총 게시물 511건, 최근 2 건

More precious than silver or gold is our faith

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-06-25 (월) 08:18 조회 : 192
설교일 : 2018.06.24
설교자 : Rev. Byunghoon Kwon
본문말씀 : Acts 3:1-10

June 24, 2018

 

More precious than silver or gold is our faith

Acts 3:1-10

 

Rev. Byunghoon Kwon’s sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

I want to talk to you about a world-renowned Korean opera singer Prof. Yonghoon Lee, who is not very well known in Korea. When he started his career, he heard the voice of God; “I have created you as a singer, and your singing is very pleasing to me. Can you sing for me from now on?” He responded with amen to the voice and decided to study singing for the glory of God. In due course, he became successful and was being offered starring roles in operas performed in U.S. and Europe. But at the pinnacle of his singing career, he suffered the rupture of his vocal cords, which was like a death sentence for a vocalist. When he was looking at the x-ray picture of his ruptured vocal cords, he heard the voice of God again; “That picture shows your selfish heart and ambition.” Prof. Yonghoon Lee had to admit that he had lost his original aspirations. He returned home to Korea, repenting and praying eagerly to God. Then, a miracle happened. His doctor had ordered an immediate surgery for his vocal cords and long rehabilitation, but after a month of his intense praying in Korea, his vocal cords were healed completely without any surgery.

 

His testimony was; “During an early morning prayer service, I became convinced of God’s healing hands on me, as my whole body from the hairs on my head to the tip of my toes felt really warm as well as my ruptured vocal cords. I realized at the moment that ‘I have been just an instrument of the Lord and He has been the one who sings, instead of me!’” From that time on, Prof. Yonghoon Lee has confessed that “I am a praise singing missionary and an opera singer who is just an instrument of God. My dream is to manifest God through my singing and to testify for Him with my songs.” To him, serving God is more important than singing or fame.

 

Today’s passage is about the first miraculous sign performed by the apostles of the first church after the ascension of Lord Jesus. One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer and saw at the temple gate someone who had been crippled from birth and was being carried to the gate to beg from those going into the temple courts.

 

Peter and John were going up to the temple to pray and this crippled man was carried there to beg, and these two parties with different objectives met at the temple gate. The two disciples saw through the crippled man’s pain and provided this man a new purpose for his life through the miraculous work of God.

 

According to a recent survey in Korea, to the question of ‘What do you think a church is?’, the most common answer was that a church’s role is to help the poor and serve the people in many ways. Of course, the answer is not wrong, but the most important thing a church does is preaching the Gospel and saving the lost souls.

 

About the role of the church, a lot of people want the church to help them improve their lives and serve the community better. During Lord Jesus’ ministry on earth, He helped feed a multitude of hungry people and healed many sick people through miraculous signs. But the reason for His incarnation was to suffer and die, and then resurrect to save all of us from sins. When Peter heard this plan of Lord Jesus, he immediately rebuked Him, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!” Then, Jesus said to Peter, “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Jesus’ plan and what Peter had in mind were completely different.

 

A church cannot provide all the things that the world requests, but a church shares the acute pain of the people of the world and helps the people see things with the precious value of mature faith. Now, how does a mature faith look like?

 

1. The faith that does not shy away from pain but looks straight into it.

 

The crippled man couldn’t stand or walk on his own, so he was carried to the temple gate to beg. He hoped those people going into the temple to feel charitable and looked at them for the purpose of begging from them. Verse 3 of today’s passage says, ‘When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.’ And verse 5 says, ‘So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.’ Even though he had seen so many people pass through the gate called Beautiful to get into the temple, he had never been interested in the reason for their going into the temple, but only in the money he was collecting.

 

Now, Peter and John are coming up to go into the temple but they are looking straight at him. Verse 4 says, ‘Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!”’ The Greek word for ‘Looking straight’ is ‘Athenisas’, which means ‘looking with a purpose’ or ‘looking with a certain interest’.

 

The same word was used in the Acts 1:10, when Jesus’ disciples were looking intently up into the sky as He was taken up to heaven. What were they thinking? They were hoping for His return. In the Acts 7:55, when Stephen looked up to heaven before being martyred and saw the glory of God, the same word was used to describe that he looked up to heaven ‘with the heart of the Lord’. When Peter and John looked straight at him, they had the heart of Jesus Christ and were hoping for God to do His work.

 

Quite a while ago, I went to lead a service at the Hospice Mission of Seoul National University Hospital, and I noticed that some of the members of the Hospice Mission team looked like they could use the medical help themselves. After the service was over, during the refreshments I asked a member if the Hospice Mission was not too difficult for him. He answered, “I can feel that they are comforted when I hold their hands and look straight at them with loving eyes. Without saying any words, the Gospel is being preached to them by the expression in my eyes which are filled with the truth.”

 

Countless people have passed by this crippled man and heard him begging for money but didn’t pay much attention to him. Now, Peter and John heard his soul crying and stopped to look straight at him to save his soul.

 

Just looking straight at someone will not bring on any changes. Lord Jesus saw many people wandering around ‘like sheep without shepherd’ and brought changes in their lives by His words. He saw many sick people coming to Him and healed them. He saw many people being hungry and provided food for them, like the miracle of ‘5 loaves and 2 fish’. What we look at and how we look at things can make a big difference.

