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The Acts (78) – I pray that you may become what I am

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2016-11-09 (수) 20:40 조회 : 771
Rev._Jang\'s_Sermon_on_November_6,_2016.docx (21.5K), Down : 5, 2016-11-09 20:40:14
설교일 : 2016.11.06.
설교자 : Rev. Jang
본문말씀 : Acts 26:24~29

November 6, 2016

 

The Acts (78) – “I pray that you may become what I am”

Acts 26:24-29

 

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

 

1.

We are so thankful for today, the 44th anniversary of our church! All the glory be to God and our heartfelt thanks to the Lord who has protected and led this church for all these years! A church is the body of Christ on earth and is a temple of worship for each member of the congregation.

 

Today’s passage is about Paul’s trial before King Agrippa after the previous trials before Governor Felix and his successor Governor Festus. Nobody wants to go through a trial that lasts for two years, but God uses this period of time as an opportunity. By keeping Apostle Paul incarcerated, He helps Paul realize ‘the blessing of God for those who wait patiently’ and enlarges his territory and shapes him to become a better leader.

 

Among our Cell Groups, there is one group with the name of ‘potter’s clay’. We all should be the clay for the potter, our Lord. But we have had moments of trying to be the potter instead of being shaped by the Lord, and we get angry and frustrated when things don’t turn out as we had hoped. There is a hymn, ‘I lay down all that I have served as my master’, which reminds me that at times I have not served Jesus as my Master and Lord well, but instead tried to influence Him to my way.

 

During the past week I came upon a very interesting story by a pastor in Korea. Four pastors including this pastor had stopped by at a coffee shop at a small town and were impressed with the variety of coffee they served (the coffee menu shown). So each pastor ordered a different kind of coffee and the waitress wrote down the four orders. But what she called out to the kitchen was simply “four coffees”, and they had a good laugh over this incident. This reminded the pastor that perhaps we might be ordering special things for ourselves, while our Lord has His own special plan for us.

 

In today’s passage, the presiding judge is King Agrippa who has been sent by Rome to rule over Palestine. Paul’s encounter with him began as follows.

 

Acts 26:1-3  Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense: “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, and especially so because you are well acquainted with all Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.”

 

Then, Paul went on to tell him about himself and how he had met Jesus. This was his ‘testimony’ and it continues until verse 23.

 

 

2.

There are three important points in his testimony.

 

1) The first: About his past life.

 

Acts 26:9-11  “I was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.”

 

We all have our pasts, as we wouldn’t have our present circumstances without our pasts. We all had times of putting our ‘self’ at the center of our lives, and Paul was no exception. But after Jesus came into his life, Paul’s life was changed to be centered upon Jesus.

 

It is the same with all the Christians. No matter how glorious our past may have been, it is nothing compared to our present life, having Jesus at the center of our lives. Now our life has a purpose and meaning.

 

Paul must have become ashamed of his arrogance and haughtiness of his past. Later he confessed about his past as follows.

 

Philippians 3:8  “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

 

Why did Paul confess that he considered his past a rubbish? The key point is that without Jesus, everything is rubbish. But Jesus puts even our shameful past to good use for His purpose. So, our hurts and accomplishments of the past will be useful in working for the Lord.

 

We get healed of our past hurts at ‘the Lord’s church’ and find the new meaning and purpose at the church, which is the body of Christ. Today is our church’s 44thbirthday. Are you really thankful for this church? The Lord’s church is a lot more powerful than you think. Some of you sitting here might never have met Jesus if you remained in Korea, and by having you here, our church’s existence is justified.

 

God knew that you would be here at this moment, so He founded this church 44 years ago for you. You may wonder why this particular church was chosen for you and for your soul. God knew you would be happy with the faithful members here, with the educational system for your children, and with all the facilities of this church, so He was waiting for you here.

 

2) The second: How he had met Jesus.

 

Paul talked in detail about how he had met Jesus in Acts 26:12-18. He remembered the scene very vividly. His encounter with Jesus on his way to Damascus was not logical, but he heard the voice of the Lord clearly, while the others with him could not. Love is not logical and not explainable, therefore other people cannot understand your love. Sometimes even you cannot comprehend your love. And when you meet Jesus, you may not understand what it means.

 

What is a church to you? A church is the place for you to ‘meet with Jesus’.

