22 Jan 2012 Sunday
Preacher: Jesscica Wang:
Dear Lord our Heavenly Father Jesus Christ Holy Spirit Trinity God Almighty God we thank you so much. When we stand in front of you we want to give thanks to you because you have done great thing in last year because you are Almighty God; because our Lord is with us no matter where we are, no matter how we are, matter who we are, God you’ll be with us. Lord we want to give thanks to you because you always strengthen us when we are weak; for God you lift us up when we fall down; For Lord you are our Almighty God. God we thank you because when we are alone, you are a friend; God we thank you because when we are lost you find us; God we thank you even we are facing trails, we can still feel your presence; God thank you so much for calling all the brothers and sisters here on this special day. God we want to open our hearts and use our hearts to serve you to praise you and to give thanks to you. God we also want to life up today’s service in your hands; God we want to lift up the worship team, the host team and the technique team and all the brothers and sisters who serve you here in your hands. God please strengthen us and be with us. When we serve you please stand with us because we know without you we can do nothing. We also want to lift up today’s preacher in your hands, please be with her and speak to her and through her we’ll know how much you love us. God we want to lift all brothers and sisters here in your hands, please be with us and let us be filled with peace and joy, not only today but this whole year. God we also want to lift up those brothers and sisters who have gone home, please be with them and keep them in you, may they have great time with their families and may their families also feel your love and presence. We lift up all the service and all the time in your hands, please be with us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen
Worship Leader : Richel
Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
Worship song: Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)
|Verse 1||Amazing grace
how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost,
but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see
|Verse 2||'Twas grace that taught
my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!
|Verse 3||The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
|Verse 4||The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine
|Chorus||My chains are gone,
I've been set free.
My God, My Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy reigns.
Un-ending love, Amazing grace
Scripture Reading: Luke 7:36-50
36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume,
38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, c and the other fifty.
42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.
47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves. “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Good morning! Happy Chinese New Year to all of you here!! Let us bow down and pray to out Lord:
Dear Heavenly Father thank you so much for getting us together to worship you we know that you are the center of our life and you are the center of each one of us and our hearts. Lord hope you will be with us today and we want to invite you as our most beloved one. Lord hope you will be the center of us today and we can honor you, praise you and worship you. Lord I lift up myself into your hands, you know I am weak and limited but your Word is unlimited and you have the greatest power, so please use me to deliver your message to all of my brothers and sisters here. Hope your Word comfort us and show your own love to us, let us understand your love deeply, pray you will be with us at every moment. Pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
First of all I want to share a story: One of my good friends she understands me better than anyone else. No matter what I say to her, I know she will never be angry with me. Even if I share my darkness or weakness with her, she always understands why I have that kind of thoughts. I don’t know whether you ever have this kind of friend; when you share your darkness or your weakness, you are not afraid but you feel you will be totally accepted. Like this friend of mine, she understands why I have this kind of thoughts which are not very good, and she can accept all my weakness. However, if this weakness is found in others, she may not like it. But because she loves me so she accepts me as who I am. I remember once she told me she didn’t like sensitive people but later I found sometimes I was sensitive about something. One day when we were together I said to her: I remember you told me you don’t like sensitive people but later I found I am also sensitive sometimes, why do you still treat me like your friend? She told me then: Even though I don’t like sensitive personality, I like you so I accept you as who you are. So whenever I want to share something with her, I am never afraid that she will leave me or judge me; I never worry about the fact that she knows my weakness, because I know she really loves me and she accepts me as who I am. Once I was so upset and I called her to share my sadness, one of her sentences touched me so deeply that I would never forget it. She said: you know Gloria you are treasure in my eyes! At that moment I was shocked because in my life I had never thought I could be treasure in someone’s eyes. I don’t think I am worthy being treated as treasure in someone’s eyes. But in my friend’s eyes and in her heart she regards me a treasure for her I am so special and precious to her. So dear brothers and sisters I am so grateful that God gave me such a wonderful friend! This also reminds me of what God’s love is like. Today’s Scripture is from Luke 7:36-50, it talks about how Jesus was anointed by a sinful woman and the main point of this story tells us what God’s love is like and whom He loves.
