buy eternal life.
When we have good knowledge, we may understand what we see.
When God helps us understand, we may use our money to buy the abundance in the Kingdom of God.
We may move along with God and find a blessed life in God.

The Holy Spirit also helps us to understand the price.
The Holy Spirit helps us to understand God’s opportunity and receive God’s blessings.
Then we have God’s abundance in the Kingdom of God.

Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to guide us to understand the fullness of God’s wisdom.
The Holy Spirit helps us to see and feel and experience and sense and discern the will of God.
The Holy Spirit helps us to feel peacefulness about things so that we may choose peace in God.
The Holy Spirit helps us think, speak and listen to God.
The Holy Spirit makes us to be thoughtful and become wise so that we may live a good life.

So before we read the story of Jesus, the greatest display of God’s wisdom, we pray that the Holy Spirit may help us think and ponder and understand and experience God’s wisdom.
Then the power of Holy Spirit produces good fruits to glorify God through us.

Now have you read the Proverbs in the Bible?
It has 31 chapters.
So, some people read one chapter per day to read it in a month.

The Proverbs encourage people to understand and live well financially and socially and spiritually.
The Proverbs help people to think and understand and use well God-given opportunity.

The more people understand the truth, the more they feel peaceful.
The more they become wise to use well knowledge and skills, the more they feel peaceful and live peacefully.
The more they use their own possibility, the more they feel peaceful.
Then God’s people will listen to them as they become wise in God.
Then they also feel peaceful.

Now allow me to share some verses from Proverbs that helped me:
When I felt hesitant to spend money for a seminary education, I felt God gave me these words: Proverbs 23:23
(2) “Buy truth, and do not sell it.
Buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.”

Also Proverbs 17:16 says:
“Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?”

Proverbs 16:20 says:
“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.”
I think God encouraged me to gain knowledge.

Proverbs 18:15 says:
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge.
The ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”

Somehow, these words encourages me to go to seminary and study.
When I chose to study, God seemed to say:
“You have experienced God.
You have spiritual experiences.
But don’t be arrogant and prideful, because of that.
Study humbly and buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.”

Proverbs 19:2-3 also says:
“Desire without knowledge is not good.
How much more will hasty feet miss the way!
A person’s own folly leads to their ruin.
But their heart rages against the Lord.”

Before I learned God’s various lessons, I liked to do some ministry without having a proper education or knowledge.
But God was trying to change me first.
God was trying to teach me a good and proper knowledge first so that God may be able to use me to help other people.

So God helps me to stop running around with various ideas and interest.
God helps me slow down and learn.
God helps me to sit down and study and understand how to help others .
Then I find joy in this learning.

Proverbs 21:3 says:
“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”

Some passionate Christians may want to sacrifice their life for God.
But God may ask them:
“Not yet, learn first what is right and just before God.
Know what is acceptable to God.
Then you may not waste your life.
Know what God asks you today.
Learn what is right and good in the eyes of God.
Learn God’s own just and proper way.
Then, God may freely work with you to do what God wants as God loves to do things according to his good wisdom.”

But the Proverbs also says: Proverbs 29:25
“Fear of humans will prove to be a snare.
But those who trust in God is kept safe.”

Even in seminary, God seems to say:
Don’t fear professors and anyone who pretends that they have the power.
Don’t worry about them.
Do not fear them but fear only God.
Don’t worry about how they think of you.
But worry about how God thinks of you, because God has the power.
God is in control.
God is the eternal judge.
God can bless, curse or protect you.

So the Proverbs may ask us to look at God and think about:
“Would God be smiling at my thoughts?
Would God be happy in the way I chose to live?”

Anyway I had fun in seminary at first.
I gained knowledge and wisdom.
I had fun in gaining knowledge.
But I was also distracted as I became proudful again.
I should have been more and more humble before God.

Then God helped me to understand these words: Proverbs 18:12
“Before a downfall the heart is haughty.
But humility comes before honor.”
I learn that God only bless those who are humble before God.

There are those who want to serve God in their own way according to their own passion.
Then after they experience the power of the Holy Spirit, they may jump all over the places as they feel they can change the world.
But at that time, Proverbs 21:5 may say:
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit.
But haste leads to poverty.”

Those who make a quick move without learning to have a good plan, go straight to poverty, financially, spiritually, mentally.
I confessed that I was also someone who wanted quick results.
But the Bible never promised a long lasting blessing for those who are in hurry instead of waiting for God’s guidance and plan.

The Bible asks people to wait for God:
“Be still and know that God is good.”
Give God a chance to prove himself.
Give God a chance to finish God’s works.

After I learn that I have to wait for God, I have sung this song many times.
It helps me to slow down and think:
(2) “Wait for the Lord whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord. Keep watch, take heart.”

Proverbs 14:29 also says:
A patient man has great understanding.
But a quick tempered man displays folly.

Proverbs 16:32 says:
“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”

Those who understand learn to become a patient person.
And those who wait patiently gain understanding.
Then God helps them to be better off spiritually, socially and financially.
So those who sit down and wait patiently for God, understand and reap the benefit of God’s works.

Proverbs 19:15 says:
“Laziness brings on deep sleep.
A person with a lack of ambition or purpose goes hungry.”

Those who wait for God become optimistic as they find meaning in their life.
Those who don’t know who God is and don’t understand what God asks them to do, need to find out what God is asking them.
Then they may rejoice with God and experience God’s aducance.

But the Bible does not ask people to work and work and work.
That is not what the Bible says.
Paul says like this: Ephesians 5:14
"Wake up, sleeper!
Rise from the dead.
Christ will shine on you."

What does it say?
When people realize who they are in Jesus, they may live to shine God’s light as Jesus shines on them and through them.
Then the faith of Jesus may shine through them.
This is what the Bible is aiming for.

Lastly Jesus also told this kind of story to tell that the wise are those who are prepared for his coming.
There were ten servants who were waiting for their coming king: Matthew 25:1-13
Five of them were wise.
The rest were foolish.

The wise finish all the preparation to meet their king.
But the foolish were not prepared.
Then as they wait together, they all fell asleep: all ten of them.

The foolish didn’t prepare but fell asleep.
In this way, they made their choice to wait until the last moment.
They put important things until an undefined tomorrow.
This unpreparedness may show that they didn’t really love to be with the coming king.
But then when the king came, it was too late for them to go and prepare themselves.
So they could not be part of the king’s party.

But the wise finish their preparation and wait for the king.
After they finished their preparation, they also fell asleep.
But they were prepared because they loved to be with the coming king.
Because they love the king, they finished what needed to be done.
Then they waited for the king.
Then the king came and celebrated with them.

