7-23-23 “It’s God’s Job, Not Ours!”

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Matthew 13:24-30;36-43

Pastor Jenny Lee, Ph.D.

“It’s God’s Job, not Ours!”

I want to start with something funny I found on an internet site: Two little boys were best friends at church, but they both had a reputation for getting into trouble. One Sunday, one of the boys was home sick, but the other boy behaved twice as bad as usual, not wanting to let his friend down. As he was running through the sanctuary after church, the pastor grabbed him and angrily said, “Where’s God?” The little boy was frightened and didn’t know what to say. The pastor continued, “I want you to go home and think about it, and I don’t want you to come back until you can tell me where God is.” The boy went home and called his sick friend on the telephone. “Guess what,” he said, “We are in big trouble. They’ve lost God and are trying to blame us for it happening because of us.”

Where is God? Have you lost God? We sometimes have fear in our life journey even though we believe in God. If you are full of fear, worry, and anxiety, perhaps in those moments you’ve lost God. I had the experience of losing God, and I found him again last week.

I went to Colorado Springs, CO., last week on a retreat. On the second day, we went up to “Pikes Peak,” a rocky mountain of about 14,115 feet. We didn’t study “Pikes Peak” well, but we knew it is about 14,115 feet, and you might feel cold. We drove up for a while, expecting to take a shuttle at a certain point to go up to the mountaintop. I was with two friends in our car. We got lost on the way and tried to contact our other team, but the phone didn’t work on the mountain. We just went up and up, missing the point of getting a shuttle. It was so scary and likely risky to drive a car: one side was a cliff; the other side was a rocky wall, and the road was a steep uphill climb. We couldn’t enjoy the scenery, but screamed and laughed a lot because it was too scary to see out of the car window. The scary thing is we didn’t know how far we had to go to get there. We got to the very top of the mountain and it took about one hour. For us, it was a risky adventure. We just sat there for a while without enjoying the beautiful scenery on the mountaintop because it was so scary. When we came back down, we prayed to God, saying, “Don’t be afraid, but be strong. Your God, the creator of all things, is here with you. He will hold the car wheel for your safety.” So, we came down with peace in our hearts and minds. Do you think we were afraid because we didn’t pray when we went up there? No, we actually had prayed. The only thing that made us afraid was that we didn’t know where we supposed to go and how long it would take us. So, it was a moment to experience life and death, and finally, I was born again with a new life.

At times when I’ve face difficult moments, I used to think, ‘It is fine. It will be gone soon,’ and then I found peace. If we know our future clearly, we may not fear it. Uncertainties lead us to have anxieties and worries. If we didn’t achieve a goal, we may have fear. We are Christians and should trust and believe in God’s guidance with his steadfast love and grace. The Apostle Paul says, “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). Forget anything that makes you anxious, but go ahead toward God to win a heavenly reward because you are the precious child of God.

When Joshua became the leader of the Israelites after Moses died, he was afraid because he thought he couldn’t lead the people like Moses did. However, God was present before him and said, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, I will be with you. I will never leave you

nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). God who had promised Joshua, now promise us, “I will be with you as I was with Abraham, Moses, Jacob, and your ancestors. I never leave you nor forsake you.” We are confident we are saved in faith through Jesus Christ by the grace of God. Therefore, we will be well in God. Don’t worry at all but pray to God with thanksgiving, and God leads us at peace (Philippians 4:6).

Today’s scripture is another sower’s parable story. The sower planted good seeds in his field of good soil in this story. It is not like planting the seeds on a path, rocky ground, or thorny bushes, but in a field of good soil. It sounds good so far. But, the enemy came at night and planted weed seeds in the field. So, servants worried about what to do with the weeds and asked the owner if he had to pull them out. The owner replied, “No, for in gathering the weeds, you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest. And at harvest time, I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
It is very clear that if you have a garden, you should understand it. When I began to garden, I pulled all weeds out and cultivated the garden, adding good soil. And I planted good seeds in it. However, I found lots of weeds sprouting out with the veggies I planted. The strange thing is that I could not distinguish between the veggies and the weeds until they grew. After they grew together, when I could figure out which ones the veggies were, I wanted to pull all the weeds out so my veggies to get more nutrition. However, I usually mistakenly pull the veggie out along with the weeds. So, I could personal understand this parable story through my own experiences. How about you? Could you relate to this story?
This parable story is also about the life we live in the kingdom of heaven, which is reigned by God. Well, you may think that we are not in heaven yet. If you live in a God-centered faith, there might be the kingdom of God. This parable begins by saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field.” The kingdom is not a space, but Jesus Christ himself. Verse 37 explains, “The one who sows the good seeds is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; the good seeds are the children of God.” Our Savior, Jesus Christ, planted good news in us, and we live in the world.

Therefore, the children of God and the children of the world live together. However, we can’t say, “Christians are the children of God; non-Christians are the children of the world” because we don’t know who has good faith in God, but only God knows. Judging is not our job; that’s God’s job. Sometimes we may ask God by when we have to endure bad people. Today’s scripture is the answer. We have to go together until we sit before God’s throne. However, don’t worry about how long you have with the people who give you concern because “the one who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

The kingdom of God is in you and among us as long as we live in a God-centered faith. Don’t worry about where God is. God is here, in you and among us. God may handle the world. Our job is to take care of all people, whether good or bad, as the servants have to take care of the owner’s field without pulling the weeds out yet. If we do so, we will shine like the sun in the kingdom of God. Thanks be to God. Amen!