“Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.’’ All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’’
So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!’ And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, ‘Who is this?’ So the multitudes said, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.’”
I’ve just been to the In-jae Discipleship Training Center. In-jae Center is such a great place to spend a vacation and is a very nice resort if we do not work while we are there. Even though we made preparations for the Summer Discipleship Training Camp at the center, our efforts seemed minimal, despite the fact that we worked very hard. First, we sterilized the blankets that you are going to use. Then, we cleaned and dried the floor mats, and plowed the patch and leveled the lot.
This year, we finally made the pool, which had been our long cherished desire. The pool was made exactly to our specifications. Its dimension is about 60m² and is suitable for adults and children alike. We installed a pumping station at the upper part which conserves a lot of water. The water flows downward each time we open the valve. We also made a bathroom beside the pool. Two days quickly passed as we did all these things. The weather was hot. The sun was beating down unmercifully. I could hardly walk under the sun even with my straw hat on. But it is probably much worse here. The temperature there is much better compared to here, probably, because of the mountains and valleys there. Nevertheless, working under the heat of the sun there was still very difficult for me because it was so hot.
After we finished making the pool, we held an opening ceremony. We did not save the water but we just opened the valve and let the water flow over the pool. I felt so cool when I sat down where the water was coming out. It felt better than immersing the body in the water. Every time we felt hot while working, we would soak our bodies in the pool wearing our clothes. And every time we soaked our clothes, they would repeatedly dry up in less than an hour. Once again we would soak our bodies in the pool.
All the quarters were already prepared. This time, we had expanded the land quite extensively. We excavated and leveled the land of 170m². The best part of it all is that there is now a swimming pool at the Discipleship Training Camp. My beloved saints, please remember this and make use of the pool during the Discipleship Training Camp. I keep on boasting about the pool because it is really nice and cool.
It is such an attractive place because of the abundance of cool water. Even though we worked for two days and nights with the pastors from every branch church all over the country, we could not finish all the work. I think we have to get together and work again by next week to make your stay comfortable at the Discipleship Training Center. If any of you want to come with me next week, then let’s go together. After working and sweating, you can beat the heat of the sun completely if you get into the valley water at the Discipleship Training Center.
Jesus Said, “Loose a Tied Donkey and a Colt with Her and Bring Them to Me”
When Jesus drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, Jesus said to His disciples, “Go into the village, and loose a tied donkey and a colt with her and bring them to Me.” Jesus sat on the foal of a donkey according to the Word prophesized in Zechariah 9:9 of the Old Testament, “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” Jesus entered Jerusalem sitting on the foal of a donkey because the Lord was lowly. He then stayed there for some time. Soon after He broke the bread of the Passover Supper and washed the feet of His disciples. The next day, He died on the Cross. This is why I would like us to think over this part of Today’s Scripture passage, ‘Jesus sat on the foal of a donkey’ and share the grace with you.
The Lord sat on the foal of a donkey because He was so lowly. As stated in the Bible, Jesus was so lowly that He sat on the foal of a donkey and not on any great horse or any other means of transportation when He entered Jerusalem. Moreover, our Lord carries out the work of God through His people who are like the foals of a donkey. I mentioned that Jesus did not sit on any other great animal. Likewise, our Lord did not carry out the work of God through some angels. Jesus did not use spiritual beings or great beings to let people enter Heaven. The Lord works through us, the born-again, the people of God who are imperfect and haughtily stubborn. Jesus is truly lowly.
His humility is shown by the fact that Jesus did not work through any other people, but through us, the people of God. Truly, He is the really amazing One. It is because He is the real God of this universe, the Creator, and the God of redemption. How then could the Great one deliver human beings like us from sins and fulfill the amazing work of saving others through us, the redeemed? Even though we are imperfect, He works through us who received the remission of sin because He is truly lowly.
We know and believe that God works through us who have received the remission of sin. Even though we lack the power and are stubborn like the foal of a donkey, God works through us, the children of God. He works in us, so that we will live, not for our own flesh, but for the souls of the others and for the spiritual works. I have come to realize how marvelous God is to work through you and me. We are so thankful to God for using us. Then, what should we do for Him for the rest of our lives? We must be donkeys, which carry the Lord in eternity. Donkeys are for the transportation of something. Therefore, donkeys must carry anything, be it persons, loads, or Jesus. Which donkey would you want to be then?