First we know the story starts when Jesus was invited to have dinner in a Pharisee’s house and in the meantime the woman heard this news and then she came too. But we should know who woman is in this story. From the Scripture we know as the Bible tells us that she is a sinful woman. This woman who lived a sinful life came to the house. What kind of sin did she have? What kind of sinful life? The Scripture does not tell us in details but we can imagine: Maybe she was greedy; maybe she was proud; maybe she was together with many men; maybe she told lies often; maybe she liked to judge others. Perhaps it is easy for us to imagine her sin is the same as what you and me have struggled with. We know she lived a sinful life though the Bible does not tell s in details so here she was called a sinful woman, she was highlighted as sinful! But she received the good news: Jesus was coming to the Pharisee’s house! So she came too and why did she come? She was a sinful woman and she was divided from the Pharisees! How can such a woman come to a Pharisee’s house? She should be separated from them. But even though she was a sinful woman, she knew Jesus was the savior so she wanted to come to ask for Jesus’ forgiveness and give Jesus the best gift she could give and hoped Jesus would forgive all of her sins. But when the woman did all these how did the Pharisees respond? From this chapter we know that the Pharisee respected Jesus so he invited Jesus to his house and have dinner with him. We know from the Gospel that many Pharisees didn’t like Jesus and they thought Jesus’ not God. They were jealous but this certain Pharisee he invited Jesus to come to his own house and have dinner with him! So we can see he respected Jesus and loved Jesus. However he didn’t like the woman’s action and in his mind this woman was a sinner. “Jesus if you are the prophet you should not allow this sinful woman to come near you, you should reject her!” and also this showed that the Pharisee did not understand who Jesus was.
Dear brothers and sisters when we regard this woman as a sinner, do you also think that the Pharisee’s a sinner too? This Pharisee didn’t regard himself as a sinner; he felt that he was self-righteous: “I am a good person and I am doing good deeds; I am not called as a sinner, I am righteous.” He was self-righteous and he liked to judge others. He didn’t have any mercy on others and he just liked the people who were like him, the people who seemed righteous and good from outside. So dear brothers and sisters, shall we think about ourselves? Most of us somehow are like the Pharisees, we feel we are better than others when comparing with them and we are self-righteous. We think we are good people, we are better than others and we judge others as sinners. For somehow it confuses us when God does something like He did in this story. Sometimes we question God “Dear Lord why did you save this person? My God why did you forgive that person? That person was so evil please do not forgive him for he does not deserve your salvation, you should abandon him, and you should let him go to hell…” Sometimes we are like the Pharisee; we judge others but we forget we are sinners as well. We forget maybe what is inside of us is worst than that is inside of them. We cannot read others’ minds we cannot see others’ hearts or thoughts, we can only see their behaviors. Sometimes we judge people through their behaviors but this is not correct all the time, maybe some people their behavior are very good but inside of them, they are actually very ugly, which is what we cannot see.
So we all judge others like the Pharisees and the other guests in this story, we don’t really understand who God is, what God’s love is like and whom God loves? So when Jesus responded to the Pharisee, first He told the Pharisee a story: Two men owed money to a certain moneylender, one owed him five hundred denarii and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he cancelled the debts of both. Then Jesus asked the Pharisee: which one of them will love him more? And the Pharisee answered: I suppose the one that has the bigger debt cancelled! So Jesus wanted to tell the Pharisee with this story that He would forgive the woman, and to point out that the Pharisees and the woman were both sinners. Maybe you consider yourself as the man who only owed 50 denarii to moneylender but, you still owe money. Even though it is not much, you still own someone else. Even though the woman seemed to owe 500 denarii, Jesus still forgave her; He would like to cancel all of her debts.
