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'The Living Hope'

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-09-06 (목) 06:03 조회 : 254
설교일 : 2018.09.02
설교자 : Rev. Tae Hong Kwon
본문말씀 : Psalms 39:1-7

September 2, 2018


‘The Living Hope’

Psalms 39:1-7


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



Hallelujah! I pray in the name of Jesus Christ that the love, grace and abundant blessings of the Lord be bestowed upon all the members here, your homes and children and also upon your workplaces!


Let us greet people sitting next to you and in front and back of you with a smile, gazing into their eyes with these words, “I am happy to be here with you!”


I am Pastor Tae Hong Kwon, a junior member of the pastoral staff of this church, and today I want to share God’s grace with you and my sermon title is ‘The living hope’.


Some time ago, I found out through the news media that a Congressman in Korea jumped from 17th floor of an apartment building to commit suicide and he was Hoe-Chan Noh, a member of Justice Party.


I am not particularly interested in politics, but was shocked and saddened at his passing.


<Slide 1 – The numbers of each Party members in Korean National Assembly>

Justice Party has only 6 members among the total 300-member National Assembly/Congress and the yellow part on the lower right shows their members. Justice Party is a progressive, minor Party in the Congress and mainly advocating the laborers, handicapped people, women and socially under-represented people. Mr. Noh was one the founders and decision-makers of the Party, and many people outside of politics as well as those in politics mourned over his death deeply.


<Slide 2 – People calling to offer their condolences>

A big crowd flocked to offer their condolences at his funeral and at the incense-burning altars for the deceased in many parts of the country and there was about 70,000 mourners grieving for him.


One picture of the mourners really stood out for me and it was the group of cleaners working for the Congress paying their respects.


<Slide 3 – The cleaners of the Congress building>

It was reported that one of the cleaners had said in an interview that among 300 members of the Congress, usually less than 10 of them say hello to the cleaners. But, Mr. Noh never failed to greet them warmly and always shook hands with them, and once even offered his office for their rest breaks.


The reason for so many people mourning over his death was due to his authenticity. He was genuinely interested in fighting for the underdog in the society against vested interests, and the Speaker of the Congress, Mr. Hee-Sang Moon, lamented that his passing was an important milestone in the lives of all the people.


According to the mass media, the reason Mr. Noh was successful in elevating the political atmosphere in Korea was due to his oratorical skills. He was especially adept at speaking to any crowd with eloquence and had many nicknames related to his oratorial power.


<Slide 4 – Killer tongue, alchemist of speeches, the mouth of progressivism>

Killer tongue, alchemist of speeches, the mouth of progressivism, linguistic magician, best political orator, the symbol of progressivism, eternal spokesman for the labor.


His nicknames were; Killer tongue, alchemist of speeches, the mouth of progressivism, linguistic magician, best political orator, the symbol of progressivism, eternal spokesman for the labor, and so on. Even though a very talented speaker, tragically he chose to take the extreme measure of committing suicide. The main reason for his action was being suspected of receiving an illegal campaign contribution from his friend.


The momentary misjudgment and mistake early in his career led him to make this ultimate decision at his old age. Having been the voice of progressivism with his reputation of being ethically superior, he must have felt extremely miserable, as the special prosecution was coming closer to indict him.


The charges against him had been reported by the news media already, and perhaps he could not endure the accusations of moral duplicity by many acquaintances any more.  He was supposed to be so good with his words, but he chose not to defend himself. Why? He may have felt that he had lost all the hope about his future.


In Psalm 39, like the Congressman Noh, David is feeling sad and depressed, now in his old age and in ill health. He is asking God to forgive him and restore his health before he dies.


<Slide 5 – Psalms 39:13>

Look away from me, that I may rejoice again before I depart and am no more.


Now, David is in his old age and has been in ill health. He felt he was nearing his death, very close to departing from this world and dying, and he was barely holding on and panting for breath.


We see him full of regrets at this decisive moment of David’s life after his crucial and momentary mistake of committing adultery with Bathsheba.


And many people around David are jeering at him, just like what many people in Korea did at Congressman Hoe-Chan Noh for his moral duplicity.


Previously, David had relied on God only and experienced many miracles and triumphs in his life. He was able to hear the fine voices of God, so he wrote many Psalms to praise God. But now, he is a fallen man in ill health, still hearing the jeers and slanders against him and seeing their cold stares toward him.


When we think seriously about David’s situation, we realize David must have been filled with remorse and regrets and guilty conscience about making such a tremendously bad choice. He could have wanted to explain or defend his actions, or to punish those jeerers with his power and position.


But David chose a completely different manner.


<Slide 6 & 7 – Psalms 39:1>

I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.”


David, who has written many excellent psalms to describe all the various emotions, has decided to keep his silence. He is putting a muzzle on his mouth to keep his tongue from sin. Even when he wants to explain or defend himself, he just keeps his mouth shut.


He has decided to keep silent, so that he could watch his ways and go on the right path. He puts a muzzle on his mouth, when the wicked are in his presence. His choice was keeping silence.


