Rev. Hyung-jin Nim’s Sermon
Head Quarter Church, Chungpadong
December 8, 2007
Topic: “Protect Your God-given Assets”
Yeon Ah Nim’s Message:
He believes that it is not tears that causes our poor church growth, but he believe that it is joy and happiness, the lack of joy and happiness in our sanctuary that comes from the very bottom of our heart, that cause the struggles in our church, that’s what he believe.
Last Monday, my husband and I went to Cheon Jeong Gung. At that time True Father was having dinner with Shin Jun. As True Father fed Shin Jun, True Father is just so happy watching Shin Jun just eating and he had this nice warm smile on his face. And we all know how sweet and warm True Father’s smile is. After my husband, Hyung Jin Nim’s, Inauguration Ceremony at Head Quarter Church, many people have commented that it was such a moving and inspiring event. Interestingly many people have commented also that they kind of finally realized the reason for our church not growing. They said, according to them, they said the reason is because in our sanctuary our brother’s and sister’s tears had run dry.
They said that (that is) the reason for our poor church growth. They said if we bring those tears into our sanctuary back, then our church will be revived again. At home, as we drank tea, I asked my husband about that comment “What do you think about that?”. ..
And my husband said, that he believes that it is not (lack of) tears that causes our poor church growth, but he believes that it is joy and happiness, the lack of joy and happiness in our sanctuary (the lack of joy and happiness) that comes from the very bottom of our heart, that causes the struggles in our church. That’s what he believes.
At that moment, I remembered True Father’s warm and happy smile that I experienced at Cheon Chun Gun and I realized, I truly realized that’s what we need, that something we need to bring back into our sanctuary and into our family life and (into) each of our lives. Brothers and Sisters, let’s never give up on each other and ourselves. We love you brothers and sisters and we believe in you….AJ U
Interesting Story (by Hyung Jin Nim):
I heard about a story of a young girl and she had an aged grandfather and the grandfather, he was now very old and he was in the 90’s and was preparing to go to the next world. He was in a hospital, and he was everyday undertaking a new habit that she noticed and everyday she walked into the room, she visited him, she would open the door and there he would be, in front of a lamp, small lamp, reading his bible everyday. And she saw this habit every time she came and visited. And once she said, “Grandpa, why is it that you’re reading the bible everyday? You’ve never read it in your life. You’ve never really attended church so much, why all of a sudden you are reading the bible?” And the grandfather, you know, he stayed quiet at first and she continued to ask “Grandpa, Grandpa, tell me why you’re reading the bible?” And a little annoyed he said to her, “Well, it’s a little like this, it’s a little like cramming for your final exam the night before.” (Laugh)
Sermon (by Hyung Jin Nim):
Protect your God-given assets.
Today I’d like to talk to you about–I gonna actually do something a little different. I’m not gonna use my notes so much, OK? So I’m gonna try. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and I’m trying to improve myself as well.
Let’s talk about protecting what God has given us.
You know, whenever we start living a more blessed life it’s very often the case that we will be tempted and that we will be asked and there will be attempts to take away what it is we have gained. Those things will not necessarily be material things, but things such as things that we are cultivating, like inner strength, confidence in ourselves. Things like inner peace. Things like a can-do mentality.
These kind of things we have to learn to protect. As you become more blessed, more successful, more victorious, more illuminated, more peaceful, we know at the same time, the archangel doesn’t like that. So you know that is the worst thing that is happening to his kingdom. So as soon as he sees you becoming more blessed he’ll want to steal from you, take away the things that you have been building, the things that you have been investing yourself in, the things that you have been creating.
Let’s think about the story of Joseph. You know, he was sold into slavery as a young boy, by his elder brothers, as you may know. And eventually, he got himself to be a helper to Potifar and his wife. Of course for a crime that he didn’t even commit, he was imprisoned for 2 years. But yet, while Joseph was in that situation, in those 24 dark months, every day he had to live in the squalid conditions. Every day he had to get up again and face the same dingy room. He could be so tempted to be depressed. He could be so tempted to say, “You know what? I can’t go any further. I’m never going to be blessed. It’s all over. I have to throw in my towel now.”
