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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Obedience - Prayer Devotee''s Devotional Service    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   1 Samuel 15:22
Date
   2010-05-30



[Passage]

1 Samuel 15:22
"Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has blessed us to have this 2010 Prayer Devotees' 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, the prayer devotees group is organized in obedience to God's command to fulfill a special duty.
That special duty is to pray for the church, the shepherd, and for countless souls.
Of course all believers must pray for the kingdom of God.
But you are literally 'prayer devotees' who are supposed to offer up prayers that are different.
A sacrifice to God must be blameless without spot or blemish.
Also, so God can accept it, when this sacrifice is offered it should be in the way that has been commanded by God and not in accordance with human methods.
You should also be a proper sacrifice before God. You have to fulfill your duty completely in the way that God wants.
While all other groups or organizations obviously have to obey God's command, it goes without saying that you should obey God's will even more closely since you were organized by God's special command.
Through this message, I hope you will fulfill your duties to please God by your daily prayers.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that, you will be a great strength to the kingdom of God and enjoy great honor and rewards in Heaven.

[Main]

Dear devotees, in order to fulfill your duty to please God, first of all you have to concentrate on prayers.
This is what God has been continuously advising you from the time prayer devotees were formed.
Your mind should not be taken by anything, and you have to just focus on prayer.
So, how well have you kept these words at heart and obeyed this command?
Up until this very moment, no matter what the command of God I have immediately responded with "Amen" to it and obeyed without deviating at all.
I have acted without the slightest exception unless it was specially permitted by God.
God has requested this of you many times, but how well have you kept it in mind and actually followed it?
For example, you had been praying hard daily, but one day you didn't pray so you could visit another member.
This visitation was also for saving a soul and for the kingdom of God.
Also, the one whom you visited said thanks to you saying it was a wonderful time.
Then, will God be pleased? Of course not!
God will only feel sorry that the measure of the incense of your of prayer had not been fulfilled.
Let me give you another example. During this evangelism campaign, you heard some cell groups or parishes went out to a park that has many flowers blooming for an outreach.
And one day, you find the weather is so good and there is also a cool breeze.
So, you say, "We have been praying hard, so let's take a break and go outside and do some evangelical work and get some fresh air, too."
Then, will God say, "Yes, since the evangelism campaign is going on, you should participate. I am happy!"?
How can God be happy when you disobey God?
Or, suppose somebody donated some money with thanks for your devotion so that you could go out and take a rest for one day.
Then, what will God say? Will He say, "You should accept the heart of the person who made the donation for you. You should go out for one day and get some fresh air to concentrate on prayer more"?
No He won't. To that extent, your heart will be taken away by that event, so your aroma of heart in your prayer for God's kingdom will not be enough, thereby causing damage to the kingdom of God.
Today's reading passage says that 'obedience is better than sacrifice and to heed than the fat of the rams'.
Even though you might say you did something good, you cannot please God at all if you are disobeying God.
Of course, being a prayer devotee does not mean you cannot do any other work but praying for God's kingdom.
If you can fulfill your duty and also do some extra works for God with your great spiritual capability, then it will be great.
But before that, you have to remember your duty and fulfill it first.
If you do something else during your prayer time or neglect your prayers to manage other things, God cannot say you did well even though you did so many things.
After all it is to disobey God and that cannot please God.
If you want to take some time off from your prayer because of situation around you or the smooth talk from someone, then it means you don't consider your God-given duty precious enough.
I sometimes told you how very precious the number 1 prayer devotee, who has passed away, considered her duty.
She enjoyed praying more than anything else of the world. She never stopped fulfilling her duty of being a prayer devotee.
Even when the whole church went on a picnic she went to a solitary place and prayed there.
At that time this picnic was for the whole church and therefore, it wouldn't mean she didn't fulfill her duty of praying just because she came to the picnic.
But because she loved praying and considered her duty precious, she wanted to pray no matter where she went without fail.
This kind of attitude is to obey God who gave you this duty.
