총 게시물 515건, 최근 0 건

"That Unforgettable Person!"

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-12-04 (화) 09:13 조회 : 29
설교일 : 2018.12.02
설교자 : Rev. Tae Hong Kwon
본문말씀 : 1 Thessalonians 1:1-7

December 2, 2018

 

“That Unforgettable Person!”

1 Thessalonians 1:1-7

 

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

 

Hallelujah!

On this blessed Advent Sunday, may the love, grace and abundant blessings of God be bestowed upon all of you, your homes and your families in the name of Jesus Christ!

 

Let us greet those in the front, on the right and left and in the back, with this greeting; “Happy to be with you!” Say one more time with a big smile and gazing into their eyes; “I will be with you until the end.”

 

It has been a while since I delivered a sermon to you, and I sincerely hope that all of us will be touched by the grace of the Word of God this morning.

 

Slide 1

That unforgettable person!

 

I would like to proclaim the gracious Word of God with today’s passage of 1 Thessalonians chapter 1.  The church in Thessalonica was founded by Apostle Paul during his second missionary journey. After founding this church, Paul had to proceed to other areas, but he kept thinking about the church and its Christian community and wrote this epistle to them.

 

Slide 2, Thessalonians 1:1

Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

 

Apostle Paul was not alone when he was writing his letter to the church of Thessalonians. He had others with the same faith and heart, and one of them was Timothy.

 

Paul did not run the race for his faith alone, and when he was writing his epistles to the early Christian communities, he was accompanied by Timothy, who was a brother in Christ and his true son in the faith.

 

Slide 3, 2 Corinthians 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia:

 

Not only when Paul was writing to the church in Thessalonica, Timothy was also with Paul when he was writing to the church in Corinth and to the church in Philippi.

 

Slide 4, Philippians 1:1

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:

 

Not only when Paul was writing to the churches in Thessalonica, Corinth and Philippi, but also when Paul was writing to the church of Colossians, Paul and Timothy were together.

 

Slide 5, Colossians 1:1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy, our brother.

 

We have a question. How could Paul and Timothy maintain their close relationship so well for so long? The reason was they were in Christ Jesus by the will of God.

 

The chapter 1 of Colossians begins with the following.

By the will of God.

 

Paul and Timothy…

The two of them always looked for the will of God in their relationship and then acknowledged the will of God in their lives.

 

Let us go back to today’s passage and to what Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica.

 

Slide 6, 1 Thessalonians 1:1

Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.

 

Paul begins his letter wishing grace and peace to those in Jesus Christ.

 

And I want to wish the same grace and peace that was bestowed upon the people of the church at Thessalonica be bestowed upon all of you here who are in Christ Jesus!

 

Being in Christ Jesus means that we acknowledge in our lives that God is always looking toward us.

 

Numbers 6:24-26 state that, “the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD makes His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; and the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.”

 

God turns His face toward us, because He is interested in us. Where is God’s interest today? His interest is upon each and all of us who are in this worship. In other words, you are the object of God’s interest.

 

Slide 7, The Object of God’s interest

The object of God’s interest

I believe that our homes, our workplaces, our Cell Groups and our church are the objects of God’s interest.

 

In today’s passage, we know that the church in Thessalonica was certainly the object of Paul’s interest and what he told them is as follows.

 

Slide 8, Thessalonians 1:2

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.

 

We notice that Paul wrote two things here; ‘Always thank God for you’ and ‘mentioning you in our prayers’.

 

My dear congregation, do you have someone in your life whom you are thankful for whenever you think of that person?

 

Slide 9,

Always thankful for that person

Always reminded of that person in my prayers

 

This person can be one of your family members, or friends.

I have someone whom I am always thankful for and reminded of in my prayers.

 

About a month ago, I exchanged text messages with a young man in Italy and another young man serving in U.S. army.

 

Slide 10, My text message to Jae-Hui

 

I was giving thanks this morning and thinking of those whom I am thankful for and I was reminded of you. You are such an unforgettable and precious person to me that I am sending this text to you. Even though we are far apart in distance, I am praying for you to bear beautiful fruits in the love of the Lord and win many victories. With Love, Rev. Kwon

 

Slide 11, Reply message from Jae-Hui

Thank you, Pastor. It has been awhile, but you are also unforgettable to me. My life here in a foreign country is not easy, but I am thankful for having God here to talk to. I am hoping to see you again and looking forward to the day. Thank you for remembering me always.

 

The other text message was to a young man, Dong-Hyun, who used to serve as a member of our Young Adults Group Praise Team and is now in U.S. army.

 

Slide 12, My text message to Dong-Hyun.

I believe that you are the Lord’s true worshiper who praises the Lord no matter where you are.

 

Then, I received a reply from him.

 

Slide 13, Reply messages from Dong-Hyun.

Thanks to your encouragement for me to become ‘an army missionary’, I remain true to my faith and a servant of God under very difficult circumstances.

 

His next message was really touching.

 

I am praying every day for the Korean United Methodist of Metro Detroit and for its members, and I will continue to pray for them.

