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   Thanks - Holy Communion    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   John 6:53-55


John 6:53-55
[53] So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. [54] "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. [55] "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

On the Parents' Day, little children make a carnation with color paper and pin it on their parents' chest.
They also write a letter in child-like handwriting saying:
"Dear mom and dad, thank you for giving birth to me and raising me with love. I will become a good child."
The parents can forget about their tiredness and feel happy through this kind of genuine confession of thanks.
They go to work with the flower that their children pinned to their chest and want to boast about it.
Our heavenly Father also has humanity, so He is happy when we express our thanks.
We enjoy the grace of God each moment, and I hope we will not take for it granted, but express our thanks and love all the time and delight God.
Continuing from the Sunday morning service, I will talk about the things for which we should give thanks.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will keep each word in your heart and please the heart of God the Father with abundant confessions of thanks.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the first thing we should give thanks for is the grace of forgiveness of our sins.
As it is written, 'the wages of sin is death'. We were all sinners, and we were destined to receive the punishment.
But Jesus died on the cross in the place of the sinners. Those who believe in this fact can receive salvation with faith and escape the punishment of death.
But even though we have been forgiven of our sins by believing in the Lord, we cannot say we have received complete salvation.
To make that salvation complete, we have to live by the Word of God.
Namely, as written in today's reading passage, we have to 'eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man'.
John 6:53 says, "...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves."
The reason why we have the Holy Communion at each Day of the Feast is to remember that we have to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man.
Spiritually, to 'eat the flesh of the Son of Man' is to take the word of God as spiritual bread.
John 1:1 says that the Word is God.
John 1:14 says that the 'Word became flesh, and dwelt among us', and He is Jesus.
Therefore, to eat the flesh of the Son of Man is to take the Word of God.
To take the word of God is not just to know the word in the Bible in knowledge.
It is to change our heart with that word.
It is to cast away evil and to fill it with goodness and love instead.
And to eat the flesh of the Son of Man, we have to drink the blood of the Son of Man at the same time.
It means while we are learning the word of God, we have to obey it with our deeds.
For example, when people eat food, they have to take liquid with the food.
If you eat dry food without taking any liquid, you cannot digest the nutrients in the food.
You can digest and absorb the nutrients and pass the body waste only when you take liquid.
Likewise, once we learn the truth, the word of God, we have to try to practice it.
We have to obey the words that tell us to do, not do, keep, or throw away certain things.
Only then the word of God that you learned will become your life and strength.
The untruths in the heart will go out and that empty spot will be replaced by the truth.
Hatred will go out and love will replace it. Arrogance will go out and humbleness will replace it. Hot-tempter will go out and gentleness will settle.
1 John 1:7 tells us clearly that we have life in us only when we drink the blood of the Son of Man as well as eating the flesh of the Son of Man.
It says, "...but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."
To walk in the light here means to obey and practice the word of God.
Jesus shed His precious blood to redeem us from our sins, but in order for us to be forgiven of our sins through that blood, we have to walk in the light.
Brothers and sisters, nobody in this world can solve the problem of sin by himself.
Even though they live a relatively good life, they cannot be forgiven of their original sins and self-committed sins.
Had Jesus not taken the punishment of the cross on our behalf, in the end we would have had to suffer in the everlasting fire forever.
We will not dare to call the holy God our Father.
Therefore, we must never forget this grace of salvation.
We have to engrave it in our heart again and again, and walk in the light in obedience to the will of God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the second thing for which we have to give thanks to God is the grace that lets us know the truth.
You, in this church, have listened to spiritual messages and learned so many amazing secrets.
Above all, you know the secret in salvation as to why Jesus is our only Savior, and how we can receive salvation when we believe in Him.
Furthermore, you listened to and learned about deep spiritual things including who God the Father is and how creation took place.
Today there are many preachers who testify to Jesus Christ and God the Creator.
But it is difficult to find a person who can explain very clearly about the secret of salvation, namely the way of the cross.
They just preach what they know and believe.
If we do not understand the truth very well, it is difficult to live by God's will.
Even those people who have relatively good consciences cannot really discern what is really good in this world that is full of sins.
Also, it is difficult to believe that it is really a blessing to choose goodness over evilness, in a situation where we have to make a choice.
We can deny ourselves and follow the true value up to the point of sacrificing ourselves only when we have the precise standard as to what truth really is.
Of course, some preachers interpret the spiritual words on their own and preach.
But most of these interpretations are not given by the complete works of the Holy Spirit. They interpret with a lot of human thoughts.
So, Amos 8:11 says, "Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD God, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD."
Then, how can you believe that the word of God preached in this church is really true?
If you have been earnestly longing for the truth, you must feel the fullness of the Holy Spirit when you listen to the message.
The Holy Spirit in you will testify to the validity of these messages.
Furthermore, when you practice these messages, you can see the fruit of blessings that are fulfilled, so you can believe them.
But the most certain evidence is the countless works of God's power taking place in this church.
You can believe the messages preached because you can always see the fiery works of the Holy Spirit.
In this sin-filled generation of spiritual thirst, I hope you will always give thanks for the fact that you have abundance of spiritual words and you can understand the truth.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, thirdly, I hope you will always give thanks for that you have hope of heavenly kingdom.
There are overflowing temptations in this world.
But those of you who have hope of Heaven do not look at such things.
It's because you know very well that the honor and wealth of this world that belong to flesh will finally perish.
Also, you certainly believe that things that are seen are not everything, but that there is a spiritual realm that is invisible.
As you hope for the glory of eternal Heaven, you 'take hold of spiritual realm by force' each moment even on this earth.
You quickly cast away the worldly things like the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of this life.
As you deny yourself, die everyday, and obey God completely, you receive fullness and joy from above.
Those who say that a Christian life is hard say so because they want to remain attached to their fleshly ways of life.
Those who quickly cast away flesh will always be filled with the Holy Spirit.
You attend this worship service because you have the hope of the heavenly kingdom.
Rather than having the fleshly fun of enjoying yourself on a holiday, you long for the joy of advancing into the spiritual realm more.
You gain happiness in the spiritual rest such as the joy of listening to and understanding the word of God, fellowship with the believers, and the inspiration you get from the praises and prayers.
When this kind of fullness of Spirit continues day by day, you will enjoy the joy of eternal Heaven.
I hope you will always be thankful that you can long for Heaven that the world cannot give or know about, and that you can long for spiritual things.


Psalm 50:23 says, "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God."
Other than the things for which to give thanks that I talked about in the morning and this service, there are so many things to give thanks in our lives.
I hope you will always remember the grace of God and offer the sacrifice of thanks.
Even though you face some times of trials or hardships, you can just humble yourself and take them with thanks.
You can consider it a time of blessing during which you can realize yourself and become more perfect in spirit.
When you march on with thanks this way, God will accept the aroma of your hearts with joy and lead you step by step to where only happiness overflows in New Jerusalem.
Not just on these days of festivities, but I pray in the name of the Lord that you will enjoy the blessings of God that He is giving to you for your praises of thanks all year round.