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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

We Are Happy If We Accept Jesus into Our Hearts



<John 2:1-11>

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it.’ Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the waterpots with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, ‘Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.’ And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, ‘Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!’ This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.”


The One We Should Invite into Our Lives without Fail

There is a small town called Cana in the Galilees. Today’s Scripture passage talks about a wedding that was held in Cana, Jesus performed the miracle of turning water into wine.

When we speak of weddings in our lives, it reminds us of the happiest moment of our lives. How does a newly married couple feel when a man and a woman come to marry each other? They surely feel happy. Today’s Scripture passage describes an event during a wedding feast, and it teaches us what we need to believe in order to have true happiness in front of God. I would like to share what we need to believe in the correct things in order to be as happy as we are at weddings.

Among those who were invited to the wedding ceremony were Jesus and His mother. Now, what kind of faith do we need, if our lives are to be truly blessed?

First, we need to know how God has worked through Mary by His providence. We need to consider Mary in our faith. That is, because Mary had borne and given birth to the baby Jesus from her virgin body by earlier accepting the Word of God brought to her by God’s angel. This means that the begotten Jesus is not a mere creature but the Savior God, who came to deliver sinners from all their sins. Mary was used as a means for God to come into this world in the flesh of a man. This was prophesized in Isaiah 7:14. Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

We must know that Jesus is the Son of God, that is, God Himself. Thus, Jesus is not another human creature like us but God, who created the universe and everything in it. To deliver us all from all our sins, Jesus came to this world as the Son of God, the true God, and the Savior. We must first have the faith that Jesus is not a simply man but God Himself.

Only when we believe in Jesus as God and the Savior can our souls be happy and delightful, free from the problem of sin. Therefore, we must acknowledge and believe that Jesus is our Savior and that He is the Son of God. Furthermore we should listen to and believe the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, which states that our Lord came to this world and blotted out all of our sins. Just as Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding, we need to invite the gospel of the water and the Spirit into our hearts.

Our lives are full of shame and unhappiness because of our sins. In this world and the world to come, sin is what makes a person most miserable. The sins people commit before God are the primary reasons for their unhappiness. As a matter of fact, because of the sins of people, all kinds of curses, illnesses, and other misfortunes befall on them. Therefore, we must believe in Jesus. In order to live our lives with blessings, we must believe that Jesus is our true Savior. We have to believe in our hearts the Truth that our Lord Jesus came to this world in order to terminate all sins of humanity. For that purpose, Jesus received the baptism and shed His blood. Through His baptism and bloodshed, all our sins are completely washed away.

Those who know that Jesus is God borne of Mary and believe in Him as one’s perfect personal Savior are happy. The hearts of those who have truly received the remission of sin by their knowledge and faith in the Word of God are as though they are always present at a wedding feast. Also, they have become the children of God and have happiness in their hearts.

If a person wants to live a happy life and a joyful life, there is someone he must invite into his life. That person is none other than Jesus Christ, who came by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:6-8). We need to have faith in our hearts that Jesus’ gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth. We must believe that Jesus has indeed borne all our sins by the water and that He has blotted out all our sins completely with His blood. Our lives know happiness and joy, when we know and believe in that Jesus as our Savior.



Jesus Has Solved All of Our Life Problems

In our passage today, all the wine was consumed by the middle of the wedding feast at Cana, and Jesus solved this problem. Just like the wedding could continue without a hiccup due to wine shortage because Jesus was invited to the wedding, our lives can be happy because Jesus is with us.

Those who have invited Jesus are the ones who have accepted Jesus and believe in Him. These people have happiness like guests at a wedding banquet. Our Lord has indeed blotted out all our sins completely. Jesus has sufficiently delivered us from all our sins by bearing all our sins by the water and the blood. Because Jesus has become our true Savior, those who believe in this Truth are happy. Thus, there is happiness in our lives and joy in our hearts. Also, we can keep our composure living in this sinful world. Out of happiness and joy, we can share the gospel with others and invite them to share the joy.

Isn’t it because we have joy in us that we are able to invite others? If we weren’t joyful and rather full of sadness, could we invite others? Truly, those who have met the Lord can invite others to the Lord. Also, those who are able to give something good are able to preach the gospel, which is a very good thing as well. Thus, for us to be happy, we need to first have Jesus in our hearts. We must believe in Jesus, who has blotted out all our sins by the water and the blood.

And if we truly desire to be happy, not only should we have Jesus in our hearts but also have His disciples there as well. Who else should we invite after meeting with Jesus? We must also invite His disciples. They are the followers of the Lord in the church of God. When those disciples are present, we are happy and joyful. Unless our hearts are with the disciples, we cannot be happy.

