총 게시물 515건, 최근 0 건

Did Noah need a compass?

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-03-06 (화) 09:08 조회 : 319
설교일 : 2018.03.04
설교자 : Rev. K.L. Shin
본문말씀 : Genesis 9:1-17

March 4, 2018

 

Did Noah need a compass?

Genesis 9:1-17

 

Rev. Kyung Lim Shin’s Sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

Noah… His was the most well-known voyage of all times, but his voyage was unique. He didn’t have any destination to reach, but his goal was just the survival of his whole family. So, in the case of Noah whose voyage was only for the survival, did he still need a compass?

 

The reason I chose this topic for today is that we face similar situations of not thinking about our final destination, as we are just too busy with taking care of everyday tasks in our lives. Every day we are faced with mortgage payment and other monthly bills, loans to pay back, our children’s needs, the slowdown of the market, our parents’ and our own health concerns, job security, and keeping with the latest technology. Every day we are so suffocated by these worries and concerns that we cannot really pay attention to where we are heading or how to reach the end of our lives without much regret. That is why I thought about Noah and if he needed a compass for his voyage.

 

A compass is different from the navigation. A navigation system will tell you how to reach your destination, but a compass will just tell you where you are and where you will reach, if you keep going the same way. Instead of how you will reach, a compass can tell you if you are heading to the right direction or not.

 

I have often heard from Korean seminary students that they would choose the school in U.S. that gives the most amount of scholarship to them. I think they are making very unwise decision. Even though I have to admit that monetary concern is very important, they are coming to U.S. to get more education to serve God better, so they should pay more attention to the quality of education offered by each school. If saving money is so most important to them, they could just give up on the idea of pursuing further education overseas. Coming to U.S. for further education requires them to put in utmost efforts academically as well as financially, therefore they should not choose a particular school to save a few thousands of dollars, which may disadvantage them for life. I think this is as an example of not paying attention to the needle of the compass and risking their chance of reaching the desired destination.

 

As a pastor, I have had many instances of witnessing the last moments of my acquaintances, and the saddest remarks I have heard are; “I didn’t want to live this way”, “I didn’t know my life would turn out like this” or “This is not the kind of life I wanted to live”. Why did they end up with such regrets about their life? Who made it happen? Was it the world, their parents, their friends? No, it was because of themselves. All the decisions that the person has made during his or her lifetime brought on the regrets of the last moment.

 

The small or big decisions we make are essential in building up our lives; choosing a hamburger or salad will make a difference in our health, choosing to read or just idling or playing games will influence our thoughts and characters, whom we meet will affect our intelligence, attending church service on Sundays will strengthen our faith, and our complaints or thanks at every incident will affect our spirituality. Either we are conscious of it or not, our choices and decisions make our days, build our personality, will decide our future and lead to our eventual last moment of thankfulness or regrets. Therefore, we should not make any decision without thoughtful deliberation.

 

But on the other hand, too much of careful consideration can make us feel stranded and leave us unable to decide anything. That is why all of us need to have a compass to lead us to the right direction. In other words, we need to have “solid principles” for making the right choices and decisions. Without principles, our decision may lead us astray and make us lose the trust of others. Basing our decisions on the preference of others instead of our own principles will make us lose everything including our popularity. People tend to turn against you, if you don’t do what they want you to do, even after you have done favors for them many times previously.

 

At Wesley Theological Seminary I have been doing my best to help out the students from Korea. As I had a difficult time pursuing the higher education in U.S. without proper TOEFL scores, I try to help them as best as I can. But some students I had helped betrayed me later by slandering me to the president of the Seminary or throwing mud at my reputation in Korean society. At first I was extremely upset and disappointed at being falsely accused, but later it dawned to me that these false accusations were only coming from those students for whom I had done special favors. When I complained this to my husband, he asked me to stick to the principles only, and not to do any special favors for anyone. He explained that after receiving any special favor from you, people have the tendency to expect special favors from you continuously, and when you stop doing it, they turn their backs on you. So, from that time on, I made up my mind not to do any special favors for any students and I enjoyed peaceful days without any complaints or betrayals. But after initial feelings of happiness, I began to feel uncomfortable. I realized that what I was doing was all right according to the standard of a wolf of the world, but it was not good enough for the standard of a Lamb of God. So, I decided on a new principle of “helping as much as I can and expecting to be betrayed”. Since then, I have suffered many scars from back stabbings on me and endured my own outbursts of hurt feelings and regrets, but I am generally at peace and happy.

 

It is very likely that you have gone through the same kind of betrayals in your relationships with colleagues, in business, or with friends, as is the case with everyone in the world. But if we set a strict principle in advance and stick to the principle, it will be easier for us to make decisions and bear the consequences of the decisions without too much of stress or pain.

