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3 Godly Guidelines For Great Families(위대한 가족들의 3가지 신성한 지침들)/ Deuteronomy 6:1-9(신6:1-9)/ 2012-03-25
3 Godly Guidelines For Great Families(위대한 가족들의 3가지 신성한 지침들) Deuteronomy 6:1-9(신6:1-9) 3 Godly Guidelines For Great Families Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (NIV, NIRV, TNIV, KJV) Remember last week I ask - have you ever prayer a prayer like this, “God, I just commit my child to your safe keeping”? The Pastor’s Cat… Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his yard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc. The kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten. That’s what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke. The tree went ”boing!” and the kitten instantly sailed through the air-out of sight. The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. Nobody had seen it. So he prayed, ”Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping,” and went on about his business. A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, ”Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?” She replied, ”You won’t believe this,” and then told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her, ”Well, if God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.” She said to the pastor, ”I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.” I read in the Union Democrat last week of a couple from Sonora...The Petersons - they just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Cecil, 89, and Pansy, 85, got married five days before Valentine Day, on Saturday, February 9, 1935. Cecil says, “You know you’re getting old when your children are senior citizens.” When asked the secret to their 70-year marriage, Cecil said…“The view of marriage in the early 1900s was that it was a lifelong commitment.” Then Patsy said, ”It starts from the beginning, from how you look at marriage. It’s not something you take lightly.” Carl Zimmerman wrote a very important book called, “Family and Civilization” In it he studies 3000 years of family life. This Harvard Professor makes a powerful case for the tradition family structure. The summation of the book goes something like this…so goes the children so goes the culture, or so goes the family so goes society! The declining life of children translates into a declining culture of life! President Bush has said that, “America needs to choose a culture of life rather than death.” I agree! To think that America has 1.5 million abortions a year, this brings a serious charge to the values of this country! Carl Zimmerman gives 7 warning signs to a declining nation: · An Increased rate of divorce. Quick and easy no fault divorce. · The failure to understand the permanence of the marriage model. · A looser standard of family as a solution to social problems. · Lack of respect to parental authority. · A promotion of co-habitation over marriage. · The breakdown of most inhibitions against adultery. · Acceptance of all forms of sexuality. Dr. Zimmerman wrote, “As we watch the destruction of the family, so we simultaneously watch the collapse of society.” Maybe your thinking, “This is just another Christian’s conclusions.” Wrong, this man was a secular historian and he never confessed to be a Christian. By the way, this book was written in 1947! We have a popular show called “Home Makeover”, where a crew comes in and totally remodels someone’s house. In some cases, they tear down virtually everything from room to room and all that is left are the 2 by 4’s. May I say that what is true for a house is true for a family? We might do better tearing down some family’s foundation than to tear down some family’s house only to begin again! Key: The makeover for a house comes from Hollywood, but the makeover for a home comes from heaven! Have you noticed some of the family shows produced from Hollywood? · Desperate Housewives · Wife Swap · Who’s My Daddy? · Nanny · Raising Gotti · The Simpson’s · The Osborn Family As John Stossels says, “Give me a break!” Girls, in case you don’t know how to pick a husband just watch ABC’s “The Bachalorette”! I believe that the role of the family is God’s idea. Why fight it? Why not accept the fact that our heavenly father knows best? Genesis 2:18,24 From the very beginning of human life, God has created us to be relational beings and dependent on one another! God gives us the primary foundation for society – it’s the family, it’s the relationship between a man and woman, children and parents and child to child! For the love of our children - Government service can’t replace the love of a mother and the leadership of a father! Social services can’t replace a child’s devotion to parents! All the counseling services in the world can’t bring the healing words of a parent to a child! And Moses knew this! Moses had the massive job of getting a new nation to adopt God’s guidelines for a healthy family. Moses Gives 3 Godly Guidelines For Great Families: 1. A Home Is Where Righteous Lives Are Lived. Vs. 1,2 He’s talking directly to moms and dads! 2 things I’ve come to realize as a parent – Let me share them with you: · The parental path is never ending! There’s always a bend in the road, a valley to cross and a hill to climb! And how we travel that parental path makes all the difference in our children’s lives! · The parental patterns make a big impact on children. Like it or not, the moment our children were born, God intended for us to be the primary role model for them! To be the example setter! I admire a parent that wants to deal with their past so that their past doesn’t del with them! Most of us know Bill Padelford. His younger sister Susan is coming to terms with her father who had a very abusive pattern to his parenting. She is now finding healing so she can be a good role model to her children. Recently she wrote this about her life: “It’s so hollow and dark down here Lord, why must I go here again? Been here so many times before. Why have you opened this door? Past visits have been so painful; this one is no different...I’ve tried so hard to weaken the power of truth. Maybe that’s why I’m here. But what is the purpose of these reminders, when the pain is just a thought away? I wanted to keep my resentment and anger, a way of revenge for me. The abuser is gone, no way to “get back”. But he still lives within me. Resentment, anger and revenge don’t keep me on solid ground; they destroy my heart and spirit with a root of hurt. You’ve opened this door so I could see, all the hurt within me, that which I haven’t wanted to feel. But you know about hurt too, you are not a stranger to rejection. Your power is different, it’s done with love and healing, submission is productive. I resent having to look at the truth of what I need to do from here, all this was not my fault, nor am I the one responsible. My life could have been different, but the abuse made me numb. But it is now up to me to make the right choice. I will learn from this visit to the pit, a different way now. For your faithful hand is in my healing, you are trustworthy with my heart.” In my growing up, my mother was an alcoholic and my dad had a filthy mouth. I came to hate those patterns in their lives! I prayed countless times as a young adult that I would never let my daughter see those patterns in life! I’m thankful that this is true to this day! I’m thankful that God has given me the power to rise above my parent’s patterns! How about YOU? Because it’s not just for our sakes, but also for our children’s sakes! Deuteronomy 5:29 “That it may be well with you forever.” Moms and Dads – there’s no substitute for Godly character! And only you can set that pattern for your children! With everything in you model to your children that you are a god fearing man and woman! Key: Mold your heart as a God fearing parent and then you will model your heart as a God loving parent! The great basketball player Charles Barkley once said, “I don’t want to be a role model.” Sorry, we don’t have a choice in the matter! The only real question is - will we be a good role model for our children? LifePoint: A nation never rises above its homes and a nation never rises above its parents! 2. A Home Is Where The Lord Is Loved. Vs. 4,5 2 Principles To Teach Every Child: · The Reality of God. Most parents do pretty well with this! The fact that there is a God is fairly easy to do. · A Relationship With God. This is where we struggle! We must show our children how to love God before it’s too late! In reality, parents are teaching their children what God is like! Earthly fathers mirror a heavenly father! For that matter, marriage is designed to mirror the relationship between Jesus and the church! Watch, as parents love one another and forgive one another, that mirrors the faithfulness of Jesus! And we wonder why so many children have given up on Christianity! I guarantee you – we will be fighting a loosing battle if the foundation of family fails! Do you know why so many church going parents produce children that abandon their faith? Thinks about this – it’s because children don’t understand the difference between church going parents and Christ loving parents! Let me illustrate this: we take a flu shot to fight off the flu. The doctor injects us with a small amount of the flu virus so that our body will build immunity to the flu. I firmly believe that too many parents are giving their children a small dose of Christianity, which makes them immune to the real thing! They know the religious gig on Sunday but know nothing of a relationship with God Monday thru Saturday!! When most kids look at their parents do they see a passionate relationship with God or a pitiful response to God? We are living in a culture where parents provide their children with a $300,000 house to live in and about $3.00 worth of love in the home! Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my life, but just enough to develop my ego. Not enough to love my children with, but just enough to keep them in front of the T.V. Not enough love to transform their lives, but just enough to reform their thoughts. Not enough love to let heaven in their hearts, but just a pound of it in a paper sack. 3. A Home Is Where Right Lessons Are Learned. Vs. 6-9 I remind you from last week - the primary job of parents is to teach children the right lessons to function productively as an adult! Here me - this is not the job of a Sunday school teacher! Their roll is to enforce what you are already teaching your kids! Home is the child’s fist classroom! Where actions have consequences and where character counts! A place where love is expressed and learned and forgiveness is expressed often! It’s where they learn to submit to authority, to be kind to one another, to be obedient. Our homes are where our children learn the basic skills to survive – how to use the remote control! In order for kids to function successfully in society, parents must lead their children through 3 stages: a. Parental control - Teaching kids what to do. Like keeping little Johnny from shooting the Bebe gun at the cat! Or telling little Sally why she can’t be the barber for her brothers and sisters. b. Self Control - How to discipline one’s self c. God Control - Spiritual growth! Hopefully they will be born again before they leave the home! But above all that – it’s where truth is taught! Jesus did not say that relativity sets you free or subjectivity sets you free – he said the truth shall set you FREE! Listen to me carefully – when a parent says to their child, “I’m not going to impose my religious values on my kids”, that parent has just done two things: · Created a vacuum in the heart of their child, that the worlds will be more than happy to fill! · Created the thought that God is an option for their child’s life! Maybe you’re thing, where should I start? Why not with the 10 commandments! Deuteronomy 5:1 “Hear O Israel, the statues and judgments which I speak…learn them and be careful to observe them.” He’s talking about the 10 commandments! Teach them to your kids not as 10 suggestions or as 10 offenses but God’s 10 commandments! I love this verse, Acts 16:34 “The whole family was filled with joy when they believed in God.” NLT If a contractor can take a dilapidated house and raise it up again…don’t you think Christ can take a dysfunctional home and raise it up again?
