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4th Feb 2018 Good News Gangnam Church Sunday Sermon Text

Genesis 40:9-23

Everyone has their own thoughts and every person thinks that they are right. After I got married, I am sorry to say, but there was a time I argued with my wife. This is the same words but her thoughts and my thoughts were different. My wife didn’t want to lose easily and one time, I argued with her and I started getting angry. And what she said to me was, “Honey I am not exactly sure of it. Don’t just get angry but please just explain to me in detail.” “You should have said that earlier then!” and I told her in detail. Not all women are like this but my wife was a little simple. When I explained to her, she would kind of get frustrated and say, “What is wrong with that?”

There is Ananias and Sapphira, and there is Judas Iscariot and there is Achan. Ananias, he was selling his land and when he got the money, he wanted to give a part of the money saying that was everything. It is a little bit different from that time; if a person like Ananias and Sapphira died, there would be no one left in our church. Ananias and Sapphira, they’re people who did not sell their land and what is the problem if you keep some little bit of that money. But what Peter said was, “Ananias, why did you hide that money from the land? You could have done however you wanted. When you lie, you lie unto God.” “Yeah, I kept saying that there people who say I didn’t sell anything but I sold my land what is the problem of just keeping some of the money? Is there something to die for? Die About?” But to Peter, “You didn’t lie to people but you lied to God,” and he died and his wife died too.

When we read the bible, the thoughts that we have and God’s thoughts are totally different. Judas Iscariot sold Jesus. As we read the bible what it talks about is Judas started condemning himself. “Jesus is wise and he has power so even if I sell him…” I think he thought somehow Jesus will make his way out. But the problem was, Judas thought differently from Jesus, and that person in the Old Testament is Achan. Joshua tells him, “Hey when you go into Jericho, be careful of all the things there. You have to give it to God. The gold, silver — you have to give it to God and if you take it, Israelites themselves will be given,” and he was afraid of that. He was afraid that Joshua told him, “Everything is alright, but whatever it is, don’t take it. If you take it from the battle, then you will pay for it.” Why is Joshua like that? All he has to say is “Don’t take anything.” In Joshua’s heart, he was afraid that they might die if we take anything from this battle, but Achan’s thoughts didn’t reach that far. “Why is he talking that again and again? All he has to say is don’t take it. Don’t take anything.” The battle started and they see all these things. It was a really nice outer wear. He lived in the wilderness and he saw that cloth and it was so nice and he wanted to keep it. Joshua said “don’t take anything” because he feared that they would be paying that price of it. “Will it be a problem if I just take this jacket?” And he hides the gold and silver, that becomes a curse. And it resulted in in his whole family being stoned to death because the way we see and God sees is totally different.

When husband and wife fight, they do this because they want the family to be better off. Most women, as they live with their husbands in the first two years, they say that there are some people who make their husbands into evil people. I am just joking, but people like me who are like lambs — many men, marry a beautiful nice woman and within three years they make their husbands into an evil person. They have to live with that person for the rest of their life. Young married couples fight and argue. They start putting me on live. The wife says “I always loose and I always don’t want to feel like am a servant. He is always stepping on me.” And the husband is like, “How can my wife treat me like this?” “How is that a problem if you are serviced to each other?” But some people, “Hey, if when you get married, within a year you have to get hold of your spouse or you going to be held on a leash.” “How do you do that?” That’s what they say, but I am old now so I can say to my wife, “Hey, you need to exercise.” My wife has a lot of excuses, “I don’t know how to exercise.” So I say, “You know the treadmill,” and she says “I get dizzy when I walk on that.” My wife, her body got so weak so suddenly and I feel bad for her. I am 75 this year and if my wife dies, I can’t imagine that. So now, I am very good to her. I think 99.999% I listen to her. But young people they just think of them as a companion. They don’t realize how precious their spouse is! Whether they are good or bad, they are your spouse and you have to meet at the middle. So I hear from the young couples how they argue, and I am old so they would send kakaotalk messages saying my husband is doing this to me right now. But you can totally see the result of that.

