Jesus’ teachings can boil down to one verse in the Bible: John 8:32 “You shall know the truth and truth shall set you free.” Pastor Choi exhorts God’s people to get into God’s Word the truth daily to live out the life of jubilee (freedom).
Manahawkin United Methodist Church
Jesus’ teachings can boil down to one verse in the Bible: John 8:32 “You shall know the truth and truth shall set you free.” Pastor Choi exhorts God’s people to get into God’s Word the truth daily to live out the life of jubilee (freedom).
Pastor Choi today designates 2017 to be the Year of Jubilee for the people of Manahawkin United Methodist Congregation based on Leviticus 25:10-12. He points out three areas that God’s people need Jubilee: spiritual, physical, and financial.
Presented by Manahawkin UMC Chancel Choir and Music Director Vel Gamble with Special Instrumental Ensemble and Bells Directed by Joe DelVecchio.
Today Pastor Choi speaks about Jesus as our eternal joy: Christ Himself is the joy we long for. His joy is meant for us. Christ alone, not the world, can give us the eternal joy.
Today Pastor Choi talks about incarnation: God became human. He explains three reasons behind Christ’s incarnation: to have the first-hand human experience, to undergo the same struggles and temptations, and to help us in times of need.
In the Scriptures, whenever God gave a new name to someone, He expected him to live a life worthy of the name. Christ was given two names. Jesus and Immanuel. Christ as Jesus lived a life that would save humanity from their sins once and for all. Christ as Immanuel does three things with us. 1) He accompanies us throughout our Heaven-bound journey. 2) He cares for us. 3) He is fully committed to us. May the Christ be with us through this Christmas season and in the years to come.
Today Pastor Choi talks about his own journey in thanksgiving. First, he learned to be thankful for the blessings. Next, the Lord taught him to be thankful even in adversities. Finally, he learned about the reasons behind God’s command for us to be thankful in all circumstances.
Today Pastor Choi concludes his sermon series on spiritual warfare. He explains the six components of the full armor of God: belt of truth, helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the Gospel of peace, shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit–the Word of God. He exhorts God’s people to hold their ground standing against the devil’s schemes until Christ comes.
Today Pastor Choi talks about two prerequisites for spiritual warfare: resting in Christ and in what He has done for us, and walking in God’s standards through the power of the indwelling Spirit of Holiness.
Pastor Choi continues his series on spiritual warfare: Expounding three verses in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 4:4, John 13:2, and 2 Corinthians 10:3-5), he points out what Satan is up to and how he harasses, oppresses, and attacks God’s children.
Today, Pastor Choi introduces a three-part (that ended up in a four part) series on spiritual warfare. In his message, he talks about two opposing kingdoms in spiritual realm: the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. He urges the people of God to wake up from their spiritual sleep and follow their leader Jesus Christ in their spiritual battles.
Today, at Manahawkin UMC, Laity Sunday was observed where everything was led by the members of the congregation. Guest speaker was Sarah Choi, also member of the church. She talked about the secret of God’s provision.
Today Pastor Choi concludes his sermon series on the Church of God. He exhorts the congregation to focus on what God has in mind for MUMC and be faithful to His call as the Church in Philadelphia did: with a little power, keep His Word and not deny His name, hold fast Christ’s Promise on Second Coming, and listen/obey what the Holy Spirit says to the churches.
Today, World Communion Sunday, Pastor Choi explains why the Church celebrates the Lord’s Supper. He also discusses the nature of the Lord’s Supper based on Jesus’ own words. Finally, he talks about the proper attitude in receiving Communion.
Pastor Choi talks about the necessity of the Church in today’s sermon. The Church of Jesus Christ is commissioned to take the message of reconciliation in Christ to the world (Matthew 28:19-20). No other organizations in the world was chosen by God for that task. God reveals salvation the divine mystery through the Church. That’s why people need the Church.
Today Pastor Choi addresses the congregation on the question of why people need Jesus. For healing, for peace, for happiness, for teaching, and for eternal life. Yes, they are all legitimate reasons, but the true reason why every soul on earth needs Jesus is because of their broken relationship with God through sin. Everyone is a sinner and every sinner needs a Savior. That’s why we need Jesus the Savior and Lord.
Today Pastor Choi examines the question of why on evil. In the time of violence, evil, and injustice, he exhorts the congregation not to run away from God but to run towards Him in search of hope, courage, strength, and wisdom to overcome evil.