But Joseph chose to keep protecting what God had given him. He chose to keep his faith alive in his heart, saying in his mind, “I’m going to keep a positive attitude in this. I’m gonna learn through this circumstance, and I’m going to come out even more victorious.” So Joseph learned that protecting what you are building is so important.
See, the archangel knows that it is our spirit power. If he’s able to steal our spirit power as we are progressing, as we are having more small victories, if he’s able to take that away from us or even hide it from our view, we will be losing the very things that we are building, that we are putting the foundation down for. OK? So it is very important. When we look at the original etymology of the word, “steal”, one of the meanings is to “hide”, is to actually hide from our view. So it is not only the case that it will be taken away, but also, something that we may have, a talent that we may have, or a particular confidence that we may have, may be hidden from us. A potential that we have may be hidden from us. It’s very important as we live our lives, and as we reflect, and learn to see within ourselves, to start identifying what God has given to me as a particular strength, and a particular gift, as we start choosing to cultivate those things, that we learn how to also protect them.
Not in a way that is hoarding, but in a way that is confident, that knows that this comes through investment. These things will be shared to others to bring light, encouragement, and help.
When we think about God, it’s very interesting because when we look at the story of Adam and Eve, when we look at Lucifer in the story, he was an archangel. He was actually a being, created by God. He was one of the loved created beings, but he had what is sort of known as a scarcity mentality. He looked around and he saw, “You know what? God’s love is not vast. There’s only a limited quantity. There’s a limited resource of God’s love, so I need to compete with Adam and Eve to get that.” He had a scarcity mentality.
He looked at Adam and Eve and he said, “You know what? Because they are receiving so much love from God, and I am not, I’m going to choose to attack them. I’m going to choose to be jealous.” And whether he knew it or not, he was thinking in the scarcity mentality. He was not looking at God as being able to provide great amounts. He was not looking at God as a God of abundance or a God of surplus. When we look at surplus, it means, “super plus.” That’s what it means. So God is not only a “check plus”, He’s a “super plus.” We have to remember that.
Whenever we are tempted to say, “I need that thing more than he does.” Or you know, “I can’t learn that thing.” Whenever we start thinking in a “can’t” mind, we may be thinking in a ‘scarcity’ mind. Whenever we start trying to compete with another person, we are thinking in a scarcity mentality. We are thinking in a zero-sum game mentality. As you all remember, a zero-sum game is a game where one person wins and one person must lose. That’s a zero-sum game.
See, life is not like that. We live our lives, it’s very important that we learn how to make win-win synergies, that we learn how not to ‘compete’ but to ‘complete’ the other. Its very important that while we are working, while we are making friendships, while we are at our work place, or while we are studying or making connections and building relationships, that we are in the mode of abundance in our mind. That we see that there’s plenty, that we don’t think that I have to win and he has to lose. But (that) we see the world and relationships in the sense that we have to be there to complete each other.
There’s plenty. We have to win together. There’s plenty to go around. Everybody must win. If we can learn how to have that mentality, then we can see people around us, even our children, as partners along this journey of life. (We can see) even our friends and co-workers, as partners that are helping us grow, helping us advance, helping the organization or the given educational institution to improve. When we start looking at each other not as ‘compete’ but as ‘complete’, we bring a lot more blessings into our lives. And into the lives of those around us.
You know when we look at the story of Jesus, as you all recall, in the Principle,
we recall the 3 temptations of Christ. In the 3 temptations of Christ, Lucifer comes to him and tempts him with turning stones into bread, the first one. The second was, to bring him to a high tower and to ask him to jump down, to plummet himself down. The third one of course, as you recall, was to offer him all the kingdoms. “I’ll give you all the kingdoms if you bow down before me,” as you recall. But Jesus was able to successfully overcome these temptations, these great challenges. It’s very interesting because, in Korean, its not really called ‘temptations’, it’s the 3 ‘challenges’. The 3 tests of Christ.
So when we look at these things, of course we know from a Principled perspective, the first one here, Lucifer, was tempting Jesus. “Turn your temple of God, turn your stone into bread. Turn your temple, which is strong and solid, which has an unshakable foundation, and change it into bread.” Even rain can make the bread soggy. Birds of prey and animals can come and eat your bread. “Change your temple into bread.”
He tempted Christ to do that. When Jesus overcame this temptation, he was able through the process of indemnity to restore the first blessing, as we remember. He restored that first blessing, individual perfection, completion. In the second one, when the Archangel tempted him, “Jump down from the tower. Jump down from the temple.” And Jesus once again was able to overcome. He was able to maintain his position and not fall from grace. And again, that represented the second blessing, or family perfection.
As you recall, in the third one, he offered all his kingdoms to Jesus. He said, “Jesus, I give you all my kingdoms. Take them. They’ll all be yours, if you bow down to me.” And Jesus of course decided not to do that. He overcame this temptation. So he was able to stand as the substantial Lord of Creation. He was able to stand, with the process of restoration, was able to overcome this temptation and become the Lord of Creation. When we see this, we may see this in a very isolated fashion, in a particularly rational perspective, as delineated in the Principle.
But the principle is not only something that is abstract. It’s not only a theological text. It’s not an abstract thing. It has to apply in our daily lives. We have to find meaning in the text that applies to our very daily lives. When we see Jesus and the 3 temptations, we can apply that in our daily lives. When we start having doubts about ourselves, when we start thinking, “I can’t do this. I’m not qualified to do that. The boss likes him more than me. I can’t get that position. I’m never going to be able to be leading. I’m never going to be successful in what I do.” Whenever we start doubting ourselves, “What are we doing,” we are doubting the temple that God has created. We are being tempted to turn the stones into bread, to change it into bread, have the animals devour it, change it into bread. One rain will make all the bread soggy. We are being tempted like that.
It’s so important that we have the internal strength in ourselves. We know that God has blessed us. We know that we have the capabilities. We know that he has given us a particular gift, strength. Maybe not the same as everybody else, but we have a particular unique talent. We can cultivate that. We can have more success than we ever dreamed.
We have to know in our minds that we have to protect this temple that God has made, not to change it into bread. You know, when we look at the second temptation again, at the family temptation, if we do throw ourselves down from the tower, if we learn or get into the habit of falling into defeat, if we learn to get into the habit of giving up on ourselves or others around us, or our children, when somebody doesn’t go right, we just give up on them, and say, “Oh you are never going to change,” whenever we see ourselves saying such things, let us always remember that this is like the second temptation. It’s like we are being tempted to jump down. Why? Because if the archangel can tempt us to jump down, if he can tempt us to fall into that defeat mentality, we will not be able to substantiate a true family. We will constantly be judging too heavily, others. We will not be able to make the space for people to grow in an environment that is conducive to improvement and also learning through setbacks and obstacles.
It’s so important that we guard and protect these gifts that we have inside. Because they have not only impact on ourselves and our live of blessing, but they have a direct impact on our children and their lives of blessing. When we look at the 3rd blessing, we see again, the offering of all the kingdoms of the world. What is he saying here? He’s saying, “Think in a ‘scarcity’ mode. I want you to think ‘scarce.’ Don’t think, you can be happy. Don’t think you can learn. Don’t think you can improve.” He’s saying, “I’ll offer you all these things and only you can have them. You take them.”
But when we start thinking in that way, we begin to isolate others from ourselves. We begin to see everything as, “If I don’t have it, if I don’t take that piece of the pie, somebody else will.” We start thinking in a scarcity mentality. We start thinking, ‘compete’ and not ‘complete’.
You see? It’s very important in this 3rd challenge that we are able in our hearts, to make sure that we are guarding and protecting that gift inside, (that) we are protecting the fact that we will not consume our energies by living in a ‘scarcity’ mode, (that) we will actively seek to think, ‘complete’, to think, ‘abundance’, to think, “He or see may have a talent that I don’t have, and if we work together, we can syncretize. We can become even stronger. We can become even more successful.” See? If I don’t know something, I’m not gonna sit there in defeat.
We don’t want to sit there and say, “I’m never gonna learn. I’m not qualified. I’m inferior in my mental capacity. I can’t really learn.” No. We want to immediately go out and learn. Right? We want to think, “There’s plenty of information. There’s plenty of opportunity to learn.”
When we start thinking in that abundance mentality as opposed to the scarcity mentality, we start learning how to view relationships more healthily. We start seeing relationships as win-wins. As relationships need to be completing each other. They need to be strengthening each other; giving each other solid foundations for the family to be built upon and also for the creation to be built upon.
