Making Disciples to Transform the World: 3VPS
When we ask people “what do you think is the meaning of being a Christian?” we can hear many answers. I wonder what would be your answer.
“It means for my soul to go to heaven being saved through the faith in the name of Jesus Christ.”
“It means for me to build my character like Jesus.”
“It means for me to live as Jesus lived his life.”
“It means for me to give my whole life to God so that God can rule over my life.”
“It means for me to live in Jesus and Jesus in me.”
“It means for me to finish the job that Jesus started on earth.”
This book is my own answer to the same question, honoring and including those other answers from my friends.
When I accepted Jesus as my savior and Lord, I experienced that my value, view-point, and vision had been transformed by the grace of God. I changed my plan for my life. I graduated from the Seoul National University, majoring in law, to be a lawyer. However, after I finished my military service, which was mandatory for all healthy Korean men, I applied to the Methodist seminary in Seoul. There I was encouraged by one Old Testament professor to study further in the USA to be a prospective OT professor of the seminary. However, when I received my Ph. D. from the Northwestern University, I heard calling from God to serve the Korean American immigrant churches in the USA. I have served the Korean American immigrant churches for the last 23 years (16 years in the Northern Illinois Conference and 7 years in the California Nevada Conference). Now I am serving a Cross Cultural Appointment in Cal.-Nev. Conference.
Whether I serve a Korean American immigrant church or a Cross Cultural appointment, it is now clear to me that the same principles are working in our lives. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ who would transform the world, we have to adjust our value, view-point, and vision (3V) according to the Bible, the Word of God. Then we can find our purpose in our lives, make plans to realize them on earth, and find partners who would work with us (3P). Then we can enjoy serving, sharing, and simple (3S) life.
So, I offer some Bible passages with questions designed to reflect on those 3VPS. I encourage people to use this book in small groups so that they can share their thoughts. When you read the Bible, please make effort for prayerful reflection. Then share your insights with others in a small group through participatory engagement. I pray that such activity should lead to practical and concrete decisions for practical piety. After our actual practice, we can come back to our small groups and reflect on our ministries. In this way, we can become disciples of Jesus to transform the world through praxis. I pray that this book should be a step-by-step guide for all serious readers and participants to have bountiful harvest.
Two things that we need to check before reading this book:
- Do you have a small group of people (4-8) who are willing to share their ideas and faith with you?
- Have you decided where and when are you going to meet with them once a week?
Bible Verse: “But strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33)
Reading Question: What do we have to strive first according to this Bible verse?
Interpretative Question: What are the “Kingdom of God” and “his righteousness”? What other vocabularies can we use for those words?
Application Question: What are concrete examples of the Kingdom of God and his righteousness in our lives at home, at church, and at work?
What are the things that you can expect when God says that God would give you “all these things”?
There was a boy called Joseph. He used to have dreams since his youth. They were not just weird dreams. One day he dreamt about binding sheaves. His sheaf rose and stood upright and the sheaves of other brothers gathered around it and bowed down to his sheaf. On another day, he dreamt about the sun, moon, and starts. In his dream, the sun, moon, and eleven starts bow down to him.
When he told the story to his brothers and parents the brothers were mad and upset and the parents were worried because of the implication of the dream. Joseph was too young to be careful about what to say and what not to say.
What made the situation worse was Jacob’s attitude. Jacob, the father, had Joseph in his old age and loved him more than other brothers. He even made him a special robe with sleeves. Because of his special relationship with his father, Joseph also used to bring bad report on his brothers, sons of Bilhah and Zilpha, when they shepherd the flock together.
All these factors led to unanimous anti-Joseph union among brothers. They all had jealousy against Joseph. Joseph was just 17 years old and too young to understand the family dynamics. On the other hand, Jacob, the father had prejudicial love for Rachel and her son, Joseph, and was too old to have sound judgment on brotherly rivalry.
One day, Joseph went out to pasture where the brothers shepherd the flock. His father, Jacob, sent him to bring report on them. When the brothers saw him coming from a distance, they themselves conspired to kill him. Ah, jealousy!
