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2015 Dupage UBF Easter Conference Report

2015 Dupage UBF Easter Conference Report

2015 Dupage Easter Bible Conference Report

2015 Dupage Easter Bible Conference Report Docx

2015 Dupage Easter Bible Conference Report PDF

Thank God for all his grace poured out on our humble ministry. We could experience much grace through many testimonies, the help of our friends, and through powerful messages of the resurrection.
On the first night we had 31 attendants and are so thankful for the support of the local Triton UBF chapter—18 people from Triton attended. It gave us hope to see our small rented classroom filled to that capacity always. This gave our speakers much confidence and created a warm and friendly atmosphere. Alan Boyd began the Good Friday service by sharing his message on 1 Corinthians 15:1-34. He, like Paul, helped us to focus our attention back to the gospel as of first importance. He shared how the Gospel is a God made story and should be passed on to others as of first importance: for it is what saves and changes us.

After that we had two beautiful life testimonies. First was Gary Ziemba, who shared about the struggles in his life with substances, trouble with his marriage, and kids, as well as battling serious cancer 3 times. It would be a dark story but for the resurrection. Through his faith and repentance Gary’s life is like Jacob the patriarch, who is now carrying for his wife again, children, and even grandchildren. His faith in Jesus has healed many wounds and repaired many relationships and helped lead his children’s life to Christ as well. His testimony is a beautiful one in Christ. Second we heard a testimony from Bomadeli from Triton Ministry from John 5:6-8, the man at the well. Bomadeli testified how life had been difficult since childhood due to his injuries and felt that his life was not useful. But Jesus called him and showed him that he is useful and beautiful in his eyes and Bomadeli was able to overcome that fatalism and be used by God as a good Christian and fellow Bible teacher at Triton College. That night we had special music provided by a duet Elena Ruiz and Msn Gideon Bahn.
On Saturday we had a fantastic group Bible study lead by Elena Ruiz on John 11. She diligently prepared in the midst of her busy work and study schedule. We had a dinner fellowship and were treated to 3 singsperation songs to prepare our hearts by Ruth and Joshua from Triton Ministry, who are both excellent singers and musicians. We were also blessed to have hymn singing and piano played by Sarah Bahn and provided by Matthew Monroe. The main message was delivered by Jeremy Hajek on John 11. He shared how Jesus commanded us to take away the stone. God was to reveal his glory through this death of the beloved Lazarus and it was hard to see but it could be seen if they took away the stone. God blessed Jeremy’s family to experience the power of resurrection through this conference.
Saturday second part we were graced with many testimonies and life stories of Jesus’ grace which abounds. Elena Ruiz shared how resurrection faith had helped her overcome her fear of tests and prepare for her graduate school entrance exam. Scot Gass shared his life story from Matt 7:24, and was a man of much skill and talent but lost it all when he was in sin. But when he came back to Christ, he is making amends and keeping faithful to Jesus and helping his daughter and grandson stay faithful to Christ as well no matter the cost.
On Easter Sunday we had an extended service. In total 21 people attended on Sunday. (Picture above) The program began with our woman’s vocal team performing Amanda Giampeitro, Elena Ruiz, and guitar by Gideon Bahn. Our main message was delivered by Msn Gideon Bahn on 1 Corinthians 13 and the power of love in the resurrection. From this we could learn about how Jesus’ resurrection gives us the power to transform our hearts and to love in God’s way (agape) in the way that we could not love ourselves and others before. We learned that we must grow in the love of Jesus that lasts forever.
We had two testimonies shared by Matt Cizek and Amanda Giampietro. Matt shared on John 11:25-26 about his struggles but also how he had triumphed over dark things by the power and grace of Jesus. His life is now a life of joy and beautiful testimony to Jesus. Amanda Giampietro shared from 2 Samuel 14 about the past she was dealing with but saw God’s love and grace in the word of God. Her life now is changed by the power of Jesus and her testimony is a beautiful life because of Jesus.
Our closing message was delivered by Carlos Ocasio form 1 Corinthians 15:58 and focused on 4 parts; Stand firm and rise up in Jesus, Let nothing move you, Always give yourself full to God, Focus on Trusting God because death is defeated.

We give thanks for Carlos’ hard work, receiving a message training with all his heart and strength, and his family was there to support him. He was well prepared and the Holy Spirit worked through him to give us all hope in the power of Jesus and to focus on Jesus. This was first time sharing a message and if it is God’s will we pray that he may share more in the future.

