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

3.11.2017

Exodus 17:1-7

ppt


Second Test
Reading: Matthew 4:1-11, Exodus 17:1-7
Additional text: Deuteronomy 6:16, Psalm 95, Psalm 114

Have you read the book called Deuteronomy in the Bible?
Of course, you did.
Deuteronomy means "second law" or "law repeated."
Deuteronomy is like Moses’ last sermon.
He was summarizing his teachings to prepare the new generation as they were about to enter the Promised Land.

About 3400 years ago, Moses gave many lessons there.
But one of them was about not to test God but to trust God.
Moses said: Deuteronomy 6:16
“Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.”

What happened in Massah?
In order to know this, we need to go to Exodus 17:1-7:

About this time, the Jewish people began traveling in the wilderness.
They were traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded.
So they passed through the Desert of Sin.
And they camped at Rephidim near Mount Sinai, or Mount Horeb.

But by this it seemed they spent all the water they had.
So they were thirsty for water.
But in Rephidim, there was no water for them to drink.
So they grumbled against Moses and argued with Moses.
They were like:
“Give us water to drink.
Why did you, Moses, bring us out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”
They spoke as if Moses were trying to kill them in the desert.

But Moses was like:
“Why do you quarrel with me?
Why do you put the Lord to the test?
Why can’t you just trust God?"

If they had faith, they might have said at least:
"We're thirsty, Moses.
But we trust that God will give us something to drink, right here, right, Moses?”

But they were testing God:
“Can God really give water in the desert?
Can God give us water here?
Can God do something here?
Is there God?
Is the Lord among us?”

When God humbled them again to be thirsty, they spoke against God.
They had not yet learned to trust God.
They still lived by sight, not by faith.
So God wanted to teach them to have faith and to trust in God, as God does not like to be doubted.

Then God has done many things for them.
So they experienced many miracles as God brought them here.
God released them from Pharaoh Thutmose II.
God parted the Red Sea and let them to walk across the red sea.
God gave them Manna and Quails for their food: Exodus 16.
God gave a pillar of cloud to guide them and a pillar of fire by night to give them light when they traveled: Exodus 13:21.
They saw God’s miracles every day.
God provided for every physical need.
God is performing miracles so that they learned to trust in God.

But they questioned God and were trying to kill Moses.
They demanded Moses to give them water and tested and doubted God’s ability to take care of them.
So Moses cried out to the Lord:
“What am I to do with these people?
They are almost ready to stone me.”
Moses also didn't seem to live in faith.
This leader and his people didn't have faith.

But the Lord answered Moses:
“Go out in front of the people.
Take with you some of the elders of Israel.
Take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile.
Go.
I will stand before you by the rock at Mount Horeb.
Strike the rock.
And water will come out of it for them to drink.”

Just like God said, from the rock, water continuously flowed more than 10 miles passing through their camp.
And Moses called this place Massah.

Then many years later, Moses was talking to the second generation who were about to enter the promised land.
Moses reminded them like this: Deuteronomy 6:16
“Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.
Just trust in God and his words.
Believe that God provides for your every need.
Remember all the things that God did to save you.
Remember what God has done for you.”

Then, we read about Gideon in the Bible: Judges 6:36-7:23
About 3100 years ago, God spoke to him.
But then Gideon was talking to God like this:
“In order to see whether you God will deliver Israel by my hand, as you have said, I am going to lay a fleece of wool on the threshing floor.
If there is dew on the fleece alone, and dry on all the ground, then I will know that you will deliver Israel by my hand, as you have said.”
And it was so.
The fleece only was wet.

Then Gideon said to God again:
“Do not let your anger burn against me.
Let me speak one more time.
Let me, please, make trial with the fleece just once more.
Let it be dry only on the fleece, and on all the ground let there be dew.”
And God did so that night.
The fleece was dry and the ground was wet.

Gideon tested God to know for sure that he heard from God who created heaven and earth.
He wanted to know that it was God who was speaking to him.
Even though God understood that Gideon tested God, at that time, God kindly and patiently proved that it was God who was speaking to him.
Then Gideon learned to have faith and to obey God who wanted to help him.

But in general, God does not like be doubted.
So we don't test God.
Rather, we discern God’s will.
We learn to discern God’s will to know God’s intention for our life.
Then when we are willing to obey God, his will will be done.
Then we live peacefully.

