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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   True Value - College and Canaan Mission''''s Devotional    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Philippians 3:8
Date
   2010-04-11



[Passage]

[Philippians 3:8]
"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,"

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is the 2010 College and Canaan Mission 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, you have much more potential and freedom than those who are married.
You are not bound to a spouse or children. So, you have more free time, which means, you have full freedom in leading your lives of faith.
You have more choices in improving your skills and planning for your futures.
But when you plan or choose to do something, there is an important question that you have to ask yourself. It is, "What am I doing this for?"
College students these days must have not just good GPA's but they have to prepare for many more things than before to get a job in good companies.
Even after they get a job, they constantly have to study foreign languages or get other kinds of certificates through self training.
I also believe that you college and Canaan mission members are doing your best.
Now, what is the purpose of doing all these things?
If you have faith, you would probably say it is for the glory of God.
Yes, that is the correct answer.
You toil and work hard not just to enjoy perishing glory on this earth, where we stay just for a moment.
You work hard to give glory to God through your lives.
Also, you toil because you are looking forward to the rewards in Heaven.
Then, how deeply do you understand the value of the kingdom of Heaven?
Through this message, I would like you to ask the following two questions. "What is the most precious thing in your life?" And "What do you consider to be the most precious at present?"
Some people have knowledge of the word of God and say they are living for God's glory with the hope of the heavenly kingdom.
But in fact, many of them follow what they want rather than the will of God.
We have only one life.
Thus, we cannot invest our precious lives for something that is so meaningless and valueless.
At this moment, let me introduce to you some patriarchs of faith who discovered what is truly most precious and devoted their lives to get it.
Through their beautiful life stories, I hope you will also keep in mind once again what the most precious thing is.
I pray in the name of the Lord that each of you will invest all your life to possess that which is of true value.

[Main]