In all we are very thankful for the support of Msn Mary Bahn who helped prepare all the background serving and cookies and snacks. As well as we are thankful for Triton UBF members who shared their free time and also brought snacks. We are thankful for all those who attended and participated and those who prayed for us.

Written by Jeremy Hajek, edited by Gideon Bahn

Mark 11:10 – Message

Mark 11:10 – Message

JESUS’ HUMBLE KINGSHIP

 

Mark 11:1-11                                                                                      Key Verse: 11:10

 

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”  “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

 

Through last week’s passage, we learned why Jesus came to this world. Even the Son of God did not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. This is God’s calling for all Christians to follow the servantship of Jesus Christ, especially those who desire to be great in the sight of God. While on earth we want many things, often tangible things, and whine when God does not give. May God help us to know what we need in order to open our spiritual blindness and ask his mercy, so that we may be healed and blessed abundantly. May God bless each one of us to be great men and women in the sight of God as we serve each other with Jesus humility and love! Amen!

 

As I meditated on this passage, I thought about two things. First, what can I do or how can I serve our members and fill their needs. This made me to pray deeper for each one of our growing leaders for not only tangible but intangible needs, prayer topics. When I prayed for each one of them, it was easier to find what tangible thing(s) they need but intangible. I prayed and God could show me with an inspiration in some cases, yet I felt imperfect because I do not know what each one of you have in your heart. Finally, I came to a conclusion that it is the best to hear from you, so that I can pray with a prayer topic with deeper understanding. May God bless each one of us to know what we really need and experience God’s blessings abundantly! Amen!

 

Secondly, what tangible and intangible thing(s) do I need? Tangible: I pray to raise 12 disciples of Jesus. How did Jesus raise the 12 disciples? He endured their immaturity and taught them the word of God with love and patience, showing his example. When the Holy Spirit came upon them, they were filled with the power of God and served the work of God.

 

That is what I need; with love and patience, teaching and living based on life-giving word of God.  Most of all, Dupage ministry need the power of the Holy Spirit in each one of growing disciples. That means I need to be anointed with the Holy Spirit first through repentance and prayer. May God help me to repent before the word of God and pray everyday so that I may be filled with the Holy Spirit and raise the disciples of Jesus for Jesus’ name and his kingdom. Amen!

 

I pray to have more time in doing the work of God, reducing my work hour or move to Academia, which I assume that I will have more time. In order to do so, I need to apply a job first. I need God’s wisdom and prayer. May God help me to apply a teaching position at COD with God’s wisdom. May God open the door if that is God’s will.

 

Today’s passage teaches us the lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lord of our possessions, so he can take whatever and whenever he needs it. Moreover, he is the Lord of God’s kingdom on earth and in heaven, which means he is the Lord of our body and soul, worthy of our worship. All our praise, glory and honor belong to him for he is the King of kings and Lord of lords, the creator of heaven and earth! When we welcome him in our hearts and lives, he rules us with full of grace and truth, love and righteousness. May God bless each one of us to welcome Jesus as our king, who will cleanse, protect and provide. Amen!

 

I.The Lord needs it (1-6).

 

  Look at verses 1, “As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples.” Bethphage and Bethany are located about 2 miles southeast of Jerusalem, to where Jesus and the disciples were coming closer. Jesus knew that suffering and death were coming soon and had tried to teach it to his disciples who would not listen. At the same time, Jesus had to teach his disciples who he truly is.

 

  Look at verse 2-3. “…. saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’” Jesus was basically saying, “Go and find someone else’s colt, then bring it here. It is almost stealing, like taking unknown person’s car parked in downtown Chicago and driving it to DuPage for Jesus or in order to serve someone in the name of Jesus. Can anyone do so if Jesus came to you in your dream and told you to do so? You may think that it could be easier for the two disciples if Jesus asked them to bring their own colt for Jesus or give them money to rent one. Rightfully so, but Jesus did not do that. Jesus asked them to do something with any provision. It is like asking you to make someone else to offer his or her car because he needs it.

 

Why did Jesus ask his disciples to do such a thing? It seems unreasonable and incomprehensible; why unknown person’s colt? Jesus asked his disciples to do so because they need to overcome human way of thinking. The disciples need to learn to do God’s work beyond human limitations. The work of God does not stay in human level. If so, that may be not the work of God and we do not need the help of God, so no need of prayer. Even if it is done, can we truly give glory to God when we think that any human being can do? Why did God lead the people of Israel to the Red Sea? God wanted the people of Israel to experience the glorious power of God beyond their human understanding. Why did God wait until Abraham was 99 years old and say that you will have a son? God wanted Abraham to believe when it was impossible humanly. In case, if you are in a situation beyond your limitation, could that situation be an opportunity to experience the glorious power of Jesus beyond human limitation? Maybe Jesus is asking you to do something humanly impossible, and thus experience his glorious power in your life.