However, the fourth brother, Judah, suggested that they should sell him to the Egyptians. So he was sold as a slave to one of Pharaoh’s officials, Potiphar, the captain of the guard. Joseph, in this situation, could have given up his life or spent the rest of his life in anger and hatred. He could have wasted his life in cursing his brothers and drinking without limits. He could have planned revenge or ruined his own life with addictions. However, he did not do any of these self-destructive things. Why?
He worked hard as a slave. He served his master faithfully. The Bible says, “The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man.” On top of that, “his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hands.” He did his best in his situation. God was with him. People noticed both his faithfulness and God’s help. Potiphar made Joseph overseer in his house and over all that he had, in house and field.
When trials could not destroy human hearts, temptations sneaked in them. Joseph was handsome and good looking. His master’s wife cast her eyes on him and said, “Lie with me.” Joseph was a slave. He was young. He would have listened to the voice of the master’s wife. But he did not. Why?
Joseph refused and said, “How could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” He knew that it was great wickedness against his master and sin against God. Knowing is one thing, however, and doing is another. Many times we fail even though we know.
To bridge this gap between knowing and doing, we need to practice piety diligently. Any sport player or musician will say to us that practice makes performance perfect. Why not for spiritual piety? Actually Satan, the Evil One, never gives up and diligently run after us. The Bible says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Sure enough, the master’s wife did not give up. One day while no one else was in the house, she caught hold of Joseph’s garment, saying, “Lie with me!” But Joseph left his garment in her hand and fled and ran outside! Sometimes running away is the best option to avoid committing sins.
With the dramatic lie of the wife and the unreasonable anger of the husband, Joseph was put into a prison. The master could have killed Joseph, a slave from a foreign country, but he did not! Why? Your guess is as good as mine!
Was that the end of his life? No! “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. Wait a minute! If God is with me, I should not have any bad luck not to mention wicked plot against me, right? Wrong!
Whether we are Christians or not, we will have ups and downs in our lives. God does not guarantee smooth ride but promises to give us strength to hang on in any storm. The Bible says, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to everybody. And God is faithful; God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). The promise was kept. “The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.”
Here again, Joseph could have poured out his anger and frustration in a jail in many destructive forms. He could have sharpened his knife against the former master’s wife for revenge. However, he did not take any of those self-destructive courses. Why?
What do you do when you are charged with false accusations? What methods have you taken to get out of that pit? Did it work or make things worse? Trusting God, working sincerely in our own situations, and forgiving others will move us forward. It is not easy but we do want to move forward.
After trials and temptations, what was left? Well, we are simply forgotten. Nobody pays attention to us. We are not that important any more. When we do not have colorful clothes, prestige and position, nobody attacks us. When we are in a jail, nobody wants to lie with us. When we help people, they just take our help for granted. That happened to Joseph.
In the jail, Joseph interpreted dreams for other prisoners, especially for the chief cup-bearer and the baker of the king. Joseph said to the chief cup-bearer that he would recover his position. Then he asked, “Remember me when it is well with you; please do me the kindness to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this place.” Did he do that after he was restored to his previous position? No, he forgot completely about Joseph!
It was only when Pharaoh had strange dreams that the chief cup-bearer remembered Joseph. They say that God does not come early but God has never been late. God has God’s timing! When Pharaoh had dreams Joseph had opportunities to serve God and people. Once he started serving God and people, he could put all the sufferings and challenges that he had in his life in perspective. He finally figured out the purpose of his life!
Up to this point, however, one thing had been always clear to Joseph: Priorities in his life based on his value system. He put God first all the time. He valued the rule of God (in other words, Kingdom of God) most. Whatever happened in his life, he put everything under God’s care. He trusted God and waited for God’s timing. His final victory came to him after all the sufferings. In the mean time, what supported him was his unshakable value: God first.
Now, let us check our value system and see if we are strong enough to weather all the storms in our lives. I will ask some questions and you can discuss those questions in your small groups with honesty and see where you are now and where you want to go.
Related Books to read:
Charles Hummel, Priorities (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1994)
- Pull out your check book and write down where you spent your money (top 10 lists).
- Pull out your schedule also and write down where you spent your time most during the last one month (top 10 lists, please).
- Based on these two items, where do you think your priorities are?
- If you want to construct the biblical value system, what items should be added or deleted?
- To make such changes what would you do today?
- To make sure whether you actually make such changes what would you do after a month from now?
- If I have different set of priorities, who would be the first one who notice the changes?