Through this kind of story, Jesus is saying that the wise are those who are prepared to meet God whom they love.
The wise are those who are prepared to inherit the kingdom of God.
They are willing to obey Jesus.
So Jesus himself prepares them.
They allow Jesus to speak to their life.
So Jesus shares God’s wisdom and makes them wise and be prepared.
Then as they learn of Jesus and gain knowledge about him, they fall in love with Jesus and are prepared for God’s wonderful blessing.

Likewise, when we are prepared for Jesus, God can bless us greatly.
When we are prepared for Jesus, God can help many people through us.
When our hearts are prepared for Jesus, Jesus may freely live among us and help many people spiritually.
Then we experience that many blessings flow from Jesus.
In this way God’s mind and wisdom is known.
Then Jesus receive all the glory.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for making us wise in God.
Help us to use wisely what we have.
Help your people to wisely serve you.
In your name, we pray.
Amen


4.15.2017

Welcome Jesus our King into our hearts

ppt

Welcome Jesus our King into our hearts
Read: John 20:1-18
(See also Four Spiritual Laws)

(3) In the beginning, God created people and asked them to take care of the world that God created.
And these people were able to talk with God and use well what God has given them.

(3) But then sin entered into their hearts.
Then they started to ignore God’s will, and rebel against God’s plan.
They didn't trust God who created them.
So they wanted to be their own boss.
But then they became an evil boss that does not help the poor.
They desired to do their own things out of their stubborn will.
They even submitted to the desire of Satan.
So they continually sinned against God.
Then they were spiritually separated from God.
Meaning their relationship with God was broken.
Then because of their sin, there was a great chasm between God and humans.

Human sin invites spiritual, mental and physical death.
So they experienced spiritual, mental and physical illness: Romans 6:23.
They started to die spiritually, mentally and physically.

Everyone was going through this process of death as all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God: Romans 3:23.
Then because their heart was corrupted now, even if they wanted to know God, they could not.
Even when they repent of their sins, they were faking resisting God’s words, consciously and unconsciously.
Even if they tried to live a good life; even if they tried to have an enlightenment through various philosophy and religion, their hearts could not know God and earn their place in heaven.
Their various effort failed, because their sin has separated them from God.

Now as for them, God was just too holy for them to come near, as God’s holiness prevents sin to come near.
God is too glorious and holy.

(3) But God loved them.
So God wants them to experience the fullness of God’s blessings.
God wants them to experience the fullness of God's love.
So God decided to restore them so that God can bless the world through them.
God decided to help them understand the God who loves them.
God decided to show that God was really for them, even though they were against God.

So God sent Jesus His Son.
God sent Jesus, to teach them and to heal them and to save them.
God sent Jesus to heal them spiritually, mentally, socially, physically and eternally.

So Jesus came to teach people about God.
Jesus did wonderful things in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus did this to show that God loves them and the world: John 3:16.
Then they experience God.
They experience God’s healing and blessings.

Then Jesus said: (John 14:6)
“I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."
Jesus provided the way to God: Romans 5:8.
To provide this way, Jesus chose to die for our sins on the cross: 1 Corinthians 15:3-6.
When we were sinful, Jesus died in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
Then we may be able to walk on this bridge and experience the kingdom of God as Jesus forgives us and removes our sins so that we may know and experience God.

Then Jesus rose from the dead.
Then with his heavenly body, he appeared to his people.
Jesus appeared to various people to prove his bodily resurrection.
This is the historical fact: the very important historical fact.

This resurrection of Jesus wakes people up to see the coming kingdom of God and the King Jesus who will establish New Heaven, New Earth and New creatures.
So God’s new days have started from this first Easter.

Jesus himself finished the work for our salvation.
No human being could do this.
So no human beings could boast about their salvation: Ephesians 2:8-9.
They are saved by the the grace of Jesus alone.

Then Jesus gave us this gift of salvation to those who accept him as the Lord of their lives.
Those who believe in Jesus are saved.
Those who believe in Jesus would not be perished but have eternal life.
Those who have the faith of Jesus are saved.
Those who believe in the story of Jesus are saved.
God provides this story of Jesus for us to believe and live forever.
Like this, God restores our souls in the name of Jesus.

To those who receive Jesus, and to those who believe in His name, God gave the right to become children of God: John 1:12.
Meaning, when we follow Jesus, we experience a new spiritual birth:
When we receive Jesus Christ into our hearts, we experience a new spiritual birth by the power of the Holy Spirit: John 3:1-8.
The Holy Spirit helps us to be born again in the name of Jesus and become new creatures in the name of Jesus.
Then we become children of God.
So we experience God and receive God’s blessings as children of God.

Jesus said: (John 10:10)
“I have come that my sheep may have life, and have it to the full.”
Jesus makes our life full and meaningful in God.
So we experience the kingdom of God here today.

The Bible says: 1 John 5:11-13.
"God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
He who has the Son has the life.
He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”

When we believe in the story of Jesus, Jesus lives in us and that we have eternal life.
Those who believe in the story of Jesus have have eternal life.

So Jesus the Christ has been saying to people and his churches: (Revelation 3:20)
"Here I am!
I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Jesus asks his churches to open the door and welcome Jesus into their churches.
Jesus asks us to welcome the resurrected Jesus into our homes.
Jesus asks us to welcome Jesus into our hearts so that Jesus can guide and teach us.
Jesus asks us to welcome his words into our hearts so that these words may grow in us.
Then they will dwell with Jesus, whether they are family, church, or nation.

(3) Let’s say this circle shows our heart.
This picture shows some people’s hearts:
They sit on the throne of their hearts and try to guide their own lives, putting Jesus Christ outside of their lives and their hearts.
So they make wrong decisions according to their sinful hearts.
They make mistakes, and feel frustrated and not happy.

(3) Even those who invite Jesus into their hearts may also live like that.
They welcome Jesus into their hearts but then push Jesus aside to do whatever they want.
They may even want to use the power of Jesus to do what they want to do.
When they live like that, their hearts will be filled with fear, jealousy, worry, discouragement, unbelief and so on.
Their hearts can not experience God’s full blessings.
So they may need to repent of their sins and ask Jesus to forgive their sins and make them the people that Jesus wants them to be.
Then they may need to go to God in daily prayer; read Jesus' words daily; obey what Jesus says; trust God for their life.
Otherwise, they may feel like this.

Jesus is God.
Jesus is the Lord of all.
Jesus has God’s wisdom and power to help them.
So they better listen to him recognizing him as their good king, lord, master of all.