<Slide 8 – Psalms 39:2>

But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased.


David keeps silent and still, and he is not even saying anything good. But what was the result?


<Slide 9 – Psalms 39:2b>

My anguish increased.


After David chose to keep silent, the result of his silence is that David’s anguish has increased.


My beloved congregation:

In our daily lives, sometimes we decide not to speak to the person whom we are not happy with, and that person can be your spouse or your child, or colleague or boss. But who is suffering as the result of your decision to keep silence? By choosing to keep silent, we suffer more, as our anguish will increase, like in David’s case.


<Slide 10 – Psalms 39:3>

My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue:


Let us imagine David getting really angry, even while he was meditating upon the Word of God. Do you think it is possible to meditate on the Word of God when you are angry?


Dear congregation, have you ever succeeded in meditating on the Word of God, when you were exploding with anger? I don’t think so.


But, we have to make note of the fact that David didn’t leave his place of meditation.


<Slide 11 – David did not leave his ‘place of meditation’>

But David didn’t leave his place of meditation on the Word of God, as his anguish increased after his long silence, and he was getting angry.


We should be doing the same thing as David did, but will it make our anger disappear? No.


<Slide 12 – Psalms 39:3>

My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue to the Lord.


David was ready to explode with anger. Sometimes we are ready to explode with anger at someone (perhaps our spouse) or at something or at some past decisions. This will lead us to get really sick with pent-up rage, which has 4 stages of illness.


1)  Shocked stage – Angry and shocked, may feel the urge to kill

2)  Mental conflict stage – Got over the shock and now reasoning comes back with anguish

3)  Resignation stage – No real solution but accepting it as your tragic fate (comes with depression)

4)  Symptoms stage – Physical symptoms caused by the pent-up rage (indigestion, anxiety, losing temper, neurosis, seeking compensation)


This pent-up rage will eventually destroy our normal emotions and then the quality of our life.

 But, David did things differently under this circumstance.


<Slide 13 – Psalms 39:3b>

The fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue to the Lord.


His heart grew hot with anger and he was ready to explode, but David went before God and spoke to Him. David told the Lord everything and cried out to Him.


<Slide 14 – Psalms 39:4>

“Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life.”


We know David didn’t cry out to the Lord gently. He must have been bursting into a fit of rage, so he cried out violently and demanded to know when his life would end and how many days were left for him.


We see ourselves in David’s rage.

At times, we get so angry at our spouse, our children, our business, our health, etc. that we cry bitter tears, like David is doing here. He continues to cry out to the Lord.


<Slide 15 – Psalms 39:5>

“You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”


David says his life has the linear measure of the palm of the hand, so it is like nothing to the Lord. Everything is meaningless, utterly meaningless, and our lives are fleeting like the morning fog.


David is crying out to the Lord to complain about His indifference and apathy toward himself, but was David’s life so meaningless and brief?


We remember David from his triumph against Goliath as a shepherd youth, then winning numerous battles, and later fighting to survive, because he wrote many Psalms showing the details of his life. Moreover, he eventually became the king of Israel and reigned the nation very well. He also brought up his son Solomon properly and did all the preparations for Solomon to build the temple later, but now that he is old and in ill health, nothing seems to matter and his life seems to be so brief. 


<Slide 16 – Psalms 39:6>

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.


David continues to talk about the meaninglessness of our lives; we are very busy in life, but are like phantoms doing meaningless works.


By working hard, we may accumulate our wealth, but we do not know who will be able to use it. Therefore, life is meaningless, and David feels hopeless in his situation. But, now David is turning toward God and paying all his attention to Him.


<Slide 17 – Psalms 39:7>

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”


David was sick in bed and lamenting the meaninglessness of life, but now all his attention is on God. He lays down everything and puts all his hope in God.


Having experienced jeers, contempt, disdain and persecutions in his life, David may have felt like a phantom and that his life was a short interlude and a fleeting violent storm.


We also go through violent storms in our lives, and sometimes we choose silence to deal with our regrets and guilty conscience, but it doesn’t work and our anguish only increases. Soon our pent-up emotions turn into a rage and we may reach the boundary of life or death decision.


<Slide 18 – The fork in the road for life or death>


At the turning point of life or death decision, David chooses to have his hope in God. Being sick and nearing death, David was ready to explode with anger at his life, but he chose hope at the crucial moment.


The hope David had in God was not a dead hope, but a living hope.


After writing Psalm 39, David held onto his hope in God until the end.


<Slide 19 – Psalm 42:5>

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior.>


Whom is David talking to? He was not talking to others, but talking to himself, to his soul. He is telling his soul not to be downcast or disturbed, and to put his hope in God, as he praises Him. His hope is alive.


<Slide 20 – Psalm 62:5>

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.>


David is telling his soul to find rest and to lay down all the fears and worries, and to look toward God. His hope comes from God, so he should get up and look toward God, not toward all the problems in his life. And he will keep on praising God and the hope in heaven.