A Beautiful Success(아름다운 성공)/ Genesis 45:1-15(창45:1-15)/ 2006-11-20
A Beautiful Success(아름다운 성공) Genesis 45:1-15(창45:1-15) A BEAUTIFUL SUCCESS Genesis 45: 1-15 An extremely popular MBC television series in Korea, called “Success Era,” concluded this past season with an episode about professional woman golfer Se-ri Pak as the grand finale. This program was started in November of 1997—in the midst of the great Asian financial crisis that led to IMF bailout in Korea—to give a sense of hope and courage to the despairing and dejected people of Korea. As its pilot episode, “Success Era” featured stories about late Ju Young Chung, CEO of Hyundai Group, and Ja Kyung Ku, the Honorary CEO of LG Korea to give inspiration to the masses that were reeling from the effect of a massive financial crisis. As featured subjects in “Success Era,” 198 people from all strata of society, who have shown particular distinction and renown in succeeding in life, were selected. These 198 people shared a common theme throughout their lives: Their lives had been pocked marked with and scarred by countless obstacles, tribulations, or tragedies. Insufficient scholastic background, physical disabilities, poverty, discrimination against women—all these were some of the obstacles that these people had to overcome in order to succeed in life. The personality with the highest viewer rating—a rating of 28.7% prime time—was fashion designer Andre Kim. During a fan poll, that asked viewers which inspirational personality they would like to see again, late Hyundai CEO Ju Young Chung took first place. Noted celebrities and personalities, such as actor Sung Ki Ahn, Chancellor of Korea University Joon Yup Choi, and CEO of Nongshim Foods Choon Ho Shin, did not appear on this program because they refused to acknowledge the fact that their life story was one of success. The desire to succeed—perhaps it is one the basic instincts inherent in all human beings. Nowhere in this world can we find someone who is willing to fail. Yet, there are remarkable differences in opinion regarding the definition of success. What constitutes success? An entrepreneur will tell you that success is defined as greatest net profit. An entertainer will tell you that success is defined as garnering as much fan support and love as possible, while maintaining a sky-high popularity rating. An athlete will tell you that winning games—and ultimately championships—is the essence of success. A studious student will tell you that success is believed to be gaining admission to a college or university of his choice and graduating with a good grade. And a pastor will tell you that success is construed as having the highest possible ABC rating—Attendance, Building, as in having a sizable infrastructure to conduct service, and Cash, as in the amount of offerings made by the congregation. However, are these externally visible gauges the only true indicators of success? In this world, there are accomplishments that we, as humans, may consider to be successes while God Himself may hold contrary views. There are dishonorable, filthy successes. There are tainted successes that not only destroy those in pursuit, but also negatively impact those around them. A representative case of a filthy success may be an election victory in a political campaign, where mudslinging, illegal shortcuts, defamation, and slandering played a crucial role in victory. Around us, there are too many people who are willing to resort to any means available, regardless of ethics or morals—thus lending a true credence to the phrase “end justifies the means”—in pursuit of this scarred glory, the deplorable and dishonorable success. First place does not necessarily equate to success. There is only one first place; hence, as logic concludes, only one person who can claim to be the best—erstwhile countless number of people may have strove and gave their all to be the best. Do we count the one in the first place as the only one that succeeded while we discount everyone else as failures? Being the best—and holding the distinction as being in the first place, however, is not eternal. No matter how high a peak we may have conquered to be the number one, at some point in the near future, we must vacate that apex—for someone else will always succeed over and surpass us. Like a mountain climber who conquered a mountain peak, we must come down from the apex some point in our lives; hence, first place and the top place are not eternal. Likewise, we cannot consider ourselves to be successful on the account of money, power, or fame. Because true happiness is not a result of some contest, an item subject to grade. Because true happiness is not determined by money, power, or fame. Therefore, our success must be a thing of beauty, an item of cleanliness instead of something that is tainted and contaminated with impurities. Then what is a pure, beautiful success? What is a true success for us, as Christians? In finding an answer to this question, I would like to research into the success story of Joseph. The legendary story of Joseph’s success is a true, shining example of a pure, beautiful success. First, a beautiful success is a success that realizes God’s will and intent. Joseph was a man sacrificed due to his brothers’ envy and jealousy. As the last born, he was a subject of his father’s preferential and spoiling treatment; furthermore, overt boasting of his dreams brought on great hatred from his older brothers. Joseph was eventually sold to Egypt as a slave—and the tribulations and pains felt by Joseph during slavery is indescribable and inexpressible. In a foreign country, he had to crawl from the bottom. Joseph became the overseer of the estate of General Potiphar; however, by resisting the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife, Joseph was imprisoned. All of you probably know, quite well, how Joseph overcame all these obstacles and tribulations in becoming the second highest ranking man in Egypt, behind the Pharaoh, as the prime minister of Egypt, the overseer of all national affairs—and the ruler of all but the one. The important thing to remember is that Joseph interprets and construes all his success in the land of Egypt as a success that will realize God’s will and intent. Joseph clearly delineates this fact when meeting with his brothers after his travails in Egypt—his brothers, whom, out of their hatred, tried to kill Joseph and eventually exiled him to a foreign land, away from the protective umbrella of his parents. Take a look at verses 5 through 8 of today’s scripture. “But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” The reason for the beauty and effervescence of Joseph’s success lies in his belief that the course of his life is a result—or providence—of realizing the holy will and script of God. Everyone—do you wish your success to be the bright, shining and beautiful success? Then ask of God’s intent towards you—about what He has in mind for you. No matter what you do—whether you earn money, go to work, study, or anything else, grab and hold onto God’s intent, of what He is trying to accomplish through you. In Matthew 6, verse 33, Jesus promised, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” If our lives are engulfed in the divine task of realizing God’s will, this alone will be enough to make our lives a success. An owner of a tennis club was cleaning up the locker room by picking up used towels after a group of high school students used his club to work out. The owner cleaned the locker room, putting all towels in a basket, without much thought and out of habit; yet, his friend, who had been watching all along, asked a very profound and meaningful question. “Did you pick up the towels because you are the owner of this club, or are you a owner of this club because you pick up the towels?” Indeed this is an important question, for it delves in the very essence of our being, our existence in this world. Why do you do the work or things that you do? Do you do it because you have no choice—that the responsibility had been thrust upon you without a choice, and you have nothing but the option of carrying out your responsibilities? Or do you do it because you consider it a divine purpose—something that God has charged you to do and accomplish? Depending on how you answer this question, your success could either be crystalline or filthy. Second, the price of beautiful success usually entails efforts wrought with sweat, tears, and blood. In Korean, the word for gangs—a group of people who resort to violence as a way of living—is “Bulhandang.” The root of the word, derived from Chinese, has a deep meaning. The word “Bulhandang” means those who desire to make a living without shedding a droplet of sweat—in other words, those who wish to live without working or exerting efforts. Disciple Paul warned the people of Thessalonia by saying, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (Thessalonians 3 :10). A filthy, decrepit success is one in which no sweat has been expended—in essence, a cheap accomplishment without a concerted effort. Why is lottery or gambling bad? Both aim at receiving a jackpot that does not require any effort or hard work. Joseph, after shedding all three liquids that humans can produce—sweat, tears, and blood—while exerting maximum effort, rose to the second highest position in Egypt. His accomplishment was not some jackpot, a thing of luck that did not require any work or effort. In order to realize his dream, Joseph had to work hard, often suffering great pain, in a foreign land. He had to fight through insufferable loneliness, the sudden, abrupt separation from his loved family, and had to start from the bottom in a foreign land that refused to recognize his status. But he trudged along, driving forth with a firm belief that one day, God will realize his dreams—and began constructing his life. Everywhere he went, he was recognized and lauded for his characteristic—honesty and diligence. In verse 5, chapter 39 of Genesis, the Bible states that once Joseph became the overseer of the estate that belonged to the captain of the guards of the Pharaoh, Potiphar, “the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field.” A diligence of one man brought unprecedented abundance and blessings for the entire household. Potiphar trusted Joseph so much that he left all affairs of the estate—minus what he himself ate for meals—up to Joseph. In Genesis, chapter 41, verse 38, it is stated that once Joseph started working under the Pharaoh, he earned such a trust from the Pharaoh that Pharaoh himself boasts to other servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” The secret to Joseph’s success was doing his best at all he did while having faith and trust in God. Joseph’s success is beautiful because it was gained through an investment of honest effort and hard work. True mountain climbers, those who truly know and appreciate the mountain, do not call their work “mountain climbing.” Rather, they refer to it as “mountain entering.” It is not mountain climbing—a competitive activity to climb higher and higher peaks, to determine who is the best—but a mountain entering, where one enters the mountain with humblest of hearts to enjoy what the nature has to offer. It is true. In order to enter the mountain, one must become small and low; likewise, in order to achieve a beautiful success, one must lower himself to the lowest position possible. Sir Roy Sission of England stated that the secret to success lay in the ‘Three Hs of Leadership.” The impetuses of success are humanity, humility, and humor. Joseph probably embodied all three characteristics; no doubt he was a humane man full of humility and a good sense of humor. The reason why the success story of Joseph shine so brightly and referred to it often is that relying on candor and commitment as his watchword, without the safety net of his loved parents and family, Joseph created something out of nothing. There is a beautiful story behind the creation of marathon, the event often referred to as “the flower” of the Olympic Games. A Greek soldier, in 490 BC, ran 26 miles, from the city of Marathon to Athens, in order to deliver the news of Athens’s triumph over Persia during the Battle of Marathon. This soldier, upon arriving in Athens, uttered one word—Victory!—before collapsing and dying of fatigue. When the Olympic Games were revived in 1896 in the West, a new event, a 26-mile running event called marathon was created to commemorate this soldier and his beautiful commitment. In order to carry out the task of delivering the news of victory to Athens, this soldier ran and ran for 26 miles, eventually giving his own life to accomplish the task. The sweat, tears and blood shed by those who gave their all to accomplish a task are objects of beauty. If you truly desire to succeed, sweat profusely. Always remember that beautiful success is realized after a hard day’s work—through great efforts and, sometimes, pain. Third, beautiful success always benefits and brings happiness to all those around them. A special characteristic of a beautiful success is that it always ends in a happy ending. Today’s scripture captures the reunion between Joseph, who accomplished a rare, extraordinary success in Egypt, and his older brothers, who brought such extraordinary pain and suffering to bear upon Joseph. Any other person, no matter that these people were his brothers—and with the exception of Benjamin, all were his step or half brothers—would have tried to exact some sort of revenges as a pay back for all those years of suffering and pain. But Joseph did not exact revenge nor held a grudge against his brothers. He did not repay evil with evil, going eye for an eye. Rather, he forgave, and responded to evil with good and kindness. After excusing all the servants and assistants, Joseph wept aloud—so loud that the Pharaoh in Egypt heard it—in front of his brothers. In verse 14, it is stated that he wept while hugging Benjamin—the sole full sibling of Joseph, meaning they had the same mother—and Benjamin did the same in hugging him back and crying. Joseph, in hugging and kissing each and every one of his brothers, cast away all blaming and grudging feelings from his heart. They reconciled dramatically. Through all this we can gain a sense of the warm humanity of Joseph. Not only did Joseph forgive his brothers, but he also interprets his exile to Egypt as God’s divine will and blessing, to rescue and save his people—the people who were on the verge of death from starvation and famine. Joseph had the faith that his success ended not merely in his own abundance and riches, but that his success hinged upon realization of God’s plan to bring happiness and salvation to all people around him. A