(3) So we need to ask Jesus Christ to sit on the throne of our hearts.
We need to surrender our lives to Jesus and ask him to guide our lives.
Then our lives will be in harmony with God's plan.
Then our hearts will be filled with love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, and faith.
Then God’s miracles will happen in our hearts and in our lives.
We will experience God’s heavenly blessings.
Then we will be blessed spiritually, mentally, socially, financially, physically and eternally.
Then we may be able to help people to experience Jesus and even to guide them to welcome Jesus into their hearts.

Now let’s think about prayer.
Prayer is simply about talking and listening to God.
Prayer is about having a time with God.
When we pray, we need to remember that we are praying to God who knows our hearts and is listening to our hearts.
So since God already knows, it is very easy to talk to God.

When we pray, God answers our prayer.
So through prayer, we may also invite Jesus into our hearts.
Through prayer, we may open the doors of our hearts, and welcome Jesus Christ into our hearts so that Jesus will come and guide and teach us, and so that his will be done in our lives.

So if you want to welcome Jesus into your hearts, you may pray the following prayer that is suggested:
Let’s me read it to you first:
Jesus, our King, I need You.
Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins and rise again.
I open the door of my heart and receive You as my King and Savior.
Thank You for dying on the cross for me and forgiving my sins and rising again to give me eternal life.
Now take control of my hearts.
Make me the person You want me to be.

If you want to pray this prayer, why don’t you pray repeating after me?
Jesus, our King, I need You.
Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins and rise again.
I open the door of my heart and receive You as my King and Savior.
Thank You for dying on the cross for me and forgiving my sins and rising again to give me eternal life.
Now take control of my hearts.
Make me the person You want me to be.
In Jesus name, I pray.
Amen.

When we welcome Jesus into our church and into your hearts, Jesus will come and dwell with us.
Jesus will accomplish his will in us.
As Jesus says: (Revelation 3:20)
"Here I am!
I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

So we believe in Jesus and his words.
We trust his promises.
We trust as the Bible says:
"The righteous shall live by faith." (Galatians 3:11)

If we welcome Jesus into our lives, the Bible promises that:
1. Jesus Christ came into our life (Revelation 3:20 and Colossians 1:27)
2. Our sins were forgiven (Colossians 1:14)
3. We became children of God (John 1:12)
4. We received eternal life (John 5:24)
5. A new life has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17, John 10:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:18)

(3) When we trust God’s words, we may not feel right away the power of God’s words.
But we will feel eventually.
As we read about Jesus, we may be able to trust Jesus and his words, and then may feel God’s presence.
This journey starts as we simply read and trust in Jesus and his words.

(3) Jesus says: John 14:21
“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

So in order to maintain our good relationship with Jesus, we may read Jesus' words.
We may obey what Jesus says.
We may live according to what Jesus has done and said.
We may forgive all people like Jesus. (Matthew 6.14-15)
We may help the poor.
We may trust God for our life.
We may allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to live like Jesus.
We may pray always in the name of Jesus.
We may love each other in the name of Jesus.

God wants us to love Jesus.
In this way, we maintain our relationship with God.
Then we will get to know Jesus personally as our friends.
And Jesus will be always with us: Hebrews 13:5.
God’s love will keep us.

God has given us the story of Jesus so that through this story, we may get to know God and be blessed spiritually, mentally, socially, physically and eternally.
Now why don’t we thank Jesus for what Jesus has done?
Thanking Jesus, we may build up our faith in him.
Then through us, many people may also experience God.

I would like to give you about 30 seconds for you to pray and thank God individually.
Then I will close us in prayer.
Let’s pray:

Jesus, thank you for the story of Jesus.
Thank you for coming into our lives.
May you use our lives for your glory.
In your name, we pray.
Amen



4.08.2017

Matthew 21:1-11 (2)

ppt

If Jesus is our president….
Reading: Matthew 21:1-11

About this time, Jesus was ending his public ministry.
Jesus was finishing his earthly race.

But now some people were saying:
“What do you think?
Do you think Jesus will become our king, our Jewish president?

“I hope so.
There is no one like him.
He could heal people and perform miracles.
He is very special.
He should be our king.”

They thought Jesus had everything going for him.
Jesus was famous.
He spoke wonderfully, performing miracles.
Who is better than him?

But Jesus was planning to end his public ministry soon.
His plan was something like this:
Today, on this Palm Sunday, he wanted to march to Jerusalem.
On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, he would teach and heal more people.
On Thursday, he would be captured.
On Friday, he would die in Jerusalem.
On Sunday, he would rise up again.

To accomplish this plan, Jesus knew how to enter Jerusalem.
So, Jesus said to two of students:
“Go to the village ahead of you.
You will find a young donkey tied there.
This donkey has never given a ride to anyone.
But untie it and bring it to me.
If someone asks you:
‘Why are you untying it?’
Say:
‘The Lord needs it and will send it back shortly.’”

At the Mount of Olives, the two students went and brought a young donkey.
As Jesus was riding a donkey, his people thought that the Kingdom of God was about appear very soon.
They thought that their dream was finally coming true.
So, they spread their cloaks on the road.
They waved branches as Jesus passed them by.
They had a great parade.

They were like:
“May God bless you who come in the name of the Lord!
May God bless the coming kingdom of our father David!
May God save us from the highest heaven!
Save us now!”

This was a very emotional moment.
Jesus enjoyed as people rejoiced and shouted for him.
Jesus marched with them symbolically to Jerusalem.
His people were excited about him becoming the king.
He allowed himself and his students to rejoice.
Jesus enjoyed the moment.
Jesus agreed that he is their King.
Jesus was riding a donkey like the King of Peace.

But then some were like:
“Yes! Jesus, you have the superpower and authority.
You have God’s power with you.
Be our king to protect us and fight for us.
Make our Jewish state powerful.”

They wished that Jesus would become their military king and get rid of the Romans and make an independent Jewish state that they could be proud of.

But then Jesus went to challenge Jewish leaders who were taking care of the Temple.
Jesus challenged their way of making money operating the Temple.
They were like businessmen rather than lovers of God.
But Jesus wanted to have the house of God to be the house of God.
His kingdom starts from here.
So Jesus was challenging them.
Jesus did that because he was ready to die for this.

Then people realized this:
They expected a military king.
But this king would not even fight with Jewish authority who would not accept Jesus as their king.
When the Jewish authority rejected Jesus as their king, Jesus would not force Jewish authority to accept this kingship.
Jesus didn’t use his superpower to fight back.
Jesus would not fight with them in battles.

Then the Jewish authority eagerly sought to get rid of him.
Then they captured him and handed him over the Romans.
They shouted and cried out:
“Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Then Jesus died on this Friday.

They rejected God’s way and killed the Son of God.
Then Jesus chose to suffer and die in Jerusalem.
When even Jesus was rejected by them, God would have the final reason why God had to judge them later to establish justice.

