Part 4. Remembering What He Has Done

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”
(Hosea 4:6)

The reason for the destruction of the people of Israel is stated as their lack of knowledge in this verse. Why is that? It is not that they never had knowledge, but rather that they abandoned it and did not consider it to be valuable. Although God gave them knowledge, they chose to reject it. Thus, God decided, “Since you have done this, I will also reject you. My original expectation was for you to become priests, but you can no longer fulfill that role.” In other words, God’s hope was for them to know Him and for those who possess knowledge to become priests, serving as mediators between God and people. This was God’s intention.

“Because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” (Hosea 4:6)

We all hope that God will remember our children so that even in times of danger, they can receive God’s help. Even in difficult situations, they can turn things around and come out successful. In life, we often see situations where a person enjoys power and glory beyond what their abilities, talents, and character would suggest. They sit in high positions of power and lead others. The reason behind this may be that their parents served God well or that their family has been Christian for several generations.

Missionary Hwang’s father was once an unbeliever, but all of his children are used by God. Later, it was discovered that their family had been Christian for four generations, with only Hwang’s father being the only non-believer at that time, but he also became a believer in Jesus later. In any case, there are spiritual reasons behind these situations.

There are also professors whose siblings are all pastors, doctors, or professors. When I was studying theology, I had a professor whose relatives, including his cousins, were all doctors or professors, without exception. At the time, I thought his family must have been a Christian family. After I asked him about it, I found out that it was indeed the case. His family had been Christian for three or four generations.

In short, if there are ancestors in the family who faithfully follow the word of God, God will surely remember their descendants. Although we may not see the results immediately, following the word of God is a necessary process. We just need to keep this in mind that God will surely remember. However, people are often impatient and want to see immediate results. But we need to understand that everything is a process.

And even if we do not see it on earth, God in Heaven will preserve our eternal blessings. So do not be in a hurry; just remember God’s word and obey it, and God will surely preserve and remember our children.

Not only our children of the flesh but also our spiritual children are the same. When we serve God according to His word and His will, we can consider our disciples as our spiritual children, and they will be remembered by God, and they, too, will be full of blessings. On the other hand, the disciples of those who despise and misuse the word of God almost always end up with an unhappy outcome. However, the disciples of those who love and serve God honestly and faithfully will produce many outstanding people among their descendants, which is truly amazing!

When we first started this ministry, we did not see the difference between these two groups. But, when we look back today, after twenty years, we can see that it is really true. The difference between the disciples who simply believe in and follow the word of God and those who work with their own selfish motives is like a night and day difference. Their attributes are completely the same as their teachers. Even though they received the same word and the same knowledge, the fruits they bear are completely different.

The most important thing is the knowledge which keeps us from perishing. Therefore, we need to get to know God well. So, how can we know God? We can only know God if He reveals Himself to us. If God does not reveal Himself, we cannot know Him because God cannot be seen with our eyes. So, what is the method by which God reveals Himself? If God decides to reveal Himself in another way, then I think it would be better if God’s son came to this world in the 21st century. If He came to a certain place now, would it be necessary to record His teachings with words? No, it would not be necessary. Just shoot a video and upload it to Youtube. This way, people all over the world can hear Jesus’ teachings in real time. People can not only see Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee through TV broadcasts but also follow the scenes of Jesus choosing disciples and Peter swaying on the water. Moreover, more people can see Jesus through live broadcasts on the internet. But God did not do it that way because He did not want people to believe in Him based on what they see with their eyes. If people looked at Jesus with their physical eyes, they would easily focus on His appearance, saying, “Wow, He is so handsome! Oh, that’s what He looks like, and that’s what He wears.” In this way, people are always attracted to those irrelevant aspects. At this point, some people might put Jesus’ picture in their wallet or notebook, thinking that they know Jesus.

But God does not want to reveal Himself in that way. He prefers to reveal Himself through what He does. Therefore, when we say we know God, we do not mean knowing what He looks like, but knowing His actions, knowing His works. So, when we talk about knowing God, we immediately think of two things: knowing God’s character and knowing His works. This is not only our view but also the theological view. It is His character and works. How do we know God’s character? Through His works, through what He does, not through His appearance or expression. Therefore, we know the will of God through His work as well as His character. Therefore, we know Him through what He does. The knowledge we must have is what He does, His works.

The Bible records what God does, and through this, it naturally reveals what kind of God He is. So, through His works, we can know that He is merciful, full of love, and at the same time, also very strict. In this way, by looking at God’s works, we can completely know His character.

Therefore, we must know His works and all of these are recorded in the Bible. Jesus came to the world to do His work, and some people questioned Him, “Why do you work?” People were dissatisfied with Him because He worked on the Sabbath, so they asked Him, “Why do you always work?” Jesus answered, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” It can be seen that God is the One who works. Even on the Sabbath, God did not rest. He was always working, so Jesus also worked. Throughout history, God rested only one day, the day when Jesus was buried in the tomb. Of course, at that time, God’s authority still governed the whole earth, so God should have continued to work on that day, but He seemed to be standing by, not doing anything. Except for that day, God was always working. Therefore, when Jesus said, “My Father is always working, and so am I,” He was saying that God is also working tirelessly.

