총 게시물 494건, 최근 0 건

'Having faith of half the strength'

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-08-14 (화) 20:34 조회 : 75
설교일 : 2018.08.12
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
본문말씀 : Matthew 14:22-33

August 12, 2018

 

‘Having faith of half the strength’

Matthew 14:22-33

 

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

 

It has been a week since our very successful Revival weekend at this church, and we have been awakened, challenged, healed, encouraged and filled with the grace. But, we cannot have the Revival every day, so today we are going to think together about the life after the Revival.

 

Today’s passage begins with ‘Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat’ (Matthew 14:22), and this happened right after the miracle of ‘5 loaves of bread and 2 fish’ when Jesus had fed about five thousand men, besides women and children. We are so familiar with this story that we take it for granted, but let us imagine the scene of this miracle. I am sure all the people there must have been so excited that they were losing their minds, with the exception of Jesus. During our Revival last week, we had only hundreds of people gathered here each time, but there had been about ten thousand people gathered to witness the miracle and to consume the food. The disciples distributed the food and picked up the leftovers afterwards. How excited the disciples must have been! How proud they must have been in front of their own friends, families and acquaintances who had been critical of them following Jesus instead of continuing to fish? Probably they wished the moment to go on forever, and that is why Jesus immediately made them get into the boat, while he dismissed the crowd himself.

 

Likewise, now that the Revival is over, we have to return immediately to our own situations at home, at workplace and at church and to our own ministries which have been entrusted by Jesus, but that is not going to be easy nor full of grace. We will be ‘buffeted by the waves, because the wind was against it.’ (14:24b)

 

After the Revival, we were expecting everything would go smoothly and everyone would root for each other lovingly, but the reality is just the opposite, as the wind of grace does not work like the wind of the world and usually blows against us, so we are buffeted by the waves. In case we are not facing any wind blowing against us, we should check ourselves to see if we have acclimated ourselves to the world too well. When the wind is blowing against us and we are buffeted by the waves, we don’t need to worry, we know Jesus is praying for us. ‘After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.’ (14:23a) Immediately after making the disciples get into the boat and get on with their ministries, Jesus didn’t even stop for a minute before going up on a mountainside to pray, and this is our Lord Jesus! He prays for us earnestly and continuously, so that we don’t have to worry when we struggle against the wind and waves in our lives. Even if we don’t see Him, He knows our situations and prays for us, so we are never alone.

 

But, Jesus’ disciples are just like us; even after experiencing such a wonderful miracle and grace, they forget them as soon as they turn around. Right after witnessing the miracle of ‘5 loaves and 2 fish’, when they were buffeted by the waves and saw Jesus walking toward them, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. (14:26b) Why did they do that? It was because they really didn’t believe Jesus all the way. They still didn’t believe Him with their whole hearts, but only by half. Because their faith had only half the strength, they were afraid and had to cry out in fear.

 

Dear congregation, are you afraid of your present life, or your future? Are you in fear of other people or of misfortunes in your life? Then, you also have faith of half the strength. Please believe in Jesus and get rid of your fears. I want you to hear the voice of Jesus saying to you, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (14:27b) And I pray that you will be blessed to believe in Jesus’ message wholeheartedly.

 

After hearing the voice of Jesus, Peter had the courage to say, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”(14:28) On behalf of all the disciples, Peter wanted to make sure it was the Lord. And Jesus complied with his request by saying, “Come.” Now, Peter began to walk on the water courageously, worthy of his role as a chief disciple, ‘but when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink. (14:30a) Peter should have his eyes fixed on Jesus only, but when he began to see the wind, he began to be afraid. It was due to his having faith of half the strength. The same thing happens to us all the time. By recognizing the real situation and seeing the problems and obstacles, we begin to feel afraid and then feel overwhelmed, and soon we are defeated by the criticisms and attacks, like Peter did; when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink. Is anyone here facing this situation?

 

Before the Revival, we faced several problems, so I requested prayers from the members so that we could withstand the schemes and attacks of Satan. Believing that Satan wouldn’t waste his effort on unworthy battle, I knew that our Revival would be very successful, if all of us prayed fervently.

 

Then, I began to feel really worn out and weak, so I delegated the MC duty to Rev. Bae and just introduced the Revival speaker. The next day, a member of our church came to see me and said, “Pastor, I see that you have changed!” I was shocked to hear that statement, as I have always tried to be consistent and constant in my attitude. This member went on, “On the first Sunday here as our Interim Senior Pastor, you exuded the ultimate confidence, and I miss that confidence from you. Why weren’t you on the podium last night? Please go on the podium and take charge again!”

 

This message woke me up and made me reflect upon myself. I had to admit that my enthusiasm and excitement had been diminished compared to the first Sunday. So, I repented sincerely and took over the MC duty at the Revival starting from Saturday evening. I have not had much experience in presiding over worship services previously, so I made several mistakes during the 1st and 2nd worship services last Sunday. But I didn’t give up and persisted, because I could feel the tremendous support from our Assistant Pastors, the choirs and accompanists, the ushers and the congregation, and most importantly from the Lord.

 

One thing that Peter did right while drowning was asking for help from the Lord. “Lord, save me!” (14:30b) You may think it was natural and to be expected, but he could have asked other people in the same boat for help. Most of us expect others to help us in dire situation and if they don’t offer enough help, our feelings get hurt and relationships get strained. Or by offering help, both parties may sink together. Therefore, instead of relying on others, we should ask Lord Jesus to help us and then hold onto Him, and this is the perfect faith. When we have the perfect faith, Jesus will reach out His hand and catch us and say, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (14:31b)

 

Lord Jesus is asking us today, “Why did you doubt? Why didn’t you fix your eyes only on me? Why did you pay attention to the waves? Why did you notice only problems or obstacles? Why do you worry about the opinions of other people? Why are you afraid?” Our fears do not come from the Lord but from our common sense, education, experiences and conclusions. Our common sense tells us that we will drown in the water before starting to walk, our education tells us we cannot walk on water, our experience tells us that we have never seen anyone walking on water, and our conclusion is that we cannot walk on water, because we will drown in the water first. If we based our faith on common sense, education or experiences, we will never be able to have the absolute faith in the Lord.