Pastor Choi talks about the importance of watch and pray in the believer’s life. Explaining the background information of the wedding in Israel at the time of Jesus, he exhorts God’s people to saturate their lives with prayer in earnest anticipation of Christ’s return.
Pastor Choi’s sermon series on Jesus’ Why questions ends today. Jesus’ question of “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” was directed not to humans but to God the Heavenly Father. He cried out to God not because His disciples betrayed and abandoned Him. Nor because of the mockery and insult from the religious leaders and bystanders. He rather did so, because the sin of entire world entered between Him and His Father and created a total separation between Christ and His loving Father in whose presence nothing unholy or impure is allowed. That separation made Christ cry out to God, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Through the story of a paralytic man who was healed by Jesus, Pastor Choi highlights the following: Be the friend to bring your loved ones to Jesus in prayer, God searches all hearts and understands every intent of our thoughts, Forgiveness trumps all other blessings, and Accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
Today Teen Challenge from Philadelphia shares their testimonies and praises with the Manahawkin congregation. This is part 2 of 2.
Today Teen Challenge from Philadelphia shares their testimonies and praises with the Manahawkin congregation. This is part 1 of 2.
Pastor Choi talks about breaking the commandment of God with human teachings and tradition. In today’s story, he draws three lessons: beware of human tradition that invalidates the Word of God, do not worship in vain, and watch out what truly defiles you.
Today Pastor Choi talks about putting the Lord to the test: what constitutes testing of the Lord. Not every act of asking for God’s sign is considered ‘putting the Lord to the test.’ The Scripture identifies three elements of testing the Lord: 1) Unbelief of God’s wisdom, power, good will, and His existence 2) Demand of wanton cravings 3) Rebellion against God.
Today Pastor Choi talks about the importance of obeying Jesus’ Word in the believer’s life. Those who hear and do Jesus’ commands are like a wise builder who built a house on the rock; those who call Him Lord yet don’t keep His words are like a foolish builder who built a house on the ground without any foundation.
Pastor Choi talks about three approaches people take in terms of salvation and eternal life: human goodness, the Law, and Christ. He explains how the first two approaches fail to bring us into God’s eternal presence. He reiterates what God’s Word says about salvation: Christ is the way, the life, and the truth. No one can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
Today Pastor Choi expounds Jesus’ command on discerning the present time (Kairos). Kairos is God’s appointed time that demands God’s people to live a holy and godly life, spotless and blameless, for the day of Christ (2 Peter 3:11, 14).
Today Pastor Choi talks about the meaning of “not to judge” others. They are stop being self-righteous, stop being judgmental, and stop condemning others like God.
Today Pastor Choi talks about Jesus and Peter walking on the water. Three lessons he points out in the story of Jesus: God’s in it, so is our faith, and fix your eyes on Jesus.
Pastor Choi today talks about the cure for anxiety. First, he points out four characteristics of worries: useless, evil, stressful, and contagious. Next, he identifies four ways to handle life’s worries: keep a heavenly perspective, have faith in God, stop worrying, and seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness.
Today Pastor Choi expounds the Scriptures on divine anger. In the Old Testament, God’s anger was ignited when people of God followed other gods, grumbled against God, and afflicted orphans, widows, and foreigners. In the New Testament, Jesus also got angry at hypocrisy, commercialism in God’s house, belittling of children, stubborn heart and unbelief. May God help us never provoke Him to anger.
Today Pastor Choi concludes his series on anger. He introduces four biblical ways to control anger: S.L.O.W.—Slow to anger, Let go and let God, Overcome evil with good, and Work it out (Reconcile).
Manahawkin UMC helped to install a borehole well in Ghana. The well was recently dedicated. Praise God!
Pastor Choi talks about anger at God. Taking the example of Jonah, he explains how to handle our anger with God: Avoid bad theology. Be humble before God in anger. Choose to trust in God not own feelings.
Substituting for Pastor Choi, John Parker delivers a sermon on Pentecost when everyone asked “What does this mean?”
Pentecost is considered to be the day that the church was born. Ten days before, the apostles were with Jesus when He told them to wait in Jerusalem until the Spirit came upon them and that they would be given power through the Spirit to be His witnesses to Judea, Samara, and all the earth. This was the last thing that Jesus said to the disciples before He ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father.