- If I keep my priorities as now, after 10 years, what kind of life style I would have?
- Write down a eulogy for yourself as you would like to hear from your friends and relatives.
Bible Verse: “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:20-22)
“His wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!’ He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” (Job 2:9-10)
Reading Question: What did Job do when he fell to the ground?
Interpretative Question: The Bible says that Job did not sin in what he said. If Job sinned, what would be his sayings? What would be his reply to his wife?
Application Question: What was the most difficult trouble that you could accept in your life? How did you respond to that?
Bible Verse: “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. (1 Chronicles 29:11-12)
Reading Question: What does belong to God according to this passage? Write down everything that belongs to God here.
Interpretative Question: When we confess that all these things belong to God, who is God in our lives?
Application Question: If everything depends on God, when we are fired or rejected what would be our biblical response to the boss or company or school?
There was a girl whose name was Esther. She was a Jew and a captive in the land of Persia. She was raised by his cousin Mordecai. One day, the King Ahasuerus was looking for a new queen. From the 127 provinces of Persia, many beautiful girls were recruited to be tested and Esther was also taken into the king’s palace. All the girls were prepared for 12 months to be with the king one night. After that, it was up to the king.
When Esther was brought to the king at her turn, the king loved her more than the other girls. She became the queen. So she achieved a Persian dream. However, it was a fragile glass dream. There were other concubines. The queen’s position could be revoked any time as was the case of the former queen Vashti. Esther seemed to have power and riches but lived a life without joy and meaning.
Does that sound familiar? We have come all the way till today and achieved many things. We have positions and titles and some means to satisfy our desires. However, something is missing in our lives. Financial crisis and family dynamics are always threatening to take our fragile happiness away from us. We have read and seen so many tragic news and rumors about other families, sometimes about our close friends. Anytime, slight tilt of our luck will destroy our small shack.
So, Esther was frightened when she heard that her cousin, Mordcai, made big mistakes and put her people in danger. She did not want to be involved in any of that matter. She was barely keeping her position as a queen! She had to wait a year just to be seen by the king and still waited for many months to be touched by the king. Aren’t we all scared when our own life is at stake? Big pictures and great missions always come after our private individual comfort, don’t they?
However, the trouble maker, Mordcai, challenged Esther. He actually gave her a new perspective. He said, “Do not think that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s family will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.” (Esther 4:13-14).
Obviously, she became a queen to have a successful personal life. However, she realized that the queen’s position had given her only headache and anxiety. If she could not enjoy her personal life as a queen, why did she become a queen? She did not know the answer. “Maybe now Mordcai is telling the truth!” That thought came to her mind! Once she changed her view-point, everything was seen from a different angle. Pieces were put together to make a big picture. Now, the purpose of her life became clear.
After three days’ fast, she took action to save her people. And she did! She did wonderfully what she had to do and now people remember her on a national holiday, the festival of Purim! Once she was a queen who focused only on herself. When she took the new view-point, she became a national hero and a person whose name and action became history.
Related Books to read:
Ace Collins, GrAttitude (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010)
- What kind of position do you have now?
- What are the complaints that you have about your position?
- Do you have anybody in your mind whom you blame for all the complaints that you have?
- What would be a challenge that your Mordcai would say?
- What kind of change would you make if you take that challenge?
- What would you need to make that kind of change?
- Do you have any action in your mind to take?
- Do you have any partner in your mind to work with?
- Write down your prayer for all the above!
Bible Verse: “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Reading Question: Why did God anoint the servant of the LORD?
Interpretative Question: Why did people grieve in Zion? Who are the people like that in our own times and places?
Application Question: What would you do for those who grieve in Zion? What are the things that you are doing now to prepare the mission?
Harvard University once had a research on the drop-out rate of the Korean American students. Too many Korean American students who were admitted with great expectations dropped out. They wanted to know why and found out the reasons. For many Korean American students, the admission itself was the goal. They could not find further goal and vision at campus. They did not have any other motivations to pursue further vision. Many of them were told by their parents that becoming a student of the Harvard University itself was an American dream. So they studied hard and achieved the dream. After that, their parents did not have any more requests. The students are free! However, the freedom does not have any direction! They drop out of the school.
