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  • Jun 09 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Acts 29 Vision
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Acts 29 Vision

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 28:30-31 (Pastor Heo)

This is the last study for Acts, but we know that Acts is not yet complete. If you open your spiritual eyes, you can see that Acts is STILL BEING WRITTEN. Today, let us put these words into practice so that we also may be the co-authors of Acts 29. God bless you.

30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.


As we know, Paul had been in prison for 2 years just before going to Rome. Now, he’s in house arrest in Rome for another full 2 years.

Through this story, we can learn a very important lesson from Paul about HOW to make the most of a very bad situation.

He remained under house arrest – this great missionary, apostle of Christ – unable to minister as he desired. So, he simply did WHAT HE COULD. He welcomed all who came to him, he taught, preached, counseled, persuaded, prayed, wrote books of the Bible. He wrote 4 letters (Paul’s Prison Epistles) = Eph, Phil, Col, Philemon.

These remember our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, Jesus succeeded in his mission completely, in the wilderness and his cross. The first man, Adam, failed his mission completely in the most beautiful circumstances (The Garden of Eden).

So, who can say to God, “I cannot serve you because of my bad situation”? No one. If you find yourself in a bad situation, look for ways to serve God and glorify God.

Eph 5:15 “Make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” (Within your time, save your time, because the days are evil (KJV))

v. 30-31

30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

This book of Acts has a SUDDEN ending. Why? How? This shows the spread of the gospel going to Rome and the world continually as the Great Commission had directed. Why does Acts stop HERE? Because it’s not about the life of the person Paul, but about the process of the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Acts 1:8 is the key verse:

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

  • Chp 1-7 = Spread of the gospel in Jerusalem
  • Chp 8-11 = Spread of the gospel in Judea and Samaria
  • Chp 12-28 = Spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth (Rome)

Among 66 books in the Bible, Acts is the ONLY book which is not yet over – in its mission.

In the Greek Bible, *acolotos* is the last word in this book. The meaning? “Without stop; without hindrance; continually.” This makes the final word in Acts very meaningful.

Today’s Christians are the ones who are to do the continual writing of Acts in the NEXT chapter (Acts chapter 29).

You all have your own personal history, right? This is simple and easy to understand, but meaningful and important.

Everyone – Christian or non – has his own (good or bad) life story and personal history. Then, every Christian is to have TWO life stories (before / after; earthly / spiritual) Every Christian has this life story.

  • Earthy = temporary; on earth
  • Heavenly = eternal; on earth and in heaven

Check your own life story.

“One life; two stories.”

I have one LIFE, but two stories.

All Christians throughout the Bible and throughout history, all have this one life; two stories. Let me show you 3 examples:

#1: Joseph

He was hated / envied by his elder 10 brothers. They sold him into slavery to Egypt. He was Potifer’s slave (one of the king’s officials). He was wrongly accused by the wife and thrown into prison. 2 years later, he interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh – and through this, he became the Prime Minister of Egypt (the greatest country of that time). One day, years later, in a great famine, his brothers came to buy food from him twice. In the second coming, he revealed himself to them. “I’m your brother Joseph who you sold into slavery.”

This is Joseph’s earthly life story, but he also interpreted this into two stories.

“Brothers, do not be distressed, because God sent me here ahead of you to save your lives. You intended harm for me, but God intended it for good – the saving of many lives.” This is Joseph’s spiritual life story.

  • Earthly life: “you sold me”
  • Heavenly life: “God sent me”

We are made to have meaning. If your life has meaning, you can bear almost anything. “With a strong enough WHY, you can bear almost any HOW.”

Giving our lives spiritual meaning is important.

#2 Jesus

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, 2,000 years ago through the womb of the virgin Mary. Like Joseph, he was hated and misunderstood by his fellow Jews. They delivered him to the Roman guards. Pontias Pilate was a profession in finding someone’s faults, but could not find anything wrong with Jesus. He knew he was innocent, but had no courage to set him free – so he handed him over to be executed. He was crucified, dead and buried, and rose again. This is Jesus’ life story (earthly).

Heavenly: God became man in Jesus to come to earth to save us, to die for us, and save us. He was not killed unwillingly, but chose by his own accord to be killed for the salvation of all. “Nobody takes my life from me. I lay my life down of my own accord. I have authority to lay down my life and take it up again, for I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”

Jesus died and rose again and ascended into heaven and is STILL interceding for us on the right hand of God. And one day he will come to complete it all.

