By Pastor Wu
30 Sep. 2012 Sunday
|Sermon: God has Placed Everything in His Hand||video||audio||doc|
|Worship song: You Are My Anchor||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: In Christ Alone||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Here I Am To Worship||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: O Come Let Us Adore Him||video||audio||lyric|
Please join me in a short prayer:
Our heavenly Father, we thank you so much for bringing us here today to worship you, to honor you, and to praise you. Father, please quiet our hearts so that we could only focus on you, and remember your words. We pray that you give us wisdom, you watch over us, and you give us power so that we could sing out to you, so that we could gather real information and real message from God through our pastor. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!
Worship song: In Christ Alone
|Verse 1||In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.
|Verse 2||In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
|Verse 3||There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
|Verse 4||No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.
Worship Leader Prayer:
Yes, Lord, this day we want to come into Your presence. We are not worthy. We are sinners saved by grace. Lord, as we come into your presence, we come and we feel reverence, Lord, because you are too wonderful, too great, too marvelous, and too majestic that we can comprehend and understand how much you love us. And it is because of your love for us that you sent Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for our sins.
Lord, we also want to thank you for this great festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival where we have family reunions. We thank you, Lord, for reminding us of our Chinese heritage and culture. We thank you also Lord for this great country, China. We thank you Lord for this nation. We give thanks to you, Lord, for this beautiful country and people. And we thank you also Lord for blessing this country richly. Oh Lord, we want to give thanks to you for this wonderful and gorgeous weather you have given us today as we come to worship you.
And Lord, as your family, we also want to bring before you our sister Nian Xi’s mother who is not well and hospitalized. We want to pray as a family for her, though she is thousands of miles away from us. We pray Lord that your healing hand will be upon her. We pray Lord that you will bless Nian Xi, and give her assurance that your presence is with her mother in the hospital.
And, Father, even as we worship you, we think of your servant who will bring your Word to us this morning. Lord, empower him as he preaches your Word, that we would be so blessed, that we would live in this place where we have known our Savior, and where He speaks to us. We commit all of this worship into your marvelous hands. All we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Worship song: Here I Am To Worship
|Verse 1||Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You
|Chorus||Here I am to worship
Here I am to bow down
Here I am to say that You're my God
You're altogether lovely
Altogether wonderful to me
|Verse 2||King of all days
Oh so highly exalted
Glorious in Heaven above
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love's sake became poor
|Bridge||I'll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross
Scripture Reading: John 3:22-36
22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.
23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized.
24 (This was before John was put in prison.)
25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.
26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.
28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’
29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.
30 He must become greater; I must become less.”
31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.
32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.
33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.
34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.
35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
Happy holidays, happy Mid-Autumn Festival and also happy National Day. And you guys this morning are supposed to be still in the bed sleeping, but you choose to sacrifice your sleeping, your rest, to come to church because we come to worship the Lord. Here I am to worship the Lord. Here I am to worship the King, because King Jesus Christ is the only one worthy of praise, worthy of our time when we praise him. So I’m so happy this morning. I’m so happy to see you on the first day of the holidays when you are supposed to be in the bed. I’m happy that you come to church to worship together with your fellow brothers and sisters, because you truly believe that Jesus Christ is the most significant king in this world. He is above all. It is important for us to celebrate the holidays, but what’s more important is to celebrate the reunion of us with our king Lord Jesus Christ. So thank you for coming and thank you for being with your fellow brothers and sisters so that we can be mutually encouraged.