But Satan didn’t like this.
So Satan tests people to bring out their unbelief and sin against God.
Satan tempted people to sin and doubt God.

This Satan even came to Jesus when he was in the wilderness.
Then Satan tempted Jesus like this: Matthew 4:5-7
The devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.

The devil said to Jesus:
“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.
As the Bible said: Psalm 91:11-12
‘God will command his angels concerning you.
And they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
The devil knew the Bible but used in a wrong way to tempt Jesus.
Satan was tempting Jesus to seek a sudden fame.
Satan was tempting Jesus to seek a vainglory that does not help no one.

Now let’s see how Satan misused the Bible.
Yes the Bible said: Psalm 91:11-12
God can command his angels concerning Jesus.
The angels will lift him up in their hands, so that he will not strike his foot against a stone.
But Jesus didn’t need to jump to prove that God would protect him.
Jesus knows that God loves him.
When Jesus needed a help from God, God will do more to protect him.

So our Jesus was like:
“I know the Bible and God.
In this case, the Bible and God will say:
‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Jesus quoted what Moses said in Deuteronomy:
“Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.”

This Satan came back when Jesus was on the cross.
The devil was tempting people to say like this to Jesus: Luke 23: 35-37
“He saved others.
Let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
The soldiers also mocked him saying:
“If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

It sounds very similar, right?
They were asking Jesus to do something against God’s will.
Were they tempting Jesus?
They were like Satan who was challenging Jesus to jump from the high temple saying “God will protect you.”

But Jesus knew God’s intention and understood God’s words.
Jesus knew that he was supposed to produce God’s fruits in his weakness as the Son of Man.
So Jesus chose God’s way and obeyed God.
Jesus is God’s treasure through whom God will save the world.
But God did hide him in his painful cross.
God hides him and then reveals him only to the humble.

But those who didn’t know this might say to Jesus at the cross:
“If your God is almighty, why are you there?”
“If your God is all powerful, why doesn't God save you at this time?
“If God listens to your prayer, why don’t you succeed every time and do a great thing?”

Have you ever heard or been challenged like that?
Then, remember, ultimately, yes, we succeed in God according to God’s plan.
So we don’t test God to prove that God will protect us.
We believe God’s love.
We trust that our life is in the hand of our good God.
Knowing God loves us, rather, we choose to do all things in the name of Jesus: Colossians 3:17.

But whenever we were tempted, Jesus may teach us saying:
“No, that is not how it works.
I didn’t try to do some magic to prove that I am the Son of God.
I humbly trust God who provide all things.
I humbly trust God who is good to us.
I humbly trust that God knows what is the best for us and provides.
So I humbly entrust myself to God who loves me and is proud of me.”

In our life, there are times when we think we need something.
Then we humble ourselves before God and remember what God has done for us and trust that God who brought us this far would take care of us eternally.
We humbly and patiently follow God, because we know in his time, God will provide as God knows what we need.

We may worry sometimes.
Then we work to build up our faith in God and to trust in God.
In order to have the faith of Jesus, we may give thanks to God in all circumstances.
About 2000 years ago, Apostle Paul encouraged us like that: (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Trust in Jesus and live a worry free life.
Trust Jesus in every circumstance.
Believe that Jesus is working and we will see his great works.

God is able.
God really loves us.
When we trust God at all times, God can do wonderful things for them.
Because God loves to bless those who trust God.
So we will see God’s wonderful works.

So Paul also says: Philippians 4:6-7
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything you can imagine or understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
So we follow this peace of God.
Then we will eventually arrive when we rejoice.
God will help us to live for God.
So we pray continually and rejoice always trusting that God provides.

To have this kind of faith, we think about Jesus, his life, and his words.
Then when we hear his voice, we pay attention.
We study him and learn from him and fill our hearts with his words so that we may fully understand him: (Colossians 3:16)
When we understand his way, we will enter his rest.
Then, it will be much easier for God to save our souls and take care of the rest.
And by the grace of God, we harvest greatly for God.

Blessed are those who believe and trust Jesus!
Blessed are those who have a firm inner trust in God's love!
God will be very happy with them and do what only God can do.

God loves you.
So believe and wait as God will provide.
God will take care of you.
Do you believe that?