  • Earthly: he was killed
  • Heavenly: he sacrificed himself

#3: Paul

Like Joseph and Jesus, he was hated and misunderstood by his Jewish brothers. They arrested him and handed him over to the Romans. Felix, Festus, and Agrippa heard his story, but none set him free. So he appealed to Caesar. He came to Rome to stand on trial before Caesar. This is Paul’s earthly life story.

Heavenly: Paul’s coming to Rome is the sovereign will of God. Some time before, Jesus appeared to him and said, “You will testify about me in Rome.” Also going to Rome and preaching the gospel was Paul’s vision. In Romans: “God, whom I serve with my whole heart is my witness about how constantly I pray for you. I long to see you and impart some spiritual gift to make you strong. I’m eager to preach the gospel to you who are at Rome. I’m not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for all who believe.”

  • Earthly: sent to Rome as a prisoner
  • Heavenly: lead to Rome as a missionary

You also have your own life story.

v. 31

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts finishes not with Paul’s earthly life (and end) but with his spiritual life (and continuation). Earthly life is temporary, heavenly life is eternal.

Who are the ones who are continuing the book of Acts?

Acts 29 Vision

The book is like a relay race (계주/경주).

Do you have experience with this?

In the relay, the ending of the first runner becomes the starting point of the second runner – and the baton is passed on. Those who begin running at the end of Acts 28, continue into Acts 29.

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who focus on preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ are the ones who are writing the continuation of Acts.

At the end, I want to focus on:

  • the kingdom of God
  • the Lord Jesus Christ

Kingdom of God

Do you have interest in the Kingdom of God? This is our country.

Phil 3:20 “Your citizenship is in heaven.”

So, we must be very interested in this country – this is our country (kingdom).

What / why / when / where / how is the Kingdom of God?

  • Who: You / us / Christians
  • What: Jesus’ first message is about the kingdom of God. John the Baptist’s first message was the same: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.”

The key teaching of Jesus in his ministry was the Kingdom of God – the Beatitudes’ first and last sentences are about the KOG. “Blessed … for theirs is the KOG.”

Especially in Matthew, we can see Jesus say so many times, “The KOG is like….”

Also, our daily and first prayer is about the KOG.

“This is how you should pray: Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Jesus also teaches that your first priority must be about the KOG: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and then all these things will be added to you.”

The fulfillment of the KOG and the end of this age will happen at the same time – they coincide with each other. Jesus says, Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached to ALL nations, and THEN then end will come.”

The fulfillment of the gospel and the end of the world will coincide.

After his resurrection, Christ stayed on earth for 40 days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. In a sense, we can say, Acts starts with the Kingdom of God and closes with the KOG.

What is it?

Kingdom of God === Kingdom of Heaven === Kingdom of Christ

It is a country. Essential elements of a state in the physical world = population, territory, government. In the spiritual world, in the KOG, the most basic idea is = rule / reign / sovereignty.

So, the KOG is the rule / reign of Christ (sovereignty of Christ). This is the rule / reign of God over ALL Creation.

But more narrowly speaking, it is about Christ’s spiritual rule over the hearts and lives of those who submit and obey willingly the will of God by confessing Christ as Savior and Lord and King.

His Lordship / Kingship / Sovereign governance – if your are really ruled by Christ, then you are a part of the KOG.

When: Now and here

It has been established already,

but not yet made complete (at the age that has yet to happen)

With Jesus’ first coming, the KOG began. “Repent, the KOG is near.” It is present, but also future. With his Second Coming, his Kingdom will be established perfectly and completely.

Where?

It is a country so it can be in a particular place, but it is not limited by space. It transcends time and space. It is in you.

How?

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you know your position in this world? We are ambassadors of Christ. We are sent from our country to this world to establish his kingdom in this world.

“My kingdom is not of this world.” (Jesus)

This world belongs to Satan (temporarily) – “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” (Next verse) “We do not preach ourselves, but Christ crucified.”

Our mission is to spread and establish his kingdom in this world: by confessing and preaching Jesus as Lord and Savior, and inviting others in.

Phil 2:10-11 “At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

This is the fulfillment of the KOG.

We are now between the first and second coming. (Between the cross and the crown).

Our mission is very simple and clear: to profess and preach Jesus as Lord and Savior, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and to invite others in – to make the population of the KOG larger and larger.

If we do this, we also are writing Acts 29 with God in heaven.

Let us pray together.

  • Nov 09 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Do You Walk With the Lord Well? (Matthew 16:21-28)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Do You Walk With the Lord Well? (Matthew 16:21-28)

11.09

11.09.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Do You Walk With The Lord Well?

