Archive for the 'Sermons' category

12 Baskets Full

 | September 15, 2009 9:24 PM

August 2, 2009
Speaker: Pastor Gregory Bishop
Series: Lead/Feed/Intercede
Passages: Mark 6:30-44

5 Loaves and 2 fish_0905 on Flickr

(Photo: 5 Loaves and 2 fish_0905 by hoyasmeg)

Pastor Gregory Bishop is from León de Judá in Boston and a graduate of Gordon-Conwell.  We actually are good friends with a friend of his, only two degrees of separation.  He preached about the famous Jesus feeds the five thousand passage and you can hear the sermon here.

The disciples had gone out on a mission trip, driving out demons and healing the sick.  Now after giving and ministering they might be feeling depleted.  They want to go back to their mentor, Jesus, to process what they experienced.

Now a bombshell has dropped.  John the Baptist has been executed.

Jesus saw the crowd that had followed him and the disciples and he had compassion on them.  John the Baptist is gone.  The people are hungry.  Jesus asks the disciples to feed them.

The disciples calculate how much it would cost and say it’ll take eight months of wages to pay them.  The disciples are focusing on what they don’t have.  Jesus tells them to find what they do have, lift it up to the Lord and see what happens.  The disciples are way out of their comfort zone.

For the Jews listening to this story they would have a flashback to the manna in the desert.  Numbers 11:4-23.  “Is the LORD’s arm too short?  You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

Sheep-life on Flickr“Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.” Mark 6:39

“He makes me lie down in green pastures” Psalm 23:2a

In college Pastor Gregory Bishop worked as a security guard.  He wanted to improve his high school Spanish so he would talk to the Latino workers.  One day he noticed one person, Diego, always ate alone.  He looked like the type of guy who was up to no good but he decided to try to meet him.

One lunch time he went up to Diego and asked him if he could sit with him.  Diego asked him if he was a Christian and asked if he could go to his church.  Gregory ended up taking Diego to a Hispanic church.  It turned out Diego was indeed up to no good and was leading a cocaine cartel.  But in prison he became Christian!

Fed to feed.

At the end the disciples picked up all the leftovers.  If this was a typical church gathering much of the food would have been thrown away.  What did the disciples do with it?  They picked up twelve baskets, one for each disciple.

We will shepherd.

Reign in Us – Starfield

Stand – Hillsong

You’ll Come – Hillsong

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Not For Sale Sermon – Serving Others

 | September 8, 2009 4:00 AM

Not For SaleDavid Batsone of Not For Sale gave a sermon on June 14, 2009.  I found it to be one of the more inspiring sermons I have heard.  I want to be faithful and take small steps as David encouraged us to do and see where God leads.  Following are my notes from the sermon.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

We don’t have to obsess about “What will we do with our lives?”  God is always bringing us opportunities.  It’s just about how we respond.  God honors small steps.

14 But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;
       you consider it to take it in hand.
       The victim commits himself to you;
       you are the helper of the fatherless.

15 Break the arm of the wicked and evil man;
       call him to account for his wickedness
       that would not be found out.

16 The LORD is King for ever and ever;
       the nations will perish from his land.

17 You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
       you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,

18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
       in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

Psalm 10

We help those who don’t have access to justice.

Vocation – where does our passions and skills meet the needs of the world?  Jesus said “restore sight to the blind” because we lost sight of who we are.

Prayer is key to our life.  Reading Scripture to prepare ourselves.

“But there are so many choices.”  God is not bringing you those choices.  God already has a plan.

Veronica’s House in Peru.  Victoria came to Not For Sale asking for help but they didn’t have a shelter ready yet and asked her to check in with them every two days.  Victoria was strangled to death by a john.  The house was named after her to remind them about their purpose.

We follow a living God that has given us (gifts) … .  And we are open servants.
David Batsone, Not For Sale

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July 26, 2009
Speaker: Pastor Casey Barton
Series: Lead/Feed/Intercede
Passages: Philippians 2:12-18

Casey Barton, as a youth, did drugs and alcohol.  He vandalized the local country club.  Sadly I can somewhat relate.  It seems such a common story for young men and a story I don’t want my sons to write.

When Casey became a Christian he thought “Great!  Now God can fix my life.”  Soon though he was back at the country club vandalizing again with his buddies.  At one point he was riding a golf cart with his friend at 3 AM when his friend kicked out the windshield.  At that moment he distinctly remembers hearing “I thought you wanted God to fix your life.”

