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The Complete Book of Forgiveness

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2019-01-07 (월) 06:04 조회 : 115
설교일 : 2019.01.06
설교자 : Rev. Eung Yong Kim
본문말씀 : Genesis 50:15-21

January 6, 2019

 

The Complete Book of Forgiveness

Genesis 50:15-21

 

Rev. Eung Yong Kim’s sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

The Bible is a book about forgiveness and it has so many stories of forgiveness that it can be called the complete book of forgiveness.

 

The Bible is filled with the stories of forgiveness from the beginning to the end. God is not an exception to these stories of forgiveness. After forgiving Adam who had broken the covenant, God even made garments of skin for Adam in order to clothe him.

 

Why is the Bible full of stories of forgiveness?

 

< According to ‘The Psychology of Forgiveness’ by Paul Meyer:

An oncologist who has treated 15,000 cancer patients at a San Diego Cancer Center asks his new patient this question first : “Have you forgiven?” Very surprised, the patient asks back, “What has forgiveness to do with my cancer?” The doctor answers, “We are spiritual and physical beings. When our spirit is sick, our body gets sick too.” His next question to the patient is, “Have you forgiven your friend who cheated you? Have you forgiven your spouse or your children? Or your parents? Have you been hurt by your siblings because of unfairly divided inheritance? Have you forgiven them?”

“Have you forgiven yourself who have made all the foolish mistakes in your life?”

Then, the doctor makes this statement; “Because you have not forgiven them, your accumulated anger made you sick. Therefore, before treating your cancer, let us begin the process of forgiveness.” >

 

I have prepared a series of sermons on the subject of forgiveness, not just to urge you to forgive, but to meditate upon the many instances of forgiveness contained in the Bible, which can certainly be called the complete book of forgiveness.

 

In today’s passage, we get to meet with Joseph and find out how he was able to forgive those who had wronged him so cruelly. His brothers had sold him into slavery. As a slave, he worked faithfully, but was framed and put into a jail. Even in jail, he was betrayed by others. Now, his brothers who had sold him to be a slave appeared in front of Joseph.

 

How could Joseph forgive his brothers?

 

1.  To forgive someone, we have to be able to see the other person’s weakness.

 

Their father Jacob was dead. Now, Joseph’s brothers were worried; “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So, they lied to him and fabricated their father’s instructions to Joseph; “I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.”

 

How evil they were!

How could anyone forgive them?

Didn’t they commit enough wrongs to Joseph already?

Now, they were scheming for more evil things. They even fabricated their father’s will for their own safety.

 

<  I can never forgive them!!!

    I cannot tolerate them anymore!!!

    Can’t I take a big revenge on them?

    Joseph had all the power to take a serious revenge on them. >

 

But, hearing their fabricated message, Joseph began to weep.

Why did he weep?

While meditating on the reason why Joseph wept, I was deeply touched by the grace.

 

What was Joseph crying about? He was crying at the wickedness and stupidity of his brothers. He saw how wicked, how stupid his brothers really were. Then he realized that was why they hated him and that they had sold him into slavery because of their stupidity.

 

His brothers didn’t have any definite scheme to sell Joseph, but they were just too stupid to know better. Previously they had sold their younger brother because of their stupidity, and now they were standing in front of Joseph more wretched than ever. Seeing them so miserable before him made Joseph realize how fragile all the lives were.

 

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is an action that takes place inside of ourselves. It happens when we see how fragile, evil and deficient the others are, and then we realize how weak we all are!

 

< There was a deaconess who constantly complained about her mother-in-law. She had been married for 30 years and for all those years her mother-in-law’s harsh words hurt her like daggers to her heart. Then, her son got married and now she had her own daughter-in-law. After some time, her newly married son came to her to plead with her to go easy on her daughter-in-law and speak kindly to her. She was so upset that she couldn’t sleep at all that night. Early the next morning, she went to her mother-in-law and complained that all had been her mother-in-law’s fault. Then, her mother-in-law said, “I had to put up with your rude remarks toward me all these years and it has been really difficult!” >

 

My dear congregation, this is the real life! We do not know what we are doing!