The Bible tells us to “let God work.” This does not mean that God is not working, but rather that we should make God work with us. In other words, we should participate in God’s work. Even if we do not work, God will still accomplish His work. And He works through others. The meaning of let God work is let God work with you. It is worthless to say such things as “God is working, so it doesn’t really matter much even if I do not work.” The important point is that you should let God work. You need to be co-workers with God.

The Bible says, “Give Him no rest,” God never slumbers or sleeps and is always working. The devil is the same way; he never rests and is always working. On the other hand, what if we take a rest because it is a holiday or Saturday? Actually, it is not the day to take a rest. If you think like, “I do not work on Saturdays, so I will rest that day,” but then you go out shopping or roam around, you are working on the Sabbath, which is a sin. But, we continue to work on the Sabbath because we have the mindset of “I am working as a priest.” Therefore, it is not a sin. So, whether it is a holiday or any other day, we continue to work without stopping. God never rests, so there are no holidays for Him. The working hour of 52 hours per week in our country cannot apply to Him. God is always working, so we must work alongside Him without ceasing.

Likewise, Jesus worked when He came to the earth because God was working. Now that Jesus has gone to Heaven, He is still working there. Jesus promised us, “I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me.” Since the Lord is constantly working, we too must work because we are His body parts – His fingers, arms, toes, ears, and so on. So, if the main body is working, we should also be working. If our head – the Lord Jesus – is working, but if we are not working, then we are like a persistent vegetative state to be a devil. The other members of the body are working, and if we are just hanging around and not working, we cannot function properly. Therefore, we must understand God’s work well.

What is a feast? Even if God has to use force, He requires the Israelites to observe a feast at least once a year, with the purpose of making them remember what God has done. Passover is a time for the Israelites to remember, “When we were in Egypt, God brought us out, and at that time He did such and such wonders.” Like this, God made them remember what had happened in the past. Next is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When the Israelites eat unleavened bread, they remember, “At that time, we came out of Egypt with great difficulty and lived in tents in the wilderness.” Later on, during the day of Purim, the Israelites will think, “At that time, because of Haman, the king of Persia, our entire nation was almost annihilated. But God showed us grace and saved us through Queen Esther. He turned the situation around and made us defeat our enemies when we were facing certain death.” Like this, the Israelites remember God’s work through the feast. Therefore, we must also constantly remember what God has done.

However, compared to remembering God’s work, we always remember other things because many things happen around us. We remind ourselves of such things as, “At that time, he offended me in this way. I drank coffee with her in that place. That person betrayed me before.” Like this, we always remember many things that have happened in the past. But, compared to these things, we must, first and foremost, constantly remember what God has done.

Even though we have many unpleasant memories in our hearts, our mouths should always bear witness to what God has done. I have found that people always tend to review the bad things when they meet, “How can this person be like this? Really bad!” If we can talk about Jesus as much as we talk about those things, we will surely become great witnesses. If we can use the energy we use to talk about others’ gossip to talk about what God has done, we can truly become great people. If you cannot help but want to talk about what happened to others, deliberately train yourself to speak more about what Jesus has done! At this point, others may be bothered, “Why did you suddenly bring up Jesus?” But, even so, we must continue to talk about Jesus as if we were crazy. Although people may look at you with strange eyes, when they encounter difficulties in the future, they will think of you and come to you for help, “What did you mean when you talked about Jesus that time? Can you tell me?” Just like this, we must always remember what Jesus has done and proclaim His deeds to others. If we do not do this, we will perish. Instead of remembering the deeds of others, let us remember and cherish what God has done!

Always keep it in mind. Many significant events happen continuously in this world, and recently, many people have been focusing on and discussing political figures, such as President Moon Jae-In in Korea. Also, people often start conversations by saying, “How could they do that? I heard a police officer recently drove someone else’s car and ran away. What’s going on?” Although there are many topics worth making into a story, but for us, there are other topics that are more shocking, such as “At that time, God did such and such things.” Therefore, we must constantly remember the deeds of God and make our lips frequently proclaim what God has done. People in this world talk about things in this world, but we are disciples of Jesus. Therefore, whenever we open our mouths, we must speak about Jesus. Now, I am proud of the time when my colleagues scolded me at work because I always talked about Jesus, and she found it very annoying. Normally, she would hold her tongue, but eventually, she could not help it anymore, and during a heated moment, she said to me, “You are too much! No matter what we talk about, you always bring it back to Jesus. It is so irritating!” Because I always talked about Jesus, she could not take it anymore and finally exploded. I spent a year at work talking about Jesus, and although that colleague endured it without saying anything when she exploded, I did not take it too seriously. Later, when I left my job to do mission work in China and made a short visit back to Korea, I received a call from her, and she told me that she now believed in Jesus, and the first person she thought of was me. I was very grateful.

So, let us pray to God that we may only proclaim the deeds of Jesus, even if we feel depressed and that we may always remember what Jesus has done and let His emotions fully control us!

Father in Heaven, please help us not only remember what God has done but also speak about the grace that God has given us. Although there are countless topics to discuss in the world, let us leave those to the people of the world and focus solely on what we can proclaim with Your help. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen!

Sermon by Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
Lunch prayer meeting, Sungrak Mission Center
Sermon on June 11, 2019
Translated by Sungrak Mission Center English Team