Last Thursday on September 28th, we had a movie day at the church, and saw the film "Risen.' This movie was from the perspective of a Roman military tribune that witnessed Jesus' death and resurrection. It showed the process of how he came to believe in Jesus, and how that faith changed this person's life as a result. In the film, the protagonist captured a person, who was a follower of Jesus, to ascertain the location of Jesus' corpse. The follower was not afraid of being tortured and killed. He bravely replied, "Jesus has risen, and he is everywhere." When Jesus was ascending to heaven, he assured the people that he will always remain by their side. This line was a great encouragement to all of us who were watching the film. During the luncheon after the movie, Mrs. Edna Pascua told us that the content of the film kept coming back to her. She elaborated that she believes that Jesus is always with us in spirit; this is true. Jesus is always with us. We must live by faith that our Emmanuel Jesus Christ is always by our side.
Zig Ziglar was an American author and a Southern Baptist. This occurred while he and his family were having a time of worship. He told his kids, "Listen to my children! There was a big, strong general named Goliath. He and other people invaded Israel and declared war against the whole country. The Israelites were frightened and hid behind trees, forests, and caves. When Israel's fate was as good as a candle in front of a gust of wind, a 17-year-old boy named David rose up to fight Goliath. Then his son interrupted Zigler in the middle of the message, "Father! It's not that David is brave but it is Goliath who is the courageous one! Zigler was curious about his son's response, so he asked, "Son! How is Goliath brave when David is obviously the brave person?" The son answered, "Father, boy David was of course smaller, but he fought with the faith that God was with him. Even though Goliath was bigger and stronger, he did not believe in God. How brave is he to only rely on his own strength to the fight?" Zigler spoke as he hit his knee in realization, "Son, you are right." In this world, there are people like Goliath who rely on themselves and don't believe in God. There are also people who trust in God like David who was weak and young. But those, who believe that God is with them and rely on Him, will be able to accomplish things beyond their own ability.
An explorer and missionary in Africa, Livingston finally returned to his homeland in England. Glasgow University bestowed an honorary doctorate on him. Before receiving the doctorate, people were surprised to see the changed Livingston. A handsome, brilliant, and healthy young man in the past was nowhere to be seen. He seemed weak. He was bitten by a lion in a virgin forest and had collapsed twenty times due to diseases only common in Africa. After receiving the doctorate, Livingston stated that he planned to return to Africa very shortly. People were surprised once again by this announcement. This is because people could not imagine going back to such a desolate lifestyle in an uncertain land like Africa. The whole Glasgow University's auditorium was beginning to whisper and murmur. As Livingston noticed the atmosphere of the crowd, he quickly reassured them. "Do not worry for I am not alone. The living Jesus will be with me until the end of this world. He is my companion who walks with me through virgin forests and the desert. So what do I have to fear?"
Joshua 1:9 says that " Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Also, Isaiah 41:10 says that " So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Everyone, you must believe that Jesus of resurrection is always with you. Though you may be small and weak, we will be able to achieve great things if we believe in this fact.
I pray that everyone's lives will be filled with God's grace and blessing.
Rev. Dr. David Choi