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   Heaven is More Precious than Anything - Pastor''s Devotional Service    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   Matthew 25: 14- 30


Matthew 25: 14- 30
"For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them."To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. "Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents...


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is the first devotional service of 2010, the Pastors' Devotional Service.
Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has blessed us to have this devotional service.
I also give thanks to all the devotees who have prepared for this service with all your hearts, minds, and souls.
Dear devotees, there are a great many people in the world, but among them, those who have accepted the Lord are very special.
They have been bought by the blood of the Lord, and they had the privilege of being able to become children of God.
From among them you devotees have volunteered to dedicate your lives as servants of God.
You dedicated yourselves because you love God so much and you are so thankful for His grace and love.
Because you are set apart and dedicated, God also deems you to be very precious.
God gives you special love and authority if you really deny yourself and dedicate yourselves as servants of God.
Also, He gives you much greater honor and rewards in Heaven than other lay believers.
The glory in Heaven cannot be compared with anything of this world.
Even though they are not pastors but just laymen members, according to how holy and faithful they are, they will enjoy great honor in Heaven.
It goes without saying that the honor and rewards will be truly great for pastors.
The title of today's message is "Heaven Is More Precious than Anything."
Matthew 13:45-46 says, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, [46] and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
It means we ought to be willing to sell even the most precious things of this earth just to be able to buy the glory of Heaven.
Then, how much of this kind of hope do you have in your hearts?
And what kind of hope, faith, and love do you have as you walk the way of a pastor?
Even though you have many hard times on this earth, you can fulfill all your duties with joy if you consider Heaven the most precious thing of all.
But, while doing this most precious duty, some feel it is burdensome to do it each and every moment. This is because they do not have deep hope for Heaven.
Some may even wonder why they have to take such a course in life and just how much longer they will have to live such a life.
Of course, such a case is rare. But I would like you to check your hope once again.
I hope you will have more pride and confidence in the fact that as a child of God you have chosen the most blessed way.
I pray in the name of the Lord that the glory of New Jerusalem, the most precious Heavenly dwelling place will be yours.


