총 게시물 485건, 최근 2 건

The Grace of Restoration

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-07-17 (화) 04:58 조회 : 85
설교일 : 2018.07.15
설교자 : Rev. Sei Hwan Kim
본문말씀 : Acts 4:5-12

July 15, 2018

 

The Grace of Restoration

Acts 4:5-12

 

Rev. Sei Hwan Kim’s Sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

Every year, at the start of the Advent season, to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus, our church, KUMC of Atlanta, displays the Nativity Scene in front of our church facing the main street.

 

The stable is set up first and many figures are displayed inside of the stable.

1)  The figures of Joseph and Mary are put at the center.

2)  Then, the manger for Baby Jesus is placed in front of them.

3)  Then, the figures of many different kinds of animals like cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys are placed around them.

4)  The figures of three Magi and the shepherds are erected.

The scale of our Nativity scene display is quite large.

 

A few years ago, when I helped an Associate Pastor of our church in the installation of the Nativity display, everything went well except one big problem – there was no Baby Jesus, who is the hero of Christmas. So, I asked the Associate Pastor.

1) Pastor Chung, why is there no Baby Jesus?

            - It was stolen last year.

            - A drunk Mexican young man put it in his car and sped away.

            - We have had the same experience a few times before.

2)  In that case, aren’t we going to get a new Jesus right away?

            - Yes, Pastor. I already ordered one through Amazon.com and Jesus will come soon.

3)  That was very good. When is Jesus coming?

            - Jesus will come here next Wednesday.

4)  How much is Jesus?

            - Jesus costs $17.44 including tax.

5)  Jesus is so cheap!

            - Yes, Jesus is cheap!

6)  When did you say he is coming?

            - Jesus is coming next Wednesday!

 

(A few days later, I asked him again)

7)  Pastor Chung, is Jesus here?

            - Yes, Jesus is here.

8)  Where is Jesus?

            - Jesus is in the office.

9)  Then, you should put him in the manger!

            - I am afraid someone will steal him again, so I am going to nail him.

10) Is the manger made of wood?

            - Yes, it is.

11) Then, I agree that he should be nailed.

            - Yes, I will nail Jesus.

12) OK! You will nail Jesus!

            - Yes, I will do so.

 

If someone overheard this conversation between two pastors without knowing the details, how shocked and dismayed the person would have been!

 

On a table in the office, there was Baby Jesus in vinyl envelope with the price tag of $17.44. “Why is he so cheap?” I began to examine the Baby Jesus and there was a message printed on his back; “Made in China”. Then I knew why he was so cheap! If it were “Made in Israel/ Jerusalem”, it would have been much more expensive…!!

 

Nowadays, people think Lord Jesus is too cheap and it is very easy to reach Him, as there are so many churches they can easily attend and so many Christians they can make friends with.

 

A lot of people do not accept the Gospel as the Good News and do not realize the ‘value of their faith’, as they are blind in spiritual matters, even though their eyes may look perfect.  

 

That is why we lose Lord Jesus very easily.And we often allow Lord Jesus to be stolen!

 

I often ask myself this question: “Do I have Lord Jesus in me?”

            - Of course, Jesus should be inside of Pastor’s heart, otherwise how can he be a pastor!

            - It is easy to say, but it is not so easily practiced.

 

I had lived my life more convinced that “Lord Jesus is in me” than anyone, but at some point in my life, I lost Lord Jesus.

1)  Agonizing over all the concerns and troubles of the world, I lost Jesus.

2)  Worrying about money and being obsessed about financial matters, I lost Jesus.

3)  Disliking and hating some members of the church in my ministry, I lost Jesus automatically.

4)  Unable to handle all the workload, I lost Jesus against my will.

5)  Suffering too much and too long due to a serious disease, unwillingly I lost Jesus.

 

* It has been three years since I began serving the Korean Church of Atlanta and for more than 1 year I suffered from a medical problem; I had to have anti-biotics through IV 24 hours a day.

 

When the Elders of my church came to visit me, they would say as they leave, “It’s going to be very difficult for our Pastor to recover!” I also felt that it was going to be very difficult for me to recover!

 

I was hospitalized 5 times and went through surgeries 2 times.

I had to have surgeries on my face 9 times because of tumors, and also had a cancer.