 

Today’s passage: God couldn’t stand the sins and betrayals of humans any longer, so He destroyed all life on earth, except Noah whom God found to be righteous. After all the creatures in the world perished and when Noah and his family were allowed to come out of the ark, the first thing Noah did was sacrificing burnt offerings to God. God smelled the pleasing aroma and said the following to Noah and his family; “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1). This blessing was repeated in verse 9:7, but the same message had been given to the first male and female; “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). The blessing to Noah and his family was followed by God’s promise of never destroying all living creatures with flood again. In today’s passage, Genesis 9:1-17, the word ‘covenant’ is repeated 7 times. God said repeatedly about His covenant of never destroying the earth with flood again.

 

But, here is something we have to pay close attention to. A covenant is an agreement between two parties involved, so there is definitely some part we have to fulfill. God has given us a detailed instruction in the Ten Commandments in chapter 20 of Exodus. “I am the LORD your God. You shall have no other gods before me … I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

 

This is the compass to lead us to the direction of loving God and keeping His commandments. The compass will show us if we are heading to the right direction of loving God and keeping His commandments and thus ensuring that a thousand generations after us will be blessed by God, or if we are heading to the wrong direction and thus causing that our future generations will be punished by God.

 

In my opinion, the person who had benefited the most from her compass was Mary, the mother of Jesus. How startled she must have been when informed by the angel that she was going to have a baby! She would rather have chosen to die than to become an unmarried mother of a son under the social structure at that time. Not only disgracing herself, she would have brought serious shame and contempt to her family and her child would have to suffer his whole lifetime as a bastard. What kind of decision could she make after hearing the shocking announcement? Her answer of “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said” shows her devout identity and solid principles in life. She expressed that the master of her life was not herself, but God Himself and her ultimate purpose in life was fulfilling the will of God. Because of her steadfast beliefs and principles, Mary was able to reach the right decision under such an awe-inspiring and fearful circumstance and helped change her fate from the most disgraced to the most blessed among all the women in the world. All of us should also have such a dependable compass which will guide lives and our actions under any dire circumstances. As the world is becoming more turbulent every day and our circumstances are becoming darker, what we need is not the navigation skills, but our own compass which should always accompany us everywhere.

 

It is not an easy process for a graduate of Korean Seminary to be ordained in the U.S., as there are many requirements to fulfill. Finding the requirements too difficult, some Korean students look for a short-cut to the ordination process, and there are some so-called experts who supply to them the tips for a short-cut to the ordination process, which I hate. After receiving the tip for the short-cut, one of my students came to see me and said that he is not going for the short-cut. When I asked him why, his answer was, “I want to be a pastor to serve God better, and I don’t want to start with the wrong first step. I believe that is not right.” Because he didn’t go for the easy short-cut, it took longer for him to be ordained, but his ministry has been a lot more fruitful than his friends who had taken the short-cut.

 

Now, I am asking you the question one more time. Did Noah need a compass? The answer is YES!!!He needed the compass of God’s Word and of his strong faith to guide him in his voyage every day, so that he and his family and all the creatures in the ark could reach salvation. Thanks to the compass, he was blessed seven times with God’s promise of never again destroying the earth with flood.

 

Let us possess our own compass, the compass of God’s Word and of our steadfast faith, which we will carry with us everywhere and consult before making any decisions. What do you want to leave to your children as your legacy? Money can be completely lost in an instant and many of us have been ruined by having too much money. Let us leave the blessings of God to them. Let us pass on our own compass to them. Let us pass on to them the covenant of God which will never change. Let us be the instrument of God’s blessings upon our family, our church, our Detroit area, U.S.A. and the whole world!


   

총 게시물 515건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
515 2018.12.02  "That Unforgettable Person!" 1 Thessalonians 1:1-7 Rev. Tae Hong Kwon
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513 2018.11.25  Jesus is the King! Matthew 26:6-13 Rev. Se Jin Bae
512 2018.11.25  예수가 왕이시다 마태 복음 26:6-13 배세진 목사
511 2018.11.18  Where do you find your happiness? Matthew 13:44 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
510 2018.11.18  행복은 어디에 마태 복음 13:44 신경림 목사
509 2018.11.11  The Forgotten Identity John 1:14 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
508 2018.11.11  잊혀진 정체성 요한 복음 1:14 신경림 목사
507 2018.11.04  'After reaching the mature age of 40' 2 Kings 2:1-14 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
506 2018.11.04  마흔 즈음에 왕하 2:1-14 신경림 목사
505 2018.10.28  Reformation Sunday Matthew 11:29-30, Ephesians 2:8 Rev. Dr. McAllister-Wilson
504 10.21.2018  The testimonies of our lay people James 1:12 3 Lay people
503 10.21.2018  평신도주일 간증 야고보서 1:12 평신도 3인
502 2018.10.14  Plan G!! Matthew 16:21-27 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
501 2018.10.14  Plan G!! 마태복음 16:21-27 신경림 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : "That Unforgettable Person!"
설교일 : 2018.12.02
본문말씀 : 1 Thessalonians 1:1-7
설교자 : Rev. Tae Hong Kwon
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