On February 23rd, 2017, Pastor James Choi spoke on the story of Cain and Abel. The passage which was referenced was Genesis 4:1-15. So the sermon spoke on how it is not the offering that causes God to choose to accept or not accept, but rather the person him/herself. In the story of Cain and Abel, Cain had given of the fruit of the land, but Abel had given of the first-born and fat of the flock. Out of Abel’s desire for God, he gave of the best, but Cain had only given some offerings.
Pastor James, takes a look into the previous chapters and why it was that God did not accept Cain. In Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve, are forced to leave the garden of Eden, God had made them a promise that a seed of theirs would trample on the serpent’s head. So with Cain’s name, “I have acquired a man from the Lord”, it is likely that Adam and Eve had hoped that Cain would become someone that would bring them back together with God. In the case of Abel, the Bible mentions his name and that he took care of sheep.
Because Cain grew up in an environment where he was exalted, he was a proud person, and quite ego-centric. Thus, in his offerings to God, he was always focused on himself which is why God had rejected his offering. When the opportunity came for him to choose to sin or overcome to sin, he instead chose to focus on his own hurt feelings and ended up murdering his own brother. When God had asked him where Abel was, he even had the audacity to ask God if he was his brother’s keeper.
Some takeaways of the sermon was to consider that in worship, are we coming to God in repentance or relief? When we worship God, we come before him with all of our being and in that moment should repent before him rather than worshiping as a break in day to day life. It is important that who we are is right in the eyes of God.
On February 9, 2017, Pastor Moses talked about leadership through the character of Paul (Acts 20:17-38). The first step of Christ-honoring leadership is vulnerability. Vulnerability is needed not only for leadership, but also for repentance. Paul was a pioneer missionary. He was the first to go and spread the gospel and build up churches in many areas he visited. He lived out his teaching and sacrificed as a leader. Paul was given forty lashes minus one five times, beaten with rods three times, and stoned with rocks one time. He acknowledges his weakness by talking about his own tears a lot in Acts 20:17-38. Humility is not thinking little of ourselves, but it is not thinking of ourselves at all.
Christianity is the only religion in the world where friendship is as eternal as God himself. God is in an eternal friendship with himself as the Trinity. Any ministry or church’s goal should be to restore the broken relationship of God with humanity. Community is never the goal; community is the byproduct of restoring humanity’s broken friendship to God. Paul focused on preaching the whole counsel of God. When we focus on our common outward love, we are drawn to work together and community happens. We should keep preaching the gospel to those inside and outside the ministry.
We have to be vulnerable. Pastor Moses asked, “What friendship grows if two people only put on masks?” Friendships grow deeper only when we are vulnerable. Pastor Moses told us a story about a parent who brought a child to her room and hit her twice. But when he came out of the room, his eyes were bloodshot red because he had been crying. He was crying because it hurt him to have to put his daughter in pain to teach her. It should pain us to bring correction to people because they are in pain.
Paul identified himself as weak to love the weak. Courage used to mean, “speaking one’s heart.” Courage is not something you either have or don’t have. It is like swimming, and can be cultivated by practice. Courage develops by being vulnerable. We need the courage to love others whether or not they will love us back. Another aspect of humility is finding our value in Christ; we are broken and weak, but strong in Christ. Your testimony of brokenness brings people to Christ. Others follow when you are vulnerable.
The speaker to kick-off Kharis Campus Ministry’s spring 2017 semester was our very own Antwoine Johnson. His sermon discussed love and three questions about it: Whats God got to do about it, Whats people got to do about it, and What do I got to do about it. Because of our connection to Christ and the relationship we have with him, we are called, nay, commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves and to show them the same love that we are shown by Christ. Even though we are not able to do this perfectly, that does not give us a free pass. No one is immune from feeling God’s love if God’s love is being shown through us and if you are confused about how to love others, you need only to look to God in His illustration of love. Love is humbling, proactive, painful, and sacrificial.
Jason’s Deli was the dinner of choice after Large Group!
I hope the Lord is blessing you in all of your endeavors. This is Jesson Chen and I’m currently the new President of Korean Campus Ministry at University of Maryland, College Park.
As you may already know, KCM is a non-denominational Protestant ministry of college students, mostly of Asian descent (but not only Korean). We are a para-church that serves to edify the local churches in the area and we hold weekly large groups with different guest speakers from those local churches. This years theme/vision is “Sharing the Love of Christ at University of Maryland, College Park.” Our theme verse is John 15:8-9. You may notice the style of our theme is different this year. Instead of the usual shorter theme we have decided to place our vision within our theme so when people ask us what it is we do, we can tell it to them plain and simple and therefore leaves no excuse for us not actively share the Gospel through our words and actions. We have been given a beautiful opportunity by being placed on this campus and this year we want to encourage our members to step out of their comfort zones and boldly proclaim Christ to our classmates and friends whom we have such close access to.
This semester, we will be going through the Life of Christ in book of John together during large group and are encouraging each speaker to decide their own sermon topic depending on the chapter, with an emphasis on the Gospel.
We hold large groups every Thursday night at 6 PM in College Park, MD starting from September 10th, 2015. However, this year we have some changes with our schedule. Every 3rd Thursday of the month, instead of a sermon we will be going out to actively pray and evangelize through the campus as well as host events such as care package delivery and door to door encouragements.
Here are a few photos from the night. Not featured here: food, food, food, alum, Pastor Nathan’s appreciation videos, food, officer torture boxes, and FOOOOD. If you missed out… don’t miss out on our LAST large group of the semester, the 2014 year. Dec. 4th! Pastor Sam from Bethel will be coming to speak. Thank you to all the volunteers, officers, attendees for making it such a festive night!
Link to the sermon on YouTube: http://youtu.be/uC_kp36vhZg