총 게시물 575건, 최근 2 건

A church that is like the city of refuge

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2019-02-04 (월) 09:07 조회 : 117
설교일 : 2019.02.03
설교자 : Rev. Eung Yong Kim
본문말씀 : Joshua 20:1-6

February 3, 2019

 

A church that is like the city of refuge

Joshua 20:1-6

 

Rev. Eung Yong Kim’s sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

Today’s passage is about the cities of refuge. After the conquest of the Promised Land of Canaan, God told the Israelites to designate 6 cities of refuge which were to be located in different parts of Canaan.

 

A city of refuge is a place where anyone who killed a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee and find protection from the avengers of blood. In the city of refuge, a killer is allowed to live there, if the killing was unintentional and without malice.

 

Why did God ask the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge as soon as they entered the Canaan?

There was a secret reason.

 

1.  God knows there are many lost souls who do not know where to go next.

 

Having no place to go means the situation is very urgent and desperate.

After killing someone accidentally and unintentionally, the killer has no place to go and no place to live.

 

The core message of today’s passage is for the lost souls who may not have killed anyone but who are suffering, because they have no place to go and no direction for their lives.

 

< During my ministry in Manila, I was awakened by a phone call. It was 1 a.m. I couldn’t figure out who the caller was. When I asked him who he was, he said he had visited our church once. The reason for his call was that he was being detained at a bar because he couldn’t pay the bill for his drinks. Then, the bar owner took the phone and said to me that if I didn’t come, he would be turned over to the police. The man then pleaded to me desperately and asked me to please come and help him. After hanging up the phone, I was in agony, not knowing whether I should go or not. I woke up my wife from sleep and told her about the phone call. She answered that there was nothing for me to agonize over and that I should go to him because calling a pastor was the last fortress for him. I couldn’t go to a bar by myself, so I went with my wife. When I got there, I found out that this man was taken to the police station already. He had bought the drinks for several young women as well as for himself and he couldn’t pay the bill for so many drinks that the bar owner called the police. I went to see him at the police station and after paying for the charge for drinks, I brought him to our home, as he had no place to go. In the morning he turned out to be quite young. I gave him a good scolding for his lifestyle. He had lost all his money at casinos in the Philippines and lied to his relatives and friends to borrow more money and now he ran out of people to call for help. That was why he called our church the night before. I felt sorry for him. After the breakfast, I sent him out with my best wishes for a new life.

 

I haven’t heard from him again so far. Do you think he changed his ways and was restored? >

 

Isn’t the Bible filled with the life stories of people who have lost their directions? The Bible tells us in detail the continuing journeys of these people who had lost their directions.

 

Jacob is the prime example of these lost people of the Old Testament.

Because of his greed, he cheated his older brother and deceived his father.

Afterwards, he couldn’t go on living at home.

He had to leave his beloved mother and flee from home.

 

He left home and went on his journey, not knowing where he was going.

 

After many hours in the wilderness, Jacob fell asleep.

He must have been so exhausted that he couldn’t take another step. He just fell down and went to sleep.

 

But at that place, God approached Jacob, a lost soul, and gave him a promise.

“I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you!” This was God’s covenant with Jacob in Genesis 28:15.

 

God did not make a covenant with Jacob when he was beautiful, or faithful, or perfect.

 

God seeks us out when we are down and don’t know what to do next, and then He makes a covenant with us in order to raise us up.

 

This doesn’t happen only in the Old Testament, but also in the New Testament.

The prime example is the Samaritan woman at the well in the town of Sychar.

She has had five husbands and the man she now has is not her husband, but her thirst couldn’t be quenched.

So, this woman who doesn’t know what to do next comes to draw water at the well when no one is around.

She sees a man standing next to the well. He is the seventh man she has met and He is Lord Jesus.

The difference between Lord Jesus and the men in her life is that Lord Jesus knows that she has been thirsty.

 

The story about the city of refuge is really about the heart of God who knows us, the lost souls. God knows us intimately; He knows our weaknesses, our deficiencies and our limitations.

 

That is why God has provided the cities of refuge for us who don’t know where to go next in our lives.

 

The cities of refuge were not only provided for the Israelites who had settled in Canaan, but also for all of us who have lost the directions and the willpower to go on.

What would have happened if Jacob was not provided with the covenant, his city of refuge?

 

I think our church is the city of refuge for all of us.

God has raised this church for us and provided a place of special care and healing for those weak members who unfortunately have lost their directions in their difficult lives.

 

2.  A place of restoration

 

Let us meditate upon the heart of God carefully.

Why did He instruct to designate 6 cities of refuge to the Israelites?

 

The city of refuge is the place where the heart of God is. God really wants to save the life of anyone who has committed murder accidentally and unintentionally and to have that person safely restored, so He has provided 6 different cities of refuge for easy access.

 

A place of restoration.

The city of refuge is a place of restoration.

The city of refuge is a safe place for the lost souls, and it is also a place of restoration for them.

 

Knowing how fragile we are, God has provided a place of restoration for us.

 

At the cities of refuge, the vicious cycle of killing and revenge and then again killing could be broken. We can easily imagine this vicious cycle of killings and revenges continuing in the blood related community of the Israelites at that time. In that society, if your brother was killed, you couldn’t just do nothing. You had to avenge his blood, and the cycle of violence would go on. In this vicious cycle, the enemy relationships would grow and expand.

 

That was why God wanted to provide the cities of refuge to the Israelites. And at the cities of refuge, the vicious cycle of revenge was stopped and the enemy relationships were dissolved.