Your prayer accomplishes the kingdom of God by supporting all the works of God.
It is providing spiritual supplies in spiritual battle, just like supplying ammunition and food in physical combat.
The enemy fire is raining down, and what if the supply unit wants to take a day off and does not supply ammunition and food?
Or, what if they wanted to stop resupplying for a day in order to participate in actual combat and do something heroic or meritorious? It will put the whole army in danger.
So, I hope you will always remember how important your duty is.
I also urge you to deeply engrave in your heart how great your rewards and honor will be if you fulfill your duties well.
Then, you will be able to pray with all your heart, mind, and soul, and not just as a formality or with reluctance.
You will keep and accomplish your precious duty no matter what other people say and no matter what the circumstances.
I hope you will focus on prayers only and try to obey God's will to the very best you are able.
Dear devotees, in order to fulfill your duty to please God, secondly you must not have changing of mind.
You heard many times about the obedience of Abraham.
By God's command, Abraham left his home town and his father's house without knowing where to go.
Also, when God commanded that his son Isaac, the Seed of Promise, to be offered as a sacrifice to God, he just obeyed.
When hearing about this, many of you make up your mind to do the same.
Also, you think you may even actually be able to obey any command of God.
But in fact, it's not easy to find those who really obey.
Many people give complicated excuses even when they are commanded to do something they can do.
In their own thoughts, they fulfill something completely off-the-point and say they obeyed.
It goes without saying they will give even more excuses if they are asked to do something they can't really do.
Or, in many cases, they seem to be obeying at first but later change their attitude.
It's because they have cunningness and changing of mind to follow their benefit.
For example, a person who doesn't pray often heard that we have to pray continually.
So, he decides that he will pray without ceasing, by attending Daniel Prayer meetings everyday.
Before, he would say he was tired, he had some emergencies, or he had some appointments and missed the Daniel Prayer, but he now attends it everyday.
It will be best if this continues, but after several weeks or several months, his mind has relaxed again.
His desire to take a rest when tired and to meet with his friends becomes stronger than the desire to pray.
So, he misses the prayer meeting once.
He also begins to give excuses saying it's difficult for him to fill up his amount of prayer because his power in prayer in still weak.
When Saul attacked Amalek, he went with obedient attitude.
He wanted to follow God's command and kill all the people and even all the livestock that were there.
But when as he saw the good cattle, he felt it was a waste to kill all of them.
So, he shrewdly changed the command of God.
Since God told him to kill everything, Saul killed all the cattle except the good ones.
But then he justified himself saying he obeyed God and killed everything except the good ones so he could offer them to God.
What is more dumb-founding is he gave excuses saying it's not him who wanted to do that but the people wanted it.
Of course, some people might have said something like that.
But if Saul really wanted to obey God, he wouldn't have listened to them.
Listening to such people proves that he himself wanted to do it as well.
Likewise, when we accept the temptation of sin, we accept it because we like sinning.
But many people, after they disobey God, just give excuses putting the blame on others, the situations, or the circumstances rather than repenting of their craftiness or changing of mind.
This way they cannot please God.
I hope you will check how well you have been firmly obeying the commands of God given to prayer devotees.
When God tells you to focus on prayers only, as in the first point, you obey it for some time.
But after some time passes, you begin to give excuses and various reasons of not obeying.
At first, you obey as God commanded, but one by one you make exceptions. Then, you do not really stick to the original command at all.
I urge you to check yourself as to what kind of heart you had when you first joined the prayer devotee and what kind of heart you have now.
You volunteered with thanks for the grace you received and with desire to dedicate yourself. But as time goes you realize that nobody really acknowledges you.
You keep your position and place the best you can, but you don't see any visible fruit like fruit of evangelism or revival.
So, hasn't your attitude or time in prayer, or the aroma of your heart changed now?
As time goes, the amount of prayer should increase and your aroma should become thicker. But now, isn't it that you just keep your position casually?
I hope you will cast away such craftiness and changing of mind and cultivate a firm and truthful heart.
God will be pleased if you fulfill your duty with such an attitude, and He will pay you back with great praise and rewards.
