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Family Series (3) – “Asking Questions to our God”

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2014-05-27 (화) 23:19 조회 : 1386
Rev._Jang\'s_Sermon_05-18-2014.pdf (165.1K), Down : 4, 2014-05-27 23:19:38
설교일 : 2014.05.18.
설교자 : Rev. Jang
본문말씀 : Psalms 128:1~6

May 18, 2014

 

Family Series (3) – “Asking Questions to our God”

Psalms 128:1-6

 

Rev. Chan Young Jang’s Sermon at KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

1.

We hear these unbelievable stories once in a while, but this one really hit me hard. A sound systems engineer named Mark Sparks bought a picture frame for $2 at a flea market. He wanted to replace the picture in the frame and saw an old folded paper in the back of the picture. When he unfolded that paper, he was surprised to find the Declaration of Independence document. He asked an expert to evaluate it to see if it had any value, and the expert found it to be a ‘genuine’ document that was printed in 1820 for a limited edition of 200 copies. This frame he had bought for $2 had a hidden value of $250,000. We can imagine how upset the person who had sold it must be!  This happens when one doesn’t know the real value of some precious treasure.

 

Among the things that we forget the value and neglect to take care of, our ‘family’ is the most important example. We usually don’t think having a family is such a big blessing. Many couples contemplate to have a divorce after giving up on their hope of happiness. But God provided us a family as his biggest blessing. When God created the world, he saw that it was good, and he was very pleased with Adam and Eve after he created them. The family was originally God’s perfect masterpiece, but in reality it isn’t always so.

 

There is a common saying that a love affair is a sweet dream, and a marriage is an alarm clock to wake up from that dream. I saw a report of all the emergency calls in Korea within a year and there were 1,353 cases of domestic dispute calls. I used to think an emergency call is to report a fire, and now I know there are extreme fires burning in a home between couples.

 

All of you have heard this funny incident on a Korean TV show called ‘The making of a wonderful world’. On this show elderly couples joke about their lives and participates in a guessing game that the grandfather gives hints so that the grandmother can guess the word. In one episode the grandfather was given a cue card with the 4-letter word of ‘a couple predestined to be partners for life by Heaven’. He thought it was very easy question and asked his wife, “What would you call an old married couple like us?” She answered, “Oh, the answer is ‘the enemies’”. The spectators all burst out laughing. The grandfather tried one more time, “I mean the 4-letter word describing a couple like us.” She answered confidently, “I know, the word is ‘the life-long enemies’”. This is a case of ‘sleeping with your enemy’.

 

It is a painful joke that reminds us of the pitfalls of a marriage in today’s world. We wonder why the marriage has become like this. The Bible tells us that the troubles all started with Adam and Eve. Once their relationship with God had changed, their marriage changed also from the original form God had designed.

 

Today’s Bible passage illuminates what God had in mind for the family through this Psalm by David, and we can see what he wished for all of us.

 

Psalms 128:2-6  You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.

 

 

2.

Then, why are some Christian families who have faith in God still not happy? Do you think it is because God did not keep his promise? The reason may be that we do not live our lives to receive his blessings.

 

Our Lord Jesus said that happiness can be harvested just like farmers harvest their crop.

 

Matthew 13:24  Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.”

 

The families that God blesses are those who have sowed good seeds. Then what are the good seeds to be sowed for harvesting happiness?

 

Psalms 128:1  “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.”

 

Psalms 128:4  “Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.”

 

That is right. The good seed for happiness is ‘living a life with the fear of God’. I want to ask you a question. Does your family fear God? Every home has a king, and who is the king in your home? Is it the father, the mother, or the children, or is it God?

 

What is the most important thing in your home? Is it money or a success in the world? The best inheritance for your children is learning from their parents the fear of God. The children can tell whom the parents worship, and if the parents fear God, the children are definitely aware of it.

 

In 1 Samuel chapter 2, there is the story of priest Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phineas, his assistant priests. The Bible says these two sons were really bad.

 

1 Samuel 2:12-13  Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD. Now it was the practice of the priests with the people that whenever anyone offered a sacrifice and while the meat was being boiled, the servant of the priest would come with three-pronged fork in his hand.

 

Here something is not right. These were wicked men, but they were the priests. They worshipped idols, stole people’s offerings for God and slept with the women who served at the temple.

 

So one day, priest Eli called his sons to reprimand.

 

1 Samuel 2:23  So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about those wicked deeds of yours.”

 

Here priest Eli told them that the reason he was upset with them was because of their bad reputation among the people. He should have been more furious over their disregard and misdeeds toward God, and should have punished them more harshly. Afterwards, God must have been very displeased with the priest Eli.

 

1 Samuel 2:29  “Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?”

 

Now God lets priest Eli pay the price.

