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Enlarge My Territory!

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2014-10-07 (화) 20:03 조회 : 1240
Rev._Jang\'s_Sermon_on_October_5,_2014.pdf (160.5K), Down : 3, 2014-10-07 20:03:23
설교일 : 2014.10.05.
설교자 : Rev. Jang
본문말씀 : 1 Chronicles 4:9~10

October 5, 2014

 

The Prayer of Jabez (2) – “Enlarge My Territory!”

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

 

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

 

 

1.

Last week we shared the 1st part of Jabez’s prayer, asking God for blessings. With a name like his, meaning ‘inflicting pain on others’, he didn’t want to just go on living, so he cried out to God, “Lord, please give me abundant blessings”. His cries were not the usual complaints and lamentations, but pleadings for God’s mercy that is the utmost ‘Amar’ prayers. We can see how his life became enriched and precious by his prayers and his solid spirituality.  Hardships are not the end itself, but the impetus for people to think deeper and broader, enhancing thoughtfulness and changing their values and languages.

 

A Christian young man prayed hard to become a teacher. After graduating from the teachers’ college he was assigned to an elementary school on a remote island. The people on the island didn’t want their children to attend school; instead they wanted the children to help with their fishing. After a lot of persuasion, he was able to have 2 students in his class. He gave them his best. With morning prayers he started the school and taught them with his best efforts. At the end of the semester, he gave a test to them, and caught them cheating with the textbook open. He was heart broken and yelled at them, “How could you cheat when you are the best and the second best student of the school?”

 

This is the life story of Rev. Tae-Ki Chung, who later became a professor at Han-Shin Seminary. In 1940s he taught at a small island school in Cholla Buk-Do. His emphasis of the 2 students being the best and the second best in the school really motivated them to become better students and later very important leaders of Korean society. This example shows what happens when one teacher gives his best efforts and encouragements, along with his prayers for his students.

 

 

2.

Today’s passage is about Jabez’s second prayer request of enlarging his territory. This ‘territory’ is comparable to the ‘inheritance’described in the books of ‘Numbers’ and ‘Deuteronomy’ and the ‘tent’ in the book of Isaiah, and we know it is ‘the kingdom of heaven’ Lord Jesus was telling us about. We can see that Jabez was praying for the ‘kingdom of heaven’ to happen in his life, and he had a very solid faith.

 

Even though we claim to be faithful in our love of Jesus, and pray and talk like real Christians, in our real lives we are so easily offended, and selfish and rude to others. We sound like we own the Gospels, but in reality our hearts are so small, clashing with others over trivial things and having no consideration for others, that the church is always full of conflicts.

 

The British bible scholar Tom Wright says in his book, ‘Paul and the faithfulness of God’that; “Today’s Christians turn to the Bible only for their redemption. In their lives, there is no kingdom of heaven, and they just repeat their claim for redemption. Christians should not dwell on their own redemption, but on the kingdom of heaven to be accomplished in their lives and in the world. Do you have the kingdom of heaven in your life? We should not limit God’s redemption just for us. We should pay attention to the purpose of God’s redemption for us, and this is the beginning of our mission driven life.”

 

Lord Jesus is the ‘key’ to accomplishing the kingdom of heaven in our lives and in the world. With his death on the cross, he changed the history of salvation and connected the heaven and earth. Before Jesus, heaven and earth were separated, and the sinners could not reach out to the God in heaven. Thanks to Jesus’ death on the cross, we can pray to God, “Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”.

 

Now that the gates of heaven are open for the sake of earth, we realize that heaven and earth are not really separate.

 

 

3.

Now let us meditate on today’s passage, Jabez’ prayer of “enlarge my territory”. For the enlarging of our territory, we need to hold tight on two keys. Why these two keys?

 

When Jesus was talking about ‘the kingdom of heaven’, he said; “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”(Matthew 16:19)

 

This is like the movie ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ directed by Steven Spielberg when he goes after the Holy Grail getting the clues for each step of the way. I want to show you some scenes of the movie. (movie scenes)

 

To get back to our goal of enlarging our territory, the kingdom of heaven, in our lives, we found 2 clues from the prayer of Jabez.

 

1) The first clue is ‘to find the hidden subject, and then your eyes will be opened’.

 

When we think of our territory being enlarged, we usually focus on the part of mine or ours, but to understand this prayer correctly, we have to find the hidden subject. Who is doing the enlarging of our territory? Finding the right answer is the key.