Jesus does the work of God through you and me who have received the remission of sin. Thus, what kind of work should we really wish to do? We must glory in the fact that we are the ones carrying Jesus on our back. And we must desire to do the work of Jesus, that is, to serve the Lord. Through this passage, we must reflect on what or who we shall carry on our back.
We are tremendously blessed to be used by the Lord. I am so thankful to God for meaningfully using us and saving us from being used for the trivial things of the world. I give thanks to God for giving us opportunities to use our remaining lives in faithful service. I give thanks to Him for making us know whether we must live for the flesh or for the spirit, and for giving us all the opportunities to live for Him.
And yet, why are we truly serving? We, the redeemed, must carry Jesus or the loads of the world on our back, because we are like donkeys. Then, let’s reflect on this. We are the born-again, and Jesus definitely works through us. Let us think of what kind of works God wants us to do throughout our lifetime. I am so thankful to the Lord for using us. I have realized how good it would be if we carried the Lord on our back and lived as the Lord wishes, and then meet Him afterwards. We, the born-again, are truly blessed if we live for the Lord who has redeemed our souls, and not for the worldly work of flesh. We are to come before the Lord after living out our faith by giving our bodies to Him. I think of this as often as I can.
The colt was welcomed because it carried the Lord. When the colt carrying Jesus entered Jerusalem, the multitudes cried out saying, “Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” The multitudes cried out “Hosanna” thinking, “He is really the blessed One who comes in the name of the Lord and Hosanna in the highest.”
How long does a donkey usually live? It is said about 20 years. There is an old interesting story from Germany. According to this story, a person’s life span was 30 years by nature. God settled it to be 30 years; equal with other animals when He created all things in the universe. However, the donkey came to God and said, “God, my back would bend from work if I live that long. Please shorten it.” So, He shortened the donkey’s life span to 18 years, 12 years less than the original. Then, the dog came to Him and requested earnestly saying, “Please shorten my life span as well because I cannot run around that long.” So, He reduced it to 12 years shortening 18 years.
Now, the monkey rushed to Him and said, “I live making people laugh and doing amusing things. Please shorten my life span because I cannot do those things if I get old.” So, He shortened it to be 10 years. But then, man came to God and got into a rage saying, “My life span of 30 years is too short!” So, God summed all the difference of the shortened life of the donkey, the dog, and the monkey which totaled to 50 years, and gave it to man. Because of this, the life span of human beings became 80. However, due to that, man has lived carrying heavy loads like donkeys, running along panting and puffing like dogs, and acting foolish in front of people who would throw something to eat as if they were like monkeys.
However, a donkey must carry either a person or a load everyday in the 20 years that he lives. Sometimes, a donkey pulls a cart. When I was a child, I saw a donkey carrying exorbitant loads of wood on both sides, with a person on its back and pulling a heavily-loaded cart as well. Donkeys do not even have a day to rest. They must carry the loads until their backs bend and pull a cart until their 20 years of life comes to an end.
Then, how glorious it must have been for the donkey to carry Jesus on its back just one time! When the donkey with Jesus on its back entered the city of Jerusalem, the city of peace, the multitudes came out and praised Jesus. When the donkey carried Jesus on its back, normally, he was supposed to be whipped by his master. But instead, the multitudes spread their clothes before the colt. I can say that the donkey enjoyed the greatest glory of its lifetime. Even though there are numerous donkeys in the world, I believe that the donkey chosen and used by Jesus is the most blessed one.
How many donkeys have been born in this world since 4000 years have passed from the beginning of the Old Testament? Yet, there was only this donkey among many donkeys that carried Jesus on its back. Therefore, see how glorious the work was that this donkey did in carrying Jesus on its back! I am so thankful for us to be used to bear Jesus. Jesus uses us for He is lowly. If He were the same as us, would He use people like us?
We are like donkeys in character. By character, donkeys are stubborn. Rich people never sit on a colt because it is stubborn and bad-tempered. So, when they need to take a ride anywhere, they sit on the horse and not on the colt. People think they degrade themselves if they sit on the colt because the colt makes a poor showing. It is uncomfortable and difficult to control. People want to ride on a great white or black horse because they feel they would be seen as poor if they rode colts.
If a king or a member of royalty wearing a white shirt and a black velvet jacket rides an excellent horse, he would look great and elegant. But imagine a well-dressed person riding a donkey. It would never look good. How glorious it was for this donkey to be used by Jesus, the King of kings! It is really a blessing to be used of God. I am so thankful that He uses us, the lowly. I believe that there is no greater experience than this.