 

Job 42:5  “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”

 

Your faith begins with your experience of learning about Jesus. Here are the lyrics of hymn #453.

1.  More about Jesus would I know, more of His grace to others show; more of His saving fullness see, more of His love who died for me.

2.  More about Jesus let me learn, more of His holy will discern; Spirit of God, my teacher be; showing the things of Christ to me.

3.  More about Jesus; in His word, holding communion with my Lord, hearing His voice in every line, making each faithful saying mine.

<Refrain>:  More, more about Jesus, more, more about Jesus; more of His saving fullness see, more of His love who died for me.

 

I want to say again that this church is ‘the place for you to meet with Jesus’. For this purpose, we dedicate ourselves to serving others in the church and working for many ministries at the church. Lord Jesus said, “My house is a place of prayers for all the people”, and we meet Him through our prayers.

 

 

3.

3) The third: His life after meeting Jesus.

 

Acts 26:22-23  “But I have had God’s help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen - that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”

 

What we do after we have met Jesus is as important as meeting Him in the first place. Now we have to proclaim the gospel of Jesus, like Paul did. He didn’t keep it to himself, nor was he ashamed of the gospel. The mystery of the gospel is that the more you proclaim it, the more powerful it becomes. While proclaiming it, we learn more about the heart of Jesus and receive more blessings from the Lord.

 

I experienced this principle myself through my mother. When I look back, I have to admit that I was very ashamed of my mother when I was a child. I was born when my mother was in her 40’s, so when she came to see me at my elementary school, the children would tell me that my grandmother had come for me. It was by the grace of the Lord that my father’s business got ruined, and then we moved to the poor area of Sam-Yang Dong and my mother began to sell Yakult drinks. I didn’t know at that time what a bold resolution my mother had made. She had to be in yellow uniform with yellow hat to sell the drinks, and yellow became the color I hated. She always came to my school and waited for me at the end of classes, but I tried my best to avoid her. If I sensed that she was at the main entrance, I would choose the rear entrance to go home, and if I sensed that she was at the rear entrance, I would choose the main entrance. The reason for this avoidance was because I was ashamed of her.

 

Looking back on this period of my life, I realize that I learned a lot during the hard times. For example, because I wanted find out where she was, I became so good at distinguishing people from a distance. After a while, my mother began to sell daily study guides for children and I had to visit many homes to collect the dues. I hated the job and I was ashamed of my mother, but in retrospect, I learned the importance of ‘home visits’. During my Junior High years, my mother began to give private lessons at our home to groups of small children. I couldn’t get any rest at home after school, and when she was sick, I had to be the substitute teacher to those small children. I was not happy to do all these tasks, but in retrospect, I was learning how to teach the Cell Groups and ‘One to one discipleship’ classes for future use. I was so ashamed of my mother that I never talked about her at any place.

 

Then, I met Jesus and He became the center of my life. And I realized that my mother was the most important gift from God for me. I became thankful for my mother and proud of her. So, from then on, everywhere I went and to everyone, I talked about my mother. And I tried very hard to be the best son to my mother. Then I was amazed to realize that the more I did for my mother, the more blessing was bestowed upon me, my life and my ministry. This was the mystery, but soon I knew that it was the fulfillment of ‘the promise of God’.

 

I was an obedient son to my mother in Korea and later in U.S. Even though I was extremely busy going to school and working as a pastor, I always called her and listened to her lectures; “Don’t ever become arrogant. Your successful ministry is not because of your hard work, but because of the help from the Lord and from your congregation. Pray more and prepare your sermons with more efforts. Never forget your ‘tadpole’ days!” Her lectures were almost identical all the time. Then, as a last remainder, she would say, “You didn’t forget to send money to me?” Of course I never forgot to send her money monthly, no matter how precarious my financial situation was. It has been a while since she left this world, but I cannot forget her and I talk about her often. And I am thankful that the blessings are bestowed upon me and my ministry continuously.

 

This mystery is due to ‘the promise of God’. Likewise, the gospel is mystery, and those who proclaim the gospel without being ashamed of it are going to be blessed by God.

 

Romans 1:16  “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”

 

 

4.

Now let us go for the conclusion. I want to ask you a question; what would be the proof of your love for God? The answer is to live your life doing the things that God wants you to do. Love means not doing things your way, but doing things that your beloved wants.