Among couples, it’s like that but between us and God, it easy to know the story line, but inside us, it’s not easy to talk about the heart of God. So it’s easy for us to have a different heart from God. As they live, some wives really love their husband but they want to do things their husband doesn’t like. I don’t know where that comes from. All women have that kind of heart, “Oh my husband doesn’t like this. I shouldn’t do it. I shouldn’t do it.” But really there is a time when a woman wants to do something like that and they try one time and the husband gets angry. And the most important thing is, “Honey, I am sorry. I know you didn’t like it but I just wanted to try once. I won’t do it again.” If it ends like that, it’s so nice and comfortable, but among couples, the wife doesn’t want to lose to the husband and the husband doesn’t want to lose to the wife. So they don’t say truthfully, honestly. Wives have this skill. My wife is so skillful in speaking that I tried to touch her mouth and she moved my hand away. I asked her, “How can you think of such words to say?” And she totally steps on me. And there are those wives who can win over their husbands with their speaking. And once they do that, they want to try one more time. Like a drug addict, if you try it two, three or four times, it becomes a habit and your husband will become very empty and very difficult in his heart. It wouldn’t be a problem if you try one time and say “Sorry, I just wanted to try it one time,” but this continues and some families become unfortunate.

Once there was a young woman and she came to get counseling and I said “Do you know your husband heart?” and she was shocked. Among other people, it will be nice if you follow the heart of God. But even though we know that God doesn’t like it, there is something that we want to do. There are things that God wants but we don’t want to do it. In other words I want to do whatever I want. Everyone has that heart, if not there would be no reason for this bible to be so thick. The reason why the bible is so thick is it shows how such and such kinds of people with such and such a heart, what happens to them. As you really open up the bible once or twice you don’t really know what but you think about the story and again think about it. It becomes different.

The Gracias choir, when they went to Germany to the Marktoberdorf choir competition they got grand prize and I asked the conductor. “What are we so great at? What aspect of us that is so great that we received the grand prize?” And what she said was our conductor knows the heart of the person who made the music. The conductor must know the history of the music — Beethoven, Schubert, and what kind of situation they were in. They have to know all of that and they open up the music. They read the music and read it again. They close their eyes and think about it, and then there are able to see clearly the heart of the musician. Why they used a tough note here, why the note is higher here. They are able to see that. When I listened to what my daughter said, I looked at the piece and closed my eyes, and listened. They just look like bean sprouts soup. When I was in the army, I was so sick of bean sprout soup. So the person who makes the soup, they make it to their own taste and they do it easy for themselves to make. What they do is, in the army they make like half the pot and make it salty and later they would just add in more water and mix it. That’s what I saw in the army. So no matter how much I look at the music in the hymn, I can’t understand. Conductors go deep into the world of music. And they would look at the music and close their eyes. They see the heart of the musician. And the conductor Boris Abalyan is the conductor for Gracias choir.

Spiritual life — people who are not deep in spiritual life say I could just pray hard and praise the Lord, read the bible, and do good things. Even though you don’t know the heart of God, you can do those good things and you can pray even though you don’t know the heart of God. You can live spiritual life without knowing the heart of God. But living true spiritual life, just as the conductor looks into the heart of the musician and into the person who wrote the lyrics and the music. They went over to the Marktoberdorf choir competition and they were able to express the musician’s heart. So our conductor understood the heart of the musician. That’s what she said to me and because I am a pastor, I read the bible. The bible is just like a bible. You may think like this, you may think like that. First, you see the story and then you see the story line. You see Goliath being killed. You see this storyline but when you read it twenty to thirty times, forty times, the more you read it, I think about the story, I read all day long, and then there is a heart of God that flows within that which you could see very clearly. Spiritual life is not about doing good. It’s not about “don’t steal.” But “Is your heart connected with God?” What the bible says about our spiritual life is, “why did God record this?” We can know that clearly.

