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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Grace - Feast of Harvest Sunday Morning    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   1 John 4:16
Date
   2012-07-01



Passage

[1 John 4:16]
"We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."


Today is the Feast of Harvest Sunday.
Exodus 23:16, the first part says, "Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field..."
The Feast of Harvest is one of the three major Festivities of Israel.
It is an occasion where you give thanks after harvesting the first fruit, which is wheat.
In Korea, it is usually celebrated on the first Sunday of July, which is the time of barley-harvest and the beginning of the second half of the year.
In this festivity, we give thanks for the grace of God the Father who has protected us and blessed us throughout the first half of the year.
Through festivities, we can remember the things that we just forgot or missed, and give thanks for them.
While doing so, we can feel and engrave the grace and love of the Father God more deeply in our hearts.
Acknowledge that all the conditions of thanksgiving came from God and give thanks to Him with all your heart, mind, and soul.
Then, God will give you more situations for thanksgiving in the second half of the year.
A festivity is a time of blessing when God and we, His children, share our love.
In this message let us think about the three kinds of grace of God among so many other things given by God.
A Manmin praise song titled 'A Blessed Day' is sung as follows:
"Today's a blessed day to gather and hear the words of truth and life of the Father. Today's a blessed day for those who believe and can experience His grace and power."
I hope you will have such a day today.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will come to naturally sing 'Hallelujah!'
[Main] Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the first grace given by God the Father is the grace of forgiving our sins.
We give thanks to the Lord everyday remembering the cross He bore.
Without the blood on the cross, we were destined to go to Hell to pay the wage for our own sins.
How dreadful it would have been!
I believe some of you feel the sacrifice on the cross even more deeply than others.
Do you remember December 25, 2010?
Until then, many people were turning their backs on the Lord by disregarding the word of life.
They committed sins following the lust and temptations of the world.
Knowing the truth, they committed sins depriving of salvation and sins leading to death.
They crucified the Lord all over again to put Him to open shame.
Their hope of salvation was cut off, and they had no choice but to wait in fear for judgment.
Above all, they felt so miserable realizing they could no longer have any hope for Heaven and New Jerusalem.
But in a wondrous way, the Lord reached out His blood-stained hands to you once again.
Many people repented of their past sins completely and came back within the boundaries of salvation again.
Of course, if you committed sins leading to death, you cannot repent of them.
It's because you cannot receive the spirit of repentance.
And how was this impossible thing made possible?
It was thanks to the intercession of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:26 says, "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."
Also, Jesus said in John 16:8, "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment."
As His roles are explained, the Holy Spirit continually interceded for you with groanings.
Of course, if you commit sins depriving of salvation repeatedly or sins leading to death and go out of the boundary of salvation again, the Holy Spirit does not dwell in you anymore.
It is as written in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, "Do not quench the Spirit," the Holy Spirit in you will be quenched.
But the God of love, our heavenly Father urged my heart continuously.
So that you could repent, God urged me to unceasingly preach about sins and the judgment to come for them.
The hearts of the Father God, the Lord, and the Holy Spirit are the same.
God does not want even one soul to fall into Hell.
Jesus kept on giving chances to Judas Iscariot even though He knew that Judas had already been captured by Satan.
I believed in this love of the Father God and the Lord.
I also pleaded with you in tears.
As you've seen, many days I stood on the pulpit with staggering body for I lost all my energy.
Reading the repentance letters you sent, I asked God to give you the grace to repent and turn back.
Thankfully, God the Father did not forsake my prayers.
On December 25, 2010, He gave those of you who repented from heart the grace of forgiveness.
Furthermore, even after that, He continued giving you strength and grace to cast away your love for the world and works of the flesh.
For example, do you remember this past New Year's service?
I was away for the mountain prayer.
I sang the 'Castle of the Shepherd' with you through telephone during the worship service.
At that time, many people said they received the grace and strength to cast off sins and evil.
One of the college students said he was set free from Internet game addiction.
Also, many people received strength to cast off sins and evil through the blessing festivity, Daniel prayer meetings, and other worship services.
You did not only come back within the boundaries of salvation but you also came to hope for New Jerusalem.
Many church members have demolished the barriers of sin and now they are receiving healings and financial blessings.
How thankful we should all be!
Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has given us such great grace.
Of course, He had given us grace of repentance several times in the past.
He gave us special days and saved us many times from the pits of sins from which we could not get out by our own strength.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, you must never leave the bosom of the Lord ever again.
You must not crucify Him all over again, either.
This is the way to pay back His grace.
We all Manmin members can do it.
It's because God the Father is still pouring down His grace on us without ceasing.
Isaiah 44:22 says, "I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you."
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will forever dwell in the bosom of this good Father, Lord, and the Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the second kind of grace given by God the Father is the grace to increase our measure of faith.
What is the reason that wheat or barley ripen and create gold-colored waves?
Of course, it is also because the farmer has sown the seeds and taken care of them diligently, but the farmers cannot make the crops grow even by a single inch.
It can be done only by God the Creator.
It's the same with the growth of faith.
Just by going to church or doing many good works within one's own standards does not guarantee one's growth in faith.
If one can increase his faith so easily, why would there be people who are at the same level for so many decades?
Also, why would some people who used to diligently attend church suddenly change their mind and leave God?
It's because it is difficult to increase our faith, and sometimes people backslide in faith.
The growth of faith can be given only by God the Father.
Of course, the kind of faith I'm talking about here is spiritual faith.
Spiritual faith is one that is given from above, given by God.
It is the true faith that leads us to salvation and Heaven, and the living faith to bring down answers.
What is the fleshly faith on the contrary?