Dear devotees and other members, if we know that Heaven is the most valuable thing and consider it the most precious, first of all, our heart should be full of God alone.
To be full of God alone in heart means that we have to crucify the flesh with our passion and desires.
Your heart must be filled with faith, hope, and love, along with God, the Lord, your shepherd, and the flock.
There are many among the laymen members whose hearts are filled with only God.
With their thanks for the grace of salvation, they love God with all their heart, mind, and soul, and they are diligently going into spirit and whole spirit.
Now, as pastors who determined to dedicate yourselves to God, what would you do?
Of course, you should be able to say confidently that you are filled with only God.
Before I met God, I lost all hope in life and I was in the pit of despair.
But God allowed for my life to be recovered. So, my heart was full of God from the moment I came to believe in Him.
The only purpose for my life was to pay back the grace of God and to give glory to Him.
I only thought of the kingdom of God day and night and my earnestness for saving souls did not leave my heart.
Furthermore, since I had the calling to be a pastor, I completely gave God all my life, my will, and even my wife and daughters, who were the most precious of all to me.
For more than 27 years since the opening of the church, I did not have any freedom to eat, rest, or go anywhere as I wanted.
I obeyed the command of God without using my own thoughts, even though I knew that sometimes fiery tests would come due to those acts.
I just kept marching on without a rest, and my body couldn't bear it anymore and I bled to death. Nevertheless, I never even thought of such thing as a Sabbath year.
I always obeyed God and treated all others only with goodness, but without a cause I experienced betrayals and sufferings.
But I never complained about any difficulty, and I never regretted my way that I took as a pastor.
I couldn't forget even for a moment the grace of God who saved me, so I overcame everything with thanks every day.
Giving our lives wouldn't be enough to pay back the grace of God and the Lord.
Moreover, since God has so clearly taught us what kinds of rewards and honor He will give to us in Heaven for our obedience and faithfulness, how could our momentary sufferings in any way be something difficult?
I believe you have had moments of receiving God's special grace from the time you came to dedicate yourselves as pastors.
You have received various kinds of grace, but I believe you would all agree that the grace you received was more than enough to cause you to give your lives.
If this is true, I hope you will fill your heart with nothing but God.
Unless you do, you cannot change into a servant of spirit or a servant of whole spirit.
You've been trying hard, but at one moment, you will have a kind of empty feeling.
If this does happen, you have to fill that emptiness in your heart with the truth and with the Spirit, but, at times you may try to fill the void with flesh.
Then, you may seem to be faithful on the outside, but you cannot bear abundant fruit. You may even act in unrighteousness.
When I say that you have to fill your heart with God alone, some may say they want to do it but they can't.
It cannot be done just because you say you want it or you think you want it.
You have to cherish the grace and love you received and you have to accumulate your deeds to pay back that grace.
You have to cast away everything including your desire to be acknowledged, served, and to be comfortable. You have to cast off the things that you want to enjoy, your own things, your family, your self-righteousness and frameworks.
To the extent that you cast away the flesh from your heart, that empty space will be filled by God.
Also, you have to think from the viewpoint of God in everything.
You should not take back any of the fleshly things that you once cast away thinking, "I have some faith now and it's OK to pursue this much." Or, you should not take what is beneficial for you when you have two options.
In all things, you have to choose what will please God more. You should choose the way to deny yourself and be on alert.
1 Corinthians 15:31 says, "I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."
As the apostle Paul said, you should also be able to say, "I die every day, and I have only God, the Lord, and my shepherd in me."
Then, you can receive the power and authority over the word you preach. Additionally, you will be able to carry out a powerful ministry manifesting the power of God.
Dear devotees, if you consider Heaven the most precious, secondly, your words will be perfect.
God is watching us every moment with His blazing eyes.
We cannot hide even the shortest moment when our heart was shaken by something, or our eyes took in something causing fleshly feelings.
If you really believe in this God, what are your words supposed to be like?
You always have to have holy lips being worthy of pastors.
Your words have to revive the souls with words of love and virtue. Your words have to give glory to God.
There must be no words of doubt or complaint, or meaningless words or coarse jesting.
You should not speak of other people's iniquities or spread useless and meaningless rumors saying that you are just discerning with the truth.
Some of you frequently talk about restaurants that serve delicious food, things that are good for the health, and where you can buy good clothes at cheap prices.
And this certainly is not so gracious for pastors to do.
But what I ask of you especially is that you should be the pastors who never speak a word that causes your flock to stumble.
When you counsel them, you have to advise and guide them according to the measure of their faith.
You should provide them with strength and hope and life. You must not rebuke them or speak words of condemnation.
But sometimes in parishes or mission groups, you rebuke those who have weak faith with strong words and thus you make them stumble.
Or, you point out their shortcomings and embarrass them in front of many people.
Some of you openly talk about iniquities or shortcomings of your flock here and there publically.
Saying that you are teaching the leaders, you insist on your self-righteousness and frameworks, thus taking away their strength to fulfill their duties.
Sometimes you give hard times to others by insisting your own ideas and forcing them to obey you without considering their faith or circumstances.
If any leaders or laymen members do not obey you, you just close your heart and turn a cold face toward them.
Sometimes you cannot control your temper and rebuke your flock with anger.
If some members have a problem with you, you do not look back on yourself, but rather you condemn them.
You say they are arrogant and they do not even listen to the words of a pastor. You say that it is not you who made them stumble, but it was they themselves who caused them to stumble with their own evil.
How heartbroken our Lord would be if He hears such words?
And that soul is the beloved sheep of the Lord whom He bought with His blood.
Just as the Lord gave us life with His life, you should also tend and keep that sheep with all your life, love, and devotion.
Mark 9:42 says, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea."
I hope none of the devotees today will belong among those to whom this verse applies.
Of course, I am not saying you should just watch without being unable to correct a sheep who is falling into the way of death.
As a pastor, you should obviously teach them to discern between the way of life and death.
Also, you can advise the leader or the members to do better.
But 1 Peter 5:3 says, "...nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock."
The members will not change just because pastors try to force them to change by their own self-righteousness and their own level of faith.
You have to let them feel the love and grace of the Lord so that they can have a self-realization by the grace of God.
In order to do that, you first have to be filled with the hope of Heaven and the love of the Lord in you.
Only then will the flock be supplied with grace and power from you so they can practice the truth with joy and thanks.
I urge you in the name of the Lord to keep this in mind so that there won't be any more words that hurt their feelings, but only words that give life with love and virtue.
Dear devotees, if you consider Heaven the most precious, thirdly, you must have no adultery in either spirit or body.
Even if I don't explain it here again, you know very well what physical adultery and spiritual adultery are.
Isaiah 54:5 says, "For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth."
2 Corinthians 11:2 says, "For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin."
As written, those brides of the Lord have to be holy and pure, spotless and blameless.
They must not love the world more than God nor take the flesh that is in disappointment to God.
To betray the Lord and love the lust of the world more than Him is to be spiritually adulterous.
Especially pastors, as the apostle Paul said, have the duty of presenting the flock entrusted to them as pure virgins before the Lord.
Therefore, no act of spiritual adultery could ever be acceptable for pastors, not to even mention acts of physical adultery.
Pastors must cast away not only the adulterous acts but even the sinful nature in the heart completely.
1 Timothy 5:2 says, "the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity."
You must not consider your flock or other pastors as persons of opposite sex. You must treat them only with purity, as only precious souls.
Your eyes, heart, language, behavior, and even your dress, that is, everything has to be perfect so you won't give out any sense of fleshliness.
Some people speak coarse words of jesting or habitually touch people of opposite sex, but they don't realize they are doing it.
They say it's not because they have adulterous mind but they are just being friendly.
But if your heart is holy, your behaviors will also be holy.
You cannot cover the eyes of God even though you give reasonable excuses.
God is watching us everywhere.
When He judges us, not only our deeds but also our intention and thoughts of doing such deeds will be revealed on the sea of glass.
It wouldn't wait until the Judgment. God already knows everything.
I hope you will be able to cast away your lingering attachment to the flesh as well as all the deeds of the body that are not holy.
The more you cast away filthy attributes of the flesh, the more God will love and attest you, and clothe you with honor.
If you believe this fact, you don't have any reason to hesitate.
You have already given up the good things of the world and dedicated yourselves.
I urge you not to hesitate any more but quickly change into perfect servants of God.