 

Likewise, the way we look at the people can hurt their feelings or can heal their wounded hearts. I hope that all of us will look at people around us with our eyes filled with our mature faith and with our hearts filled with the mercy of Lord Jesus.

 

2. The faith that proclaims the name of Jesus Christ.

 

To the crippled man who was asking for money, Peter said, “What I have I give you.” And then, he ordered the man, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk” and took him by the hand. Previously Peter had confessed to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. When he held the crippled man’s hand, Peter’s faith must have been transferred to the man, so that his feet and ankles have become strong enough to jump to his feet and walk, when he heard Peter ordering him to walk in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

After reading today’s passage, one Seminary student felt a strong urge to reenact what Peter had done. He went to Seoul Train Station and saw that a man crippled from birth was begging, just like in the Bible. He really wanted to proclaim to him “In the name of Jesus Christ, walk” like Peter did, but was too self-conscious of passers-by to say it. So, he put that man on his back and went to a back alley and proclaimed “Walk, walk!”, but no change happened to him. He had to put that man on his back again and brought him to his former place of begging and ran away. This is the story of Rev. Jong-Soon Park, who is now retired.

 

What is the power of the name of Jesus Christ? When we meet Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, our lives are changed. Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Everywhere He went, Lord Jesus raised up those who had fallen because of sickness, poverty, and many other problems in their lives. As we are in Christ, we should also raise up everyone we meet in the name of Jesus Christ.

 

When all the people were astonished at this amazing sight, Peter said to them, “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus.” (Acts 3:12b-13a) In other words, this miraculous sign was made possible by the power of the name of Jesus Christ and by God who wanted to glorify His servant Jesus. I hope and pray that all of you will proclaim the name of the Lord and testify the result made possible by the power of His name.

 

There was a helping hand in this miracle. The crippled man was helped to stand up by Peter who was holding his right hand, as well as by Peter’s proclamation. When God uses us, He also makes use of our hands and feet for His purpose. Today’s clinical study has found that holding the hands or putting hands on the patients and praying for them are very helpful in encouraging and strengthening them.

 

These are the words given to Prophet Isaiah; “Do not fear, I am with you. Do not be afraid, I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you truly. I will hold you up with my righteous right hand.” The good news of Christianity is that Lord Jesus is touching us with His hand of love and grace, holding us tight and raising us up.

 

After the Sunday service, I usually greet our church members and shake their hands. Even though this interaction does not last long, I feel a lot of rapport with them. When the hand is very rough, I become concerned, and when the hand is too cold, I want to transfer my warmth. After shaking the last member’s hand, I usually go around looking for the hands I may have missed, but in most cases, those hands belong to the members who were absent from church that day.

 

When we are so mired in disappointments and frustrations that we cannot see any hope for the future, Lord Jesus offers His comforting hands of courage, grace, compassion and mercy to raise us up again. When Peter took the hand of the crippled man, it wasn’t his hand but the hand of Jesus Christ.

 

3.  By faith we get to see beyond of what we do not see.

 

Not only his physical disability, the crippled man at the temple gate had also the spiritual disability. He had not been allowed to enter the temple because of his physical handicap, which was the usual custom from the Old Testament days. Therefore, he was suffering from the isolation from God as well as the physical pain. Now, he is a changed man.

 

According to verse 8 of today’s passage, ‘He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.’ Not only his body was raised up, but also, he was raised up spiritually; he was able to go into the temple happily and to praise God. So, his soul was saved as well as his body.

 

People there were astonished and their reactions were; ‘When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same men who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.’ (Acts 3:9-10) This kind of miraculous sign was never done before, but after this miracle was performed in the name of Jesus Christ by Peter and John, people were just amazed at the miracle, not seeing the power of God who had made the man walk.

 

The author of Hebrews asserts that ‘Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’

 

During the medieval times, a Pope invited the famous theologian Thomas Aquinas to Vatican and showed him around a cathedral which was luxuriously decorated with gold. After seeing all the gold, Aquinas said, “From now on, we cannot say that ‘Silver or gold we do not have’ and therefore, we cannot say the command of ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, walk’ anymore”.

 

If this crippled man had received any silver or gold, he could not have been made a new creature. Even if there is no silver or gold, we should hold onto Jesus Christ, and by the power of the name of Jesus Christ, we are bestowed with the hope for a new life.

 

We do not have to have silver or gold, but there are things we have to have. I believe they are our love for Christ, our merciful heart for the world, the power and authority of the name of Jesus Christ.

 

Have you been feeling down spiritually? I want you to look straight at Jesus Christ. I hope and pray that you will let Him take your hand and raise you up by His glorious power!

 

 


   

총 게시물 511건, 최근 2 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
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
500 2018.10.07  'Must be born again to enter the kingdom of God' John 3:1-8 Rev. Se Jin Bae
499 2018.10.07  거듭남과 하나님 나라 요한 복음 3:1-8 배세진 목사
498 2018.09.30  'The Actively Working Faith' Luke 24:13-27 Rev. Sun Hyung Jo
497 2018.09.30  '작동하는 믿음' 누가 복음 24:13-27 조선형 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : Where do you find your happiness?
설교일 : 2018.11.18
본문말씀 : Matthew 13:44
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
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