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  • Jul 30 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Lord, Our Shepherd (Psalm 23)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

The Lord, Our Shepherd (Psalm 23)

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The Lord, Our Shepherd

Psalm 23 (Pastor Abraham Kim)

1 The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Introductory Questions

This is a very famous passage in the Bible. It’s such a beautiful and pastoral Psalm, many believers and even non-believers like it, use it(for example, in funerals), and can even memorize the whole chapter. So, many people are very familiar with it and even many songs are written about it. But I have one question: Do people understand the true meaning of this passage? Do people enjoy this Psalm because it is very pastoral and peaceful and provides a wonderful atmosphere? Do they only recite it from their lips or do they understand its depth within their soul?

1. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

This Psalm was written through King David by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We don’t know exactly when it was written, but we do know the whole life of David was not consistently smooth. As a youth, when he was a little shepherd, he was isolated from family in the field. After his anointing by the prophet Samuel, his father-in-law, King Saul, pursued and hunted him. In his later years, as King, his son Absalom betrayed against him and tried to become king. So, we can see that David’s life was never quite good enough. It was very turbulent and he endured many evil circumstances. Yet, still, he confessed and proclaimed “the LORD is my shepherd.”

So, how can David say this: “I shall not be in want?” This is NOT because all situations and conditions are favorable, but rather it because he recognized that his shepherd is Jehovah. He was very satisfied in God alone. This is how he can proclaim, “I shall not be in want.” We don’t have much personal knowledge about the life of a shepherd, but in Israel at that time, ALL Israelites were very familiar with this kind of lifestyle and profession. This is especially true of David, because he worked as a shepherd for the early years of his life. This was an example of a typical “3D job”: it was

  1. dirty,
  2. dangerous, and
  3. difficult.

Nobody wanted to do 1 this job. So then, why did David make this confession of God? It’s because he fully understood through his experience how much love the shepherd has for his sheep.

In verse 1, what is God revealed as? Verse 1’s subject is Jehovah. The sheep do not choose the shepherd. But the shepherd, particularly in Israel at that time, would look after other shepherd’s sheep and work hard when he was young to earn money to buy his own sheep. He chose these sheep himself, bought and paid for them with his hard-earned money, marked their ears with a tag, and cared for them with deep love. This is a reflection of God’s great grace and unconditional love for us in that he chooses his own sheep. To the sheep, the shepherd is their absolute LIFE. Without a shepherd, the sheep always perish.

We need to understand the 2 characteristics of sheep:

  1. They are powerless: The are vulnerable to attacks from external forces, for example: wolves, lions, bears, thieves, or even sheep flies and poisonous herbs
  2. They are foolish: They have many internal problems, for example, their eyesight is weak, they easily lose the way, they are stubborn. Foolish AND stubborn? Wow, this is NO 답 (totally hopeless). They even eat grass and the whole roots and foolishly destroy the fields.

These two characteristics of sheep are also just like humanity (me and you). Humans think that we can do everything by ourselves, even that we can save ourselves. But just like “cast sheep” – which cannot get back up after falling down – humanity also cannot save ourselves without the grace of God.

2. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

God provides for his sheep. In Palestine, for more than half of the year, the land becomes a harsh wilderness. So, the shepherd must prepare a place for his sheep before leading his sheep there to feed them. Shepherds need not only consider “green pastures” and “quiet waters”, but also shade and most importantly pens for their sheep. So, many shepherds used the same stone pens in many places every year. In Korea, these day is summer holiday season(휴가철). It’s The peak season. 2 This is a joy and same time one of the big burdens for many parents: If you go to the beach, children only expect the fun of playing in the water, but parents must prepare everything else: food, the shade, the place to stay, the place to wash, the place to lie down, etc.

Do you know when sheep can lie down? There are 4 conditions that need to be satisfied for this:

  1. Nothing to fear (because sheep cowardly, they are easily scared and run, lifting their heads and looking around) – so they need a sense of security
  2. There must be no conflict with other sheep
  3. They need to be free from flies, mosquitoes, or other bugs or discomforts
  4. After their bellies are fully satisfied with enough grass, they can lie down

David was a young shepherd so he understands these conditions much more deeply than the others. He also very sincerely protected his sheep, in the same way that he recognized that God abundantly loved and protected him as a Good Shepherd. In Gospel of John 10:11 Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” so, for the sake of his sheep, he can lay down his life for the sheep. And just as he said, he did.

3. he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

“He restores” means “gives life.” Recall the “cast sheep” – when they fall down they absolutely can’t get back up by their own power. In the same way, we also need God’s saving power to help us “get back up” – out of our sin and into a right relationship with Him.

When God love us, and save us? Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” and Ephesians 2:1 says “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins”.

God saved us and gave us life. He promised us that he would never leave us nor 3 forsake us. But Deists say that God created the world and abandoned it. That he gave us life and left. We believe that God is alive and with us and always faithful and leads us into “paths of righteousness.”

4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

In the life of a shepherd, there were times when all the fields had been visited by the sheep, the grass destroyed, and the fields left bare. There was nothing left for the sheep to eat. The only place left was a swamp, or wetland, but the path into the swamp was very dangerous. This is what is referred to as the “valley of the shadow of death.”

There was no other choice but to brave the dangerous path to the only available field that remained, so the shepherd led his sheep down into the swamp. Like this, there are many times in our Christian lives that are filled with troubles, doubts, and dangers.

This is not always a result of sin or bad karma, but is the will of God. It is the will of our Shepherd. This is the “path of righteousness.” God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, so we can confess, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

What are the rod and staff of God?