As I read this bible in Genesis chapter forty, Joseph interprets the dream of the Butler and the Baker. And he says, “There is a vine before me and there are three branches. And it is budded and blossoms and with clusters and I pressed the grapes into Pharaoh’s cup and gave it to Pharaoh’s hand.” So we know the answer but what does it mean in three days he will go back to his old job and what does it mean that the baker has baskets of bread and that means that in three days he will die? How is it interpreted like that? You know the answer, but you cannot solve it. You read the bible over and over again. Then you look into the heart. Oh, that’s right that’s right! The butler would think about what kind of wine is good for when you’re tired, or for this time and that time. He had succeeded because he has become the butler for the Pharaoh. When you go abroad, we eat bread. In some countries, bread doesn’t taste good at all. People of Germany ate bread so much and what they do is, they put real barley in the bread and you can chew on it. At first, I could not eat that, but the more I ate it, it started tasting good. Koreans make bean paste out of beans. When pastor Kwon was in Germany, he made bean paste soup and it spread to the whole town. One time, someone cooked kimchi soup. Bean paste soup or kimchi is the Korean food. You don’t like it at first but it tastes better as time passes. And Koreans love their own food so when they go abroad, even if there are ten people, a Korean store is bound to be made because they can’t live without Korean food. When Americans started to taste kimchi, they started to like it. And when they tasted bean paste soup, they started liking it. And I go round the world and eat like all kinds of food but I like Korean food best. When I went to Kenya there was a person named Dorothy. She took us out to eat then she was making fufu. At the time, my stomach was really in a bad state, and I shouldn’t have seen it. But there was some water in the pot but the water in the pot seemed so dirty. She would put her hand in there and started to pound on the fufu. I think I starved almost a week and Dorothy came to me, “Pastor Park what do you like?” I told her I like bean paste soup. “What do you make bean paste soup with?” I said, “Beans” and she said, “Oh great! We have beans.” I told her, “You can’t make that.” “Hey we can make it almost similar,” and I said, “No. It takes a year to make bean paste.” “What do you mean? How can you make something for a whole year?” I said, “You have to boil the beans, you have to hang the beans until it rots. And about after a year, you can eat it.” “Then what do you eat for the rest of the year?” “We eat the bean paste that have been made a year before.” “Then what about a year before?” “We eat the paste that have been made a year before. We eat that so we get the taste a little taste of more and more then it starts to taste delicious.” We come to the heart of God little by little. Our hearts are so shallow so evil and dirty that we feel that our hearts are so bad.

There is the butler and the baker and they all sinned in front of the king. Why? “I became the butler” and says to each other, “Hey guys, don’t mess with me,” and he has become such a great person now. It’s going to become hard for him to bend his heart. As I live with my son, I say “Young-gook, do you want to do this?” And he says “Yes, father.” “Hey come over here. I had this kind of heart that’s why I wanted to do this. Hey, do it like this” and he says “Okay.” He understands my heart and he looks into my heart. Although there are times when we clash, if it is explained, then he understands. He has the heart to follow his father. Not all sons are like that. There are those who, even at work, they do what they are told to do even though their hearts don’t match with that. And the reason why they have sinned in front of the king is they have become butler and baker and they are great now. The heart of the king and his heart is different and it would be great if they gather their hearts. As they work there are times when their hearts are not aligned with the king and they end up committing sin. What the butler said was, “In front of me there was a vine. It had three branches and it was as though it was budded and blossoms shot forth and brought forth the right grapes and Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand. I took the grapes and I pressed them into the Pharaoh’s cup and gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.” So when the butler went before the king, what he thought was, “Hey I became a butler by grace. My heart was so arrogant and I didn’t look into the heart of the king and that is how I ended up committing the sin. If I commit sin like this one more time, I may actually die. I am afraid. Why am I doing this according to my thoughts? I don’t know even the heart of God. Why was I trying to act like I am so smart? Why was I acting like my social level is so great? So this happened because of my heart!” Then he drew a line in his dream. “When I look at my dream, there was a vine and that means Jesus Christ and we are about to do the communion too. We do communion with bread and wine. The bread is the body of Jesus and the wine is the blood of Jesus.” He leaves everything aside — the things of the vine, and the things of the grapes. He sees the branches, it is budded and blossoms, and he doesn’t mix any of his thoughts into it.