beautiful success enables my success to benefit others. Therefore, a tarred success is one in which money, power and fame bring happiness and benefits to a select few and not to all people. The true discriminator of a beautiful and a filthy success rests here. How many people will benefit and be happy as a result of my success? Juxtaposed against this standard, our success can be beautiful, or it can be filthy and tarred. During this year’s World Series, the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees and won the World Championship. The Diamondbacks attract our particular interest because they have a 22-year old Korean relief pitcher, Byung Hyun Kim. Kim became a subject of attention—as the possible goat should the Diamondbacks lose the series—after blowing a 2-run lead in the bottom of ninth inning with two outs—in both Games 4 and 5. However, since the Diamondbacks dramatically won Game 7, Kim’s mistakes were covered up and disappeared among the euphoria of Arizona victory. The interesting thing to note is that despite the two crushing, demoralizing defeats, no one on the Diamondbacks criticized Kim for losing two-run leads on two consecutive nights. Rather, they encouraged Kim by saying “losing is not your fault but our collective faults,” and “we believe in you.” Furthermore, even the Arizona fans cheered Kim on during Game 6, chanting “We want Kim!” and “We’ll be OK with Kim!” from the stands. After Game 7 Arizona victory, Kim had the following things to say to the reporters who interviewed him. “All this time, I played baseball by myself. Because I was a pitcher, the sense of self was more acute on the field because the game hinged upon the pitches that I made. I though all was well if I pitched well. But through this Series, I learned that my teammates are my family. We win as a team and we lose as a team.” Byung Hyun Kim finally understood the essence of team sports through the World Series. In Luke 6, verse 38, Jesus said that “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into you bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” We are all neighbors, living together and next to each other. The true success can be defined as those accomplishments that not only benefit myself, but one that benefits the collective community and those around us. What is the wrong with those children who learn to think that the first place is the only definition of success? Such notion, when analyzed carefully, is a very selfish, self-serving one. By being in the first place, those children learn to benefit only themselves and seek to be the best for their own sake and happiness. A success that provides something for the neighbors, benefits others, and brings happiness to all people around us is a truly beautiful success. No matter what area you succeed in, I hope that your success can bring happiness and benefits to all those around you. Lastly, let’s think about Jesus with Joseph’s success story. By the secular standards, Jesus Christ was not a success. Everyone strives to be the number one in this world; however, Jesus finished last and became a failure. His Disciples, of whom He had great expectations, did not meet nor measured up to what Jesus expected of them; furthermore, they failed to understand Jesus’ true intent. Jesus was arrested, tortured, interrogated, and executed at the cross in the most vile, decrepit manner. In sum, He failed greatly. Did anyone fail so completely, by the world’s standards, in history of mankind? Yet, strangely, history does not view Jesus as a failure. Rather, the history views Jesus as its brightest, greatest, and most successful victor ever. Why so? It is because Jesus Himself demonstrated and carried out the three standards, the prerequisites, of beautiful success that I have mentioned above. Jesus was but a tool of God in carrying out the Herculean task of saving mankind. In order to carry out this task, and to realize God’s will, Jesus unsparingly shed His sweat, tears, and blood. He let His body be crucified on the cross and torn apart to meet God’s intent. Not only did Jesus meet God’s intent in saving mankind, he brought true happiness and benefits to all mankind, near and far, throughout the epoch of history. Do you want to see a demonstration of a beautiful success? Think of Joseph and Jesus. I pray in the name of our Lord that your successes will be beautiful, ones that benefit all your neighbors just as Joseph and Jesus’ success brought happiness and benefits to all mankind. I would like to conclude today’s sermon by sharing with you an excerpt from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s work. “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and ensure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a better place whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” Pastor H. K. Kim
A Blessed Person(복 있는 사람)/ Psalms 1:1-3(시1:1-3)/ Pastor Heunggyu Kim(김흥규 목사)/ 2006-01-11
A Blessed Person(복 있는 사람) Psalms 1:1-3(시1:1-3) A Blessed Person Psalms 1:1-3 There is a special television program that aired on Korea’s Seoul Broadcast Service station to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the station. Called “Duk Yi,” this program looked like it was made a long time ago. But on the International Channel of the cable TV, this program is aired every week. It is a story about a young girl named Guiduk, whose family members, except for her mother and one older brother, is all out of control. Her father is a dance instructor and a notorious free-spender. Her oldest brother is an ignorant hoodlum. To boot, her older sister takes away all blessings destined for her. But the viewers like this drama because of Guiduk. Despite all the difficulties, she succeeds, and the viewers get inspired watching her story. We call a person like Guiduk a good fortune. Because of her, happiness comes knocking on her family’s door. There are people in this world worthy of blessings. During this first worship service of the New Year, let’s think about whom should be blessed. Listen to today’s words, and become a blessed person yourselves. Psalms 1 acts as a prologue to the entire testament of Psalms. It contains the words that form the basis of rest of the 150 chapters of Psalms. Therefore, it comes before all the other chapters. Psalms 1 sharply contrasts a ‘blessed person’ and a ‘person without blessings.’ Those who are blessed walk the path of the righteous; those who are not walk the path of evil (verse 6). Psalms 1 introduces us to these two sharply different paths to choose from. Then who is this ‘blessed person’ mentioned in Psalms 1? When we consider this question, we must remember that the ‘blessing’ mentioned in the Bible is different from what an average person would consider a blessing. People say that one is blessed when one’s wishes come true. For example, if everyone in a household live long without disease, earn a lot of money, the husband succeeds in business, and children go to good schools, then people call that family blessed. But when Psalms 1 defines a blessed person, it is different from the secular and materialistic definition of ‘blessing.’ Then who is a blessed person? He is the one who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, does not stand in the path of a sinner, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. According to verse 1, blessed one doesn’t do three things. Foremost, he does not heed the “counsel of the ungodly.” According to the English version NRSV, he does not follow the “advice of the wicked.” What does this mean? The blessed one does not listen to advice from people who live without God, who only live with evil and secular thoughts in their minds. The blessed one does not listen to bad advice from people who live with impure thoughts in their minds. If you go out into the world, you can see many people like this. People who swindle and deceive others are out there in numbers. The blessed one does not listen to advice from these people. Next, the blessed one does not stand in the “path of a sinner.” Who is a sinner? It is those who commits a crime. Among crimes, there are petty crimes—like lying, hating, having impure thoughts—and there are major crimes, like theft and murder. When we say sin, people often think of people who commit one of these major crimes. But the Bible states that anyone who lives without God is a sinner. Therefore, the epistle of Romans states that there are no righteous people, only those who have committed sins who cannot receive the glory of God (Romans 3: 10, 23). So those who live without considering God as their Master, those who consider themselves the master of their lives are sinners. A blessed person does not take this path, the path without God. Lastly, a blessed person does not sit in “the seat of the scornful.” The English version of NRSV states, “the seat of the scoffers,” the ones who laugh at others. What do they scorn or scoff at? They scorn and scoff at God. They do not offer the throne of their lives to their Creator, God. Instead, they declare themselves king. They become arrogant. A blessed person does not get trapped in self-righteousness and scoff at the words of God. If a blessed person does not do the three things mentioned above, then what does he do? A blessed person’s delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Take a look at verse 2. A blessed person’s “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” He does not listen to the advice of the ungodly, does not stand in the path of sinners, and does not sit in the seat of the scornful. Rather, he enjoys God’s words and mediates on it. In Hebrew, the word for law is ‘Torah.’ ‘Torah’ can be the law, or commandments, of Moses; here, it can also mean the ‘instruction of God.’ A person without blessings listens to the advice of the deceitful ungodly, with no regards to God’s instructions. But a blessed person lives according to God’s instructions given to him, the word of God. A person without blessings has no God, lives without God’s words, and stands in the path of sinners. But a blessed person bring God into the center of their lives and live according to His words in leading a righteous life. A person without blessings ignores God and scoffs at His words, leading an arrogant life. A blessed person humbles himself before God and leads a life full of humility. In short, a blessed person, day and night, sitting or standing, coming or going, meditates God’s words and leads his life according to those words. The slogan of our church this year is “A church that understands God’s words: Entire congregation reads the Bible front to back.” Many people carry the Bible, yet does not seriously read it. There is no more important tool in understanding God and His words than the Bible. The Bible is one of the most important means to reach God’s salvation and graces. Without reading the Bible in detail, one cannot understand God’s intent. One cannot become a good Christian without having the Bible nearby. John Wesley (1703-1791), the founder of the Methodist church, once called himself ‘homo uinus libri,’ or ‘a person of the one book.’ He called himself ‘a man of the Bible.’ His sermons always started with the Bible and ended with the Bible. His writings and books were always full of quotes from the Bible. People called Wesley and his followers ‘Bible moths.’ Over the course of this year, all members of our congregation should be able to read the Bible in its entirety. The Bible is divided into 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament, for a total of 66 books. There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament and 260 chapters in the New Testament, for a total of 1,189 chapters. If one reads about 4 pages a day, then one can finish reading the Bible in a year. I plan to give expositionary sermons, the ones that completely break down and analyze the Bible, during daily morning services, Wednesday evening services, Friday prayer services, and Sunday evening services. We must, above all, concentrate our efforts on correctly understanding the Bible. This happened in a church in America. A male Christian of the church, who devoutly attended all services, was asked a question about the wife of the nephew of Abraham, Lot, in Genesis. He quickly answered, “Oh, she was a pillar of salt by day and a pillar of fire by night!” In this New Year, we must rejoice in God’s words and truly understand His words. After understanding His words, we must put them into action. During the summer of 1996, in Dadeville, Alabama, two people had a contest of who knew more about the Bible in front of an apartment. One of those two people, Gabel Taylor, had an older brother who was a minister. Therefore, he knew quite a bit about the Bible. They were contesting their knowledge about the Bible when a particular verse from the Bible led them to an argument. After a long debate, Taylor, whose brother was a minister, won the argument. But the loser of the contest was beside himself with anger. He went into his house, grabbed a gun, and shot Taylor in the face, killing him on the spot. What does this tragedy teach us? No matter how much one knows about the Bible, it all means nothing if that knowledge is not put into action. This year, it is important for us to know and learn a lot about the Bible. But we must not forget that putting that knowledge into action is much, much more important. When we put God’s words into action, people will know that we are true Christians! Then what happens to a blessed person? Whatever he does will prosper and God will recognize him. Take a look at verse 3 of today’s scripture. “He shall be like a tree, Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth is fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither, And whatever he does shall prosper.” For those like us, who live in a good environment, the magnitude of this blessing is hard to grasp. But for those people who live in a desert, like Israel and the Middle East, these words will seem like Eden. People living in a dry region, where lack of rain brings about great dust storms, the words of verse 3 are a Godsend. A tree planted in the river bed, with its roots in water always bearing fruit year-round—these words will remind the people of Middle East of Eden, where Adam and Eve once lived. Similar words appear in Jeremiah 17: 7-8. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but her leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” What great words! For those who depend on God, who rejoice in His words, who meditate His words, and who live according to His words, these blessings will follow. Neither drought nor heat will prevent beautiful fruits from blooming. The leaves will always be green and vibrant. And they will be successful and prosperous in all they do! The blessings defined in Psalms 1 are much different than the definition of the secular world. This blessing is an internal blessing given by God. Regardless of our material wealth, authority we have, or how successful our children may be, this is a continual blessing given by God. People who receive this blessing are happy, even though they may be persecuted for believing in God. They are thankful even when their businesses fail and lose their wealth. It is because this blessing is not of this world. It is a gift from God. It is a blessing that allows us to be satisfied and joyous in one entity: God. 2003 is dawning upon us. I wish a Happy New Year to each and every one of you. Do not be a person without blessings, following the advice of the ungodly. Do not stand in the path of sinners; do not sit in the seat of the scornful. Instead, standing or sitting, day or night, rejoice in God’s words. Read it and reflect on it. And put it to action with zeal. Become the righteous people that God will recognize. Above all, be like the tree on the riverbank—always full of fruit, regardless of season. I hope in the name of our Lord that each one of you will be a blessed person! Amen Pastor Heunggyu Kim(김흥규 목사)(Incheon Naeri Methodist Church(인천 내리감리교회))