 

When people are in an impossible situation, however, there are two kinds of reactions. Most people say that we cannot do it because it is impossible. Even Abraham, a man of faith, said the same thing, “I am too old. Look at my wife, God. How can a grandma have a baby? I wish you came 10 years earlier!”

 

What was the disciples’ reaction? Look at verse, 4-6, “They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.” The two disciples went to the downtown of Bethany and found a colt, a young donkey or horse without anything on the top of its’ back, proving that no one has ever ridden, probably less than a year old. Maybe someone brought it to sell it. Many things could come into the mind of the disciples; should we ask someone whose colt that is first. Then, they should have requested the owner’s permission first, explaining that Jesus told them to bring it for him. Other questions may follow. If the owner asks who Jesus is and why is he asking for the colt? How should they explain? Should they say, “Don’t you know who Jesus is? How could you? Haven’t you heard about him? Everyone believes that he is the Messiah, man! Don’t you get it?” Instead of reasoning this and that, what did they do?

 

  They simply obeyed Jesus’ command even though it was beyond their common sense. They did exactly what Jesus told them to do so. When they found the colt, they approached to it and started untying. Unexpectedly, there were not only the owner of the colt but others standing nearby. The owner and others were probably shocked that two strangers came and were taking his colt without asking like thieves. They stopped the disciples and said, “What are you doing? Why are you untying the colt?” What did the disciples say? Many things could go through their mind, but they simply answered, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.” To their surprise, the owner and his friends answered exactly what Jesus told them to, maybe the owner said, “That is great! Please, take it to the Lord and say for me, “Thank you, Jesus, for using my colt.”

 

Let’s think about the disciples who were coming with the colt miraculously. Probably, they were scratching their head, saying, “Wow! How could this happen? Things happened exactly what Jesus said.” When the disciples simply obeyed Jesus’ command, they could experience the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Through this experience, Jesus was teaching who he truly is. He is the Lord of all things. Colossians 3:16 says, “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” All things are created through Jesus and for him. This means that Jesus is the Lord of our lives. He created everything for his glory and we are steward of things given to us. When he wants, saying, “The Lord needs it,” we should be ready to give so that he can use it for his glory. The more we are free from the things of the world, the freer we become from the worries of this world.

 

When we insist the ownership of our possessions, what can happen?  What happened to others? There was one person who tried not to listen to God. When God told him to go to Nineveh, he would not go and tried to hide at the bottom of a ship. Then, the ship got into a storm, and he was chosen by a lot to be thrown into a sea. God sent a whale to swallow him and vomited him on the shore of the Nineveh, where God told him to go. Therefore, I recommend to obey Jesus unless you would like to stay in a whale’s stomach in the darkness until you obey his calling.

 

There are too many examples of people who simply obeyed the command of Jesus and experienced the power of God. In the last passage, the disciples boasted that they left everything in order to follow Jesus, Jesus promised a great reward on earth and in heaven. Yet, that was not enough. Now Jesus is teaching his disciples even harder one. They need faith not only to offer theirs but to help others to offer for Jesus and his kingdom! Could we take someone else’s possession for Jesus if he needs it? This is the reason why I am calling each one of you to give your time for this coming Easter Bible school by faith. The Lord needs your hearts, time, talent and even possessions for his kingdom. May God bless each one of us we offer ourselves for Jesus and his kingdom in this Easter season. Amen!

 

  1. Jesus, the Humble King and Savior (7-11).

 

When the two disciples do as they brought the colt to Jesus? Look at verse 7, “When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.” The disciples realized that Jesus is the Lord and the Promised Messiah. The other disciples were amazed as they heard the testimony the two disciples. They realized that Jesus was going to ride on it and spread their cloaks for Jesus. All people saw Jesus who was riding a colt. Please, imagine an adult riding a colt. A colt was too small for an adult to ride. In fact, no one has ridden. What was the reaction of the people toward Jesus who was riding a colt? Did the people laugh at Jesus? No, rather they accepted Jesus as their king. Look at verses 8, “Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.” People welcomed Jesus as their king, however, Jesus did not come like a worldly king. Worldly kings enter their city with pompous parade. Usually a forerunner prepares a way with a red carpet, shouting, “Make a way! Make a way for king is coming!” With trumpet sound, a king enters a city, riding a white charger with four black stallions in order to show off his power and authority. Then, people should shout, “Long live the king!” spreading their palm branches. If anyone disturbs the procession, king’s personal guards can kill no matter who the person may be. But Jesus was different. He entered Jerusalem, humbly riding a colt in order to fulfill God’s prophecy for the Messiah. Jesus’ humility and obedience moved the hearts of the people. Many of them spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. This was commoners’ custom welcoming their king after a victory. They were spreading their cloak, as the expression of their loyalty, honor and surrender to their king who is humble and obedient. They were welcoming the humble king Jesus from their hearts.

