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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Thanks    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Numbers 23:19
Date
   2010-07-04



[Passage]

Numbers 23:19
"God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today is the Feast of Harvest Sunday.
It is originated from the Feast of Harvest, which was observed by the sons of Israel to give thanks for harvesting the first fruits of the crops.
The sons of Israel lived on the sands of the wilderness for 40 years.
So, wouldn't they have been moved when they entered the Canaan Land and saw their first wheat ripening!
How happy they must have been when they sowed the seeds in the God-given land and harvested the crops!
God knew this was going to happen, and so, even before they entered Canaan, He ordered the sons of Israel to observe the "Feast of Harvest" in Canaan.
Exodus 23:16 says, "Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field."
We keep the first Sunday of the second half of the year as the Feast of Harvest. Today is the first Sunday of the second half of 2010.
I believe you Manmin members have enjoyed the happiness of harvesting during the first half of this year of harvest.
Just like we harvest the crops, we Manmin have begun to harvest spiritual and material fruits.
In Deuteronomy 16:10-11, God tells us how to keep the Feast of Harvest.
[10] "Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the LORD your God blesses you; [11] and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name.
The sons of Israel offered leavened bread with the wheat they harvested for the Feast of Harvest.
They also gave sacrifices of animals to offer up aroma of thanks.
They spent happy hours celebrating.
God says that, during this time, all the servants, strangers, and orphans and widows should rejoice before God.
In whatever circumstances we are, all those who belong to God have something for which to give thanks.
Today on this Feast of Harvest Sunday, let us talk about three things to offer for thanks.
I hope if there are things for which you have not been thankful because you didn't realize them, I hope you will give more thanks to God from this day on.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will offer up to God the sacrifices of thanks with the spiritual and physical fruits given to you.

[Main]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, looking back on the first half of this year, I hope you will be thankful for the grace and strength of God that enabled you to change.
Many of you must be surprised when you think about the changes that have occurred in you, comparing the past and present.
The boastful Peter became humble; John, the son of thunder, became the Apostle of Love. On his way to Damascus Saul was changed and became Paul. Likewise, so many of you have been changed greatly.
Then, is it that you changed by yourself? It is not.
You were able to change by the grace and strength that God gave to you.
Matthew 19:26 says, "And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." As said, God can change the heart of men.
And He has been giving you grace and strength to change your heart during the first half of this year.
What kind of grace and strength?
First, He gave you the grace to realize yourself.
He let you understand your heart-field and how to cultivate it.
Especially on the Lunar New Year's Day, He let you realize what your self-righteousness and frameworks are and gave you the grace to demolish them.
Without this holiness gospel, how can we see through the depth of our heart?
God did not just let us realize what we have to change. He also gave us the strength to actually change ourselves.
For example, you become Spirit-filled when you listen about God and the spiritual realm in the Genesis lectures.
Also, you see the works of creation, signs and wonders and powerful works along with it, so you can believe in the spiritual realm and have hope for heavenly kingdom.
As God has been giving you this fullness and spiritual strength, you could have diligently cast away sins.
Also, God allowed good circumstances for us so that we can always be on alert and pray.
He gave us strength through fervent prayers.
Since recently, He has let us change our attitude in our prayers so we can pray with all our heart without having idle thoughts.
Also, God has given us special chances to change ourselves at each occasion.
For example, what is the reason that God gives us days of blessings including my birthday?
It is to solve your problems and let you receive answers to your prayers and blessings.
But a more important reason is to give you the chances to change into spirit.
When you tried and prayed fervently to practice the word you heard, God made your soul prosper.
Even though you committed some grave sins and backslid in your faith, God gave you the chances to realize your sins and repent of them.
He didn't give you just one chance but many chances.
He gave you grace and strength so you could march on towards New Jerusalem again.
On my past birthday this year, God gave us the monetary blessing for construction of the Canaan Sanctuary, for which we had been longing so much.
How ardent your heart became because of this!
Also, God reminded us of the qualifications to enter into New Jerusalem, and since then, you are changing faster than ever.
Many of you are fasting and praying fervently to change your heart and go into spirit.
All this is the grace of God the Father.