 

Peter is a funny character. He asked Lord Jesus that if it was Jesus Himself, He should ask Peter to come to Him on the water, so Jesus asked him to come. Then, Peter got out of the boat bravely and walked on the water, but he didn’t believe completely. Having faith of half the strength is a big obstacle for us. If we didn’t have any faith, we would be seeking for it at church services, Bible studies and prayers, but with faith of half the strength, we are tempted to skip attending services and even if at church, we tend to have our eyes roam around the sanctuary during the worship checking to see who came and who didn’t and who is paying attention and who isn’t and to believe falsely that we don’t need any more Bible studies, as we have enough knowledge about the Bible. No one in the world knows enough about God, as humans are not created to know enough about Him, and if we don’t want to learn more about God, it is because we have faith of half the strength.

 

Currently, we are accepting the registration for Emmaus Camp for the fall. I want to remind you that you have to go for a full experience in your life of faith, just as you have to go for full range of exercises to develop your muscles. We have to go for full range of food for our balanced nutrition, and we have to go for full range of activities in our life of faith for balance; crying out prayers, meditating prayers, praises and dances, meditation, Bible studies and quiet time meditation, etc. By doing all of these, we hope to avoid having faith of half the strength.

 

Each of us has different preferences for his or her pastor, but we should not be discriminating against any type of pastors. If you only listen to your favorite pastor’s sermon, you may incur unhealthy imbalance in your faith. Last week at an early morning service in Washington KUMC, the pastor chose Nahum for his sermon and mentioned that the verses of Nahum (God’s wrath and judgment against Nineveh) had never been anybody’s favorite Bible verses. All of us have our favorite verses, but if we read and memorize those verses only and listen to our favorite sermons only, we may become stubborn in our thoughts and opinions. We have to be open to all the things that God gives us. We should read all the contents of the Bible and not exclude those parts about God’s judgments and curses.

 

When we reflect carefully upon the ways of God’s blessings, we realize that we have been blessed many times quite unexpectedly, as the ways of God’s plan and thinking are so different from our own ways. Therefore, we should always participate and strive to do our best in all of the activities involving our church. We Christians should not calculate too much but put our trust in God completely and rely on Him entirely.

 

I want to repeat what we heard at the last Revival; there is a sign posted in a public bathhouse in Korea saying that “We are not responsible for anything that you have not entrusted to us.” Therefore, to make God be responsible for our lives, we have to entrust God with our lives, just as the owner of public bath says. Now, I want to share a story about a simple, uneducated woman who had entrusted God with her life completely. This has been shared before, so please keep quiet about the ending.

 

Long time ago in Korea, there was a married woman who was childless and considered to be barren because she was over 30 years old. Her husband’s family and neighbors were urging him to find another way of having a baby, which meant getting a concubine. At that time, nobody dreamed about Test-tube baby or In-Vitro fertilization. This woman had been very unhappy about her situation when she heard a sermon about Hannah who had prayed to God desperately for a baby and later dedicated her baby boy Samuel to God. She began to pray daily to God fervently like Hannah did and vowed that she would dedicate her baby to God. Some years later, she got pregnant and had a baby. Amid all the excitement and gratitude, she was overcome with confusion because her baby was a girl and she had never seen any woman of God in her life. She kept asking God what she should do about her baby daughter, but didn’t receive any answer. Later on, she reminisced to her daughter about the early years; “I believed unconditionally that God would fulfill the promise between Him and myself. I didn’t know how to, but I knew He would know the way.” God indeed knew how to do it. At that time a married woman in Korea couldn’t be ordained as a pastor, but God allowed her to come to U.S. and be ordained as a pastor, and she is standing before you at this moment. Not only at this church, she travels all over the world and gives lectures and sermons. Even though the situation seemed hopeless and the woman didn’t know what to do, God took care of that woman’s daughter because of her absolute faith in Him.

 

My mother never went to an elementary school. Her traditional father wouldn’t allow her any formal education, even after sending her brothers to a school founded by missionaries. Because my grandfather had donated the land and fund for the school, his grandchildren attended school free of charge, but she couldn’t go to school. She learned to read by listening to the lessons outside of the school windows, while taking care of her younger brother and carrying him on her back. She apologized to me for her lack of education and said, “I am sorry I didn’t have any formal education. The only thing I can do is to pray for you and ask God to take care of you and use you for His purpose.”

 

God takes care of those who have been entrusted to Him. Now, we can entrust our children to God and ask Him to take care of them. Even if we can leave a big inheritance for them or provide a good education so that they can find good jobs, we know that nothing can guarantee a good future for them. Also, let us entrust our lives to God completely, including our homes and businesses. Let us put our trust in God entirely and continuously, and then let us expect great and unimaginably wonderful things from God. I pray that all of you will be bestowed with the utmost blessing of being taken care of by our Lord Almighty and Omnipotent God!


   

총 게시물 494건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
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 누가 복음 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
487 2018.08.19  'The Peacemakers' Matthew 5:9, Galatians 5:22-23 Rev. Hoon Kyoung Lee
486 2018.08.19  화평케 하는 자 마태복음 5:9,갈라디아서 5:22-23 이훈경 목사
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
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : The people who lowered a paralytic through the roof
설교일 : 2018.09.16
본문말씀 : Luke 5:17-26
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
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