믿는 사람들은 복이 있습니다

믿는 사람들은 복이 있습니다

요한복음 20:19-31

지난 주일에 예수님께서 부활 하셨습니다. 이 사건은 모든 이들에게 놀라움으로 다가왔습니다. 죽은 사람의 부활을 믿지 않았던 사두개인들도 놀랐습니다. 아무 것도 믿지 않았던 사람들에게도 예수의 부활은 놀라운 일이었습니다. 또한 부활을 믿었던 바리새인이나 에세네파 신도들(유대교의 한 종파로서 ‘경건한 자들’이란 뜻에서 유래) 도 놀라지 않을 수 없었습니다. 이들 유대인들은 사람들이 죽은 상태로 머무르다가 마지막 날에 다 같이 부활한다고 믿었습니다.

예수님의 제자들에게도 이 일은 놀라움으로 다가왔습니다. 그들 또한 마지막 날에 죽은 사람들이 부활한다고 믿었습니다. 하지만 그들은 예수님께서 메시야이시고 메시야는 죽지 않을 꺼라고 또한 믿었습니다. 그들은 메시야가 메시야 시대를 건설하고 그 시대에서 죽은 자들의 부활이 절정을 이룰 꺼라고 믿었던 거 같습니다.

저는 예수님의 부활이 사탄에게는 큰 충격으로 다가왔을 꺼라고 생각합니다. 사탄은 그가 하나님을 대적한 마지막 전투에서 이겼다고 생각했습니다. 오직 하나님만이 놀라지 않으셨습니다.

그러므로 지난 주일에 여자 제자들이 남자 제자들에게 그들의 선생님이신 예수님이 살았다고 말했을 때 남자들이 믿지 않았다는 것은 놀라운 일이 아닙니다.

남자들은 그들 스스로 확인해 보기 위해 무덤으로 달려갔습니다.

우리는 종종 이 성경구절을 읽을때 그들이 의심한다고 해석합니다. 우리는 제자들의 믿음이 부족했다고 말합니다. 그들의 편에서 보자면, 예수님께서는 단지 몇 일 전에 제자들에게 자신에 대한 소문을 믿지 말라고 말씀하셨습니다.

마태복음 24장에서 우리는 예수님께서 하신 말씀을 읽을 수 있습니다. “그 때에 사람들이 ‘여보시오, 그리스도가 여기 계십니다! 또는 ‘저기 계십니다!’ 라고 할 것이다. 그러나 믿지 마라.”

물론, 그 때 예수님은 세상의 종말에 대해 이야기 하고 계셨습니다. 그들이 생각했던 그 일은 먼 장래에 벌어질 일이지 당장 다음주에 일어날 일이 전혀 아니였습니다.

예수님은 또한 그들에게 말했습니다, “그러므로 사람들이 ‘여보시오. 메시야가 광야에 계십니다’라고 말해도 거기에 가지 마라. ‘여보시오, 그가 골방에 계십니다’라고 말해도 믿지 말라. 번개가 동쪽에서 서쪽까지 번쩍이듯이 인자가 오는 것도 이와 같을 것이다.

첫번째 부활 주일 저녁에 많은 제자들이 문을 잠그고 함께 모여 있었습니다. “왜냐하면 그들은 유대인 지도자들을 두려워 했기 때문입니다. 갑자기, 예수님께서 오셔서 그들 가운데 서 계셨습니다.”

성경은 그들이 무척 기뻐했다고 말합니다. 그들은 그분이 예수님이 신 것을 알았습니다. 예수님은 그분의 상처를 그들에게 보여 주셨지만 그들의 영혼은 그분이 누구신지 그냥 알아차렸습니다. 양이 그들의 목자를 알아보았습니다.

이제 그들은 예수님이 부활하셨다는 것을 믿었습니다. 빛이 그들의 생각과 마음을 비췄습니다. 그들은 그분이 예수님이 신 것을 깨달았습니다.

그리고 나서 예수님은 그들에게 인사를 하고 지시하셨습니다. 예수님이 말씀하시길: “너희에게 평강이 있을지어다! 아버지께서 나를 보내신 것같이 나도 너희를 보낸다.”

우리는 예수님께서 월요일 또는 화요일에 무슨 일을 하셨는지 모릅니다. 우리는 그 주 남은 날에 무슨 일이 일어났는지 모릅니다. 그 주는 유월절 축제 기간이였습니다. 유월절은 토요일에 끝났습니다. 일주일 동안 전통적으로 애도하는 기간이였지만 아마도 그들은 그렇게 하지 않았을 것입니다.

우리는 아는 것은 그들이 다음 주일에 다시 함께 만나고 있다는 것입니다.

제자들 중 한명은 지난 주일 모임에 참석하지 않았습니다. 우리는 그의 이름을 모릅니다. 그들은 그를 ‘쌍둥이’라고 불렀고 아람어로 도마입니다. 그래서 우리는 그를 도마라고 부릅니다.

그는 다른 제자로 부터 예수님이 모임에 참석하셨다는 말을 들었습니다. 그들은 예수님께서 잠긴 문을 통과하여 그들 사이에 서 계셨다고 도마에게 말했습니다. 그들은 예수님이 부활 하셨다고 말했습니다.

도마는 대답했습니다, “나는 믿을 수가 없어.” 저는 그가 왜 이렇게 말을 했는지 확실히는 모르지만 아마도 그 또한 예수님께서 그들에게 ‘보시오, 여기에 그리스도가 있소.’라고 말하는 사람들에 대해 말씀하셨던 것을 생각하고 있었을 지도 모른다고 생각합니다. 그래서 제자들이 아마도 속았을 꺼라고 생각하고 그는 어떤 증거가 필요하다고 느꼈을 것입니다.

도마에 대해 너무 나쁘게 생각하지 맙시다. 그는 그 다음 주일 모임 – 오늘 – 다른 제자들과 함께 그곳에 있었습니다. 그들은 또 잠긴 문 뒤에 있었습니다. 다시, 갑자기 예수님께서 그들 가운데 서서 말씀하셨습니다, “너희에게 평강이 있을지어다.”

이번에는 그분이 도마에게 말씀하셨습니다. 예수님은 도마가 뭐라고 말했는지 알고 계셨습니다. 그분은 도마에게 그분의 상처를 만져보라고 말씀하셨습니다. 그리고 예수님은 도마에게 말씀하셨습니다, “믿지 않는 자가 되지 말고 믿는 자가 되어라.”

도마는 예수님을 만지지 않았습니다. 그는 구멍에 손가락을 넣지 않았습니다. 그의 영혼은 깨달았습니다. 즉시 그의 모든 의심은 사라졌고 도마는 놀라운 말을 했습니다.