Spiritual life, as Adam and Eve, we see we have to realize there is nothing of our thoughts that is correct. Only the vine is good and he didn’t mix any of his thoughts. Joseph when he saw this dream, all his good things or his smart things were all thrown out and it was only the vine, even though he was in the prison. Now the baker added the bread which is his thoughts. Each of the verses where the thoughts of flesh have entered is all cursed — the thoughts of flesh are death. It’s not that somethings lead to death and others don’t lead to death, but everything in front of Jesus is death. So when we go before God, if I add any of my thoughts, it is death. So what do I have to do to live spiritual life? Why did God do this?

In Genesis 27 there is Jacob and Esau. Esau, what he did is that he hunted. He hunted very well, made something to eat, and gave it to his father and received a curse. But Jacob didn’t hunt anything, he took only what Rebecca made for him. Before, when I read this, I thought “Hey, Jacob lied. Why did he receive a blessing and Esau receive a curse?” Later on, after knowing the heart of God – He is not pleased with our own good things. Because we helped others and because we helped the poor are not why we receive blessing. No, not at all. What the bible is saying is that Esau received a curse although he went out and hunted well. What I do seems good, but in front of God it’s a curse. When we get closer to the word, all of our thoughts are cursed and leads to destruction. I got to know that accurately when I was 19 years old. Everything I did was failure. If I followed my thoughts, I would fail. If I follow my thought I was okay with my thoughts but the more I go deeper into my thoughts, I failed. It’s so dirty and evil, I got to realize that. What is the bible telling us? The butler, everything he did was sin. Everything that he did was wrong in front of God. So the butler emptied everything from himself. The result of Jesus dying on the cross for me will take that. I have committed evil and done wrong but by his blood and through his blood, I was saved. The baker says “I did this well,” “I did that well,” and puts it in the basket. God is trying to awaken us.

When I meet pastors, I ask them, “Do you preach so that you should do well, to do well?” The bible says humans cannot do well. We are people who commit sin and we have committed a lot of sin. Everything we do is of evilness but when we just know vaguely, it seems that we are doing well. But the deeper we go in, we are doing evil. The baker, he has to prepare all the good things to the king. We just need to throw all of that away and just take before God that wine. “Jesus, he died and washed away my sins. And now he is able to accept me. By the blood he shed on the cross, my sins were washed away. Looking at that, please accept me.” “Help me. I have done 40 days passing prayer I have done all. I have given offerings. I have done this and I have done that.” All this destruction is talking about us. I don’t know who said this and I don’t know who brought it up but they have to keep the service, we have to do the tithe. But we already we have sinned so just because you do well it doesn’t say anywhere in the bible that your sins will be washed away. There is only curse to us so there is only one way as Jesus died on the cross. He died instead of us, so look at the blood. The blood paid the price for me and becomes the evidence, and by the power of blood we go before God.

Many people rely on themselves, “But still, I helped others. I have done good deeds and if I do it and it is better. He is going to have compassion on me and send me to heaven.” That is not how it works. That’s what happens when you know the bible vaguely. Giving tithes and doing such things isn’t spiritual life. There is no good in us so what we do? The Butler didn’t take everything of his except the wine as it budded and blossomed and clusters became ripe. “He put that in the first cup. I have done this and that kind of sin but Jesus died on the cross because of my sin. He died on the cross, he shed his blood and that blood is the evidence that he has washed my sins away. It has ended and it is washed and I am righteous.” Only those can be acknowledged before God and be established. Whoever takes out their own good will be destroyed. Spiritual life is not that you have to do good, but it is when I realize what the bible is — everything that I do is evil and dirty. It is not that I should live this spiritual life well but I should live with the heart of God. There are two hearts but in the heart of God there is “I am dirty and evil” and I realize am unholy, so I put my heart aside. When I take my righteous as good, then it will only lead me to destruction. When we just try to do good, we can’t do good nor live a spiritual life, and you cannot go boldly before God, no matter what sin you have committed.