 

Who do you think is enlarging it? You are not the one that enlarge your territory, discard that dangerous thought. There is a basic difference between ‘the kingdom of heaven’ and ‘our world’. There are many ‘self-help’ and ‘leadership’ books available at bookstores, and they are helpful for developing our potentials, and sometimes useful in our lives. But we have to beware of these books, because the subject for doing the improvements is ‘you, yourself’. On the other hand, the subject for doing anything in the kingdom of heaven is ‘God, Himself’. Therefore, we have to insert ‘God’ in our prayers to enlarge our territory.

 

When we pray for enlarging our territory, we have to watch out for the enlargement of territory without God’s guidance. This is like Abraham’s servant Eliezer making sure that God had been with him throughout the whole process of getting the bride for Isaac in our Daily Bible. If we do not make sure about God’s will, Christianity could be just another religion to improve ourselves to become really sincere and ethical people.

 

This is an episode from an elderly pastor’s ministry. He visited a Sunday school teacher who wanted to start a business. At the young man’s request, the pastor prayed for the success of his business, and then got the promises from him to always observe the Sabbath Day and continue to teach at Sunday school, and for his business to start tithing to church. God blessed him and his business so much that soon he had to hire more people and open more branches and he was traveling a lot. Now on Sundays at church, he would doze often and had given up Sunday school teaching a long time ago. He used to be excited about his tithing, but now that his business tithing amount has become quite large, he decided to invest that money in enlarging his business. He didn’t have time for his wife and kids, their relationship became strained, and had no time for any church meetings. The pastor decided to counsel him and after many attempts, finally managed to see him at his home for a few minutes. The pastor held this man’s hands and prayed to God; “Lord, I would like you to invalidate my previous prayer requests in his behalf. Please take back all the blessings bestowed upon him.”

 

I don’t think I will ever go this far, but once in a while I am tempted to ask God to invalidate my previous requests for blessings for someone or a family.

 

We all know that enlarging your territory without God’s guidance is extremely dangerous. Soon you will be alienated from God and engulfed in your own greed and desires.

 

Let us put a spotlight on your life. If you lack God’s intervention in your life, you are only relying on yourself and your experiences, so your territory will be very limited. When we read today’s Bible passage, Jabez certainly knew that ‘God only’ could enlarge his territory. It was a great discovery for him and for us to realize that beyond our own knowledge and experiences, there is the kingdom of heaven that God has prepared for us. My beloved congregation, I want you to look for and find the real subject that is hidden in your lives. Then your eyes will be opened to notice the kingdom of heaven right away.

 

2)  The second clue is to ‘respond right away, and then you will understand it’. The secret of our successful lives is the ‘response’ you give. Any problem is not a problem, but ‘your response’ is the problem. We are usually too careful and we define careful people as thoughtful and insightful.

 

But consider God’s people in the Bible. These people didn’t hesitate. They always responded ‘immediately’. They didn’t waste time, they responded without thinking about it. God chooses those who would respond to Him with faith right away, not those who are too prudent.

 

This is like the basic principle in the relationship between the parents and their children. When the parents call, the children’s role is not to think about it, but to respond to them right away. The children should not analyze why the parents are calling, they should just say ‘yes’, and then they will find out their parents have prepared the best things for them.

 

When I send a text message to my son and he immediately responds to it, then I am the happiest. I see he loves and cares for me, and I want to do anything for him. But when he sends me back a text message like, “What’s up?” or “I am busy”, then I respond jokingly to him with nasty messages.

 

Yes, the secret of our faithful life is our quick response. All the commands from God should be obeyed with faith without too much thinking. Later on, we will appreciate the hidden blessings. This is a difficult challenge for us who want to stay within the safety zone of our own discretion and prudence. But sometimes God sends us to the dead end zone.

 

He commands Abram to leave his country, his people and his father’s household. He commands Moses to leave Egypt and cross the Red Sea, later the Jordan River. He commands him to pass through the desert, hit the rock with his staff. He commands Joshua to march around Jericho city with all the armed men for seven days and have all the people shout at the end. He commands Ezra and Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls. He commands Peter to come out of the boat and walk on the water. He commands his disciples to feed more than 5,000 men with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. He commands his disciples to chase demons away in His name. He commands Peter to say “Silver or gold he doesn’t have, but I will make you walk in the name of Jesus Christ”. He commands us to say, “Do not worry, all our lives are safe in God’s hands”. He does not explain the reason, but issues the commands. But after responding to him and obeying him, we will see God’s workings. This is the second clue.