So at his first coming, Jesus chose nonviolence.
At his first coming, he came to die in the city where he was supposed to be the king.

That is, at first, Jesus didn’t come to judge people.
He came to save those whom God chose to save.
At his first coming, Jesus chose to explain the love of God and chose to die for the salvation of his people, so that his people could find peace in him.
After he had done the greatest merciful acts for them to see and to be saved.

Then Jesus will come back for the second time to judge nations.
He could do that because no one had done what he had done for people.
So there would be no excuse.
When he will return, he will judge people based on his words that he spoke while he was on earth.
Then Jesus would reign as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Then his people may also judge various nations with him.
But this would be after his return.

Until then, Jesus simply asked them to follow his way of life that he showed them:
His students were also supposed to speak for God and to be willing to die with Jesus, like Jesus.
Jesus was like:
“If you refuse to give your life for me, if you refuse to be scapegoated for me, you cannot be my disciples.”
Then they may also reign with Jesus.

Now let’s think about some political situation at that time.
In the time of Jesus, the Roman Empire was a powerful nation on earth.
They were prosperous.
Their military power was superior enough to occupy and rule many nations.

They asked other nations to follow their way of life.
Then later, they asked them to worship their emperors as their god and their savior.

They were like:
“We are helping you to have peace in your land.
If you submit to our Roman rule, you will have peace.”

To establish this peace, they killed and crucified those who rebelled against their rule.
On the process, they even crucified Jesus who was wrongfully accused.

In that situation, Jesus chose nonviolence even though his people were ready to fight for him and die for him.
Even his angels were ready to fight for him.
But even on the cross, Jesus chose nonviolence.
In fact, at the cross, Jesus prayed that God would forgive them.
And God forgave them.
Then Jesus finished his earthly ministry at the cross.
Jesus died for God there.

But it was not the end of the story.
Jesus rose again for God!
Jesus rose again to fulfill more prophecies that were written in the Bible.

Jesus shows that human life does not end at their death.
There is the resurrection through Jesus.
There is eternity through Jesus.
There is much much more through Jesus.

Even now, no one can deny his resurrection.
No one can disprove the resurrection of Jesus.
Even atheists accept this fact.
The resurrection of Jesus is the most powerful proof of the existence of God.

Then Jesus ascended into heaven.
His students continually believed in Jesus and followed his way of life.
They proclaimed that only Jesus is their King, their Savior and their God.
So they continually worship only Jesus.
They preach the story of Jesus all over the places, as they experience the peace of Jesus the Christ in their hearts.

They believed in the power of Jesus.
Meaning, they also chose nonviolence.
They didn't believe in using any military power.
Instead, they learned to help the poor and the outcast.
They preached the good news of Jesus the Christ to the poor.
They lived for Jesus and for his eternal life.

But then the Roman Government tried to get rid of these Christians.
They killed them and forced them to worship their emperors.
Then because of this severe persecution, some Christians went to live underground and kept their faith.
But some got caught and were killed like Jesus.
But they were willing to die for Jesus, because they know they live eternally with Jesus.
Some rather choose to die believing in Jesus.
Then their lives witness powerfully the truth about the resurrection of Jesus.
Their lives witness the coming world of Jesus.
This is how Jesus taught them to live before his return.

Then some tried to persuade the Roman officers to believe in Jesus, because Christians were good for their nation, as they serve the poor; they speak the truth; and they live most peacefully.
With them their nation can truly prosper.

Some Christians lived nonviolently obeying these words of Jesus: Matthew 5:39-42
"Do not resist an evil person.
If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."

Then one day one Roman Emperor became a Christian.
Then many people followed him becoming Christians.

Then many years later, the Christian church became very powerful.
The church became a dominating organization.
The church judged kings and ruled and dominated.
They used political power and even military power.
In a sense the church became the Roman empire.
They followed the way of Roman empire, instead of following Jesus.
They claimed that they were the church but didn’t followed Jesus.
They persecuted those who disagreed with them.
They killed some people in the name of Jesus, saying that they were heretics.
And many Christians were misled like that.
It was also because many of them didn’t know how to read the Bible that was in Greek or Latin.
So they could not study at home to understand Jesus and his way at that time.

But still there were some Christians.
When they heard the words of Jesus, they humbly obeyed.
They became more like Jesus, even though they didn’t have many resources that we have today.

Now we have many resources to use to understand the gospel.
We may learn how to pray to know the will of God.
We may learn and understand Jesus.

But still today, some people try to persuade their young people to “gloriously” fight for their nations.
But Jesus didn’t promise any glory in human war.
Jesus didn’t encourage his people to fight and kill to possess a piece of land or oil.
Jesus simply says one soul is more precious than land, money or oil.

In fact, Jesus said to Peter who wanted to fight for Jesus: Matthew 26:52
"Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”
Jesus asks us to follow Jesus like this:

The same Jesus may be saying today:
“Those who use guns will die by guns.
Those who use military weapon will die by military weapon.
Those who use violence will die by violence, either by their enemy or by their own hands.”

Even though the United States of America is a powerful nation on earth, there were some painful facts about US veterans:
There are more Vietnam vets who have committed suicide than were killed in combat.
This continues:
About in 2013, every 80 minutes of every day, a US veteran takes his or her life.
There are more Iraq and Afghanistan vets who have killed themselves than have died in those conflicts.

We may think that many of combat veterans may really need to find peace in their hearts again.
They might have experienced something totally inhuman.
So they really need to meet God and be forgiven and be healed by the blood of Jesus.
So someone may need to go and say some of those who struggle:
Give God a chance.
Then you find peace in your heart again: Philippians 4:7, Colossians 3:15.
There is hope in God.
As they find God, and as they are found by God, they may experience God’s peace.
They may feel peaceful as they welcome Jesus into their hearts.
Then they may feel peaceful as their sins were forgiven.
They need to see Jesus their King, die on the cross for them.
Then they may see that their lives could be used for Jesus this time.
As they choose to serve God humbly, they may experience God’s love.

Now what if Jesus becomes the president of USA, how would he guide his nation?
What if Jesus becomes the president of South Korea?
Will Jesus allow any military budget to go through?
Will Jesus choose to spend those money for the poor?

How about illegal immigrants?
How would Jesus deal with them?
How would Jesus deal with refugees and migrants?
Would Jesus be very kind to illegal immigrants and refugees so that they would know the truth and be really free?
How would he do that?
Would Jesus preach the good news to the poor?

Jesus will come one day to judge nations, because Jesus is the kings of kings and the president of presidents.
His coming kingdom will be eternal.
The kingdom of God is eternal.