I am so thankful that I can put my heart into His work and give myself to Him, and that He uses me. I feel the same when I see all of you. When I see you, I am also thankful to God that He uses not only me, but also all of you. Words are not enough to express how thankful I am. I feel so grateful that I can serve the Lord, the saints, and that I can convey the gospel to lost souls as well. How thankful are we to have this work wherein we are like colts used by the Lord? How wonderful it is that God uses someone like us. I am so thankful. I am so thankful that I do the work of the Lord.
Because we are just human beings, we always do either the things of the flesh or the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5). We do the work of the flesh very well. We do it automatically, even when no one forces us to do so. However, there is no good fruit for the work of the flesh. On the other hand, there are great fruits when we devote ourselves to the things of the Spirit. The most important thing is that we should care for the things of the Spirit. We must concentrate our efforts on the things of the Spirit. They can be accomplished only when we do them by faith and with God’s grace, and by following the guidance of Lord. I desire nothing else but to do the things of the Spirit with all my heart and give myself for the work of the Lord until the day that the Lord comes. Then I will give my gratitude to God and pray that God would continue to use me.
Today, meteorologists say, “The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases due to the excessive use of fossil fuel, and because of the greenhouse effect, the ice of the North and South Pole are melting and the sea level is rising.” The air temperature is rising sharply throughout the world. This does not only concern a particular country but is a dilemma that has to be dealt with globally. The unusual change in the weather causes great natural disasters all over the world. One state in America, Louisiana, was proclaimed a disaster area because of the hurricane that hit and the heavy rain that poured into the area. Also in India and France, many old and weak people have lost their lives due to excessive heat. In many parts of the world, signs of the Last Days are being revealed, so I believe that the Lord is coming soon.
How blessed could we be if we could serve the Lord until that time, not doing any undesirable things. We, the born-again, would pass away in vain if we don’t work for the things of the Spirit, and if we do not work with the church. But instead, we commit sins by doing the works of the flesh. I give thanks to God for giving us His Church, giving us the opportunities to serve the Lord, entrusting us with His works, making us to preach the gospel to lost souls, and making us willing to serve His people who have received the remission of sin. I truly give thanks for allowing us, like donkeys, to do His works.
What are we supposed to do if we do not serve the Lord? Probably, we might just be doing unpleasant acts, evil deeds, and meaningless and fruitless works. We once were doing these things, but God redeemed us and entrusted us with His works. How wonderful that He has given us works of service. If we do not have spiritual works, there is no way for us to be fruitful. Instead, we will live completely meaningless lives. So, thanks be to God for entrusting us with His works so that we can live useful lives; for achieving His works through us; and for His grace that He made us to do the spiritual works for the Lord throughout our life.
We, as humans, are prone to become so spiritually lenient because summer has come and the weather has become so hot. These days, the hot weather suffocates me, enervates me, and keeps me awake until 2 o’clock in the morning. During these times, I cannot read the Bible nor pray because these times make me uncomfortable. But when I meditate on this, I am so thankful that I can live for the Lord for the rest of my life. I am so thankful that I can do the work of God. If I don’t, I know that I would be involved with evil things. I am so thankful that I have plenty of work to do for the gospel’s sake. Sometimes hot weather irritates and hardens me. But, with the thought that God has called me, like the donkey, to do His precious and noble work, I feel invigorated to work and follow the Lord in spite of any unfavorable conditions. I believe that you feel the same as I.
Do We Have Any Distinguished Character before God?
Indeed, we are nothing before God. God uses us for He is lowly, not because we are distinguished. Therefore, there is nothing for us to complain about to God while we serve Him. A person, who knows himself and has become a worker of the Lord, can never think that God owes him anything. We cannot tell Him, “God, do this and give these things to me because I did Your work.” We can never have this kind of mentality. We should be truly thankful only with the fact that God uses us in His works. Only by the grace of God do we serve the Lord and do His work. That is where happiness comes from on our part. I recognize that Jesus uses us in His works, for He is lowly. This is what we all believe.
What else can you do aside from serving the Lord? What can you do throughout your lifetime? You can’t do anything useful. If God’s Church had not been given to us, what would we do? We will be like the donkey carrying a load of wood, carrying a manure pail, pulling a cart, and serving its master, working its fingers to the bone until he dies and then sold for its meat. I am truly thankful that He delivered us. Otherwise, we could have been like the donkey. We cannot serve the Lord if there is no Church, and we cannot do right if we don’t serve the Lord. That is why I am so grateful that God uses us and rides on us, who can do nothing right without Him.