You’ll Come – Hillsong

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Pray for Love

 | July 5, 2009 1:54 PM

July 5 2009
Speaker: Pastor Dave Chae
Series: Lead/Feed/Intercede
Passages: Philippians 1:9-11

Philippians 1:9-11 (King James Version)

9And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

10That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.

11Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Main Point:

Pray for Love so that your friends can make godly choices and fulfill God’s will in this generation!

What does the Bible say about mourning?  When Lazarus died even though Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to be resurrected the Bible says Jesus wept.  On the other hand there are other scripture verses like when Jesus said why are you mourning this child is just sleeping?  Maybe Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters and that his weeping was his empathy with his closest friends.

In Jesus’s days if a woman’s hair is not braided she is basically saying I want to sleep with you.  In light of that it is even more scandalous that Jesus’s feet were wiped by a prostitute’s hair.

Approve means to test if something is genuine.  Pastor Dave gave an example if your love is grounded you won’t go to that topless bar with your business associates to win that account.

If we ground our love in the knowledge of God’s word and morals we will fulfill God’s will.

When’s the last time you prayed for a friend’s love to be grounded in scripture and good morals?

Application

  1. Pray for your friend’s love to be grounded in scripture and sound morals.
  2. Learn god’s Promises
  3. “KNOW” your people
  4. … so that they can choose what is best.
  5. … godly decisions
  6. … God’s will in this generation

Pray for Love that is grounded in …

  • Experiential Knowledge of God’s Word and People (1:9b)
  • Depth of Insight – Guided by Morals (1:9n)

… so that your friends can make godly choices and fulfill God’s will in this generation. (1:10b –11a)

“All Because of Jesus”

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June 28, 2009
Speaker: Pastor Dave Chae
Series: Lead/Feed/Intercede
Passages: Philippians 1:1-8

Today Dave Chae introduced the new youth ministry pastor, Casey Barton.  To let the congregation know him he did an interview of him.

Casey Barton joked about how, after doing a Facebook quiz, learned he is Optimus Prime because he will be the first one on the battlefield for his soldiers.  He also shared his story about how he met his wife.  In high school he struggled with depression and he was involved in drugs, alcohol, vandalism, etc.  One day he was invited to a youth group pizza party.  At the sermon he heard that Jesus can heal a broken life so he thought he’d give him a shot and accepted Christ.  He was lucky enough to have Godly people in his life when he was a youth and since then wanted to work with youth in the same way.

Casey Barton met Dave Chae on the Journey of Mosaic tour, they were roommates.  And later Dave extended an invitation to interview for the youth ministry pastor position.

Western Seminary is courting GrX to lease a building.

Why does Paul lead with thankfulness and prayers of joy?

  • Paul leads with thankfulness because he is so grateful for the Philippians’ Unprecedented Love (1:3-5b; 1:7-8)
  • Paul leads with prayers of joy for the Philippians because of their Partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now. (1:4-5)
  • Paul leads with thankfulness and prayers of joy for the Philippians because he is confident in God’s good work in them.  Progress in the gospel was the source of Paul’s joy and not personal comfort. (1:6)

Intensity of Paul’s Prayers

  1. intense personal nature (“my prayer for you”)
  2. constancy (“always”)
  3. all-inclusiveness (“for all of you”)
  4. joy

How do we apply this in our lives?

  1. Involvement.
  2. Sacrificial support of ministry.
  3. Consistent support of ministry.
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Presidential Debate I

 | September 26, 2008 8:54 PM

Watching tonight’s debate I felt frustrated with how Senator Barack Obama performed.  I thought he was on the defensive and that surprised me considering that you would think McCain would be.  As George Will said, it’s incredible considering McCain is associated with “an unpopular president, an unpopular war, and a failing economy.”

First Senator McCain starts off by talking about earmarks, how they are $18 billion, that Senator Obama had requested $900 million in earmarks or something like that, etc.  Senator Obama tried to defend himself but I would have preferred hearing was something like what George Will said, “$18 billion is a rounding error in the budget.”  Senator Obama should have repeatedly pointed out that Senator McCain was the one who said the economy was sound and if his best solution for the economy is to stop earmarks, then that’s pretty pathetic.

Senator McCain then talked about taxes, how he’d lower them for businesses while Obama would raise them.  He talked as though it’s just nonsensical to not be doing it, as though Obama was a fool.  Obama just talked about cutting taxes for those making less than $250,000.  Why didn’t he point out that President Bill Clinton raised taxes, was criticized for it, and the country enjoyed the largest economic expansion in its history?  George Bush lowered taxes and now we’re in the worst economic mess ever.  Obviously a lot more to it than that but what I wanted to see was Obama criticizing Senator McCain’s lack of economic expertise and criticizing him for holding onto the failed idea of lowering taxes for the rich.

