총 게시물 485건, 최근 0 건

"God is the one who does all the work!"

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-06-04 (월) 08:33 조회 : 146
설교일 : 2018.06.03
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
본문말씀 : Numbers 13:25-33

Sunday, June 3, 2018

 

“God is the one who does all the work!”

Numbers 13:25-33

 

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

 

 

Because of my attendance at the Michigan Annual Conference, Rev. Tae Hong Kwon had been scheduled to deliver the sermon today, but I persuaded him to postpone his usual dynamic sermon for a later Sunday, as I really want to talk to you today.

 

Two weeks ago, our District Superintendent paid a visit to our church and announced that I had agreed to extend my time as the Interim Senior Pastor of this church until the end of this year. At that time, I had just returned to U.S. after overseeing the funeral service of my father-in-law in Korea, and I hadn’t pulled myself together yet. After returning home in D.C. area that night, I collapsed completely out of sheer exhaustion. The next morning, I managed to call my secretary at Wesley Theological Seminary and asked her to hold all my calls until Wednesday, as my whole body was aching and my badly swollen knee made it painful for me to walk. But, soon I began to go over my schedules for the next half of this year, so that I could submit it to our District Superintendent and our church’s SPRC chair, Mrs. Sung Yu. Before agreeing to the extension of my interim ministry here, I had a general idea of my upcoming schedules at Wesley, but while writing my schedules down in my note-book, I felt very depressed. The previous arrangement of my interim ministry was supposed to end on June 17th, so I had postponed many things to the month of July, and that means I will not be able to come to Detroit on many Sundays.

 

Two weeks ago, when I announced to you that I would miss the next two Sundays, I felt very uncomfortable. Now, how can I manage to keep my promise to the Washington KUMC to attend at least one Sunday service there each month? I felt torn between two places; Washington, D.C. and Detroit. When I am here, I feel bad for Wesley Theological Seminary and Washington KUMC, and when I am there, I feel bad for this church. I began to regret my agreeing to the extension of my ministry for 7 more months. How can I go on with my feelings of guilt, apology and irresponsibility for the next 7 months? Perhaps I should have said “no” to the extension, but, knowing that this church has not found a new Senior Pastor yet and that it would be very difficult to find another Interim Senior Pastor for the next 6 months, I couldn’t say “no”.

 

Early the next morning, even though my body was protesting against going anywhere, I went to the early service at Washington church. While listening to the sermon, I felt a strong presence and in the midst of my prayers, I heard this voice saying, “It was I who did the work for you.” The words were blurted out of my mouth, “Yes, Lord, you did it! Yes, you did it for me!” I had mistakenly thought that I was the one who did all the work for the past 4 months, but now I realized that my Lord had done everything for me.

 

You have been so understanding of me, patient with me and encouraging me with love that I have been extremely worried about disappointing you in the coming months. But early that morning, God clearly showed me who had done the work; It was not I but the Lord who has done the work and who will do the work! How thankful and relieved I was!

 

Then, I was reminded of a former student of mine at Wesley whom I saw again at the graduation last month. After graduating from Wesley, he had been ordained at Baltimore/Washington Conference and after serving as the chair of the Board of Ordained Ministry, he is now retired. He told me that my sermon at his own graduation has sustained him for the past 23 years of ministry. I was so surprised to hear that and asked him what the sermon had been about. He replied that it was about the grasshoppers, so I thanked him, but at the time, I couldn’t recall the sermon.

 

Now, the sermon I delivered so long ago has come back to me! The sermon was about the transition of the Israelites after leaving the desert and now trying to enter the Promised Land of Canaan after such a long wait. They had sent out 12 scouts to the new land of Canaan 40 days earlier, and now they returned and gave a report to the anxious crowd about the land flowing with milk and honey. They even showed the fruits of the land including ‘a branch bearing a cluster of grapes which the two of them had carried on a pole between them’.

 

The 12 of them agreed on their report up to this point, but soon afterwards, they were divided in their opinions. The 10 of them began to give a negative report. And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim

there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” (Numbers 13:32-33)

 

Contrary to this ‘bad report’, Caleb and Joshua had the opposite approach; “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”  Even though these 12 went together to the same land at the same time and returned with the report about the land flowing with milk and honey, even bringing the huge cluster of grapes, their conclusions were completely different. What was the reason for such a disagreement? The 10 of them only saw themselves, not the LORD who had led them there, so they felt small like grasshoppers and were scared of their future in the new and unknown land.

 

When we do not recognize God, who have led us in our lives and bestowed abundant blessings upon us, but see only ourselves, we begin to lose confidence, feel withdrawn, start to complain and blame others. Forgetting their own God, the Israelites began to complain and blame Moses and Aaron after hearing the report from 10 scouts.