Dear devotees, the first patriarch I will talk about is the apostle Paul.
Paul was a Jew, the elect of God, and a Pharisee who strictly kept the Law.
He was born a citizen of the Roman Empire, and he studied under Gamaliel, who was the foremost scholar of the time.
He had the highest qualifications physically and spiritually, and thus, he had great pride in it.
He liked winning in debates with others through his knowledge, and he did not accept what was not right in his view.
He was full of pride, but from the time that he met Jesus on his way to Damascus, his life changed completely.
He considered all the things as rubbish that he used to consider precious and enjoy.
It's because he gained the most valuable thing in the world, which is the eternal kingdom of Heaven.
For him, God the Father, who had given him Heaven, was so precious, and to believe in Jesus Christ was so precious.
For this reason, he tried all his best to preach the gospel so that other people might also reach this Heaven.
Philippians 3:7-9 says, "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. [8] More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, [9] and may be found in Him,"
As he said, he gave his everything, and he counted everything he used to consider precious to be but rubbish.
He gave his wealth, fame, and time, and he received harsh persecutions and sufferings joyfully if that was for preaching the gospel.
Acts 20:24 says, "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God."
Dear devotees, even very precious things in this world change in value as time passes.
Knowledge, money, great power, or fame cannot last forever.
People eat so many kinds of health foods, exercise, use good make-ups, and even undergo cosmetic surgery, but nobody can stop aging.
All things on this earth will finally change and perish.
But if you have Heaven in your heart, its value never changes.
To the extent that the level of your faith and the goodness of your heart increase, the value of Heaven will only increase.
As your soul prospers, all things go well with you, you will be healthy, and your spiritual power will increase.
The more you cast away your greed, the greater the blessing you can receive from God and the greater the glory you can enjoy in Heaven.
Even though you might be able to enjoy the greatest honor and splendor on this earth, it cannot even begin to compare with the glory in Heaven.
The apostle Paul saw Paradise in the Third Heaven, and it was more than enough to count all earthly glories but rubbish.
Dear members of college and Canaan Mission, is there anyone among you who hasn't cast away your love for the world yet?
Is there any chance that you follow the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, or the boastful pride of this life?
If you cast away flesh, you will become so happy.
You will realize and think, "Flesh is really like rubbish. Why couldn't I cast it away more quickly? I should have come into spirit much earlier than this!"
But if you just know that you have to cast away flesh but just hold on to it, you will have afflictions and sufferings in your heart.
It's not your circumstances or other people that make your Christian life difficult.
You yourselves are making your lives hard because you do not cast away lingering attachment to the world.
2 Corinthians 5:13-14 says, "For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. [14] For the love of Christ controls us,"
I hope you will advance into the most precious Heaven with all your heart, mind, and soul, being in the love of Christ who controls us.
In doing so, I hope you will be able to confess that you have lived a life without regret when you meet the Lord soon.
Dear devotees, secondly, let me talk about Nicodemus and the believers of the early church who realized what has true value.
The common factor here is that they had no fear because they knew the true value.
First, Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and heard about the rebirth and the secret of eternal life.
He thought Jesus was a man of God, but he still had some fear left in his mind. So, he came to Jesus at night when nobody could see him.
But later this Nicodemus changed completely.
He openly and boldly spoke for Jesus before the Pharisees who were planning to kill Jesus.
He pointed out their wrongdoing by saying in John 7:51, "Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?"
And after the crucifixion, he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes for the funeral of Jesus.
What brought about this change?
By meeting Jesus, Nicodemus gained the truth for which he was desperately longing, and he realized the true value of life.
Because this true value was so precious, he gained the boldness to say what is right is right even if it meant he could lose his high position and power, or even his life.
The same goes for the martyrs of the early church.
From the resurrection of the Lord until Christianity became official in the Roman Empire in 313 AD, there had been severe persecutions against Christians.
The believers had to face so many persecutions just to keep their faith, even though they didn't do anything evil.
We find the following kind of record also.
On a night in 32 AD, forty men were standing naked on a frozen lake.
In a Roman legion, 40 soldiers disobeyed the command of the Roman Emperor to bow before an idol, and they were to be martyred.
They were excellent soldiers with meritorious works, so they had a chance to live if they only bowed before the idol.
But they just encouraged each other and sang the praises to God.
As the night darkened, the sound of praise became weaker.
But a guard who was watching them at the lakeshore heard something strange.
He heard a praise song that sounded from above, "40 good soldiers of Christ, 40 martyrs, and 40 crowns!"
But then, the song suddenly changed.
"39 good soldiers of Christ, 39 martyrs, and 39 crowns!"
At this moment, this guard saw one of the 40 who was unable to bear with the cold, walking off the lake.
Upon seeing this man, he laid down his weapon and took off his clothes and went to the center of the lake.
He said, "Put these clothes on. I will replace you!" Then, this guard could hear the sound of praise singing, "40 good soldiers of Christ, 40 martyrs, and 40 crowns!"
Hearing this praise of angels, this guard became a martyr along with other soldiers.
It was such a momentary experience, but this guard realized the true value, and he made the decision to give his life.
Other than these people, so many other believers overcame persecutions to keep their faith.
Their possessions were taken away. They were imprisoned. They were exiled and they had to work in labor camps.