 

I want to share with you that a young man from our ‘Haram Young Adults Group’ is praying for you and for the church every morning. The young men of Haram Young Adults Group are not just attending the 3rd Worship Service on Sundays at our church, but are well trained missionaries to the military, to their workplaces and to their campuses. I believe these ‘fresh as morning dew’ young men are devoted to their holy mission as the servants of the Lord. I am thankful to be the shepherd for these young men and to train and encourage them to be God’s workers.

 

Apostle Paul and Timothy were thankful for the Thessalonians and praying for them always, just as I am thankful for our young men and praying for them always. Now, we are going back to Paul’s epistle to the church in Thessalonica in today’s passage.

 

Slide 14, 1 Thessalonians 1:3

We continuously remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

According to this verse, Paul and Timothy were acutely aware of what and how the people of Thessalonica Church were doing, and they prayed for them specifically and in detail. We see their three qualities in this verse, and they were; their work produced by faith, their labor prompted by love, and their endurance inspired by hope.

 

Slide 15, The first: The work that was produced by faith

The first: The work that was produced by faith

 

The first thing Paul remembered about them was the work that had been produced by faith. He remembered the faith of the Thessalonians.

 

The people of the Thessalonica Church lived with their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and in their salvation, but suffered much persecution just like other early Christian communities.

 

Despite of all the hardships, they persevered and lived as, ‘the righteous will live by faith’, described in the Romans. Paul remembered the work produced by their faith under difficult circumstances.

 

Slide 16, The second: The labor that was prompted by love

The second: The labor that was prompted by love

 

Paul remembered the labor that had been prompted by their love. The people of the Thessalonica Church labored hard because they were held together by the love of Jesus Christ.

 

Let us meditate upon how those believers in Thessalonica managed to continue their labor of love under such difficult conditions. No matter how hard their lives were, they just couldn’t give up on their labor of love.

 

Speaking of the labor of love at this time of finishing up the old year and beginning with the new year, we are reminded of all kinds of labor of love.

 

For the fathers, for the husbands…

Despite of the heavy burden on their shoulders, they have labored on, sometimes shedding tears, but telling no one of their troubles. But it is not only the fathers to do the labor of love.

 

For the mothers, for the wives…

They care for their family and pray for them every day. There is no end in doing housework, and it seems like no one appreciates their work. They get tired of doing the same mindless daily chores and wasting their education, while their husbands are out there advancing in the world and getting recognition.

 

They feel uncomfortable to make any time for themselves, so they continue to labor on alone in the name of love. The mothers and wives have been working hard, really hard.

 

Apostle Paul remembered the labor of the people of the Thessalonica church and knew that their labor of love was steadfast and unstoppable.

 

Slide 17, The third: The endurance that was inspired by hope

The third: The endurance that was inspired by hope

 

The third thing that Paul remembered about the Thessalonica church was, their endurance inspired by hope in Jesus Christ.

 

Today is the first Sunday of the Advent, the coming of the birth of Christ. The Thessalonians endured all the persecutions and sufferings because of their hope in the second coming of Jesus Christ, as described in 1 Peter 1:3.

 

Slide 18, 1 Peter 1:3

He has given us new birth into a living hope.

 

The people of the Thessalonica Church held fast onto their hope, in spite of the harsh persecutions against them and dark prospects surrounding them. They had the flame of hope inside of them, and this hope was the living hope, not a dead one.

 

Paul remembered the Thessalonians and was thankful for them for their work produced by faith, labor prompted by love, and endurance inspired by hope, and he made the assessment of them as follows.

 

Slide 19, 1 Thessalonians 1:6

You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

 

In this verse, we are struck by the fact that they have become the imitators of the Lord.

 

Slide 20, The imitators

The imitators

The people of the Thessalonica church were imitators of the Lord. To find out how they became the imitators, I want to read the above verse in reverse.

 

Slide 21, 1 Thessalonians 1:6

You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

 

<Now, we will read this verse in reverse.>

They welcomed the message and were filled with joy by the Holy Spirit. The reason they were filled with joy by the Holy Spirit was because they had been in the middle of severe suffering, and then they became the imitators of the Lord.

 

To become the imitators of the Lord, they had to endure the severe suffering, and all of us have enough of worries, frustrations and disappointments in our lives because of our problems in health, finance, status, children, or relationships.

 

Didn’t the early Christians have enough of worries, frustration and disappointments while being persecuted?

But, in spite of all, the people of the Thessalonica church became the imitators of the Lord, and what was the reason?

It was possible because they had steadfastly held onto the Word of God without wavering.

 

Paul was not the only one to be impressed by their faithfulness, as they became a model to the believers in other areas.

 

Slide 22, 1 Thessalonians 1:7

And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

 

So, their faithful life became a model for those outside of their own community.

 

Slide 23, A good example

A good example

An exemplary life, shown like a mirror

 

I want to ask all of you sitting here in the sanctuary; How would you look in the mirror, with your work by faith, your labor of love and your endurance by hope?

