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'Blessings to those who are persecuted because of righteousness'

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설교일 : 2017.10.22.
설교자 : Rev. Jang
본문말씀 : Matthew 5:10-12

October 22, 2017

 

‘Blessings to those who are persecuted because of righteousness’

Matthew 5:10-12

 

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

 

 

1.

To have a real faith, one passes through several phases of recognition in the Word such as ‘Ah, this is it’, ‘This is what life is about’ or ‘Now I know who Lord Jesus is’. This awakening can come during worship, meditation, praying, just plain everyday life, or while having conversation with someone, and this can be described as scales falling from one’s eyes to make everything clear. All of us have gone through these spiritual experiences which have made our faith real and personal. By ‘experiencing God’ and going beyond the realms of common sense, knowledge and science, we begin to accept the Incarnation of Jesus and experience the rebirth of ourselves. Apostle Paul talked about these experiences as follows.

 

Ephesians 1:17  “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.”

 

The Spirit of wisdom and revelation is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.

 

1 Corinthians 2:10  “But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.”

 

After passing through these phases of recognition by the Holy Spirit, what changes come to one’s faith?

 

1 Corinthians 13:11  “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

 

Then, we begin to seek for two things; the first one is about our ‘Calling’ to find out the reason for our existence. By looking inward, we do not find the answer for this question, and we have to ask our Creator God for the answer of our ‘Calling’.

 

The second question we have is about our ‘Mission’in life. We are not here for no reason, but sent here by God for ‘Mission’ and that is the purpose of our existence on earth. The realization of this Mission gives a significance and meaning to our lifelong ‘Mission’.

 

By the help of the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, we get the answers for these two questions, which will guide us in all areas of our lives throughout our life.

 

Lord Jesus came into my life when I was in the first year of Junior High School in Korea, and I was very fortunate to have received Lord Jesus into my life so early. My eyes were opened to the questions of ‘Calling’ and ‘Mission’ and realized that I had a heavenly Father who had plans for me.

 

After I entered the Seminary, I had questions about my ‘Calling’ and ‘Mission’ occasionally. But, throughout my military service, marriage, the birth of my son, and coming to U.S. for further studies, and serving as a pastor, I have been reassured of the will of God for my life, and that enables me to keep going.

 

When we think about it, our life is like a roller coaster, going up suddenly and coming down abruptly. During the past week in our church, we had a funeral, many surgeries, and car accidents among our members, and some good news as well; new jobs, permanent residencies, new grandchildren among our members, and some were blessed with spiritual restoration. Our faith is being tested constantly in our life of ups and downs.

 

Last week when I was in Korea, I had the pleasure of a senior and respected pastor coming to visit me. What I remember the most about the visit was his mention of the old proverb, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” We have heard about the background of this old saying about an old man’s horse; long ago in northern China there lived an old man whose most prized possession was his horse. One day the horse escaped from the stable. Other people felt sorry, but the old man was calm. After some time, the horse returned, bringing some other horses. Others congratulated the old man for the good fortune, but he was calm. After some time, the only son of the old man was riding one of the horses and fell off the horse, and became a cripple. Others

consoled the old man, but he was calm. Not long afterwards, the barbarians from the north invaded China, and all the young men from the village were drafted and killed during the battles, except the crippled son of the old man. This story is told to show that a misfortune can turn out to be a blessing in disguise, and vice versa. Its message for us is not to be too despondent because of current misfortunes and also not be too arrogant because of current successes.

 

And this elderly pastor quoted this proverb to address me and my current situation; “Rev. Jang, after 40 years of ministering, all I can say to you is that except for believing in Jesus and entering the heaven because of Him, everything in this life is inscrutable irony of fate. So, let us be satisfied with Lord Jesus only, while we are on this earth.”

 

By the help of wisdom and revelation by the Spirit, we are encouraged to continue our ‘Calling’ and ‘Mission’, and I pray that all of you be abundantly blessed by the Holy Spirit during today’s worship service.

 

Your spiritual thirst can be quenched only by asking questions to the right person and that person is Lord Jesus who teaches us about the true happiness through His ‘Beatitudes’ sermon.

 

 

2.

The Beatitudes cannot be called the true happiness by the people of world. Being poor in spirit, mournful, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart and the peacemakers are not happy people by the standard of the world. We may want to be like them, but it is not easy to live like them.

 

And today’s passage, the 8th message, is the conclusion of Lord Jesus’ sermon and the most extreme of them all; “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness.” Who wants to be insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused? But please do not jump to the conclusion, and let us ask for the help of the Holy Spirit.

 

In today’s passage, verse 10 mentions those ‘who are persecuted because of righteousness’ and verse 11 says that ‘when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me’, so we learn that ‘the righteousness’ means Lord Jesus Himself.

 

But His disciples and followers during His ministry did not think that He was the righteousness. They probably thought the worldly values or themselves were more righteous. Therefore, they could not understand Lord Jesus’ earlier message that ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled’, as they had never been fully filled in their lives.

 

This ‘hunger’ can be described as ‘deprivation’, which is a familiar experience for all humans since their birth.

 

In her last essay collection with the title of ‘An untraveled road remains more beautiful’, published posthumously in 2010, the prominent novelist Ms. Wan-Suh Park reminisced about the regrets of her life due to the tumultuous conflicts in Korean history; “As soon as I sat down at the loom to weave a silk fabric which I had dreamed about, the loom was cruelly cut in half by the war. I was lucky to survive the war, but the fabric of my life was not the silk of my dreams. Nothing went as I had hoped.” Recently a young woman playwright, Ms. Sun-Kyung Yoo, made an allusion and addition to the above passage of Ms. Park in her book, ‘The comforting words from old times’.