A Father’s Wisdom(아버지의 지혜)/ Psalms 34:(시34:)/ 2012-02-12
A Father’s Wisdom(아버지의 지혜) Psalms 34:(시34:) I encourage you to turn to Psalm 34. Keep it open as we look together at this sacred text. It was written at a time when David was afraid that he would be killed by King Saul. As a result, he fled into Philistia—the land of the old arch-enemies of his people. While there, he was recognized as the one who had killed Goliath. So in the attempt to escape from the horns of the dilemma, David resorted to feigning or pretending to be a madman. He had saliva dripping down his beard. Such that the King of Philistia, Abimelech, said, “Don’t I have enough madmen in Philistia that I should have this other one?” and basically excommunicated David from the presence of the Philistines. It is tragic that some of life’s lessons cannot be learned any other way but through experience. I wish there were other ways of learning. David had learned an immense lesson in the midst of his failure. There is no more miserable picture than that of David pretending to be mad in the courts of the King of Philistia. David wants to instruct us in this Psalm 34. It is an incredible Psalm that portrays a father’s wisdom for his children. This is the young man’s story—told when David was older and presumably wiser as he penned these words. Many times in our worship, we will be greeted with the words, “God is good!” to which you respond, “All of the time!” There is a sense in which we derive that statement from Psalm 34. David is very eager to tell us that God is really good. That he is wonderful beyond measure. That he’s a great God. Immediately from the very outset of the Psalm, he is able to transfer your gaze from your own navel to God himself. “I will extol the Lord at all times,” he begins. When the Apostle Paul writes to the Church at Thessalonica, he says in the first epistle, the fifth chapter and the 18th verse, “give thanks in all circumstances” whatever happens, in every situation of life, before and after and in every trial of life. In the bright days of joy that you experience and the dark days of fear, my praise, he writes, will continually be on my lips. Is it possible that this is more than bravado on the part of David? Is this something that we should aspire to? Is it in fact feasible and embraceable? Is this pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by or can this part and parcel of the Christian life be able to say with heartfelt conviction, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Obviously, David knew difficult days. This Psalm was written in the context of one of the most heinous difficult dark days in David’s life. He is writing from the depths of hurt and experience when he says that he will praise God all the time and in every circumstance of life. He refers in verse 4 to the fact that there were fears that he was trying to avoid—horrendous experiences, the dread of the unknown, running for his life—seeing others massacred because of him. Yet as he looked around, there were others that he gazed upon who were followers of the Lord Jehovah. They were somehow able to rise above the circumstances and David longed for that in his own experiences. So we read in verse 5, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” In other words, these believers portrayed a degree of confidence and joy that seemed to bid farewell to fear, terror and shame and enabled all of those things to give way to radiance. I want to attempt to explain what it means to be a radiant follower of Jesus Christ. I want to outline the steps that one must take if one is to live the victorious Christian life. What then does it mean to be radiant? Why is it that so many believers and followers of Jesus Christ seem to be anything but radiant? There seems at times to be a blatant disconnect between possessing the joy of Jesus and being befuddled with the circumstances that surround us in life. The word radiant is found in Isaiah 60:5. “Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy…” There it describes the mother’s face lighting up at the sight of her children that she thought were long lost. They were coming home. She became radiant with joy. I remember my first major trip away from home when I was a boy; I had come to America to begin my studies in theological education. Ireland was a long way off and I was desperately homesick. I had been gone a mere 3 months and longed to get back. I took a little job in order to earn $212.00, which was the price of a round trip airfare from New York to Dublin. I knew if I got as far as Dublin, I could make it home. I decided to surprise my mother. She wasn’t expecting me for 3 years. I remember the great joy of opening the door and saying, “Hello Mom!” She turned around. She had been washing the dishes and dropped some of her best china, but it didn’t seem to matter because I saw the radiance on my mother’s face. Isaiah captures that when he talks about what it means to be radiant. The word is used again to depict the face of Moses in Exodus 34. You remember the story when he was up on Mt. Sinai and he eventually came down after having spent time with our Lord. Everyone looked at the face of Moses when he came down the mountain. Scripture says, “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai… he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord,” (Exodus 34:29). Or when Paul writes to the Church at Corinth is his second Epistle, 3rd chapter, verse 18. There we read these words: “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” The word there also that is used is with ever-increasing radiance, which comes from the Lord. It indicates the Christian’s growing likeness to our Lord Jesus. Whereby, the more we spend time in his company and his presence, the more we take time to gaze upon his lovely face; then that loveliness shines out in our lives. The transformation is there for everyone. That’s what radiance is. That’s what you as a follower of Jesus Christ need to embrace. I want you to note first of all David’s understanding of worship in this Psalm. Right from the very beginning, he says, “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord.” David sees it is the essence of boasting in the Lord. Boasting is one of those things that we tend to hopefully shy away from. It’s all too easy to boast of one’s own accomplishments. We desire to impress one another or to be accepted by someone else. The Psalmist is saying something entirely different here. He’s saying, instead of boasting about yourself, join me and boast of the Lord. Let us say how wonderful, how amazing, how incredible God is. Fill your hearts with his presence, and with his attributes, and with his person, with his faithfulness, and with his works, and with his promises. You will find them unparalleled, matchless, and incomparable. Fill your life so that you live radiantly with the worship of God. Let me say this carefully, diligently and yet emphatically; the purpose of praise and the purpose of worship is not to make God’s people feel good. It amazes me that after all these years in ministry that so many followers of God do not seem to get that. Worship is not about making you feel good. Worship is not about you. Worship is solely and completely acknowledging the greatness of God!! (And by the way, that makes you feel good.) We gather for worship in order to magnify the name of God alone. There are so many believers today who are missing out on that. Believers will tell me that they are in a Bible study, but they don’t go to worship. Or they attend a Sunday school class, but they don’t go to worship. It seems rather strange when I ask the question, “What is the point of learning about him if it doesn’t propel you to worship him?” Bible study is no substitute for gathering together to praise his holy name—the more you get to know him, the more you are driven to worship him. If that is not the case, then one would need to question the quality of the learning experience itself. To be a radiant Christian is to understand worship as David understood worship. Secondly, I want to suggest to you David’s understanding of prayer. He writes, “This poor man called…” (v.6). He’s got the essence of what prayer is all about. This poor wretch’s prayer is the cry of a poor wretch, but it is nonetheless powerful with Heaven, because it goes on to tell us that, “the Lord heard him.” Listen. David passionately believed that God hears and answers prayer. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your station might be in life. It is the personal testimony of David when he was at his most wretched condition that he suggested to be heard of God is to be delivered by God. Prayer can deliver us from trouble. Indeed, it can move the very heart of God to become involved in our lives, to intervene and affect the outcome of our situation. When God intervenes in a human life, that intervention is massive, miraculous, and irresistible. David reiterates that whole idea throughout these verses. God is a God that answers prayer (“…He answered me” (v.4)), a God who hears prayer (“the Lord heard him…” (v.6)), a God who saves through prayer, (“He saved [the poor man] out of all his troubles,” (verse 6)), a God who delivers through prayer, (“[the Lord] delivers them” (verse 7)). Confidence oozes out of the pain of the Psalmist in verse 7; David says, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” David was absolutely convinced that God plants an army around you. You are ultimately, finally and fully protected because on every side there are warriors of sleepless eyes keeping watch over you by day and night. What an incredible encouragement for those who find themselves resourceless in the enterprise that we call life. David is saying that if you feel resourceless, then you’re not going to be radiant. To be radiant you need to know that all the resources of Heaven are at your command. You are a child of the King! The experience of the Psalmist can be the experience of everyone. So David is compelled as he goes on in one of the loveliest verses, to invite others to share the adventure. In verse 8 he says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” No wonder we sing that lovely hymn by Joseph Scriven: What a Friend We Have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer. Do you want to be a radiant follower of Jesus Christ? Transform your thinking to the power intrinsic to you in prayer, the power intrinsic to you in worship. I would have you notice thirdly David’s understanding of wisdom. Throughout the entire Psalm you may have noticed, the reiteration of the phrase—“the fear of the Lord.” The fear of the Lord is expressed in submission to the will of the Lord. So the fear of the Lord and submission to his will means to walk in his ways: to respect his will, to tremble to offend him, to hasten to serve him. David seems to indicate that we should fear the Lord and fear nothing else. I believe the grave absence in the church today is the fear of the Lord. It is absent from so many in the church. Because if we fear the Lord, we would be more concerned about what we do, say, and how we act. If we desire happiness in life, happiness is contrived in terms of the fear of the Lord: to enjoy life to the fullest. “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days…” David speaks as a father to everyone—who desires life and many good days—that’s all of us. If you would really find joy and happiness in life, David now wants to give you the secret of what it means to live happily, joyfully and radiantly. This is not a level of mediocrity to which he refers, to which so many attain—which in the last analysis is not life at all. The art of truly joyful living is not given to everyone to know. But here it is given, true wisdom and how to live and how to die. He sums it up by saying, “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (v.13, 14). Specifically, what the Psalmist is saying and David is telling us—base your life upon integrity as opposed to deception, “practice good instead of evil” (v. 13), “seek peace and pursue it” (v. 14). These are simple and profound lessons. But the reality is that so many believers are sour and grumpy all the time. They go about like they have just lost a liver. There is a sense in which they are always angry, always critical, always negative, always seeing the bad; seeing the cup half empty instead of seeing it half full. So many believers and there is a radical disconnect between the experience of the Psalmist and saying to live radiantly in Christ and those who feel they have just lost their kidney. They betray the Christ that they purport to serve. I understand that the theology of “think positively” has fallen into disrepute. I agree with some of those concerns, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. What David is telling us here is that he is challenging us to be honest people, to be decent people, to be good people, to be peaceable with one another, to be positive in your attitude, to be grateful in your heart, to be loving and to be kind. That’s not just an Old Testament measure of holiness—it’s also the New Testament measure of holiness! Does that not strike a bell with many of you? Like Paul wrote to the Church at Galatia, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-3). These are the attributes of a follower of Jesus Christ. God forgive us when we live other ways. Let me tell you a little