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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   God''s Abundant Providence(1) - Thanksgiving Sunday Morning Service    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Psalm 50:23
Date
   2012-11-18



[Passage]

[Psalm 50:23]
"He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; and to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God."


Today is the Thanksgiving Sunday. The fruits, vegetables, and grains decorating the altar give out a variety of beautiful colors.
The fruits in particular give out sweet and mild aromas.
Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has given us abundant fruit and protected us in this year as in the previous years.
God has been giving us abundant fruits to you personally and to this church.
But among those who have weak faith, seeing only the current situations, some of you might think the fruits are being borne slowly thinking, "Why isn't the blessing coming to me quickly enough? Why is my faith not growing up quickly?"
But is it really true?
The song 'Flow of Spirit 3', among the Manmin praise songs given by God, has the following lyrics:
The Father guides this church with His love, and the fruit of love is borne every year, every month...The church guided in the plan of God, the fruit of spirit overflows every day, the fruit of spirit overflows every day.
As the lyrics say, God has given this church abundant fruit every week, every month, and every year in His great plan and providence.
It's just that He accomplishes things in His justice and love, and therefore the fruits in physical sense were not visible from time to time.
In this service, I'd like to tell you about the abundant providence of God who will let us bear many fruits.
On this Thanksgiving Sunday, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will remember the fruits given by God so far, and imagine the rich fruits that He will give to us, and offer up a sacrifice of thanksgiving to Him.