Dear devotees, in order to fulfill your duty to please God, thirdly, you have to bear the fruit of sanctification.
You prayer devotees are the ones who pray more than anybody in this church.
Then, how much fruit of sanctification have you borne in your heart?
If God counts the number of those who have gone into spirit among the prayer devotees, how many of you can be counted in the number?
Every year, God has been telling the prayer devotees to focus on prayers.
What He emphasized along with this is to cast away sins quickly and become sanctified.
Also, He explained in detail what kinds of fleshly hearts we have to cast away as well as how to cast them away.
Of course, you could say you have been praying always for sanctification and you have tried.
But have you actually borne substantial fruit? If you really tried, why isn't there any fruit?
The fact that there is no tangible fruit proves that you lacked truthful effort.
Your duty is prayer, and this prayer is not just about making a sound.
The sound of crying out is the expression of an earnest heart, and we can say you fulfilled your duty only when you put the spiritual aroma in your prayer.
Even though you prayed for the same length of time in the same place, the aroma of prayer will be all different according to the level of your sanctification.
As you know very well, the censer will be filled at different speed according to the thickness of the aroma of prayer of each one to receive God's answer.
Suppose we have to fill a swimming pool with either water from a tap or with water pouring down from a large pipe. The time taken in each situation will be completely different.
Likewise, men of flesh and men of spirit will have completely different lengths of time to fill the amount of prayer to receive an answer.
What you are praying for are such great things.
They are the things that will make history in the course of human cultivation.
And God has established a separate prayer devotee group because those things require such thick and countless measures of the aroma of prayer.
In fact, there are so many things to do for God's kingdom, so what is the reason you are asked to just focus on prayer again and again?
You can imagine how big the censer of prayer is that you have to fill up.
Just to fill up this great amount of prayer, the aroma of prayer of each of you has to be thick and concentrated.
But if you still dwell in flesh having envy, jealousy, and self-seeking, and if you are struggling against yourself with your fleshly thoughts, how can you pray fervently enough?
Even though you can pray to cast away your sins, your aroma of prayer to accomplish the kingdom of God will be weak.
Also, when we accomplish the kingdom of God, by the clear guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit we have to pray in detail for what is absolutely necessary.
But if you pray while staying in flesh, you don't really realize what you have to pray for when you pray for the kingdom of God.
Then, even though you pray for many hours, you pray for something that is not really in agreement with the will of God in your own fleshly thoughts.
You might even pray in meaningless repetitions, just for yourself, or just in other tongues.
If God sees you doing this, how desperate and concerned He will be!
I hope you will quickly bear the fruit of sanctification so that you can always pray with the thick aroma of prayer for the kingdom of God.

[Conclusion]

Dear devotees, today, under the title 'obedience', I talked about three things in order for you to fulfill your duty and please God.
First, you have to concentrate on prayers.
Second, you must not have changing of mind or craftiness.
Third, you have to bear the fruit of sanctification quickly.
It's not as though you are hearing these things for the first time. You've heard them so many times.
If you've been obeying these points until now, you must have been praying fervently for the kingdom of God by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
You must have been riding on the flow of spirit more effectively than anybody else. You must have borne the most abundant fruits in spirit and body every year.
Many of you should now have come forth as men of spirit and whole spirit.
You should have received answers to all problems. You should have been clearly hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit. You should also have greatly manifested the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
But it's not too late. I hope you will fulfill your duties and please God with complete obedience.
This way, the place where you are praying will have to be burning like a furnace with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Anybody who is present there should be able to receive that fire.
If you help the sick by praying with handkerchiefs, they should receive the works of repentance and healing.
I hope all your crying in prayers will not fall to the ground but be accepted as beautiful aroma before God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that the providence for the Grand Sanctuary and for world evangelism will be accomplished and countless souls will be saved through your prayers, and you will all enter into glorious positions shining like the sun in Heaven.

[Amen]

 
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