The host of the wedding invited Jesus, Mary, and Jesus’ disciples. The host was able to take care of the all the problems through Jesus, Mary, and the disciples. If the host of the wedding had not invited these three kinds of people, this wedding at Cana might have become the most dreadful wedding ever. In my life and yours, we must also invite all three types of people.

 “Jesus is the Son of God. He is not a mere human. “He is the Creator of the universe and everything in it.” He who has created the mountains, the heavens and the earth, and all the animals in the nature was none other than Jesus. The word Jesus means the Savior, and the word Christ means the King of kings. Put together, this means that God has come as our Savior. To invite Jesus in our hearts, we must believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He is the Savior, who has blotted out all our sins. And we must be with the disciples of Jesus in order to be happy. In other words, we must have fellowship with the other born-again believers in God’s Church. Only then can all our problems be solved.

There was much joy at the wedding banquet at Cana, but the party was threatened when they ran out of wine. The guests asked the servers to bring more wine but there was none. Wine symbolizes joy. As a matter of fact, a wedding brings joy to the bride and the groom, and the family of the bride and groom, to the friends, and even to the guests. It was a great disaster that the wine barrels had gone empty in the middle of this joyful feast. Guests were still coming and there was no more wine left. What would you do in this situation? This situation is symbolic of our own lives, as oftentimes there are many problems in our lives and it seems there are no options available to take care of these problems. In such a case, we can say that we have run out of blessings.

The servants came to the master in urgency. “There is no more wine. What should we do?” These days, we can go out and buy more wine as long as we have money. Back then, if you ran out of wine that you have fermented yourself, you had no way to supply more. Thus, the master was startled when he heard this. And he talked to Mary. “It is a huge problem since we are out of wine. This is absurd. I never expected this many guests. I was expecting fewer guests and thought I had prepared enough. I should have prepared even more. And there are still more guests arriving. What should I do?”

After hearing this, Mary talked to Jesus, “They say that the wine has run out in this house. Why don’t you do something?” That is the point. Mary had heard and accepted the Word of God through the voice of an angel when she was still a virgin. Soon, she became pregnant and gave birth to a child. That child was Jesus. Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit. Although Mary is biologically the mother of Jesus, she told Jesus that the wine had run out because she knew the true nature Jesus. Mary had the right faith. Because Mary knew and believed that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of all humanity, Mary talked to Jesus about the problem and told the servants to obey Him. When Jesus said, “My time has not yet come,” Mary told the servants. “Do exactly as He tells you.” Mary believed in Jesus Christ as the Savior.

Then, Jesus told the servants to fill up six stone jars, and the servants did as they were ordered to do. As the servants were filling up those stone jars, Jesus told them to take the water and give it to the master of the feast. Those who tasted the water that was made wine praised the master of the wedding, “It is the custom to bring out the good wine first, and then the bad, but this wedding provides even better wine towards the end.”

As a matter of fact, when Jesus speaks to us, we should believe and do exactly as Jesus tells us to. Only then will the Lord work in us and bless us. Mary, Jesus, Jesus’ disciples, servants, and the guests are all symbols relevant to our lives. If we think of the guests as the problems in our lives, who would be the One to solve these problems? It would be Jesus. Then, who are the people who first tasted the power of that Jesus? They would be the servants. The servants did as they were told regardless of whether it made sense to them or not. Remembering Mary’s admonishment, “Do as Jesus tells you,” the servants obeyed Jesus’ command to “Fill the jars.” Even when they were told to give the water to the master of the feast, they did it without asking twice. As they obeyed, an abundant miracle took place.

I am most displeased while working with our fellow workers or brothers and sisters when they are hesitant to say “yes” or “no” and then don’t do what they are told. If I ask why they are not doing so, they reply that they did not obey me because I have told them to do something that does not make sense to them, something they don’t believe is possible. I am so frustrated when that happens. Maybe because they are afraid of being embarrassed, they answer, “Yes” with the appearance of obedience. But soon, they come up with an excuse for not following my instructions. Some workers attach so many excuses and problems that they eventually say that they won’t do it. After trying something else with their own ability unsuccessfully, they eventually do as they were told.

Still, we should keep in mind that we can taste the power and blessings of God when we do as we are told just like the servants did at Cana. People like the servants, who did as Jesus told them to do, will be able to first taste the blessings of God. Our Lord is God. He is the Creator. He is the Lord who created the universe and everything in it. To deliver us from all our sins, He temporarily came in the flesh of man. And He delivered us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we truly want to taste these blessings, we must obey Him just like the servants did. Whether it makes sense to our puny minds or not, we have to do as we are told in order to taste the blessings. When we obey, we will lead happy lives.