여기서 잠시 멈추고 조금 앞의 이야기로 돌아가 봅시다.

도마는 복음서에서 큰 역활을 하지는 않습니다. 그러나 중요한 부분엔 그가 꼭 등장합니다. 도마가 마지막으로 무언가를 말했을 때가 요한복음 14:5 에 있었습니다. 예수님은 제자들에게 하나님 아버지의 집에 대해 말씀하고 계셨습니다. 예수님은 제자들을 위하여 한 장소를 마련하러 간다고 말씀하셨습니다. 준비가 되면 내려와서 그들을 데려갈 꺼라고 말씀하셨습니다.

예수님은 그들에게 말씀하셨습니다. “너희는 내가 가는 그곳으로 가는 길을 알고 있다.”

불쌍한 제자들은 늘 혼란스러워 보입니다. 그들은 언제나 예수님을 이해하려고 고군분투하고 있습니다이번에도 아마 차이가 없는 거 같습니다. 그리고 이 때에도 말하는 것은 도마였습니다. 그는 다시 좀 더 구체적으로 명확하게 알고 싶어합니다. 영적인 문제들에 있어 주의 깊은 분별력과 올바른 판단은 절대적으로 필요합니다.

“아니오, 저희는 알지 못합니다, 주님,”도마가 말했습니다. “주님, 주님이 어디로 가시는지 알지 못하는데, 저희가 그 길을 어떻게 알겠습니까?”

그 결과, 우리 모두는 예수님의 대답으로부터 유익을 얻습니다. “내가 바로 그 길이요, 진리요, 생명이다. 나를 통하지 않고는 아버지께로 올 사람이 없다.”

도마에게 감사합니다. 그것은 놀라운 일이였습니다. 지금 도마는 놀라운 말을 합니다. : “나의 주 나의 하나님!”

진리를 깨닫는데에는 인간이 가지고 있는 감각과 더불어 믿음이라고 하는 마음에서 오는 영적인 감각이 필요합니다. 그것은 인간의 추론하는 감각과 함께 작용합니다. 이로 인해 도마는 바로 예수님이 그의 주님뿐 아니라 하나님이시라는 것을 알게 되었습니다. 예수님은 주님이시고, 하나님 이시며 그분은 부활하셨습니다. 보지 않고 믿는 사람들은 복이 있습니다.

오늘 주일은 도마가 예수님은 주님이시고 하나님이시다는 믿음을 온 세상에 선포한 날입니다. 그는 예수님이 부활하셨다는 것을 믿었습니다. 예수님은 그 일로 기뻐하셨습니다. 도마는 믿음과 분별력의 예를 우리에게 주었습니다.

또한 마태복음 28:18 에는 예수님께서 이 기간 동안에 오셔서 제자들에게 권세를 주어 그들을 보냈다고 기록되어 있습니다. “하늘과 땅의 모든 권세가 내게 주어졌다. 그러므로 너희는 가서, 모든 민족을 제자로 삼아라. 아버지와 아들과 성령의 이름으로 세례를 주어라. 내가 너희에게 말한 모든 것을 지키도록 가르쳐라. 보아라. 내가 너희와 세상 끝날까지 항상 함께 있겠다.”

도마는 그의 믿음대로 행동했습니다. 그는 예루살렘을 떠나 니느웨로 갔습니다. 그곳은 선지자 요나가 유일하시고 참되신 하나님을 사람들에게 가르쳤던 곳입니다. 그는 그들에게 메시야가 오셨고 그분의 이름은 예수님이라고 말했습니다. 그는 그들에게 예수님이 부활하셨다고 말했습니다. 그들은 믿었고 오늘날에도 여전히 믿고 있습니다.

도마는 인도로 갔습니다. 그곳에서 예수님에 대해 가르쳤습니다. 그는 예수님이 주님이시고 하나님이라고 말했습니다. 그는 그들에게 예수님이 부활하셨다고 말했습니다. 그들은 그의 간증을 듣고 믿었고 지금도 여전히 믿음을 지키고 있습니다.

도마는 우리 모두에게 위대한 예가 됩니다. 그는 분별력을 보여주었고 행동으로 믿음을 보여주었습니다. 그는 예수님이 주님이시고 하나님이신것을 믿었고, 예수님이 부활하신것을 믿었습니다. 그리고 그는 다른 사람들에게 말했습니다.

그의 영혼은 그가 확신하는 것을 알고 있었습니다. 우리도 생각 뿐 아니라 영혼으로 진리를 깨달아야만 합니다. 도마는 손가락으로 예수님을 만질 필요가 없었습니다. 우리도 그렇습니다. 우리는 대신에 예수님이 우리의 생각 너머로 오실 때 그분을 알아볼 수 있는 준비가 되어야 합니다.

우리는 우리의 영혼이 예수님이 주님이시고 하나님이시며 예수님이 부활하셨다는 진리를 알도록 해야 합니다.

여러분 자신이 교묘한 말솜씨에 길을 헤매지 않도록 하십시오. 예수님 그분에게 여러분을 이끌어 달라고 요청하십시오.

성령과 신부가 “오소서”하고 말씀하십니다. 이 말을 들은 사람들도 모두 “오소서!”하고 외칩니다. 누구든지 목마른 자는 와서 생명수를 마음껏 마시십시오. 아멘! 오소서, 주 예수님! 주 예수님의 은혜가 하나님의 거룩한 사람들과 함께 하소서.

아멘

Posted in Sermon - Korean | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Blessed are those who believe

Blessed are those who believe

John 20:19–31

Last Sunday, Jesus was resurrected. This came as a surprise to everyone. It came as a surprise to those Jews such as the Sadducees who didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. It came as a surprise to those people who didn’t believe in anything. It came as a surprise to those Jews such as the Pharisees and Essenes who did believe in the resurrection. These Jews believed that everyone who died stayed dead until the last day and then everyone would be resurrected together.

It came as a surprise to his disciples, who also believed the resurrection of the dead came only on the last day. But who also believed that Jesus was the messiah and the messiah cannot die. They seem to have believed that the messiah would establish the messianic era, which would climax in the resurrection of the dead.

I’m guessing the resurrection of Jesus also came as a huge surprise to Satan, who thought he’d just won the final battle in his war against God. Only God wasn’t surprised.

It isn’t surprising therefore that last Sunday when the women disciples told the men disciples that Jesus their leader was alive, the men didn’t believe it.

The men insisted on running to the tomb to see for themselves.

We can, and often do, interpret that as them having doubt. We say the disciples lacked faith. In their defence, only a few days earlier Jesus had told them not to believe rumours about him.