Matthew 16:21-28 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Predicts His Death

16:21-28pp — Mk 8:31-9:1; Lk 9:22-27

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter,”Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his lifewill lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


 

From this time on Jesus started speaking very clearly that he would be crucified in the future.

He spoke of this 3 times during the book of Matthew.

In chp 4, in chp 17 – Jesus’ announcement of the Kingdom of Heaven, and here, his emphasis on his death and resurrection.

His 12 disciples didn’t grasp/understand Jesus’ true purpose because they had preconceived ideas about the Messiah: politics, warrior, king. They thought he would be a kind of “superman” and overthrow the forces over the nation of Israel. They didn’t understand that he would win through the sacrifice of his own body.

But here he is telling them so that they wouldn’t be surprised when it really happened.

He also said that he wouldn’t suffer from ordinary people, but elders, chief priests, and teachers of the Law. The Sanhedrin was composed of these three kinds of people. Actually, they should have been the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, but they were the first to make a decision to kill him.

  • Peter rebuked Jesus (his teacher).
  • Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan!” (rebuked him back)

Peter rebuked him because he loved him – but was wrong. Jesus rebuked because he loved him, but was right. Peter’s response certainly reflected the feelings of all the disciples. “Surely not!” Jesus didn’t say, “Thanks for your pity” rather “Get behind me Satan!” (But Peter isn’t really Satan. If Peter WERE, he would say, “go away from here” – this shows that Peter’s place is behind, not leading Jesus).

Earlier, Jesus praised and honored Peter very highly for his statement “You are the Son of God.” Peter wanted to protect him from the suffering and death he would come to because he loved him so. However, IF Jesus had NOT suffered and died, PETER would have to suffer and die forever in his sins.

Like this, sometimes, good intending friends and family (those who love us and try to protect us from suffering) provide the greatest temptations against doing the things that God would have us do.

Peter was speaking the temptation of Satan without knowing it.

  • At first, Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, not to suffer, not to be hungry, not to die. “If you are the Son of God, make bread! So your greatness! Don’t die!”
  • Also, Satan tempted Jesus ON the cross through the voice of the crowd “IF you are the Son of God, COME DOWN and show us!” (Then he wouldn’t die, we wouldn’t be saved…)

Yes, even today, we can become the mouth of God or the mouth of Satan.

It is so easy for us to limit the impact of God on our lives because we are so focused on the goals of this life. It is so easy to focus on comfort and safety that we forget our divine call to sacrifice and service.

Peter’s perspective was wrong – God’s plan included suffering and death for the Messiah. Jesus needed to fulfill his mission exactly as planned.

THE DEFINITION OF DISCIPLESHIP (v. 24)

This verse is very familiar but not easy to practice.

“IF anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

IF anyone = not only to those disciples at that time, but ALL who would come after as well (like you and me). Recognizing and confessing faith in Jesus Christ as Messiah is only the BEGINNING of discipleship. Jesus invites ALL human beings to “follow” him – but to do so, we need three attitudes:

  1. Willingness to deny ourselves
  2. Willingness to take up our crosses
  3. Willingness to follow CONTINUALLY

Easy to do? Or difficult?

#1: To deny ourselves

This doesn’t mean to deny things. Usually we use “self-denial” in a restrictive sense. We think it means “give up something” – (give up chocolate, cola, bread…) This is a very small part of what Jesus means by self-denial. Jesus means “In EVERY part of life, say ‘NO’ to me and ‘YES’ to God.”

“Not I, but Christ.”

Once and forever dethrone yourself, and put Jesus on the throne. Give our whole beings to Christ and share in his shame and death. Surrender immediate material gratification and safety in order to gain the goals and rewards of God.

Self-centeredness becomes God-centeredness

This is immediate and practical, acknowledge Christ in EVERY area of life. Galatians: “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live…”

#2: Take up your cross

This doesn’t mean “carry a burden.”

This DOES mean “identify with Christ in his shame, suffering, crucifixion and resurrection” This is humility before Christ. Today, the cross is a symbol of love and sacrifice – but at that time, it was the worst form of capital punishment.

The Christian life is a life of service and sacrifice.

This same verse is found in Luke 9:23: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.”

This is not a MOMENT of great sacrifice, but a DAILY life of humility and service, and concerned with the needs of OTHERS more than the needs of self.

#3: To follow Christ

Not “walking behind” but “take the SAME road of sacrifice and service he took.” We must render to him perfect obedience.

The Christian life is a life of continual obedience to Christ – with our lives, money, time, tongues, bodies, etc.