You and I must reflect on this matter indeed. What are we going to do if we do not serve the Lord? Whom are we going to serve? Are we going to serve man, or not? Do you think, “Why should I serve man? I am not a fool. It is not wise at all”? Then your thought is totally wrong. If we do not serve the Lord, we have no choice but to serve man. If a man in power commands us to serve him with a whipping rod, we have no other choice but to serve him. A person cannot help being subservient to the strong. Ultimately, we will then be serving man.
Why did Jesus enter Jerusalem sitting on a colt? The reason that Jesus sat on the colt was to teach us that the ones who were used by God were greatly blessed. It is not that God became a debtor and we have something to receive as creditors because we did the work of God. Jesus entered into Jerusalem sitting on the colt to make us realize that.
When there was no leader in Israel, Israelites thought that they could live as they wished. However, one by one, other nations invaded Israel and the Israelites became their slaves. They could not live as they wished. Instead, they served the ruling nations by doing backbreaking work day after day. What do we do if we do not serve the Lord? We serve man. If someone asks us, “Are you going to serve man or not?” We affirm with 100% assurance that we will not serve man. However, we have no other choice but to serve man. All forms of society are made up of prominent individuals who eat and live only if they serve man. So, we serve man due to inevitable circumstances. However, if we serve man, we barely sustain our lives and we would be oppressed and exploited.
Therefore, we must think before we decide how to live. It is wise to assess the result first. When our country fights with the army of another country, we must assess in advance before going to war. When we have 10,000 soldiers against the other country’s 30,000 soldiers, it is better to come to an agreement if we feel like we would lose after our assessment of the fight. If we have no prospect of winning the fight, it is better for us to come to an agreement, because we expect to lose our lives, or become slaves and live miserably in the end.
We must consider which way of life will be worthwhile. In our lifetime, we must consider whether we are going to serve the Lord carrying Jesus on our back like the colt of today’s Scripture passage, or to pull a cart carrying a load of wood, a manure pail, or a man on our back as the donkeys’ original duties. Although we are people of God, we are, after all, human beings. A person must carry out his or her duty to work. We must reckon whether to serve the Lord or man, and then we must earnestly decide. At the moment you determine to serve the Lord, you must serve Him with a willing, desirable, thankful and rightful mind. That is right. Life is miserable without reckoning these things.
I tried estimating my life often in my teenage years. I always thought these things: ‘Why is man born? Where does man come into birth? What does he do from birth? What will happen to me?’ As I grew older, I thought how I could earn money and how much I would earn. I considered how much I would be able to save if I earned money as a salesman when I reached 20 years of age. However, I realized that I could not accumulate as much as I wanted to, even if I become a salary man anyway. When I considered buying a small house, I realized I would not be able to do it even if I saved my entire lifetime. I estimated completely at that time, but it seemed hopeless after all.
Then, after being born-again, I considered the work of serving the Lord. “How much can I serve the Lord in a year? How many people will I preach the gospel to in a year?” After considering all these things, I arrived at this conclusion: “I will live for the Lord.” It would be fortunate for me to purchase a small apartment as a low-income earner throughout my lifetime. I decided that earning money in the world was useless and I came to the conclusion that it would be fortunate for me to be able to give a house to my children if I run a small business or work as a salesman. It would be unlikely for me to run a big enterprise.
I made up my mind that I would rather serve the Lord than to save huge sums of money. Then, how worthless could life be? Suppose that I accumulated property worth one million US dollars in my whole life. We can say that a man is successful if he could hand over a million US dollars to his son at the end of his life. An average man cannot hand over that much. If one pays his loans at the end of his life, then his property will be less. So, on an average, it is a successful case for one to hand over a million US dollars to one’s children.
If this is so, can you change your life with a million US dollars? I cannot change my life with such trivial money, and I am determined to serve only the Lord. I made up my mind that, “I will serve the Lord rather than to live worthlessly.” I thought of it many times even after I met the Lord. Then, I reached the conclusion that serving the Lord was definitely the most valuable business. Therefore, I am serving the Lord. I also encourage you to serve the Lord as I have been serving Him. I believe that serving the Lord is truly the blessing and grace of God.