In Matthew 24 we can read that he had said, “if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it.”

Of course, at the time he had been talking about the end of the world. An event they thought was in the distant future and not at all about to happen next week.

Jesus also told them, “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.”

That first Easter Sunday evening many of the disciples were gathered behind locked doors, “because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them!”

It says they were filled with joy. They knew it was Jesus. He showed them his wounds, but their spirits just knew who he was. The sheep knew their master.

Now they believed he was resurrected. The light had flashed in their minds and hearts. They knew it was Jesus.

And then Jesus gave them a greeting and instructions. Jesus said: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”

We don’t know what Jesus did on Monday or Tuesday. We don’t know what happened the rest of the week. It was the week of Passover festival. The Passover ended on Saturday. The traditional period of mourning was a week, but perhaps they weren’t mourning.

What we do know is that they were meeting together again the next Sunday.

One of the disciples was absent from the meeting last Sunday. We don’t know his name. They called him ‘the twin’, which in Aramaic is Thomas. So we call him Thomas.

He heard from the others that Jesus had attended the meeting. They told Thomas that Jesus had passed through locked doors and stood among them. They said he was resurrected.

Thomas replied, “I won’t believe it.” I’m not sure why he said this, but perhaps he was also thinking of what Jesus had told them about people who say ‘Look, here is the Messiah’. Don’t believe them! He would perhaps have thought they were deluded. He felt he should have some proof perhaps.

Let us not think too badly of Thomas. He was there the next Sunday meeting – today – with the other disciples. They were again behind locked doors. Again, suddenly Jesus was standing among them. Again he said, “Peace be with you.”

This time he spoke to Thomas. Jesus knew what Thomas had said. He told Thomas to touch his wounds. Jesus said to Thomas, “Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

Thomas didn’t touch Jesus. He didn’t put his fingers into the holes. His spirit knew. All doubt vanished in that instant and Thomas said an amazing thing.

Let’s pause here and go back a bit.

Thomas doesn’t have a big role in the Gospels. But where he does turn up it is important. The last time Thomas said anything was in John 14:5. Jesus was telling the disciples about his father’s home. He said he was going to prepare a place for them. He said that when it was ready he would come and get them.

Jesus said to them, “You know the way to where I am going.”

The poor disciples always seem to be confused. They are always struggling to understand Jesus. This time was probably no different, and it was Thomas who spoke up. Again he needs some more concrete information. Sound discretion and good judgement are vital for spiritual matters.

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going.”

As a result we all benefit from Jesus reply. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Thank you Thomas. That was amazing. This time the amazing thing that Thomas says is: “My Lord and my God!”

It is not only the human senses which are required to discern the truth, but the divine senses of the heart, called Faith, working together with the human senses of reasoning. By this means Thomas at once knew that Jesus was his Lord, but also that Jesus is God. Jesus is Lord and God, and he is resurrected. Blessed are those who believe without seeing.

This Sunday is the day on which Thomas declared for all the world that he believed that Jesus is Lord and God. He believed that Jesus was resurrected. Jesus was pleased with that. Thomas sets us an example of discernment and faith.

It is also recorded in Matthew 28:18 that Jesus during this period gave his disciples authority and sent them out. “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Thomas acted on his belief. He went out from Jerusalem to Nineveh, where Job had taught the people of the one true God. He told them that the messiah had come and that his name was Jesus. He told them that Jesus is resurrected. They believed, and today they still believe.

Thomas went on to India, where he taught them about Jesus. He told them that Jesus is Lord and God. He told them that Jesus is resurrected. They believed because of his testimony, and today they still believe.

Thomas is a great example for us all. He showed discernment and he showed faith in action. He believed that Jesus is Lord and God, and that Jesus is resurrected. He told others.

His spirit knew and he was confident. Our spirits also must know the truth, not only our minds. Thomas didn’t need to touch Jesus with his fingers. And neither do we. We instead have to be ready to recognise him when he approaches us behind the locked doors of our minds.

We allow our spirits to discern the truth that Jesus is Lord and God, and that Jesus is resurrected. Then we must act on it.

Don’t allow yourselves to be led astray by clever talk. Ask Jesus himself to guide you.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires, drink freely from the water of life. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.
Amen 아멘

Posted in Sermon - English | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The resurrection and the life

The resurrection and the life

John 20:1–10

Today is Easter. Happy Easter. What a wonderful day this is. In some churches there is a traditional greeting that goes like this, ‘He is risen.’

And the traditional response is, ‘He is risen indeed.’

Shall we try it. Let’s greet each other this Easter morning with this traditional greeting and response. – ‘He is risen.’ – ‘He is risen indeed.’

Don’t you just love Easter? It was the first Christian feast and for a long time the biggest festival in the Christian calendar. It was more important than Christmas, which is a relatively modern invention.

We seem to love Easter for several reasons. It’s spring. There are flowers. We’ve survived the winter. We like Easter eggs and the Easter bunny. We like a nice party to celebrate the end of the cold season. There are all sorts of reasons.

The important reason for us as Christians is that we are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. This is the day we especially remember that Jesus rose from the dead. This is the day we remind each other that he is risen. We remind each other at Easter that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive.

Given all this you may be surprised to learn that the earliest Christians did not celebrate Easter.

The first Christians celebrated passover. They did it once a year, marking it with a feast in the evening just as Jesus did. That was the original Lord’s supper. It was always celebrated on the 14th day of the first month in the evening. Only later did it move to Sunday. And it changed from being a memorial to the crucifixion to being a celebration of resurrection.

At first the resurrection was remembered every Sunday. There was no special day once a year for remembering that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive. Christians meet and worship on a Sunday because that is the day on which Jesus rose from the dead. We meet every Sunday to remember his resurrection, not just on Easter Sunday.

There are arguments and discussions around this that need not bother us today.

The great preacher and theologian Charles Haddon Spurgeon once said: ‘There is no ordinance in Scripture of any one Lord’s-day in the year being set apart to commemorate the rising of Christ from the dead. For this reason, every Lord’s-day is the memorial of our Lord’s resurrection.

‘Wake up any Lord’s-day you please, whether in the depth of winter, or in the warmth of summer, and you may sing “Today he rose and left the dead, And Satan’s empire fell.”

‘To set apart an Easter Sunday for special memory of the resurrection is a human device, for which there is no Scriptural command, but to make every Lord’s-day an Easter Sunday is due to him who rose early on the first day of the week.’ That was Spurgeon’s view.