Brothers and sisters, according to John 3:22-36, we have come to know, when Jesus was doing his baptism, John the Baptist, was also doing baptism. It seems that there was a competition between John the Baptist and Jesus, because both of them were doing the baptisms in neighboring areas. We are happy and I am happy to serve together with another 14 pastors of this church. But when Jesus and John the Baptist were doing the baptism in different places, the disciples of John the Baptist were not very happy or at least one of them wasn’t very happy with what Jesus was doing. So he came to John the Baptist to report on Jesus, because he truly believed that baptism was only supposed to be done by John the Baptist, not supposed to be done by Jesus. When he was telling John the Baptist about Jesus, this was John the Baptist’s response : “He must become greater; I must become less. You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.'” And then in verse 35, John the Baptist said again,” The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.” So that is why “He must become greater; I must become less.” And that is why it is all right for Jesus to do the baptism. That was the response from John the Baptist to his disciple who was not very happy with the baptism that Jesus was doing.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, because John the Baptist believed that God has placed everything in the hands of Jesus, so he said, “He must become greater, I must become less.” But brothers and sisters, I sometimes wonder, what exactly has our God placed in Jesus? Yes, of course, God has placed everything in Jesus; put Jesus in charge of everything in this universe. Yes, it is. I truly believe it, but what exactly has God placed in Jesus?
According to Matthew chapter 10 verse 8, when Jesus was sending out his disciples to preach the gospel that the Kingdom is coming, you should repent. When Jesus was sending his disciples to do this, this was what he equipped his disciples with: “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” So brothers and sisters, when the disciples were sent out, Jesus Christ equipped them with the power of healing the sick, the power of raising the dead, and the power of cleansing those who have leprosy. Where does the power come from? The power comes from our heavenly Father, because our heavenly Father has promised to place everything in Jesus: the power of healing the sick, the power of cleansing the leprosy, the power of raising people from death. And exactly the things God has placed in Jesus.
Brothers and sister, a couple of weeks ago in the beginning of September, a lot of parents were accompanying their children to go to college. A lot of parents actually were sending their children to college. When these young kids, at their age of seventeen or eighteen, were travelling to the college, brothers and sisters, let us imagine, what is the best thing that the parents expect for the children to have? What is the best thing that the parents can place in the hands of the children? Let’s imagine, if you have a kid, who passed the exam to the college, and it’s time for him/her to go to college, what do you want to do for your child? You want to have as much money as possible in the pocket of this young girl or boy. You want somebody to pick them up at the airport on the other end of travel. That’s what you want to happen, that’s what you want to have.
When Jesus was sending out his disciples to preach the gospel to save the world, he was equipping his disciples with the power of healing, the power of healing the sick, the power of raising the dead, and the power of cleansing people from leprosy. Because God has placed this power in the hands of Jesus, in the hands of our Lord, and if you pray for this power, if you truly believe Jesus is the king, is the son of God, if you trust the Lord after your prayer, Lord will be with you, will answer your prayer, all this power will also be given to you. And just like John the Baptist said in chapter 3, verse 35 to 36: “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
So brothers and sisters, from Matthew 10:8, we can understand, we have come to know that our heavenly Father has placed the power of life and the power of healing the sick, in the hands of Jesus.
In the Gospel according to Mark, we also have come to know that our Lord not only has the power of giving people life, but also he is the Lord over the law of nature. Mark 4: 37 says, “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” It was completely calm, because Jesus rebuked the wind and he said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
So brothers and sisters, you see, Jesus Christ is not only the Lord of life, but also the Lord over the nature. He is in control over the law of nature. He is in control. He is the maker of the law of nature. If He wants to change it, He changes it; if He wants to make it, and He makes it, because He’s the creator of the universe.
But brothers and sisters, what has all this power our heavenly Father has placed in Jesus’ hands to do with us today? What has all of this about holidays to do with us? If you have our Lord, if you have a friend who is the most powerful, do you have any fear? You won’t have any fear if you have a friend who is most powerful in this world. Are you worried if you have a most loving, most powerful friend accompanying you, walking alongside with you, walking with you, protecting you and safeguarding you? Are you worried? No, you won’t be worried if you have a friend who walks alongside with you, walks with you, protects you and also safeguards you.