To follow Christ = Moment-by-moment-by-moment

  • 1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called because Christ died for you, leaving an example you must follow”
  • 1 John “Whoever claims to follow Christ must walk as HE did.”

Can you accept these verses truly?

  • “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me finds it.”

Jesus Christ humbled himself from heaven to earth to exalt us from earth to heaven.

God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names so that he could raise us from death to life.

Now is our turn. To attempt to save our lives = save you life only. If we do this, apart from God, we will lose our (eternal) lives. But if we lose our lives for the Kingdom of God, we save our (eternal) lives.

Jesus wants us to choose to follow him, rather than to live a life of SELF satisfaction. Jesus wants us to give up trying to control our own destiny and let him do it.

As CREATOR – Jesus KNOWS what real life is about.

Real discipleship implies real commitment – a whole life placed in Christ’s service.

“What can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Only when we give our lives to Christ will we discover the true purpose of our living. What good would it be to gain ALL the money in this WHOLE world and lose your soul? Can you imagine all the buildings, cars, gold, money, jewels, electronics, etc? If you were the KING/OWNER of the world but lost your soul… what good is that?

Whatever we have in this world = temporary.

This “stuff” can never be exchanged for our souls. No amount of “stuff” can buy back a lost soul. If we are true Christians, we must make the pursuit of God more important than the pursuit of selfish pleasure in this world.

When we TRULY follow Christ, we will know what it means to have true life in this world (and the next as well).

“For the Son of Man is coming soon…”

He will reward us according to what we have done.

“Some standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming…”

  1. These words are (1) Warning (for Judgment) and (2) Promise
  2. Judgment = (1) condemnation for sins OR (2) evaluation for reward

Your life is going somewhere. Whether we want it or not, your life is going somewhere – the Judgment. In every life, there inevitably comes Judgment.

The man who selfishly hugs his life, money, satisfaction, and stuff is a total FAILURE in heaven’s eyes. The man who spends his whole life serving, living for the Kingdom of God, showing and witnessing for Christ is a SUCCESS in heaven’s eyes.

Jesus has all the authority to judge both heaven and earth. When he returns, there will be a future, final judgment. Everyone’s lives will be scanned, and evaluated, and reviewed, and rewarded according to what he has done.

Even Christians will face the Judgment.

Jesus will judge how we spent our time and money, talents, responsibilities, and so on in order to determine heavenly rewards.

When Jesus returns, there will be some when Jesus returns who see Jesus in body when he comes. Nobody can hinder the expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Everything we have done for the Kingdom of God will remain forever, but the things of this world will fade away. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.”

May God bless us as true children of God, disciples of God, so that we may walk with Jesus our Lord – not someday, but everyday.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 24 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Son’s Return (Luke 15:11-24)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

The Son’s Return (Luke 15:11-24)

08.24.2014

08.24.2014-MissionarySeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Son Returns

Luke 15:11-24 (Missionary Seo)

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ‘ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.


Last year, we went to Mongolia in August. We got a call from my university and they said, “We have no more time. Come to China quickly, pack everything, and go back to your home country quickly.”

We contacted the head of Paul Mission and decided not to go back to China. After our retreat, we came back to Korea – about 2 months. Then we went to the US for a sabbatical year. We always prayed “Why were we expelled from China?”

My daughter Haneul is asking “We want to go back home.” We ask, “Where is your home?” She said, “China.” We came back to Korea last month and are very uncomfortable staying here because this is not our home.

This concept forms the basis for this sermon.

  1. Where is your home?
  2. Who is your father?

<< See three pictures: Joseon, …, Rembrant >>

Today’s passage goes like this:

One younger son asked his father: “Give me my inheritance.” The father divided the estate, the son went away with all his money and possessions to a foreign land – where he WASTED it.

At that time, a severe famine came, and he was starving. He was hired to feed pigs, and here at his lowest point, he realized “Hey, my father’s hired men have food to eat!”

So, he went back home with this idea, “I’ve sinned against God and against my father and I’m no longer worthy to be called his son.”

But when he was still a long way off, the father saw him coming and ran to meet him and kiss him. The son confessed his poverty of spirit to his father, and the father brushed it aside and said, “Bring the best robe and my ring and the fattened calf! Let’s celebrate my son’s return!”

The story goes like this:

First Son

“Give me my portion” – at this time I think of my younger daughter. From a few months ago, she always said, “No!” and “Mine!” This is life with a two-year-old 🙂 “That’s mine! Give me now!”

At this time, in the 21st century, if we go to our own fathers and say like this, then how do our fathers think? Rude! In the Jewish society at this time, was this rude or not? In that time, if that happened, it meant “Father, I consider you DEAD. Please die!” So, this younger one is VERY rude.