You say, "Lord, I believe!" but you do not have the deeds that follow by living by the word. It is dead faith with which you cannot bring down answers of God.
Fleshly faith is also called faith as knowledge for you know about God and the truth only as knowledge.
But thankfully, most of you here have spiritual faith.
Not only that, but since the grace of forgiveness on the Christmas of 2010, your spiritual faith has been growing rapidly.
It has been especially true since the time around the leadership conference last year.
In this past New Year's service, you passed the test given by God, and you yourselves could check the level of growth of your spiritual faith.
There is one more piece of evidence that shows your increased faith.
It is that you kept your positions well while I was gone for many weeks for my mountain prayers.
Faith is something like the above.
It is to live by the word of God in any circumstance or any situation, or whether or not you are being watched or not.
Brothers and sisters, it is never easy for your faith to increase by 1 percentile.
But the faith of many of you increased by scores of percentiles within several months or in just a couple of years.
Many of you grew up in faith so much, from fleshly faith to spiritual faith, and even getting close to spirit and whole spirit.
This is something that men can never do.
It was made possible because God the Father supplied you with spiritual water and sunshine continually.
In particular, it is the aurora-like lights that God has given us since my birthday this past May that have acted as a stimulus to let your faith grow up.
Through the aurora-like lights, many of you say, "I can see my 'self' which I have not been able to see for decades. I have realized now that I had such evil in me. I realized I had such strong self-righteousness and mental frameworks."
Also, many of you somewhat regret your past saying, "It is so easy to cast away sins, so why couldn't I do this earlier?"
What is truly to be thankful for is that even the new-believers who could not have any spiritual faith were changed, and many believers who were disheartened are coming back.
All this was made possible because God the Father gave us the rapid flow of spirit.
The latter half of Exodus 19:4 says, "You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself."
As said, you are very quickly passing through the wilderness called 'human cultivation' riding on the rapid current of grace that the Father God is giving to you these days.
You are quickly taking after the image of God, running towards New Jerusalem in Heaven.
On the other hand, is there anybody who feels that your faith is not really growing up?
If you have been trying to ride on the flow of spirit, you should be able to see at least the dry branches are supplied with water again, and they are beginning to grow further.
Now, you must just keep growing up.
There is no need for being discouraged.
Latter half of Luke 18:8 says, "...when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"
Now is such a time.
Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has given us spiritual, and true faith in this age and who has let us hope for the second coming of the Lord earnestly.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the third kind of grace given by the Father God is the grace of being given a true shepherd.
While I was in the mountains for prayer, many of you realized the importance of the shepherd for the flock while listening to the lecture on Psalm 23.
I feel more of you than before now professing, "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want," as in Psalm 23:1.
God the Father, the Lord, and the Holy Spirit are our True Shepherd.
Because God who is our shepherd is guiding us, we can get the food and water in spirit and body.
Above all, we can go with comfort towards the heavenly kingdom which will become our true resting place.
John 10:11-12 says, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 'He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.'"
As I have been ministering, I imprinted these verses in my heart again and again.
I've been trying to take care of the flock entrusted to me with prayers.
And I believe that it was the answer to such prayers of mine, that God gave us the forgiveness and increased our faith, which were the two kinds of grace mentioned earlier.
Since God the Father called me to be His servant, I had a great desire to save numerous souls.
I clung to God with prayers and fasting for this.
I wanted to understand the way to do it and also to know the will of God the Father.
And God the Father clearly showed to me the spiritual realm, which used to be only a vague idea.
Furthermore, He also let me know what this church must do at this end time.
It is to evangelize this country and the whole world, and to build the Grand Sanctuary.
And my hope has become even more crystallized.
It has evolved to be "I will save numerous souls and build the Grand Sanctuary at this end time, along with our church members, and enter into New Jerusalem."
And the past days that I had to endure to fulfill this hope were by no means easy.
Especially, when I came to know the details of the sins that our church members committed after the rapid flow of spirit started, I felt such great pain that I thought it was like the pain of the abyss.
More than anything else, I had the greatest agony when I thought about the people I knew who were going to remain during the 7-Year Tribulation or when I had pictured them in Hell but not in Heaven.
So I clung to the Father God without ceasing.
I also proclaimed about sin, righteousness, and judgment without a rest.
I taught you the spiritual things and encouraged you so you could ride on the flow of spirit.
I taught you the spiritual words of the Father God incessantly.
I waited with patience hoping with faith that many of you would change.
And all these works proved to be worthwhile.
Many of you actually changed.
I came to show to the Father God the flock who can be saved, and furthermore the souls who can enter into New Jerusalem.
The number will still be added to in the future, so I am so thankful.
I am encouraged even more because many of you trust me as your shepherd and try to become my strength.
I can stand here at this hour thanks to the aroma of such hearts as yours.
I was not able to sustain my body because I lost all my energy, but the power of the Father God, and your love held me.
Soon, we will begin the construction of the Canaan Sanctuary and accomplish world evangelism with the amazing power.
Let's look forward to the kinds of works that God the Father will reveal before us!
Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has established this church and called us as the shepherd and the flock that will fulfill His great will and providence.


[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and viewing audiences, today on the Feast of Harvest, we reviewed the three kinds of grace, namely, grace of forgiveness, grace of increasing our faith, and grace of giving us a true shepherd.
But the foremost of all kinds of grace is that we came to feel the great love of the Father and dwell in that love that He is giving to us.
It is just as today's scripture 1 John 4:16 says, "We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
We have the leadership conference beginning tomorrow.
I hope you will attend it with a thankful heart for all the grace given until now, and with a heart that relies on the love with which God gives us only good things.
Then, the Father God will let all of you have amazing growths in faith.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will have greater and more grace in spirit and body in the second half of this year.

 
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