From Jesus’ reaction in this story we know, Jesus told the Pharisee later (From Verse 44): Do you see this woman, I came into your house, you didn’t give me any water for my feet but she wipe my feet with her tears and wipe them with her hair; You didn’t give me a kiss but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet; You didn’t put oil on my hand but she has put perfume on my feet, therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven.
As a result, we can know that this sinful woman would love Jesus more than the Pharisees for she was forgiven of many sins!!
So from this story we can know what God’s love is like and who He loves.
First what is God’s love like? No matter how many sins you have done; no matter how bad you are, God always loves you completely and unconditionally. Brothers and sisters no matter how many sins you have done, no matter how bad you were in the past, God loves you completely and unconditionally, just look at the woman in this story, the woman was highlighted as sinful but, Jesus still accepted her and loved her and forgave her. So brothers and sisters God today tell us: no matter how many sins you have done and no matter how bad you were and what was your past like, even if you feel you have been abandoned by the whole world, God still loves you and God still accept you as long as you come to Him and ask for His mercy, He will forgive you.; He will show His mercy and grace to you immediately; He will forgive you instead of punishing or rejecting you.
Second, who does He love? He loves all sinners, no matter how sinful you are, Jesus Christ our Savior came to this world to just look for this kind of person. He died on the cross for all sinners so Jesus said in
Matthew9:12-13 It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick; but go and learn what this means, I desire mercy, not sacrifice for I have come not to call the righteous but sinners.
He Jesus Christ, the One our Heavenly Father loves the most, but our God allowed Jesus to die on the cross, why? Because He love us and that is why. Dear brothers and sisters, can you imagine this? Maybe I shall put it in this way so that you can understand it more clearly. I think some of you here have your own kids; some of you here will have your babies in near future, imagine let your own beloved child die on a cross and you can see all the suffering he is experiencing, can you imagine how much your pain will be and can you count how much your heart will hurt? Maybe most of us here we don’t have kids yet but all of us here we have someone we love very much, your mother, your father or your husband, your wife, your boyfriend or girlfriend… can you imagine if they were nailed on a cross? If it was possible, we would, of course, do our best to prevent this from happening. But our God loves us so much that He allowed His only beloved Son to be nailed on the cross though He know how much pain that would be! Why? To save you and me!
So dear brothers and sisters, how does Jesus love us? In John59: Father has loved me so have I loved you. I want to challenge you have you ever thought about how much a father loves his son? This kind of love is perfect love; this love never changes; this love is unconditional; this love lasts forever! And her Jesus tells us the He loves us in the same way as a father loves a son. Who are we? We are sinners. Who are we? We were against God from beginning. Who are we? We commit to sin always. Are we worthy of being treated this way? Do we deserve being treated so preciously? No, absolutely not. But Jesus our Savior He healed us and He gave us the promise and He loves us the same way as Father loves Him. Can you really understand how much Jesus loves us? Are you 100% sure that Jesus Christ our Savior who died for you and me on the cross is so crazy about us? Can you imagine this?
This reminds me of a sister’s testimony. She shared this when she was getting baptized and she told us how bad she was in the past and how she thought no one loved her in the world. She felt that no one cared about her so she wanted to kill herself. In fact she had tried many ways to kill herself but she failed every time. One day she went to a church and she heard the speaker said: Even if you feel no one loves you in this world, even if you feel you are so bad and sinful, God loves you and His love never changes. At that moment she was shocked: it was as if God’s speaking to her: My beloved daughter, I love you and I care about you! I care you more than you can imagine; no matter who you are or what you have done in the past, I just love you as you are. So she was saved by our Lord.