 

Jesus is our humble king as well. He enters into the hearts of the people who welcome him and rule them with humility and love. Amen! May humble king Jesus come in the hearts of each one of us.

 

  Look at verse 9-10, “Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!’” What the people were saying was based on the prophecy made in the Old Testament, Psalm 118, which is written for the event for the Savior to come and rescue the people of Israel. Hosanna mean, “Save, I pray or savior, save us!” They accepted Jesus as their king God promised to send in the line of David. In fact, they were waiting for the Savior to come and save them from the oppression of Rome. They welcomed the Savior king, Jesus, to come and rule them with love and peace. They welcomed the Savior with all their hearts. How happy it was to see the savior with their own eyes!

 

Likewise, people are waiting for the savior to come and save them from their misery. Here is evidence. People have loved one old fairy tales, such as Snow White or Sleeping Beauty, for a longtime. The princess ate an apple or pricked and thus poisoned by a witch. She was spelled which made her to sleep forever or locked in bondage under the power of evil. There is one way for her to be saved; a prince who can destroy the dragon and kiss her. Then, she will wake up, marry the prince and live happily ever after. Logically speaking, the story does not make much sense. But we love this story for it is the story for everyone who are waiting for the savior. The princess resembles all human beings who were tricked by the Satan and poisoned forever. Since then, we are living under the power of sin and death, yearning for the savior to come and save us.

 

Some claimed that they can save us and we gave our hearts, but they did not save us, rather, made us more miserable, just like the story of Samaritan woman in John 4. She gave her heart to this boy and that man, but they all broke her heart until she felt used up. Her life was totally racked. But she was also waiting for the Messiah to come and explain whom she should worship. She was waiting for the Messiah to whom she could devote her heart and life. She could not find anyone on earth until she met Jesus Christ. When she welcomed Jesus as her king and savior, she knew that Jesus understood all her sorrow and true spiritual desire to worship. She realized that Jesus not only understood her but also all her sins were forgiven. Out of her joy of meeting the savior, she could not just sit down but went out to the people and testify, saying, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah, savior!”  Likewise, no human being will find true rest until we welcome Jesus as our King and Savior.

 

  Are you still searching for your true object of worship? There is none, no one and nothing, on earth. Who can truly understand us and save us from the bondage of sin and Satan? Jesus is our King worthy of our worship. He is our Savior worthy of our love. Jesus is the true object of worship. He deserve our glory and honor and praise! When we devote our hearts to him, he rules us with love and humility. He displayed his power and glory in love and grace on the cross.

 

  Let us welcome Jesus and shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of Lord!” “Jesus, come and save us from our sins and misery. Be our king! May Jesus be the king of my life and our ministry! You are the Lord of my life, and I am just a steward. We worship and praise you, Jesus! Help us to offer ourselves by faith! Rule us with love and truth, humility and righteousness! Hosanna in the highest!”  Amen!

 

Mark 10:15 – Message

Mark 10:15 – Message

RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD LIKE A LITTLE CHILD

Mark 10:1-16 Key Verses: 10:15

“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Mark1045m.doc

Through last week’s passage, we learned that Jesus wanted his disciples to accept the message of his suffering, death and resurrection. The disciples could not understand because they were self-centered and seeking their worldly glory. When they were self-centered, they were constantly arguing among themselves and became a stumbling block for God’s work. Instead of co-working with the man who was driving out demons in the name of Jesus, John stopped him because he was not one of the chosen 12. Instead of rebuking John and the other disciples for their immaturity, Jesus taught them true greatness in the sight of God. We can be great in God’s eye when we welcome needy and childish people and serve them in Jesus’ name. The more God-centered we become, the more needy people we may be able to welcome and serve them with the love of Christ. The more we become God-centered, the more human limitations we may overcome and be united with other coworkers for the kingdom of God. May God bless each one of our members to grow in Jesus’ humility and love so that we can unite in Christ, serving the needy people sent by God. When we do so, may the people of the world see the love of God among us. Amen!