And our Lord, King Jesus Christ, our heavenly Father has placed this power in him. If you pray for that power, if you pray that the Lord protects you, safeguards you, walks alongside with you, and our Lord will be with you, and you will be safeguarded. Brothers and sisters, sometimes I’m wondering, does our Lord care about our lives, the significant things in my life? Does the Lord care about the small things, the details, the everyday life of our lives? He does, because God has placed the power in Jesus, for Jesus, for Him to command the small things and details in our lives.
In Matthew 6, it says:
“25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink;…”
Porridge, pickles, beef? Do not worry about that. You do not have to worry about that, if you are going to have soy milk for breakfast.
“25 …or about your body, what you will wear.”
Whether it is skirt, short or pant, whether it is beautiful or handsome. You do not have to worry about that.
“25 Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them….”
The birds do not have to work very hard, or for high salary, but their Lord feeds them.
“27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 ‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lillies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
So God urges us not to worry about what we eat, drink or wear because all these things will be given to us, because in Jesus, our heavenly Father has placed power for Him to be in charge, to be in control and command of all this. And He will give us enough food to eat and enough clothes to wear. We will never become naked in the presence of Him.
But, brothers and sisters, we do have this kind of weaknesses as human beings. I remember that a little over a month ago, I travelled with another ten people to Jilin Province in the northeast part of China. We did two things that were very exciting at a church there. When we were driving by a church, all of us saw a cross on top of that building. We were so excited that we urged the driver of the truck to drive all the way back, a few miles back, to the church so that we could have fellowship with the pastor, brothers and sisters of the church. Because that was the thing we were supposed to do, and if we do this, we will be blessed, and we can encourage each other to preach the Gospel. We were very excited to worship together, and to have fellowship with the brothers and sisters of that church. So excited!
The other thing that excited everyone, especially sisters, was going shopping. People walked into the shops, and they looked at the beautiful things, and they wanted to buy one after another one, even though they had a bunch already. But they still wanted to buy. Even though this set of clothes was very similar to that one, they believed it was better than that one, and they want to buy it. These are our human weaknesses. But, brothers and sisters, do not forget, our Father has placed enough food and clothes in Jesus. And if you prayed for those things, He would give these things to you. But Jesus tells us:
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
The food, the things you wear, the things you drink… these things will be given to you if you seek His kingdom and His righteousness first.
Brothers and sisters, the things the Father has placed in Jesus’ hands, first of all, the power for Jesus to be in command of life, to have the power to save, and to cleanse those who had leprosy. Not only so, but Jesus also has the power that is given by the Father to be in control of nature, of the law of nature. Jesus Christ not only takes care of the big things in our life, but also the small things such as our breakfast, and as small as the pants we wear and the shirt we wear each day. And He comprehensively cares for us in every way. Those powers have been placed in Jesus by our heavenly Father.
Apart from these, what are some of the other things our Father has placed in Jesus? I am certain that everyone is familiar with the Lord’s Prayer:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)
This is the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray about. This is the prayer Jesus teaches us to pray about today. Because our heavenly Father has placed power in Jesus for Him to build a world of righteousness and justice on this earth, for this world is not just, for this world is not righteous. So Jesus taught His disciples and teaches today that,
“You should pray about this; if you seek His kingdom and righteousness first, I will give it to you.”
And that is the power our Father has placed in Jesus.
“Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)
Our Father cares about our needs each day, as small as our breakfast, as small as a piece of bread or pickle. He cares about it. Because our Father has placed power in Him and for Him to be in charge of our daily life, and to love us.
“12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)
Jesus is given the power to build a country, a society, in which people love each other, care about each and forgive each other even though our society has not been forgiving or loving to each other. And Jesus is given the power to do this.
Brothers and sisters, what power exactly has the Father placed in Jesus? The power to be in command of life; the power to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cleanse people who have leprosy; and the power over the law of nature that every one of us can come to His presence for His help, because He is our best friend. Jesus has been given the power to be in command of every aspect of our lives, so we will never be in want. May His kingdom, not only during holidays, but also on each day be with you. Amen.