Dear fellow believers, do you want to live your entire lives happily and joyfully? If so, we need to have the attitude of the servants, Jesus’ disciples, Mary, and Jesus, who appear in today’s Scripture passage of John 2 in our hearts. The many guests are the many problems in our lives. We need to know that Jesus is the One who can solve these problems. We also need to know and believe that only those with the faith like that of the servants will receive the blessings of Jesus. Then, just like there was great joy at the wedding of Cana, there will be great joy in each one of us.

Dear fellow believers, whether each one of us is happy or miserable depends on whether we obey what Jesus tells us to do or not. True joy cannot be found anywhere else. People become happy and free from misery and despair when they receive the remission of sin by their faith in Jesus, when they accept Jesus as their Savior, and when they obey as He has told them to do. By believing in Him, everything turns out the way He has told us. Happiness will come upon those who believe. There will be abundant happiness and a blessed life not only to one’s soul but also to one’s entire life, one’ family, and one’s whole surroundings.

However, there are no blessings to those who do not believe that the salvation brought by Jesus Christ, or those who may have believed but do not accept and obey every Word of blessings that our Lord has given us. These people have no happiness in their lives. If we are truly to live a joyful life like the wedding guests at Cana, we must believe and obey as the Lord has told us. If we do as the Lord has told us with faith in Him, all of His Word will eventually come true and we will enjoy happiness during our entire lives. Happiness belongs to those who have received the remission of sin by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and those who live obediently to His will.

I can tell whether a person is going to live happily or not, when I observe him. It doesn’t have much to do with whether that person has been happy so far in his life or not. What I am saying is that I can tell whether that person will live a happy life or not from now on. I am a prophet, that is, a preacher of His Word. I tell people nothing but the Word of God. But there are those who believe and others who do not believe. Those who believe in the Word of God will live happily, and those who do not believe will have miserable lives. When I watch them through the Word of God, I am able to predict their future lives.

To those who believe in the Word of God, I say, “You will live a happy life. You will have many blessings for sure.” But I tell different things to those who do not believe. “You will receive eternal damnation if you do not believe in Him and live according to your faith in yourself. And you will be utterly poor. Later, you won’t even be able to beg. You won’t even be able to say, ‘Please, can you spare me a penny,’ because you will be so tired. And you will regret that you would have not been born at all. You will definitely end up living like that.”

I have no power to bless someone myself, but I am just telling you that we should learn how God blesses or condemns someone through today’s Scripture passage. As we have seen in the wedding at Cana, if you do as Jesus tells you to do, you will automatically have blessings and joy. On the other hand, if you do not believe and do not obey Him, you will receive no blessing at all. Just like people can be refreshed by wine, those who desire to have happiness in their lives must believe in the Word of God. Whether we believe and follow after the Word of God or not will determine whether we will receive the blessings or curses in our lives.

Who do you need to have in your hearts if you want your lives to be joyful? You need Jesus Christ as well as the faith the servants in your hearts. If you believe in Jesus and obey as He commands you, your lives will be blessed. Even if everyone in this world falls, you will lead a blessed life like a tree planted by the water, bearing fruits in seasons and having green leaves throughout the year. Dear fellow believers, don’t you want to live such lives? Of course, you do.

Do you have Jesus, Mary, and His disciples in your hearts? Do you think of Jesus with the utmost importance? Jesus is God. The Father of Jesus Christ is also God. Then, who among people can be as exalted as Jesus and deserve to be worshipped as much as Jesus? Jesus has to become the most important person in our hearts. No matter how deficient we may be, we receive blessings when we serve no other gods before Him. No matter how insufficient we may be, Jesus is the highest God for me. He is , the One who blesses me, and the One who solves every problem in my life. If you have such faith, you will be a blessed person like a tree planted by the water, bearing fruits according to the seasons.

I am happy because of Jesus. I hope that you also will be happy because of Him too. Without Jesus, we humans are nothing. If Jesus had not come to this world, this earth would have been already totally annihilated. If you truly want to become happy, invite Jesus, Mary, and Jesus’ disciples into your hearts. To do so, you have to receive the remission of sin by the gospel of the water and the Spirit and also serve your God well.

Dear fellow believers, the disciples are the people belonging to the church of God. Our happiness is eternal when we live with the disciples, when we learn and believe what they have told us, and then obey what the Lord tells us. Regardless of how you may have lived up till now, your misery will end and your happiness will begin if you accept Mary, Jesus, and His disciples into your hearts by receiving the remission of sin by your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, if your hearts are different from the obedient hearts of Mary and His disciples, you will receive only condemnations.

I sincerely wish you to be happy. Thus, I have told you that I am happy because I have accepted Jesus into my heart. To become happy and blessed people before God, all of us have to believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is our Savior, who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Halleluiah!

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