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What Are You, O Mighty Mountain?

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2014-08-05 (화) 22:02 조회 : 1398
Rev._Jang\'s_Sermon_08-03-2014.pdf (165.0K), Down : 3, 2014-08-05 22:02:51
설교일 : 2014.08.03.
설교자 : Rev. Jang
본문말씀 : Zechariah 4:1-10

August 3, 2014

 

“What Are You, O Mighty Mountain?”

Zechariah 4:1-10

 

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

 

 

1.

Thanks to your prayers, I came back home safely after attending the KUMC Mission Conference held in Dominican Republic. The 170 participants including 14 members of our church had a precious time together. As I reported on Pastor’s column, this conference offered a variety of mission experiences. When we think of going on a mission, we are usually reminded of the difficulties of long distance travel to remote area, time differences, bad food and lodgings, mosquitoes, etc., but this mission conference provided the opportunity to combine family vacation and mission activities. The mission trip to Haiti is usually for a few days, so I recommend our members who work regular hours to participate in the trip on the weekends.

 

While I was in Dominican Republic, having left church right after last Sunday’s worship service, one thought stayed with me the whole time; How to help our congregation to walk on the water. According to Rev. John Ortberg, “If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat”, but how can we get out of the boat in reality, and how can we apply this principle to our church? After Sunday service, one elderly member commented to me, “Pastor, you should be the example to show us how to jump into the water.”

 

I kept ruminating on that comment and replied to him in my mind, “What do you mean I have to be the example? I have lived my whole life jumping into the water taking risks. Didn’t I take this senior pastor’s job here?” Then the Holy Spirit asked me, “Then what? Aren’t you only talking about the past? I want you to jump now!”

 

I took a book with me on this trip, and that was “Clash with the world” by A.W. Tozer.The book is a collection of the lectures he had delivered to the students at the Wheaton College in Chicago in the 1950s. The main theme was ‘Do not stay in comfort zone, but go out into the world with your cross, and clash with the status quo’.

 

While reading this book, I was able to hear the Lord’s voice speaking to me about our church. After the Pentecost until the Advent, we live with the Holy Spirit inside of us and get to practice our beliefs in real lives. Surprisingly, a lot of Christians want to just stay comfortable in their seats, hearing the sermons in the church and critiquing the workings of their church. But God doesn’t want us just to do that, He wants us to clash with the world. You cannot be just complacent to receive all the blessings, but have to go out to challenge the world.

 

The 3rd chapter of Tozer’s book deals with ‘Rebirth of the Christians in the world’ and it advises that ‘we have to eradicate our treacherous mutiny’ and this mutiny is really our sense of self buried deep inside of us. We have to get rid of this and come out of it.

 

 

2.

Today’s Bible passage should be looked at with the historical perspective. In 587 B.C. Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylonians. It became a desolate land and the Jews were taken to Babylon as prisoners. How miserable they must have felt! It is described in Psalms 137:1 “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” But God didn’t forget them. He allowed the Persian King Cyrus to conquer the Babylonian empire and Cyrus encouraged the Jews to return to Israel. After 70 years of captivity 45,360 Jews managed to return to homeland, but they were greatly discouraged by the destruction of temple built by King Solomon. So the first thing they did was to rebuild their temple with Zerubbabel, the appointed governor of the colony.

 

But after 16 years, the construction was stopped due to financial difficulties and the adversaries of the Jews, the Samaritans and Edomites, intervened to stop the work by writing to the king. At this difficult time, God told his message for Zerubbabel to the prophet Zechariah, and that is today’s Bible passage. The God Almighty had sent the encouraging message and then allowed Zerubbabel to resume the construction, and complete the rebuilding of the temple for the Jews.

 

Have you been stopped and lost in your life? God will restore you to complete the work. We know God will restore you, but there are many different ways He uses to accomplish that goal. After every Sunday service I come across someone who heard God’s voice directly talking to him during the service, and that is the ‘restoration of worship’. The Jews wanted desperately to experience this ‘restoration of worship’ by rebuilding the temple, and we are very fortunate to have this worship service every Sunday.

 

Some people ask me what comes after the restoration of worship, and my answer to them is, that is all that we want. Once the worship is restored, then we will regain our faith and our vision.

 

Joel 2:28  “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”

 

The Jews returned to Jerusalem and the first thing they did was to rebuild the temple. This was not just laying the foundation of the temple, but it was also the recovery of the lost generation. They always used their temple, the synagogue, to educate their young people, and now they wanted to proceed with that objective.

 

At our church there was a week-long festival for our children. The VBS for 200 children was successfully completed with the help of 75 youth volunteers and teachers and PTA and parents. This was the last week of a month long summer bible school at our church. I am always thankful to God for sending these children to our church.

 

At the mission conference in Dominican Republic, there was a team from Chicago that was comprised only of medical doctors in their 70s. Their church used to be as big or bigger than our church, and has the same long history as ours, but welcomed only 1 new family last year. 90% of the members are senior citizens. How did this happen? I think the reason is due to the church’s lack of planning for the future.

 

I was very shocked to read the report from a Korean Presbyterian Church Foundation that came out last month and confirmed the reason for Zerubbabel’s push to start the restoration of the temple immediately. The report stated that “the church growth depends on the revival of the next generation. Without it, our churches will not experience any growth.”