 

1 Timothy 2:4  “God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

 

Now did you get the message? This is the reason why we have to believe in Jesus and this is the reason for our church’s existence. This should be our life’s first priority. Apostle Paul knew this and concentrated on his life’s mission of proclaiming the name of Jesus.

 

Matthew 6:33  “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

 

Here are the ‘three promises of our church’ to the Lord, which summarize our priorities.

“We are a Bible-centered church embracing the Gospel to witness to the next generation”

“We aim to mature our faith through healthy discipleship.”

“We nurture sincere faith in Christ and live a mission-oriented life in our home, school and workplace.”

 

After listening to Paul’s testimony, Governor Festus who was there also cried out.

 

Acts 26:24  At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. "Your great learning is driving you insane.”

 

Here is Paul’s reply, and today’s sermon title comes from his reply.

 

Acts 26:29  “Paul replied, “Short time or long – I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

 

“I pray that you may become what I am.”

 

It is a great blessing for all of us at this church that we have people who inspire us and encourage us like Apostle Paul did. On this 44th anniversary of our church, I am especially thankful for our retired pastors, Rev. Yoon and Rev. Lee, who are not here today, but will come to us in two weeks for the dedication service on the Thanksgiving Sunday. I am always grateful for them and for their calls. Rev. Lee is still keeping himself busy with many activities and also visiting mission fields. They are both very supportive of my ministry.

 

I have resolved to follow their footsteps, and I will be happy if I accomplish one half of what they have done.

 

And reflecting upon my life, even though it isn’t perfect, I hope and pray that you may become what I am.

 

Starting tomorrow, we are going to have special ‘early morning prayer’ services for two weeks, in anticipation of our Thanksgiving Sunday and the dedication service of our new education center later that day. I am confident of the strong presence of God with us at the church during these prayer sessions when we gather to pray together. I pray that you will learn more about the Lord, so as to become more intimate with Him.

 

Let us sing the closing hymn, #453, “I want to know more about Jesus”

[이 게시물은 관리자님에 의해 2016-11-09 20:43:24 읽는말씀(English&Korean)에서 이동 됨]

   

총 게시물 610건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
340 2016.12.25.  The Acts (83) – I pray that you may become what I am Acts 28:16~31 Rev. Jang
339 2016.12.25.  사도행전(83) - 드디어 로마에 도착하다 사도행전 28:16~31 장찬영 목사
338 2016.12.18.  Christmas Cantata: “Adoration in search of a King” Matthew 2:1~12 Rev. Jang
337 2016.12.11.  The Acts (82) - Living meaningfully on our own island of life Acts 28:1~14 Rev. Jang
336 2016.12.11.  사도행전(82) - 인생의 섬에서 의미있게 사는 사람 사도행전 28:1~14 장찬영 목사
335 2016.12.04.  The Acts (81) – Finally, everyone reached land and was saved Acts 27:27~44 Rev. Jang
334 2016.12.04.  사도행전(81) - 마침내 사람들이 다 구원을 얻으니라 사도행전 27:27~44 장찬영 목사
333 2016.11.27.  The Acts (80) - Do not be afraid, Paul (1) Acts 27:14~25 Rev. Jang
332 2016.11.27.  사도행전(80) - 바울아 두려워하지 말아라 (1) 사도행전 27:14~25 장찬영 목사
331 2016.11.20  "Give thanks in all circumstances" Psalm 107:1-9 Thessalonica 5:16-18 Rev. Lee
330 2016.11.20.  범사에 감사하라 시편 107:1~9, 데살로니까 전서 5:16~18 이훈경 목사
329 2016.11.13  The Acts (79) - "Those who truly love God" 1 Samuel 12:19-25/ Acts 27:23-25 Rev. Jang
328 2016.11.06.  The Acts (78) – I pray that you may become what I am Acts 26:24~29 Rev. Jang
327 2016.11.06.  사도행전(78) - 나와 같이 되기를 원하나이다 사도행전 26:24~29 장찬영 목사
326 2016.10.30.  The Acts (77) - The blessings of God for those who wait patiently Acts 25:1~12 Rev. Jang
처음  이전  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  다음  맨끝

제목 : This is the Christianity
설교일 : 2019.11.17
본문말씀 : 2 Corinthians 2:5-11
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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