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for taking care of us.
Thank you for helping us to experience more of you.
Thank you for speaking to us through the Bible.
Help us to live trusting that you are very good to us and that everything that you says is true.
Thank you.
In Jesus name, we pray.
Amen

3.04.2017

Matthew 4:1-11 (4)

ppt

First Test
Reading: Matthew 4:1-11
Additional text: Exodus 16:2-15, John 6:24-35

About 3400 years ago, God brought Jewish people out of Egypt and was leading them through the desert to the Promised Land.
On the way, God humbled them, causing them to hunger.

Then God said to Moses something like this:
“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites about food.
I will rain down bread from heaven for you and your people.
Each day, you and your people should go out to gather enough food ONLY for that day, not more:
This is a test to see whether you guys obey my words.
Then on the sixth day, you should gather twice as much for the Sabbath day, the day of rest, the 7th day.

“So tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat.
In the morning you will be filled with bread.
And you will know that I am your God.’”

God gave a lot of quails in the evening.
So they ate them.
In the morning there was a layer of dew.
When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost appeared.
The Israelites asked each other, “What is this?”
That became the name of the food: manna, “What is it?”

Moses said:
“It is the bread God has given you to eat.”

Like this, God gave manna, which they and their ancestors had not known: Deuteronomy 8:3
Like this God was teaching them that they do not live on bread alone but on every word of God.
They become God’s people, when they think like God’s people like that.
So God works to increase their faith.

Will they obey God as God says?
If they trust God’s words, they would obey God.
If they trust God, they would gather enough food for each day, not more, for 6 days.
Then they pass the test.

But if they don’t trust God, they would gather more food, thinking “what if we don’t get any tomorrow?”
If they doubt God’s words, they would fail the test.

God gave manna to train them to trust God.
As they learn to gather only enough food for each day, they learn to trust God’s words.
In order to be God’s people, they need to learn and say:
“We do not live on bread alone but on every word of God.
We obey God’s words and experience the power of God’s words.
We live with God.”
Then through faith, they experience God in heaven.

Slowly they learn to trust that God can provide food in the desert.
They learn to trust God’s words.
They learn to have faith which is very important for anyone who wants to live with God.
If they live according to every word of God, they experience God’s blessings.
God can provide freely because they live by faith, not by sight.

God taught this lessons to every prophet.
All God’s people learn the lesson.

Job learned this lesson and said: Job 23:12
“I have not departed from the commands of his lips.
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”

He learned to treasure every word of God more than his daily bread.
God’s words is more important than his food.
He learned the lesson.

David learned this lesson and said something like this: Psalm 19:7-11
“The words of God are firm, and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold.
They are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”

David also said something like this:
God’s words are perfect, refreshing the soul.
God’s words are trustworthy, making the simple wise.
God’s words are right, giving joy to the heart.
God’s words are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

They learn that if they obey God, God can give everything and take care of them.
God has the power over everything in heaven and earth.
God knows what is the best for them.
So God asks them to obey God.
If they have faith to obey God, God can bless them.

(3) The Holy Spirit lead Jesus into the desert.
There Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights.
He was hungry but didn’t complain or grumble.

Then he was tempted by the devil.
The tempter said to Jesus:
“If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

What was this tempter saying:
“Many people fail right here.
Did you learn the lesson already?”

So Jesus answered:
“It is written:
‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word of God.’”
Jesus understood God’s words.

Jesus was like:
“Yes, I learn that lesson.
God sent me here to fast and pray before God.
God didn’t ask me to tell these stones to become bread.”

He would not disobey God because of the issue of food.
Jesus wants to obey God’s word.
God’s word is more important than food.

Then Jesus updated this lesson and taught many, many people.
When we read the Gospel of John, we see Jesus teaching this lesson: John 6:24-35

It was after he fed 5 thousands people with two fishes and 5 breads.
Then people wanted to make him a king.
But Jesus left them obeying God.

Next day, they were searching for Jesus who went to Capernaum.
When they found him in Capernaum, they asked Jesus:
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”

But looking at their hearts, Jesus was like:
“You are looking for me, because you ate the miracle bread yesterday.
But I did not perform that miracle so that you may seek that kind of food only.
I want to say to you:

“Do not work for food that spoils.
But work for food that endures to eternal life that I can give you.
For that ministry, God the Father has placed his seal of approval on me.”

