총 게시물 551건, 최근 0 건

Plan G !!

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-12-31 (월) 20:01 조회 : 131
설교일 : 2018.12.30
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
본문말씀 : Joshua 24:14-15

December 30, 2018

 

Plan G !!

Joshua 24:14-15

 

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

 

 

This is what I want to say to you first: “All of you have worked really hard and endured well!”

 

Now, our church is going to become a great example in the history of Korean immigrant churches in U.S. After experiencing the confusion and shock of suddenly losing your beloved Senior Pastor, you had to deal with this Interim Senior Pastor who is too short for you to see unless on a platform, seems to be working only partially in Michigan and is too weak even to lift the offering baskets. Thank you for accepting me whole-heartedly as your Interim Senior Pastor and covering up for my shortcomings. Even when you couldn’t understand my actions, you trusted and believed in my reasonings. I want to thank those of you who disagreed with my way of ministering, but instead of pointing out what I was doing wrong, you just waited patiently. I also want to thank those who continuously prayed for me so that I could hold onto my ministry and not fall down. We made it together! Ever since the final decision for the new Senior Pastor was reached, I have thought about my last sermon here and today’s passage has been on my mind all the time. While I was meditating and preparing for this sermon, I noticed in today’s passage some things I had overlooked previously.

 

Earlier, Joshua was speaking for the LORD who concluded, “So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant” (Joshua 24:13). Hearing this, the Israelites must have thought, “What is God talking about? How hard we had to work to get to this land! God certainly knows how long we had to wait, and how much blood we had to shed and how much sacrifice we had to make! Why is God saying this?”

 

But the fact is, without God, they could not have made it to the Promised Land, even with suffering all the hardships and enduring all the sacrifices while they were in the wilderness. Just as I said on Thanksgiving Sunday, if God didn’t give to us, we would not have anything that we have now, and if God didn’t protect us, we would lose everything all at once. God wants us to remember this always, because He knows that if we ever forget this, we would also forget God and then become arrogant, taking the credit for any success ourselves.

 

God has protected this church for more than 46 years, and especially during the past 11 months, He watched over this church very carefully. As you know, there are many churches that are not doing well in U.S, even with their full-time and healthy pastors doing their utmost for their churches and their members working as hard as our church members do. Therefore, we should not take the credit for our church’s success or become arrogant. We should always remember that God ‘has given’ us all the things we have.

 

After delivering the message from God, Joshua says; “Now fear the LORD and serve Him with all faithfulness … serve the LORD only.”

 

Joshua became their leader after the passing of Moses who had been the best possible leader of the Israelites and led them into the Promised Land of Canaan and helped them settle down there. As we know from the Book of Joshua, their journey had been full of impossibly difficult uphill battles and they also faced almost total annihilation before settling down in Canaan. After accomplishing this difficult task from God, Joshua was now old and well advanced in years. He summoned all the Israelites to say farewell to them. What was his biggest hope and wish for them? Certainly, he hoped them to do well in their new land and live well, as he felt they deserved the good life after such a long and arduous journey. But how can he make sure that they will have the good life, he must have had many sleepless nights thinking about this. Then, he came up with a plan; Serve God only!! That was Plan G!! But he was also aware that those Israelites might choose something else, which they thought was nicer or would provide them better benefits or more successes. Joshua knew that the Israelites would have to make constant choices in their lives in the new land.

 

Who were those people gathered around Joshua?

All of them had experienced God’s daily care of them in the wilderness and they knew that they wouldn’t have been allowed to enter the Promised Land of Canaan without God’s grace. And these Israelites had grown up in faith from their birth! So, it seems unreasonable of Joshua to ask them to choose to serve God. Who among them wouldn’t choose God? Likewise, it seems unnecessary for us, faithful Christians, to be asked to choose God over other gods, as we are sure that all of us will choose God.

 

The people there answered unanimously that they would never forsake the LORD and serve Him only. And for a while, they did serve the LORD only. But, as time went by, as they became more prosperous, their resolution began to weaken and gradually one by one, they chose to serve other things, and consequently, in the end the Israelites were painfully taken from Canaan to a faraway foreign land as captives.  

 

What we learn from this history is that we have to repeatedly make the decision to serve God only, every day. This means that every morning we have to make the decision of “Whom will I serve today?” It has been known that the most vulnerable time for faithful people is not when they face persecutions, but when they are comfortable in their faith and feel very familiar and confident of their faith. Actually, it may be easier for us to choose Jesus Christ, if we are facing some serious persecution because of our faith in Him. We think we have chosen to serve God, but in reality, we may have chosen to serve the comforts, successes, recognition, money, status or fame in our everyday lives. That is why each of us among all the Christians has to stand up to answer the question from Joshua and make an intentional choice.

