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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Love - Sunday School Teachers    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   1 Corinthians 13:7
Date
   2010-07-11



[Passage]

1 Corinthians 13:7
"[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

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 Sunday School Teachers' Devotional Service. I give thanks to all the devotees who have prepared for this service with all your hearts, minds, and souls.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in Jerusalem, there is a museum called Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority.
In this place is a statue of a man who is holding many children.
It is a Polish teacher named Korczak and the orphans he was teaching.
At the time the Nazis were occupying Europe, Korczak was quite renowned and many people urged him to seek refuge in another country.
Some of them even made visa of another country, and he could escape any time.
But he couldn't just leave his children whom he was teaching just to save himself.
Finally, the Nazis arrived, closed down the orphanage and took the children away on a train.
The terrified children were clinging to their teacher Korczak, and he refused any kind of offer of sanctuary.
He said, "How can I just send my children to die by themselves?" and he boarded the train along with the children.
Until they all had died in the gas chamber, he comforted them and prayed for them.
He could have saved himself, but he gave his life to take care of his children until the last moments.
You devotees have already received this kind of love.
You have received the love of our innocent Lord Jesus Christ who gave his life for us.
I believe you volunteered to become Sunday school teachers to give that love to little souls.
Now, what kind of love do you actually have?
Do you really have true and spiritual love that you received from the Lord?
Or is it by any chance self-centered and fleshly love?
Love never seeks as you personally desire nor does it force the other person to follow your way.
It's not love if you get disheartened or give up after trying for some time just because the others do not accept your heart.
It says, even if you give out your body to the flames but have no love, it counts for nothing.
If you put your selfishness, greed or personal zeal first, you cannot bear good fruits even though you do your best for the others.
To love is to be patient and to endure for a long time understanding the others' heart.
Also, it is to willingly make any kind of sacrifice in the hope of bearing beautiful fruits.
If you fulfill your duties this way, you can certainly bear good fruits.
Through this message, I hope you will check what kind of love you showed and what kind of fruit you have borne.
I also hope you will have true, spiritual love and enter into New Jerusalem with the souls entrusted to you, praying for them, comforting them and holding their hands.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that, you will receive the praises of God.

[Main]