Had God the Father not been patient with us or given us grace and strength, had He not given us special chances at each occasion, how would we have changed by our strength?
When the hardnesses of self-righteousness and self- frameworks are melted down, it is the evidence that God is pouring down on us His love that is as hot as a fiery furnace.
The hearts that are as cold as ice were melted down and filthy sins were washed away because of the mourning and lamenting of the Holy Spirit.
What is the reason that God the Father is leading us to change our hearts into spiritual hearts?
It is because of His love that doesn't want us to just receive salvation alone, but His love that wants us to become His true children and go into the most beautiful dwelling place in Heaven, New Jerusalem.
Also, it is because of His love that doesn't want us to be sick or poor on this earth, but to enjoy peace and His blessings.
I hope you will remember His love all the time and change quickly.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be fully qualified to enter into New Jerusalem.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, looking back on the first half of this year, secondly, I want you to give thanks to God for keeping you safe in His space of love.
Suppose you are walking on the street on a rainy day without an umbrella.
What is the chance that you will not get wet? You hardly have any chance.
Likewise, it is almost impossible not to encounter any disasters or accidents during this earthly life.
There are always dangers of diseases and accidents in our lives.
For example, even though the science has developed so much and the living conditions have become better, such contagious diseases as tuberculosis and eye diseases constantly occur.
As the earth is polluted and destroyed, the natural environment that has been a shelter for men is becoming increasingly harmful and dangerous for us.
For example, the sunshine is crucial for our existence but it is posing a threat to us nowadays.
As the ozone layer is destroyed, the excessive UV rays reach earth's surface and cause skin cancers and eye troubles.
So, who is completely secure on this earth?
There is also a lot of heart-breaking news. Terrible accidents take place every hour.
But most of you here are healthy and you live in peace.
You don't even catch a common cold. You are always protected in your business and workplace.
Most of your little children are not involved in even minor accidents.
We have so many members, but we seldom hear about any of you having had traffic accidents. How amazing this is!
Even though sometimes you get involved in a traffic accident and your car is destroyed, you are protected completely without any serious injuries.
We recently received an amazing testimony from Kinshasa Manmin Church in DR Congo.
The church members were riding a bus when two rear tires were punctured while they were driving. But they were kept safely.
In that tense situation, the church members were not afraid, and they called out 'God of our shepherd' and prayed in one heart.
Finally, the bus just stopped at the side of the road by God's help and they were all protected.
Before the bus had left, Pastor Jacob Hosu Lee prayed for their safety with the handkerchief.
Likewise, Manmin members are always protected in the space of God's love wherever they are.
You are also protected from natural disasters that men cannot control.
There was a volcano eruption in Iceland this past April. Because of that most flights at the time were cancelled in Europe.
But in Rome, the WCDN international medical conference was held without any problem.
They asked for my prayer and when I prayed, God stopped the ashes from spreading any more.
As you always confess with faith, you are always protected and secured in the space of the shepherd.
You listened to the messages about why disasters come and how you can be protected, and you understand the rules of love and justice.
If you live a life that is set apart from the world in the word of God, God prevents all kinds of accidents from taking place.
Even if you get a disease or face an accident, you don't worry about it.
It's because you can be healed by the power of God.
The people in the world fall into despair when they face disasters, but you can look back on your faith and take them as chances to increase your faith.
Psalm 121:5-7 says, "The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. [6] The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. [7] The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul."
I hope you will give thanks and glory to God for fulfilling this verse in your life.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, looking back on the first half of this year, thirdly, God says you should be thankful to God for giving you your shepherd.
Moses knew that he was not going into the Canaan Land with the people, and he asked one thing of God.
Numbers 27:16-17 says, "May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, [17] who will go out and come in before them, and who will lead them out and bring them in, so that the congregation of the LORD will not be like sheep which have no shepherd."
Then, God appointed Joshua.
Joshua succeeded Moses and became the shepherd for the sons of Israel, guiding them into the Canaan Land.
During His ministry on this earth, Jesus also took pity on the people who were like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:36 says, "Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd."
Jesus taught the word to the people who were like sheep without a shepherd. He healed them and solved their many problems.
He gave them faith and the hope of Heaven. He taught the way to Heaven.
As I have mentioned a couple of times, in 1992 I lost so much blood that my spirit was nested in the arms of the Lord.
It was because of so much agony and the burdens for the kingdom of God that my body was in such a condition.
At that time the Lord asked me whether I would stay with Him or go back to the world to accomplish the kingdom of God.
I wanted to be with the Lord. I wanted to go to heaven with Him.
But then, the Lord showed me the church members being dispersed and wandering around like sheep without a shepherd.
Many souls departed from within the boundaries of life and were going the way of death.

Because I knew the heart of the Lord who was looking at the souls who were like sheep without a shepherd, I couldn't remain with Him anymore.
So I said I wanted to fulfill my duty as a shepherd to take care of the flock of the Lord.
From that time on I have been thankful for my choice without any regret.
I am so happy when sick people receive healing and lead a healthy life, and when those who live in pain without realizing the meaning of life listen to the word and change, and become happy.
Above all, I am very thankful when I see the souls who hear the word and see the powerful works of God and receive salvation.
Sometimes, I pray with tears for many days for the souls who are going the way of death.
But when they turn back from sins and go the way of life again, I can enjoy inexpressible joy.
When I prayed earnestly to lead a greater flock of the Lord to salvation, God gave me increasingly greater power day by day.
So, you and I are experiencing God all the time as if we were in the times of the Bible itself.
Jesus said it's difficult to find true faith in this time, yet we are seeing countless works of faith creating things from nothing.
We have been preaching the gospel all over the world with the fiery works of the Holy Spirit like the time of the early church.
We spread the holiness gospel and the power of the Lord even to the end of the earth, Israel.
This church started with just about 7 US dollars but now we have initiated constructing the biggest church building in the world.
All this is solely by the grace of God the Father.
If you will just trust me and follow my lead, I will give glory to God with you more greatly.
I will also guide you to the way of New Jerusalem for I know the will of God the Father who wants to gain countless true children.
Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 2:19, "For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?"
I also want to boast of you before the Lord as your shepherd.
Therefore, I urge you in the name of the Lord to definitely enter into New Jerusalem.

[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today's reading passage is the word of God spoken through Balaam[].
Balaam at the time of Exodus received a request from Balak[] the Moabite king to curse Israel.
But when Balaam [] looked at the people of Israel, words of faithful promise and blessings were proclaimed through his lips.
Numbers 23:19 says, "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"
The faithful God the Father keeps all His promises given to His children.
When we act by His word, He blesses us. He lets us reap abundantly as we have sown. He always keeps us safe.
You and I are the witnesses of the faithful God.
God the Father has also fulfilled all His promises that He has given to this church.
Even when we couldn't fulfill God's promises due to our shortcomings, He guided us to fulfill the measure of justice.
Recently, He showed us a rainbow of His promise and made certain once again that He would fulfill all His promises given to this church.
I hope you will take His promises for this church and the promise to give us New Jerusalem as a promise given for you personally.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will quickly cultivate true hearts so that when the promises are fulfilled, you will become the blessed ones who will give thanks and glory to the Triune God for ever.

[Amen]

 
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