  1. The rod is used to direct the sheep, or to hit the sheep to discipline them or alarm them when they lose the way. The shepherd needs to be very close to his sheep to keep them on the proper path and guide their feet. The rod is also used to count the sheep and check the quality of their skin – this means the shepherd uses the rod to check their health.
  2. The staff is used as a weapon to protect the sheep from their enemies.

When the shepherd leads his sheep through the “valley of the shadow of death” this is to grow and mature the sheep. In the same way, our Shepherd, God leads his people through the “valley of the shadow of death” and wants all his people to grow and mature in Christ. But when we walk through this difficult and dangerous path, there are two things we must remember:

  1. This is not the easiest path
  2. But, God is with us

So, when we walk through this “valley of the shadow of death”, we cannot fully understand God’s purpose or plan. Even though we may doubt or lose faith, we must draw close to our shepherd through the Word of his promise and our prayer.

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Verses 5-6 show us that God is not only leading us in the past nor present time, but also until the the end of time. David proclaimed the Lord “prepared a table before him in the presence of his enemies.” What does this mean? There are 2 meanings.

First, that God resolved David’s conflict with Saul, even Absalom, and through those events, God let them recognize that he was with David during his life. However, this is not the full realization of this promise.

Secondly, in the Day of the Lord (Jesus’ Second Coming), God will completely and absolutely prepare a table before his children before his enemy, Satan, and we will feast together with Jesus in all his heavenly glory, and be declared righteous and free from all sin and death.

The first question in the Heidelberg Catechism says:

“What is your only comfort in life and death?”

The answer is:

That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil.

He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.

Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.

Human beings have no power to save anyone – even ourselves. The only one who can save us is our Savior and Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Our Good Shepherd Jesus Christ paid all the penalty for our sin with his precious blood.

In verse 6, the verb “follow” is “רדף ” râdaph[raw-daf]” in Hebrew and it is used in 1 the same way that a guard pursues or diligently follows an enemy. It’s just like as The Highway Patrolman, John piper says, “God is not only our good shepherd, nor only our lavish host; he is also a highway patrolman pursuing you with goodness and mercy every day of your life, and he is fast.” Originally this verb has a negative meaning. But here, it is used to strongly emphasize just how closely God’s grace and love and goodness will pursue us throughout our lives.

As Revelation 7:16-17 says, “16 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Therefore, let us focus our eyes on our Good Shepherd, Jesus. For the sheep, the Shepherd alone is more than enough to provide for all our needs. We don’t need to worry about pasture, or pens, or shade, or enemies. If you are a true Christian, God alone, our Good Shepherd alone, is more than enough to satisfy all our needs. The Christians who can deeply proclaim and love this Psalm are truly the sheep of the Good Shepherd.

  • Jun 21 / 2015
  • Comments Off on True Faith is Proved by Good Deeds (Matthew 25:31-46)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

True Faith is Proved by Good Deeds (Matthew 25:31-46)

06.21.2015

06.21.2015-PHeo

Download Notes in a .RTF file

Sermon Notes

True Faith is Proved by Good Deeds

Matthew 25:31-46 (Pastor Heo)

What is the difference between sermon and testimony?

  • Same: subject = Christ
  • Different: material
  • Testimony = personal experience + Word of God
  • Sermon = Word of God

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 

40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 

45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”


 

There are 6 items (v. 35-36)

Conclusion is:
Eternal life in heaven for those who believe in Christ

OR Eternal death and torment in hell for those who do not believe

Last Sunday: faithful/unfaithful

  1. What has God given you?
  2. What are you doing with what God gave you?
  3. What do you believe about your Lord?
  4. What do you think God will say about you at the Judgment?

Today, the sheep and goats.

Yes, originally, Jesus came as the most powerless – a baby.

In his Second Coming, he will come as the most powerful – the reigning King over all the earth and all time.

  • ALL the angels with him –
  • ALL the nations before him –
  • He will separate the people one from another
  • Believer/non, Saved/lost, Christian/non, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Jesus used sheep vs. goats to picture the difference between Christians and not.

  • During the day, sheep and goats graze together. But at night, they are separated.
  • During the growing season, weeds and wheat are grown together. But at the harvest they are separated.

Likewise, in life, the “sheep” and “goats” work together and play together in the same place, even the same church, but at the Judgment, we will be separated.

At the Judgment, he will say to the righteous, “Come and partake of the inheritance that has been prepared for you…”

  1. I was hungry, you fed me
  2. I was thirsty, you gave me a drink
  3. I was a stranger, you invited me in
  4. I needed clothes, you clothed me
  5. I was sick, you looked after me
  6. I was in prison, you visited me

Likewise, the opposite is also true for the unrighteous.

From this story, one thing we must NOT be confused by: it seems to teach salvation by good works – not so! There is NO salvation by good works – nobody at any time was ever saved by good works. The OT saints were saved by faith, the NT saints were saved by faith in Christ. We are being saved by faith in Christ. There is no gospel of “DO GOOD.” Yes, we must do good, but this is not the gospel.

Romans? “It is only by grace you have been saved by faith so that no one can boast – this not of yourselves, but it is a gift of God.”

  1. Habakkuk 2
  2. Romans 11
  3. Corinthians? Colossians?
  4. Hebrews 10:38 

All say the same thing, “The righteous will live by FAITH!”

This story is not teaching “salvation by works” but “EVIDENCE of salvation by works.”

You know a tree by its fruit. Likewise, you know genuine salvation by its works.

When we compare two judicial sentences (34, 41)

  1. One for believers (righteous)
  2. One for left siders (unrighteous)
  • v. 34: “’Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for tyou since the creation of the world.”
  • v. 41 “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

What’s the difference?

