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A love that will not let me go(나를 가게 하지 않는 사랑)/ Jeremiah 29:11-13(렘29:11-13), Psalms 37:1-7(시37:1-7), John 10:10(요10:10)/ 2006-07-04
A love that will not let me go(나를 가게 하지 않는 사랑) Jeremiah 29:11-13(렘29:11-13), Psalms 37:1-7(시37:1-7), John 10:10(요10:10) A love that will not let me go Jeremiah 29:11-13, Psalms 37:1-7, John 10:10 In 597 B. C. the Babylonians began to deport God’s chosen people, the Jewish nation, to Babylon. The people of God had chosen to walk away from their close fellowship with the Lord. What events have made a significant difference in your life? What crossroads are you facing? Which way does the Lord wants you or me to go? We need to hear his still, small voice. Jeremiah 29:11-13 1. He Knows All Things Work Together for Good for Us. Romans 8:28 assures us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” So we should remember that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much that He wants to have a personal relationship with us. Dr. George Wald, a Harvard biologist, once wrote, “What one really needs is not Nobel laureates but love. How does one think one gets to be a Nobel laureate? It’s a consolation prize. What matters is love.” Does, then, everything that happens in our lives come from the hand of a loving God? No, I don’t think so. On the other hand, our lives are always being guided, in the most difficult situations, by the Divine Hand of our loving Heavenly Father. If troubles come our way like it did to Israel, we can make the best of any difficult situation through trust in the Lord. I am sure as the Israelites were being removed from their homes they were asking why. We have circumstances that we create that can cause God to be displeased with us. But the Lord can work in everything to bring good out of it. When I was at a low point in my life, I stopped my truck at a red light in a small town in Texas and saw on a wooden, little sign in a window in a store that said Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you…” That particular day I sure couldn’t see any of his plans. It was a sad day, but as time has passed, I can see that the Lord was working out His plan for me. It wasn’t my plan. My plan had no plan then. I was ready to give up. But now I can say with Paul, “That we know that in all things God works good for us…” Are you struggling with something personally? God who loves you and me and is working within our lives as well as within your circumstances. Be patient with Him. Be patient with yourself. Even evil things that happen to us work out for our good because we have Jesus in our hearts. God has the whole world in His hand. He made the earth and the heavens. He knows everything. Is it too much for the us to trust in the Lord all of the time? 2. He Knows His Plans For Us. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you.” Are you like me sometimes and say, okay Lord, what is going on here? What are you trying to tell me, Lord? Let us be patient and know that God has a plan for us. We sometimes fear God’s plan for us. Remember God loves us and genuinely wants the best for us. Remember God has thoughts of good for us not evil. God’s thoughts are working toward our good not our bad. Even when things seem bad, they will begin to mend; God says He is at work. When God is at work we can count on it being perfect. In Psalms 37:4, for example, it says, “Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” If we put God first, in His time, He will give us His very best, if we will only wait. God’s plan can turn the worst stuff in our lives into the best. The Lord who loves us wants to bless us. God has even the timing all worked out. Also the Lord’s plans never fail. He knows how long it will take to work His plan in our lives. We do not know how long it will take God to work His plan in our lives. It takes a long time to grow a tree from an acorn. Let’s give our plans to God. Let’s see the great plans God has for us. God can have something for us so much greater than we can imagine. Which do you think will be better, your plan, my plan or God’s plan? A young chaplain friend of mine went to air assault school and put on his wings on his uniform. He wanted to go to Airborne school and Ranger school. He really was determined to go. He just knew that this was God’s will for His life. Yet, God had another plan. The Lord is sending him to a year of training in Clinical Pastoral Education at an Army hospital. When he finishes his year of studies, he will receive a doctor of ministry degree. Then He will be blessed with an assignment in an Army hospital for three years after his year of training. God blesses, doesn’t He? The Lord has thoughts of peace, grace, love and blessing for us in His beloved Son. 3. God’s Plan Includes Prayer Jeremiah 29:12 We are encouraged to pray. Since we know that God is love and He loves His children in good and in bad times, we can pray to Him. Our holy, righteous just, all powerful and loving Lord wants us to talk with Him in prayer. Call to the Lord in prayer and be assured of His answer. He gives us His promises to encourage us to seek Him. When the answer comes, which it will, we must go forward to meet it. “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you,” the Lord Jesus said. Persevere in prayer. God will meet those who seek Him. Ask and it shall be given you; given not lent, not sold you, but given you. What is more free than a gift? Whatever we pray for according to the promise, whatever you ask, shall be given you, if God sees fit for you to have it. Ask and have. It is but ask and have. We ask and have not because we don’t ask. We don’t have because we ask selfishly. Answers to prayer sometimes are very plain and clear. Other times the answers are not as clear. Let us seek the Lord in prayer. Let us diligently seek Him. When we seek the Lord with all our heart, we can be assured that He will be found. He is not in hiding. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” God rewards faith with His will, His way, His blessing, His grace, His presence and His answer. Never give up; the Lord is at work. By faith Jesus says, we can move mountains.
