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   Faithfulness - Sunday Evening Service (Inauguration)    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   1 Corinthians 4: 2


[1 Corinthians 4: 2]
"In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy."

Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has blessed us to have the 2012 inauguration service.
This year, we have one assistant pastor, three elders, sixty-two senior deaconesses, twenty-five honorary senior deaconesses, two associative senior deaconesses, a total of 93 persons being inaugurated.
I congratulate all those who are inaugurated as workers for the kingdom of God.
I also give thanks to the families, relatives, and other guests who have come to congratulate them.
Dear brothers and sisters, for those of you who are inaugurated today, I believe you had especially emotional moments for the last couple of days.
I believe many of you were filled with tears thinking of the past: the moment you met the Lord for the first time, the days of trials that you underwent, and the moments of thanksgiving after receiving answers and blessings.
I believe you have given thanks to God remembering each day you spent trying to be faithful in an attempt to pay back the grace and love you received.
I believe you are here with a new determination to be more faithful as you have received such precious titles.
It's a very blessed day as for the whole church, too.
When each of the pastors, elders, and senior deaconesses are inaugurated, the church gains workers like pillars and it will stand more firmly.
You are so very precious in this sense, and God is giving you the message with the title, 'Faithfulness'.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 says, "Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy."
The faithfulness here does not refer to physical, but spiritual faithfulness.
We cannot say you are spiritually faithful just because you hold many big and important positions and you devote yourself with all your time and money.
Your work has to contain the aroma with which God is pleased.
Namely, you have to be faithful with love for God in a way that God will be pleased with it.
For example, some people are so passionate about the kind of work they like, but they are not really cooperative and not as faithful for the works in which they are not really interested.
This is fleshly faithfulness.
You should not just work hard doing the things you like. Spiritual faithfulness is to do any kind of work with all your best just because it is beneficial for the kingdom of God.
Those of you who are being inaugurated today have been faithful to some extent. That is why you can have this blessed day.
But through the message, I hope you will check your faithfulness once again.
I pray in the name of the Lord that, from this moment on, you will have spiritual faithfulness with which God is pleased, so that you will be pastors, elders, and senior deaconesses who are recognized as good and faithful sons and daughters of God.


Dear brothers and sisters, those who are inaugurated,
To cultivate spiritual faithfulness, first of all, you should have peace.
Those of you who have been performing duties in this church understand the importance of having peace very well.
Hebrews 12:14 says, "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord."
Some workers have the capability and passion to make things happen, but are unable to maintain peace.
They insist on their ideas and opinions so hard that they cause discomfort among the people around them.
Such people cannot really please God even though they work very hard. They cannot become great workers.
God cannot work where peace is broken. It rather gives Satan grounds to accuse us.
After all, there won't be any spiritual fruit.
With the faith that you have as those who are inaugurated today, I am sure you do not openly break peace with anybody.
But you should not be content just by that. You must not cause any discomfort or hurt the feelings of others in any case.
If you seek your benefit; if you think only from your viewpoint, if you do not acknowledge others' opinions, but only insist on yours; if you do not consider the level of faith of others and coerce them to accept your opinion, in all these cases you are breaking peace.
You should not want to get the work done wonderfully as you have planned, but you should be willing to receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit being united with many people.
Also, another important thing in having peace is that you must have peace with God first.