dear devotees, the aspect you have to check in order to cultivate spiritual love is, first of all, patience.
Today's reading passage, 1 Corinthians 13:7 says that love bears all things and believes all things.
Of course you certainly must have been bearing with prayers as you care for the souls.
But most people have certain limit to their patience.
They expect the other person to have changed after they had endured with them to a certain extent.
But when they see that the results are not turning out as they expected, they become disappointed.
They get disheartened thinking, "I prayed for him so earnestly, but he doesn't change. He seemed to be getting better for a while, but he still dwells in untruth. I cannot really help him."
Of course, you cannot do it yourself. That is why you rely on God.
If you rely on God, you have to wait until you receive the answer with unchanging faith.
If you force your students to follow what seems to be good in your view, and then you become impatient thinking that you have endured long enough and that by now you should be able to see some kind of results, then it means you do not have either faith or love.
If you have love, until that patience reaches the measure that God wants, you will never give up or become disheartened.
You will continually show your deeds until the fruit is borne and is recognized by God.
It is applicable not just when you teach your students as Sunday school teachers, but the same goes with caring for the souls in the parish; evangelizing your spouses or parents; and raising your children in the truth.
The same goes also for sanctifying yourself.
Even though you have been faithful and praying for a long time, those who have impatience will soon become disappointed.
Even though they say they love the Father, they have ups and downs in their faith because they are not patient.
If it seems that their goal is not achieved quickly enough or if they encounter some unexpected situations, they lose strength.
They lose their strength thinking, "I have prayed and fasted to be changed, and why can't I see any results? Other teachers seem to be full of grace of God and to be riding on the flow of spirit well, but why have I gained only this much?"
They try to endure as much as they can, but when they reach the limit, they cannot keep their hearts restrained any longer.
They might even complain having some resentment.
If you change your attitude like this, the trust-relation with God will be demolished.
Just as the fruit that has been ripening suddenly falls by the frost, the spiritual fruits will also fall while they are ripening.
Of course, it is not something easy to be patient for a long time for we all have limits.
But if we really love and trust in God, it is not really difficult to be patient.
In fact, we don't even have to say the word, 'patience'.
We can just give everything we have again and again and just wait in patience.
When there is a promise of God, you can keep on giving again and again until the promise is actually given, in order to make your vessel to receive the blessing more properly.
Also, even though you cannot receive anything on this earth, you can still keep on giving because you believe God will reward you in Heaven.
That's the person I have lived to be all the time, and when the measure of patience was filled up, God gave me even more than I asked.
Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary."
The more time and effort we exert in waiting in patience, God accepts it as deeper aroma and lets us reap more abundant fruits.
When God is patient with us human beings, He did not endure just for a couple of years or for a decade.
He didn't just endure for a hundred, or a thousand years. He endured again and again for thousands of years.
Still, there are so many people who follow the sins and evil of the world even though God gave us His only begotten Son for them and taught them with the truth.
There are so many who stand against God even though God has shown us the evidences of the Creator in the nature and through so many men of God.
If God were to lose His patience after reaching a certain point, then Noah's flood would have happened frequently.
But God has been patient with us for thousands of years. He has been patiently waiting until people have become His true children.
Now, how is this with you as Sunday school teachers?
Is there anybody who negatively thinks, "I have been patient for not one, but two years, and still there is no fruit! What can I do?"
If you have been patient for one year or two years with love, you should be able to endure for 3 or 4 years or more.
Then, God can change the souls entrusted to you and also give you the strength to change yourself.
Dear devotees, the second aspect concerning your love that you should check is the attributes of hope and endurance.
Today's reading passage 1 Corinthians 13:7 says that love hopes all things and endures all things.
The apostle Paul could overcome all trials and persecutions because he had seen Heaven, and he had the hope for Heaven.
But he couldn't just enter into Heaven right away. He didn't receive the promise about the exact timing when the hardships would be over.
He had to spend each day in so many difficulties, not knowing anything about tomorrow.
But because he had such a sure hope of the heavenly kingdom, he was able to overcome all those times.
The same is true with your Christian life and fulfilling your duties.
You shouldn't say, "I will endure just a little more because this hardship will soon pass, and this goal will soon be achieved."
You shouldn't say, "I can endure in this matter, but not in that matter," or "I can tolerate this student but not that student."
You should endure without changing of attitude hoping for the best possible result in all areas and with all people.
This is love.
Some researchers conducted an experiment.
They had two classes of students. They told the teachers that the first class consists of highly intellectual students, while the second class is comprised of poorly performing students.
But in fact, the students in both classes were at more or less the same level.
Several months later, they tested the two classes, and they got an impressive result.
Not only in the academic performance, but also the aspects of personality of the first class were much better.
They figured out that the attitude of the teachers made this kind of difference.
When the teachers went to the first class, they thought the students were those who performed with excellence and they noticed their good points first.
They complimented them and taught them with care. They expected improvement from them.
The students also studied hard being influenced by their teachers' attitudes. They also had more interest in the studies and greater self-confidence.