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Mark 3:35 -Questions

Mark 3:35 -Questions

WHOEVER DOES GOD’S WILL IS JESUS’ FAMILY MEMBER

Mark 3:20-35

Key Verse: 3:35

“Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

1. What was the life of following Jesus like for his disciples (20)? What did Jesus’ family decide to do after hearing a bad report (21)? How is the intensity of life in Jesus often misunderstood by others, including family members?

2. What did it mean that teachers of the law came down from Jerusalem (22)? Of what did they accuse him, and why? What did they know about his ministry?

3. How did Jesus reveal the contradiction in their accusation (23-26)? What does this reveal about the enemy and his kingdom? How was Satan overpowered, and who did this (27)?

4. What wonderful promise did Jesus give (28)? What warning did Jesus give and why (29-30)? What, specifically, is the sin that will never be forgiven, and why not?

5. What did Jesus’ mother and brothers expect when they sent word to him (31-32)? How does Jesus’ surprising question raise awareness of who he is (33)? What did Jesus’ answer mean to those seated around him (34)?

6. Read verse 35. Who can be Jesus’ family members? What does it mean to do God’s will? What does this reveal about our relationship with Jesus and each other?

Mark 3:35 – Message

Mark 3:35 – Message

WHO CAN BE JESUS’ FAMILY MEMBERS?

Mark 3:20-35
Key Verse: 3:35

“Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

As we studied in the previous passage, after confronting the religious leaders and serving many needy people, Jesus appointed the twelve. Jesus decided to raise them as shepherds who could take care of God’s flock. Jesus had a clear purpose in his calling and a long-term plan for them. Jesus’ appointing the twelve was God’s will, God’s wisdom, and God’s hope to accomplish his purpose of salvation. It was the hinge on which Jesus’ entire ministry direction turned. From this time on, he would focus on his disciples more and more. They would form a spiritual family which would precede the Christian church. As soon as Jesus appointed the twelve, Satan attacked in two ways: through the accusation of the religious leaders, and the misunderstanding of his family members. Satan intended to destroy the messianic ministry. It was a crisis, like being bitten by a poisonous snake, or confronting a severe and sudden thunderstorm. Jesus responded immediately and clearly in order to defeat Satan’s work and protect his disciples. And Jesus taught them how to overcome the crisis, by putting first priority in following him as his family members. As we engage in disciple-raising ministry, Satan tries to attack and destroy us in many ways too. Sometimes it is through poisonous slander from outside. Other times it is through family problems from inside. When we are attacked, we can be discouraged; it is easy to lose our direction in raising disciples. We need Jesus’ protection and a clear identity as his disciples. This comes to those who commit themselves to Jesus as his family members. Let’s learn how we can be Jesus’ family members.

First, Jesus tied up Satan (20-30). As we see in 3:1-19, after confronting the Pharisees in the synagogue, Jesus withdrew to the lake and served a crowd, and then went up on a mountainside, where he appointed the twelve. Now Jesus enters a house, perhaps that of Peter and Andrew in Capernaum. The moment Jesus’ presence was known, a crowd gathered. They were wounded in body and spirit; they were desperate for love and care; they were hungry and thirsty for the word of God; they were needy people. Jesus healed their sicknesses, drove out demons, bound up their wounds, and taught the life-giving words of God to them. No one else cared for these people, but Jesus did. Wherever the good shepherd Jesus went, people came to him. Jesus and his disciples were so busy serving people one by one that they had no chance to eat. Usually people regard eating and resting as important matters. So they give a priority to these things. Without eating well, we cannot work properly. We like to think that Jesus’ disciples’ motto was, “eat a lot and work hard.” That may be true. Jesus was branded a glutton and a drunkard, the friend of tax collectors and sinners (Lk 7:34). But Jesus also skipped many meals in the course of serving needy people. As they followed Jesus in serving the needy, the disciples fasted unintentionally. What a beautiful scene it is.

However, there were some people who misunderstood Jesus and his disciples. They were Jesus’ family members. Jesus never forsook them. But he always pursued the call of God above all else. They heard rumors about Jesus not eating. To their eyes, Jesus was radical and extreme. He had ignored his duty to take care of his parents and siblings, which was expected from the oldest son. He did not earn money from a job. He was also inviting able-bodied men to leave their jobs and follow him around the country. And he did not pay any attention to marriage. Now, he was not even eating. They assumed he was out of his mind. So they traveled 30 miles, from Nazareth to Capernaum, in order to take charge of Jesus. Actually, many people are out of their minds. Some are crazy for money; some are crazy for power; some are crazy for sinful pleasure; some are crazy for games and hobbies. These days many are crazy for the World Cup. In the same way, we are crazy for Jesus. Worldly people tolerate all kinds of craziness, but not those who are crazy for Jesus. Jesus’ family members had heard enough of his crazy devotion, and they went to take charge of him (21). In fact, they did not believe in him. Already the religious leaders were plotting to take his life. Now he faced misunderstanding from his family members as well.

