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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Demolish Self-righteousness and Frameworks(2) - Demolish Self-righteousness and Frameworks (2)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Isaiah 55:8-9
Date
   2010-02-14



Passage

[Isaiah 55:8-9]
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. [9] "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We are living in a world where there are so many calamities.
Recently people worldwide have lost their lives or properties due to extremely heavy snowfalls, earthquakes, and rainstorms.
There are always dangers of diseases and accidents. We have to dwell in the protection of God especially in times like these.
Exodus 15:26 writes, "And He said, 'If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.'"
But are there any of you who say you kept the word of God very well but you have difficulties in life?
Then, I'd like you to check whether or not you are really doing what is right in the sight of God.
When God said to do what is right, He obviously said we must do what is right in His sight.
Therefore, if we are doing what is right in our sight, God's promise that He will keep us from all calamities may not apply to us.
In this Lunar New Year, God is giving us special grace so we can realize and break our self-righteousness and frameworks.
Continuing from the Sunday morning service, I will talk to you about self-righteousness and frameworks.
When I give you specific examples, I hope you will have understanding so that you will do what is really right in God's sight.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will become true children whom God protects all the time, who always receives the desires of the heart, and who understands the heart of God very well.

[Main]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in the Sunday morning service, I explained to you the concept of self-righteousness and frameworks.
Self-righteousness is to insist that one's opinions are right.
It is to insist or claim what is not right in the sight of God, but in one's own sight.
Next, 'frameworks' is the solidification of thoughts, thinking a certain thing is right.
Based on their knowledge and experience, people think, 'This is morally right,' 'This is the educated way of acting,' and 'This information is correct.' When these thoughts are solidified and do not change easily, it is the frameworks of thoughts.
Among the frameworks, there are also frameworks of the truth.
This refers to the frameworks that people newly make with the truth they learn in a Christian life.
If we have this framework of the truth, we cannot clearly discern the will of God.
Our spiritual growth will stop, and we may even do the opposite of God's will and thus create a barrier.
We do not go into spirit, but have spiritual stoppage, and we don't receive any significant blessings.
In order for you to check yourself, I will tell you three major cases where a person does not please God due to self-righteousness and frameworks.
The first is to pass judgment and condemnation on others with your self-righteousness and frameworks.
Seeing other people, you might think, "He shouldn't be doing that! Why is he acting like that?" or you easily give advice or rebuke others saying, "You should do this."
You don't really understand his heart or situations, but you rashly pass judgment and give advice.
And you think you have discernment.
But actually this is to pass judgment with your self-righteousness and frameworks.
It is judgment caused by self-righteousness with thinking like, "This is the proper way to lead a life in Christ," or "I know the truth well and my idea is correct."
Job's friends also passed judgment on Job with their self-righteousness and frameworks.
Seeing Job struck with boils all over his body, they hastily pushed him to repent quickly saying the disease was caused by his sin.
But Job didn't have the sore boils because he sinned.
God allowed for him a refining trial so he could realize the evil in his nature and cast it away.
God was angry with them and said their words were not right.
Later, God had Job offer a sacrifice and through Job's prayer He forgave them.
You sometimes see others around you who get sick.
On those occasions, you should be careful not to pass judgment thinking you have discernment.
For example, you see somebody who is receiving prayer to be healed of a disease.
Now, you think, 'Diseases are caused by sin, and recently he didn't seem to be so well spiritually. I wonder what he did wrong.' Then, is it really 'discernment'? This thought already has judging in it.
When you think he was not in a spiritually good condition, it might only be your own feeling.
Also, not all diseases are caused by one's own sins.
Diseases might come when one is spiritually connected with ancestors or family members, or when the physical order is not kept very well like when a person works too much.
Of course, if you are taking care of this person spiritually, you might feel the condition of this soul to some extent.
But if the Holy Spirit does not clearly tell you, you cannot correctly know his deep heart or the situation in which he finds himself.

