|설교 한 주일||June 5, 2011|
(Reading Luke 12:22 – 34 NIV)
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Beside of Jesus Christ, sometimes tens of thousands of people gather together. Just like in the church, we have many people but trust me, sometimes God wants to open His well or open His plan to such a special person like an x-file – something very special task will be given to certain people in the group. This word was delivered by Jesus Christ to His disciples and not to everybody. So today, you and me as the disciples of Jesus Christ, let’s listen to the Word of God, how Jesus said.
First, Jesus said to the disciples, “Do not worry about…” About what? As Jesus said, in following Jesus Christ… Following Jesus Christ means Jesus came to this world to save the lost. That is the very significant, very simple and very clear purpose of His life – to give His life to the lost. So, following Jesus is to win the people who lost. If you want to follow Jesus Christ, first thing is do not worry about life; what you will eat. We have many people in Korea in a seminary to follow Jesus. First thing we have to know is that, do not worry about what we will eat. In the book of program for His disciples, to be His disciples, there is no announcement or knowledge or way on how to eat. Something strange, without eating how can we sustain our life? Do you know why Jesus said ‘do not to worry about you food?’ Not only that, ‘do not worry about what you wear. Following or believing Jesus is not the way, not the shortcut to become a rich man. That is wrong if you think, “I believe in Jesus; I will be very rich.” If you want to be rich work hard. Do not wait for the money will be poured into your pocket and waving like, “Bless me!” That is not the purpose of life of Jesus Christ. So, Jesus said to His disciples, “If you don’t follow me, never mind. You just worry about what you eat, what you wear. If you want to follow me as disciples not as beggar; beggar never will be greater man than the giver. The beggar remains always the beggar. We are not beggar. We are not begging all the time – something from the Lord – so that we can fill our stomach. If you want to follow Jesus Christ, Jesus said, “Don’t worry about what you will eat…” which means you will eat anyhow. We always worry, “Oh no, no food, no bread! Tomorrow, no tuition fee…what can I do?” Don’t do that said Jesus.
I have a debt of three thousand pesos this morning. I just issued a check. A debt is a debt. But I never say, “Oh, I have no job! I have problem… My grade is this…” Brothers and sisters, Jesus said, “God knows when we follow Jesus Christ.” Let’s not the worry attack us; just let the worry worries itself. “What do I eat if I follow Jesus? I saw Jesus Christ; He is doing nothing. I never become rich because Pastor Bang said following Jesus is not the way to become a rich man. It’s better if I’ll just go some other way…” If you really want to become a really rich man, do your business in Jesus Christ. Do not say, “I follow…I live for you…” especially for the church leaders and pastors. This is the message, I told you, is to the disciples and not to everybody.
Disciples, don’t worry about the food. God gave you your life. God knows that you have life but you always worry about the food. You have God-given body but you are thinking about what clothes you have. I love my wife (as you love your wife) because she never asks me to buy any cloth. I know she knows my situation also. She never ever worries about what cloth she wears. This is not simply meant our simple cloth to make yourself more yourself so you need clothes, right? People may say, “Wow, you have very good clothes huh! Wow, you have very good shoes…” And then? Do you think the people who said so means that you are great? No. You are only the man who has great clothes. Do you think if I wear very good clothes today worth three thousand maybe, then you will say, “Pastor Bang is really a great man because he wears this…” You would say so? If Esther wear good clothes today like Cinderella’s, I would never say, “Wow, Esther is very good!” I would say Esther is good not because of the clothes she wear but because who you are.
A couple of days ago, I talked to Pastor Neri about the carpenters. Filipino likes bar counter in their house and they will have some drinks there; we just talked something about tequila. Is there anyone of you that has bar counter in their house? I don’t know why even the Christians like bar; you will make your house like a bar. You will open 24/7 and then you will serve the drinks. That’s what people are trying to do.