Then, my faith became so weak that I lost Jesus.

 

6)  Because of my greed, anger, pride, hurt and worrying about others, I lost Jesus.

 

Only when Lord Jesus is in me and in my heart, I can proclaim the Gospel, love and protect my flock, take care of those in need, go forward toward heaven and expand the kingdom of God.

 

For my ministry and for my faithful life, I should have been always looking toward Lord Jesus who is the master of my faith and who completes me, but I found out that I had lost Him along the way.

 

These are the books by Philip Yancey with the titles of

1)  Ah! There is no God in me!

2)  O God, why are you doing this to me?

Like these titles, Lord Jesus has been lost in the world.

 

I want to ask you; “Do you still have Lord Jesus in you as intact as before?” or “Have you lost Lord Jesus already?”

 

Today’s Passage:

This is about the first sermon by Peter in the history of Christian churches. It is his testimony for Lord Jesus.

Peter who appeared in the Gospels is completely different from Peter in the Acts of the Apostles. He is the same person, but after turning over a few pages of the Bible, we meet a completely changed man.

 

But, he is not the only man who has been changed. All of Jesus’ disciples are completely changed from those who appeared in the Gospels.

 

In the Gospels, they were only interested in the same topics that we would be interested.

1.  Who will be bigger in heaven?

2.  Who will become the right hand of Jesus?

3.  How can I get hold of more initiative and more power?

 

They were filled with the things they wanted to get through Jesus, so there was <no room for Jesus in their hearts>.

 

But, in the Acts of the Apostles, the hearts of the disciples were filled with only Jesus and nothing else. We can see that in Peter’s confession.

 

Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer and saw a man crippled from birth begging at the temple gate called Beautiful. When he asked for money, Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!”.

 

As they confessed, they didn’t have any silver or gold, but they were full of Lord Jesus, and that was good enough!! The beggar was helped to get up and he went into the temple with them praising God and Jesus.

 

All the people saw him and were reminded of Jesus Christ who had died on the cross, and their faith was restored. Then, the religious leaders who not long ago had crucified Jesus began to be greatly disturbed.

 

They had gotten rid of Jesus only a short while ago, and now Jesus’ disciples performed miraculous signs in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

 

No, they couldn’t tolerate this. So, they had a serious meeting and arrested the disciples and then asked, “By what power or what name did you do this?”

 

Then, Peter answered. Who is this Peter? He was the coward who had denied knowing Jesus, his Lord and master of 3 years, three times to save his own life. After the crucifixion, he returned to Galilee and became a fisherman again. He was a coward and betrayer. But, now he is not afraid of anything, not even of death.

 

Here is Peter’s sermon.

“God loved us so much that He sent us Jesus whom He had promised through David and many prophets. He came down to us and completed us with His love. He healed us and proclaimed the Gospel so that we could hope for the kingdom of God. But you were blinded by jealousy and handed Him over to be killed on the cross. But God raised Him from the dead as our Messiah.”

 

This is the disciples’ answer.

“You ask us by what power or what name this beggar was healed, and I want you to hear this! It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man was healed and standing before you.”

 

What a shocking statement! The leaders thought they had gotten rid of Jesus but now saw that the hearts of Jesus’ disciples were filled with Jesus Christ. As there were too many to prosecute, after giving them a whipping, they had to release them with commands not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

 

The disciples were happy, even while suffering a whipping. They felt that Jesus whom they had met first at Galilee was restored to them now and that they could continue His ministry.

 

Now Peter testifies courageously for Lord Jesus.

12. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

 

They had Lord Jesus restored in them and in their hearts, so they were reborn as amazing people.

 

Lord Jesus should be restored in us also! We should be restored with the life of Jesus and the passion for His ministry, which is touching Jesus/ feeling Jesus/ and experiencing Jesus.

 

Recently, United Methodist Church is trying too hard to accommodate what people want, like the issue of homosexuality. But I don’t agree. We should adhere to the teachings in the Bible.

 

We should pray for all and love all the people, but a sin is a sin and we should not challenge the Word of God. The Bible is like a measuring ruler, we should not bend or change it, but believe it as it is.

 

What we have to restore is <our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ> whom we have lost.

 

What the Bishops of UMC have to restore is the passion for the Gospel, not another meeting. They should cry and pray together and come back to the Word of God. The pastors and lay leaders should do the same. Then, there will be hope for us.

