Source of Blessing
“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.”
Genesis 12:2 NKJV
Someone appeared to Abraham and instructed him to leave his father’s house and country. If he was asked who this “someone” was that called him, Abraham would have probably answered, “The omnipresent One.” As I said yesterday, another promise that was given to Abraham was that a great nation would be formed through him. For this one man to become a nation, it would need to take hundreds or even thousands of years. And since this God is able to accomplish that, it is clear that Abraham was aware that this God transcends time to govern history. If the words of this God is not a lie but true, He is no ordinary god; He is omnipresent who transcends time.
Other gods cannot take care of man for more than 120 years. Even if they did promise to prosper a man, they do not have the power to do that for even more than a hundred years, let alone hundreds or thousands of years, because they are thrown into the Abyss. However, this God who appeared to Abraham was very unique. Abraham received a testimony of how every word of promise from this God would all be fulfilled later on, and we have witnessed those promises fulfilled. Hence, just by looking at this, we can see how certain our faith is. That which God promised Abraham 4000 years ago has come true today. God said He would form a great nation through him, and surely enough, a great nation has been formed. Furthermore, his descendants are not only those of his flesh and blood but in Jesus Christ. Those who have faith like Abraham’s are called sons of Abraham. Every believer has been blessed in Abraham, and therefore, Abraham is their forefather. The name Abraham already means “father.” Hence, he is like the forefather of faith. We are the descendants of his faith, and many people around the world look up to him and take after his faith.
Moreover, there are many religions in this world apart from Christians, but there is only one religion that worships the One and Only God. This Abrahamic religion. Other religions, such as Buddhism is different from that. The “-ism” stands for philosophy. It is not a religion. A little boy went to a Buddhist temple and started his discipline. He was cutting wood for firewood and was responsible for the firewood. One day, the chief monk noticed that the room was nice and warm and thought the boy had cut more firewood for the fire. But when he opened the door, he found the boy smashing the Buddhist statue with an axe and then burning the pieces in the fire. So the chief monk thought this boy had reached the state of liberation and had become Buddha himself. This is not faith. Buddhists do not believe in Buddha; rather, they try to learn from Buddha and take after his teaching.
Therefore, this faith we are talking about, namely Abraham’s faith or Abrahamic religion, is a faith that cannot be found anywhere in the world. That is why Abrahamic religion refers to the Christian faith, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam altogether. Because it started from Abraham, and these are religions that worship the One and Only God. So, who is our God? He is not limited by space, nor is He limited by time. He is extraordinary. And it was Him who promised to make Abraham’s name great so that Abraham’s name did really become great, and everyone who believes in the Abrahamic religion looks up to him as a spiritual forefather of faith.
Next, God said to him, “You shall be a blessing.” “I will bless you” is something that even the gods of this world can say. So they could say, “I’ll bless you. Your business will flourish.” And usually that is about it. But the gods of this world would demand, “I’ll bless your business, but for that, you need to move the graveyard of your family.” Or it might demand you to buy an amulet and worship the god. Actually, this was a true story. There was a Christian whose business was doing well. He started the business with his family and relatives. But his relatives were Buddhists, not Christians. They requested to do gosa rites, which are offering sacrifices to the spirits, so he did. Then, they asked him to see a fortuneteller, and he did that also. The fortuneteller told him his business was going to fall through soon. He asked what he should do. The fortune teller told him there was only one reason for his business to fail. He used to go to church with his wife, but later on, he did not even go to church; only his wife did. The fortuneteller told him to divorce his Christian wife if he wanted to save his business. His relatives urged him to divorce her for the sake of their business. This man was in distress for a bit in the beginning, but because his mind was carried away, he had an affair. So, in the end, he requested to divorce his wife, and they separated.
Look at the spirit (god) that is pulling wires from behind. What is that god’s nature? It was telling him that it will bless him, so whether his wife is devastated or whatever happens to her does not matter. If you watch those Hong Kong movies, people burn things on their tables at home to worship their gods before they go off to somewhere. Where are they going? They are armed to go and kill people and perform this ritual before they leave. So their god is telling them to do that because it will bless them and make them prosperous, but the condition is that they must kill the other people.
In this way, the gods of this world might be able to tell someone to be blessed, but they cannot make anyone a source of blessing. They cannot even think of doing that, nor are they able to. Even the blessing they promise to give is actually not a blessing but disguised as one. And as a result of that, the person becomes a source of cursing so that people around them become accursed and suffer.
But the promise God made with Abraham did not only say, “I will bless you.” Rather, He promised that Abraham would himself be a blessing so that many people, countless people on earth, would be blessed through him. Was there ever another god that even thought of that? Did another god ever make a promise like that? The gods of this world all say, “I will bless YOU”; they never say that many people in the world will be blessed through you. If you go to see a fortuneteller, is there any medium that tells you other people are blessed because of you? I certainly have not heard of that. It is all about YOU being blessed. Hence, they tell people to divorce, or do this, do a shamanic ritual and so on. This God that appeared to Abraham, however, is of a different nature. He desires for all people to be blessed and thus chose Abraham to be a source of blessing. The reason so many peoples and nations throughout the world have been blessed today is because of this nature of God.