 

Slide 24, Images of an apple

These are the images of yourself in the mirror

 

How would you look in the mirror? How would you look to the others? Even though you have nothing, do you mistakenly believe that you look like you have everything under control? Or, even though you have everything, but because of your low-esteem, you may look like you have nothing.

 

Then, what can we do to make our work by faith, our labor of love and our endurance by hope be reflected as a good example to others? I want to share an example with you.

 

About this time one year ago!

I got a call late at night after 11:00 p.m. that a member of our Young Adults Group in his 30s had a cerebral hemorrhage. I rushed to the hospital’s Emergency Room. The doctor in charge said the patient didn’t look good, but he would do his best until the end.

 

Later, the young man in the Intensive Care Unit certainly didn’t look good. He used to serve very diligently as the drummer for the Praise Team of the Young Adults Group. It was not easy for me to accept the situation, but after requesting urgent intercessory prayers from the staff of the Young Adults Group, all I could do at the I.C.U. was to pray hard for him in tears.

 

Since the day of his cerebral hemorrhage, one year of time has gone by. In the meantime, God has healed this young man, Dae Young, who had looked so hopeless at first, and brought him back to his place of worship. Now he is serving as the leader of a small group.

 

At the Thanksgiving Dinner with the small group leaders, we shared what we were most thankful for; One was thankful for getting married in two weeks to a man of faith, another was thankful for her new job and for the good people at work, and after a while, it was Dae Young’s turn to share what he was most thankful for. After a moment of consideration, this was his reply.

 

Slide 25, Thankful for being alive and breathing.  

Thankful for being alive and breathing. 

 

Dae Young has some residual paralysis, so it is still difficult for him to climb the steps.

But, he became one of the candidates to be the next president of the Young Adults Group, and three weeks ago at this podium he had the occasion to express his views and plans for the next year. I helped him to climb the steps to the podium.

 

Dae Young’s campaign speech was short and powerful; “I will fully obey the Lord’s calling.” Then, he was elected to be next year’s president of the Young Adults Group.

 

Dae Young’s body has not recovered completely and he still has partial paralysis. Who can complain that he has to serve others now? Weren’t his cerebral hemorrhage and the residual paralysis enough of sufferings, worries, frustrations and disappointments for him?

 

Despite of all the hardships, Dae Young realized that he was indebted to the love of the Lord, so holding onto the Word of God and obeying the Lord’s calling as a debtor, he is going to do the work by his faith.

 

He wants to serve the Young Adults Group with his labor of love, with his unstoppable love, because he has endurance inspired by hope within him. He has been given the living hope in the Lord. So, no matter how dismal and gloomy the present situation is, he is looking forward to the coming birth of Jesus Christ and living every day by giving thanks for being alive, with a living hope in Jesus Christ. Dae Young’s life by the grace of the Lord has been a good example to me and to many young people.

 

After the election, a young man said to me, “Pastor! Is Dae Young going to do all right, even with his handicap?” I gave this answer to him; “Now that Dae Young is going to serve as the president despite of his handicap, I want to ask you, what are you going to do for God with all your healthy limbs?” This morning, I want to ask the same question to all of you.

 

Slide 26, Healthy limbs and body

Having been given healthy body and healthy limbs, my beloved congregation, what are you going to do for God in 2019?

 

Are you excited and willing to do the work?

In spite of all the hardships and sufferings, are you willing to do the work by your faith, do the labor by love and have the endurance by hope, thus becoming a role model to others?

 

I hope and pray in the name of Jesus Christ that all of you will live your life in Jesus Christ by the will of God and become a good example to all.

 

I hope and pray that our children will live exemplary lives and become good models to all.

 

Additionally, I hope and pray our church that was built by the blood of the Lord will be a good example to all the believers in the world.

 

My message of hope at this Advent season is that through our work by faith and our labor by love and our endurance by hope, we will be the good examples of Elders, Exhorters, Deacons, and fathers, mothers and children, and of Christians.

 

Slide 27, 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.

 

I want to proclaim and bless at this hour that all of you be bestowed with the hope, joy and peace of God.

 

I hope and pray in the name of Christ Jesus that you will be filled with the living hope by God of hope and with the Word of God by the Holy Spirit, and then become the role model to all the people around you.

 

Now, let us all stand up and sing a hymn, and then go out to the world.


 

총 게시물 515건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
515 2018.12.02  "That Unforgettable Person!" 1 Thessalonians 1:1-7 Rev. Tae Hong Kwon
514 2018.12.02  생각나는 사람! 그 사람! 데살로니가 전서 1장 1-7절절 권태홍 목사
513 2018.11.25  Jesus is the King! Matthew 26:6-13 Rev. Se Jin Bae
512 2018.11.25  예수가 왕이시다 마태 복음 26:6-13 배세진 목사
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
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : "That Unforgettable Person!"
설교일 : 2018.12.02
본문말씀 : 1 Thessalonians 1:1-7
설교자 : Rev. Tae Hong Kwon
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