 

In my ministry, I have heard these words so often; “Pastor, I can never forgive that person!” That person can be one’s mother-in-law, one’s spouse or another church member.

 

We usually think that to forgive someone who has mistreated us is to accept that person.

But the Bible does not say so. The forgiveness advocated in the Bible is not relative to the other person’s merits or how the other person deserves your forgiveness. This forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person and it does not happen because the other person asks for the forgiveness.

 

The forgiveness advocated in the Bible means having new eyes to see things differently.

This is what Joseph has taught us with his tears.

I want to urge you to notice the weakness of others. Once you notice how fragile the other person is, you will notice how fragile yourself is. Have I not made the same mistake? Have I not hurt someone by mistake? Then, we realize how fragile we all are!

 

I believe that the cross of Jesus does the same thing to us, and so does the forgiveness of our sins by Jesus. Jesus does not forgive us because there is any possibility in us, or our actions deserve His forgiveness or we are worthy of His forgiveness, but He forgives us because He feels compassion for our weakness. The more fragile we are, the more compassion He feels for us.

 

Is the person who got hurt stupid? Or is the person who hurt the others stupid?

Both of them are stupid.

But who is more stupid?

The person who hurt others is more stupid.

Why? A person who cannot see the other’s situation or point of view and then speaks up own mind without any regard for others is more stupid.

But, let us think about this carefully: In most cases, the person who hurt others is not aware of having hurt others. Therefore, the person who got hurt is the one who suffers the most damage.

 

2.  Forgiveness is an action by those who look toward God for guidance

 

On seeing the tears of Joseph, his brothers didn’t know what to do. So, they threw themselves down before him and said, “We are your slaves.”

 

How cowardly they were!

Instead of acknowledging and then repenting the wrongs they had inflicted on Joseph, they were just trying to hide them. They couldn’t even say they were sorry for what they had done.

 

Now, Joseph had only two ways in front of him.

The way of forgiveness or the way of revenge.

Most of us would choose the way of revenge in this situation. How many people in the Bible eagerly chose the way of revenge!

 

Should Joseph forgive them? Or, should he take revenge on them?

 

At that moment, Joseph took action.

And this is the second secret the Bible is teaching us.

Look toward God!

Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?”

 

Do you believe in the Living God? Then, remember these two things.

1)  Believe that God knows what you are going through.

2)  Believe that God will take revenge on your behalf.

If you can confess that you believe these two things, you can look toward God at any moment.

 

When you think of God, God’s way will open for you and when you think of people, people’s way will open for you.

 

Let us think more about Joseph’s case.

He had everything under his control. Also, he had the time and he had the power.

But he laid everything down before God.

That was why he was able to forgive his brothers.

 

You and I can do the same and forgive others. Only those who look toward God for guidance can forgive others.

 

Let us imagine this opposite scenario.

If Joseph took revenge on his brothers, what would have happened?

As you know very well, Genesis in the Bible describes how the 12 tribes of Israel descended from the 12 sons of Jacob, and in today’s passage, we are at the starting point of the 12 sons settling down in Egypt. Their descendants lived in Egypt for 430 years and multiplied so much to become a big group of 2,500,000 Israelites.

 

Let us think about it.

It was all due to the Providence of God that Joseph had dreams and his brothers so hated him for his dreams that they sold him to Egypt, then Joseph was imprisoned and betrayed there, but because of his ability to interpret dreams, he was made a prime minister by Pharaoh. When Canaan suffered severe famine, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy grain and later the whole family including Jacob moved to Egypt and now Jacob is dead.

If Joseph had decided to take his revenge on his brothers, it would not have been just a personal revenge, but the collapse of God’s plan and the Providence would have been interrupted.

 

That is why Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers was very important.

What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is actively looking toward the plan of God who is inside of us.

 

I want you to open your eyes wide and do not be tied down in your life by taking revenges. Also, do not be dragged down by the hurts in your life.

 

Now, Joseph made this statement; “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (verse 20)

 

3.  How can we forgive others?

 

Around me, there are people whose faith does not grow even after a long time. Why doesn’t their faith grow?