A central belief of Christians is that Jesus was raised from the dead. Not as Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus. Lazarus came back to life and then died again. Lazarus was buried again and stayed buried. Jesus was brought back to life, but it was different. Jesus was resurrected. Jesus had a resurrection body. Jesus did not go back to the grave. Jesus rose into heaven. He ascended to God.

The earliest Christian scriptures place Jesus’ resurrection at the centre of religious faith. The preaching and letters of Peter and the letters of Paul declared that Jesus died, was raised by God and the apostles are witnesses to this resurrection.

Paul explains the importance of resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:20-22. It seems that some of the Christians in Corinth had not grasped just how important is the resurrection of Jesus.

Paul says: “But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”

Who can share in this new life? Everyone who belongs to Christ. If you don’t belong to Christ, please change that situation. Paul says that everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. It came true as Isaiah foretold in Isaiah 25:8 – “He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.”

God gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Friday we remembered the extreme sacrifice of passover. We recalled how Jesus was willing to give up his life on a cross in obedience to God out of love for us.

We are reminded why Jesus did this when we look at Genesis and see what Adam and Eve did.

The serpent, or Satan, is talking to Eve in Genesis 3 and trying to persuade her to disobey God. He is telling her that the fruit he is offering is so delicious it’s worth disobeying God to eat it. Eve reminds him that God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’

The serpent calls God a liar, and the woman believes him.

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.

Eve was correct, and the serpent was lying. She should not have listened. But she did listen and that is why we need to be resurrected. She did die. We all are born dead.

This is the heart of Christianity. It is the very core of what we believe.

Christianity is about belonging to Jesus. It is about being saved from death.

For centuries it was a hope that the Jewish people clung to. Just as God had saved them from Egypt and brought them out of slavery, he would one day save them from death. It wasn’t about a future in heaven, but the dead returning to life on earth and Israel living in peace.

In Jesus that hope of resurrection is realised, though not quite as the Jews expected. In Jesus all who are dead can have life. All who belong to Jesus are saved. And so we find a lot of the New Testament is about how to belong to Jesus.

For this reason, Christianity isn’t a religion about how to behave or how to win God’s favour.

When we are told to love each other it is because that is what people do when they belong to Jesus. To belong to Jesus, you must love your brother and sister.

Christianity began as resurrection movement. There is no evidence for a form of early Christianity in which the resurrection was not a central belief. It was never bolted on to Christianity at the edge. It was the central driving force, informing the whole movement. In particular, we can see woven into the earliest Christian theology we possess the belief that the resurrection had occurred and followers of Jesus had to reorder their lives, their narratives, their symbols, and their praxis accordingly.

Paul says for example in Romans 6 – “Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.”

Why is the resurrection of Jesus important? It demonstrates that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. It proves that God has the power to raise us from the dead. It guarantees that those who believe in Christ will not remain dead, but will be resurrected to eternal life.

This Easter Sunday we are reminded of this fact. We have eternal life because we belong to Jesus.

But in fact we should remember this fact every Sunday, and not just every Sunday but every day. This is the Good News. This is the Gospel.

Every day is a good day to remember this Good News and share it with others.

Happy Easter.

Amen 아멘

Posted in Sermon - English | Tagged | Leave a comment

Welcome King Jesus

Welcome King Jesus

Matthew 21:1–17

If you had been in the crowd when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem for Passover all those years ago, what would you have seen?

Would you have seen a dirty Galilean peasant riding into town on a smelly donkey?

Would you have seen God’s anointed one, your king, Messiah, arriving with salvation?

As Jeremiah 5:21 says, that would have depended. Many in the crowd that day were “Foolish and senseless people, with eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear.”

When Jesus comes to you today, will you be one of those foolish and senseless people?

If they had remembered Zechariah they might have recalled what he said in verse nine of chapter nine – “Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey.”

Most of them probably didn’t think of applying this verse to Jesus. I suspect they saw only a large group of pilgrims from Galilee with a travel-stained man on a donkey. They had eyes that did not see. Do your eyes see? Can you see God’s hand at work?

Matthew tells us in verse 10 of today’s reading that the entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as Jesus entered with his followers. Tens of thousands of pilgrims were in town for the festival. It was noisy, packed, dirty, smelly, hot, dusty, crowded. There were far too many people for the available accommodation. Many pilgrims such as Jesus slept in the countryside around the city.

In this chaotic party atmosphere each new group of arriving pilgrims was greeted with raucous shouting, waving branches and singing.

The difference was that when Jesus entered with his disciples the crowds shouted out the word ‘Hosanna’, quoting Psalm 118. The word means ‘save us now’. And they gave Jesus the messianic title ‘Son of David’. It was a hopeful welcome. How many of us give Jesus a hopeful welcome.

Sadly we often want to stop the story there. We want a safe messiah who is going to let us keep our current lifestyle but just take away the pain and hurts. A gentle messiah who won’t rock the boat. A nice messiah with nice manners who likes what we like.

That was the messiah they wanted 2,000 years ago. They wanted a messiah who would kick out the hated Romans but let them live a prosperous and happy life. How many of us today also welcome Jesus because we hope and want him to make our lives happy.

That is not how Jesus is.

There is no pause in Matthew’s story. Immediately after being welcomed in, Jesus is quoting Jeremiah 7:11 – “Don’t you yourselves admit that this Temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves?” He turns over tables and drives people out of the temple while he is shouting: “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”

Jesus comes bringing judgement. That’s not comforting. We don’t feel happy with that.

Unless we are blind. It seems that the blind are the only ones with eyes that can see.

Everyone is extremely upset. The leaders are indignant, Matthew says. Except the blind and lame. Jesus heals them and they praise him as ‘the Son of David’. Again the messianic title is conferred on Jesus.

Jesus spends the final week of his life in Jerusalem. He knows who he is and what is coming and he spends his precious final moments warning all who will listen, and all who won’t, that disaster is on the way. He warns that many are destined for hell unless they accept him as Lord and Messiah. The very next day he tells a parable of heaven and how a man not properly dressed is bound up and thrown “into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Most people in Jerusalem were not ready for this kind of Messiah. How about you? Are you ready for a Messiah who will upset your precious religious ideas and tell you that you are going to hell for being badly dressed. You are doomed unless you follow him.

That’s the kind of king Jesus is. He tells us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear. He talks about more than positive thinking. He talks about more than picking yourself up by your own bootstraps. He tells you that you can’t succeed in your own strength. He warns you to face up to it now and to come to him while you can.

Jesus is also a ruler with compassion. He is a king with a soft heart. He talks straight but he does it with tears in his eyes. This is not the kind of weak-looking leader we are hoping for. This is not the kind of leader who defeats occupying armies.

Jesus weeps for Jerusalem. He is deeply sad that they don’t receive his gift of salvation.