Then they asked him:
“What must we do to do the works God?”

Jesus answered:
“The work of God is this: to believe in the one God has sent.”
Your work is to trust God’s Messiah.

We can understand like this:
We don’t go to heaven because of our good works.
We go to heaven because of what Jesus has done for us:
We don’t trust what we have done, but trust what Jesus has done.
So when we believe in Jesus, we go to heaven.

But then they asked him:
“What sign will you give that we may see it and believe you?
Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness.
Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

Jesus was like:
“It is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven.
But it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
The bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

They said:
“Oh, sir, always give us this bread.”

Jesus declared:
“I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never go hungry.
Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Jesus is like:
“Those who live on me; live through me; live with my power, live forever.
So eat me, the Bread of Life.
Eat this eternal bread and live eternally.”
Jesus is God’s words.
Jesus is God’s words from heaven.

In the Old Testament, God said:
“You shall not live on bread alone, but on every word of God.”

But in the New Testament, Jesus is saying:
“I am the Word of God who was with God but came to live among you.
I am the living words of God that comes from God.
So when you have me, you have God’s living words.
And I am more important than your earthly food.”

Jesus taught this in various ways.
To teach this, Jesus also initiated the Lord's Supper.
Through the Lord’s Supper, Jesus taught that Jesus is the real food.
When we eat the eternal food who is Jesus, we live forever.
When we eat the eternal bread who is Jesus, we are full of God.
When we are full of God, we are full of God’s character and nature.
Then we will be where God is.
Those who live on the eternal food and believe in Jesus, we will be full of God’s blessings.

So when we pay attention of what Jesus says, we will be blessed.
When we eat Jesus, the spiritual food and obey his every word, we will truly live.

So it is very important to understand his words.
We need to know God’s will to obey.
Then we experience eternal hope and blessings.

If we don’t understand God, we cannot obey.
If we don’t understand God’s teaching and could not discern God’s words, we cannot obey.
But when understand and obey God, God’s blessings follow.

God’s words are very important.
So we read God’s words daily.
We study the Bible to understand God’s words.
Then when we live according to God’s words, we are truly blessed.

Because God knows our situation, God speaks to us.
Then God encourages us to live according to God’s words.

One time, I felt God speaking to me these words.
“Don't worry.
I'm your God.
I'll protect you with my righteous strong hand.
Do not worry.”
Then later, I found the same words in the Bible: Isaiah 41:10, 13
Then later, I found again God spoke these words in various ways.
Then I learn that God wants me to trust God more.
I learn that God wants me to trust that God is in control.

God speaks to us when we are willing to listen.
Our God is the good God.
God is really kind.
Our God is really good.

God speaks; protects; and make us experience God in our lives.
So we need to listen to God and understand and obey.
Then many big and small miracles follow to assure that his words are true.

God creates us to have this faith and then have the mind of God.
In this universe, that is our role: to have the mind of God.
When we understand the mind of God, we have peace in our heart.
Then God can create peace in this universe through our minds.

So, we humans need to understand the words of God.
We need to understand Jesus’ words.
Everyone needs to understand this.
Every church needs to learn this.
Every city needs to learn this.
Every nation needs to learn this.
Because it good for them.

When they obey God’s words, their city will be truly blessed by God.
When they obey God’s words, their nation will be blessed.
When they obey God’s words, they would have better health.
When they understand God’s words, they would experience God’s provision more fully.

So we need to understand what Jesus is saying to our city.
We need to know what Jesus is saying to our nations, or to other nations.
Then we may share God’s words for them.
If they listen and obey God, they may experience God’s blessings.
If they understand God, they experience Jesus.
Then all the blessings flow.
They may live in God’s power.
Their nations may become wealthier.
Their people may become healthier.
Their nations may become safer.
Then they may live forever.

May we understand how to live with God’s words.
May we be able to live according to the words of Jesus.
May we be able to share the words of Jesus.
May we find God’s intention in his words.
May we believe in Jesus the eternal bread that gives eternal life.
May we live with God’s words and be truly blessed eternally.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, God’s living word.
Jesus, our bread of life.
May we live according to your words.
May we live with you forever.
In your name, we pray.
Amen