In the spiritual concept of this, the portion the second son has taken is NOT actually his. This is his father’s portion. If the father divides his portion before he dies, still the estate belongs to the father. Only after death, the estate will transfer ownership to the sons.

We, as Christians, always say, “Everything comes from our Father God.” We say this about materials, time, relationships. Everything is from God. But, how about you?

When I prepared this sermon, I was thinking, “Of course, everything is from God, so everything is yours!” But when I spend my hard-earned money on something, I think, “Oh, no. That now belongs to me.” It’s very hard for me to share something I buy.

In this story, let’s not only consider the son who left, but WHY he left.

Why would he leave his father’s love? Have you ever experienced this leaving?

Let me share my story:

I was in China for 3.5 years. At that time, I was really happy because I saw several students lives changed and many people accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. BUT, then they accept him again, and again. Up to 5 times! Something is wrong here. Why do they do 5 times what is accomplished in 1 time? It’s because they do not doubt who Jesus is.

Some other students accept Christ and devote themselves to him and want to become missionaries too. “Wow! God is working and alive in this situation!” At that time, this was the situation in my life. So, I prepared for another journey that God prepared.

Second Son

The second son said “bring all the things” and he packed all his bags and went to another country.

Actually, he left already BEFORE he was leaving.

Spiritually and emotionally, he was GONE before his body left his father’s estate.

The foreign country in this story = this life.
He wastes money on bars, nightlife, possessions. He thinks, “Great! My money! I’ll do whatever I want with it!”

He loved the world (yes, he “loved” his father too… but the world MORE).
He set his priorities:

  1. The world
  2. His father’s love

What are your priorities? Which is #1?

  1. God, Family, Work?
  2. Church, God, Work, Money, Family?

If we love money, we cannot serve God. “A man cannot serve two Masters.” (Jesus)

He loved the world more than his father at that time.

There is a similar parable in the book of Luke 18:18-30 – the Parable of the Rich Official:

“One day, the rich young ruler came to Jesus and said, ‘How can I get eternal life?’ Jesus said, ‘You know the Law and the Prophets, keep all the commandments and you’ll get eternal life.’ The rich young ruler said, ‘From childhood I’ve done this.’ So Jesus said, ‘Then do this one more thing: Sell all you have and give to the poor.’ The man walked away sad.”

His priorities were also on Money first, and Eternal Life secondly.

#3: Let’s see the rest of this parable.

The second son said, “Father, I’ve sinned against you and against God. I’m no longer worthy to be called you son.” This was repeated twice in the parable. Was this important? No – the son thought that with the third part (”I’m no longer worthy to be called your son”) he just wanted to please his father.

As a father, I know that the relationship between a father and son CANNOT be broken easily.

The second son thinks, “I’ll go to be a slave.”

The father doesn’t even listen to what his son says. He accepts him back into his arms readily.

The son didn’t truly understand his father.
“If I do this, father will be pleased. If I buy this, or have a good body, father will be pleased.” No. Your Father is pleased JUST WITH YOU. You need to nothing but be you, just to exist, your Father is pleased with you. Just to be in his presence, and he’ll be pleased. Let us not be confused any longer.

In conclusion, I think we should go back to our place. Our rightful place is in our Father’s arms.

“From a LONG distance away, he recognized him and RAN to meet him.” If we go back to our Father, even taking a single step, the Father will see and RUN to meet us.

Before closing, here’s a final story:

A couple days ago, a graduate student came to my house and has spent two days with us. I saw two lives: a graduate student of Yonsei, and a graduate student of another school. One had a hard time, the other, Hyansun-In, had parents who had a high rank in the Communist Party – doctors in the hospital. Usually, with that kind of family background, the student hates or doesn’t accept Christianity, but I was very happy that he accepted Christ.
During that time, there was a big life event: he went to Hanyang university as an exchange student. Every class, the professor began with a prayer. During that single semester, she accepted Christ as she was in the church doing as other members were doing.

Now, she remembers everything. At that time, she came to Jeonju and we went to Hanok village, but we forgot everything. We went back again and she remembered everything.

In her life, that was very precious. At that time, and also this time, I also have some kind of problem with priorities.

We are staying here for just one month and preparing things. My wife will go to China for 5 days from Monday. Also, my student came to town. I have much to do, and some burden – but spending time with that student was happy.

Questions:


  1. What’s your priority? Money or God?
  2. Do you still think you can serve both?
  3. Then how can we spend our money and time and relationships (in a godly manner)?

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen