On Father's day, Pastor Joon is sharing one of the best advice he learned from Paul Tripp's book, Parenting which stated, "You do not have to fear being exposed as less than perfect because there is nothing that could ever be known or exposed about you as a parent that hasn’t already been covered by the blood of Jesus!” (Tripp, p.40). Pastor Joon shares his story of how he began the journey of healing his relationship with his oldest son by seriously taking the Tripp's advice into action.
The book of Acts is for today and Pentecost is also for today. God has given the New Life Covenant Church a calling of providing an atmosphere for people to encounter the power of the Holy Spirit when the church began. Pastor Joon Hwang reminds that the calling God has given us continues and we ought to be faithful, especially when we are engaged in many of the outreach opportunities in the summer.
What does Jesus meant when he said to his disciples, "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosen heaven" in Matthew 16:19? Pastor Joon explains this verse by learning from what Biblical scholars like Michael Heiser. Once we understand this passage, we will understand what Jesus wants the church to do for the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 16:13-20 is one of the most debated passages among the Roman Catholics and the Protestants for hundreds of years. However, in order to understand this passage better, we need to understand why Jesus brought his disciples to Caesarea Philippi. Pastor Joon Hwang is going to explain the background information of this place and what Jesus meant when He told the disciples that He is going to build His church on this rock and "all the powers of hell will not conquer it" (NLT).
Today is Mother's Day. We celebrate moms today. On this special day, we can learn from one or the mothers in the Bible, Jochebed. She was the mother of Moses. Even though we only know a little about her, Pastor Joon Hwang argues from studying Exodus 2:1-10 and Hebrews 11:23-26 that Jochebed not only raised Moses, but also taught him to know who he was and whose God he belonged before he was sent to Pharaoh's daughter. Pastor Joon challenged all mothers to raise their children like Jochebed did. Parents don't own their children, but they are to be faithful stewards of these children God has entrusted to us. We must raise our children as a living and holy sacrifice unto the Lord.
For many churches and pastors, the Sunday after Easter is very disappointing. More than usual number of people show up on Easter. Not only that, churches work extra hard to invite their neighbors and friends to church for Easter. However, the Sunday after Easter tends to have a low attendance and people are so exhausted from Easter that they often go off to a vacation. However, this is very unbiblical since Jesus tells us to do what God has called us to do not just on Easter, but every single day. According to Luke 5:1-11, Jesus called his disciples to go fishing with him, not for fish, but for people. Jesus is still calling the Christ followers to focus on fishing people who are far from God, not just few weeks before and on Easter, but every single day.
When Jesus died and resurrected, he has given us this brand new life. Life with Jesus is filled with peace. Jesus says in John 14:27 that He brings peace that the world cannot. We need peace today more than ever. The real source of peace is Jesus. He is the only one who gives us peace we are looking and longing for. When you have Jesus, you have peace in your life.
The blood of Jesus is the key to understanding our salvation. However, what did exactly the blood of Jesus do? Pastor Joon explains the blood of Jesus in relation to the Old Testament usage of the blood in the tabernacle/temple in Hebrews 9:22 and Leviticus 17:11.
God is calling the New Life Covenant Church to be a Spirit-led interceding church. We are committed to praying for what the Holy Spirit is praying to God the Father on behalf of us. We want to be known for not just praying but an interceding church for the revival and the transformation of our city, regions, and the nations.
God has called the New Life Covenant Church to be a praying church, since the church started 10 years ago. As a corporate body, when the church prays, there is a power God releases to do the work of the Kingdom like what happened in the book of Acts, chapter 4.
Pastor Joon Hwang argues that Barnabas in the book of Acts raised Paul as one of the most influential church leaders in the first century. He raised Paul as a leader relationally by bringing him to meet the leaders from the Jerusalem church, bringing him to Antioch to teach the believers there together, and then going on a first missionary journey together. We ought to learn from Barnabas that we raise up leaders relationally.
How are we making disciples? 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 teaches us that Paul made disciples relationally with the church at Thessalonica. Discipleship cannot be done just by programs or classes. It has to be done in the context of a relationship. Without a relationship, you cannot make a follower of Christ who is in love with Jesus, obeys the word of God, and resembles Jesus.
As the New Life Covenant Church is reflecting its 10th anniversary, we have been reflecting some of the callings God has given our church to focus on. One of the callings is to make disciples, not consumers or spectators. According to Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus is clear that we need to make disciples, period. We need to share the gospel with people so they can get baptized. But, many churches stop there. Jesus told us to teach new disciples to obey all the commands he gave us. Discipleship cannot be done in a 12 week course or a 1 year program. It is a life long journey of following Christ and resembling him, so we become mature in Christ as Colossians 1:28 teaches us.