 

When I hear from church members about their enemies in the church, I am really shocked. The fact that they have enemies means that they are under the influences of the vicious cycle and that they are not behaving like the children of God.

 

Whenever I hear the conflicts among the church members, I am really torn between them, but I cannot take sides in the conflicts. There were times when I took sides and I failed miserably in solving the conflict.

 

As a pastor, I have learned to be impartial in any conflicts involving the church members and to try my best not to get involved. I can only pray for the conflicts and the vicious cycle to stop.

 

For all of us, there is no other way but to go before Lord Jesus who died for us bearing all of our sins and setting the good example for us to follow.

 

When the vicious cycle is broken, the true restoration by the grace begins.

Therefore, every city of refuge should be the place of restoration.

 

Dear congregation, what is a church?

It is a place of restoration and any vicious cycle should be broken at a church.

Any enemy relationship should be dissolved at a church, which is the place of restoration provided by God.

 

For this reason, I chose for our Mission Statement the slogan of ‘A church that is led by the Gospel to promote the life of Discipleship’. This Mission Statement is the answer to the question of why we are gathered here.

 

First, a church has to lead.

 

The role of a church is to lead. After meeting Jesus, His disciples told others to “Come and see”. Why did they do that? It was because they had experienced an amazing new life through Jesus. Our faith cannot be sustained long without leading others.

 

Second, a church has to promote a new life.

 

After meeting Jesus, His disciples began to live a new life without realizing the change. It was because they had been deeply moved and changed by the Gospel.

 

These two things will enable the restoration of the lost souls.

The true restoration for us is to be led by God to live a new life, and I believe every church-goer  will experience this restoration.

 

3.  Are you living the life of grace?

 

At the cities of refuge, there was a fundamental question of identity; Who are you?

 

After the killing and fleeing to the city of refuge, the escapee must have heaved a sigh of relief. Then, what other emotions did he feel?

He must have felt that he was lucky, but he also must have confessed that “It was the grace of God.” It was really the grace of God that helped him escape to the city of refuge and he couldn’t stop thanking for the grace.

 

The identity of the grace;

The Israelites and we are alive, by the grace of God.

 

The Israelites had been enslaved in Egypt. By the grace of God, they were blessed to experience the Exodus, to receive the Word of God in the wilderness and to be reborn as the people of God.

Now that the conquest of Canaan has been accomplished, they are going to live as the holy people of God in their Promised Land of Canaan.

The Israelites could now live in Israel totally by the grace of God.

 

Without this thankfulness for the grace, no one can be a person of God. All the people of God have this gratitude for the grace.

 

What will happen to the people, if they lose this thankfulness for the grace?

As we have learned from the history of Israel, when they lost their thankfulness for the grace of God, they began to live for their own benefits instead of obeying the Word of God, and they soon lost their own special identity.

 

Therefore, we have to pay special attention to the instruction.

In today’s passage, along with providing the cities of refuge, God also included the question of identity for the Israelites.

 

The identity of the Israelites should not be the people of Canaan, or the people of Exodus, or the conquerors of Canaan, but the people of God who live with thankfulness for the grace.

 

At the city of refuge, there were two kinds of people with thankfulness for the grace.

 

The first were those who had killed someone and fled there for refuge.

            And these people confessed openly about their thankfulness for the grace of God.

 

The second were more important people of grace, and these were the original residents of the city of refuge.

            If these original residents of the city of refuge were not so thankful for the grace, they could not have accepted the killers and would not have taken care of them continuously.

 

Therefore, there are two kinds of people who live in the city of refuge; those who confess their thankfulness for the grace and those who live by the grace.

 

Isn’t a church like the city of refuge?

Isn’t a church the place where those who already received the grace welcome other latecomers into their lives graciously?

 

God has raised up our church here anticipating this gracious conduct from us.


   

총 게시물 575건, 최근 2 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
575 2019.07.14  A bowl of red stew Genesis 25:27-34 Rev. Eungyong Kim
574 2019.07.14  붉은 죽 한 그릇 창세기 25:27-34 김응용 목사
573 2019.07.07  The way, the truth and the life that Jesus has shown us John 14:1-6 Rev. Eungyong Kim
572 2019.07.07  예수가 보여주시는 길, 진리, 생명 요한 복음 14:1-6 김응용 목사
571 2019.06.30  The heart of our Father John 15:4-8 Rev. Eungyong Kim
570 2019.06.30  아버지의 마음 요한 복음 15:4-8 김응용 목사
569 2019.06.23  The Power of Serving John 13:12-20 Rev. Eungyong Kim
568 2019.06.23  섬김의 능력 요한 복음 13:12-20 김응용 목사
567 2019.06.16  Being thankful, as a faithful Christian Numbers 13:25-33 Rev. Eungyong Kim
566 2019.06.16  감사, 그리스도인 답게 민수기13:25-33 김응용 목사
565 2019.06.09  The ability to love your enemies Luke 6:27-38 Rev. Eungyong Kim
564 2019.06.09  원수 사랑의 능력 누가 복음 6:27-38 김응용 목사
563 2019.06.02  Expecting to fulfill one's earnest wish (The Summary) Mark 5:25-34 Rev. Eungyong Kim
562 2019.06.02  소망으로 소망을 마가복음 5:25-34 김응용 목사
561 2019.05.26  The Family of Hannah 1 Samuel 1:21-28 Rev. Eungyong Kim
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : A bowl of red stew
설교일 : 2019.07.14
본문말씀 : Genesis 25:27-34
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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