In 23:37 he says: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate. For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

Jesus has come to the people who want to kill him. He has come to the ones who will nail him to a cross. He speaks the straight truth to them.

Jesus makes no effort to gain their favour. At the same time he cries for those who will kill him and he goes about healing them.

This is the king who comes to us and asks us to follow him.

To follow Jesus means to be like him. It means speaking truth and weeping for the people who want to kill us. It means loving and serving those who hate us.

Our king served in this way. As his followers, we must serve in the same way. Jesus hasn’t stopped coming to people and offering them new life. People haven’t stopped misunderstanding this offer and rejecting it when they find out what it means.

Our king is not like the kings of the earth. He isn’t like the business leaders and politicians we are used to. He never exalts himself or says what will make him popular.

Your king is coming! He is riding toward you now. He is ready to look straight into your eyes. Are you ready for his glance? That glance demands a verdict. He wants to know whether or not he truly is your king, your sovereign. Will you shift your glance away, or will there be that nod of affirmation that comes from one who is loyal in allegiance to the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords – your King and your Lord?

This is the week before Jesus is killed. During this week he came to Jerusalem. He will come to you, too. How will you respond to him?

Jesus warns us in Matthew 24: “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”

Do you have eyes to see the messiah? Do you have ears to hear the messiah?

Amen 아멘

Posted in Sermon - English | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Partners with God

Partners with God

Matthew 16:13–26

Why do we pray?

Last week we talked about the power of prayer. When we pray, it has real power.

But we didn’t talk about why we pray.

There are times when we pray and nothing happens. Maybe it feels like that most of the time. At those moments it can feel as if we are talking to the wall.

It takes faith to keep on praying. We know it is vitally important, but it isn’t easy.

Another enemy to prayer can be our theology. Many people believe that since God is all powerful he controls everything and knows everything, so he doesn’t need our prayer. In that case, whatever happens is the outcome of his will. And so it doesn’t make any difference if we pray, or not.

According to this way of thinking, prayer won’t change God or what he does. Prayer won’t change what happens. The only thing prayer can change is you.

So you may hear people say that Prayer isn’t for God’s sake. Prayer is for ourselves.

Is that why you pray? Is that why we should pray? As we saw last week, prayer has the power to make things happen. In fact, God needs our prayer.

Yes, prayer does change us. We are changed as we pray. As we talk to God, he works on us to change us. But that is not why we pray. It is a consequence or outcome, but not the reason for prayer. We pray so that things happen. When we pray for healing, we do it so that people get healed. We expect our prayer to change the world.

The Bible is full of if-then statements. For example 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”

‘If’ my people pray, ‘then’ I will restore their land. Of course it suggests that if my people don’t pray, then there won’t be any forgiveness or restoration. Things are not decided in advance. The direction that events take depends on our prayer.

The Bible is full of things that won’t happen unless the people of God agree with God.

There are so many times when we are required to pray in order for God’s will to be done and his kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.

James 5:16 says – “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”

In Greek earnest prayer means energetic prayer. So James is saying that praying with energy produces energy. A force of energy is injected into the world that would not be there if we didn’t pray.

This is how God created the universe. This is how God set up his creation. He made it with relationship at the centre. Communication is built into the heart of creation.

Talking with God affects everything. Talking with God has more effect than anything else we can do. God made it this way.

So in effect God has made his creation so that he needs us. He needs our cooperation. He needs our prayer.

He doesn’t need us the way we need air and water to live. He created the universe so that he needs us to be in agreement with him for things to happen. By his design, God shapes the world through prayer. The more prayer there is, the better the world will be and the stronger the resistance to evil.

We pray because we are told it makes a difference. We pray because prayer determines which direction things will move in. We pray because God has told us he wants us to be his partner. And as we have learned already, his partner has authority. God has given us authority through Jesus. We access our authority through prayer.

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he told them to say; Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus says that God’s kingdom comes when God’s will is done.

We can see prayer as the bride of Christ on earth, the church, agreeing with the father that his kingdom shall come on earth.

Prayer does not exist for our personal use so that we can have a BMW or go to a famous university or be a film star, or whatever you want for yourself.

Prayer is fundamentally about us using our authority to agree with God to bring about his will on earth as in heaven.

God needs us to pray for his will to be done on earth. The reason is that it isn’t being done. God’s will is not being done on earth. Can you see that? God is not pulling all the strings already.

Our prayer is important. Without our prayer, God’s will cannot be done on earth.

Prayer is the most important thing you can do for God. This kind of prayer. The kind of prayer where we are calling out for his will to be done. The kind of prayer where we are crying passionately for his kingdom to come.

If you saw a child in danger of drowning, you would rush to help them. That is the kind of urgency we ought to feel toward prayer. It is of such great importance, because without our prayer God’s kingdom cannot come. God’s will won’t be done.

The Bible teaches us that things are actually hanging in the balance and the outcome depends on our prayers. God wants people to go to heaven. It is his will for people to go to heaven, but he cannot accomplish this without our prayer.

We are taught in 1 John 1:9 that “if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” And if we don’t, then he can’t.

Jesus said in our reading today that if you want to be his follower, then you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow him. He said; If you try to hang on to your life, then you will lose it.

There are lots of things that God wants to do but won’t unless we agree with him.

God is all powerful, but that doesn’t mean he will go around forcing us to do his will. God created a system of partnership with his children. We are his children. We are his partners. We need to avoid applying human definitions to God. He is all powerful according to his definition of that. We cannot liken him to an earthly dictator. If you want to know God’s definition of powerful, then look at Jesus.

God has created us to be his children, to be his partners, to be decision makers. You can only be a decision maker and a partner when you have free will. You are a partner with God who has authority. If you don’t agree with God, he won’t go ahead. If you do agree with God, amazing things will happen.

You are important and you have influence in heaven. You have influence on how God’s will unfolds on earth. You have influence on God’s kingdom coming.

In relationship with God, his will gets done. As we talk with him, he establishes his kingdom. God needs our prayer. This is why we pray. God has created a relationship of love with us, and has made himself vulnerable to us.

You are made in the image of God. You represent God on earth. You are kings and queens in God’s kingdom. You have authority from Jesus. We exercise our authority in prayer. When we are synchronised with God, his will is done. Our will in harmony with his will equals the kingdom coming.

Your prayer is crucial. Please pray with enthusiasm and energy for God’s will to be done. So many things he wants to do, but he won’t unless you agree with him.

Let’s ask God what he wants us to pray for. Prayer truly makes a difference.