 

All of us should restore our love and passion for Jesus and work for Him.We should witness for Him, dream about Him and have the heart of Jesus. Then, our faith and our ministry will be restored.

 

I want to share what I heard from my Sunday school teacher.

When I asked him why the belly of the Bible was red, he answered, “The reason why the belly of the Bible is red is because it symbolizes the blood of Lord Jesus. Whoever reads the Bible needs to experience the bloody love of Jesus, so as to live their own life with dedication and sacrifices.”

 

Our forefathers sacrificed a lot for church; they sold their rice paddy or house to support their church. But somehow, we have lost Lord Jesus; When did we lose Jesus? It happened when we changed the belly of the Bible from bloody red to the color of gold. Our goal has been changed from <bloody cross> to <gold crown> and our faith has stopped growing.

 

We have to get back to the <spirit of the bloody cross> and shed the blood of cross for the community and for the next generation. Then, there will be hope for us.

 

We have to increase the amount of our prayers, our services and our testimonies to experience our restoration, and then, we will be competent enough to do the Lord’s work.

 

I want to share a testimony with you.

About two years ago, I was leading services at our newly planted church in Newnan, Georgia and after the last service a young couple came to see me and requested a prayer for them. He was tall and handsome, looking very intelligent, but his complexion was not good and his wife’s complexion was also very bad. I found out that they were not regular members of that church but attending an American church.

 

He had been diagnosed a few days earlier to have a last stage stomach cancer, and it was such a shock to the couple. I felt their despair and prayed for them earnestly to God. And I promised to them I would pray for them every morning and urged them to pray every morning at the same time as mine, and I told them I was convinced that our omnipotent God would answer our joint prayers.

 

From that time on, my prayer for Deacon Lim was the first thing every morning as I knew him to be a child of God. He was about 45 years old, well-educated and working for an American company and didn’t have a good experience at a Korean church previously. Now he was so desperate that he had come back to Korean church and requested a prayer from me.

 

Not only praying for him every morning at the altar, I kept in touch with the couple. He was treated at Emory University Hospital, then at Mayo Clinic, but without any improvement. I remember getting a phone call from him in the car driven by his wife after having gone through a surgery at Mayo Clinic; “Pastor, am I going to die soon?” “No, you are not going to die, until God allows you to die!” Afterwards, I screamed toward heaven, “Lord, please help him!”

 

At the recommendation by an acquaintance, they went to Korea to have another surgery by a well-known doctor at Dan-Kook University Hospital in Chun-Ann, but after more testing doctors found out that he had an intestinal blockage, so he couldn’t even have any surgery but just wait for death at that hospital. It was so heart-breaking that he had to die leaving his young wife and two children!

 

He called me from Korea and said, “Pastor, now it is all over! I don’t want to go on, but all the intravenous (IV) solutions are not letting me die!”

 

Even though I was sick myself, I was torn by his call; “God, how could you not save him, after all my prayers on his behalf? You know that I didn’t even pray for myself!”

 

With heavy heart, I managed to go to Chun-Ann and see him at the hospital. He was really shocked at my visit and cried for a long time. I didn’t know what to say to him, so I just hugged him. He was so thin and frail that I was afraid he would be broken to pieces, if I held him too tight.

 

I prayed for him with all my heart and realized the reason why God had sent me to him.

 

His last words to me were;

“Pastor, I have to say goodbye to you, as I don’t have much strength left to speak. I know I am going to the kingdom of God. I have come to the conclusion that God has sent you to me to restore salvation for me. I am convinced that I am saved. Thank you, Pastor! Thank you, God!”

 

It was not only Deacon Lim, but I also experienced the restoration of my ministry and salvation on that day. I made up my mind from that moment on to always look up to the Lord only and not look at the world.

 

My dear congregation, all of us have to experience the restoration and renewal of our strong faith. During our fleeting lifetime, we should use our time and energy and talent for the Lord’s precious work, before we stand in front of God!

 

I hope and pray in the name of the Lord that by working with restored dedication and passion, all of you at the KUMC of Detroit will be praised highly by the Lord, “My good and loyal servant, I am very pleased with your work!”

 

Amen!

 

 


   

총 게시물 485건, 최근 2 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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