Senator McCain then hammered Senator Obama on not admitting the surge was a success and the right thing to do.  Senator McCain kept bringing up a list of foreign policy decisions that he was right about.  Why didn’t Senator Obama hammer him more on the fact he agreed to a war whose grounds for entering it were completely false?  Why not hammer him on the fact that there was no clear mission?  Was it to get Hussein?  If so why are we still there?  Was it to install a democratic government?  If so we’re not doing a good job.  This one is probably harder to do because Senator Obama probably doesn’t want to send a possibly unpatriotic message that we’re losing.

Finally it was interesting to see that Senator McCain chose not to look at Senator Obama.  I am not sure if this looked arrogant but I thought it worked well, made Senator Obama appear like he was trying to gain Senator McCain’s favor by looking at him and saying “You’re right.”  Apparently the McCain campaign picked up on this.

Overall I was disappointed that Senator Obama was so defensive.  All the pundits I heard thought Senator Obama did well or even won and the general public seems divided so in the end it may be inconsequential.

I think Senator Obama needs to keep hammering Senator McCain on his weakness on economic policy.  And I wish he’d become pro-life.

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The Okay Samaritan

 | September 16, 2008 3:43 PM

Almost everyone knows the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).  Our church, GrX, is currently doing a sermon series called Transformission and the whole series will be about this parable.

In the first sermon, The Call of Mercy, Pastor David Chae said he thought of having someone lie outside on the way to church just to see how many people would stop to help.  I told Ji Seon I don’t know if I would have stopped and Ji Seon said she thought I would.  I do think of the Good Samaritan though, specificially the priest and the Levite, when I drive by people stopped on the freeway.

After service I asked one of my friends if he would have stopped and he said “Yeah, I would have stopped.  I stop for people all the time.”  When I asked him a little more about it he said he doesn’t stop for people that will probably be helped soon, like people on the freeway, but he stops for people stuck in more deserted areas, like in the mountains on the way to Tahoe.

This past Saturday, September 16 we were late for lunch at the Fung’s place.  As we drove up the exit ramp from 101 to Montague Highway.  I saw a car with two women sitting on it.  As I passed by I read the sign which said “Need a push.”  I thought of the sermon, stopped the minivan and walked over to the two women to see what happened.

It turns out they had run out of gas and wanted a push up to the top of the bridge.  From there they planned to coast down to the gas station at the bottom of the bridge.  I thought to myself “There is no way I and one woman will be able to push this car while the other one steers.” but I didn’t say anything.  We started pushing the car and we made a little bit of progress.  But then the car would start rolling back, I think because the other woman I think was losing strength.

During this whole time I was thinking “That Dave Chae, why’d he have to preach about helping our neighbors.” and “God, you’d better be happy with me.”  And when the car was rolling back I thought “Wouldn’t that suck, being running over, having my legs crushed, because I stopped to help someone.”

Finally I said to the woman that we are not going to be able to push this car to the top of the bridge.  She then suggested I move my minivan behind her car and push it that way.  At this point I started thinking “Boy, you’d ask for anything.”  I then suggested “Why don’t I drive you to the gas station and you get some gas and bring it back.”  She then replied “I don’t want to buy a gas can.”  Getting a little more annoyed I said “Well, the gas can is only going to cost like $5.”

At this point I was getting the sense of the relationship of the two women.  The one pushing was the mother and the one steering was the daughter.  They were black and the mother was really annoyed at the daughter, swearing at her and saying she wanted to kill her.

I finally convinced the mother to go with me to the gas station and she was about to get into our minivan when two other guys walked up.  She asked them for help and together we all managed to push the car up the bridge.

Once the car started coasting down the hill I turned it around and ran back to the minivan (I figured it’s not safe leaving a minivan parked on an exit ramp) and then we drove off.

I thought of how a Good Samaritan would not have been annoyed with the people he was helping, how he would have made sure they got to the gas station okay, that he would have offered them money for the gas.  But in the end I’m not a Good Samaritan, I’m at best the Okay Samaritan.

The next day after my Okay Samaritan incident Pastor David Chae made an interesting point in his sermon, The Necessity of Mercy.  He said that we help people with felt needs, not people who are needy.  I would classify the people I helped that day as needy.  They could have easily walked to the gas station but instead they preferred sitting on their car waiting thirty minutes for someone to push them so they didn’t have to buy a gas can.  They wanted to be helped instead of helping themselves.