Amen 아멘

Posted in Sermon - English | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Prayer makes disciples of power

Prayer makes disciples of power

2 Corinthians 4:1–10

In the beginning there was only darkness and chaos. Then God spoke and there was light. God has made this light shine in our hearts. That is how we know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus.

Satan is the god of this world. He makes people blind in their minds if they don’t believe, and then they cannot see the light. They live in darkness but they don’t even know that they are living in darkness.

Brian Ive, who made the documentary film ‘The Drop Box’ , was just such a person living in darkness. He says, “I didn’t smoke cigarettes and watched Fox News with my mom, so I assumed I was probably a Christian.” [http://thedropboxbook.davidccook.com/]

Brian was a film student in California who wanted to become famous. When he heard about the drop box in Seoul he saw it as his chance to make a documentary that would make him famous.

What Brian found in Seoul was not what he expected. He was converted to Christianity. He says it brought him a sense of purpose and freedom from struggles such as anger issues and pornography addiction.

Brian says that when he met Pastor Lee he found a man who was a constantly pouring stream of love that never dried up.

He says, “When I witnessed the love and courage of Pastor Lee, I saw the real deal. He was giving his life for something that wasn’t cultural.”

Can you see how he was saved because Pastor Lee was a disciple making disciples? It wasn’t because he walked around the whole time looking at everyone and thinking to himself, ‘How can I make them into a disciple?’

Pastor Lee is an example for us to follow. He is just like us in one way. He is, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians, a ‘fragile clay jar’. How can a fragile clay jar pour out endless love on abandoned and disabled babies?

Paul says of these fragile clay jars that they contain a ‘great treasure’. All of us disciples contain a great treasure. It is the light of God, and it is great power from God.

These fragile jars are crushed but not broken because of this power.

Some Christians are like Pastor Lee in Seoul. Other people are like Brian was, and they think they are probably Christian because they don’t smoke, or they attend church services sometimes. But they don’t have any great power. When they are crushed, they break. When they are perplexed, they despair. When they are knocked down, they are unable to get back up.

The essential ingredients for life are water, sunlight, oxygen. You cannot live long without water, and without oxygen you would die very quickly indeed.

The essential ingredients for spiritual life are what? Maybe you say faith and love. Maybe you think Holy Spirit and God’s word. Good answers. Certainly one of the ingredients is prayer. It is hard to single one out as most important because they are connected.

Prayer was a key to Jesus life and ministry. Prayer was central to the work of the God’s people all through the Old Testament.

Psalm 107:28-30 – “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!

그때 그들이 그 고통 가운데서 여호와께 부르짖으므로 그가 위험에서 그들을 구해 내시고 광풍을 그치게 하여 물결을 잠잠하게 하셨다. 바다가 잔잔하므로 그들이 기뻐하였으니 여호와께서 그들을 고대하던 항구로 안전하게 인도하셨다.

Do you recognise that Psalm as something that Jesus actually lived out?

Jesus was a great person of prayer. We know he prayed early in the morning. We know he prayed aloud with words his disciples could understand. They wrote down some of the words he prayed.

If we are Christians who don’t know what to do and feel lost, perhaps there is a problem with our prayer life. Maybe we don’t even have a prayer life.

Two hundred years ago William Carey, a founder of the Baptist Missionary Society, said, “Prayer – secret, fervent, believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal godliness.”

Too many times we rush off to do something for God without stopping to pray. We feel something deeply and dash into action without first asking God what he wants done. So many times all this dashing and doing causes problems.

As we said last week, doing is really important. Faith without action is dead. Belief without work is nothing but superstition. We need to dash into prayer. We must do prayer first, before we do anything else in the name of God.

When we stop to pray about North Korea, for example, what should we pray? First we should ask God for his guidance on what to pray.

1 John 5:14 says “he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.” And James 4:3 tells us that when we don’t get an answer it is because our prayers were selfish and motivated by seeking our own pleasure. It’s really rather simple, who or what is getting priority in your prayers? Is it your pleasure first, or God’s pleasure?

One of the really important things to pray for is to ask God to help us see things as he sees them. Ask God how he views North Korea and the people who live there.

One pastor discovered that he had a bad habit of seeing the faults in others.

He would then comment on those faults, and even told himself it was OK.

When he realised that the Holy Spirit was nudging him, this pastor took time for serious prayer. He confessed and repented. Then he asked God to allow him to see people as God saw them. He asked God to open his eyes.

He tells how all of a sudden he saw everyone differently. He didn’t see all of their secrets and sins, or know what they were thinking. He experienced a new type of vision. Instead of seeing the outside, he could now see the inside. He could see that they were suffering and in pain. He could see how hard it was for them to live in a sinful world. And he began to feel God’s love flow through him to the people he met.

He tells of a time in the grocery store when he saw an elderly lady who had the look of a very angry person. Instead of turning away as normal, he opened the door for her, wished her well and smiled at her. She said, Thank you.

He says he suddenly felt God’s love for her. He saw a lady near the end of her life with pain and torment on her face. He just knew her life had been tough. Only God knew why, but it was obvious she was in pain and probably not much fun to be around.

With prayer the world doesn’t change, but we change. Then as we are filled with God’s power he changes the world and people. He uses fragile jars to make disciples.

If we are Christians without power, perhaps it is because our prayers are silent, superficial and hasty.

Listen to what Brian said about Pastor Lee’s prayers.

“Pastor Lee’s source of energy was so full that he could pour out without losing a drop. It was almost like there was constantly something being poured in. Like he was standing underneath the supply. I copied how he prayed on those summer mornings. And when the kids would start to get frustrating again, I’d pray with Pastor Lee, on my knees and out loud.

“What I found out is that you can love only as much as you are experiencing love. That’s why Pastor Lee could love those who weren’t outwardly beautiful, mobile, or able to speak. He didn’t need anything from them. He had everything. He could just give.”

In order to be disciples who make disciples, we have to be disciples who pray. Then we shall find as it says in Galatians 2:20 that, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

“내가 그리스도와 함께 십자가에 못박혀 죽었으므로 이제는 내가 사는 것이 아니라 내 속에 그리스도께서 사시는 것입니다. 지금 나는 나를 사랑하시고 나를 위해 죽으신 하나님의 아들을 믿는 믿음으로 살고 있습니다.”
Please pray more, aloud, sincerely. Ask God to open your eyes to see what he sees. Ask God to soften your heart to feel what he feels. Ask God to fill your fragile clay jar with his power and do his work through you.

God will answer this prayer, and God will change you. You have been warned.

Amen 아멘.