 

Early this year Korea Economic Times published a book with the title of ‘The Icarus Deception’. Its author Seth Godin is an influential business management guru and also a businessman. He begins with the story of Icarus who in Greek mythology flew too close to sun on artificial wings so that the wax that fastened his wings melted, and fell into the sea. But at the end of his book he challenges those people who never dare to fly by asking, “How long do you think the safety zone is going to be safe?” He warns that flying too low is more dangerous than flying too high.

 

Even though he is a businessman, he understands the Bible well. About those who seek only safety zone, he says that, “Safety Zone has moved out. There is no safe place anymore. Executive suites, academic tenure at famous colleges are no longer safe place. You want to hold on to your jobs, but you will not last long. Do not just talk about the strong currents, but learn to swim now. Your life is a journey; do not dwell on the results. What we have to do now is to find the kind of journey that you can devote with all your hearts and minds.”

 

 

4.

While meditating all this week on Jabez’ prayer of asking for the enlargement of his territory, one question sprang up in my mind suddenly. Who did Jabez think about while praying for this request? Immediately the answer came to me, it must have been Joseph. The reason is that both Joseph and Jabez had similar circumstances. Their mothers died early, didn’t get along with brothers. Joseph was sold as a slave, then sent to prison because of someone’s lies, had a hard life until he became the prime minister. But the Bible describes him like this.

 

Genesis 49:22  “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.”

 

What an amazing statement! This spring is ‘God’s grace that never gives up and continues to pour out blessings’. Joseph is right next to this spring, so he had to prosper. His branches grow abundant, and then climb over a wall, and begin to go over his territory and heal all his old hurts. Now his life is transformed to help and cure other wounded souls.

 

Have you ever imagined the Gospels of Jesus Christ being spread all over the world by you? That is you enlarging the kingdom of heaven.

 

‘Enlarge my territory’, the prayer of Jabez was not a greedy prayer, but asking God to enlarge ‘the kingdom of heaven’. God will bestow this blessing and privilege to all his children.

 

My beloved congregation, who is the master in your life? Did you find your true master yet? Who is enlarging your territory? For that goal, how are you responding now? What is blocking your immediate response? What areas in your life do you want to enlarge? What areas do you think should be enlarged in your home, and in your church? I want you to pray about this question for upcoming week.

 

Today is the communion day, and I want to invite you to the communion table. You come to the table of Jesus who wants to heal your old hurts and enlarge your territory.

 

After the communion, let us sing this hymn, “God would bless me with abundant blessings”. 

   

총 게시물 601건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
151 2014.12.28.  아름다운 매듭 갈라디아서 3:1~7 장찬영 목사
150 2014.12.21.  May It Be as God Wishes Luke 1:26~38 Rev. Jang
149 2014.12.21.  말씀대로 이루어지이다 누가복음 1:26~38 장찬영 목사
148 2014.12.14.  What to do while waiting: Share your field of hope Acts 2:43~47 Rev. Jang
147 2014.12.14.  기다림 속에서 해야 할 일: 희망의 밭을 나누라 사도행전 2:43~47 장찬영 목사
146 2014.12.07.  The Foundation of Anticipation: Buying a Field of Hope Jeremiah 32:6-15 Rev. Jang
145 2014.12.07.  기다림의 근거: 희망의 밭을 사라 예레미야 32:6~15 장찬영 목사
144 2014.11.30.  The Blessing of Anticipating the Arrival of Christ Luke 2:22~38 Rev. Jang
143 2014.11.30.  기다림의 축복 누가복음 2:22~38 장찬영 목사
142 2014.11.23.  Remember our Almighty God! Micah 6:1~5 Rev. Jang
141 2014.11.23.  하나님을 추억하라 미가 6:1~5 장찬영 목사
140 2014.11.16.  God has done it all! Genesis 45:1~15 Rev. Jang
139 2014.11.16.  하나님이 하셨습니다 창세기 45:1~15 장찬영 목사
138 2014.11.02.  The Five Star Church Revelation 1:16~20 Rev. Jang
137 2014.11.02.  최선, 최고의 교회 요한계시록 1:16~20 장찬영 목사
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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