 

“(Like Ms. Wan-Suh Park’s confession in her book) All of us have regrets in our lives and deficiency and hunger, and these cannot be fulfilled with anything. This is like building a wall with blocks of different size and color, and there will always be an empty hole of deprivation, which we try our best to fill to make the job complete; for example, if not loved by one’s parents, that person would try to find the missing love in the love from the opposite sex, and if not loved by one’s husband, she would try to find the missing love in the love from her children.”

 

Lord Jesus knows the deprivation and hunger in our lives and that these will never be fulfilled with the righteousness of the world or one’s own. Now, what are we supposed to do with these holes of deprivation and hunger? According to Ms. Yoo, the playwright, we are supposed to “just go on living with the emptiness in our life intact, as that is the way our life is!”

 

Dear congregation, what do you think? Some of you may agree to this view of life, “Just go on living with the emptiness in our life intact, as that is the way our life is”, but this pessimistic view is not acceptable to us, the Christians.

 

Lord Jesus does not want us to live with this pessimistic view. He says to us that He is the way and the truth and the life, and encourages us to come to Him; “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He does not want us to live with weariness, emptiness and deprivation. He promises to fill the void in our lives.

 

If we didn’t have Lord Jesus with us, we would have left the emptiness alone or filled the void with our own righteousness or that of the world. Now that we have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we know that He alone can fill the void in our hearts and that thanks to Him, we get to experience the heaven on earth, no matter where we are. We are no longer hungry, but filled with the presence of God and satisfied with our lives.

 

 

3.

Today’s passage reminds us of the unreached mission fields of the world and the North Koreans, and of the missionaries being persecuted in those places. We are also reminded of our past experiences of being insulted and ridiculed because of Lord Jesus.

 

Matthew 5:10-11  “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

 

Now, I want to ask a personal question to you here in the sanctuary. Are you being persecuted at home because of Lord Jesus?

 

Matthew 10:34-36  “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’ – a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”

 

This is the paradox of paradoxes and shows what the true followers of Jesus are really like, after they are changed and fulfilled.

 

We have had some positive expectation of what it means to become a Christian; things will improve and our problems will be solved and we will be blessed.

 

Even if we don’t expect great honors or recognition through Lord Jesus, we expect at least some successes and peace. But today’s message is telling us about the changes that happen to  us when we discover the righteousness of God and let it come into our lives, after we had  discarded our own worldly values. The changes in us will be revolutionary. Now, we will be willing to pay any price for the Lord and to live our life for Him.  

 

You may remember this parable of heaven by Lord Jesus.

 

Matthew 13:44  “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”

 

How could this be possible with us? It is possible when we have found Jesus and got to know the real Jesus. Then, we can share this information with others, so that they can become believers also.

 

“When you receive Lord Jesus into your life, you may be isolated and persecuted by the world. Even your beloved family and friends may shun you and insult you and think you are crazy. What Lord Jesus values is completely different from the values of the world and your own values. In spite of all these, do you believe in Lord Jesus? And do you want to be baptized in His name? But do not have any fear. By being persecuted, you will know that you are a true Christian and the happiness of the Lord cannot be compared to that of this world. And you will be rewarded greatly in heaven by the Lord.” This message about Lord Jesus was really delivered to prospective members in the early Christian church.

 

Now we are at the conclusion of the ‘Beatitudes’ and at the final blessing for those who live with the absolute righteousness and the eternal values, while on earth.

 

Matthew 5:12a  “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, because great is the reward in heaven.”

 

My beloved congregation, in our lives there comes a moment when our belief becomes a true faith, not just a religion. At that moment we get to know the Lord intimately and learn about our existence profoundly. Then, we realize it doesn’t matter what position or status we hold, and the only thing that matters is that we are His children and He is our God, and that this is a true blessing.

 

Let us sing the closing hymn; “Aimlessly wandering, on a long and hopeless journey”


   

총 게시물 423건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
423 2017.12.03  The Life of a Witness John 1:6-15 Rev. Shin
422 2017.12.03  증거자의 삶 요한복음 1:6-15 신태규 목사
421 2017.11.26.  "What will you ask for?" James 1:5-8 Rev. Bae
420 2017.11.26.  무엇을 구할 것인가? 야고보서 1:5-8 배세진 목사
419 2017.11.19.  'Give thanks, my soul' 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rev. Jang
418 2017.11.19.  '감사하라, 내 영혼아' 데살로니가 전서 5:16-18 장찬영 목사
417 2017.11.05.  'Only for the Lord' Romans 14:6-9 Rev. Lee
416 2017.11.05.  오직 주를 위하여 로마서 14:6~9 이훈경 목사
415 2017.10.29.  A church as a faith community Acts 9:8~19A Rev. Jang
414 2017.10.29.  교회창립45주년기념 - ‘신앙 공동체로서의 교회’ 사도행전 9:8~19A 장찬영 목사
413 2017.10.22.  'Blessings to those who are persecuted because of righteousness' Matthew 5:10-12 Rev. Jang
412 2017.10.22.  행복하여라: 의를 위하여 핍박받는 자여 마태복음 5:10~12 장찬영 목사
411 2017.10.15.  The Story of a Father's Wasted Love Luke 15:11-24 Rev. Kwon
410 2017.10.15.  낭비된 아버지의 사랑 이야기 누가복음 15:11~24 권태홍 목사
409 2017.10.08.  Like Father, Like Son Ephesians 2:1-8 Rev. Joseph Kim
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : The Life of a Witness
설교일 : 2017.12.03
본문말씀 : John 1:6-15
설교자 : Rev. Shin

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