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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   The Abundance of God - Thanksgiving Sunday Morning    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   1 Kings 17: 12-16
Date
   2011-11-20



Passage

[1 Kings 17: 12-16]
"But she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die." [13] Then Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. [14] "For thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.'" [15] So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. [16] The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through Elijah."


Today is the Thanksgiving Sunday.
After He created the heavens and the earth, God gave a gift to Adam and Eve.
Genesis 1:29 says, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you."
In this year as in previous years, we have gained food from the vegetables and fruit-yielding trees that God gave to us as gift.
From the earth that contains the divinity of God, small seeds sprouted and grew up to be plants bearing abundant produce.
Also grains have been borne even to the extent that they'd bend under the weight of the grain's heads.
The fruit trees have also borne full yields of pleasing fruits.
We are so glad that each family can sit at the dining table and offer up the prayers of thanks!
How thankful we are that we can give glory to God by decorating the altar of God with various harvests!
Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father for giving us so much grace.
Looking back on the grace of God given to us up until this Thanksgiving Sunday, I hope you will all give thanks to God with all your hearts, minds, and souls.
I will also deliver a message about the deeds of the widow of Zarephath, and I pray in the name of the Lord that you will keep it in mind and harvest more abundant fruits next year.
[Main] Brothers and sisters, and viewing audiences,
All through this year, right up to this Thanksgiving Sunday, God has given us such abundant grace.
First of all, He has protected the life and health of our bodies and spirits.
He has protected the smallest of the cells, and thinnest of the veins and each joint of the bones.
That is why we could breathe, speak, see, and hear.
We could also chew our food, digest it, and move our body.
Even if you or one of your family members had a sickness or infirmity, God healed you when you relied on Him and followed His ways.
He even did things that we never thought was possible.
Cancer was healed, many recovered eye sight and hearing, and a crooked spine was straightened. The upper and lower teeth that were seriously disjointed came to align perfectly.
God instantly healed broken tendons.
The inherited birthmarks that you had to live with your whole life also disappeared.
Furthermore, He protected you by binding you in the bundle of the living during events like roll-over accidents, typhoons, and earthquakes.
He solved all your family problems.
He changed your children who went astray.
He solved the problems in your workplaces and business fields, and gave you financial and material blessings.
Even in villages that had the hoof and mouth disease, God protected the cattle of our church members perfectly.
With His delicate love, God the Father has listened to the little pain or desire that we had and answered us.
He blessed even those believers who were thousands of miles distant from us.
Most especially, God has increased your faith.
He has let you stand firmly on the rock of faith.
Furthermore, He has guided you to reach the full measure of the Christ, namely to have the faith at the levels of spirit and whole spirit.
With this grace, you have borne the fruits of light and fruits of the Holy Spirit more than any other previous year.
How good and fragrant these spiritual fruits are!
The grains and fruits that are offered on this altar cannot begin to be compared with them.
We can remember December 25 last year; this past May when God began to show us aurora lights; the three Special Healing Meetings; the leadership conference; and special two-part Daniel prayer meetings. These are the moments of God's grace that He has given to us so we can bear spiritual fruits.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, our God the Father is full of grace and love.
He takes delight in giving good things to His children.
Just imagine that you are standing before God holding a canister for grain.
God is giving you grain that is pressed down, shaken together, and running over.
Namely, if we sow anything with faith, as in Luke 6:38, He gives us at least pressed down, shaken together, and running over in return.
Of course, if we prepare the vessel of blessing well, He can even give us 30, 60, 100 times more, or even more than that.
But is there anybody who has born little spiritual fruits and received little blessings compared to the abundant blessings that God is giving to us?
If that's the case, I want you to find three secrets to receive blessings from the deeds of the widow of Zarephath.
The widow of Zarephath met God of abundance in a severe drought.
She received such a blessing that the bowl of flour and the jar of oil never became empty until the drought was over.
We see this amazing event recorded in 1 Kings Chapter 17.
What is the reason that she could receive such a blessing?
First, the widow obeyed.
She lived in a place called Zarephath of Sidon.
One day, she was picking firewood near the city gate.
At that time the prophet of God Elijah had just reached the place and asked for water.
As she was going to get some water, Elijah asked for bread too.
So, she explained her difficult situation in 1 Kings 17:12, "As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die."
But Elijah did not seem to care. He asked once again to make some bread for him.
Of course, he did not just command her to obey.
He taught her that, if she acted accordingly, God would bless her so that the bowl of flour and the jar of oil would not become exhausted until the land would have rain again.
If this woman said, "My life is at stake. I am not in a situation to help anybody else," and disobeyed, the miracle wouldn't have happened.
Fortunately, the woman obeyed.
She served Elijah with her last bit of food.
Then truly, the miracle took place.
1 Kings 17:15-16 says, "So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through Elijah."
Brothers and sisters, some of you might confidently say that you could obey as the widow did.
But think about it once again.
If she had given up the last of her food as Elijah said, she and her son would surly die even sooner.
There was no way to get any more food due to severe drought, and in a few days they would have starved to death.
The woman came up with 'Amen' in this tense situation.
It was not that she would take a chance thinking, "Why don't I just believe him once since we are going to die anyway!".
It was true obedience coming from faith.
What kind of deeds of obedience are you showing?
Read Deuteronomy chapter 28 once again.
The ways to receive blessings are so clearly explained.
Since the opening of this church, I have been preaching about the ways to receive protection and blessings of God that are written in the Bible.
For example, what do you have to do to fill your store house fully?
Malachi 3:10 has the answer.
It says, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows."
If you say, "I am not in a situation to give to God now. I will give tithes when I get a stable job and my situation gets better," then, the blessings will be delayed until you obey.
