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   [05/12] Life pleasing God (2 Cor 5:9, Eph 5:10, Rom 12:1 ) -Jubilee International Mission Church


It is so good for me to come back here again today to meet my dear friends from Philippine and to worship God together with you. I have visited Philippine many times. My daughter and her husband are working in Philippine as missionaries. Shall we sing the famous gospel song “God is so good” and “Angious ai maboo tee” both in English and Philippine languages? Last year June the third 2018 I was here and delivered a message entitled as “The life as aliens and strangers.” Today I am going to deliver a message entitled as “The life pleasing God.”


The apostle Paul confessed that he was trying to please God and exhorted the believers of the various churches to please God as the following. “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.”(2 Cor 5:9). “Find out what pleases the Lord.”(Eph 5:10). “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.”(Rom 12:1). The apostle Paul exhorted us to find out what pleases the Lord. “Find out what pleases the Lord.”(Eph 5:10). What does please God? I am going to point out three kinds of life that please God.





Firstly, the life of offering our bodies as living sacrifices to God pleases God. That which most pleases God is the life of offering our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our tears, our materials, our properties and our lives to God as living sacrifices. When Abraham was going to offer Isaac as a burnt offering to God, God was so much pleased that God said as the following. “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”(Gen 22:16-18).


When Hannah offered baby Samuel to God and when the boy Samuel offered his boyhood life to God, God was much pleased. When the boy Samuel served God in the house of God, God called Samuel three times and blessed him so much. “The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD.”(1 Sam 3:19,20). Samuel became the man of prayers and the savor of Israel.


When David offered God-pleasing sacrifices of tears God was so much pleased that God poured out overflowing graces and blessings. David confessed as the following. “I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.”(Ps 6:6). “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”(Ps 51:17). God blessed David so much and arranged that Jesus would be called as “the son of David”(Matt 1:1).


When an unknown boy offered five small barley loaves and two small fish to Jesus as gifts of love, Jesus was much pleased that Jesus took the loaves and fish in his hands and prayed with thanksgiving and distributed the loaves and fish to the five thousand gathered people. Jesus then delivered the very important message as the following. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”(John 6:51).


When a sinful woman came to Jesus and stood behind him at his feet weeping and wet his feet with her tears and then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Jesus was so much pleased that he blessed her as the following. “I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven for she loved much. Then Jesus said to her, your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”(Lk 7:47-50).


What does please God? That which most pleases God is the life of offering our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our tears, our materials, our properties and our lives to God as living sacrifices. Even though I was one of the worst sinners, God has been so much merciful gracious and abounding in love that God caused me to offer my life when I was a small boy in North Korea. My father was a pastor in North Korea. But he was in prison so many times. It was because he disobeyed both the Japanese Shintoism and the Communist anti-Christian policy. When I was a small boy I was also experiencing both the Japanese Shintoism and the Communist anti-Christian policy in North Korea. I was always opposing against both of them. I was punished many times. I did not care. It was because my father was always in prison. I just wanted to follow the footsteps of my father. When I was 10 and 11 years old the North Korean government ordered school children to come to school even on Sundays. During the two years I did not go to school on Sundays. During the two years I always went to the church on Sundays and stayed there from the morning till the evening. Every Monday I was always punished at school. I did not care. It was because my father was always in prison. Finally I decided to leave North Korea and come to the South in order to worship God faithfully observing Sunday wholly. When I visited my father who was in prison and told him that I wanted to go to the south, he was looking at me for a while and told me I could go. When I told my mother that I wanted to go to the south, she was crying and weeping, and told me I could go to the south. I left my father and mother when I was an 11 years old small boy. I joined with 5 or 6 grown up persons and tried to cross the 38 borderline at a dark night. We were detected by the North Korean soldiers. We were ordered to stop holding hands up. They threatened that they were going to shoot us unless we stop. The 5 or 6 grown up persons all stopped and held their hands up. I could not stop. There was a strong purpose to worship God faithfully observing Sunday wholly in my body and heart. I began to run alone towards the south for about 40 minutes. I was running up to the hills. I was running through the fields of onions. I was crossing the river up to my height. I was not afraid. I even felt a kind of thrill. It was because there was clear reason of my leaving dear mother and father. It was to gain the freedom of worshipping God on Sundays and becoming a servant of God after my father. Even though I have lived my whole life as an orphan and alien God has blessed my life so much, much more than anyone’s lives. I think God was much pleased when I offered my boyhood life to God.


What does please God? That which pleases God most is the life of offering our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our tears, our materials, our properties and our lives to God as living sacrifices. The apostle Paul exhorted the believers of the various churches to please God most of all through worshipping God by offering our bodies. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.”(Rom 12:1). Worshipping God through Sunday observing was so much stressed by the Puritans and by the Korean church fathers.


Now a-days the precious tradition of worshipping God wholly through observing Sundays holy has been much disappeared into human centered secularism. It is a very sad phenomenon. If we want to please God we have to, first of all, offer our bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God and worship God holy through observing Sundays holy. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.”(Rom 12:1). The apostle Paul observed Sundays holy. “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.”(Acts 20:7).





Secondly, the life of extending our hands of love and help to our neighbors pleases God. The Bible teaches us that while God pleases our offering bodies as living sacrifices to God at the same time God pleases our extending hands of love and help to our neighbors as living sacrifices to God. The prophet Isaiah pointed out strongly that God-pleasing sacrifices and worship is extending our hands of love and help to such poor and unhappy people as orphans, widows and aliens. “When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”(Isaiah 1:15-17). “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”(Isaiah 58:6,7).