So Jesus may say to many people or nations today:
“Preach the gospel.
Then God will bless you and make you powerful.
But when that happens, you don’t use the power to judge or rule others.
You use the power to serve.
You use the power to help other other and other nations in the name of Jesus.”

Jesus asks us to serve Jesus instead of nationalism.
Jesus is asking us to wait for the eternal reward that Jesus is preparing for us.
Jesus is asking us to wait the Kingdom of God that is coming for his people.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for showing us how to follow you, the King of peace.
Thank you for teaching us your way of life and peace.
Thank you for creating peace in our hearts.
May your peace guide us to humbly serve you.
Thank you.
In Jesus name we pray.
Amen

4.01.2017

John 11:1-45 (1)

ppt

The dead will rise
Reading: John 11: 1-45
Additional reading: Psalm 130: 1-8, Rom 8:6-11
Hymns: 464, 391 (v.1-4), 276 (or 276, 391, 538)

About this time, some Jewish people were trying to kill Jesus.
They were blaming Jesus for dishonoring and blaspheming God.
So they wanted to stone Jesus to death.
But they were greatly mistaken about who Jesus is.

Anyway, Jesus ran away at that time, because he didn’t want to die yet.
He planned to die during the feast of the Passover.
And if he didn't want to die, he could get away anytime.
If he refused to die, no one could kill him.
He had all the power for his own life.

(2) But anyway after some incidents, Jesus left Jerusalem with his students and stayed there for awhile.
But some of his friends who were near Jerusalem were looking for him.
Because his friend Lazarus got very ill and was about to die.
So Martha and Mary sent a man to Jesus to come quickly and heal him.

But Jesus didn’t come.
So, Lazarus died.
And people were complaining about Jesus.

But Jesus didn’t come because it was not God’s timing for him to come yet.
So Jesus waited for God’s timing.

Then some days after Lazarus died, Jesus was coming.
God asked him to come because God wanted to prove that it was God who sent Jesus to them.
And God wanted to receive his glory through his friend Lazarus.

Knowing he could raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus arrived there.
But Martha was like:
“Master, Lazarus was dead for four days!
If you were here, Lazarus, my brother wouldn't have died.
(Then looking at his eyes)
But even now, I know whatever you pray, God will give it to you.”

Jesus was like:
“I will raise your brother up as I can raise the dead to life.”

Martha was like:
“I know!
He will rise again in the day of resurrection, at the last day???”

Jesus was like: (v 25-26)
“I am right now the Resurrection and the Life.
The resurrection is in God.
The resurrection is in me.
The resurrection happens through God.
The resurrection happens in me and through me.

“So, those who believe in me will live, even though they die!
All those who die in believing in me, does not really die.
They live forever.
And Lazarus who believe in me, can experience the Resurrection, even right now.
Do you believe this?”

Martha could not understand because it was beyond her imagination.
So, she said what she thought that Jesus was saying:
“I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Then she called her sister, Mary, thinking Mary might understand what Jesus was saying.
But Mary said the same:
“Master, if you were here, my brother wouldn't have died.”
Then she cried with her friends.
So Jesus wept:
Jesus feels for them when his people cry.
Jesus feels for them because he loves them.
Meaning, Jesus does not want you to cry.
So, on the contrary, when you cry before him, it becomes a powerful prayer.

But at this time others were still complaining.
They were like:
“Hey, if he loved him so much, what’s up with coming so late?
Lazarus died.
He could have healed Lazarus, just like he opened the eyes of a blind man.”

But Jesus didn’t come late!
Jesus never comes late!
He always comes in God’s timing.
So Jesus always trusts in God’s perfect timing.

Then Jesus came to the tomb and asked them to remove the stone, in front of the tomb.
Martha was like:
“Every burial process has been done.
Lazarus was already dead.”

But Jesus was like:
“No.
He is asleep.
If you believe, you would see the glory of God.”

Then, Jesus prayed something like this:
“Father, I know you are listening to me.
But I speak aloud so that these people may hear and then believe that you sent me.
Thank you for listening and answering my prayer.”

Then, Jesus was like:
“Lazarus, wake up and come out!”
Then Lazarus came out.
He came back to life because Jesus called him to live for God again.
The words of Jesus has power in heaven and on earth.
What he says happens always.

Jesus does not say an empty word like other human beings.
Because Jesus is the Word of God.
His word has authority and power in heaven and on earth.
So he speaks to change the world and to judge the world.
So we pay attention to his words since it is true.
And because everything happens according to his words.

Lazarus died later in his old age.
So this was not a full resurrection.
But one day Jesus will call him again to live forever with his physical body.
Meaning, Jesus will return to prove Jesus is the Resurrection and Life again.
But even now if Jesus wants, anybody could experience the Resurrection and life that Lazarus experienced.

Today we hear Jesus speaking this simple but very power words:
“Lazarus, come out.”
He was able to speak like this because he was in the realm of the Spirit.
In the realm of the Spirit, he spoke to bring Lazarus out of the dead.

The mind that is governed by the flesh could not understand this.
Because the mind that is governed by the flesh is death.
That kind of mind is hostile to God.
It does not submit to God’s law.
So those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

But the mind that is governed by the Spirit can do what God says.
So the mind that is governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
They experience eternal life and eternal peace.
So when we are in the realm of the Spirit, we could also speak to raise the dead to life if that is God’s will.

When we welcome the Spirit of Jesus into our hearts, we belong to Christ.
When we have the Spirit of Christ in us, this Spirit of Jesus teaches us and guides us.

Then one day, our body may die because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of the righteousness of Jesus that is formed within us.
When His Spirit lives in us, this Spirit of Jesus can give life to our mortal bodies.
Then we will rise again one day: Romans 8:6-11

Jesus will return one day to gives eternal life and heavenly peace in its full measure.
Those who believe in Jesus, those who welcome Jesus in their hearts, will live with him forever.

When we have his hope, the Bible encourages us to seek the Lord and his righteousness and his humility; and do what he commands: Zephaniah 2:3
Then God will save us on the day of the Lord’s anger.

The Bible also encourages us to pray like this: Isaiah 26:20-21
“Enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you.
Hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.
The Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins.”

So when Jesus returns, he will separate the righteous and the unrighteous.
He will separate those who believe in Him and those who do not believe.
He will separate these two, based on their belief and their life.

But historically, some misunderstood about Jesus’ return.
Or they misused this concept of Jesus’ return to deceive many people.
They taught like this:
They separated Jesus from his spirit.
Then they said that Jesus sent his spirit to their cult leader to act like the returned Jesus.

But in a sense all Christians received his spirit.
Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to his people.
Jesus sends his spirit to us so that we Christians could be his body together and live for Jesus together and live like Jesus together.
As we receive the Holy Spirit, we become like little Jesus.
We become his body.
BUT we are not the returned Jesus.