Everything that I have done, I should throw my thoughts away. In 1962, I realized this; how dirty and evil I am. I saw how bad I am because I am only evil. I cannot receive grace but I can go before the cross through Jesus. And since then, I did not believe in my thoughts. I denied my thoughts. So Jesus came into my heart and he led me into his heart and I am so thankful for that. Afterwards, we made the IYF in 1999. As I talked to the youth, “Hey! Do not do bad things. Do not steal. Do not do that.” But our hearts don’t work like that. We end up falling into evil again. When we believe in the word of God, Jesus comes into our hearts. I see how he pours out his grace and his goodness. When we know this fact, spiritual life becomes so easy. I deny myself; someone who can do nothing and look unto God. Look up to Jesus because there is nothing I can do to go to heaven. Then, put myself in the hands of God. Some people, because of problems, they want to believe in God but also believe in themselves. But when I deny in myself, I believe in God. He can do more than pull me out of sin. I am through with my thoughts. Achan and Ananias, these people seemed like they followed Jesus but they lived with their thoughts. That’s why there is darkness, evil and lies and that is why they were abandoned by God. So we see the heart of God, and when we receive the heart of God, His righteousness will be my righteousness, and his blood that was shed will wash away my sins and I will make me clean. That is my evidence, and we are receiving that. We don’t become righteous by our own ways. God leads us to Jesus and that is so thankful.

The butler and the baker, that’s their difference. When we read the bible about Abraham and Moses, at first they had a different heart from God and their hearts are different from God and this becomes difficult. When the Lord is my husband, it’s very difficult to follow your husband when you think you’re right. That’s why the bible says to obey your husband. The church, although it may seem wrong, just follow and God will give your husband wisdom and will lead you to beautiful life. But some women think, “OH! My husband doesn’t know anything. I must do it. If I just follow him it’s going to be a disaster.” Spiritual life is very simple, but you must know one thing. At times, it seems like we are doing good, but in the eyes of God, it’s different. We have no good before God. We can do no good. There is only evilness. But when we see it, it’s like we are doing better than others or we are doing good more than others but that’s not how it is to God because we are evil to do the right spiritual life. Just like the butler. Your thoughts, you have to throw them all away, whether they are good or bad.   Throw it away and receive the heart of God then you will have joy and peace. So those who can go to heaven are not the good people. There is only evil in us. It seems good but there is no good.

I talked about this before. There was a lady who sold jewelry and she gave me a necklace as a gift and I left it in the hotel purposely and tried to leave, but then someone who thought I had left it put it in my bag. And when I went to the airport they said that I have something, and then they said that you have gold. I said, “Oooh no! This is only the outer cover which is gold, but the inside is not gold.” I said, “Do you have a knife?” They scratched it and then we saw that it peeled off. If it’s pure gold, no matter how much it is scratched, it should only be gold. But thank God — the more you scratched, there was a different type of metal inside. It is only evil in front of God and so what we think is good is not good in front of God. Our nature is evil. When we receive the heart of God, then you will experience what the true heart of God is. And when the holy heart leads us, we can receive the blessing like the butler, and we can live a precious life like that. In Genesis 40, I have talked about it several times, but the baker who added his thoughts, the bible shows us the different results. What we think is good, don’t think of that as good. It may seem good but there is evil that comes from it. Throw all of that away and when you accept it, you will truly be holy, clean and righteous. We will have a moment of prayer. As you bow your head down and pray, I wish you get a heart to throw your thoughts and your things away. Not only living the life of doing good. Let’s have a time to pray individually.

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