I want to introduce one student of the Harvard Medical School. He was a son of a blind man. When he was young, he had this dream to be an eye doctor who could cure his father’s eye. That dream was his motivation. He studied hard and was admitted into the Harvard University.
For his application essay, he wrote about his vision. He wrote what motivated him. However, he also wrote that he was so proud of his father because his father could read books for him when the lights were all out. It was perfect condition for his bed time stories. So, he found out that disabilities can be different abilities. In one sense, the blindness of his father motivated him to be an eye doctor. On the other hand, his father’s disability opened his eyes and let him to see other side of the reality. That helped him to grow into maturity. He would not drop out of the school and quit. He is now the president of the ophthalmologists’ association in the USA.
Now he is doing research studies for artificial sight for all the blind people, not just his father. He will bring light to many people on earth. Isn’t it a wonderful dream? Isn’t it God’s vision proclaimed by the servant of God in the book of Isaiah?
Many times, young people are driven by personal desires to be rich, famous, and powerful. Such desires make people blind. We can read so many news about the well educated high intelligent people who make wrong decisions morally and failed their families and communities. We know too many leaders of our community failed to show us examples and models. They may not committed any crime but do not make any example to follow, either.
Let us to be the light of the world as Jesus proclaimed. Let us be the salt of the world as Jesus proudly proclaimed. We would bring peace on earth with the grace of God and build peaceful community on earth with the help of God’s people. Let us dream God’s dream and have a vision that God would support. Do not give up until we make this dream to come true. Let us bring freedom and peace to all the peoples on earth.
Related Books to read:
Beth Sutinis ed., Martin Luther King Jr. Biography (NY: DK Publishing, Inc, 2004)
Young Woo Kang, My Disability-God’s Ability (Nashville: Abingdon, 2005).
1. What do you want to do in your life? Why?
2. What do others say what you should do in your life? Why?
3. What should be your decision and why?
4. What would be your major and job?
5. What would be obstacles for that vision?
6. What would you do to overcome those obstacles?
7. Who would be the beneficiary of your life work?
Bible Verse: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (I Peter 2:9)
Reading Question: According to the Bible, who are we?
Interpretative Question: What would a royal priest, a chosen people, a holy nation, and a people belonging to God do?
Application Question: What would you do in your life to declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light?
When I first moved to San Jose, I was taking FWY 280 North to go to a church member’s house. My church member said to me that his house is off from the FWY 680 North and the FWY 280 becomes naturally FWY 680. I assumed that FWY 280 North would be FWY 680 North. In fact, FWY 280 South becomes FWY 680 North. I was driving fast in the wrong direction! After half hour driving, I felt something wrong and called and found out that I was going further from the destination. The faster I went, the further I was from the place that I wanted to go. So, I realized, “What is important in life is not speed but direction.”
If we are going in the right direction, we can reach to our destination someday no matter what. However, if we are going in the wrong direction, we would be arriving at a wrong place. If we have a clear purpose, we have a life with right direction.
When I graduated from high school, I went to a law school to be a lawyer. I wanted to please my father and to please my teachers. It was not a bad thing but it was not my decision based on my purpose, either.
I had to struggle to find my life purpose. Life is given to everybody just once. I want to be happy and make others to be blessed. After my long prayer, I decided to live a life as a local church pastor. It would be a great joy for me to serve God and to serve people.
I changed my direction from pursuing money, pride, and prestige in the world to glorifying God and declaring praises of God who brings me from darkness into the light. I write books, speak at gatherings of different settings, preach at churches, and give lectures on the Bible. I now am happy and will live my life doing these ministries.
Related Books to read:
Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life (Grand Rapid: Zondervan, 2002)
Os Guinness, The Cal: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of
Your life (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2003).
- What are the things that I am doing now to glorify God?
- What are the things that I am doing to make the world a better place for humanity?
- If I can change one thing in my life to make my life to be more purposeful, what that would be?
- Make a Mission Statement for your own life!
Examples of Mission Statement
Rev. Sungho Lee “I am called to study the Word of God and share with others what I learned from my study through all the means possible.”
Rev. Hyesung Hong Lee “I am called to help others to build up harmonious relationships between God and themselves as well as with other humans.”
Bible Verse: “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.” (Genesis 41:33-36)
Reading Question: What did Joseph recommend to Pharaoh?