In the meantime, another thunderstorm was sweeping upon Jesus. As his ministry was growing rapidly in Galilee, the religious leaders in Jerusalem felt threatened. They decided to destroy Jesus’ ministry. They came down from Jerusalem all the way to Galilee and spread a poisonous statement about Jesus: “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons” (22). The religious leaders could not deny that Jesus had driven out demons. But they discredited his work by claiming it was done by the prince of demons. In truth, they were instruments of Satan and doing Satan’s work. If Jesus had ignored this, many people would have been deceived and gospel ministry greatly damaged.

Anyone who had been slandered like Jesus could have been very upset. Yet this would make things worse. How did Jesus deal with this issue? Instead of getting upset, Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them. In parables Jesus explained how their slander was unreasonable. He said, “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come” (23b-26). As Jesus’ words indicate, enemies on the inside are the most destructive of all. Many political leaders make use of this truth. Recently, I read a political journal which explained how the Soviet Union maintained power over satellite countries. They supported the official government, yet maintained close relations with opposition parties. If the official government became rebellious, the Soviets supported the opposition party. They knew that when a nation was divided from within it could not stand. All politicians and rulers understand this principle. Satan is at least as smart as politicians; he was not stupid enough to attack himself. So the religious leaders’ slander was nonsense.

Then Jesus explained that his ministry was the work of the Holy Spirit by telling another parable: “In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house” (27). In this parable, Satan is a strong man. Man’s situation is like that of a captive in Satan’s dungeon. Man is vulnerable to Satan’s temptation. Satan plants doubt in people’s hearts, saying, “Does God really exist? If God is living, why do such bad things happen to me? Does God really love me?” When we doubt God’s love we cannot trust God. Satan also plants fear in our hearts, saying, “If you commit to God, you will lose your freedom and your fun.” These days summer Satan is going around, saying, “Take life easy. Don’t do anything.” Then he takes advantage of people’s laziness and prompts them to do evil things. If we become slaves of Satan, he presses us to follow our sinful desires. Though we try to escape from Satan’s dungeon, it is impossible because he is stronger than we are.

Here we learn that the real enemy of mankind is Satan. We can see man’s problems from many perspectives. Karl Marx saw man as only physical or material, without a spiritual dimension. Adam Smith saw man as primarily motivated by self-interest, especially in terms of economics. Sigmund Freud saw man as a sexual animal. Psychiatry fosters a view of man as chemicals, devoid of spirit. But the Bible tells us clearly that man was created in the image of God with both body and spirit. Man has a capacity for fellowship with God. But if the Spirit of God does not dwell in a man, evil spirits can come into him. Some people abandon God, thinking they will be free to live as they please. But when they abandon God, they are vulnerable to evil spirits, like King Saul (1 Sam 16:14). When people are controlled by evil spirits, they do what the evil spirits demand, even when they don’t want to. Many people are tormented by evil spirits. Though they have a lot of money, eat gourmet food, wear fine clothes, and indulge in luxurious entertainment, they are not happy. They cannot sleep well. They have no peace in their hearts. They are very anxious all the time. The problem is that they do not understand why they are miserable. Many kinds of self-discipline or education or medical treatment or drugs cannot help them. They need Jesus! Jesus has power to drive out demons! Jesus is more powerful than Satan! Only Jesus can tie up Satan and set us free from his power! That is why Jesus died for our sins on the cross and rose from the dead. Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” The purpose of Jesus’ coming into this world was to destroy the devil’s work (1 Jn 3:8). Let’s accept Jesus as our deliverer, Lord and Savior so that we may have true freedom, peace and victory.

After defending the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus gave his opponents a very strong warning: “‘Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.’ He said this because they were saying, ‘He has an impure spirit’” (28-30). Here we learn that there are sins that can be forgiven, and a sin that can never be forgiven. When we are living in this world, we commit many sins in word, thought, and deed. We forget God’s grace, are unthankful and self-glory seeking, and rebel against authority. We lie, cheat, steal, envy, complain, blame, hate, lust, commit adultery and murder. David confessed, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Ps 51:5). We are drowning in sin; how can we get out of it? Some people say that as time goes by we can forget all these things. But it never works. The more we try to forget these things, the more clearly they appear before our mind’s eye. We cannot erase or undo our sins. The only solution is to receive God’s forgiveness. Jesus came into the world to forgive our sins. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When we acknowledge and confess our sins and believe in Jesus, then Jesus forgives all our sins. This is the gospel.