I wish to serve only the Lord until the end my life. All I have wished for is for all of us to be used by the Lord unceasingly. And I also believe that this kind of life is a blessed life. Nevertheless, I wish to live for the Lord until the day I die. And I wish you to be like this as well. Though you make an effort and strive hard to earn money, still there is nothing you can hand over to your children in this world. There will be nothing left.
However, if we serve the Lord, there are profits. It certainly has profits. The business of gospel is definitely not an unprofitable business. Who knows if some souls will come and receive the remission of sin at the time of this Discipleship Training Camp? Who knows if they, who are fascinated by beautiful scenery around our Discipleship Training Center, would listen to the Word gladly and receive the remission of sin? And who knows if they would bring many new souls to the next Discipleship Training Camp?
We have to consider the Lord’s work as a valuable business. And we have to invest our all in this valuable business. There was a pearl merchant, wandering from place to place, and he found the most valuable pearl in the world. However, it was too expensive. So, this merchant went away and sold everything he had and bought this valuable pearl (Matthew 13:46).
Dear fellow believers, we have met the gospel. We have met the Lord. The creature has met the Creator and has been delivered. After being delivered from sin, we have met the most valuable work. Our souls feel tired if we do the work of the flesh, but we feel very satisfied and peaceful if we do the things of the Spirit and have come to offer ourselves for that. Now, we should not keep this to ourselves, but we must bring the Truth to other souls as well. I wish for you not to live worthlessly, but to live a valuable life. This business of the gospel, the business with great profits, the business of serving the Lord is the most valuable work one can do. I wish you would be the donkey that enters Jerusalem carrying the Lord on the back.
We are drawing illustrations for our books. Sister Kim is learning to draw the illustrations as well, and I know it is not easy. Students are tired at all times. And now, some brothers and sisters at Seoul Church are bringing the gospel in cartoon form. Have you seen the sample that I sent to the Publication Department? It is good that we bring the gospel in cartoon form, because it is humorous and conveys the gospel meaning well. Regardless of the kind of work, the work of serving the gospel is valuable. The works we are planning are not a means to earn money, but to convey the gospel.
After this Discipleship Training Camp, a couple of our workers will go to the United States to open the way for our literature ministry. I also applied for the visa. I want to meet the Korean residents and the Americans there as well and tell them about the gospel. Bringing the genuine gospel to the U.S is also serving the gospel. I want to do this precious and valuable work with you until the end. This is not a matter of doing more and performing more meritorious deeds. Everyone is equally serving the gospel in God’s Church. I know this is the most blessed and grateful work. My desire is for you to live contemplating by yourselves to whom and to what you should give effort to, and whom you plan to serve in this world. I pray that you would not live a worthless life.
I am so thankful that our Lord sat on us who are the colts. I am so thankful that God brought you from the world and made you to do His work for your own sake. The Lord leads us the right way sitting on our back saying, “Chuck, chuck! Go this way. And then go that way. Go faster. Slow down. It is good to carry Me, but you should carry My works as well.” It is really a blessing to do the work of God.
When you listen to sermons, you must not only listen to them for the sake of learning His Word, but you must apply its lessons to yourselves. While listening to this sermon, you should apply its lessons as you seriously consider your life. You have to listen to my sermon and think, “What have I lived for until now? What am I going to live for from now on? What will remain at the end of my life? Is the work of serving the Lord going to be worthy?” At the end of the preaching, you have to decide by thinking on it thoroughly, “I was like this before, and then I should live like this with the new ideal from now on. I should always therefore assess my life.”
Our Lord has called you and me, and sat on us among so many colts. I know the colt that carried the Lord was the most valuable colt in the world. I know that the colt was used for the precious work and finished its duty. Numerous colts have been born on the earth up to now; we must know the colt mentioned in today’s Scripture passage was the only colt selected for the task of carrying the Lord. Numerous people are born in the world, but we know that there are not many people who are more blessed than you and I who serve the Lord.
We should not serve the Lord just because we beguiled by someone’s word and not because of our own free will. We must discern what the most valuable life is and contemplate with our own free will to serve the Lord with faith until the end. Such is the most blessed life. I know that serving the Lord is a valuable life whether you serve Him with prayers, materials, or time.
What do you live for now? What and who did you live for? What remains in your life as a result? What will remain if you live more? You must leave blessed things. I pray that you will do the work of the Lord and show the precious results of living for the Lord to the master of Heaven when He calls you. I wish for all of us, the righteous, not to live worthless lives. Let us live blessed lives.