총 게시물 502건, 최근 0 건

Go forward together as one body

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-07-23 (월) 06:05 조회 : 139
설교일 : 2018.07.22
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
본문말씀 : Ephesians 4:1-16

July 22, 2018

 

Go forward together as one body

Ephesians 4:1-16

 

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

 

A few years ago, I received a request from Rev. Hoon Kyoung Lee, our retired pastor. He wanted me to help a missionary for his plan of starting a Methodist seminary in the country he was serving. I was glad to help Rev. Lee, my senior and respected pastor, and flew to a country in Asia to meet with this missionary. He had many native workers helping him in his ministry, so he wanted to provide them theological education and ordain them in the future so that they can serve as pastors. I had several brainstorming sessions with the missionary and gave him my advices. While there, I learned through other missionaries that there was already a Methodist seminary started by another Methodist missionary in the same city. I didn’t like the idea of having two Methodist seminaries in a medium sized city and suggested to the missionary I was working with to come with a plan to combine two seminaries. Then, I learned that the other missionary had already secured the site and had set up the school building, but didn’t have many students, while this missionary had many prospective students. So, I told him that I would be glad to help him more when the two parties combine their resources together.

 

After some time, I was invited to the opening ceremony of their combined Methodist seminary in that city and gladly I got on the plane for a long flight. But, when I arrived there, I found out that the plan for combining two seminaries had been broken off while I was on air. The missionary’s explanation was: “Both of us are serving in very difficult mission fields and for this extremely difficult task of setting up a seminary, we disagreed on too many things and couldn’t put our minds together, so we had to call off the plan for a combined seminary.”

 

By having two competing seminaries, the missionaries are not teaching any good examples to the natives, and I was really disappointed by them and worried about the future for the seminaries. As this missionary continued to talk about their differences to justify the breakup, I blurted out, “It is OK to work with someone you don’t agree with.” To his questioning look, I added, “Have you ever met anyone you agree with completely? We don’t agree with our siblings who had the same parents and don’t agree with our spouses most of the times even after decades of living together. Then, how can you expect to find some stranger who agrees with you on everything?”

 

I knew I was on the right track, so I continued, “If God wanted all of us to agree on everything, He would have made us to be exactly like the others, but you know very well that there is nobody who is exactly like you in the whole world. There have been as many people in the world as the sands on the beach, but God has made all of them different. Therefore, God does not expect us to agree on everything.”

 

It is true! As God has made everyone different, there is only one person who agrees with you on everything in the world, and that is you, if you are lucky. Most of us don’t even agree with ourselves all the time. God didn’t want us to agree on everything and He didn’t like the Tower of Babel built by humans who had put their minds together for their project. So, the LORD scattered the people all over the world afterwards.   

 

Siblings, spouses of many decades and even twins don’t agree on everything. I had been foolish to have expected others with different backgrounds and education levels to agree with me completely. I had agonized over having disagreements with other people and wasted so much time trying to come up with agreements. When we couldn’t agree, I had been disappointed and heartbroken and blamed myself for my shortcomings.

 

But now that I realize that disagreements are natural and inevitable among people, I am more at peace and grateful. Looking back, there were not many times when people agreed, but they worked together well when they had a clear objective, even if they didn’t agree on everything.

 

Ever since I have accepted that disagreements are normal and can still be productive, some changes have come upon me.

 

1.  I am more at peace with myself, as I accept that disagreements are natural and normal.

2.  I do not feel animosity toward those who do not agree with me. I do get upset at those people sometimes, but not as often as before.

3.  As I am at peace with myself and accept the disagreements, I can see more clearly how to solve the problems and utilize the good talents of others to solve the problems.

4.  As I am not wasting my time and energy in trying to get others to agree with me, I have more leisurely time.

 

Now that we are aware of the good things diversity can do, today’s sermon will emphasize unity, as God expects us to have ‘Unity with Diversity’.

 

“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1b-3)

 

The unity mentioned above does not mean that all of us will agree on everything. It means even if we don’t agree, the Spirit will keep us united. What God wants us to do is to be united as one body by the help of the Holy Spirit. God does not want us united as one body by ourselves, as that kind of unity is dangerous. (Photo 1)

When we are united by ourselves, there will be no room for others who do not agree with us. We may even shun others who are different from us and torment others by being self-righteous. Without a sense of sin, we as a group can become bold enough to commit evil by way of terrorism or organized crime. Therefore, we should watch out for this kind of unity and avoid it at all cost. Remember the Tower of Babel. We should be united in the Holy Spirit.

 

When we are united, we should go forward together as one body. (Photo 2) All of us facing forward together is the best unity for a leader to lead, and I hope the whole congregation will follow me orderly as one body and help the church grow. I want to leave a legacy of our church’s revival and rapid growth while serving as the Interim Senior Pastor, but I know that God does not want me to win our members over to my side aggressively to accomplish more, even though I am sometimes tempted to do so. God does not want me to accomplish ‘more’ in my ministry here, but He wants me to do ‘right’ in ministry here. Therefore, I shouldn’t try to get the members over to my side, but to get them over to the side of God.

 

“One Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:5-6)

 

We have only one Lord to follow and He is over all and through all and in all!! (Photo 3) We go forward together toward God as one body!! This is the true unity that God wants. This unity is needed not only in churches, but also at home. Let us ask our children to follow God, instead of parents. It may make things easier at home, if parents ask the children to follow them, but they should ask the children to follow God. It is the same at workplace. It may make things easier and perhaps more prosperous if the workers follow their bosses at work, but there is the possibility for all of them to commit sins of greed without being conscious of it. So, we should go forward together toward God, not toward more for ourselves.

 

We have to accept that disagreements at church, at home and everywhere are natural and normal, and if there is only agreement in the group, we should make sure it is not because we are excluding any who does not agree with us. It is never easy to accept those who are different from us or do not agree with us, but we have to ‘make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit’. Then, “the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16) Subsequently, the blessings of God will be bestowed upon our church, our home and our workplaces. Let us remember to go forward together toward God as one body!

 

Now, I am wondering if there is any way to find out if we are going forward together toward God as one body or not, and I will do a research on this subject and share with you next week. In the meantime, I want you to think about this as well to make next week’s sermon more meaningful for all of us.


   

총 게시물 502건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
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
496 2018.09.23  "Be Patient" James 5:7-11 Rev. Taegyu Shin
495 2018.09.23  "인내 하라" 야고보서 5:7-11 신태규 목사
494 2018.09.16  The people who lowered a paralytic through the roof Luke 5:17-26 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
493 2018.09.16  지붕을 뚫은 사람들 누가복음 5:17-26 신경림 목사
492 2018.09.09  'In the midst of our sufferings' John 9:1-7 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
491 2018.09.09  고통 가운데에서 요한 복음 9:1-7 신경림 목사
490 2018.09.02  'The Living Hope' Psalms 39:1-7 Rev. Tae Hong Kwon
489 2018.08.26  Enlarge Our Territories! Luke 10:25-37 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
488 2018.08.26  우리의 지경을 넓혀 주소서 누가복음 10장 25~37절 신경림 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : Plan G!!
설교일 : 2018.10.14
본문말씀 : Matthew 16:21-27
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
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