Disciples, the purpose of your life shall not be the food. I repeat once again, this sermon is to the disciples. If you want to really follow Jesus Christ, I want you to change your mind setting. It’s not the food and clothes which mean these food and clothes represent your desire all the day of your lives. If you want to follow Jesus Christ, if you want to do something for the Lord and His glory, Jesus said, “Change your mind setting.” “I have no food…when I have no food, how can I follow Jesus?” and then you follow. It seems like you follow Jesus saying, “I have no food…I have no food…” just like a death march from Bataan to Angeles, Pampanga. That’s how Jesus mentioned to His disciples. Don’t do that. Why? There’s a rich man in the Bible from Matthew 19. The rich man came and asked, “Jesus, how can I have eternal life?” And then Jesus said, “You do this…you do that…you follow the commandment of God…” “I did it! I did it! What else I missed?” Jesus said, “Okay, just sell your possessions and then give it to the poor.” “Oh, that is something wrong. I cannot do…” so with some kind of sadness the young man has in his heart, he left Jesus Christ. With those possessions, the young man left Jesus with the sad heart. That is one paradox. When you see the Bible, “You shall not murder.” “Yes, I never kill anyone. I’m a good man.” “You shall not commit adultery…” “Oh, never ever in my life! I never see other women. I see my wife only. When the other women are passing by, I close my eyes.” You shall not steal…You shall not give false testimony…Honor your father and mother…and love your neighbors as yourself…
Some Filipino woman (not our member) asked me, “Pastor Bang, can you lend me some money two thousand pesos…” She is not a Christian. “Okay, but I only have one thousand five hundred now.” “Can I get it so I will pay back next last day of the month for that time I have my salary.” Actually, I have hesitation because one thousand five hundred is what I have all. My wife doesn’t know that one. So I gave her one thousand five hundred and she said, “Pastor Bang I’ll pay it…it’s only twenty days from now.” “Okay…” I said. And then the time has gone and I almost forget but then I met her, “Sister, where is my money?” “Pastor Bang, you missed the day! Today is not 30; you came 5…come here next 30.” And then I asked her on the next 30, actually, May 30, “Sister, where is my money?” “Oh, I have a problem because I paid tuition fee for my children!” “So, when can you pay?” “On 15.” So I was thinking, “Its better I forget to get money from her.” Why am I telling you this? That is a kind of stealing. And then I asked her maybe next month. You know, I met her many times but she never mention anything the other days. I met her maybe everyday. She even greets me. And then I met her on the actual date, 30, in the morning, “I don’t have my salary yet but tonight…” “I have no time. I cannot stay with you until tonight. Can I come tomorrow?” “It’s up to you…” she said. That is the life.
Disciples, like this rich man you have a kind of anxiety for the wealth. “Not to be rich, but Pastor Bang, I need something to eat…” I understand. Jesus knows. God knows that we need it. When you are thinking about the food all the time and then when you are doing nothing just thinking about that thinking, that thinking captured you. “How can I get…because I have children…I have to study…I have to do blah, blah, blah…” And then you will notice that you are already away from the way where you must step on. That’s why we have to change the priority.
Not the food, not the dress… again I say to the disciples. The Bible says today from 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety…” If you really believe in Jesus Christ, cast all your anxiety on Him because Jesus cares. Jesus said, “Not the food, not the dress, not the clothes…” “I have a worry; I have anxiety…” But, Jesus said, “Don’t do that!” “So, I will never do again…” that is a real disciple. What about you?
Disciples, the pagan world runs after all such things. The pagan world is where there is no God. That pagan world runs after such things – food and cloth – which are associated with your flesh. So, what can we do without food, without clothes, can we survive or not? – Definitely not.
What is the conclusion? What is the solution? Why God said so? – Because you are always talking about the food and this pagan world. This is a modernized adultery. So Jesus said to His disciples, “Seek His kingdom…” This is a big question – how can we seek His kingdom? It’s very easy; everybody says, “Seek His kingdom, His righteousness first. How can you seek His kingdom in your life? What action, faith or daily life we have to do in order to seek the kingdom of God? I want to be more specific. Seek His kingdom and then God says, “These things…” ‘These things’ means food and clothes. That’s a change of the priority in our lives if you want to be His disciples, if you say ‘I am His disciples’. “These things will be given to you as well… Definitely, you will have it. As well means without your effort, given to you – why? – Because you are in His kingdom. In His kingdom, the food and cloth is somehow different than that of the pagan world they are taking everyday. If you still like to eat the same that the other people eat; if you like the cloth yourself which means your appearance; and, you would like to be the same like the non-believers that is how you don’t know to seek the kingdom of God. Seeking the kingdom of God means you obey and you follow His righteousness and His authority because He reigns so you put yourself under the authority of God. That is how you seek the kingdom of God.
Brothers and sisters, the kingdom of God, His righteousness, and His reign because through Jesus Christ, God manifested His kingdom. So if you really follow Jesus Christ, you will have it all as well but more special which is separate from the pagan world, which is we have to have for the disciples of God. We eat not the food the people eat. We cloth not the cloth the ordinary people clothe. That is the righteousness of God.
Rev. David Bang