 

I know that the faith of those who have been emotionally hurt does not grow, because they have not forgiven the people who had hurt them.

 

When you don’t forgive others, you are the one who suffers the most. It is like having a huge rock in your heart, so you cannot bear any fruits. By not forgiving others, you suffer the damage.

 

< In my childhood, my family was not poor, but not very prosperous. As an adolescent, I was envious of my friends who dressed fashionably. One day I was passing by the Prospecs market in East Incheon and saw a jacket on the shop window. Wow, so stylish and smart looking, but just too expensive!

I went home and told my father about that jacket which I really wanted to have. After hearing the price, he said no, because it was too expensive. But, on the following week, our Living God made the shop hold their annual year-end sale of 40% off of everything. I begged my father to buy me the jacket, as this was my last chance to have it. No father can win a victory over his son; he gave me the money to buy it. Immediately I ran to the shop and bought the jacket. How happy and excited I was! Later, my father asked me about the jacket and I proudly showed it to him. It was white parka jacket!! It was such a glamorous and stylish jacket in my eyes, but my father got really angry and shouted to me, “What a foolish boy you are! Are you the son of Byung-Chul Lee, the Samsung chairman?” He then explained, “Rich kids can afford to have a white jacket, as they own several jackets, but how can you keep your only jacket clean in white color?” I knew what he said was all true, but I was so hurt by his words; “Are you the son of the Samsung chairman?” I knew that I was not, I knew that, but it still hurt me so much.

 

One day many years later, I accompanied my daughter when she went shopping for her clothes. She liked a white dress. Holding it up, she asked me, “Daddy, this white dress may get dirty easily, so do you think I shouldn’t buy it?” Suddenly, the memory of my white jacket came back to jolt me. I shouted to her, “What nonsense are you talking about? Just buy it!” >

 

Now, I have to ask you a question:

What are the things that are inside of you and lead you forward? Is it the hurts or is it the forgiveness?

 

Luke 6:45

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

 

Take a look at what was stored up in Joseph’s heart.

He reassured his brothers with these kind words.

“Don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.”

 

While reading the story of Joseph, I couldn’t help wondering how he was able to forgive them. He must have had so much good stored up in his heart that the hurts couldn’t control him.

 

What were the good things he had in his heart?

The love he had received from his father.

The dreams God had given to him.

Joseph was led by these good things to win many victories in his life.

 

Forgiveness means raising up the things of God inside of us!!!


   

총 게시물 543건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
543 2019.03.17  The exodus of a papyrus basket Exodus 5:22-6:9 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
542 2019.03.17  갈대 상자의 출애굽 출애굽기 5:22-6:9 김응용 목사
541 2019.03.10  The secret of a papyrus basket Exodus 4:10-17 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
540 2019.03.10  갈대 상자의 비밀 출애굽기 4:10-17 김응용 목사
539 2019.03.03  The Papyrus Basket Exodus 2:1-10 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
538 2019.03.03  갈대 상자 출애굽기 2:1-10 김응용 목사
537 2019.02.24  The church where healers are hard at work 1 Samuel 20:12-16 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
536 2019.02.24  치료자들이 일하는 교회 사무엘상 20:12-16 김응용 목사
535 2019.02.17  The church where the voice of God can be heard 2 Kings 5:1-7 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
534 2019.02.17  하나님의 음성이 들리는 교회 열왕기하 5:1-7 김응용 목사
533 2019.02.10  A church where the spiritual growth is taking place Luke 6:37-45 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
532 2019.02.10  영적 성장이 일어나는 교회 누가 복음 6:37-45 김응용 목사
531 2019.02.03  A church that is like the city of refuge Joshua 20:1-6 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
530 2019.02.03  도피성과 같은 교회 여호수아 20:1-6 김응용 목사
529 2019.01.27  Forgiveness, a relationship in which God is intimately involved Philemon 1:8-14 Rev. Eung Yong Kim
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : The exodus of a papyrus basket
설교일 : 2019.03.17
본문말씀 : Exodus 5:22-6:9
설교자 : Rev. Eung Yong Kim
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