However, there is a sin that cannot be forgiven. It is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. One who recognizes the work of the Holy Spirit, refuses to repent, and instead calls it the work of the devil is guilty of an eternal sin. God is the God of love, but at the same time he is the God of judgment. So we must live before God with a trembling heart.

Second, Jesus accepted his disciples as family members (31-35). As Jesus had finished responding to the religious leaders, his mother and brothers arrived after a long journey from Nazareth (31a). Standing outside, they sent someone in to call Jesus (31b). A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you” (32). They thought that Jesus would welcome them, cancelling his Bible teaching. They thought their family tie with Jesus should be his first priority. People have many relational ties: business, political, educational, and so on. Among them, family ties are the strongest. So a famous proverb says, “Blood is thicker than water.” Many fathers dream to pass on their business to their son, and they do so, bypassing candidates who are much more qualified. In North Korea, leadership succession is absolutely through bloodline. In western societies, which are generally individualistic, it may be easier to ignore the family tie than in other places. But Jewish culture, shaped from the Bible, places a high priority on family relationships. One who breaks relations with his family becomes a social outcast. In this social milieu, it was not easy to follow Jesus without the consent of one‘s family. In this sense, family members can be a hindrance for those who want to follow Jesus. Once, Jesus said, “For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother…a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household’” (Mt 10:35-36).

How did Jesus respond to his family members? He said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” (33) Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” (34-35). Matthew indicates that Jesus pointed to his disciples (Mt 12:49). Jesus’ family was not formed on the basis of DNA; it was formed of those who do God’s will. This begins by accepting Jesus as one’s Savior and Lord and following him as the disciples had done. John 1:12-13 say, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” All Christians have one Father, God, and are all brothers and sisters. We all share the blood of Christ, the Son of God. Jesus’ blood is “thicker” than anything and binds us on the most fundamental level.

Here we learn two things. First of all, Jesus’ family is eternal and worldwide. Family ties in this world end naturally by death. Sometimes they end before death when a family member becomes greedy or abusive. However, Jesus’ family bond lasts forever. So we should learn to forgive one another and love one another. We should also learn to embrace all kinds of people of all nationalities because Jesus’ family includes people from every tribe and language and nation (Rev 5:9).

Secondly, Jesus teaches us to put our first priority in him. Jesus said in Matthew 10:37, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” This does not mean that Christians should ignore and neglect their family members. As Jesus was dying on the cross, in the midst of extreme pain, he was concerned about his mother. So he entrusted her to the care of Apostle John. We, too, should take care of our family members. However, here, Jesus’ point is that our relationship with him always takes priority over any other relationship. As we practice this truth, our family relationships can become Christ-centered. For example, Jesus’ brother James was one of those who came to take charge of Jesus. He did not understand what Jesus was doing (Jn 7:3). But later he became a great servant of Christ, who presided over the assembly in Jerusalem (Ac 15:13). He also wrote the book of James. In our own ministry there are many who left their homes to obey Jesus’ world mission command. Though their families misunderstood them, they kept praying without wavering. Then God had mercy on them and most family members of UBF leaders accepted Christ personally before passing on. When we live with a Christ-centered view of family, we can be a blessing. We should not follow unbelieving family members away from Jesus, but bring them to Jesus until they become Jesus’ family members.

Jesus wants us to put first priority on our relationship with him so that we may continue to learn from him and grow to be like him. This is the secret to overcoming Satan’s work within and without. Being Jesus’ family member is a great privilege and blessing. Let’s put our first priority in our relationship with Jesus.

John 5:8 – Message – Fall Bible Academy

John 5:8 – Message – Fall Bible Academy

GET UP! PICK UP YOUR MAT AND WALK
John 5:1-9a Key Verse: 5:8
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk’”

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Through yesterday’s passage, John 4, Jesus came to give the gift of God, which is the living water welling up to eternal life. People are thirsty for many things; money and pleasure, worldly glory and honor, love and recognition. They go after them, believing that they will be satisfied when they have them, but nothing in this world can satisfy our soul. When people chase after worldly things, they become like the Samaritan woman who was a slave of her desire. When she met Jesus Christ, her soul was truly satisfied for the love and forgiveness of God. Jesus understood her true desire, the desire to worship God, and came to save her. Deep down in our hearts, we are also waiting for the savior to come and save us from our sins and misery. Thank God for sending Jesus to each one of us. May God help us to drink the living water and satisfy our thirsty souls with his love and forgiveness in Christ. Amen.