When I recall my own salvation, I’d say it’s Amazing Grace! No matter how dark my heart is, I always come to God without any fear, for I know He will forgive me no matter how deep my sin is. I remember once I committed the same sin again and I was so disappointed so I prayed: Dear Lord, I am so ugly and I feel so guilty; I committed the same sin again even though I wanted to trust you, even though I wanted to avoid many sins in my mind, I failed so many times. I feel so sinful and I don’t think I am worthy to be saved; do you still love me and forgive me? Will you still save me to eternal life? I cannot imagine you could! To my surprise, while I was praying like this I heard a voice saying: I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in the
So dear brothers and sisters, it can be call Amazing Grace! My chains are gone and I have been ransomed by my Savior by my Lord! When we look at our Savior Jesus Christ, we can see He cares sinful people. Like the woman in Luke7, like the sister I just mentioned, like you like me… However many people even many believers, somehow are willing to love a good person who at least is defined as a good person in their eyes, we like to get along with someone we love, someone who is successful, someone who is easygoing, someone who is beautiful or someone who has an abundant spiritual life… Of course it is not wrong to love them and they should be loved, but in the meantime, do we also love those who are not that cute? Those who have a lot of sins? Those who are even defined as evil? Those who have very bad behaviors? But this is what Jesus is always doing! If we call ourselves as His disciples, we shall follow His behaviors! Or we are just kind of following Him? What if we become the ones who love people around us? This is what it really means to be Jesus’ disciples. What if we become loving persons to the people around us? As it says in
Romans5:6-8 You see, at just right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. When we were still sinners our Lord died for us; before we were created, our Lord died for us! After we get salvation from Him, sometimes we commit many sins but God still loves us and forgives us. God treats sinners like this and if all of us here have experienced His mercy and grace, how should we react? Do we really understand God’s love? Dear brothers and sisters, are you really sure that Jesus loves you and cares you more than you can imagine? If we really understand God’s love, our life will be changed for the love will change our thoughts and actions.
Let’s think about the following questions as application to this sermon:
How do we treat other sinners inside and outside of the church?
Do we accept our brothers and sisters who commit sins?
Do we accept outsiders who come to Jesus?
What do we care most about in our lives?
Do we focus on loving others or about holding wonderful meetings, making perfect plans, holding successful activities or having many good ministries?
Do we want just to love our parents, wife, husband, friends those who love us?
Do we care more about doing the right thing in our eyes than loving others?
What’s your No.1 priority?
The most important thing is that Jesus is love. It is not about doing right thing in our own eyes, the No.1 thing is love. Love is more important than making sure everything is going smoothly; love is more important than doing good deeds or arguing about what is right or who is good. But for many times we have argued about who is good who is bad, what is right and what is wrong instead of loving others.
I hope all of us here we can think about how much God loves you? Today is the last day of 2011 and I don’t really know you all here but, God knows. At this moment perhaps many people are going back to their hometown and you cannot go back, I understand your loneliness, some of you are struggled and some of you feel no one care about you in this world, no one love you… but at this moment our God wants to tell you: My dear and beloved child, I care about you, I love you! My love for you is so crazy! I am crazy about you and I care for you more than you can imagine! Hope you will think about God’s crazy love and respond such crazy love to our Lord and others in 2012 to make your life different and live in God’s love day after day in this new year. Let’s pray:
Dear God thank you so much for giving us your unending love, Lord you are so precious and your love to us never changes. Lord please help us to respond to your such crazy love and to love our brothers and sisters at church, to love our family members at home, to love our co-workers at work. Please help us to deliver your unconditional love to all the people around; please change our lives so that we can become loving to the people around us. Lord hope you will change us through our behaviors and our minds that we can spread out your love, we can love all the sinners!! May your Word comfort our hearts, if some of us here are sad or hurt by others, hope you tell us that you love us, you care about us and you are crazy about us! Hope your Word will encourage us in the new year and you will give us more abundant life in the new year that we can walk in your Word, we can walk in your Faith, we can walk in your love. We pray in Jesus’ name!
|Sermon: Do We Really Understand God's Love?||video||audio||ppt   doc|
|Worship song: Here I Am To Worship||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: How Great Thou Art||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: You Are My All In All||video||audio||lyric|