The shortcut to receiving answers to your prayers and God's protection as well as blessings is also obedience.
This year, we heard many testimonies that they were healed of chronic eczema, hepatitis, or arthritis.
It is an interesting point to note that though they had been Christians for a long time, they still had not been healed of such things.
What is the reason?
From their testimonies, you hear that only now they had begun to obey the commands of God such as "keep the commandments" and "cast off all forms of evil."
Namely, as they began to obey the word and keep the commandments of God to cast off evil and be faithful to God, they were completely healed.
If they kept on giving such excuses as, "I was born with such an evil nature, and my ancestors worshiped idols so much that it's not easy for me to cast off evil," or "It's not easy for me to pray and be faithful to God because I am too busy," then, they would not have received any answers!
Therefore, now, why don't you obey with true faith?
Then, I pray in the name of the Lord that, you will be able to testify that you have finally received blessings and answers to your prayers.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ and viewing audiences,
The second thing to note is that the widow of Zarephath held the man of God in high esteem.
She received blessings because of this.
This woman was also a Gentile woman.
It was her first encounter with Elijah at that time.
Nevertheless, she could recognize that Elijah was a man of God.
It's because she had goodness in her heart.
It was not something easy for her to do.
Just imagine the situation.
You meet a person for the first time today, and he is asking you to give him the very last bit of food you have left.
It is your last hope that by it you might be able to keep your life until the drought ended.
Asking to give up such food is not morally acceptable or even understandable.
But the woman did not judge or condemn Elijah thinking, "He is shameless. How can he ask for food of a poor widow?"
This woman had the humbleness not to carelessly judge others and also the eyes to see the faithfulness of others.
Such ability comes from goodness stored in heart.
Most of you have been cultivating such goodness, and also you have seen the attesting of God, so you esteem God's servant who has been appointed to you.
You do not disregard or judge the words I preach on the secrets of receiving blessings.
So, I see these people surely are receiving blessings.
For example, Marie Theresa of France was healed of leukemia through prayer going beyond time and space.
She visited our church this past August to say thanks.
Her healing work began with the trust of her daughter, Virginia, in this church and me.
At that time, Virginia's mother had lost all hope of life and sent her last will and some things to her daughter.
But Marie's daughter introduced the power of God in this church to her mother and said, "I believe God will surely let you live if you receive the prayer of our senior pastor."
Being encouraged by her daughter's faith, Theresa repented looking back on the past with the word of God.
When she again received a medical examination, it was confirmed that she was healed.
It is not only about healing but also sanctification.
Seeing that I am clinging to God so much for the salvation and sanctification of the believers, many of you said that your trust and love for me have increased thinking, "My shepherd is leading me with God's love."
Those of you who follow my lead with trust and love are receiving great strength to ride on the flow of spirit to go into spirit and whole spirit.
You are casting off sins and evil that are difficult to cast off.
The secret to answers and blessings is now not far from you.
Your shepherd has been established by God for you.
God did not just appoint me but also guarantees this ministry.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will all trust and respect such a shepherd so that you can receive answers and blessings of God.
Brothers and sisters, the widow of Zarephath, thirdly, had no greed.
When Elijah asked for her last bit of food, if she said, "I can never give this to you. I don't even have enough for me and my son," and did not give up the food but held onto what she had, then she would have never received any blessing.
Suppose she obeyed and received blessings, but complained saying, "Why is there so little flour and oil coming out?" or if, showing her greed she said, "I need many more things than just this food." What would have happened?
The blessing that she was receiving would have been cut off.
You feel that such an attitude is foolish, don't you?
But in many cases, they actually have such greed but do not realize it.
For example, some people get envious or even discouraged when they hear that other believers or deacons have received a lot of blessings, they bought a home and are also able to help many other people as well.
This kind of thinking comes across your mind due to your greed because you forget the blessings you have received.
If you have greed, you are not content and you lose your thankfulness.
If the spring of giving thanks becomes dry, there will be no more water of blessing.
Being content and giving thanks are like the priming water for a pump.
Priming water is about a bowl of water that you have to pour in to get water from a well.
By pouring this little bit of water, you can fully get the water from the well.
Those who used to be poor but now have received financial blessings have something in common.
They are satisfied with whatever they have, and they always give thanks.
Above all, they are not stingy.
They have the desire to use the financial blessings they receive for the kingdom of God and other brothers and sisters, rather than themselves.
So, how can God not pour down more blessings on them?
You cannot draw blessings with your greed.
Abundant blessings can come when you are satisfied with just a little piece of bread or the water that you can drink. It is when you give thanks and share with others.
The widow of Zarephath shared her food that was same as the life of her family, with a sojourner.
Is there anybody who is in a difficult situation like a famine?

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will cultivate the kind of heart that has no greed at all so that you can meet the God of abundance and experience His amazing miracles.


[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, viewing audiences, when his son Jacob brought savory food and asked for blessings, Isaac blessed him.
The following is just a part of his blessings:
Genesis 27:28 says, "Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and an abundance of grain and new wine."
If Isaac had this kind of heart when he was blessing Jacob, just how much more abundantly would our God want to give to you?
Why don't you give to God some savory food so that God can give you abundant blessings?
Today, I talked to you about the three kinds of savory food that God delights in.
First, it is truthful obedience. Second, it is the goodness of heart that can hold a man of God in high esteem. Third, it is a heart that has no greed.
From this we can sense that our God the Father delights in the aroma of heart of His children.
I hope you will quickly bear abundant and fragrant fruit of spirit in your heart and always receive blessings.
We will soon build the Canaan Sanctuary and the Grand Sanctuary. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will fill them with the beautiful aroma of your hearts and please God with that same aroma in New Jerusalem.

 
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