After waiting and praying for 10 days, for the first time the Holy Spirit baptized all of the believers and they were forever changed. The power of the Holy Spirit made them boldly proclaim the great works of God in every language and dialect of all of the devout Jews who had gone to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Weeks. Peter became the rock that the church would be built upon reciting passages from the prophet Joel as he gave the first sermon of the Christian church. As prophesied in Jeremiah, the Word of God and the will of God would be written on people’s hearts and “they will be My people and I will be their God.”
These 50 days were perfect fulfillments of the Jewish feasts. At Passover, the sacrifice of the sinless Jesus, God’s only Son, the perfect Lamb of God, Mashiach ben Joseph , was the final payment for all sin of all mankind. At the Feast of Firstfuits Jesus was resurrected from the dead and so became the firstfruits of the new covenant. And at Pentecost or Feast of Weeks when the wheat harvest is celebrated, over three thousand souls were saved as Peter delivered the first sermon of the Christian church reaping the first harvest of souls ripe for salvation.
120 believers had faith in Jesus’ promise that He would never leave them alone even though He had gone to be with the Father. The believers waited patiently, expectantly, and prayerfully for the Holy Spirit to come to them. And on this Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven with the sound of a mighty wind and these 120 believers turned the world upside down. We are this generation’s body of Christ and we are called to do the same. We are called to be witnesses of Jesus Christ to Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth proclaiming the great works of God in every tongue to every nation.
Today Pastor Choi talks about Mary of Bethany who poured the very expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. Three lessons to learn from Mary: a. Give all you have to Jesus. b. Jesus remembers your love and acts of service and reward you accordingly. c. Don’t wait until tomorrow to serve the Lord.
Today Pastor Choi concludes his series on the heart: we are to love the LORD God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our might. May God approve us like He did King David whose heart was wholly devoted to the LORD.
Today Pastor Choi concludes his sermon series on the prayers that Lord Jesus has actually said. He focuses on the last word of the last sayings of Jesus: Father, into Your hands, I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46).
Pastor Choi talks about Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane the night before crucifixion. He prayed on His knees, for God’s will to be done not His, and commanded His disciples to keep watch so as not to fall into temptation.
Today Pastor Choi continues his series on the Lord’s Prayers. He points out that Christ’s prayers were relational, personal, and grateful (full of gratitude).
Free Washer/Dryer Service is coming to town on May 26 sponsored by Manahawkin United Methodist Church.
Today Pastor Choi talks about three characteristics of Jesus’ prayer: intentional, habitual, and alone with God. The sermon exhorts the congregation to cultivate the habit of spending time alone with God in prayer throughout the year.
Pastor Choi invites the congregation to examine the biblical accounts on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Where has the body of Jesus gone?” Two theories: one by the Christian community that He is risen indeed. The other theory by the chief priests and the elders that the disciples of Jesus stole away the body of Jesus, that’s why the tomb was empty.
Which theory do you believe? The sermon urges the congregation to make up their minds.
Pastor Choi talks about Jesus the humble king who fulfilled the prophecies on Himself by entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey. The servant King demonstrated that He came not to be served but to serve and give His life as ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
Today Pastor Choi concludes his sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. He covers three areas of temptation: definition, nature, and ways to overcome temptations.
Today Pastor Choi continues his series on the Lord’s Prayer: Forgiveness. He explains the biblical understanding of forgiveness, expounds on the nature of forgiveness, and offers four practical reasons why we should forgive each other.
Pastor Choi talks about three characteristics of our “daily bread.” First, it is our daily “necessities” not daily “luxuries” or “desires.” Secondly, daily bread means daily trust in the Lord. Thirdly, it also means our daily “bread of Heaven” the Word of God.
Today Pastor Choi focuses on two sentences in the Lord’s Prayer: Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done on Earth as It Is in Heaven. He explains that we the believers in Christ are living in the times close to Christ’s coming and that we are called to work as God’s Kingdom agents to reclaim God’s Kingdom here on earth one individual, one family, and one community at a time.
Today Pastor Choi talks about the name of the Lord: The Lord commands everyone to revere, esteem, honor, fear and stand in awe before His name. Why should we care about His name? Because He does care about His name. Because He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. And, because He will hold accountable those who don’t. This attitude of “Hallowed Be Thy Name” is the foundation of every answered prayer.
For the next six Sundays, Pastor Choi is going to do a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. Today, part 1 of 6, he focuses on the beginning sentence of the prayer: Our Father in heaven. The sermon emphasizes on prayer as a relationship and urges God’s people to approach their heavenly Father with boldness.