Or, they had to hide in underground graves and live without seeing the sunshine.
If they were caught, after being tortured they became the prey of lions or they were crucified.
So many other evil kinds of punishments were inflicted that are difficult to mention.
Some records say they burned the believers to light the darkness at night.
Some of the martyrs were military generals or their wives along with poor farmers and slaves.
Some were healthy young men. Some others were weak and old. Still others were little girls.
They encouraged one another to keep the faith. Even when they stood before ferocious lions, they accepted their death being at peace, praising God.
We can understand that to realize the true value can make people so brave.
Even little children or weak ladies will have no fear if they have hope of Heaven and true love.
But those who follow the desires of this earth cannot have this boldness even though they are strong young men.
Also, even among the believers, those who have a lot of fleshly thoughts will have many agonies when trying to decide something.
At the moment they have to make a decision between pleasing God or pleasing men, or sacrificing themselves or seeking their own benefit, they feel difficulty deciding according to the truth.
They think like, "I will be in a difficult situation if I choose this way, and is this the only way of faith? What will other people think about me concerning this decision?" But finally, they choose to compromise with the world.
But even after that, they are not at peace and have no comfort. They suffer again with other kinds of agonies.
"I didn't act by faith, and I am so sorry before God. I am not confident and I don't even have strength to pray." Thinking this way, they lose the fullness of Spirit.
They do not repent of not acting by faith, but they just get discouraged and are depressed in their heart.
But if they really believe in the glory of Heaven, they will not act like that.
They do not worry about losing their possessions. They do not compromise with the world thinking about the worldly people's opinions.
They have faith and hope of Heaven, and they love God who has given them the hope. So, they can do everything with confidence.
Also, because they believe that love, they can soon turn back and change themselves when they discover their shortcoming or faults.
1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."
I hope you will be as confident as Nicodemus and the believers of the early church.
I urge you to be humble and seek others' benefits all the time, and become brave like lions for the glory of God.
Dear devotees, thirdly, let me talk about 'Two Witnesses' who have realized the true value.
Of course, to be more precise, they will have realized the true value.
Their ministry, which is recorded in the book of Revelation, will be unfolded during the 7-year Great Tribulation.
Since their childhoods they both have been believers of Judaism, but they have the thirst for the truth in their hearts.
They constantly have the conflict in heart thinking, "Is this faith really true? Or it is the Christ that Christians are talking about? Is my faith meaningless?"
They have been praying to God to show them what the real truth is and to show them the evidence.
For them to accept Jesus Christ means they have to forsake everything they have in their lives in their society.
Also, it is by no means something easy to be left on this earth for the period of the 7-year tribulation, risking their lives in order to preach the gospel.
They will perform great power of God in their ministry and people will be afraid of them, but when the time comes they will be captured by the anti-Christ and martyred.
When they are martyred, they will not just be killed.
When God was explaining about the book of Revelation, He once said the following.
What He said was that if only we could see how they overcome the tortures inflicted upon them, we would understand how firm their inner hearts are.
Then, how will they accept the Lord?
At one moment nearing the 7-Year Tribulation, they will come in contact with the gospel of holiness and the powerful works of God, and they will understand the true value.
They will realize that Jesus Christ is the true Savior for mankind and the Messiah for whom they had been waiting.
They will understand that their prayers to understand the truth are answered.
Now, as they come to understand the most precious thing, they determine to give their lives for the Lord.
Even when they are left on this earth for the 7-Year Tribulation, even when they are persecuted by the power of the anti-Christ, their fervor for their duty never cools down.
After they fulfill their duties, they will reach a position in Heaven that is glorious to the utmost degree.
Dear college and Canaan Mission members, you already have all the evidences which the Two Witnesses will take hold of and become martyrs. In fact you have more than they will have.
You have listened to so many spiritual messages, and you have experienced the amazing power of God every week.
I hope your inner heart will be upright and firm like that of the Two Witnesses.
I hope your confession of love for the Lord, your promises to the Lord to become sanctified, your burning hope for New Jerusalem will never change.
Do not lose the grace that you receive through this devotional service.
In doing so, I earnestly urge you to meet with me in New Jerusalem.

[Conclusion]

Dear devotees, Hebrews 12:1-2 says, "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, [2] fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Jesus promised us, the believers, the most precious glory of Heaven by taking the sufferings of the wretched cross.
Many patriarchs who received this promise of Heaven showed us an example of faith.
Also, you always see me casting away all the worldly things and only marching towards this precious Heaven.
When was the happiest moment in your life?
Have you been filled with so much fullness of Spirit and joy in your heart that you wanted the time to stop right there?
In Heaven, there is happiness and joy that cannot be compared with that happiness and it will last forever.
You will be able to enjoy all the things that you wanted to enjoy on this earth, but only with much more joy.
I hope you will be full of this Heaven in you.
Do not forget the glory of God the Father that will soon be revealed before your eyes.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will only march towards the true value in every moment of your lives.

[Amen]

 
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