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Masterpiece

 | August 7, 2008 6:34 PM

In a recent sermon Pastor Andy Fitzgerald asked the question “Who are you?”  There were many answers from the audience.  The first thought that came in my head is “I’m Korean.”  I am not sure why, I can’t even speak Korean and everyone tells me I look Chinese.

Anyway, Pastor Andy’s point is that our identity should come from our creator.  He based this off the famous verse Ephesians 2:10.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 (New International Version)

Pastor Andy said that “masterpiece” could be substituted for the word “workmanship”.  And he said that God looks at us and says “Wow, what a masterpiece!” like when we look at great art like this famous Rembrant painting of The Return of the Prodigal Son.

Often we find our identity, who we are, in other things, our circumstances.  Pastor Andy told the story of an eaglet who fell out of his nest and was raised by a hen.  As the eaglet was growing up he saw an eagle flying in the sky and wished he could fly like the eagle.  What Pastor Andy failed to mention was the end of the story, how the eagle realized who he was and ate all the chickens.  Just kidding. 🙂

An actual real life story is that of the red panda being raised by a cat.  It will be interesting to read a follow up story in a few years about what the red panda thinks it is.

Anyway the point is we are God’s masterpiece, all different, but all special.  And it’s something I need to remind myself always, to look at myself the way God sees me.

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The Unstoppable Campaign

 | August 4, 2008 7:02 PM

GrX, my church here in Silicon Valley, started the Unstoppable Campaign 18 months ago.  Its name is based on this verse.

Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.  But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
Acts 5:38-39 (New International Version)

It is a bold, almost arrogant campaign.  How can a church of a few hundred people expect to bring the gospel to the Bay Area, let alone to nations and regions like Kenya, Cambodia, Thailand, East Asia?  Though I have some questions about some specifics of the campaign overall I enthusiastically applaud this campaign for its courage and vision.

I was part of a smaller campaign back in Boston with Highrock Church and the pinnacle of that campaign was the purchase of a church building in Arlington.  Similarly here the pinnacle, or at least the bulk of the resources of this campaign, will be going to a church building, a much more expensive building in Santa Clara.  I saw what an incredibly positive effect having a church home did for Highrock and I am looking forward to a similar effect with GrX.

To celebrate the halfway mark of the Unstoppable Campaign, GrX had a special service for all of its three locations (now four since the service), called God of This City.  Below is the promotional video.

I thought Pastor Dave Chae gave a great speech summing up what GrX is all about, gospel transformation.  I feel blessed to have been a member of two churches, Highrock and GrX, that believe so much in gospel transformation.  I so much liked Pastor’s Chae’s speech, especially the contrasts between Jesus and us, that I asked for the transcript which he emailed me.  Here it is, I hope you enjoy it.

For the past 7 years including the last 18 months we’ve been guided by a single vision – vision for gospel transformation.

This vision that we are forgiven and valued, stirred 13 of us to travel 400 north from Irvine to plant GrX Sunnyvale.

Three years later in 2005, God led 40 people to start a similar venture in San Francisco.

Then in the fall of 2006, we launched GrX Fremont. And in November of this year, we’ll be launching the Bridge Church in S. Jose.

We’re here today because we believe that Jesus’ death and resurrection means everything to us.

This is the essence of the gospel.

His shameful death is our pride.

His condemnation is our salvation.

His submission is our humility

His sacrifice is our forgiveness.

We are released from the power of sin forever!

But the benefits don’t stop there. We’ve also been given value and status. We are children of the Living God.

We are a new creation.

Jesus’ perfect life has been credited to us as if we are perfect in God’s eyes.

We have value.

We have significance.

We have worth.

What was given to us, faith, can never be taken away by bad works.

What an incredible exchange!

All of our sin for all of God’s forgiveness and value. What a Great Exchange! (2 Cor. 8:9)

So that’s what we named ourselves – The Great Exchange

Practically, we believed that if transformation is going to happen, we needed to continually make this great exchange, exchanging sin for grace every day.

We called this preaching the gospel to ourselves.

Just as caring parents and resources are necessary to grow up a child, we believed that community, the word of God, and service were all necessary ingredients for spiritual transformation.

We wanted to be a place where people could come, get connected through small groups, and experience the love of forgiveness and value of God.

We wanted to be a place where people got built up through scripture, prayer, and service.

We wanted to be a place where people could serve out of their gifting in ministry locally and globally.

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