The following is a summary of the sermon:
Our Father in Heaven: the Lord’s Prayer—part 1 of 6
Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
A Bible trivia: Did you know that you can say a beautiful prayer without the mentioning of ‘God?’ Not even once? Look at today’s text.
For the next six Sundays, we are going to learn about a prayer, commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer that the Lord Jesus has taught us to pray.
This morning, part 1 of 6, let’s think about how we start our prayer by looking into how Jesus did. He began the prayer with a sentence: Our Father which art in heaven. In short, ‘Our Father in Heaven.’
Our Father: most of us would start our prayers with either ‘O, Lord,’ or ‘Our God’ instead of ‘Our Father.’ In fact, that’s how, I believe, the disciples of Jesus would’ve begun their prayers, too. So, when Jesus taught them to call God ‘Our Father,’ it must have shocked them. Jesus must have appeared to them very unconventional, even radical.
A little bit of information on how radical Jesus was in His time. In those days, ordinary Jews would not dare to even think about calling God ‘Father.’ Up until that time, for over 2000 years, they often called their human ancestors ‘father(s)’ such as Abraham (Matthew 3:9, John 8:41), Isaac (Romans 9:10), Jacob (John 4:12), or David (Luke 1:32, Mark 11:10). They also would call the LORD ‘God of our fathers,’ but seldom ‘Our Father.’ Never call God the Father, they were strictly reminded by their teachers, because it makes you either too high above or too close to God. Know your place: you’re human. He is divine. Actually, calling God ‘Father’ in such an affectionate term as Jesus did was considered by the religious leaders a blasphemy against God—that deserves the penalty of death by stones.
I looked up in the Old Testament to find out how often the Israelites called God Father: three times. The first one who ever possibly called God his Father was King David. There’s no actual evidence that David did: rather it was God who gave David a permission to call Him thus: He (David) shall cry unto me (God), Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation (Psalm 89: 26, KJV). Prophet Isaiah once prayed to God: For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us. And Israel does not recognize us. You, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is Your name (Isaiah 63:16, NASB). Another time Prophet Malachi called God Father. He was lamenting the fact that people of God treacherously dealt with each other: Do we not all have one Father? Has not one God created us? (Malachi 2:10). Besides these instances, no one in the entire Old Testament ever called God Father. The people of God would restrain themselves from calling God their Father. They showed the utmost respect when it comes down to the name of God.
Well, that tradition was about to change when Jesus instructed His disciples to start their prayer calling God ‘Our Father.’ They might have thought to themselves, Rabbi, You are intimate with Him that You can call Him Abba (Mark 14:36) alright. But, we? No way.
The best part of prayer and the power of prayer lie right there in two words: Our Father. It reminds me that prayer is not a religion (cf. the older son in Luke 15:29). It is a relationship (cf. the younger son in Luke 15:12, 18, 21). You begin the prayer in the right status before God remembering who God is, who you are, and to whom you pray: He is your father (holy and righteous—John 17:11, 25), you are His child, and you are praying to your Father in heaven! By instructing His disciples (and us) to start calling God ‘Our Father,’ Jesus elevated their (and our) status from a sinner to a saint: from a commoner to a royal child of God, and from a complete stranger to God’s adopted child. It gets even better. Later on, after His resurrection, Jesus ultimately promoted us to the same status as His: My Father Your Father, My God Your God (John 20:17). From then on, every writer of the New Testament was inspired and instructed by the Spirit of God to boldly call God the Father, Abba (the most affectionate term). E.g. Philip called God Father (John 14:8). Peter did, too (Acts 2:33). Paul called God Abba (Galatians 4:6). We the believers in Christ today also call Abba Father because we are His adopted children: For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:15, KJV). Jesus called His Father Abba all the time: in good times (John 11:45) and in the moment of distress (Mark 14:36) (e.g. Luke 2:49— the 12 year-old Jesus “In My Father’s House.” Later, Jesus called God ‘My Father’ over a hundred times in the Gospel according to John alone). So, He called His Father Abba all the time. So did His disciples. So do we God’s adopted children in Christ. In good times and bad times, we call Him Abba Father. All the time. In prayer.