Jesus also said that He did not desire splendorous sacrifices but mercies and love. “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”(Matt 9:13). “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”(John 13:34). Jesus also said that such as giving food to the hungry giving water to the thirsty helping the sick were not just humanistic goodness’s but holy goodness’s offered to Jesus himself. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”(Matt. 25:35,36.40).


Eventually the Jerusalem church and Antioch church did their best helping the poor. When Dorcas in Joppa was doing good and helping the poor, providing widows with robes and other clothing God was much pleased and arranged sending Peter to Joppa and used him to evangelize Joppa. When God watched Cornelius a Roman centurion in Caesarea engaged in helping the poor God was pleased and sent an angel and the apostle Peter to Cornelius and evangelized Caesarea. Peter was so much surprised to find out that God was so much caring to the heathen man who was engaged in relief ministry. He confessed as the following. “Then Peter began to speak: I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”(Acts 10:34,35). “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”(Acts 10:38).


When Lydia and the Philippian church were engaged in the ministry of charity to the neighbors and sent gift of donation of love to the apostle Paul who was in prison, God was much pleased and blessed all of them. The apostle Paul pointed out that their donation of love was pleasing to God. “I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.”(Phil 4:18). The Bible teaches us that when we are engaged in the ministry of charity to the neighbors and send gift of donation of love to the missionaries they please God much. There are two things which please God. Firstly the life of offering our bodies as living sacrifices of worship to God pleases God. Secondly the life of extending our hands of love and help to our neighbors pleases God.


Even though I am a selfish lustful unworthy sinner, I have begun to extend hands of love and help to the famine and disaster stricken peoples around the world. It happened completely and thoroughly through the mercy, forgiveness, love and grace of God. I began to extend hands of love and help to the North Korean people, Korean Chinese orphan children in China, poverty stricken Bangladesh children, and the most extreme famine and disaster stricken children in Afghanistan. When I arranged to build a school for the Afghanistan children, the Afghanistan children and Muslim people were more than grateful and thank full. At the opening ceremony of the new school in Murached Afghanistan the school children sang in the Korean language as the following. “We thank you in the name of Jesus Halleluiah. We love you in the name of Jesus Halleluiah. We welcome you in the name of Jesus Halleluiah.” I was so much surprised and so much moved to hear songs which could not allowed singing in Muslim country of Afghanistan.





Thirdly, the life of “hardship” “suffering” “patience” “endurance” and “sacrifices” for fulfilling God pleasing aims of delivering the gospel message of the cross pleases God. When Stephen one of the seven deacons in Jerusalem church faced “hardship” “suffering” “patience” “endurance” and “sacrifices” of dying stoned in order to fulfill God pleasing aims of delivering the gospel message of the cross, God the father God the son and God the Holy Spirit were so much pleased that they were all together with Stephen and blessed him and made him the builder and founder of the history of the Acts of the apostles.


When the apostle Paul was running and experiencing all kinds of “hardship” “suffering” “patience” “endurance” and “sacrifices” in order to fulfill God pleasing aims of testifying the gospel of the cross and salvation to the gentile peoples, God the father God the son and God the Holy Spirit were so much pleased that they were all together with the apostle Paul and blessed him and used him as accomplisher of God’s will. The apostle Paul confessed as the following. “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.”(2 Cor 11:23-27).


We do not have enough time to tell about the precious lives experiencing all kinds of “hardship” “suffering” “patience” “endurance” and “sacrifices” of faithful servants of God in order to fulfill God pleasing aims. I was going to tell about the precious lives such as the Rev. Robert Jermain Thomas from Wales who was martyred at the riverside in North Korea in 1866 and the Rev. Choo Ki Chul who was martyred in North Korea in 1944 and the Rev. Son Yang Won was martyred a in South Korea in 1902 and the Rev. Han Kyung Chick who lived Christ like gentle, humble, loving and helping life carrying poverty, suffering, and pains. He died in Seoul in 2000.  


Just one more thing I want to say. When we live lives of pleasing God, our lives are being changed to the lives full of joy, full of gladness, full of gratitude and full of glorifying God. The apostle Paul confessed that his life was changed to the lives full of joy, full of gladness, full of gratitude and full of glorifying God. “But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”(Phil 2:17,18). “I rejoice greatly in the Lord.”(Phil 4:10). “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.”(1 Tim 1:12). “To the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”(Rom 16:27).





Now I am going to conclude my message today. The most blessed and happy life is the life of carrying joy and gladness. When we please God and when we please our neighbors around the world and when we experience many kinds of “hardship” “suffering” “patience” “endurance” and “sacrifices” in order to please God and our neighbors, we come to live lives carrying joy and gladness. The apostle Paul summarized the purposes of his life into two. The first was pleasing God and the second was pleasing neighbors. He confessed as the following. “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.”(2 Cor 5:9). “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God-- even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”(1 Cor 10:31-33).


I pray that God would grant mercy, forgiveness, love and grace upon us that we could live precious lives of pleasing God, pleasing our neighbors and gladly facing all kinds of “hardship” “suffering” “patience” “endurance” and “sacrifices” in order to fulfill God pleasing aims. I also pray that God would grant us to live lives full of joy, gladness, gratitude and glorifying God. May God bless Jubilee Internatuinal Mission Church, Pastor Hwang Ho Sang and all of my dear friends from Philippines real good!






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