Interpretative Question: Why did Pharaoh need to look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt?
Application Question: What would you do in your life to prepare some possible famine? What would you do for your country or for the community that you love to prepare some possible famine in future?
When I heard stories from the Dr. Young Woo Kang, I learned that he planned his life with his wife in a careful manner. He named his wife Suk, En Ok. He meant that they were going to live as a couple 10 years in the period of Suk (meaning, stone). During that period they would settle down and prepare themselves for self-realization. Then, next 10 years would a period of En (meaning, silver). That would be a time for them to prepare for the public service. Then the following 10 years would be a period of Ok (meaning, jade), when they actually serve the community beyond their family.
As they planned, they spent 10 years to get Dr. Kang’s Ph. D. in special education for the handicapped people. They also had two sons and built a happy home. For the next 10 years, Dr. Kang taught in the Indiana University and served his community in Indiana. For the following 10 years, Dr. Kang served as an advisor of the presidential committee for the national association of the physically challenged people. He also founded a non-profit organization for the education of the physically challenged people.
I asked him when we met the other day, “Now, you have spent all the 30 years and now what?” He said, maybe now they have to live a period of Diamond! I could see that happening. His wife, Mrs. Kang published her own book and became a guest speaker for many groups to present her conviction about child education. She shares with other parents her own method how to raise her two sons to be a lawyer whose talent is recognized already by the Washington D.C. politicians and a medical doctor who is now a chair person of the association of the national ophthalmologists.
Confucius once said to his disciples that he made up his mind what to do in his life in his 30s and his conviction became unshakable in his 40s. In his 50s, he understood the way of the nature and in his 60s he discerned the call from heaven. Then in his 70s, he finally would not violate any of the natural laws anytime when he did what he desires. It would be meaningful for anybody to reflect on one’s own life after he or she actually lived out. However, it would be more meaningful if he or she planned out his or her life first before he or she would actually live the life.
Related Books to read:
Charles Stanley, God has a plan for your life (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2008)
If you have clear purpose in your life, now make a plan how to realize that purpose in your life!
Things to do in the next 10 years.
Things to do in the following 10 years.
Long term plans.
Now transform that plan into a narrative!
At the age of ____, I set up my life goal and plans for it.
Now, I praise God who has guided me step by step for the last _____ years of life. Hallelujah!
Bible Verse: “’Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’ So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.” (Esther 4:16-17)
Reading Question: Who were going to fast with Esther?
Interpretative Question: Why did Esther need others who were going to fast with her?
Application Question: Who are your partners in your faith journey at home, at church, at school, and at work place?
4) Work place:
When Moses was called to deliver his people from Egypt, he refused to do the mission. He felt that he was not qualified and ready. However, when God sent Aaron as his partner Moses could do his mission.
When he died, he made Joshua to continue the mission. Because he worked with Joshua and others for forty years, he could retire without destroying the mission.
Joshua also had Caleb who shared the same faith and mission. When they spied the land of Canaan, they were the only two who confessed their faith in God. Both of them together could conquer the land of Canaan and glorify God!
Dr. Chun Ken Kim, the founder of JAMA, also said to me that he could found the movement when he met the executive director, the Rev. Soon Young Kang. With his systematic and organized style, JAMA could be a national movement among the Korean Americans. Dr. Kim’s passion with the Rev. Kang’s organizational skill produced movement in the Korean American society.
KOSTA is also a cooperative work among the Rev. Hong, Jungkil, Rev. Lee, Dongwon, and the Rev. Ok, Hanem. ARKS is also a ministry that many partners in mission do together. Can you name those partners? Are you willing to be a partner for ARKS?
Related Books to read:
Howard Hendricks, As Iron sharpens Iron (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995)
- What would be characteristics to be your partners for your life purpose?
- Who would have such qualities? Names?
- What would bring all of them together?
- What would you start to build up such relationship?
- Simple Life
Bible Verse: “’When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.” (Luke 18:22-23)
Reading Question: What did Jesus ask a rich young man to sell before he could follow Jesus?
Interpretative Question: Why was he so sad when he heard what Jesus had to say to him?
Application Question: What do you have to give up to achieve your purpose in your life? What would happen in the worst scenario if you give up that in your life?