 

But, making a decisive choice is not enough. We have to pay attention to the fact that the question of Joshua was about ‘whom to serve’, not ‘whom to choose’. What he meant was that we should not choose whom we like, but we should choose whom we want to serve. The problem we have in the world is that there are many people who have chosen God, but there aren’t many who have chosen to serve Him. Making a choice alone does not bring on any change, just like signing up or getting a membership for a Health Club does not automatically make you healthy. You have to go there and exercise to get any benefit for yourself. Just choosing God does not bring on any change to us, to our churches or to our society.

Doing what God commands us to do will bring on the changes. Even with 1/3 of the world population being Christians, the world is not getting any better but becoming more like hell every day, because there are not that many Christians who obey God’s commands actively.

 

Of course, doing God’s work actively can bring on conflicts among us. But we should not forget that there are many ways to accomplish Plan G and it is dangerous for us to believe there is only “My way or no way”. As I wrote in the Pastor’s Column for last Sunday, it is not easy for us to reach an agreement and God is the only one that provides the righteous agreement. What we can do is to love each other and forgive others and reconcile with them.

 

There is a movie with the title of “Memory of my brother” which tells the story of friends in a village who became orphans because of adults’ conflict during the Korean War and then as enemies, they fought each other on opposite sides at every chance. A soldier who formed a chorus group of orphans including them gave them a suggestion (a video is shown) that even when they don’t agree on anything, they should not threaten or attack the other, but just follow the rules and do their jobs well, then they would be able to bear beautiful and precious fruits. Even when our opinions are divided, when we are misunderstood or criticized, we should persevere without giving up and work harder and harder until we will be able to accomplish God’s will.

 

After a successful career and a tenured position at Carnegie Mellon University, Prof. Randy Pausch was diagnosed with a terminal cancer with only 6 months of time left. He said, “The reason for having a wall is to teach us what we really want. A wall will stop us at our tracks and makes us think how desperately we want that thing.” In doing God’s work, when we are faced with a wall, we should not give up our work because of a wall, if we really want to do it. Anything we earnestly desire, we don’t give up easily.

 

Quoting the words of the late Prof. Pausch, Poet Ho-Seung Chung adds that “If we only see the wall as a wall, we wouldn’t be able to see a door in the wall. When we think the possible thing is impossible, we will only see the wall, and when we think the impossible thing is possible, we will be able to see the door in the wall. Once we cultivate the eyes to see the door in the wall, we will always find the door in the wall.”

 

My dear congregation, I want to urge you to be the person who can find the door in the wall. No matter how tightly the walls come pressing toward you, you will be able to distinguish a door in the wall.

 

Now, I hope and pray that with your new Senior Pastor, Rev. Eung-Yong Kim, you and this church will go forward and find the door for those who are in despair because they don’t see the door and will become the door for those who are confined by all the walls in the world.

 

P.S. I love you. I have loved you a lot.


   

총 게시물 551건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
551 2019.04.14  Jesus comes to us, riding on a donkey Matthew 21:1-11 Rev. Eungyong Kim
550 2019.04.14  나귀 타고 오시는 예수 마태복음 21:1-11 김응용 목사
549 2019.04.07  The last will be first Matthew 20:1-16 Rev. Eungyong Kim
548 2019.04.07  나중 된 자로서 먼저 된 자 마태복음 20:1-16 김응용 목사
547 2019.03.31  The papyrus baskets will encounter the Red Sea Exodus 14:10-16 Rev. Eungyong Kim
546 2019.03.31  갈대상자도 홍해를 만납니다. 출애굽기 14:10-16 김응용 목사
545 2019.03.24  The Passover is present in every papyrus basket Exodus 12:21-28 Rev. Eungyong Kim
544 2019.03.24  갈대 상자에는 반드시 유월절이 있습니다. 출애굽기 12:21-28 김응용 목사
543 2019.03.17  The exodus of a papyrus basket Exodus 5:22-6:9 Rev. Eungyong Kim
542 2019.03.17  갈대 상자의 출애굽 출애굽기 5:22-6:9 김응용 목사
541 2019.03.10  The secret of a papyrus basket Exodus 4:10-17 Rev. Eungyong Kim
540 2019.03.10  갈대 상자의 비밀 출애굽기 4:10-17 김응용 목사
539 2019.03.03  The Papyrus Basket Exodus 2:1-10 Rev. Eungyong Kim
538 2019.03.03  갈대 상자 출애굽기 2:1-10 김응용 목사
537 2019.02.24  The church where healers are hard at work 1 Samuel 20:12-16 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : Jesus comes to us, riding on a donkey
설교일 : 2019.04.14
본문말씀 : Matthew 21:1-11
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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