You know, when we look at such things, let us always remember that in our lives it is such an important thing to learn how to protect what it is that we are building. Whenever we are thinking in a negative fashion, we may get down on ourselves and we may think, “I can’t do it.” We may think we do not have the appropriate talents. We have to isolate those kinds of thoughts.
We have to learn how to cultivate a new attitude in our lives. We have to, like Joseph, start seeing, even despite his circumstances, despite the fact that he was imprisoned for two years for something that he did not even commit, he kept a positive attitude. He said, “You know what? I’m gonna keep interpreting the dreams of the baker and the chef.” You remember, right? Joseph said, “You know what? I’m gonna continue to ask people to talk on my behalf to the Pharaoh. I’m not gonna get angry. I’m not going to yell at somebody else. I’m gonna continue to work on myself.” Just like Joseph, we have to know how to protect that faith that we have in our future.
We have to know how to protect the God given gifts that we are given, that we are endowed with. In the same way, just like Adam and Even in the beginning, let’s not get into the habit, lets remember to stay away from that scarcity mentality. Let’s stay away from that mentality to compete with others–to compete against our peers, to compete against our brothers and sisters, to compete against a school member. Instead, whenever we are working, in a work environment or on a team, let’s think ‘complete.’ I will not compete with them, I will ‘complete’ them.
When we do that, when we start learning to see others, identify their strengths, we can see also the sides that they may be less endowed with than us, then we can start learning how to fit ourselves with people that can help our general trajectory, not only in our lives, but the trajectory of that particular work environment, or that particular institute, that particular church environment, etc. When we start learning to see each other not in a competing fashion, but in a ‘completing’ fashion, we start opening the possibility. We start asking the question, “How can I complete this person? How will this person complete me?” We can start seeing more of an ‘abundance’ mentality.
Just like Jesus, whenever we are tempted to have doubt in ourselves, whenever we are tempted to say, “You know what? I can’t do that. I’m not qualified to do that. I’m too young to do that. I’m too young to take a leadership role. I’m not talented; I don’t have the ability to do so. Even I can’t see my confidence. I don’t have any confidence. I doubt myself all the time,” whenever we see ourselves saying that, we have to speak back, we have to talk back to those words, to those voices. We have to say, “You know what? I can do it. You know what? True Parents believe in me. You know what? I’m gonna continue, even though my children may not be perfect. And neither am I. But I’m gonna continue to have faith in them anyway. My circumstances may not be that great, but I’m gonna be happy anyway. I’m gonna continue to believe that my future is gonna get better, and I’m gonna work every day to improve myself.”
Let’s stay every day in that mode. Then we will be able to overcome the temptations, like Jesus. We will be able to overcome and set the foundation for individual completion, family completion. We’ll be there as a stronger bedrock for our families. We’ll be there as a stronger building stone for the temple to be created and erected upon. And then we will also stand, if we continue to do that and expand that, thinking more in an abundance mentality, how to complete others, we will make connections with others that will improve our environments. Whether it be a church environment, a work environment, a business environment, whether it be a school environment, we will start improving that creation. And in the same way, we will start setting stones, a foundation, in the individual life, the family life, and in our creation, in our world. You see? It’s so important that we learn, when we become more and more blessed, that we learn also to protect the blessings, that we learn to protect the God given gifts and not let the archangel take them away.
Don’t let people steal your joy. Maybe somebody made you upset this week. Just let it go. There’s no need to hang onto it, no need to be bitter about it. Just let it go, and just don’t let them steal your joy. Just be happy anyway. Just move on. You see? When we act in that attitude of positivity, when we can look forward and say, “You know what? I’m not gonna let anything get in my way. I’m gonna keep moving forward. I’m not gonna forget everybody. I’m gonna bring everybody with me.” So let’s be in that mode.
If we do that, I do believe, not only will we become more like Joseph, not only will we become less like the jealous archangel in the beginning, but we will become more like the Christ figure. We will become more like the messiah that Father has called us to be in our lives. He’s asked us to be messiahs of our tribes, of our hometowns, of our nations, etc. And I believe that if we do that, we will live the life of blessing that True Parents have blessed us to live.
Brothers and sisters, if you can receive this offering, could you shout “AJU!” please?
Thank you so much.
edited by:Kenshow Kuk-hee