Elder Soo Woong Park said to me that when he started his ministry for the young people, he had to reduce his work hours at his hospital as a medical doctor. That meant that his income also was reduced. He had to give up some of this hobbies and properties. He could not keep them.
The more he involved in the ministry for the young people, the less he could work in a hospital. So, he became a part time doctor who works only a day a week. Then he and his wife had to give up their house. They could not pay the mortgage. When they moved to an apartment, he had to sell all his furniture also.
Now, Mr. and Mrs. Park live in a small apartment without much furniture. They say that they need just couple clothes and some simple things for cooking and meals. Anyway, they travel a lot and do not stay in their apartment much.
Their children are all successful professionals. They did not expect any inheritance from the parents. Rather, they want to help the ministry that their parents are doing. They are happy and they live a simple life. Now they can go anywhere in the world when people call them.
Related Books to read:
Richard Sterns, The Hole in our Gospel (Nashville: World Vision, Inc, 2009)
Mother Teresa, Simple Path (NY: Random house, 1995)
- What are the things, positions, jobs, and relationships that you can give up to achieve your purpose in your life?
- What are the things that have nothing to do with the mission and ministry that you are called to do?
- What are the things that you definitely need to do your mission and ministry?
- Sharing Life
Bible Verse: “Elijah said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’ She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.” (1 Kings 17:13-15)
Reading Question: Whom did Elijah tell these commandments to?
Interpretative Question: What would happen when the widow followed Elijah’s instructions?
Application Question: When in your life did you experience a radical commandment for sharing your resources? How did you feel about it? What did you do when you hear it?
We know the rest of the story of the widow in the area of Zarephath. She did share what was left for her with the prophet Elijah but she did not die of hunger. She experienced God’s miracle. For the rest of the famine, her jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil was not dry.
Jesus fed five thousand people in the wilderness with a lunch box of a boy. Jesus blessed two loaves of bread and five fishes and gave them to the crowd. They were all fed and satisfied. These days, some people eat in an expensive restaurant, spending money that can buy food for 5,000 people in the third world countries. And some people donate money for 5,000 people can eat their dinner. For them, twenty or thirty dollars can buy meals for a month. I pray that we can share what we have with others in this spirit.
Related Books to read:
Gordon McDonald, The Secretes of Generous giving (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 1995)
- What institutions or organizations do you know that you can trust enough to share your money, time, and talents?
- If you do not know any of those agencies, how would you find them?
- Would you write down concretely how much you can share?
1) Your time:
2) Your money
3) Your talents
4) Concrete communities or organizations
5) Beginning time and ending time
- Serving Life
Bible Verse: “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:13-15)
Reading Question: What did Jesus wash?
Interpretative Question: Why did Jesus wash the feet of the disciples? What does that mean?
Application Question: If you follow the example of Jesus, what would you do in your life?
There was a woman pastor. She was appointed to a small church. There were no Sunday School teachers nor money to hire one. She alone led the Sunday School, Youth worship and adult services and Bible studies. Still the church did not have enough money to pay the facility rent and utilities. She could not receive her salary. However, she did serve the church with joy and enthusiasm. The church grew! The church grew enough to pay staffs and facilities.
When the church grew, the church members wanted to have a man pastor like other churches. The woman pastor prayed about it and moved to other church. She was appointed to a special ministry for physically challenged children.
She could have fought against sexism. However, she loved the church more than herself. She did not want to make any turmoil among church members. She served the church in her holy way.
We can differentiate “holiness” from “justice.” With justice we require fair share for everybody in the community. With holiness we willingly give up our fair share for the whole community. Justice protects rights of the members. Holiness inspires people to sacrifice their rights for the others. Sharing and serving life does not visualize just society but holy community.
Without justice, the Kingdom of God is not coming. However, if we have only justice, the Kingdom of God is dry. God’s Kingdom comes through holiness, sacrifice, and grace. We need people who want to sacrifice their rights, their share, their opportunities for others to make the Cross of Jesus be visible and available to all.
Related Books to read:
Henry Nouwen, Wounded Healer (NY: Double Day, 1979)
Ken Jennings, The serving leader (San Francisco: Berrtt-Koehler Publisher, 2004)
What are the things that I can do in serving spirit?
- At home
- At church
- At work
- In local community
- For our country
- For the world community