The righteous = blessed by Father God

  1. v. 41 is NOT cursed “by my Father” – just “cursed” – God does not want to curse anyone
  2. v. 34 = inheritance (by birth) – this kingdom prepared for YOU since the creation of the world
  3. v. 41 = this kingdom prepared for the DEVIL
  4. The fire was NOT prepared for YOU

There is no evidence from Scripture that says that God predestines sinners to go to hell. (send to Twitter)

But, if sinners do not repent and believe in Christ, that’s where they’ll end up.

There are 4 lessons here.

1. God will judge us according to our ACTION in response to human needs (our HELP). He does not judge us according to our KNOWLEDGE, reputation, fortune, degrees, etc.

Remember Revelation 22: “Behold I am coming soon! I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

2. There are certain things we must know about the HELP we must give.

It must be help in SMALL things.

You know the things here that Jesus picks out are things that ANYBODY can do.

6 items:

  1. I was hungry, you fed me
  2. I was thirsty, you gave me a drink
  3. I was a stranger, you invited me in
  4. I needed clothes, you clothed me
  5. I was sick, you looked after me
  6. I was in prison, you visited me

Imagine these 6 items is NOT a big “give a million dollars” kind of thing – this list describes acts of mercy that we can do EVERY day in our EVERY day lives.

This does not depend on being wealthy, ability, nor intelligence. No special talent is needed. This is a VERY simple action – just to help others (the Golden Rule). Jesus demands our PERSONAL involvement in helping others.

Jesus actually repeated this list of 6 items FOUR times – this shows how important it is as a guideline (not exhaustive) to lead our lives.

3. These deeds were uncounted.

Both the righteous and unrighteous were surprised by what the did or did not do.

The righteous did not think they were helping Christ and piling up eternal reward. They simply, naturally helped because they had a loving heart. Their motive was NOT reward, but sacrificial reward – this was just an ordinary, daily, instinctive lifestyle. This was not a “special” event.

The unrighteous reaction was the same “Really? When? How?” This was in self-defense. “Oh Lord, of COURSE I would have helped if I KNEW it was you. But at that time, I thought that person was just a regular old guy.” Remember, if we help for popularity or publicity, this is NOT true help – not generosity.

The help which wins the real approval of God is “help for nothing but the sake of helping itself.”

4. Jesus confronts us with the wonderful truth that ALL such help given in this way is given to himself. At the same time, ALL such help NOT given is help that is withdrawn from him.

If you are parents, it is not difficult to understand this.

  • If somebody helps my son, his help for my son is helping me – if I’m a good father to my son.

Our God is the BEST Father, the greatest Father. To delight the heart of God is to help his children. So, today, around us, who are God’s children?

Narrow meaning and wide meaning.

  1. Narrowly = only believers in Christ – this is the only way we become adoptees into his household and inheritance in his Kingdom (John 1:12-13 “To all those who believed, he gave the right to become children of God.”)
  2. Widely = all people on earth – God is Creator, the Father of ALL – all people are made in his likeness. (Ephesians 4 “Our God is one God who is above all, in all, through all.”)

God gives his sunshine to ALL without finding fault – to sinners and believers alike. He is gracious, compassionate, merciful, generous to ALL. So, we also must develop this kind of heart so that these actions flow naturally and normally from our regular lives.

Yes, we know, just giving a drink is a VERY small gesture of care and concern – but build that up over time (i.e. compound interest style) – and it makes a HUGE difference. God is CHANGING you from selfishness into the likeness of his Son.

Remember: Whatever we do for others demonstrates what we TRULY believe about Christ.

How are we different from pretenders? Where is your final destination?

“Be reconciled to God” by believing and trusting in Christ and helping others.

**Colossians 3:23 “In whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord and not for men.”

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 26 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

The Lord is my Shepherd (Psalm 23)

10.26

10.26.2014-R.Ahn

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Lord is My Shepherd

Psalm 23 (Rev. Ahn Choongsik)

A psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


 

This morning we have a special speaker: Rev. Ahn Choongsik

He has served as senior pastor in a Korean church in NY and as a seminary professor for many years. After retirement in the US, he came back to Korea to retire (also mobilize the Korean church and teach here as well – also in hospitals – he came from Seoul last night).


 

It’s a God given, gracious opportunity to meet you and greet you and share with you today.

There is a word “shepherd” is mentioned 500 times in the Bible.

  • They were shepherding for hundreds of years, so they were quite familiar with the role of a shepherd.
  • In Palestine, sheep are a very familiar animal – they are eaten as daily food, skins are used for clothing, also wool.
  • Sheep are very important and necessary animals for people in Palestine. This animal was also offered as a sacrifice, and they chose the BEST one to sacrifice.

Due to talking about sheep and shepherds, we must talk about both at the same time.

  1. There are many gentle animals in the world, but the sheep is incredibly gentle. Isaiah described the sheep “a lamb before the slaughter” (talking of Jesus).
  2. Of the shepherd, he goes out to find the lost sheep – the sheep is always protected by the shepherd – he couldn’t go out to find pasture or water by themselves.

As they were protected all the time, Ezekiel writes, “because the sheep had no shepherd, they were all scattered and the wolves killed and ate them.” This is why shepherds seek out their sheep.

Luke “Suppose one of you has hundreds of sheep, and loses one. What would you do? You’d leave the other 99 and go looking for the one who is lost until you find it. Once you find it, you’d be so happy that you’d call your friends and neighbors to celebrate. There will be more joy than this in heaven over one sinner who repents than over many who are righteous and do not need to repent.”

This parable shows the character of the shepherd – he will leave 99 and go looking for one. We should understand his love and mercy and sacrifice – that the prophet Isaiah has written of.

The prophet Isaiah wrote of God sending his only son to the world for us.