 

“It has been proven that the church revival of 1980s was the result of Sunday school revival of 1960s, and the church stagnation of 2010s was brought on by the decline of Sunday schools in1990s.” And the report gave this statistics. Among 8,383 churches in their jurisdiction, 48% had no Youth service, 47% had no Junior High service, 43% had no Elementary higher grade children (4-6 grades) service, 47% had no lower grade (1-3 grades) service, 51% had no Kindergarten service, 77.4% had no Preschool service, 78.5% had no service for the Infants. The report concluded with this statement; The lack of vision, the authoritarianism, the disintegration of church leadership, and the distorted church image, have brought on the exodus of our next generation from our churches, and subsequently the closure of many churches.

 

 

3.

Today’s Bible passage leads us to the 7th vision God showed to Zechariah regarding the Jews in Jerusalem. Here is the verse 7.

 

Zechariah 4:7  “What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’

 

I have read this verse many times. This verse summarizes all my sermons since the Pentecost: ‘When the Day of the Pentecost Came’, ‘Like Wind, Like Fire’, ‘The People Intoxicated with New Wine’, ‘Brothers, What Shall We Do?’, ‘Their Cities Are Large and Fortified, But!’, ‘So That the Work of God Might Be Displayed in His Life’, ‘Jesus Comes to Us during the Fourth Watch of the Night.’

 

“What are you, O mighty mountain?” What are you to make me so miserable? What are you to make me so powerless?”

 

This mighty mountain exists for everyone as long as we live in this world. The only place without it is the graveyard. While flying home, I found in a magazine this ad for a ‘Negotiation Seminar’ that costs $800 for 1 night and 2 days, and the ad says these seminars are already booked full for the next year and the following year. We wonder why this kind of seminar is popular. Maybe because today’s life is so complicated that we need to learn this negotiation skills just to go on living. This is the reality, and what should we do now?

 

I ask this question to you. What kind of the mighty mountain do you have in your life? Is it financial problem, or health issue, or the problem with your children? All these problems are mighty, but the mightiest mountain lies ‘inside of you’. As I explained in the ‘Michigan today’ magazine interview, my biggest challenge is not the difficulty of pastoral ministry for over 1,000 members, but maintaining to have strong integrity and inner tranquility to discern God’s will toward our church. A pastor needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit while overseeing all different ministries within the church. After coming to this church, everyday has been a challenge for me to grow more and become a bigger vessel. So, for me, the ‘mighty mountain’ is ‘myself’.

 

Let us go back to A.W. Tozer’s book “Clash with the world”. In one chapter he says that ‘Conquer the world with the wounds from God’. We cannot tackle the world with our reasoning, credentials, experiences, sex and money or power, and win. We can only win with the wounds from God. We should pray like this. “O, God, please give me the power to repent, to be merciful and to have the wounded heart for you, and then I will only desire the kingdom of heaven.” Now leave your own wounds behind, come out and seek the wounds that only God can give.

 

Then God tells you this.

 

John 16:33b “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 

When this message touches your heart, then God lives in you.

 

Last Sunday a mother brought her daughter so that I could pray for her. The husband has gotten a job in another state and now her daughter decided to go and live with him and start her school there while the mother continues to live here trying to sell their house. I prayed for the daughter, asking God’s protection and blessings for her. This mother had been despondent over the fact their house still was not sold after 4 months, but kept on praying to God at early morning service, and about 2 weeks ago she began to feel herself to be a child of God, and accepted Jesus as her Savior and Lord. She has been coming to our church for 20 years without truly believing, and now she is thankful that she has stayed behind long enough to accept Jesus. I don’t know whether her house has been sold or not since then, but she gained a lot more by meeting Jesus while waiting for the house to be sold. Sometimes a house may seem mightier than Jesus, but you have to remember, “O mighty mountain, mighty house, before me you will become level ground.”

 

Why and how? Let us find the answer in verse 6.

 

Zechariah 4:6  So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.

 

 

4.

For the past week even though in Dominican Republic, one question never left me, and that was; “How to help our church and members to leave the comfortable boat where the Lord was not and jump into the dangerous water where the Lord was.” And I was also reminded of the Lord’s message; “Pastor Jang, I don’t want to hear that you jumped into the water in the past.”

 

God is telling Zerubbabel and the people in Jerusalem who are trying to rebuild the temple and the future for the next generation, “What are you, O mighty mountain?”

 

Now let us think about what the mighty mountain is for us and our church. Never doubt that the mighty mountain will become level ground.

 

The birds will look up high and fly. If they always looked down, they couldn’t fly. But the chickens will not look up, so they cannot fly high. As for us, what shall we look at? Shall we look only at ourselves, or the surroundings? We should have our sights on God and heaven. This vision is not only for us, but for all. God allowed Zerubbabel to complete the temple in Jerusalem for the recovery of the people.

 

What is God’s message for us? What kind of vision do you think God is giving to us? 

 

You are all invited to the communion table today, the 1stSunday of August.

 

Let us sing this hymn, “Behold, do not fear, behold, I am leading you”

 

 

 

 

Please share the following topics at the cell group meetings.

 

1) What is the mighty mountain in your life? And what is the mighty mountain for our church?

 

2) God doesn’t explain about the mighty mountain in detail, but just tells us that mountain will become level ground. Are you always talking about the mountains in your life, or have you experienced the mountains in the past?

[이 게시물은 관리자님에 의해 2014-08-06 00:47:42 읽는말씀에서 이동 됨]

   

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처음  이전  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  다음  맨끝

제목 : 'Divine Yes'
설교일 : 2019.10.13
본문말씀 : Genesis 13:1-13
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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