 

That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (Numbers 14:1-3)

 

Having known the happy outcome of their later conquest of the Promised Land of Canaan, we are really disappointed at the reaction of these people now, but we have to admit that we act just like them sometimes. I was regretting the extension of my ministry at this church, as I felt that perhaps I should leave while the people here are applauding me, before some of you start to complain about me. I began to see myself looking like a grasshopper and was afraid of the future, because I had forgotten how God had held this congregation together, comforted you and bestowed joy and hope upon you after you experienced the tremendous disappointment of your Senior Pastor not recovering from his sickness after 10 months of intense prayers from you.

 

If we forget how God had helped us in the past, we will begin to be afraid of the future, like these 10 scouts who were afraid to go up and take possession of the Promised Land which was flowing with milk and honey. Our future should be looked at in connection with our past, and our present should be also understood in connection with our past. If we forget our past or understand our past in the wrong way, then we will make very crucial mistakes for our present and our future. By understanding and believing that God has done and will do all the work, we will understand our past, present and future well and be able to live our lives without regrets and enjoy the abundant blessings God has bestowed upon us.

 

God does not want us to go on with our lives without making any definite plans, while relying only on God’s help. God wants us to make good plan for the present and for the future. A good example is that when the Israelites reached Canaan, God asked Moses to send scouts to explore the land and each scout had to be a leader from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. We are wondering what God wanted them to see in the new land.

 

The answer is found in the disciplinary measure of God. He was extremely severe in His punishment of the 10 scouts for their bad report; “For forty years – one year for each of the forty days you explored the land – you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.” (Numbers 14:34) God’s final verdict for all of them were; So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it – these men responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD. Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived. (Number 14:36-38)

 

We have learned from today’s passage that if we do not explore well for our present and for our future, we will be punished severely. God’s punishment can last a long time; the scouts were punished for 40 years for 40 days of exploring, and the men responsible for spreading the bad report were struck dead. If we do a bad job in assessing our present and our future, we will  not be able to appreciate the good life God has provided for us fully, and with our bad assessment, we can lead our family, church, workplace, or country astray and endanger them.

 

God had wanted the scouts to notice how fertile God’s Promised Land was, how God was going to work with them and how blessed they would be in the new land. God wanted them to remember how He had freed them from bondage in Egypt, provided for them in the desert and guided them with the pillar of cloud during the day and with the pillar of fire during the night, and He wanted them to plan for their future in connection with the past help from Him. But, only Joshua and Caleb were able to recognize the connection and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” That is why they were allowed to survive and take possession of the Promised Land later.

 

My beloved congregation, what kind of circumstances are you under? Have you been wandering around for 40 years in the desert? So much work waiting for you to do, but is your body ready to give up? Are you annoyed at your old age? Are your monthly rent and bills driving you crazy? Are you worried about your future? After working hard all your life, don’t you have anything to show for your hard work? After trying so hard, are you now satisfied with your actions and behaviors? I hope and pray that the same blessings that God had bestowed upon Joshua and Caleb be bestowed upon you!  

 

I hope you will realize how God has guided you, held you tight and comforted you, waken you up, watched over you and blessed you throughout your life. Only those who are able to recognize how much God has done for them will be able to see what God will do for them in the future. God wanted the leaders of the 12 tribes to recognize the past and then figure out the future.

 

May you be able to see your life clearly and realize that God has been doing all the work in your life and that God will be doing the work in the future!! God will be doing the work in our lives and in our church!! Nothing to worry, let us go forward courageously! Only the brave will be able to appreciate the blessings God reserved for them. Let us go up and take possession of the blessings without worries, complaints or blames! God is the one who does all the work!!



   

총 게시물 485건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
485 2018.08.12  'Having faith of half the strength' Matthew 14:22-33 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
484 2018.08.12  절반의 믿음 마태복음 14:22-33 신경림 목사
483 2018.07.29  The fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:16-26 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
482 2018.07.29  성령의 열매 갈라디아서 5장 16~26절 신경림 목사
481 2018.07.22  Go forward together as one body Ephesians 4:1-16 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
480 2018.07.22  앞으로 나란히 에베소서 4장 1~16절 신경림 목사
479 2018.07.15  The Grace of Restoration Acts 4:5-12 Rev. Sei Hwan Kim
478 2018.07.08  The Lord's Supper 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
477 2018.07.08  주님의 만찬 고린도전서 11장 23~26절 신경림 목사
476 2018.07.01  여호와의 손 이사야 41장 17~20절 신태규 목사
475 2018.07.01  'The hand of the LORD' Isaiah 41:17-20 Rev. Taegyu Shin
474 2018.07.01  여호와의 손 이사야 41:17-20 신태규 목사
473 2018.06.24  은과 금보다 귀한 믿음 사도행전 3장 1~10절 권병훈 목사
472 2018.06.24  More precious than silver or gold is our faith Acts 3:1-10 Rev. Byunghoon Kwon
471 2018.06.24  은과 금보다 귀한 믿음 사도행전 3:1-10 권병훈 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : 'Having faith of half the strength'
설교일 : 2018.08.12
본문말씀 : Matthew 14:22-33
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
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