He gave himself for our salvation, for our freedom from bondage in sins, for our restoration in broken relationship with God, for our rescue from the belly of death.

Amazing story of Elizabeth – writer of they hymn “There were ninety and nine.”

“Lord, whence are those blood drops all the way that marks out the tracks. Then, will shadow for me the shepherd who could bring back. Lord, where are thy hands, wretched and atoned. Here appears tonight by many a thorn…”?

Elizabeth identified herself as a lost sheep, she understood that she was the lost sheep of Jesus Christ. She also understood that Jesus shed his blood on the cross for her salvation. The story of the lost sheep touched her heart and inspired her to write this poem.

1873, Moody was in England – with his reader Dave S… He was going to preach on this topic after a few days in Edinburgh, but had no good hymn to go along. By God’s providence, they found this poem in the newspaper at that time. They then prepared and performed the hymn for the congregation. What do you think most moved and touched the congregation? The voices? The music? The poem? All are partly true. But, it was the love and mercy of Christ that most moved and touched them.

Just like the lost sheep couldn’t come home by herself, but it depended on the willingness of the shepherd as well.

In the wilderness, the wolves would eventually kill the lost sheep.

In Psalm 23, David saw himself as the lost sheep, being protected by God all the time.

“He leads me beside quiet waters, he guides me into pasture. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are with me. Your rod and staff comfort me. You prepare a table for me before my enemies and my cup overflows.”

David was a WARRIOR and knew the triumph of victory. When returning home from battle, David had killed thousands of Philestines and the women came out from the towns and sang “Saul has slain thousands, and David tens of thousands.”

From that day, Saul sought David to kill him. So David fled and hid in Jeph? David saw that Saul was going to kill him – Saul was the king of Israel with all the power in the nation. But David’s most interesting thing was that God gave him the people and the nation of Israel.

David’s relationship with God was the most important part of his life. When he met Goliath, the Philestine called, “Hahah, have your ‘bravest warrior’ come down to meet me.” But David came and retorted, “You come against me with sword and spear, but I come after you in the name of the Lord God of Israel.”

David never broke his relationship with God, he was rather always dependent upon God. However, Saul didn’t listen to the prophets, nor commandments, so that the Spirit of God left him and his kingdom perished. In addition to this, he eventually took his own life. What’s his real problem? It’s described in 1 Samuel 15, “Which does the Lord prefer: obedience to the Lord or sacrifice? It is better to obey – rebellion is like idolatry and witchcraft. Because you rejected his commands, he has rejected you as king.”

We reviewed David’s relationship with God 3,000 years ago as well as Elizabeth’s in 1873. Where is God now? What is your conception of God? Think about it. Who is YOUR God?

Here’s my experience:

He’s been my God for my whole pastor’s journey, and will be with me in my future life as well. Like David, hiding in the wilderness, I also was hiding in an apple orchard in North Korea. My father and brother were in the house, and one afternoon 24 policemen came and encircled the house. A few hours before they came to search us.

Because of that, we were prepared at the critical moment. My friend was in the attic of the small room. My father was shoveled in the vegetable garden, my brother was laid down in the apple orchard. I was pretending to be a helper so I was in the living room with the grandparents. They searched us for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, a policeman came into the living room and went into the room where my friend was hiding. My heart stood still while the policemen are about to open the small door. The policemen tried to widen to gap between the bolt.

After a few minutes, he saw white bedding and shouted “Come out!” All 24 came to the living room and arrested them all. I was emotionally exhausted so like a stone.

Through the experience, I believe that God was with me during that critical moment. Not only then, but also all my life in the past. The only thing was, they couldn’t see me as one of the hiding people in the same house. Like David, I wasn’t handed over – I was like a lost sheep in the wilderness. I had no choice to do anything there. I prayed and asked God, “God of Israel, answer me!”

Later, in February, I met 2 officers from an island in the West Sea. They were the same two who took my father a few weeks ago. I had to decide to stay in North Korea, or go with the two officers to the island to escape North Korea. Either way, there is no guarantee.

But I was saved eventually.

Let’s look at Psalm 23 – David’s confession – “The Lord is my shepherd” – David did nothing for his own salvation – it was all done by the shepherd’s willingness. We must see that salvation belongs to our God 100%.

  1. Though David was a soldier, he didn’t depend on his military experience.
  2. Though a king, he didn’t depend on his power.
  3. Though a musician and poet, he didn’t depend on his own talent and ability.

The most important thing was his relationship with God.

His last words to his son Solomon clearly states the most valuable things to human beings, “My time to die has come – do whatever the Lord commands and obey all his commands. He will keep his promise when he found you that my descendants would rule the land as long as they serve him with all their hearts and spirits.”

This statement shows us his relationship with God and what he was most concerned about.

Now, I’m worried that you will ask me, “Did you obey all the commands in the Bible?” No, that’s why I need his love and mercy as a lost sheep. But I have some things to tell you proudly.

The North Korean govt told all the schools that the children must choose either church OR the school. If he wants religious freedom, you give up educational freedom. This is why I don’t have a middle school certificate.

Friends, don’t misunderstand. I had a strong face as a teenager? No, God protected me from cutting off my relationship with God entirely. Isaiah says, “But you Israel, are my servant, you are the people I’ve chosen – you are descendants of my friend Abraham. I brought you out of slavery and made you my servant. I didn’t reject you, but chose you. Do not be afraid – let nothing terrify you. I will make you strong and help you – I will protect you and save you.” We are all like lost sheep, but are not afraid of anything. The Lord Almighty will protect us and be will us even in the wilderness.

May God bless you, thank you.

Let’s pray.

  • May 25 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Do You Have an Abundant Life? (John 10:10)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

Do You Have an Abundant Life? (John 10:10)

05.25

05.25.2014 Missionary Kwak

Sermon Notes

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Do You Have an Abundant Life?
John 10:10 (Missionary Kwak)

The Thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But I have come that they may have Life and have it to the full.


Jesus said, “I have come that you may have Life, and have it abundantly.”

Some time ago, after returning to Korea from India, I saw on TV a documentary about a shoemaker. There was no one to talk with in the dark room, and he said, “Can I talk to the TV? Can it talk back to me? It’s better to get back to work to meet my customers, to talk with them and laugh with them.”

So many people want happiness. Does TV do that? Does fellowship with people give us real satisfaction in life?

People seek fleeting pleasures in life.

Money: can it give real joy? Billionaires have real life, joy, satisfaction? How about fame? Military power? Military glory?

Alexander the Great conquered the whole known world at that time, and he wept saying, “There are no more worlds to conquer.”

Today, people enjoy many (exciting) games in the smartphone. Many Koreans enjoy tourism. Does this give real satisfaction.

Jesus says, “I have come that I may give you life and abundant life.”

Greek “ego, enor, equasin…”

“I have come ‘ego ethon’.”

First pronoun = “I” empathetic – I did not send an angel, prophet, or anyone else, “I MYSELF came”

“I came to lay down my life to give you life. To sacrifice my life to give you abundant life.”

  • He took our sorrows to give us joy.
  • He suffered the pain of the cross to give us true happiness.
  • He suffered bitterness to give us sweetness.
  • To give life. Abundant life.

The Greek verse says, “presson” = abundantly (abundant – adjective or adverb – two ways to translate it).

What is abundant life?

He did everything to give us abundant life, so he should have abundant life, he showed abundant life.

What is abundant life?

To be filled with the Holy Spirit – then you will have abundant life – enjoying true satisfaction in Christ. Jesus said, “God has a gift to give you. If you drink this (vinegar) water, you will thirst again, but I have true water – that will well up in you to eternal life.” John 4:14

John 6:38 “The Holy Spirit is like the rivers of living water.”

Psalm 1 “The righteous person is like a tree planted by the streams of water.” They grow high with green leaves and bear their fruit in season.

The land receives rain and produces flowers and trees and the trees bear fruit.

When the rivers of Living Water flow in our hearts, we’ll become beautiful – have flowers (no need for makeup). You will start to bear fruit.

#2: Romans 14:17 “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness and peace and joy in the HS.”

1 Peter 1:8 “Even though you haven’t seen him, you love him, and even though you don’t see him now, you are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”

When I traveled to Jeonju (from India) my son called me and asked, “What are you doing?” “Sitting on the bus.” “Oh, seems boring.” But I never felt bored since I believed in Jesus. There’s no time to be bored. God gave us true joy.

In 2011, one institute had a survey – with 21 countries. It said, 87% of Indian ladies have a stressful life. 45% of Korean ladies do not feel happy in their marriages. Many ladies are oppressed by men. They do not feel happy. But our Lord came to give REAL joy in our lives.

#3: Fueled with the peace of God

Peace like a river

You have many anxieties and worries and fears, but our Lord gives us peace. Let the peace flow in our hearts.

I can feel the peace of God. It’s real. He gives TRUE peace.

When I was a child, I had LOTS of worries. God gave me. Phil 4:6-7 “Do not worry about anything, but in everything with prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts in Christ Jesus.”

God will guard our hearts securely – he will be our security against the thieves and robbers of this world.

Abundant life = true satisfaction, spiritual satisfaction, divine love

1 John 3 “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. Anyone who doesn’t love is still dead.”

Divine Love is an attribute from God. When you have this attribute, you have love from God.

Jesus says, “You can have abundant life in the HERE and NOW.”

Jeus died on the cross to give us abundant life. He came to give us abundant life. Do you enjoy this abundant life in your daily life?

Are you always happy? Always joyful? We need this abundant life right now, here.

How can we have this life?

#1: I’m the good Shepherd and the good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 6:55 “My flesh is real food and my blo0d is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood…will have abundant life.” That’s the food for our spirits, we need his sacrifice, his life, his blood. We must remind ourselves again and again of his sacrifice for us on the cross. His blood gives us life.

#2: I’m the Door/Gate.

Greek (ego enni edura) – “I’m the only door.” If you pass through this door, you will have salvation, sins forgiven, you’ll be cleansed, sins washed away, you’ll have rest, peace, life.

“Whoever enters through me will be saved and he will come in and go out and find pasture.”

If we are saved in him, we will find delicious food for our spirits in him. He is the only door to find pasture for our spirits.

Last Thursday, I visited a staff member 108/208. I pressed the bell, but nobody came. Ooops… Got the wrong building. So I went to the next building and got the right unit number, and the door is open.

Like this, Christ is an open door. We can go to the open door and find it open with delicious food for our spirits. And this food is healthy, and we can receive healthy and abundant life.

#3: OBEY his words

  • John 10:1, 6 Jesus is compared to the Good Shepherd, and the sheep follow the Shepherd.
  • John 10:2 “The man who enters by the gate is the Shepherd of the sheep and he is the watchmen for the sheep and he calls them by name and watches out for them.”
  • John 10:4 “They follow him because they know his voice, but they will not recognize a stranger’s voice, because they do not know his voice.”

Voice = 3 times here.

If you have a dog, and you move away even 2,800km, the dog can come back to you.

But the sheep is different, he can only see up to 3 feet or 2 meters in front of him – but they are very sensitive in hearing. So, they must pay attention to the voice of the shepherd. If they don’t pay attention to the voice of the shepherd, they can fall off the cliff, into danger, etc.