<Slide 21 – Psalm 71:14>

“But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”


‘Hope’ and ‘praising the Lord’ are important words in Psalm 71:14, but the most important word is ‘always’.


David’s hope in God is not a temporary one, which he carries when things are all right or he is in worship, but a permanent one for every moment of his life.


If we do not hold hope in our hearts always, we tend to forget our hope in the midst of our busy lives and then we fall down. We should keep our hope close to our hearts and look toward God always, so that we can get up easily even after we have fallen down.


<Slide 22 – Psalm 146:5>

“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord, his God.”


Who is blessed? Blessed is he who is helped by God and who puts his hope in his Lord. In Psalm 146:5 the blessed person is emphasized three times. I want to urge you to insert your own name in this verse.


<Slide 22 – Psalm 146:5>

“Blessed is ‘your name’ whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord of ‘yours’, ‘your’ God.”


I hope and pray that this will be our confession, every day and every moment of our lives.


God is my help and my hope is in the Lord, therefore, I am blessed! Amen!


Not only in the Old Testament, but also in the New Testament, Apostle Paul talks about the hope many times. In Romans 5:4, Paul says that perseverance produces character and character produces hope, and we experience in our lives that perseverance helps us to build our character and our character helps us to have hope. In Romans 5:5, Paul confesses more about the hope he has.


<Slide 23 – Romans 5:5>

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.


Our hope will not disappoint us. Why? Because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, so the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross is flowing in our hearts, after the love of Jesus Christ has been poured out into our souls.


This is not a dead hope but a living hope, which has been poured out into our hearts.


<Slide 24 - 1 Peter 1:3>

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”


We praise God for mercifully giving us new life through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and for giving us a living hope! Ours is not a dead hope, but a living hope.


My beloved congregation:

Do you have the living hope in God?

When everything in your life seems like deadlocked, do you still have the living hope in the Lord? I hope your living hope is with you as the true hope not only when you are inside of the church, but also in every area and at all the places of your life.


At this time, I pray fervently that all of you be bestowed with the living hope in your hearts!


The answer to “What is hope?” is as follows.


<Slide 25 – Jude 1:21>

“Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.”


How can we keep ourselves in God’s love? It is possible for us to do so with the Word of God, as the Word of God only can bring us hope in our lives.


<Slide 26 – The forest of God’s Word>


Our Bible Academy of ‘Walking through the forest of God’s Word’ will begin classes on Tuesday evening and on Thursday morning of this week. Let us take a break from our busy lives, and take a ‘walk through the forest of God’s Word’ together! I am convinced that this will be a blessed journey for all of us to find the love of God and the living hope.


<Slide 27 – The names of the registrants for ‘Walking through the forest of God’s Word’>


These are the names of those who have registered for the course, and I welcome everyone to our Bible Academy and to ‘Walking through the forest of God’s Word’. Among these registrants, some are young adults, the second-generation children of ours, newcomers to our church, deacons, exhorters and elders. All of us will take a walk through the forest hand in hand and experience the love of God together.


If you are unable to join us in our ‘Walking through the forest of God’s Word’ because of various circumstances and difficult situations, your intercessory prayers will be appreciated. In the name of the Lord, I hope and pray that you will continue to read the Bible on your own and meditate upon the ‘Bible Time’ at your own place.


Dear congregation, in case you are wondering why I showed the list of the names, my intention is to emphasize the importance of holding onto the Word of God always, reading the Bible night and day, meditating upon the words in the Bible and applying them in our lives. Are we building up the altar of the Word or not? Are we reflecting upon ourselves and seeing if we live our lives in accordance with the proclaimed Word in the Bible?


Only when we build up the altar of the Word firmly within ourselves, we will be able to hold hope. Now that we are in September, everything is being started again. I pray that the altar of the Word of God be restored in each of us.


Again, I hope that as the altar of the Word is restored in you, you will be able to testify the Word in your life every day, and that the living hope will restored to you as well.


Any peace that is not based on the Word will not last, and any joy that is not based on the Word will disappear in an instant.


We can find God’s hope in the Word of God. According to chapter 1 of Colossians, the hope that is stored up for us in heaven is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Through His hope, we have seen the glory of God and the glory of Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus Christ is the hope of all the nations and the comforter for all of us.


Dear congregation:

In closing, I want to share the following verse.


<Slide 28 – Romans 15:13>

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”


The one that fills us with all joy and peace is the God of hope. Thanks to this God of hope, we will be overflowing with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


May your life be filled with abundant joy and peace by the God of hope and you will be overflowing with hope always!


I pray in the name of Christ Jesus that even at the most critical moment of our lives, with our living hope inside of us, our soul will look toward heaven, choose the hope of the kingdom of God and go on living our lives on earth with the heavenly hope in our hearts.
















총 게시물 559건, 최근 0 건
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제목 : The lessons we learn through the family of Jacob
설교일 : 2019.05.12
본문말씀 : Genesis 35:1-8
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim



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