When Jesus talked about his returns, he talked about his physical return.
Jesus talked about his second coming like this: Luke 17:24
“For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.”
“At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory: Luke 21:27-28
When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Jesus will return physically.
In his second coming, he would be back with his physical body.
And everyone can see him right away.

Just like, Jesus was raised from the dead with his physical body.
Just like, Jesus ascended into heaven with his physical body.
Jesus would come back with his physical body.

Jesus didn’t promise to send another messiah for each generation.
Jesus didn’t promise to send another messiah to rewrite another book claiming that they are God.

But just like, Jesus rose from the dead physically: (Luke 24:39)
Just like, Jesus ascended into heaven physically: (Acts 1:9; Luke 24:50–51).
Jesus himself will return physically.

What does it mean?
Jesus became fully and completely human.
So Jesus didn’t just look like a human.
He didn’t just have some aspects of humanity.
He has a human body, a human mind, and a human soul: Luke 24:39, Luke 2:52, Matthew 26:38.
He possess full humanity.

Then what happened, when Jesus ascended to heaven?
Did he throw away his body and stop being a human when he arrived in heaven?
Did Jesus become only God again?
No, Jesus is and will be fully human forever.
Jesus is right now still fully human.
Jesus will continue being human with his physical body forever.

And yet Jesus is fully and completely God as he said:
“I and my Father are one!” (John 10:30)
Meaning, “I am God.”

So the church reminds people that Jesus has two natures.
Jesus is fully divine and fully human.
Jesus is God and human.
Jesus is 100% God and 100% human forever.

His human nature does not become divine in some ways.
His divine nature does not become human in some ways.
His each nature remains distinct.
Each nature does not change.
That is, in Jesus, all the fullness of God dwells in a human body: Colossians 2:9.

And even though Jesus is God and human, he is one person, forever.
Jesus is not two persons.
There are no two persons within Jesus.
Jesus is one person who has two nature.
Jesus has two natures that are united together to be one Person.

Now when Jesus returns, Jesus will transform our bodies into his glorious body: Philippians 3:21
He will transform our bodies to be like his.
What kind of body is this?
What is this body of his glory?

His body is free from sins.
So our body will be free from sins.
And this new body cannot die: (1 Corinthians 15:42)
It is eternal: (2 Corinthians 5:1)
So Jesus and his people will live together in their bodies forever.
God has the power to save people like this.

Today Jesus shows us the power to raise his people to life.
We see Jesus has the power in heaven and on the earth.
Jesus has the power to give eternal life and eternal peace.

Those who welcome Jesus into their hearts will live with him and be with him forever.
Those who believe in him and live according to his will will be with Jesus forever.
If we ask, Jesus will help us to believe and live according to his will so that we may see the glory of God.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for your coming.
Thank you for your teaching.
Help us to believe in you.
Help us to believe that you are the resurrection and life.
Help us to forgive all people.
Help us to live in your power.
We pray in your name.
Amen

3.25.2017

John 9:1-41 (1)

ppt

Jesus heals us
Reading: John 9:1-41
Blanks: God, light, wash

About 3400 years ago, Moses said like this:
“In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them.
But he rested on the seventh day.
So the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

Then Moses said to his people: Exodus 20:8-11
“Remember the Sabbath day.
And keep it holy.
Six days you do all your work.
But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.
On it don’t do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter; nor your male or female servant; nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.”

God asks them to rest with their neighbors.
God didn’t ask them to rest and ask their neighbors to turn off their switch.
God asks them to give rest to every servants, every people in their towns.
God asks them to give rest to their workers.

God does not want them to be workaholic.
So, God asked them to rest and trust in God.
God can do all the works.
So God wants them to love God more than their works.

God also asked them to be free from any greed and disbelief.
For that, God introduces this pattern of life: resting one day per week for God.
In this way, they learn to become holy.
In this way, God set them apart so that other nations may learn of God.

But it was difficult to do nothing.
So historically Jewish people broke many Sabbaths.

Knowing all this already, Moses spoke for God like this: Exodus 31:13-14
“God says:
Keep my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.
Keep the Sabbath, for it is holy for you.
Everyone who defiles it must surely be put to death.
If anyone does any work on it, that person will be cut off from among his people.”

Moses emphasized very much so that they would learn this pattern of life.
Moses was like:
“Do nothing but serve God on this Sabbath day.
God will do all the good works for you.
Trust in God and do nothing.
God can save you, just like God saved you from Pharaoh.
Then God will give you the promised land.
So listen to God.”

But they were not obeying God easily.
So they eventually lost their land and their nation and were sent to other parts of the world.

Then they understood the importance of the Sabbath.
So when they returned to the land of Israel, they kept the Sabbath as much as they understood.

But when Jesus came, the Pharisees went too far.
The Pharisees wanted to keep all the tradition of elders.
They held onto a long list of traditions that Jewish elders produced over many years.

They even set aside God’s command and then held onto their tradition.
They were not following God but keeping their tradition in order to keep their Jewish identity, even though some of their traditions were not biblical.
So the Sabbath became not a day of rest anymore.
They turned the day of rest into a day of inconveniences, because they wanted to keep their identity as a Jew.
In this way, they again missed the mark.

God created it for them to learn and enjoy.
But, they held onto a tradition that bound people.

So Jesus disagreed with them.
Jesus could not accept some of their false practices on it.
Because Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath: Mark 2:28
So Jesus wanted to free them from their false idea about the Sabbath, hoping that they might find the true Sabbath in him.

So Jesus taught them like this: (Mark 2:27)
“The Sabbath was made for you.
You are not made for the Sabbath.
The Sabbath was not made to make you keep all those traditions.
The Sabbath was made for you to rest and enjoy and be free so that you may love God and serve God.”

God sent Jesus to free them.
But they chose their tradition to bind their people and decided to get rid of Jesus.

When the apostle Paul, a former Pharisee understood about this, he said like this: Colossians 2:16-17
“Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a special religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
These are a shadow of the things that were to come.
And the reality is found in Christ.”

What does he say?
Sabbath is a shadow of the things to come.
Meaning, the Sabbath is there to explain the real Sabbath, the real rest that we find in Jesus.

We read a long story today.
Now let’s think about the story we read.
It was near the end of the ministry of Jesus.

At that time, some Pharisees tried to stone Jesus and kill him already because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and didn’t keep the Sabbath like them.
In the meantime, other people were arguing about who Jesus is.

So Jesus needed a big miracle through which, he could stop them from stoning him and then cause them to think about who Jesus is.
Jesus might need something so shocking that people could stop and think about who Jesus is.
So Jesus, through a powerful evidence, wanted to show that God sent him and used him.