There are MANY voices and sounds trying to drown out the Shepherd’s voice these days: TV, phones, games, Facebook, cults, religious leaders, politicians, shopping malls, etc, etc.

But we must pay attention to HIS voice and follow him.

How can we hear his voice?

  1. Through the sermons.
  2. Through meditation on the Scriptures.
  3. While we pray.

There are many voices in this world. Many sounds. But turn away from the voice of the world and turn to the True Shepherd. Obey his commands.

Many people know the Bible well, memorize the Scriptures, but few keep his commands.

John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. You are my friends if you keep my commands.”

Our Lord looks for the people who listen for his voice and keep his commands. Then, you will have abundant life.

He’s your Lord, he’s your King.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 10 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Book of John is the Book of Eternal Life in Christ (John 21:15-25)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Book of John is the Book of Eternal Life in Christ (John 21:15-25)

03.10

03.10.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

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This is the final study in the book of John: The Book of Life – eternal, abundant life in Christ. The whole book is full of life.

Closing this study, let’s briefly review each chapter, especially related to “life.”

  1. In the Beginning was the Word, that word was light, but the world did not understand it, so the word became flesh.
  2. Jesus turned water into wine and then cleared the temple – Jesus has much interest in our continual joyful lives and changed, pure, holy lives.
  3. “You must be born again.” Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit – regeneration.
  4. The Samaritan woman – “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst, because it will well up into eternal life.”
  5. “Whoever believes my word and the one who sent me has life – he has crossed from death to life.”
  6. After feeding 5,000 men – “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever eats my flesh has life – I will raise him at the last day.”
  7. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to mean and drink – the streams of living water will flow from within him or her.”
  8. “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
  9. Jesus opens the eyes of the blind man, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming soon when nobody can work.” Life = opportunity to work for God.
  10. “I am the Gate for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I have come to give life, you shall never perish, no one can snatch you out of my hand.”
  11. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead – whoever lives and believes in me will never die “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
  12. Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it will remain a single seed… Our life is producing life when we die.
  13. Washing disciples feet, “A new command I give you – you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
  14. I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.
  15. I am the True Vine, you are the branches, no vine can bear fruit on its own, apart from me you can do nothing – but in me you will bear much fruit.
  16. Even though you have trouble in the world, “take heart for I have overcome the world.” Our lives are overcoming lives against Satan and sin.
  17. He chose to be arrested to set us free.
  18. He was crucified with our old selves to raise us to life.
  19. He was raised to life to guarantee our eternal life.
  20. He appeared to the disciples and Mary (first).
  21. He appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Galilee. Remember the picture?

In this picture, in the first picture, they fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus appeared, and helped them catch 153 fish. Jesus prepared a warm fire for them (they were cold) and breakfast (they were hungry), and continually, when they finished eating, now he asked Peter if he loved him personally and openly – in public for others to hear. 

Three times, “Simon, do you truly love me?”

Jesus said, “If you love me, feed my lambs… If you love me, take care of my sheep… If you love me, feed my sheep.”

Why three times? For emphasis? Repetition? Counter-standard? (Remember Peter had denied Jesus openly three times previously just before the crucifixion – now Jesus gives 3 chances to recover from that). Love, love, love – in English and Korean it’s the same word. BUT, in Greek, it is different.

  1. Eros – love for other sex
  2. Stolgay – love for parents
  3. Filial – love for friends
  4. Agape – divine, unconditional love
  • First two sentences, Jesus said, “Agape.” 
  • Peter replied with “You know I Filial you.”
  • Jesus changed for the third, “Do you Filial me?”
  • Peter was hurt, “You know all things, of course I Filial you.”

Even though we Filial Jesus, he gives us a huge mission and task – how much more if we Agape love him.

  1. Feed my lambs = if you have my life, give that life to others, evangelize, be my witnesses to the lost
  2. Take care of my sheep = help them to continue to enjoy abundant life
  3. Feed my sheep = continue this again and again.

“Do you truly love me MORE THAN THESE?” may have two meanings.

  • “Do you love me more than your other friends, your fish, your boat, car, cash, baby, TV, smart phone?” Are you prepared to give up everything to follow me? You comfort, your stuff, etc? To give yourself to my people, my task?
  • “Do you love me more than these other disciples love me?” Reminding him of his previous confession (he’d said, “Even if everyone else falls away, I’ll NEVER fall away” – but he failed).

Throughout the book of John, Jesus questions are 2:

  1. Do you believe in me? Yes = live eternally
  2. Do you love me? Yes = prove it by making others live in me and love me, through your sacrifice/service/ministry 

In the world, love is the greatest privilege, but also brings the greatest responsibility – it ALWAYS involves sacrifice.

Peter eventually died upside down crucifixion – church history (not Bible) tells us that. But now, Peter is alive in heaven with Christ. 

Remember, we do not truly love Christ if we aren’t ready to follow him and take up his task and his cross.

v 20-24: About “the disciple whom Jesus loved”

i.e. Peter said, “Lord, you told me what will happen to me, what about John, what will happen to him?”

Jesus said, “Just mind your own business buddy.”

Of course we must care for and serve and help each other – looking to the interests of others (in humility). But in ministry, we must NOT compare ourselves to others. We do not compare ourselves to rationalize our own commitment to God or to question the commitment or justice of God. 

What does Jesus say to Peter? 3 times: Follow me. 

First meeting, he said that, and now verse 19 and 22.

  • When we meet Jesus first, we start to follow.
  • On the journey, we continue to follow.
  • At the end, we still follow.

This is present tense, consistent, steadfast, persevering following of Christ – continuing his work in the way he wants it done, not in the way we want it done. Jesus is our example and sample and task. Jesus is our goal.

