Monday, June 6, 2011

Giving Up our Snakes - Numbers 21

This week, I'm preaching at the monthly pastors' meeting for the Nazarene pastors in Cheonan.  Here's my sermon.

4 Then the people of Israel set out from Mount Hor, taking the road to the Red Sea[a] to go around the land of Edom. But the people grew impatient with the long journey, 5 and they began to speak against God and Moses. “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?” they complained. “There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!”

6 So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. 7 Then the people came to Moses and cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8 Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” 9 So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!

[I want to say this first part in Korean.]
I have lived in Korea for seven years, so I guess I’m about 7% Korean. I am sorry that I cannot preach in Korean yet.  I am studying Korean, but I still have a long way to go.  I hope that I will not need a translator in a few years.  However, for today, I can only say about 7% in Korean.

             Next, I want to thank you for welcoming me as one of your own.  I know that our church is the first English speaking Nazarene church in Korea, and I know that it is sometimes difficult to include me in your discussions and groups.  So I want to thank you – especially those who have gone out of their way to include me and to make sure I understand what is happening.  In many ways, this monthly zone pastors meeting is one of the most important ways I am learning about the Korean church.  So thank you for the opportunity to be involved here.

             Now, I guess I better stop chatting and start preaching.
The snake in the desert is a story of powerful and creative ministry.  It was both Spirit-led and practical.  The snake in the desert led to spiritual revival and physical healing. ...

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