In today’s passage, Jesus visited sick people during a feast of the Jews and healed the worst invalid man by the power of his word. When the invalid man heard the word of Jesus, he was completely healed. Through this passage, we learn the grace of Christ and the power of Jesus’ word. May God bless each one of us to learn the biblical chemistry through this passage. Amen.

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Genesis 1:25 Questions –Intro to the Bible part 3 of 8

Genesis 1:25 Questions –Intro to the Bible part 3 of 8

Lesson 3
God Created Mankind
Genesis 1:25-2:25
Key Verse/ Genesis 1:27
“So God Created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

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1. What is God’s plan for mankind?
2. How does God bless mankind?

1) God’s Image

1. How did God create man(Gen 2:7)? What does it mean that God created mankind in his own image(26, 27)? What is man’s source of life and value?

2) The Mission of Man

2. What is God’s purpose for mankind(26b, 28, 2:15)? Think about the fact that God created man for mission. How did God provide for the physical needs of mankind doing God’s work(1:29, 30, 2:8-9)?

3) Freedom in God’s Command

3. Read verse 2:16-17 (Adam’s Bible). What was God’s command and how does God’s command establish spiritual order? How do they give man real freedom?

4) Holy Marriage

4. How did God bless Adam being alone(18-25)? Thank about marriage and the family and God’s purpose. About what mankind needs to be happy?

Luke 5:5 Message – Intro to the Bible part 1 of 8

Luke 5:5 Message – Intro to the Bible part 1 of 8

Lesson 1
PUT OUT INTO DEEP WATER
Luke 5:1-11
KV Luke 5:4

“When he had finished speaking, Jesus said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.'”

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Thank God who allowed us last week to complete our glorious study of the book of Acts. Through this study we learned many things. Chief amongst them was that a viper bite cannot stop the word of God. That and without the power of the Holy Spirit the work of God cannot go forth. Only through the engine of the Spirit does the work of God come to fruition. May the Holy Spirit work in Dupage ministry so that we too may help bring the gospel to Dupage county and too the ends of the earth.

This week we are beginning a seven part series to explore the foundations of the Bible and the message of salvation revealed through Jesus. Today’s passage focuses on Jesus’ challenge to Peter in Luke chapter 5, to put out into deep water. Jesus’ purpose was to start a deep relationship with Peter. How can we start a personal relationship with Jesus? We can begin when we trust Jesus and obey his words. Let us learn today from Peter who trusted Jesus and grew to trust Jesus eventually with his own life. May God bless us to overcome all obstacles and answer Jesus’ request for our lives.

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Luke 5:5 Questions –Intro to the Bible part 1 of 8

Luke 5:5 Questions –Intro to the Bible part 1 of 8

Lesson 1
Put out into deep water
Luke 5:1-11
“When he had finished speaking, Jesus said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.'”

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Luke0504q-2013
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1. Where was Jesus and what was he doing (1-3)?

2. After Jesus finished speaking to the crowd, what did he ask Simon to do? (4)?

3. What was Simon’s response (5-6a)? What does this tell us about his attitude toward Jesus’ words? What did Simon have to overcame in order to obey Jesus?

4. But what happened when Simon obeyed? (6b-7)? Why was it so meaningful that Simon’s fishing failure was restored?

5. What did Simon realize about himself(8-9)? What did he mean by saying, “Go away from me Lord; I am a sinful man?”

6. What new life direction did Jesus give Simon(10)? How did Simon and his companions respond?

Acts 28:30,31 Message

Acts 28:30,31 Message

GOD’S WORK IN MALTA AND BIBLE STUDY IN ROME

Acts 28:1-31 Key Verse: 28:30, 31

“For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”

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In the last passage, Paul warned the people not to sail but they did not listen to him. When the ship was caught in the perfect storm, God raised Paul to be a shepherd who planted faith in God and his promise in the hearts of the people. Even though he was a prisoner who was in the storm too, he prayed and saved people by planting hope in the hearts of the people. May God help us to be a shepherd in all circumstances through prayer and faith in God’s promise. Amen.

Today’s passage teaches us how God blessed Paul to be a blessing to the people in Malta even through a viper bite. Finally, Paul arrived in Rome, but he had to live as a prisoner in a rented house. With God’s vision; however, Paul preached the kingdom of God and Jesus Christ for two year. May God grant us one word of God through this passage. Amen.

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