Hebrews 12:2? “Fix your eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.”

God bless us all to fix our eyes upon Jesus.

v.25 – Jesus did many other things as well…

Do you agree with this? This is not an exaggeration – this is truth. This world is limited in time and space, knowledge, understanding, power. But, Jesus is infinite – proven as True God by his resurrection. He is unlimited in time, space, works, beauty. Whatever we know of Jesus is limited.

No matter how much we know of him, that is only a small fragment of him (imagine the size of the Earth when compared with the size of the universe). 

Whatever we have experienced of him is a fragment of what is yet to experience. 

Think of Chonbuk University’s books – think of Harvard University’s. Yet, all books are inadequate to describe Jesus fully.

Let us learn, know, study Jesus more and more. Let us experience, and enjoy him more and more. Let us live his life more and more abundantly.

May God bless us all through the study of the gospel of John: The Book of Life – life that can only be found in Jesus.

“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

John 3:16

May God bless us all with his eternal life.

  • Apr 01 / 2012
  • Comments Off on His Sheep are Very Secure (John 10:22-30)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

His Sheep are Very Secure (John 10:22-30)

4.1

Bulletin_04.01.2012

Sermon Notes

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Blessing v.28-30

This story tells us when and where:
Feast of Dedication
– not one of 7 official festivals
– was est. by Judas Macadius 165BC to commemorate the cleaning of the temple, after king of Syria defiled it by sacrificing pigs. 3 years of pollution. everything was cleaned.

– Hanuka – feast of lights

Where? Solomon’s Colonnade
– roofed porches with tall columns, facing inward with long walkways.
– believed to rest on part of original temple
– common place for meeting and teaching

very clear historical fact
(In God’s providence, we also cleaned “the temple” yesterday…)

It was winter, Jesus was there, Jews gathered.
“Tell us plainly – are you the Christ?”
“The miracles I do in His name speak for me.”

Jews challenged him for the wrong reasons.
Wanted clear, direct, plain, immediate explanation.
Jesus never plainly told Jews in Jerusalem.

Why?
– for religious leaders, “Christ” meant military/political leader/liberator – was thought to est. earthly kingdom
– also, they wanted to arrest him for blaspheming.
– if they arrested him, it would ruin them, not Jesus
– so Jesus wisely chose not to

But, though he didn’t show directly, he constantly showed himself indirectly, through miracles, lifestyle, prophecy fulfillment, teaching.

When man recognized him as Christ, he also said “True.” (Ex: Chp 4 – Samaritan woman)

Another time, Jesus asked, “who am I to you?” Peter: “You are the Christ.” Jesus: “Blessed are you! Father God revealed this to you. I will build MY church on you.”

Not YOUR church, but HIS church, JESUS’ church

This is the unity of Christ’s church.

v. 26-7 “You are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice.”

Are you listening to Jesus’ voice all the time?

v. 26 – one short sentence has MANY messages

#1 Children of God because we believe in Jesus?
OR
#2 We believe in Jesus because we are children of God?

BOTH are right.
From God’s standpoint #2
From man’s standpoint #1

Grace is before faith.

We are saved BY grace (Jesus on the cross) THROUGH faith.
Grace = ground
Faith = root

Our faith is rootless without grace.

Christian life =
we go forward by faith
everytime we look backward, we stepped by grace

We woke up by faith, came to church by faith, worship by faith

But now, looking back, every step we took was by grace (looking back we see we were blessed by grace the whole way)

ALL we have done by faith
has been done by God’s grace.

We can show we are Jesus’ sheep by listening to his voice, his word.

This is like a math formula:
How can we believe in God = believe in Jesus = believe his word
Obey? obey Jesus? obey Word
Walk with God? Walk with Jesus? Walk in the Word.

How can I __(x)__ God?
by __(x)___ Jesus.
How can I __(x)___ Jesus?
by __(x)___ His Word.

This word was given to you, is near you, is IN you.

“Let the word of God dwell in you RICHLY…”

Joshua 1:8 “Do not let (the word of God) depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Story:
Super soccer star interview:
Interviewer: “What’s your secret?”
Star: “My life is soccer.”
I: “What’s meaning?”
S: “I play, exercise, think, speak, listen, watch, learn, teach, dream, ALL about soccer!”

…How’s our passion for God’s word?

God, let it be MORE than the Star’s passion for soccer.
Star’s passion is finite.

Our passion WILL BE eternal.

v. 28-30
Blessing with Jesus’ promise.

“I and the Father are one.” = UNITY, not identity

(Sermon Illustration)

…But ALWAYS remain in Jesus’ hand, in the Father’s hand.

We are VERY safe in Him,
because of HIS power, not ours
because of HIS faithfulness, not ours,
because of HIS holding, not ours,
because of HIS good works, not ours.

Jesus = “I GIVE you eternal life. NO ONE can snatch you out of my hand. NO ONE can snatch you out of my Father’s hand. We are in unity in keeping you, in holding you.”

This is the PROMISE.

Listen to His voice, believe His voice, trust His voice.
He will NEVER disappoint you.

  • Mar 18 / 2012
  • Comments Off on One Shepherd and One Flock! (John 10:1-18)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

One Shepherd and One Flock! (John 10:1-18)

3.18

Bulletin_03.18.2012

Sermon Notes

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OT – God often is shown as shepherd, His people as flock. Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd…”

Why? Background – at that time OT, NT, main part of Judea, was central plateau, 35 miles up and down 15 miles left and right. Majority of land was rocky, stony.
Jew was pastural, not agricultural.
(Sheep rather than farming).