You should have peace with God the Father, the Lord, and your shepherd who teaches you the Word of God.
This means that you must not have any barriers of sin.
In 1 Timothy chapter 3, and Titus chapter 1, there is an emphasis that you must not have anything to blame if you want to become an overseer, elder, or a deacon.
Even if you have a position in the church and work hard, God cannot be pleased with your work as long as you befriend the darkness and dwell in sins.
God cannot acknowledge that work as spiritual faithfulness.
Therefore, I hope you will keep in mind that the most fundamental condition to fulfill your duties well is sanctification through circumcising your heart.
You can have peace with God and with everybody only when you achieve sanctification.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, those who are inaugurated, to have spiritual faithfulness, secondly, you must serve.
In the world, as the positions become higher, they want to be served more. But the positions in the church are given to serve.
Elders are supposed to serve more than deacons. Pastors are supposed to humble themselves and serve the flock more.
You should not think, "Now, I am a pastor, and people will treat me differently," or "I am an elder or senior deaconess, and the members will respect my opinion more."
Of course, as your positions become higher, the church members will serve you more.
But you should be on the alert all the more greatly as they do that.
You should keep a lowly heart so that it will not be lifted up and you will not become accustomed to being served or take it for granted.
You should have the attitude to sacrifice yourself first and dedicate yourself first in all things.
And if you force those who are under you in the order or the church members to obey your words, or if you have discomfort against those who do not listen to you very well, you should know that it is such a shameful thing.
1 Peter 5:3 says, "...nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock."
Even though your idea seems to be correct, you must not command others to follow your opinion.
You have to consider the faith and situations of others, and give them strength and help them give birth to life so that they can practice the truth.
You should be careful about one more thing here. It is that your heart for the church members must not be confused with your self-righteousness.
For example, suppose a church department has made a mistake and caused some discomfort to the church members. Here, it is OK to make suggestions and try to correct the mistakes for the church members.
But if you judge the department that made the mistake saying, "You should know better," "Why do you not love the church members?" then it is not really edifying.
Let me give you another example. Since we don't have enough parking space and other facilities, the leaders yield to church members.
Suppose you parked at a distant place to serve others, but another leader came late and parked very near or inside the church for his personal convenience.
In this situation, what would you think?
If you have discomfort thinking, "He is also a leader and he knows better, but why does he follow his own comfort and not serve others?" then, it means you do not have a good heart.
You don't have to take note of what others are doing. You can just serve others.
To have the attitude of service is not just to serve the church members.
Whether they are higher or same level in the order, you should serve everyone.
When you fulfill your duties with service in this way, your work can be recognized as spiritual faithfulness.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, those who are inaugurated, to have spiritual faithfulness, thirdly, you must have love.
The most important duty of the church on this earth is to save and change the souls.
As those who are entrusted with the secret of the Christ, we must proclaim this secret to the whole world.
Also, we should teach them to live a holy life as God wants to gain true children.
But this holiness gospel must be delivered not just with words but with love.
The apostle Paul always preached the gospel and holiness before God, and he didn't just do that with words but he took care of the flock with utmost love and care.
He prayed for the church and the believers much more than he prayed about his own persecutions and hardships.
He comforted and encouraged the weak souls and helped those who were in need.
In addition he continued to plea with them to depart from sins and live by the will of God.
Some professions of such love are found in many places of the Bible.
Philippians 1:8 says, "For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 2:8 says, "Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us."
He says he wants to give not just the gospel but also his life to the souls, because he loves the souls so much with the affection of Christ Jesus.
I hope you will check the love that is in you once again.
How earnestly do you seek God's kingdom?
How much do you pray for the souls and take care of them?
What can you give to those souls who are dying in sins?
Since 2010, many people make the following kind of comments.
They say, "I can now understand a little bit how earnestly the shepherd has been praying before and clinging to the Father to restore the souls who committed sins and to keep those souls who repented."
I hope you will have such love in your heart, too, so that you will completely depart from sins and furthermore pray for the souls and preach with love. This is my earnest desire.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, those who are inaugurated,
God has bought us, you and me who were nothing, with the precious blood of the only begotten Son Jesus.
We were heinous sinners, and yet God made us His children and entrusted us with precious duties and the souls.
He has been waiting a long, long time in the process of human cultivation, and now He is looking for faithful workers who will harvest the sheaves.
He is most earnestly seeking them saying, "Who will go for Me?"
I hope you will be worthy of such earnest desire and hope of God by being perfect and holy.
I urge you to have peace, serve others, and love others to become faithful workers to whom God the Father can entrust important duties.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will eventually pass through the Pearl Gates and stand before the throne of God the Father to hear His praise saying you are good and faithful sons and daughters.