story of coming back from Malta. It was a Friday night. I lined up for my ticket. I had a reserved seat on British Airways. When I got to the counter, they said, “I’m sorry, your seat has been taken.” I said, “No, I don’t think so. I have reserved them.” “No, she said, we’re full. However, we will give you $1,000.00 if you will go tomorrow and we will put you up and feed you.” I said, “If this were a Thursday night I would jump at that. But it was a Friday night and there are lots of people waiting for me on Sunday and I need to get back.” She said, “We don’t have any seats.” I said, “Well you have a problem then, don’t you?” My daughter was with us. She was heading back to Edinburgh. She said, “Dad, demand your rights here.” My daughter is quite aggressive. She takes after her mother. (That’s not true by the way!) “You tell them that you are a Pastor!” (A great deal of good that would do, I am sure.) “You can’t let them treat you this way.” I said, “Calm down and let me try to handle this.” I went over as nice as I could be. “I’ve really got to get to Los Angeles…” Well, to cut a long story short, when eventually they were in the last few minutes, they called my name along with Vicky. They had upgraded me to those marvelous seats that fold down flat into a bed. God is good! As the man was giving me the ticket, he said, and my daughter was standing within earshot, “We’re upgrading you because you’ve been so nice!” My daughter said afterwards, “I may start being nice now!” Here’s the fourth thing: David’s understanding of life. It is an intensely realistic portrayal of life in verses 15 to the end. There is no guarantee that the righteous will escape problems. In fact we read, “a righteous person may have many troubles” (v. 19). At times you may be “brokenhearted… and crushed in spirit” (v. 18). But God’s presence is always to be experienced in the crisis of life, because “he hears your cry” (v.17). He hears your cry whenever you are hurting. He hears your cry. Isn’t that lovely? Just the way a mother hears the cry of her sick child. Or a father responds to the terrorized plea of his child, so God hears you. In fact, he can’t take his eyes off you (v. 15). You’re so precious to him that he observes you with tenderness. The world is full of broken, hurting people with shattered hopes, dashed dreams—what a wonderful thing to read that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. It was Dr. Joseph Parker who was speaking to a graduating class of theological students and advised them, “Always preach to broken hearts and you will never lack an audience.” It’s true! So in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we have the privilege of bringing a broken-hearted savior to a broken-hearted world. That’s good news! It is the essence of our faith that enables us to live, no matter what the circumstance in life—to live joyfully and radiantly. So I hope you will say to one another as you leave today, or over the course of days to come, especially if you see a grumpy believer, “Smile! God loves you.” If you want to add, “I love you too”, you can add that. But if we understand worship, wisdom, prayer, and life as David did, then you will be able to say; “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice!” (Psalm 34:1–2). Pastor Alan J. Meenan
A Feast in Abundance(풍성한 축제)/ Psalms 23:(시23:)/ 2012-02-12
A Feast in Abundance(풍성한 축제) Psalms 23:(시23:) In 1872, Lord Wolseley, an English Lord, wrote in the Soldier’s Pocketbook these words, “In all siege operations, it is most important that all possible advantage be reaped of every hour of darkness.” This idea of taking “advantage of every hour of darkness” struck me. Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, also spoke about treasures of the darkness. So what I want to say right from the outset, while I should be speaking on Psalm 27 today, I just couldn’t let go of Psalm 23. It’s such a beautiful Psalm. I would like to review the last two verses of this Psalm with you this morning. Psalm 23 was not written at a time of idyllic ease. It was written when life was difficult, complicated, and burdensome. Otherwise, David would not have penned the words, “Thou hast prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” This was probably not written when he was a young boy tending sheep in the Judean hills. There probably was a great catastrophe in his life. The reality is that we would long for life to be trouble-free. If life were trouble-free, then we wouldn’t need something like Psalm 23. When we long for a trouble-free life, where you can simply soak in the sun and do nothing but relax and enjoy yourself, we forget the old Arabian proverb: “all sunshine makes a desert.” It is probably not in our best interest to have a life that is truly trouble-free. (It’s all academic anyway, because no one experiences such a life.) Life is full of all kinds of trouble. Some of you, while you are listening to me, are going through difficult, dark moments. You’re here this morning hiding a lacerated heart. Some great travesty, injustice, disappointment or something else you’re trying to overcome here. God bless you in that process. So those of us who are not going through dark times, rest assured, guaranteed, you will. Even if you have, it does not preclude the fact that you will again. That’s why Psalm 23 is so pertinent to any Christian living and breathing at all. Jesus Christ never suggested that we escape life. The Christian is never encouraged to try to escape life. People today, all around us, are trying to escape life. That’s what drugs are. They are simply an attempt to escape the realities of life, to move to a different, higher and supposedly better plane. One’s fascination or involvement with some kinds of music, books, or movies, or whatever the case might be, often is an escape from reality, because reality is so difficult to cope with. Jesus never suggested that we try to escape from life. He taught us how to live life, how to cope with life—even when it is incredibly difficult! When worse comes to worst, and the uphill climb becomes a struggle, Isaiah’s words are very significant. He talks about the treasures of the darkness. Can it possibly be that even in the darkness, there are treasures? The apostle Peter talks about it in I Peter verse 1, “It is God’s power that guards us through faith for salvation.” So we are guarded. Those of us who follow Christ are guarded through faith. Psalm 23 is a reminder that God cares for us even in our darkness. So we come to verse 5: “you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” God’s blessing is so sure that even though your enemies may gather around and watch, there is nothing they can do to stop the blessing of God from reaching the one that He loves and wants to bless. The tragedy today is that so many Christian people, young and old, tend to think that when the storms beat upon their lives, they are no better off than people who don’t believe. They look at their situation and ask, “What advantage is there to being a follower of Christ?” The apostle James, the brother of Jesus, writes on one occasion, “the reason why so many Christians don’t have is because they have never asked.” If we are reluctant to ask God for miracles in our lives, we shouldn’t be surprised when we never receive one. But if we dare to ask, dare to believe, dare to lay hold on the promises of God, and say “Lord, this is what I need for your glory,” then he will rise to meet whatever needs we might have. This God that we deal with is a God who rains bread from Heaven. He’s a God who sent ravens to feed a prophet. He’s a God who takes a few morsels of food and multiplies them so they can feed a multitude. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself reminded his own disciples, as he would remind you today, “don’t be like the non-believers.” The difference between a non-believer and those who follow Christ is your heavenly Father knows everything that you need. He has promised to supply your needs according to the riches of his glory. His timing may be different from yours, and that’s always a frustration! For example, a couple of days ago this week I was trying to sync my Palm Pilot with my computer. It wouldn’t work. I got boggled and upset. Sometimes God’s timetable and our timetable don’t quite “sync.” That can be frustrating. But believe me, He will never come a moment too soon and He will never come a moment too late. The lovely book of the Bible, The Song of Solomon, is a beautiful love poem between lovers. The people say to the bride in front of the groom, “he brought you into his banqueting hall. He prepared a table before you. He placed a banner over you. The banner said, ‘This is my love.’” “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The Lord promises, there will never be a time in your life while you are a follower of Christ that your needs will go unmet. There will never be a time when the table will be bare. He is going to take care of you. No matter what the enemy may threaten to do, you are safe and secure. That’s the great confidence that exudes from these verses in Psalm 23. What glorious words are these! David goes on to say in the second part of verse 25 that not only will “He prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies,” but “He anoints my head with oil. My cup overflows!” What David is telling us is that not only is God willing to provide for us and take care of us, he gives us the confidence and the hope that as a follower of Jesus Christ, you will always be in the palm of his hand! We will never have to worry that every need will be supplied. That’s His promise; He will do it in abundance! “You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows!” You see, one of the things that I love about the Scriptures is the superlative language. For example, in the wonderful story of the Prodigal Son, it’s not just the calf they kill. No, it’s the fatted calf! It’s not that he will just give us peace, but it will be a peace that will pass all understanding! It isn’t just joy, but it is joy unspeakable and full of glory! It is grace abounding! You see, almost in every way David alludes to the fact that when God supplies our needs, he will do it in abundance. There is always that note of bounty in the provision of God. Jesus came not to give life, but to give more abundantly. Jesus spoke, not that he might give us joy, but that our joy might be full! When you conceive of God and his provision for you, it’s a picture of the great divine shylock in the sky measuring out the pound of flesh drop by drop and pound by pound. No! No! No! He anoints your head with oil and your cup overflows. In the overflowing cup, what David is saying is that He gives you more than you need. He not only meets your needs, he gives you more than you need. Then, what overflows from your cup might fall into the cups of other people. So it behooves us to be like Christ: to be equally generous, to commit that cup to overflow into the cups of others. There is something about traveling in Africa and coming back from Nigeria that helps me to realize that we in America are blessed beyond what we deserve. We are the most blessed nation in the entire world. Coming back from Africa, one realizes afresh the immense affluence and wealth that is here. As Oprah Winfrey said in her interview with Diane Sawyer this week, that when people say to her that the need is here in America as well, her response was, “You have no idea.” That is not to say that there are no needs in America, but you have no idea how people are living in other parts of the world. They are living on garbage dumps. Their homes are made of cardboard. They are giving birth nowhere near hospitals or doctors. They are dying of AIDS. I love what God is doing with Oprah Winfrey and also with Bono of U2 in trying to raise the awareness of the western world to the plight of the orphans, in particular in Africa, whose parents have died of AIDS and many of who are dying of AIDS themselves. As Americans, we must learn to give in a measure that we have been given. We must be generous if we would seek to be like the Christ whom we follow. We are instructed Biblically as followers of Christ to give one-tenth of all our income to the work of God. I hope that you are endeavoring to do that. When I look at the immense need of the world, even a tenth is a paltry amount compared to the amazing need that is all around us. Even though I am thankful for Oprah and Bono in raising awareness, I am very cognizant of the fact that in many ways what they are saying and doing is trying to meet the need of Africa at its surface level. In other words, we are applying band-aids to the folk in Africa. But it is only by investing in the Church in Africa that we will begin to solve the root problem, the source of the problem dealt with. As the Church seeks both to educate the people of Africa and also by preaching a higher standard of morality so that the problem that is AIDS today in Africa can be addressed. My cup overflows. Verse 6 says, “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” David is saying is that there will never be a day throughout the rest of your life when you will not have two heavenly escorts. Every moment of every day following close behind there will be these two escorts: Tove and Hesed. Tove is the glorious goodness of God and Hesed is the loving kindness of God. The old versions of Psalm 23 interpret Hesed as mercy. The new versions translate it as love, mercy, grace, goodness, kindness and all those things. They are all wrapped up because there is no English word that describes this Hesed of God. Still, they are right there by your shoulder following you all the time. I have a little dog at home. Everywhere I go she is by my feet. I change direction and she’s there. I sit down she sits at my feet. She’s always getting in the way. She is always there. That’s what David is saying. Every now and again you want to take a look over your shoulder, because right there will be goodness on the one hand and kindness on the other. It’s always following you. It was Francis Thompson that was inspired by this verse to write his poem The Hound of Heaven. Dale Evans, Roy Rogers’ wife, is brought back to God through that poem. This is what she writes: I saw that it [Psalm 23] told my own story of running and hiding from God for over 18 years, of sunshine and shadow, toil and treasure, success and defeat—trying hard to get out of my life the sound of those steady strong haunting feet that followed me everywhere. David adds the very first word of the verse there: surely. This isn’t just that goodness and mercy will follow me, but surely it will follow me. I ask David, why are you so sure that it’s going to follow you every moment of every day. You will never be able to escape it, no matter what! Looking over your shoulder is the loving kindness of God. How can you be sure that there will never be an instant when he’s not there when the presence of God is not with you? He responds, “Because God is God! God is everlasting. God is unchanging. God has pledged himself and promises goodness and kindness to me. God has set his love upon me and will not forget me in eternity. Even though there will be days when you may be downhearted, days when you are sad, days when you feel lonely, days when life will seem dreary and sunless. This is not about your feelings—it stands a sentinel to the soul. This is the reality. This is the walk of God beneath our feet. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me every moment of every day of every year of my life—this persistent unending love of God! It’s not just that you are loved. I’m embarrassed just how much you are loved. God lavishes his love upon you and he never gives up—never. Even when others have given up on you or when you have given up on yourself. Even then, God, the Hound of Heaven, has not given up. Did you ever see the movie Mutiny on the Bounty? Christian Fletcher was the gentleman on the Bounty that led the mutiny against Captain Bly. Captain had set out from England with his crew to find rare fruit trees. He finished up in Tahiti. The women in Tahiti were very accommodating to the men. The men wanted to stay in Tahiti. But eventually Captain Bly got pried away from Tahiti, and a short distance out, Christian Fletcher led the mutiny. Captain Bly and a few loyal sailors were given a little boat. It’s an incredible miracle that enabled them to sail across 4,000 miles of Pacific Ocean to the East Indies to safety. In the meantime, the mutineers had turned back to Tahiti and persuaded 12 Tahitian girls to be with them. Obviously they couldn’t stay in Tahiti because the wrath of the British Empire would have been down on their heads. (That’s when the British Empire was an empire!) So they sailed away to the first place they could find. They found an uninhabited island and decided to live there. But one of the sailors got into making whiskey. He got everybody drunk. Some of the men went out of their minds. At least one committed suicide by throwing himself off a cliff. The rest went over to bestiality. The women and the children born of the unions moved to another part of the island. This, by the way, is where the movie ends. But I’m going to tell you the rest of the story. They moved to another part of the island and had nothing to do with the men. One by one, the men died until there were only two left; Alexander Smith and Edward Young. Edward Young was older. He knew he was going to die. So he decided to teach Alexander Smith to read. As he rummaged through the possessions of the bounty, which had since been scuttled, burned, and sunk in the bay, he found the bounty’s Bible. He started with Genesis. He taught Alexander Smith to read word by word. As they read word by word, the revelation of the goodness and kindness of God dawned upon their souls. They began to pray as they had never prayed before. Unfortunately, Edward Young died before they ever got to the New Testament. But Alexander Smith went on to read even the New Testament. He got the full revelation of God’s forgiveness, love, and pardon. When an American ship first set sight on the island, the women by this time had recognized the change in Alexander Smith and moved back. The Captain of that American ship brought news back to the United States saying there was one mutineer who survived 19 years after the mutiny itself. He added these words: “Never in all my life have I seen such a perfect Christian society as the one I encountered there.” That’s the persistent goodness and kindness of a God who never gives up. As if that isn’t good enough, even great enough to be able to say surely goodness and infinite loving kindness will accompany me, will watch and guide my steps every moment of every day of my life. Wow! David even adds that he’s going to enjoy a nice forever. The last part of verse 8, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. The Lord gives abundant life in the present and a glorious inheritance in the future. Now here he writes, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord not only all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord, but I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever to behold the beauty of the Lord. One thing that I’m beginning to notice with the passing of the years is the recognition that our nature is not keyed toward the temporal. It’s really keyed towards the eternal. There is within the human heart this longing for a sense of permanency and a sense of home, because life at times seems, at best, transient. It’s hard to hold in your hand, it’s like a vapor, like water running through your fingers. The days pass so quickly. You wonder if there is anything more permanent than this. David is telling us that there is goodness, mercy, love, and kindness will attend to us every day of our lives. As if that isn’t good enough, when he dies, he says, it gets even better: we will enjoy the company and the presence of God for all time—for we will be home with God, a place that death cannot invade, where our friendships will not be impaired by time—a place of permanent abode. It’s with this that the minstrel closes his song. I will dwell in the house of the Lord. I will be at home forever more. What is it about home that is so compelling to us? It was a few years ago when I found myself back in my hometown in Ireland, in the city of Belfast. I was passing through the city and stayed the night in a hotel right in the heart of the city. I remember I went out for walks on familiar streets. Even many of the stores I had passed daily were still familiar after decades of being away. I remember standing by the spot where my brother was killed in a road accident when he was a young man of 20. I remember going to see the street on which I was raised, past the Church that I used to attend—a place where I discovered Jesus Christ as the Savior of my life. Yet as I walked those familiar streets and felt that beautiful Irish soft morning where the rain almost hung in the air and the sun was hidden by the clouds, I listened to the accents that were strange accents that I recognized but couldn’t understand. But I realized as I stood there, that it was no longer home. My parents were no longer there. My brother was dead. Many of my friends have died. My sister had moved away from the city. It was the strangest feeling to be in a familiar place and not feel at home, because home is not a familiar place. The appeal of home is not in bricks and mortar. It’s in being with people you love. That’s why Heaven is ultimately and finally the home of all who believe. Where the entire family of God will one day be gathered and we will never know separation again. Surely goodness and loving kindness will dog my every step. “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” This is the confidence that I encourage you to hold fast. This is a God who is going to take care of you no matter what. This is a God who will protect you. This is a God who would bless your going out and your coming in. Even when we come to leave this world, what he has prepared for us will be beyond our imagination. Let me finish with a little story that I always found amusing. You will understand when I start that you are not to take this story literally. It’s a once upon a time story of twin boys conceived in the same womb. As the weeks passed, and as their awareness grew, the boys laughed with joy. “Isn’t it great to be conceived? Isn’t it wonderful to be alive?” Together the boys explored their world. When they found the mother’s cord that gave them life, they sang for joy. “How great is our mother’s love,” they said, “that she shares her own life with us?” The weeks stretched into months. The twins noticed how much the other was changing. “What does it mean?” asked one. “It means that our stay in this world is drawing to an end,” said the other. “I don’t want to go, said the first. I want to stay here always.” “We have no choice,” said the other. “But maybe there is life after birth.” “But how can there be,” asked the first. “We will shed our life cord and how is life possible without it? Besides, there is the evidence that others were here before us and none of them have returned to tell us that there is life after birth. No, this is the end.” So the one fell into deep despair, saying, “if conception ends at birth, what is the purpose of life in the womb? It’s meaningless. Maybe there is no mother after all.” “But there has to be!” protested the other. “How else did we get here? How did we remain alive?” “Have you seen our mother?” asked the first. “Maybe she lives only in our mind. Maybe we made her up because the idea made us feel good.” So the last days in the womb were filled with deep questioning and fears. Finally the moment of birth arrived. When the twins had passed from their world, they opened their eyes and they cried, for what they saw exceeded their wildest dreams. The author of the story adds these lovely words: “Eyes have not seen, nor has the ear heard, nor has it so much as dawned upon humanity what God has prepared for those who love him.” My beloved, He has set a table before you. He has brought you into his banqueting hall and he has set a banner over you and the banner says, “This is my love.” He has anointed your head with oil, has blessed you far more than you can even contain. And will continue to do so. As a result, it is certain that his infinite mercy and glorious loving kindness will dog your every step for the rest of your life. When life comes to an end, it will even be better. This is not pie in the sky by and by, this is God’s word to his people today—to bring this confidence and hope as you live out the Christ life—as you live it out generously, as you live it out lavishly! Pastor Alan J. Meenan
A Gentle Answer Avoids Wrath(부드러운 대답은 분노를 피하게 한다)/ Joshua 22:30-34(수22:30-34)/ 2015-03-21
A Gentle Answer Avoids Wrath(부드러운 대답은 분노를 피하게 한다) Joshua 22:30-34(수22:30-34) A Gentle Answer Avoids Wrath Joshua 22:30-34 30 When Phinehas the priest and the leaders of the community ―the heads of the clans of the Israelites ―heard what Reuben, Gad and Manasseh had to say, they were pleased. 31 And Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, said to Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, “Today we know that the LORD is with us, because you have not acted unfaithfully toward the LORD in this matter. Now you have rescued the Israelites from the LORD’s hand.” 32 Then Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, and the leaders returned to Canaan from their meeting with the Reubenites and Gadites in Gilead and reported to the Israelites. 33 They were glad to hear the report and praised God. And they talked no more about going to war against them to devastate the country where the Reubenites and the Gadites lived. 34 And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us that the LORD is God. Main Verse And Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, said to Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, “Today we know that the LORD is with us, because you have not acted unfaithfully toward the LORD in this matter. Now you have rescued the Israelites from the LORD’s hand.” Joshua 22 : 31 REFLECTION Has anyone ever accused you of something wrong that you did not commit? How did you respond to that person? Did you fly off the handle and walk away disgusted with that person? Or did you speak graciously and help bring the person into a correct understanding of the truth? We’re probably all faced the dire consequences of angry and defensive words. The Israelites who had settled on the eastern side of the Jordan River had been wrongly accused of evil. When the delegation representing the other ten tribes came, they did not first ask for an explanation, but rather started with strong accusations. They even used Peor and Achan as illustrations of their sin and how it would affect the rest of the nation. You can imagine the shocked expressions of the faces of the Transjordan tribal leaders. When it finally was their turn to respond to these false allegations, the two tribes did not return accusation for accusation. Instead, they graciously and humbly told the truth. They wanted Israel to know that their actions weren’t motivated by idolatry, but a zeal for the Lord. And they went so far as to say that if they had done anything wrong, that they should suffer the consequences for their misdeeds right there and then. The manner in which they responded should serve as a good example of what the writer of Proverbs wrote in 15:11, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Peter said a similar thing in 1 Peter 3:9, “Not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead.” The Tribe’s gracious response resulted in great peace and unity amongst the entire nation of Israel at that time. When the leaders returned to their homes to give a report of what had transpired, the people rejoiced because their earlier presumptions were false and civil war was averted. It almost seems as if the people worshiped the Lord because of the two tribes’ loyalty to the Lord. This is what a gentle, gracious, understanding response can produce. Instead of exchanging barb for barb, a right answer with a right attitude will create far greater understanding of the truth and greater unity amongst those involved. DAILY PRAYER Lord, may my speech reflect Your great character. Give me the grace to be gracious towards others. And may my reaction to wrong accusation be like that of Your beloved Son who did not return evil for evil, but gave a blessing instead. Amen. APPLICATION Next time you are hammered with a false accusation, how will you respond? A gentle answer will turn away presumption and anger. This is exactly what happened with the Israelites. Instead of firing back and getting upset over the accusation, God wants us to help others along in the truth and to give them a gracious exit out of the hole they’re dug for themselves. What’s more is the fact that our speech really gives us away. Our words tell us what’s truly in our hearts. And this can be readily seen during unexpected moments, like when we are being wrongly accused. A gentle response reveals a gentle, humble heart that is trusting in God. An angry and upset response reveals a heart that is restless and failing to trust in the all-sufficient God. It is far better to win the person than to win the argument. Anonymous.