Not much grass, so sheep were bound to scatter. No protecting walls or fences, sheep were liable to wander. Had to be watched continually.

On either side of the plateau, there was a cliff. Shepherds task was dangerous and constant. Shepherds watched against wild animals – esp. wolves, also thieves and robbers.

Shepherds were cold at night, hot during the day.

Self-sacrifice, fearless courage, constant vigilance, patience – these were characteristics of shepherds – God is the same.

“I tell you the truth.”
“I am the gate for the sheep.”
“I am the good shepherd.”
Jesus says each twice.

We are his sheep.

v.10 – One key, great verse of the Bible.
(John 3:16 is main key verse we use)
This verse is also a key for whole Bible.

Very clear sentence to show purpose of Satan’s coming, and Jesus’ coming.
Satan = thief, Jesus = life
Satan steals what God has given us.

1 John 3:8 – Jesus appeared to destroy devil’s work.

2 Tim – Spirit of power, love and self-discipline.

Not a spirit of despair, worry, defeat – these are lies of Satan.
God gives life, peace, joy, assurance of salvation.

Jesus came.
1. to confirm God’s promises
2. to remove sin
3. to destroy Satan
4. become our high priest forever
5. show a perfect example of holy life
6. prepare His second coming
7. to give us LIFE

Life is most important in this world, more than job, money, etc.
This life can only be found in Jesus.
John 1:1

John 3:16 – “God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
This is God’s purpose for sending Jesus.
John 10:10 = Jesus’ voluntary purpose for coming into the world.

1 John (5?)= “The life appeared, we have seen it, we testify to it, we proclaim to you…”

In John, Jesus 10 “I AM”
1. I am the bread
2. I am the light
3. I am the gate
4. I am the good shepherd
5. I am before Abraham
6. I am the resurrection
7. I am the life
8. I am the way,
9. the truth, and the life
10. I am the true vine (source of life)

Eternal life is living fellowship with Father God, now, and forever. This is found only by trusting in Jesus Christ.

When is your true birthday? When you believed in Christ – this is the start of your true life.

Colossians 3 – we died, our lives are hidden with Christ

LIFE

v.16 – One flock and one shepherd

I have other sheep outside of AICF, outside this church, outside this pen.

The growth and unity of the kingdom of God. This is the vision, dream, purpose, of Jesus.

1 Tim 2:4 – God wants all men to be saved…

2 Peter 3:9 – God is not “slow” in keeping his promise…He is patient…He wants no one to perish…Jesus suffered death for ALL men…

Salvation = unlimited limited atonement
Available for ALL men
Effective only for believers

Worldly world = explosiveness and division – wars, arguments, parties, genders, cultures, – competition, contest
World = division
This world cannot truly become united.

Only one possible unity = in our common sonship with God through Jesus.

Ultimate dream of Christ = whole world united for God – but only possible through unity in Christ.

Church?
The one family of God, one body of Christ, one organism of Holy Spirit, multi-national missional community, to evangelize the whole world as one flock, with one shepherd.

NT = two voices on one topic
Evangelism (Matt 10)
“Do not go to the Gentiles – go to lost sheep of Israel”
Not exclusiveness of salvation only for Jews – this is for effectiveness – the fruit of ministry.

After resurrection, Jesus said “Go into the whole world…”
Effectiveness of ministry, and universality of the gospel must go together.

In war, to get final victory, we must start with limited objectives.
Try to attack on all fronts? Divide your efforts, be defeated.
If Jesus sent missionaries at first everywhere…success would be limited – nothing would have been achieved.
So, Jesus fixed one limited area for them to focus on and target.

So, for us, our target is Jeonju, through AICF.

Pastor Heo – Philippines = mission field, but not the whole country – just a limited area – to maximize the effectiveness and fruit of the ministry.

Our actions and efforts must focus on Jeonju, though we include the whole world in our prayers.

HS student – Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream”
“I have a dream…one day white boys and black boys will play together hand-in-hand. White boy, black girls will sing together.”

AICF “I have a dream…one day soon, 200+ people THIS year!”

So, where do we focus our efforts? Jeonju!

Jesus “I have other sheep outside”
AICF – we have MUCH room

But remember, for world evangelization, there is not ONE Christian in the world who can do EVERYTHING.
But, there is also not ONE Christian who has NOTHING to do…

No one in AICF can do everything.
Also, no one in AICF can do nothing.

Where can you serve?

Do not be satisfied to only “come” and “worship”
The fact that you are here means – you HAVE a task from God to do for the growth and unity of AICF!

The church of God is the House of Prayer for all nations.

We must mention all nations in our prayers, not only Korea, not only Jeonju, not only AICF.
In our actions, we focus on AICF, Jeonju.
For the effectiveness of the ministry – fruit.

v.17-18 – Lay down my life – take it up again – lay it down of my own accord

We can see 3 points:

1) Jesus saw whole life as an act of obedience to Father God – Jesus received a task from God – he always was ready and prepared to carry it out to the end – even if it meant death

2) Jesus saw all the time, the cross and the glory together. He never doubted he must die. He never doubted he would rise again. His perfect confidence in God.

3) His death was wholly voluntary. He stressed it again and again. Jesus didn’t lose his life – he GAVE it willingly. The cross was not forced upon him. He CHOSE to take it – to give us his new life.

The cross was his greatest work. It was his definite choice. It accomplished atonement for his sheep. Through his resurrection, ALL authority on heaven and earth has been given to Jesus.
Happy Easter!

Satan has NO authority any longer.
Only Jesus has authority over anyone.
Therefore, GO!
And make disciples of all nations.

When you proclaim Jesus’ story, Jesus’ authority will be revealed through you!

Let us experience and enjoy this authority in Jesus’ name!

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