Dear devotees, you know today's reading passage very well. It is the parable of the talent that Jesus told.
We have to make a profit from the talent that we have received from God.
We must not cause any loss. If we just bury what we have been given in the ground, that is a loss to God.
If that buried talent had been given to a faithful worker, it could have produced profit.
You of course want to be profitable; you wouldn't want to just bury the talent that you received.
But there is one thing you have to keep in mind.
No matter how faithfully and how hard you work, the more important thing is to go to into spirit.
Even though you have ardent diligence, God cannot use you as long as you have evil in you.
You cannot produce good fruit from your duties. You will only cause damage to the kingdom of God.
As God said, 'good and faithful servant', you can bear true fruit and be rewarded with heavenly glory only when you cultivate heart of spirit.
God is again giving you one more chance in this year 2010.

If you pastors do not change in this year, God will have to accomplish His kingdom with those who have changed into men of spirit, whether they are just seminary students or lay members.
God has great expectations for you who are pastors of this church.
In this era of blessing, the third stage of our church, you pastors have to become spiritual warriors and take the responsibility for various areas of the church more than any other people.
You should prepare not only yourself to enter into Canaan Sanctuary, but also the flock entrusted to you so that they can prepare the vessel to receive blessings.
You should also be prepared spiritually and physically so that you will be able to take care of countless souls who will come soon.
I earnestly ask this of you once again.
Make Heaven your most precious treasure, and fill your heart with nothing but God.
I urge you to give birth to life through words of truth in all things, cast away all perishing flesh, and cultivate hearts of spirit.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will become the pastors who will play the roles of the flag bearers of holiness gospel and warriors of spirit and whole spirit.