Do you want a church to be a museum or the hospital? Jesus said in Matthew 9:9-13 that he came for the sick, not for the healthy. He came for the broken, weak, and those who are desperately in need of the healer, the savior, the deliverer. Jesus still came for those who are broken because of sin. We all need Jesus. Are we as a church attracting these broken people or driving them away?
Can God move the young people and bring a revival in that generation like He did in 1968 with the Jesus People Movement? Pastor Joon believes Yes because God loves every generation and wants them to encounter and follow Jesus. What are churches going to do when the young people show up? We need to provide intercession and a safe place for them to experience God, His love and power in a safe place.
When we are faithful to what God has called us to do, even if it does not make sense or even illogical, God will provide. We learn that from Genesis 22:1-19. Our job is to be faithful to what God has entrusted to us, no matter what it is, however we might feel about it, or even if we think it makes no sense. Then we will experience God's provision.
As we are celebrating a brand new year, it is also good to hear what God has speaking to us for this new year. Pastor Joon is convicted to share a sermon from the parable of Talents from Matthew 25:14-30 to really look back and honestly ask ourselves, "Have we been faithful to what God has entrusted to us in 2021?" If not, God is challenging us to be faithful what God has given us, whether it is our health, wealth, resources, time, family, etc for the Lord and His Kingdom.
As we reflect the 2021, we need to evaluate how we have lived our lives past year. In 2 Timothy 4:6-8, Paul tells his disciple, Timothy that he fought the good fight, finished the race, and remained faithful to the Lord. The followers of Christ should ask, have e fought the spiritual battle well? Have we finished the race God has called us to run? Have we been faithful to the Lord no matter what happened to our lives? When we honestly reflect these things with the Lord, we can welcome the new year with a renewed vision, purpose, and a sense of calling God has for us to live.
We cannot ignore the spiritual warfare aspect of overcoming addiction. The evil one often tempts us to give into sin and be enslaved by it. These habitual sins often become our addiction. Therefore, we need to understand how to deal with temptations when it comes to overcoming addiction.
According to Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist, addiction is not a disease, but a mechanism we use to numb our pain. She also argues that 85-90% of people who overcome addiction do so with a choice. How then can we overcome addiction? 1 John 1:9 and James 5:16 commands us to confess our sins. We often do not know how to confess our sins. We need to confess our sins to God then to one another to overcome habitual sins of the flesh or addiction.
According to brain scientists, such as Dr. Caroline Leaf, who argues, "People who are grateful feel less pain, less stress, suffer insomnia less, have stronger immune system, experience healthier relationships, and do better academically and professionally." These brain scientists must have been reading the Bible, which Paul writes 2000 years ago to be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The followers of Christ must be experts in thinking and speaking words of gratitude because it is God's will for us to be thankful in all circumstances. When all Christ followers of Christ are speaking out loud words of gratitude to themselves and to others, not only we overcome depression, but we can truly be the salt of the earth, in which we make our world tastier.
As a Christ follower, we must understand mental health and depression the way God wants us to understand from the Word of God. Dr. Caroline Leaf, in her interview on a Lewis Howes podcast, she challenges people to understand depression and other mental conditions not as a disease, but as one experiencing symptoms of that condition. Pastor Joon Hwang challenges the Christians that our identity cannot be in the label of the disease, but in Christ. We can still go through depression, but depression cannot define who we are in Christ.
James 5:14-15 commands the Christians to pray for the sick. Why so many of the Christians are disobeying God by not praying for the sick? In this sermon, Pastor Joon Hwang teaches the Biblical principles of healing adapted from the Sam Storms teachings on healing. He challenges all Christ followers to pray for the sick around us, so that they can experience God's amazing love, compassion, and power over their lives, so they know God still heals today and follow Him as King over their lives.
Your words controls your life, according to James 3:2. Even though it is a very small part of our body, it can give or destroy our life. However, we have the power to control what we say because Ephesians 6:10 states that we can be filled with God's strength and His mighty power. We have God's power to resist any negative thoughts or lies that come to our way. Paul says that we have God's power to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
Psalm 19:14 says, "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord my God". As a follower of Christ, we need to fill our mind, emotions, and our words with the word of God, so that we resemble Jesus Christ in every way.
According to Trevor Moawad in the interview on the youtube show, Impact Theory, he said "If somebody says aloud, it is the times more powerful than if they think it...when I say things out loud, it is 10X, if it is negative, 40 to 70 times more likely that would happen than I would not say anything."
Pastor Joon Hwang challenges that we need to say out out the Word of God from the Bible, not just to think them, so that we can actually experience what is in the Bible happening to our lives. There is a power in saying the Word of God out loud.