Then one Sabbath day, Jesus and his students saw a man who was born blind.
God was saying to Jesus:
“Heal this man!
Heal him on the Sabbath to teach Jewish people.
Heal him to help Jewish people believe in you.”
God wanted to prove that God sent Jesus.

But his Jewish students were like:
“Jesus, why was he born blind?
Did his parents do something wrong?
Did he do something wrong even before he was born?
Who has done something wrong here?”

In those day, some religious scholars had been teaching them like this:
These things were caused by sins.
You see, they taught like the friends of Job.
Remember?
They wanted to find some reasons for Job’s misfortune.
They wanted to find reasons to blame Job, instead of simply comforting him.

But their Jewish Messiah, Jesus was like:
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned.
We are here to do God’s works.
When it is day, we do the works of God who sent me.
When night comes, no one can work.
But while I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Then Jesus decided to shine his light.
Jesus spit in the dust and made a clay paste and rubbed it on the man's eyes.
As God created humans out of the earth in Genesis, so Jesus might be creating this man’s eyes out of the earth.

Anyway, Jesus said:
“Go, wash yourself.”
Then the man went, washed himself and was able to see.

After this, the Pharisees were investigating this healing miracle.
Then some said:
“This man Jesus is not from God, because he healed people on the Sabbath.”
Some said:
“Then how could he heal the man who was born blind, to see?”

The Pharisees were not able to understand.
They were blessed with their eyes.
But they could not see the truth.
They were spiritually blind.
So they could not accept their Jewish Messiah whom God sent.

So after a long and tired investigation, the Pharisees said:
“We know that God spoke to Moses.
But as for Jesus, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

Then the healed man answered:
“Now that is remarkable!
You don’t know where he comes from?
But he opened my eyes.
We know God does not listen to sinners.
God listens to the godly person who does his will.
Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.
If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

Then the Pharisees replied:
“You were born with full of sins.
How dare you lecture us!”
Then they threw him out.

When he was thrown out, Jesus found him and said:
“Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

The healed man asked:
“Who is he, sir?
Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said:
“You have seen him.
He is the one talking with you.”

The man said:
“Lord, I believe!”
Then he worshiped him!
He understood that his healing was a sign that shows that Jesus is from God.
So the formerly blind person now even understood the truth.

Today Jesus healed a man to see.
When people were trying to judge him as a sinner, Jesus was teaching his student to do God’s will.

Jesus was like:
“Think about what God can do here.
What does God want to do here?
If you know, obey and see what God does in our midst.
Then more people may experience God and give praises to God.”

On the Sabbath, instead of judging a person or evaluating a situation, Jesus invites his students to give God a chance to show up, because God is available.
The power of the Holy Spirit is available.
God can do good things.
So give God a chance.
Say “Let’s see what God does.”
In this way we serve God.

God wants to do his good works through Jesus.
God wants to heal people and make them well.
God wants to bring healing and peace to our world.

So let’s think about what God can do here.
What does Jesus want to do here?
How can we give God a chance and then experience God?

Well, for today why don’t we ask God to do what God wants to do here?
For today, why don’t we try to pray for healing and restoration?

Meaning, I am going to pray for healing as Jesus is with us.
As we pray in the name of Jesus, think about those who need healing.
And then say amen for them and for yourself.
When you say “Amen,” you mean, “God, I believe.”
Right?

So let’s pray together:
Jesus, you heal everyone who asks you to heal.
You love us and care for us.
Thank you for healing us.
Thank you for entering our life to heal.
May you heal us and reshape our bodies according to your will.

Heal our body and have us do what you want us to do.
Heal our minds and have us think what you want us to think.
Heal our hearts to understand your plan for our life.
Heal our spirits to understand your way of life.
Help us to love you and trust in you.
Help us to do what you want us to do.

Jesus, we pray for our families, relatives, friends and ourselves.
If there is anyone who is ill, restore their health.
Remove any pain and stiffness in their body.
Heal them so that every part of their body moves smoothly.
Improve their eye sights.
Give them good teeth, brain, breathing organs, and digesting organs.
Renew their bones, muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tendons.
May you make their neck, discs and shoulders to line up nicely.
May you renew their backbones, their elbows and their knees.

Jesus, heal us.
Heal our life.
Heal us to have a healthy relationship in you.
Help us to sense and learn when you are teaching us.
Help us to listen to your words and obey.
Help us to have good spiritual habits in you.
Help us to know what you are doing in our life.

Jesus, heal our nations.
Heal the nation of North Korea.
Heal this world.
Heal our community.
Heal our areas.
Heal our workplaces.
Heal our schools and universities.
Heal our families.
Heal us to forgive all people.
Heal us to help each other.

May all the people know you and understand you.
May they know how much you love them.

Jesus, our future belongs to you.
May we follow you, choosing the way of peace and joy that you show us.
May we walk closely with you.
May our life move smoothly according to your will.

Jesus, you love us.
Help us to love you back.
Help us to experience your gentleness and kindness.
In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

Now I would like to give you 30 seconds to pray on your own.

In Jesus name, amen.


3.18.2017

Deuteronomy 6:1-15

ppt

Third Test
Reading: Matthew 4:1-11, Deuteronomy 6:1-15

Do you love God?
Yes, you love God, with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind.
So, you find your inner peace and have a sound mind.
So you are beautiful.

It is very good to say to God often:
“I love you God.
I want to love you, God.”

About 3400 years ago, Moses emphasized this as much as he could.
Moses said to his people:
“Hear, O Israel:
The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Because Moses emphasized this so much, even today, Jewish people recite this in their synagogues.
(3) It is called “Shema” as it starts with a Hebrew word: Shema.
Shema means “listen” or “hear.”

They may sing during their worship:
“Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Eḥad….
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד...׃‎”

(3) In fact, they place this text in a mezuzah and put it on their doorpost:

(3) Or when they pray, some wear a small box on their head (tefillin) that contains these words of shema from Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
“Hear, O Israel:
The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

They put these on, in order to literally follow what Moses asked them:
Moses said like:
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about this when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

But what Moses asked them is to teach their children about loving God.
Because it is important to love God and obey God for their blessings.
God wants to bless them.
So Moses asked them to obey God and love God.
Then they enter into God’s blessings and experience God’s blessing.

Moses also spoke to his people like this: Deuteronomy 6:6-9
“Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.”

Before they even entered into the promised land, Moses emphasized like this: Deuteronomy 6:10-12
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build; houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide; wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.
When you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

As a prophet, Moses understood when God bless people, they may forget God and backslide.
When God bless people, they may become proud and would not listen anymore or pay attention to God anymore.
So God’s blessings rather become their temptation.