Posted in Sermon - English | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

능력의 제자를 만드는 기도

능력의 제자를 만드는 기도

2 Corinthians 4:1–10

최초에는 오직 어둠과 혼돈만이 있었습니다. 그 때 하나님께서 빛이 있으라 말씀 하셨고 하나님께서는 이 빛이 우리의 마음속에서 빛나도록 하셨습니다. 이 것이 주님의 얼굴속에 나타나는 하나님의 영광을 우리가 아는 방법입니다.

사탄은 이 세상의 신입니다. 사탄은 사람들로 하여금 믿음이 없으면 마음의 눈이 멀게 만들며 결국 빛을 볼 수 없게 합니다. 사람들은 어둠속에 살고 있지만 정작 자신이 어둠속에 살고 있음을 알지 못하죠.

‘드롭 박스’(서울의 한 교회앞에 아이를 버리는 베이비 박스)라는 다큐멘터리 영화를 만든 브라이언 이브는 이전에는 어둠속에 살 던 사람이었습니다. 그는 “나는 담배도 피지 않았고 어머니와 함께 폭스뉴스(미국의 24시간 뉴스채널)를 시청하였기 때문에 스스로를 아마도 크리스챤일거라고 생각했었습니다”라고 말하였습니다.

브라이언은 캘리포니아에서 영화를 공부하던, 유명해지고자 하던 학생이었습니다. 그가 서울의 드롭 박스(베이비 박스)에 대해서 들었을 때 그는 그 드롭 박스를 자신을 유명하게 해 줄 다큐멘터리를 만들 기회로 여겼습니다.

그러나 브라이언에 서울에서 찾은 것은 그가 기대하던 것이 아니었습니다. 그는 완전한 크리스챤으로 변화되었습니다. 그는 그 사건이 그에게 분노조절문제와 포르노 중독과 같은 투쟁으로 부터의 자유와 목적의식을 갖게 하였다고 말합니다.

브라이언은 그가 이 목사(베이비 박스를 설치한 서울의 교회 담임 목사)를 만났을 때, 절대 마르지 않는 끊임없는 사랑의 물줄기를 쏟아 붓는 사람을 발견했다고 증언하였습니다.

그가 말하기를, “제가 이목사님의 사랑과 용기를 목격하였을 때, 진정한 사랑의 나눔을 보았습니다.그는 남들이 다 하기때문에 하는 문화적인 배경에서가 아니라 그의 전 삶을 내어 주고 있었습니다.

이 목사님이 제자를 삼는 제자였음으로 인해 어떻게 브라이언이 구원받게 되었는지를 여러분은 아시겠습니까? 이것은 이목사님이 온종일 모든 사람들을 쳐다보고 스스로에게 어떻게 내가 사람들로 제자들 만들까를 고민하며 돌아다녔기 때문이 아닙니다.

이목사님은 우리가 따라야 할 본보기 입니다. 그는 어느 면에서는 바로 우리와 비슷합니다. 고린도후서에서 사도 바울이 말하듯이 약한 토기입니다. 어떻게 약한 토기가 버려지고 불구가 된 아기들을 향한 끊임없는 사랑을 쏟아 낼 수 있을 까요?

사도바울은 이 연약한 토기가 엄청난 보물을 가지고 있다고 말합니다. 우리 모두는 엄청난 보물을 간직한 제자들입니다. 그 보물은 바로 하나님의 빛이며, 하나님으로 부터의 위대한 능력인 것입니다.

이 약한 토기는 찌그러지지만 이 능력으로 인해 부셔지지는 않습니다.

어떤 크리스챤들은 서울의 이목사님과 같습니다. 또 어떤 사람들은 예전의 브라이언과 같습니다. 그리고 그들은 자신이 담배를 피우지 않으며, 가끔 교회 예배에 참석하기 때문에 스스로를 크리스챤일거라고 생각합니다. 그러나 그들은 어떤 위대한 능력을 전혀 가지고 있지 않습니다. 그들은 으스러질 때, 그들은 부서지고 맙니다. 그들은 곤혹스러움에 처하면, 절망하게 됩니다. 그들은 쓰러지게 되면, 다시 일어설 수 없습니다.

생명의 필수 요소는 물, 햇빛, 공기입니다. 우리는 물 없이는 오랫동안 살아 있을 수 없고, 공기 없이는 바로 즉시 죽게 됩니다.

영적인 삶을 위한 필수 요소는 무엇일까요? 아마도 여러분은 믿음과 사랑이라고 말 할 것입니다. 어쩌면 여러분은 생령과 하나님의 말씀이라고 생각할 수도 있습니다. 모두 좋은 답변들이죠. 확실한 것은 이 필수 요소들 중 하나는 기도라는 것입니다. 어느 것 하나를 가장 중요한 요소라고 추려내기는 어렵습니다. 왜냐하면 이 요소들은 모두 연결되어 있으니까요.

기도는 주님의삶과 선교로 향하는 열쇠였습니다. 기도는 구약 전체에서 하나님의 백성들의 사역의 중심이었습니다

그때 그들이 그 고통 가운데서 여호와께 부르짖으므로 그가 위험에서 그들을 구해 내시고 광풍을 그치게 하여 물결을 잠잠하게 하셨다. 바다가 잔잔하므로 그들이 기뻐하였으니 여호와께서 그들을 고대하던 항구로 안전하게 인도하셨다.(시편 107:28-30)

여러분은 시편이 주님께서 사실상 실행하셨던 것을 나타낸다는 것을 알아차리셨나요?

주님께서는 기도의 위대한 존재였습니다. 우리는 주님께서 아침 일찍 기도하셨음을 알고 있습니다. 우리는 주님께서 제자들을 이해할 수 있는 말들로 크게 기도하셨음을 알고 있습니다. 제자들은 주님의 기도의 구절들 중 일부를 받아 적기도 하였습니다.

만약 우리가 무엇을 할지 모르고 방황하는 크리스챤이라면, 아마도 우리의 기도생활에 문제가 있다는 것일 수도 있습니다. 어쩌면 우리는 심지어 기도 생활을 하고 있지 않을지도 모릅니다.

200년전 침례선교회를 창설자인 윌리엄 캐리는 “기도-비밀스럽고, 강렬하고, 전적으로 믿는 기도-는 모든 개인적인 신앙심의 근간이 된다”라고 말하였습니다.

너무나 자주 우리는 멈추어 기도하는 시간을 갖지 않고 하나님의 일을 하려고 급시 서둘러 갑니다. 우리는 무언가를 깊이 느끼고 나면 먼저 하나님께 우리에게 원하시는 것이 무엇인지를 묻지 않고 바로 행동으로 옮김니다. 그리하여 너무나 자주 이 모든 성급한 진행와 실행이 문제들을 만들어냅니다.