On the other hand, when the teachers went to the second class, they thought the students were less than excellent, and they saw their negative points first.
So, they easily scolded the students even for small mistakes.
When they saw the shortcomings of the students, they easily accepted that the students were no more than expected.
The students in the second class lost their self-confidence, and they developed negative attitudes.
As time was accumulated, there came about great differences in both academic and personality aspects.
Dear devotees, the same can happen spiritually.
If you view the students with hope then each of your words or even just simple facial expression will show that expectation and love you have.
You will see and remember their good points.
You will recognize them, praise them and encourage them.
Above all, when you pray for the children, you will pray for them with firm faith.
Then, you will have a strong bond and trust relation with your children.
They will feel the love of God more vividly through you teachers.
On the other hand, those who cannot view the students with faith will soon give up if they see the children going beyond the limit they can endure.
They will feel burdened if such children are entrusted to them.
Sometimes, you treat the students coldly, and you might have discomfort thinking that child might affect other children, too.
Now, what do you think the child will think about this situation?
He will be disappointed once again thinking, "This teacher is just the same as other people who gave me a hard time. She doesn't love me truly."
He cannot trust this teacher, and he will have the same attitude when he meets other teachers or pastors, too.
Dear devotees, you should not treat the children with the viewpoint of teachers, adults, or workers who have only faith.
You should be able to understand their heart from their standpoint and their measure of faith.
Look at the infinite possibilities that are found in each of the children.
Look forward to seeing them in New Jerusalem.
So much effort is needed for parents to give birth and raise their children physically.
No infant baby will sleep, wake up and play, and eat exactly when the parents want them to.
Obviously the parents will care for their children in their position, sacrificing themselves.
Because they love their children so much, and because they have the hope for the future of the children, they don't think it's something hard.
I urge you to care for each of the souls entrusted to you with this heart of the parents.
Dear devotees, in order for you to do your duty with love, thirdly, you have to cover their faults.
To cover their faults does not mean you just ignore them. It does mean that you have to store up goodness before God until they change.
In most cases, when they children go astray, it doesn't just happen overnight or in a very short period of time.
They go astray when they were not taught properly or they did not receive love for a long time. When such negative influences are accumulated over a period of time they slowly go astray.
Therefore, so much effort is needed to heal the wounded hearts of the children and to correct the course they have taken.
Isn't it the same with you Sunday school teachers?
You cannot just change and become sanctified quickly right after you learn the truth and receive God's grace.
God has been patient with you for a long time as you have been praying and trying hard to change.
So many pastors and workers cared for you and helped you with prayers and fasting.
In the case of the children, even more effort is necessary to take care of them.
So, even though they have slipped up and made mistakes, you should cover their faults.
You should understand why they couldn't help but do what they did and have mercy on them.
But it doesn't mean you can just keep on waiting with the hope that they will somehow change some day.
Even without love you can just ignore somebody's faults.
Nowadays, when some grown-up adults see the students who are doing something wrong on the streets, they don't want to intervene.
They fear that they might get hurt, so they just ignore the situation and go the other way.
But if you really love somebody, you will not just be an onlooker.
If you see your own children go astray, you will try to correct the situation even by punishing them.
If you have true love, you should not just cover their faults but also help them lead a good life in faith.
You should plant faith in them.
If they go the wrong way, you should advise them and serve them with love.
If they are not in a situation that allows for them to listen to your words, it is the time for God to work on them so their heart can change.
In order for this to happen, the measure of justice has to be filled.
Somebody has to pray for them with tears and repent and fast on behalf of those children.
Of course, the parents should do this, but some parents are unbelievers, and in some cases parents' strength is not good enough.
Thus, I hope you will store up goodness before God for the children with the heart of the parents and the heart of the Lord.

[Conclusion]

Dear devotees, in order to grow a tree and gain fruits, the farmer has to work for such a long time.
He has to protect the tree from natural disasters like drought, typhoons, or hail, and from diseases and insects.
He cannot just give them a bunch of fertilizer all at once to make them bear fruits quickly.
He cannot just pull on the tree to make it grow more quickly either.
He has to take care of the tree according to the characteristics of each tree and wait for the harvest time in patience.
The same goes with the souls.
I have met with so many souls and I tried my best to lead all of them to New Jerusalem.
Some of them diligently obeyed, but some other did not change no matter how I tried.
Even though I taught them with the truth and showed the power of God, some stood against God, committed sins repeatedly, and went the way of death.
Still others betrayed me, acted in evil, and paid back the grace with evil.
But I could overcome all those pains because I had hope.
I have the hope and expectation of living with the Lord forever in New Jerusalem after this life on earth.
Also, I have the assurance that so many of you will change and be there with me in that place.
I am always moved very much when I think of the time when we will praise God together in one voice remembering our life on earth here.
I urge you to love each of the precious souls that God entrusted to you with this kind of hope.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will become good teachers who lead countless souls to New Jerusalem with love that is patient, that hopes, and that endures all things.

[Amen]

 
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