A New Attitude for a New Year(새해를 향한 새로운 태도)/ Romans 5:1-5(롬5:1-5)/ 신년축복주일설교/ 2007-01-03
A New Attitude for a New Year(새해를 향한 새로운 태도) Romans 5:1-5(롬5:1-5) A New Attitude for a New Year Romans 5:1-5 Charles Swindoll says, the longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important: than facts, than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do, than appearances, than giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you. We are in charge of our attitudes. Swindoll is right. It is not what happens to us that is important, it is how we respond to what happens to us. It is not what life brings, but what we bring to life that matters. I have known many people who have come from good homes, and had many advantages in life, who never rose above mediocrity. On the other hand, I have known many people who have come from poverty and abuse who accomplished great things. I have known people who were exceedingly intelligent and gifted, who rarely contributed anything to the world. And I have known people who were very average in intelligence and ability who were great successes. Some were willing to believe and work hard in spite of great disadvantages, while others gave up before they started. They never really tried. Some rested on their laurels, while others had a dream. Some complained about what was wrong, and others put forth the effort to make things right. Some had faith in God, and others had faith in nothing. Some lived in cynicism and despair, while others in lesser circumstances lived in faith and hope. I think there are some key areas of our attitude in life that are important. The first is this: Be authentic. In other words, be real. Be yourself. Authenticity is an attitude of honesty and humility. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Don’t wear a mask around others. Be the same person in public and private. One of the disappointing things about some of our national religious leaders this past year was that they were living two different lives. They were not authentic. Their public persona was vastly different from their personal life. It would have been far better for them to talk openly about their struggles, and admit their weaknesses, rather than to pretend everything was great. Far better for us to know of their struggles, so they could get help and we could pray for them, than have them pretend they had it all together, when they were actually falling apart. We would have had much more respect for them. It is so hard to hide secret parts of your life, and the bigger the secret is the harder it is to hide. The harder it is to hide, the more dysfunctional your life becomes. It takes courage to be authentic. It doesn’t take any courage to wear a mask. One of the scriptures I love is about what it will be like when the kingdom of heaven arrives in its fullness. Paul says, how we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known?(1 Corinthians 13:12). I love that. It gives us such great freedom to be ourselves. And Paul writes that in his wonderful discourse on love in 1 Corinthians 13. So what we see is that in God’s kingdom we are fully known by God and others, and fully loved by God and others. This is the model for what it means to live in Christian community ?to be the church. When someone opens up to us about a struggle in their lives, we don’t react with shock and shame. We are honored that someone has trusted us at a very deep level, and we seek to be an encourager and a listener. As we begin to know them at a deeper level, we grow to love them at a deeper level. A kind of relationship develops that was not possible before. One of the things that has been a great blessing for me is that when new people come into our church and become a part of small group, they remark at how real the people of our church are. People are actually open and honest about their struggles and failures, their doubts and fears. They don’t pretend they have it all together. That is why we come together, to encourage and strengthen each other ?to let people know that they are not alone. We are a family and we support each other. A second key attitude that helps us to be more healthy is to: Be of good cheer. You can’t be of good cheer if you are constantly thinking about how bad and terrible the world is. If you are focused on the end of the world, you cannot enjoy the present moment. How can we ever convince the world that we have good news if all we talk about is bad news? And we don’t just have good news, we have the best news the world has ever heard ?news that the world is desperately in need of. If you are angry at the world, you cannot be at peace in the world. If you are afraid of the world, you cannot minister to the world. You have to love the world as God loves the world. It was Jesus who said, I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world(John 16:33). Just this week I saw a book written by a very popular Christian author entitled The Last Christian Generation. In the book he says, if trends continue, the next generation of the Church will not even be rightfully called Christian. Did I miss something? When did this generation become Christian? He is discouraged about the lack of knowledge in people about Christian ideas and world view. I understand that, but since when did the kingdom of God depend on what we were doing? Have we forgotten about the power of the Holy Spirit? We have always.