지난 주 우리가 나눈 말씀 처럼, 실행은 정말로 중요한 것입니다. 실행이 없는 믿음은 죽은 것이지요. 사역이 없는 신앙은 미신에 불과합니다. 우리는 기도속에 나아가야 합니다. 우리는 먼저 기도를 우선적으로 해야합니다. 하나님으로 이름으로 우리가 어떤 것이든 하기 전에 말입니다.

예를 들어, 우리가 북한을 위해 기도하려고 잠시 멈출 때, 우리는 무엇을 기도 해야 합니까? 먼저 우리는 하나님께 우리가 기도하는 것에 대한 그분의 인도하심을 청하여야 합니다.

요한일서 5장 14절에 이런 구절이 있습니다. “그의 뜻대로 무엇을 구하면 들으시리라.” 그리고 야고보서 4장 3절에 우리가 구하여도 얻지 못하는 것은 우리의 기도가 이기적이고 우리 자신의 정욕을 위해 구하는 것이라고 하였습니다. 이는 상당히 명료합니다. 누구, 또는 무엇이 여러분의 기도에 있어 우선 순위에 있습니까? 여러분의 사적인 기쁨이 먼저입니까, 아니면 하나님의 기쁨이 먼저 입니까?

기도로 간구해야 하는 중요한 것들 중 하나는 하나님께 우리로 하여금 하나님께서 세상을 보시듯이 우리가 하나님의 관점에서 볼 수 있도록 도와달라고 간청하는 것입니다. 하나님께서는 북한을, 그리고 그 곳에 살고 있는 백성들을 어떻게 바라보시는지 물어보십시오.

어떤 목사는 다른 사람들에게서 잘못된 점을 보는 나쁜 습관을 자신이 가지고 있다는 것을 알게 되었습니다.

그는 그때 그 잘못된 점을 언급하고 심지어 그렇게 지적하는 것이 괜찮다고 스스로 여겨왔습니다.

그러나 성령님께서 그를 찌르심을 알아치리고, 그 목사는 진정한 기도를 위한 시간을 가졌습니다. 그는 고백하고 회개하였습니다. 그리고 하나님께서 사람들을 보듯 자신도 그렇게 사람들을 볼 수 있게 해달라고 간구하였습니다. 하나님께 눈을 열어 달라고 간청하였습니다.

그는 어떻게 갑자기 그가 사람들을 이전과 다르게 보게 되었는지 말합니다. 그는 사람들의 비밀과 죄를 보지 않고, 또는 그들이 생각하는 것을 알지 않았습니다. 그는 새로운 형태의 관점을 경험하였습니다. 외관을 보는 대신, 그는 내면을 볼 수 있었습니다. 그는 사람들이 고통에서 신음하고 있음을 볼수 있었으며, 이 죄악 가득한 세상에서 살아간다는 것이 그들에게 얼마나 힘든 일인지를 보게 되었습니다. 그리고 그는 하나님의 사랑이 그를 통해 그가 만난 사람들에게로 흘러감을 느낄 수 있었습니다.

그는 아주 화나 보이는 인상의 노부인을 만났던 식료품점에서의한 때를 이야기 하였습니다. 평상시처럼 외면하는 대신에, 그는 그 노부인을 위해 문을 열고 그녀의 평안을 빌며 그녀에게 미소 지었습니다. 그러자 그녀가 말하였습니다. “고마워요.”라고.

그는 갑자기 그 노부인을 향한 하나님의 사랑을 느꼈습니다. 그는 고통과 고뇌로 가득한 얼굴로 삶의 끝에 가까이 와 있는 한 여인을 보았던 것입니다. 그는 그녀의 삶이 참으로 힘들었음을 알게 되었습니다. 오직 하나님께서만 왜 그런지를 알고 계셨겠지요. 그러나 그녀가 고통속에 있었고 기뻐할 것이 없었다는 것은 확연하였습니다.

기도로 세상이 변하지는 않습니다, 그러나 우리는 변할 수 있습니다. 그리고 우리가 하나님의 능력으로 가득 차 있을 때, 그는 세상과 사람들을 변화시키십니다. 하나님께서는 약한 토기를 제자들 만드시는데 사용하십니다.

만약 우리가 능력이 없는 크리스챤이라면, 아마도 이는 우리의 기도가 잠잠하고 추상적이며 성급하기 때문인 것입니다.

브라이언이 이목사님의 기도에 대해 말한 것을 들어 보십시오.

“이목사님의 에너지의 근원은 가득차 있어서 한 방울도 헛되이 버려지지 않고 쏟아 부을수 있었습니다. 그것은 마치 끊임없이 무언가가 쏟아부어지는 것과 같았습니다. 마치 그가 보급로의 바로 밑에 서 있는 것 같았습니다. 나는 그가 그 여름 아침마다 기도한 방법을 따라하였습니다. 그리고 아이들로 인해 그가 다시 좌절하려고 할 때, 나는 이목사님과 함께 무릎 꿇고 큰 소리로 기도하였습니다.”

“내가 발견한 것은 여러분이 사랑한 경험한 만큼만 사랑할 수 있다는 것이었습니다. 그것은 이목사님이 외적으로 아름답지도, 움직일 수도, 말할 수도 없는 사람들을 사랑할 수 있는 이유입니다. 그분은 그들로 부터 어느것도 요구하지 않으셨습니다. 그는 모든 것을 가지고 있었고, 그저 줄 수 있었습니다.”

제자를 삼는 제자가 되기 위하여, 우리는 기도하는 제자들이 되어야 합니다. 갈라디아서 2장 20절에 쓰여진 것처럼 그 때 우리는 찾게 될 것입니다.

“내가 그리스도와 함께 십자가에 못박혀 죽었으므로 이제는 내가 사는 것이 아니라 내 속에 그리스도께서 사시는 것입니다. 지금 나는 나를 사랑하시고 나를 위해 죽으신 하나님의 아들을 믿는 믿음으로 살고 있습니다.”

부디 더 많이, 더 큰소리고, 더 신실하게 기도하십시오. 하나님께서 보시는 것을 볼 수 있는 눈을 열어 달라고 간청하십시오. 하나님께서 느끼시는 것을 느낄 수 있도록 여러분의 마음을 부드럽게 해달라고 청하십시오. 여러분의 약한 토기에 하나님의 능력을 채워 주시고 여러분을 통해 하나님의 일을 하게 해달라고 구하십시오.

하나님께서는 이 기도에 응답하사 여러분을 변화시킬 것입니다. 여러분은 권고 받았음을 기억하십시오.

아멘.

Posted in Sermon - Korean | Tagged | Leave a comment