I have always had very clear inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but I do not rashly pass judgment. I first pray to God.
I try to discern the reason of the person becoming sick with my earnest desire to lead him to receive the healing quickly.
James 4:11 says, "Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it."
Therefore, we must never pass judgment on any of our brothers or sisters with our self-righteousness and frameworks.
And sometimes, you do not judge only your coworkers or those who are subordinates, but also those who are higher in the order.
You think like, "That doesn't really seem to be right, and how can a pastor, or a leader do such a thing?"
You have your own frameworks thinking a spiritual leader has to act in a certain way, and if the leaders do not act that way, you feel uncomfortable.
But let's think of how the men of God acted.
For example, even when King Saul was chasing after him to kill him, David didn't even think of killing Saul.
Because Saul was also anointed by God as the king, David fulfilled all his duty as a subject, even though he knew Saul was not right in the sight of God.
Furthermore, he served Saul like he served his father.
We can see in the Bible that those who loved God and knew His will served their leaders in any case.
Also, we can see God did not forgive those who passed judgment and condemnation on those who were loved by God.
For instance, when Moses took the Ethiopian woman, Aaron and Miriam criticized him.
God was angry at Aaron and Miriam for this, and Miriam became leprous.
It was the same with Shimei, who cursed David.
When David was in a difficult situation, Shimei cursed his king who was anointed by nobody but God Himself.
But David, even when Shimei cursed him saying, 'Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, and worthless fellow!' he just kept quiet.
He even stopped his men who wanted to kill Shimei.
David forgave Shimei, but eventually, Shimei paid the price for his evil deed when Solomon became the king.
Who was more righteous in the sight of God?
Psalm 37:1 says, "Do not fret because of evildoers, be not envious toward wrongdoers."
No matter what kind of fault you see in any person, I hope you will just pray for him so you will become righteous before God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the second case in which we do not please God due to our self-righteousness and frameworks is our disobedience.
In the Bible, we can read about the prophet Jonah who disobeyed God because of his self-righteousness and frameworks.
God commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh, which was a city of a hostile nation towards the Northern Israel at that time.
God commanded him to proclaim that God's punishment was near.
But as you know very well Jonah ran away onboard a ship to Tarshish. Tarshish was located at the opposite side of Nineveh.
Jonah knew that if he proclaimed the will of God in Nineveh, the people there would repent, and God would forgive them.
He knew the will of God so very well, but because his opinion was different, he disobeyed God.
Jonah thought the Assyrians deserved to be punished and destroyed for they acted in evil and gave a hard time to Israel, the elect of God.
This was the framework of Jonah about goodness and justice.
Especially, in the Old Testament times, they considered 'an eye for an eye' and 'a tooth for a tooth' was the right and proper thing.
Jonah also had this kind of frameworks of the Law.
But the will of God was to show forgiveness and mercy beyond the Law.
God did not want the people in the city of Nineveh to be destroyed, although they were Gentiles.
God let Jonah realize God's care for the people of Nineveh through a gourd that grew up.
But Jonah rather got angry at God.
He said, "I have good reason to be angry, even to death."
He was still insisting that he was right. It means he didn't understand the heart of God at all.
Sometimes, I ask some leaders of the church to get certain works done.
Then, some of them disobey because they have their own frameworks.
Also, there are some members who come to consult me about their businesses, future plans, or fulfilling their duties.
They ask me, "I am in this kind of situation, and what should I do?"
Sometimes, I give the advice according to the measure of faith of that person, or when it seems appropriate.
But when I give an answer, some of them don't follow it. It's because my answer does not agree with their own ideas.
Also, some of them do something that is quite different from my advice.
They interpret my answer within their frameworks, and thus misunderstand my words.
Or, some people ask me to tell them what they have to change, and I give them advice. They say, "Yes, I will change that part," but they still act the same.
Because they don't break their frameworks, the same kind of action is repeated over and over again, and consequently they disobey their shepherd.
The third case in which we do not please God is when others around us suffer painful or difficult situations because of our self-righteousness and frameworks.
Namely, we break peace.
For example, the Lord taught us to humble ourselves and serve others.
But some people make a framework with this word about service to others.
They make some frameworks and teach others saying, "The lower in the order has to unconditionally submit in obedience to their leaders. When a higher person visits the members, others are expected to serve him in a certain way. On national holidays, they have to serve the leaders in a certain way."
Of course, it is not wrong to teach the ways to serve others.
But the problem is that some people have other intentions when they teach these things.
For example, a leader asks his subordinates to serve him because he has selfish motives and he wants to be served.
And yet, he covers himself saying, "it is according to the truth for the subordinates to serve me, and I am teaching the truth."
He is being cheated even by himself.
Even though his subordinates suffer, he thinks, "I have only taught the truth, and they misunderstand me."
He just thinks they cannot accept the truthful teaching because their measure of faith is little.
Namely, he forms a framework of truth according to his own situations and gives a hard time to others.
There are following cases, too. Some workers serve not only those who are higher in order but also love other souls and care for them very well, too.
They save from what they would spend on their food and clothing to help the needy and to give to God.
They are praised by others, too.
It is good to act that way, but the problem is they form frameworks thinking those who love God must act just like they do.
Then, if they see some others who don't really act like that, they conclude that those people are doing something wrong.
For example, when they see another person who dines out often or upgrades his cell phones often, they feel uncomfortable about it.
They think it's pitiful saying, "If that person really loves God, he shouldn't waste money like that but save and give to God."
But each one has a different measure of faith and different situations.
If they cannot accept such people with a broad mind, how hard it will be for the church members!
If you have such frameworks, others will sense that framework, and they cannot feel accepted.
Even though you don't directly say to them, "If you love God, you shouldn't act like that," they feel something like a wall is standing before them.
Suppose I helped some people who are in a difficult situation, and they had a nice dinner outside with that money. Would I be uncomfortable about it?
I don't even think about what they do with that money, but if they do, I will be happy.
Wouldn't their parents be happy about it, too?
Of course, if that person saves that money to help others and give for the missionary works, I will be happy because it is also to store up rewards in Heaven.
Because I feel how much our Lord loves the souls, I always come to accept the flock with a generous attitude.