One more thing: all are invited to be God’s child but not all of them become a child of God; each one must believe in Jesus to be so. Anyone can recite the Lord’s Prayer and call God Abba Father until his face is blue. Yet, it doesn’t automatically turn him into God’s child. Faith in Jesus does. For instance, Jesus said to some of the Jews your father is the devil (John 8:44) when they claimed that their father is God. Why did Jesus call them the children of the devil? Not because they didn’t believe in God. Yes, they did. What, then? But because they rejected Jesus and refused to acknowledge Him as the Messiah (John 8:45). The same thing goes with anyone today that refuses to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Once again: what makes a person child of God? Listen to Jesus out of His own mouth: if you believe that I came from the Father and if you love Me by keeping My commandments (John 16:27, 14:21). If a person fails this test, s/he is not a child of God.
In Heaven: What is Heaven? Simply put, it is the eternal home of God and the saints in Christ. It is the final destination that God has prepared for us (Hebrews 11:16). It is the counterpart of Hell. God is the architect and builder of Heaven (Hebrews 11:10). It is the kingdom where He is the King (Matthew 5:16), and we His children are citizens therein (Philippians 3:20). We will reign with Christ for eternity (Revelation 22:5). Of course, angels will be with us.
Who enters Heaven? Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27, 22:14). Only those who are born again (John 3, esp. v. 15). Nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood (Revelation 21:27). I will elaborate on this later.
Now, here’s the list of the things we will see in Heaven. First, the tree of life that will bear twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month, and its leaves will heal the nations (Revelation 22:2). Next, we will have the New Jerusalem, the holy city that is made of precious stones (its foundations and walls) and whose streets are made of pure gold (Revelation 21:18-21). It will have twelve gates. Also, there will be the river of the water of life that flows from the throne of God through the middle of the street of the city (Revelation 22:1-2).
What about the things we won’t see in Heaven? First of all, there will be no sea, no light of lamp (no electricity), no sun or moon (God is the light), and there will be no night (Revelation 22:5). There will be no Temple, because God will be the Temple (Revelation 21:22). There will be no closed gates. No curse (Revelation 22:3), no tears, no death, no sorrow, no crying or pain will be there, either (Revelation 21:1-4). No more Satan. No more devils or evil spirits. And, there will be no people of low character (the Bible calls them “dogs”–cf. Philippians 3:2), no cowards, no sorcerers, no fornicators, no murderers, no idolaters, and no liars (Revelation 21:8, 22:15).
Now, a word of caution. Some of us have heard or read about Heaven through different sources (books, tapes, personal experiences, and so on). You must test all those stories and testimonies against the Bible. If they are in agreement with the Bible, then keep them. If not, don’t take them as truth, because you don’t want to establish your faith on something that is not absolutely true or attested against God’s Word. Even Paul the Apostle who went to the third Heaven and tasted the life in Paradise wouldn’t elaborate much on that. Rather, he simply said that the glory in Heaven is so great that no human sufferings are worth comparing with that (Romans 8:18). One thing is for sure: Heaven is the place worth being in for eternity.
The real question is whether we will be there or not, right? There is only one condition we must satisfy: Our sins to be washed with Jesus’ blood (Revelation 22:14). That enters our names to be written in the Book of Life. That means to be born again. That means, to live a life holy and righteous before God. That means, we sincerely believe Jesus as our Savior and obey Him as our Lord. Be careful here. Believing in Jesus never means a mere intellectual agreement with what Jesus has done on the cross. Even the evil spirits believe in God (James 2:19). Rather, faith in Christ must include sincere repentance of your sins living a life worthy of God’s name and keeping God’s commandments (Matthew 7:21). It would be very foolish of us to assume that God will get us into Heaven with our words of confession in Jesus alone when we never do what He commands us to do in our daily lives. Those who believe in Jesus with words only will be disillusioned and sore disappointed in the Last Day.
Prayer is not a religion. It is a relationship. You speak with your Heavenly Father. So, begin every prayer with ‘Our Father in Heaven’: He is your loving Father and you’re His child. He is delighted to see you in prayer and have you in Heaven forever with Him. Amen.
Today we celebrated Sunday School Sunday. All the Sunday School children and teachers participated in the worship services. Pauline McShea the teacher preached a message on how we started our faith journey and where we are going.
This year the saints at Manahawkin are participating in a Prayer Challenge using a prayer journal. During the 40 days, each one records specific prayer requests in the journal and keeps track of the prayers: the date started, what the prayer is about, date answered and how it was answered. Want to participate? Click here to download the form of prayer journal and start praying. May the Lord bless you in your daily prayers!