A God of Sanctuary(성소의 하나님)/ Joshua 20:1-9(수20:1-9)/ 2015-02-21
A God of Sanctuary(성소의 하나님) Joshua 20:1-9(수20:1-9) A God of Sanctuary Joshua 20:1-9 1 Then the LORD said to Joshua: 2 “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3 so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood. 4 “When he flees to one of these cities, he is to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state his case before the elders of that city. Then they are to admit him into their city and give him a place to live with them. 5 If the avenger of blood pursues him, they must not surrender the one accused, because he killed his neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought. 6 He is to stay in that city until he has stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then he may go back to his own home in the town from which he fled.” 7 So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8 On the east side of the Jordan of Jericho they designated Bezer in the desert on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. 9 Any of the Israelites or any alien living among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly. Main Verse “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, Joshua 20 : 2 REFLECTION There is a lot of criticism of the book of Joshua as being very bloody and showing a heartless, warrior-like God. Yet, at the heart of the history recorded in this book is the revelation of who God was and is; even though God may seem harsh and cruel at times, He clearly is always watching and caring for His people. The book of Joshua is filled with accounts of battles and instructions to Joshua on how to deal with enemies. But here, God stops and instructs Joshua how to set up special cities of refuge for those who are in need. If someone has committed an accidental and unintentional killing, the person is to travel to one of these cities and seek sanctuary there. No one is then allowed to pursue that person while the city is required to welcome him in. It is important to note that God was not excusing or condoning the person from this act of killing, but God was ensuring that he was not harmed by revenge seeking family members or angry onlookers. This person was able to stay safe until he was brought to trial. This shows that God was and is a God of grace and justice. God provided sanctuary for those who needed it. He was not a cruel and thoughtless God who left people at the hands of others who wanted to do harm. This was an incredible statement of who God was for His people. God knew that He needed this to keep justice at hand. DAILY PRAYER Almighty God, You who see everything and know everything, You are so good to me. Thank You, that in the midst of my sinful life, You do not turn Your back on me, but You give me refuge and sanctuary. Help me, O God, to be a grateful person, and convict me that I may follow You wherever You lead me. Amen. APPLICATION God is still a God of justice today. Time and time again, we may commit sins that seem so bad and so wrong, and yet God does not turn His back on us. He provides sanctuary for us. He does not condone what we do, nor does he excuse it in any way. But He is there for us in our time of need. He comforts us with His promise of forgiveness when we find ourselves on our knees, in deep repentance He gives us refuge. God is a God of justice and fairness, but He is also a God of mercy and love. We worship a God of grace. As you spend time with the Lord today, go before Him with a humble heart that seeks true shelter from the darkness of the world your sinful nature desires to follow. Know the God of grace who promises to forgive you and to purify you from all unrighteousness. We are safest in the arms of God.
A Holy Boldness(거룩한 용기)/ Psalms 27:(시27:)/ 2015-03-23
A Holy Boldness(거룩한 용기) Psalms 27:(시27:) I encourage you to open your Bible to Psalm 27. It’s a great Psalm. Ponder with me some of the incredible thoughts that the Psalmist wants to share with us. They are words of encouragement and words of hope, words of great confidence and great joy—the kind of words that speak to the heart that droops. We need these words because life is hard some of the time or most of the time—hopefully, not all of the time. This past week I had a friend who lost his daughter in a tragic accident. The week before, one of my dear friends lost his job and his income. My own daughter struggles with health problems. Life is precarious when security is threatened, when your witness and ministry is overwhelmed, when a relationship is compromised, when you feel intensely alone. I’m aware that some of you sitting in this room this morning are feeling some of those emotions. This is a special word to you today because life is such an insecure thing. Achievements vanish over night. Applause fades. Friends become foe. Sometimes we wonder if anyone really cares at all. That’s what drives me back again and again to Psalms—these are really songs of our lives. They encapsulate in so many ways every human emotion: songs of praise and songs of lament, songs of consolation, songs of encouragement, songs of celebration. In Psalm 27, the Psalmist has evidently been attacked by enemies (verse 2), is living under the threat of eminent war, (verse 3), excommunicated from the community of faith (verse 4), in trouble (verse 5), rejection (verse 9), his family disowns him (verse 10), and he is subject to slander (verse 12). Ironically, this is a song of hope—of cheerful comfort and joy—written long ago for such a day as ours. This was written for those who suffer, are sad and struggling. It begins with this incredible confidence exuding from the mouth of the Psalmist right from the beginning in verse 1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?” There is absolute certainty that seems to banish fear—no matter how great the threat happens to be. Will you notice on whom the Psalmist places his confidence? It’s not in himself. Rather, he says, “the Lord is these things to me. The Lord is my light and my salvation.” The Apostle John exuberantly writes, “in Him is life,” referring to Jesus, “and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:4–5) The Lord is my light. The Lord is my salvation. Salvation finds us in the darkness but does not leave us there. The Psalmist is using light and salvation synonymously. Will you notice that he doesn’t say, “the Lord gives me light. The Lord gives me salvation.” This is what we might tend to think. He says, “the Lord is my light. The Lord is my salvation.” If the Lord is your light and your salvation, whom shall you fear? “The powers of darkness,” Paul says in writing to the Ephesians, “is that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities.” He uses this terminology: “against rulers and authorities” and “against the powers of this dark world.” Martin Luther wrote in his great hymn, A Mighty Fortress: And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim—we tremble not for him. His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure. One little word shall fell him.” The Lord is my life and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? Regardless of how big the problem, when David focused upon the greatness of God, he realized danger was insignificant. He placed his confidence in the real power of the omnipotent “I am,” the creator God, the redeemer God. The Lord is my strength and the stronghold of my life, a place of safety, a light to guide, a stronghold to protect. That’s pretty neat. What I suggest to you is that you are pretty well covered: life, guide and protection. So he says a second time, “the Lord is my life and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Even if life itself is threatened, this holy boldness propels him through life’s turbulent waters, no matter what may come. Look at verses 2 and 3: “When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.” I do not need to tell you that there are situations in life that are difficult. There are times we know when people can be mean-spirited. You know that there are circumstances that are grossly unfair. It seems the Psalmist is echoing that thought in verse 2, that his enemies at times want to destroy him completely. He also has that great confidence that says they are going to fall flat on their face. Do you have that confidence in Jesus Christ? The secret is to keep focused; keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Those who overcome are people who have their lives anchored in God. That’s easy to say and to appreciate, but sometimes it’s not so easy to live like that. I encourage you not to be so easily distracted by the cold shoulders, the criticism, the insults, the anger, and the hatred that you encounter from time to time. Remember that you are a child of the King. He is your light to guide you. He is your salvation to save you. He is your stronghold to protect you. Verse 4 is an incredible affirmation. It seems that the Psalmist craves only the protection and fellowship of God. His is not a divided loyalty, nor is he fragmented in his priorities. This is perhaps the most single-minded statement in the entire Bible. Mark it well. “One thing I ask of the Lord. This is what I seek…” One thing! If there is only one thing, then you will be rescued from all other kinds of distractions, from weakness, and from disappointment. What is the one thing? Yearning to experience more of the weightiness of God. The one thing is the desire to enjoy the constant presence of God for the rest of one’s life. With singleness of purpose, the priority within is to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek. “…to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in His temple.” This is the essence of worship: indeed, the essence of discipleship. It is important that we become preoccupied with God. Are you preoccupied with God? Does he consume every waking moment? When you have a moment to think, do you think of him? The Psalmist does. I’ve seen enough young people in love to know that is possible. I hear older folks saying it’s not possible to be consumed in love. If you have forgotten, go back and ask a young person in love, “Do you ever stop thinking about Joe or Jill?” “I can’t think of anything else. My life is complete. I’m in love!” Oh I remember those days. Some of us are still privileged to still feel that way. The Psalmist is in love with God. God consumes his every moment, his very being. Is that not our desire? “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze…and to seek.” Do not glimpses of Jesus Christ ravish your heart? Do you not find him altogether lovely? Do you not find in him one who is chief among 10,000? Does Jesus ravish your heart? John writes, “We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” To echo the words of the hymnist: Jesus is the sweetest name I know. He’s just the same as his lovely name. That’s the reason why I love him so. Jesus is the sweetest name I know. Now let us consider the context of the Psalm and the pain the Psalmist has to bear: the enemies that surround him, the war that surrounds him, the excommunication from the community of faith, the trouble, the rejection, the turning away by his own family, the slander that he has experienced. Of course one can trace painful circumstances several times in David’s life. I suspect he is in the wilderness, being pursued by Saul. You might expect in such painful circumstances that David would be self-absorbed. When trouble comes into your life, you tend to be self-absorbed. Yet, here is a picture of a man who set his heart on the pearl of greatness. He senses security in the presence of another. When trouble comes—and trouble will come—your heavenly Father will give you the best of shelter in the worst of danger. David understands that the foe may be all around him, but he is hidden. It’s an amazing concept. I wish we had the time to get into it even deeper. Let me tell you one quick story of Bishop James Hannington, a martyr to Jesus Christ. James Hannington was a Bishop in Eastern Equatorial Africa and an Englishman to boot! He wrote his last entry in his diary: “I felt they were coming upon me to murder me, but I sang Safe in the Arms of Jesus and laughed at the agony of my situation.” James Hannington knew that he was hidden in the bosom of Jesus Christ, who once said, “Don’t be afraid of those who can kill the body because that’s all they can do. If you must be afraid, be afraid of him whom can send your soul to hell.” It’s a great Psalm. By the time you get to verse 6 he says, “I will sing and make music to the Lord.” The Lord is my life and my salvation. Who is there to be afraid of? The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Don’t be afraid. Pastor Alan J. Meenan
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 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.