So Moses asks them to listen to God especially when everything goes so well.
Moses asks them to pay attention to God and serve God only, especially when everything goes so well.
At that very moment, they need to give glory and praise only to God.

Moses said again: Deuteronomy 6:13-15
“Fear the Lord your God, serve him only.
Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you.
Because the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you.
He will destroy you from the face of the land.”

However, they were introduced to and served other gods in Old Testament times.
Those who serve other gods introduced their religion like this:
“If you want to have rain for your crops in this land, worship this god.
If you want to have abundance and prosperity in this land, worship that god.
Follow this method.
This is a most scientific method that we have for more crops in this land.
It works.”

This is how they sell their gods.
This is how they introduced their false gods, and false promises.

But then God’s people forgot the God who brought them out of Egypt.
And they sought some spiritual experience in false religions.
They were distracted.
So they didn’t focus on God alone and even disobeyed God.
They didn’t always serve and fear God only.
They didn’t always give glory to God alone.
So they could not enjoy all the blessings that God had for them in Old Testament times.

When they seek something more than God, when they love something more than God, when they want something more than God, they are serving other gods or worshiping other gods.
Then they could not experience God’s blessings.

But God wants to bless them.
So God corrects them and guides them so that they might serve him only.
Because when they serve God, they are ready to experience God’s blessings.

So as a prophet, Moses asked them saying:
“Fear the Lord your God, serve him only.
Do not follow other gods.
Your God is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you.
He will destroy you from the face of the land.”

Now let’s think about Jesus in the wilderness.
About 2000 years ago, before starting his ministry, Jesus was fasting in the desert.

Then Satan came and tempted Jesus to sin.
Then for the third test, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.

Then the devil was like:
“Do you want this?
I will give you all this, if you bow down and worship me.
Bow down and follow me.
I will give you wealth and power.”

This is how the devil has been tempting people or seducing them.
Satan may tempt people to seek fame, money, power, vainglory.
Satan may offer training programs to serve other false gods.

Then, Satan was even tempting Jesus in the wilderness.
But it was not a temptation for Jesus at all because he loves God and he came to serve God.
It was not a temptation at all.
Jesus came to introduce the only God whom people can love, serve and find the true meaning in life.
Then they who serve God in the name of Jesus will enjoy eternal life.

Besides, those whom God chose for himself could not be happy serving other false gods.
God would not give up on God’s chosen people.
God will bring his chosen people to know the truth.
God will guide them to know the truth.
So God’s chosen people will learn that they are happy when they love and obey God.
Then they experience God who gives and provides everything.
When they come closer to God, God gives everything.

I remember when I studied for my doctoral degree.
At that time, that was my false god: a doctoral degree.
I would like to have it.
But soon I learn it was a vainglory.
I was not happy.
And then especially I felt disgusting when I obtained my doctoral degree.
I felt:
“Is this what I did?
I feel disgusting about this.
I don’t feel good.
I am not happy.”

I thank God for what I felt.
I felt the truth.
Only God can make anyone truly happy.

In the story of Pilgrim's Progress, Mr. Christian and Mr. Faithful arrived at the town of Vanity Fair.
People of this town asked them to buy their products in their marketplaces:
They were selling Fame, Degree, Title, and Honor for showing up and be seen by other people.

But Mr. Christian and Mr. Faithful remembered Ecclesiastes 1:2:
“Everything is meaningless, completely meaningless!
These are pointless and meaningless.”
So Mr. Christian and Mr. Faithful didn’t buy those vainglory.
Instead, they humbled themselves and served God.

Then they were brought to meet the wicked judge and his people.
So Mr. Faithful preached to them saying:
“Serve the living God with all your hearts.
Love God.
Love the truth.
Trust in God.
Then God can bless you and even use your life for his glory.”

Like that when Satan came and tempted Jesus, in the wilderness, Jesus spoke to the devil:
“Away from me, Satan!
The Bible says:
‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

Then the devil left him.
Then angels came and served him.

Jesus quoted what Moses said to his people: Deuteronomy 6:13-15:
“Fear the Lord your God, serve him only.
Do not follow other gods.
Because God is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.”

If anyone is about to disobey God, Jesus may encourage them saying:
“God loves you and feels jealousy for you.
Do not serve other gods.
Otherwise, God may chastise you.”

After Jesus started his ministry, a Jewish scholar asked Jesus about what the most important commandment in the Bible is.
Jesus answered him like this:
“The most important one is this:
‘Shema, Hear, O Israel:
The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Here Jesus added to shema these words: Mark 12:28-34
“with all your mind.”
Jesus was asking the man who asked this question to love God with his mind.
Jesus asked him to use his good mind to love God and serve God.

To many smart people, Jesus may say the same thing:
“I want you guys to love God, with your mind.
You have a good mind.
Use it for me and for the gospel.
Then in that process, you may meet God and be able to understand God and serve God with your mind.”

Jesus is guiding us to love God and serve God with our minds.
Jesus is teaching this lesson through his words and through our life experiences.
Then we know that we could not be happy, when we serve a false god.
We could not be happy when we serve a wrong god.
We could not happy when we seek something wrong.
Serving false gods do not help us to have true happiness nor true success.
It could not give us something so meaningful and true.
We need to remember that.

Jesus has never sinned against God.
Jesus is the only person who obeys God for everything: Deuteronomy 6:13-15:
He obeys even when God asks him to die for him on the cross.
Jesus showed his willingness to serve God even at the cross.
Even at the cross, Jesus was like:
“I will love God!
I will serve God only!”

We don’t have power to live like him.
So we want to be in Jesus.
We want to live in the name of Jesus.
Then Jesus will protect us and enable us to love and serve God only.

When we are in Jesus, we can worship Jesus and serve God only.
When we are in Jesus, we are in the word of God.
When we are in God’s words, we have a right mind.
Then we may be able to live in the name of Jesus.
We may understand the truth and follow Jesus and serve God only.

Loving God is the foundational piece for our faith.
Without loving God, we cannot know God, because God is love.
Without loving God, we cannot follow the way of Jesus.
Without loving God, we can not love other people in God’s way.

When we love God, then we may love people like God.
When we love God, then we may know how to love other people in Jesus.
When we love God, then we can love one another as Jesus loves us.

So, let’s keep on loving God.
Then we may be even able to listen to God and obey God.
We may find rest in God.
Then as God bless us, we may bless others.
Amen

Let's pray:
Jesus, help us to love you.
We want to love you.
You are the truth and the life.
Help us to obey you.
May we serve you forever and be yours forever.
Thank you for giving a wonderful life in your mighty name.
In Jesus name, we pray.
Amen