 

1 Samuel 2:30  “Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and your father’s house would minister before me forever.’ But now the LORD declares: Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.” So, priest Eli’s family was soon to be perished.

 

While reading this passage, I felt so guilty. We believe we are real Christians, but a lot of times we pay more attention to what other people say, and fear their opinions. That is why we become separated from God’s blessings. When we bring up our children to honor and fear God, and value our relationship with God the most, then all of us will be blessed by God.

 

When God asked Abraham to offer his only son Isaac as a sacrifice, Abraham didn’t hesitate even though he was in agony, as God was his first priority over his own son. Just when Abraham was ready to strike Isaac with his knife, God called out to him.

 

Genesis 22:12  “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

 

God knows our hearts. Who among the parents does not care for his child? But if your child is more precious than God to you, then in the end you will lose your child and God. Only those families that fear and honor God as the ‘king’ will receive the blessings from God.

 

 

3.

My beloved congregation, we have to be really awake now in this tough world.

 

1 Corinthians 2:12  “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God,…”

 

In our heart we have either the Spirit from God or the spirit of the world, and it is the same with every family. Satan brought misery to Adam and Even who were happy in the Garden of Eden. Since then, Satan is continuing his scheme to bring unhappiness to all the couples, all the families and all the children in this world.

 

Matthew 13:25-28a  But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, “Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?” “An enemy did this,” he replied.

 

The only way to keep the enemy Satan away from us is that we serve God as our king in our household.

 

How is your home life? How is the relationship between husband and wife in your home? How is your child doing in your home? We should all stop and reflect about these things.

 

As you all know, today is the first day of the Emmaus Camp in Michigan. The 40 people who had attended Emmaus Camp in Florida last October began the preparation for this as soon as they came home, and today 42 new people are going to participate in this Camp.  As the pastor for this program, I am overwhelmed with happiness and anticipation as well as the serious spiritual responsibility. This is a golden opportunity for a pastor to get to know his congregation while singing, praying, and praising God for 3 nights and 4 days in a retreat center. What an exhilarating experience it is going to be! We are so thankful for this time with God.

 

If we don’t reflect upon ourselves and our families, it will be very easy for Satan to lead us astray. When God is not the king in your life, you, your home and your family may become Satan’s playing field.  

 

A short time ago I received a letter from a young pastor in the NET Ministry.

“Pastor Jang, I have served at my church for the past 5 years. Now we have about 60 members and 30 children in our congregation. At first I just concentrated on growing the church membership, day and night, at any place I went. Soon I didn’t have any energy left for spiritual growth, so the church along with its worship service began to lose its spirit. The congregation constantly fought with each other, and was even jealous of new members. 4 years of painful struggle continued. After attending the NET Ministry conference, I came back and announced to the congregation my decision for fasting for the church, and requested their prayers for me. All our members participated in this, as well as my wife, and every morning came to pray at church for God’s help. Since then our church has gotten rid of the spirits of division, falsehood, jealousy and gossiping, and is now concentrating on prayers and worship. Lately the newcomers stay to make this church their home, and many dedicated members volunteer their time to really contribute to church. Hallelujah! Still a long way to go, but I am letting you know that now I see what a church ministry is about.”

 

What a wonderful report! Satan does not attack only the churches, but also the ‘families’. Sometimes the families get attacked first. With the couple fighting all the time, brothers feuding with each other, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law hurting each other, how can they enjoy any happiness even if they have their faith. We have to examine ‘the roots of our faith’.

 

 

4.

My beloved congregation, God has taught us how to be happy, and how to be blessed. It depends on our choice to honor God in our home as the king.

 

Joshua 24:15  “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

 

Have you chosen to serve God as your king in your household? If you have, then you should continue to pray and worship at your home. You don’t have to worship formally at home, sometimes just put your hand on top of your spouse’s head and sincerely pray for her or him.

 

For some among the congregation, this may be the first time at our church. We welcome you and appreciate the fact that you looked for this church, got directions to make sure and made the trip. Just like that, to have a happy home life, we need to get the right directions.

 

Our question to God is this: “Lord, how can we achieve happiness in our home?” Here is the answer, found in the Bible.

 

Psalms 128:1-6  “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.”

 

Let us sing this hymn together. “Peace, may your life be filled with God’s love”

 

“Peace, may your life be filled with God’s peace. Peace, may your life be filled with God’s blessings”

 

 

Please share the following topics at the cell group meetings.

 

1) Have you ever experienced any crisis in your family? There is no family without crisis.

 

2) How did you overcome that crisis? Your story may become a good guide for others.

 

3) You know the song ‘We only serve Jesus in our home’, and what does it mean to you?


   

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제목 : The eager expectation of God
설교일 : 2019.08.18
본문말씀 : 1 Samuel 9:11-27
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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