[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, water gives life.
But if this water exists only in the form of a cubic piece of ice, will it be able to give life?
Water sometimes has to become vapors. Only then can it become the dew and rain to wet the dry land.
It also has to become liquid water that can flow, so that the plants can absorb the water.
Also, flowing water can wash away dirt. It lets in oxygen in the water so the fish can breathe.
The word of God also gives life.
But if each person has a rigid framework, thinking, "This is the truth, so we have to act this way," then, it cannot really give life.
The truth is not like a cube which has a certain fixed form that a man can visualize.
Even the same word can be applied in different ways to different persons.
It will be different according to each one's measure of faith and situations.
Of course, it doesn't mean we can change and distort the truth.
Even when the water changes its form into steam, flowing water, or ice, the actual qualities remain. Likewise, the actual qualities of truth must never change.
If the truth works properly, it will definitely and consequently give life.
Now, then, how can we apply the truth in each situation without changing its actual qualities?
The key is to love God to the utmost degree.
Just as heat can melt down cold ice, love can break down strong self-righteousness and frameworks.
If we love God, we can break our self-righteousness and frameworks and practice the truth according to the will of God.
God is pouring down His love so we can understand His love and we can feel it as though we are actually touching it with our hands.
We cannot help ourselves but love God if we feel this love.
If we truly love God, we want to give only joy to God.
We will try to think of the things which are pleasing to God.
Having this kind of thought in mind, as we always listen carefully to the word of God and fervently pray, God will let us understand His deep heart.
And if we deny our will and just obey the will of God whenever He lets us know His heart and will, our righteousness and frameworks will be demolished.
Then, when you practice and teach the truth, it will give life.
God's blessings will naturally follow such people, too.
It's because they use their healthy bodies and money only according to the will of God.
Abraham, who was called a friend of God, was such a person.
I hope you will love God passionately, break all your righteousness and frameworks, and become His friend who can obey understanding His heart.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will become God's children who are like friends, who can walk together with God in New Jerusalem later.

[Amen!]

 
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