Servanthood(봉사)(4)/ A Legacy of Service(봉사의 유산)/ Deut 34:5-12(신34:5-12)/ 2002-10-09
Servanthood(봉사)(4)/ A Legacy of Service(봉사의 유산) Deut 34:5-12(신34:5-12) A Legacy of Service Deut 34:5-12 Sermon : Servanthood(4): A Legacy of Service I. Introduction: Servanthood(4) A. Story: Funny Epitaphs B. What will people say on your epitaph? C. The Epitaph of Moses; Moses, the Servant of God! D. Our service must be characterized by a spirit of faithful obedience. II. In our service, we must obey the Lord. A. Moses did what “the Lord sent him to do” (v. 11). B. (Ex 40:16) – “Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him.” C. Our service must be characterized by obedience. III. In our service, we must be faithful to the end. A. The faithfulness of Moses is reflected in his silence when God does not allow him to go into the promised land. B. Epitaph: “no prophet had arisen…” and “no one has ever…” C. Our service must persevere and not succumb to desires of personal success. IV. Conclusion A. What will your epitaph read? B. I hope it reads “so and so, the servant of the Lord, did great things for his/her master.” Pastor Steven Chang
The Godly Portrait of Marriage(1)(결혼의 신성한 초상(1))/ Celebrate The Difference(서로 다른 것을 찬양하라)/ Genesis 2:18-25(창2:18-25)/ 2015-02-12
The Godly Portrait of Marriage(1)(결혼의 신성한 초상(1))/ Celebrate The Difference(서로 다른 것을 찬양하라) Genesis 2:18-25(창2:18-25) The Godly Portrait of Marriage, Pt. 1 “Celebrate The Difference” Genesis 2:18-2:25 (NIV, NIRV, TNIV, KJV) I’m told that an angel came to Adam before Eve was created and said, “I have a proposition for you Adam. We are going to create for you an individual like you, but a little different – a female!” So Adam said, “Well what will she be all about? What will she do?” The angel told Adam, “She will take such good care of you, smell so sweet, love and respect you 24/7, and she will look so beautiful!” To that Adam said, “Well, this sounds great, but what will she cost me?” The angel responded, “She’s going to cost an arm and a leg!” Finally Adam said, “What do you think I can get for a rib?” Question – whose better, the man or the woman? The answer is YES! A man is infinitely superior to a woman at being a man and a woman is infinitely superior to a man at being a woman! God made us completely different so that He might make man and woman ONE! Caution: let no one but God define your marriage and sexuality! Genesis 2:19-25 Adam has dominion over all the animals but yet wasn’t satisfied; none of the animals could satisfy and supply all his needs. Then God makes Eve - and Adam proclaimed, “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!” So immediately we now know human sexuality is established for all generations! So let’s look at the wonderful differences that unite us in marriage. (In generalities): 1. The Beauty And The Beast. Generally women are weaker than men! 1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” God created Adam stronger than Eve for 2 purposes, not so he could abuse her, dominate her, or control her live. • To be a provider • To be a protector Eve = life giver, the root word of “woman” in Hebrew is to be soft. She is created softer, cuddlier, but not inferior to Adam. Here’s an example, silk is weaker than canvas, but not inferior to it. Porcelain is weaker than steel but not inferior to it. You can’t drink tea from a sledge hammer! Did you know? • 40% of a man’s body is muscle and 25% of a woman’s body is muscle. • There are 1½ gallons of blood in a man’s body. There is 4/5 of a gallon of blood in a woman’s body. A woman doesn’t have as many capillaries carrying blood to the skin service, that’s why they get so much colder than men. Who is superior? Neither - celebrate the difference! 2. The Tortoise And The Hare. We all know the story! Men are like the rabbit and women are like the tortoise. Men have more energy but she has a lot more stamina and durability! How do we know this? Women have a black belt in shopping! We would do good to learn the weaknesses and strength of our spouse! 3. The Romantic And The Mechanic. Men we have a job to get done – dress the garden! Hard outer shell Women are the caressers, child bearers. Romance doesn’t always come easy for men! We’re wired differently! Women, your husband may never be as romantic as you – he may have been before you got married, but soon after he had a brain transplant! Notice the book or magazines women and men look at: Women: “How To Develop Closeness With Your Mate”, “Harmony in Marriage”, “How To Achieve Intimacy”, “How To Kiss Better” Men: “How To Be A Champion Bass Fisherman”, “How Not To Get Hooked” On T.V. – “Man vs. Wild” and the “Hallmark Channel”! Go to any school campus and watch how girls carry their books – like their carrying a baby! A boy just swings them around if he has any at all! Give a girl a few dollars and she’ll buy a Barbie, give a boy a few dollars and he’ll buy a lizard! 4. The Radar And The Computer. Men are the computer and women are the radar! A USA Today article called, “Two Minds” describes the differences between the brains of men and women. Scientifically they are now showing us what we’ve known all along – most men use the left side of their brain and women use both sides of their brain! Men we really do have half a brain! The left side: logical, reasoning The right side: creativity, sympathy and emotions Did you know this fact: a women’s brain is larger on average than a man’s? Autopsies show this! Maybe this explains a woman’s intuition! A Harvard Medical Researcher studied preschoolers playing on the playground. He noticed that girls completed more sentences and communicated more then boys. He noticed that the boys made more sounds… Most women have better sensitivity and communication skills while many men have better reason and analytical skills! That’s why men and women often times struggle to see eye to eye on certain issues! This may be the source of a lot of disagreements in your marriage! Remember, women use in one day about 6000 more words than men. The trouble is, when I get home, Jill is not even winding down her communicating and so I have to be a better listener at that point! I don’t know coined this phrase, “Generally speaking, women are generally speaking!” I wonder if he lived long after saying it the first time! But this is also why men cry less then women – we’ve got a disconnect up here! This is why women are affected greater by an argument and why we men can go right on to the next subject – we’ve got a disconnect up here! God made us differently so we might be one! Celebrate the differences! Ladies – your minds are like radar, sweeping the room taking in everything! Women see and hear things that we men don’t always see and hear! Ever watch women in a room sitting around a table? They can be talking, and know exactly what’s being said over at the other table and say, “No, no, no, that’s not what happened!” And then get right back to her conversation at her table! We men tend to be a little more analytical and logical while women are mixing together emotion and facts together – it’s amazing! Women are more what I call “spider web thinkers”. Prom picture… Jill will ask me how my day went and I’ll have an answer in less than a minute in detail. Then when I ask her about her day and she’ll tell everything, and I mean everything! So many times I’ll talk with my dad and she’ll want every little detail. Careful men, this is a hard area for us because many times our wives can think that we are being evasive, secretive and even shutting her out! I’m amazed how that radar works for women… sweeping across the room and what they can pick up is incredible, hurt feelings, bad moods, etc. That radar blows my mind! Men, I think all we’ve got is a pair of rabbit ears! Ever notice a woman will say at a table, “I’ve got to go to the restroom, who wants to go?” And they all get up! I’ve never hear a man say, “How many want to go with me to the restroom?” I just don’t understand it! But which is better the radar or the computer? Neither - thank God for the difference! 5. The Code Speaker And The Reporter. LifePoint: Women use language to dispense emotion, while men use language to dispense facts. Women share, men report! Billy Graham once said “Don’t listen to what a woman says, listen to what she means.” Guys we can learn a lot from that that! Here’s an example: You come home from work and see your wife is all tense and it shows all over her face and you say to her, “Is something wrong?” and she says, “Nothing.” Her code is: “Everything is wrong!” Example: Your wife says, “Do I look alright in this dress?” How you answer that will determine how long you live! Her code is: “Am I still #1 in your parade?” or “Am I still a 10 in your eyes?” 6. The Lover And The Achiever. Ephesians 5:33 “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself and let the wife see she respects her husband.” • Men, what is the deepest need of a woman? To be loved. • Women, what is the deepest need of a man? To be respected. So many of our arguments are connected to these 2 facts! Men, when we do not love, it damages the deepest part of a woman. There’s a new movie coming to the big screen on September 26 staring Kirk Cameron called, “Fireproof”. It’s a wonderful story of the heroism of a firefighter and 2 people overcoming a broken marriage. VIDEO From the movie ”Fireproof” Jill gets blessing when I work at being more tender with her! I get a blessing when she really show respect for my achievements! One time I can remember asking her one Sunday, “How many great preachers do you think there are in the world? She said, “One less than your think!” Men and women’s self esteems are connected to this fact also! When the Golden Gate Bridge was built, all of the parts were intertwined. Every part was vital to it all working together. In a one mile span of the bridge, it will sway as much as 20 feet in the center, so that it can be flexible and even more durable. But there are 2 great and massive pillars that make up that bridge that go down to the solid earth below and all those miles of cables connect to those 2 great pillars. Question, what keeps that bridge from collapsing? 2 things: It’s foundation and it’s flexibility! Some of this info in this sermon comes from Dr. Adrian Rodger.