However, man’s nature is not like that. If there is anything good, he wants it all to himself. He wants to hide it to keep it all to himself. This is very far from the nature of God. Yet, the nature of a person who is filled with the Holy Spirit is changed so that if he has been blessed, he wants to share that with others. He wants to give it to others and even thinks of people of different nations that he did not think about before. When did we ever care about other nations? When we used to follow the ways of this world, we did not want to leave our region. Furthermore, we followed the ways by which the worldly gods controlled us so that we were mindful of only our tribe or our family. We never had any concerns for other villages, let alone nations and countries. But now we are mindful of other nations. This did not come about by man. Man’s inherent nature is to only think about his own family, own tribe and own nation.
So when we cheer for the Korean soccer team to win, it is very worldly. It is carnal. It is because we do not want to give in to other nations. With our carnal minds, we probably want something to happen to countries like Japan, don’t we? But spiritually, we don’t feel like that at all. The same is the situation with China. We are doing a Chinese mission and have Chinese people around us, but there are certain things we should not talk about. Once we start talking about each other’s country, an argument is bound to break out.
In the old days, Seoul used to be called “Hanseong” by the Chinese. When we named it Seoul, the Chinese were against it, saying, “Why are you changing it to Seoul when it’s just fine to call it Hanseong? Leave it as Hanseong, not Seoul. Are you saying you are now independent of China?” But we say that we have never called the city Hanseong in the first place. That is what the Chinese called it. Every country will call their city by its name in their own language. Why should we use what they decide for us? That is why we call it Seoul. But they keep insisting that it used to be Hanseong, although we never used that word. It is, however, an ongoing issue online. I didn’t expect one of the ministers in our church to make an issue out of this. So I explained to him why we call that. But he did not agree. And he said, “Are you looking down on China?” The conversation got heated up. There never had been any struggles between us before, but suddenly, because of matters related to our countries, an argument arose. We both felt offended. That is when I realized I should never talk about it again. This is what happens when we talk about such topics.
We care about the Chinese people and want them to be blessed right now, but this definitely does not stem from our fleshly mind. In our flesh, there is even a word we use to refer to the Chinese because that is how we feel about them. But on the other hand, that is not what we think of them at all. But this does not come from our flesh nor our own heads. It is because we have truly received a blessing from God that we think of them like this. We want them to be blessed even if we have to give everything we have in this world. Who would ever do such a foolish thing? But we spend our money and dedicate our lives to translate the Word into Chinese and send it over to China. It is for them. I am getting persecuted here for that. So why would I do this? But I do. It is a heavenly thought.
Hence, if we have been blessed by believing in Jesus, we have only come to know half. We only understand half. ‘I’ve been blessed through Jesus!’ But many people today live their faith life only at that level – that they have been blessed through Jesus. They do not care what happens to others. So they lie to others, commit fraud and cheat even if they are elders in the church. Somebody said that Christians are more stingy and selfish than others. Who was it that said that? Was it a pastor who said that last week? Somebody had been homeless and begging and found that Christians were more stingy and cold-hearted. My father-in-law, whom I thought was not a Christian, actually got married at a church. But the elder of that church greatly disappointed him morally, deceiving him and my father-in-law was appalled by that and left the church.
When Sampung Shopping Mall collapsed, weren’t the people responsible Christians? They knew it was going to collapse and had all the gold and jewellery taken out of the shops while still letting customers get inside so that they could make money in the meantime. In the end, the building collapsed, and many people died. The owner of the building was a Christian. This is the mindset they have. They are saying that they have been blessed and do not care if others are cursed. If this is everyone’s attitude, we have no hope. If we have been blessed, we should go a step further and become a source of blessing so that through us, all people shall be blessed. That is the mindset we should have. Even after learning Berea, people are just satisfied that they have been blessed and just appreciate it, but that is it. But it is more than that. Like we are doing now, we need to share this with those who do not know and who are not able to discern what is what.
When we do that, then our faith will be full at 100%. If we are just content with the fact that we have been blessed by believing in Jesus, our faith would only be 50% full. So, a missionary mindset, if I were to call it, is exactly this. Before even calling it missionary mindset, since God intended to make Abraham a source of blessing so that all peoples can be blessed through him, whoever has received that blessing must have the same heart and mindset. Lord, make me a source of blessing. Let all peoples on earth and all my descendants be blessed through me. Let’s pray!
Father God, thank you for making us the source of blessing. Let many Chinese people, many English-speaking people, and other nations on earth be blessed through us. For those who are being used as the source of blessing, let their names become great. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Sermon by Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center
Sermon on August 8, 2012
Translated by Sungrak Mission Center English Team