Main

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, God the Father has been leading this church in His special providence and plans.
Anyone who has been watching the ministry of this church would have to acknowledge this fact.
What is that special providence then?
Above all, it is to lead countless souls to the Lord at this end time which is filled with evil.
1 Timothy 2:4 says, "[God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
As said, if possible, God the Father wants to save everyone on the face of the Earth and not just a few.
Another special providence here is to give better heavenly dwelling places and rewards for more souls.
James 1:12 latter part says, "...he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." As said, the Lord has promised those who love Him not just crowns but also beautiful dwelling place and rewards.
For this, God has been accomplishing various kinds of things through this church until now.
In that process, there were some moments when it seemed the things were not being done quickly enough and the fruits were not enough in the eyes of men.
These times were allowed for the purpose of bearing more abounding fruits, in a dimension that men cannot imagine.
To achieve the goal of bearing such fruit, God is fulfilling His providence like chariot with two wheels.
The first wheel is justice and the second is love.
Let us first see how He is fulfilling His providence through justice.
Simply stated, justice is to accomplish things according to the rules that are set.
For example, the crops can grow up and bear the fruit with adequate amount of sunshine and water.
This is an example of a set of established rules.
It's the same with the things of the spiritual realm.
We reap what we sow; we ask and it will be given; we seek and we will find; we knock and it will be opened; the wages of sin is death- all these things are rules of the spiritual realm.
God carries out human cultivation according to justice keeping these rules.
It is so that the human cultivation will be carried out justly.
If God were to just make a huge number of true children as though producing a product in a factory, what would be the meaning of human cultivation?
God is also paying the price in full to gain true children, and that is why each true child of God He gains is so precious.
Originally, God existed alone as the Light with the chiming voice within in the whole universe, and then He assumed an image.
The God who was almighty and limitless laid limitations on Himself and on His authority.
Also, He could have created all things in the universe at once, but He put in all His effort to create them in a specific order and according to their own kinds for six days.
In the case of the first man Adam in particular, God expended all His strength and effort.
He could have just commanded with His word, but instead He molded and formed him with His own hands.
He also gave His creature, man, free will.
Because of that He had to suffer the pain of betrayal, too.
As a result of having given man this freewill, God came to receive true love from many children.
Our Lord also fulfilled the duty of the Savior in God's justice.
He was one with God in origin, but He came to this earth in a human body.
He felt the cold, hunger, and pains according to the justice of this earth belonging to the First Heaven.
After all, He was crucified and shed all His water and blood in the midst of great pain.
Hebrews 9:22 says, "... without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness," and according to this law that there must be shedding of blood for forgiveness of sins, He sacrificed Himself.
Because it was perfectly in accordance with the justice, the sacrifice of Jesus is so precious.
Through this sacrifice on the cross, the Lord came to receive more glory and praise.
If Jesus tried to pay the price of sins of people while possessing only divinity, or without going through proper procedures as a dictator might, then the enemy devil and Satan would have certainly brought accusation and objected to it.
But Jesus paid all price with His body.
Brothers and sisters, just as thread follows after the needle, something follows after justice.
It is sacrifice.
The reason why God the Father has allowed for storm-like tests and trials to come upon this church and let us go through a time of endurance is for us to sow the seed of sacrifice.
Only in doing so, the providence of saving countless souls and leading so many souls to New Jerusalem will be accomplished most beautifully and abundantly.
This is same as we having to expend more effort to increase the quality and quantity of the harvest.
God has been guiding this church in precise justice to gain many grains of wheat, especially the best quality grains of wheat through this church.
And as the shepherd in charge of the flock of this church, I had to sow with many sacrifices and much dedication.
Also, you church members did not just try to become ordinary and casual believers, but you did your best in your life of faith.
God the Father has also let us go through tests and trials of blessings, similar to a Korean saying that goes, "Lashing a galloping horse."
He also gave us the rapid flow of spirit.
Though you had tried to cast off all sin, He also clearly revealed the sins that you had not yet cast off.
Every time it happened you just tightened your belts and made yourself more of sober spirit.
You also tried harder.
What has been the result?
This church became a church loved by God, and you became believers who are loved by God.
God commended us and gave us blessings just like the church in Philadelphia, which is one of the model churches in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 3:8-9 says, "I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 'Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.'"
Above all, God has also given you the hope of New Jerusalem.
Brothers and sisters, if human cultivation were to be carried out without any rules, the glory received by God would be meaningless too.
If those who go through human cultivation receive salvation after leading a casual life as believers, they would not be able to enjoy great happiness and honor.
God is giving you more grace through the original light and at the same time He is urging you to achieve growth of your faith on your part.
This is because it is not within justice for you to gain salvation and achieve growth of faith through the one-sided grace of God the Father and the Lord and the sacrifice of the shepherd alone.
In such a case, in the future you would only be able to receive minimal glory.
I think you know by now and you understand very well why God has allowed for us to have a time of waiting until we receive the monetary blessing in our hands.
Suppose the workers and members were just waiting for God to do all the work by Himself.
How much joy and thanksgiving would you have when we actually have built the sanctuary?
How much blessings and glory would we receive?
It would probably be much less than if we have to experience this kind of time of waiting.
For this reason God has allowed for us this kind of time so that you can sacrifice material things that are like your life, and you can dedicate yourselves with your body and mind.
It's the same with me as the shepherd.
Let me give you an illustration. The heart is at the core of the human body.
If the heart does not beat strongly, there won't be blood circulation, thereby oxygen and nutrients cannot be supplied to the body.
This church is the heart of this denomination.
And I am the person in charge of this church.
Therefore, if I do not perform my role, the lives of many souls will be in danger.
For this reason, in order to be responsible for this church, I am fulfilling the measure of justice clinging to God.
All my energy is depleted, and if God does not hold me, I cannot live. I cannot move at all.
This is also according to God's justice.
Even though God's power given to me is so great, I cannot violate the justice of the First Heaven.
Therefore, I hope you will give thanks at this point in time, regardless of the kind of spiritual and physical situations you are in.
When you give the sacrifice of thanksgiving, God will give you power and strength to be able to do anything.
Eventually, He will let you reap an abundant harvest.
This is God's justice.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the other wheel of the chariot of God's providence is love.
This (wheel of) love moves the chariot along together with (the wheel of) justice, but it is more important than the justice.
After all, this love is the essence that fulfills the abounding providence of God.
The reason why God first established justice in human cultivation is actually to show His love.
One of the best examples is the sacrifice of the cross.
1 John 4:9-10 says, "By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
Sometimes we hear news of some parents who jump into the water to save their drowning children. They save their children but they themselves lose their lives and drown.
Such news makes us feel heart-broken, but the love in their sacrifice also touches our hearts.
As in this illustration, the extreme nature of the situation can bring out the love that is deep inside the heart of the parents.
Sometimes, it can lead them to show sacrifice, giving their 'life' which is the most precious thing possessed by a man.
God the Father is also showing us His great love. As the situation is going to the extreme in this end time, there are so many souls that are going the way of death.
God is showing the love of sacrifice, to save more children and to give them better rewards.
Through His sacrifice, people can see and feel firsthand the original love of God.
With time, this love of God will shine even more brightly.
Instead of sacrifice, if God had just written in the Bible, "I love you people," then would you be able to feel His love as dearly?
For us men of flesh, God let His beloved Son put on the form of a man, sent Him to this earth, and let Him feel the pain of the cross.
This way, He expressed His great love in very specific form.
Through this, we can know and feel the love of God.
This event of cross took place about 2,000 years ago.
However, even today God is proving through the Holy Spirit and the powerful works that the event of the cross is true and that all the messages in the Bible- namely His love- is true.
What if there were no fiery works of the Holy Spirit or the powerful works of God manifested in this church?
Also, if God had not healed your wounded heart and sick body; if He had not sent cool breezes during the hot summer days or the dragonflies; or if He had not shown beautiful rainbows, would you still be able to lead a life of faith feeling the love of God?
Of course, we should feel the love of God just by remembering the blood of the Lord that was shed on the cross.
But most people who are living in this sin-filled age cannot feel His love.
For this reason I have been asking to receive the power of God to prove God's love and that He is living.
I have been living a life of hard-fought endurance until receiving the power of God.
But by having done so, you believe in the love of God and walk the way of Heaven following your shepherd.
You try to love God the Father even more with your best efforts.
Around December 25, 2010, you and I felt the love of God the Father so deeply.
The wages of sins depriving of salvation and sins leading to death are certainly death.
In the midst of such strict law of justice, we met the God of forgiveness and compassion.
Now, you live by the word of God by loving Him.
You try to understand the will of God and the heart of the shepherd.
Moreover, even though it seems nothing is being accomplished for the moment, you are also trying to keep the church before we begin the full-blown construction of the Canaan Sanctuary.
Namely, you have become lovely children who are achieving and have already achieved 100% love and trust with God.
Through this situation that was allowed by God's justice, you came to love God even more.
Isn't this true love?
Isn't this true faith?
The providence of God is being fulfilled even at this moment without any hindrances, on the two wheels of justice and love.
As a result, there will be abundant fruits of glory in the kingdom of God.
Through the unimaginable power, the glory of God, that is greater and more amazing than anyone has ever seen, will be revealed before all peoples of the Earth.
I will continue with this in the evening service.


Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The origin of Thanksgiving Sunday is the 'Feast of Ingathering', which is one of the three major festivities of Israel.
Exodus 23:16 latter part says, "Also you shall observe ... the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field."
This is a statute that was given in the wilderness, two months after the people of Israel came out of Egypt.
So, some of the people must have dreamt of going into the Canaan Land, farming there, and gathering the harvest there soon.
But Israel could fulfill their dreams only through their children 40 years later.
Does that mean God told a lie at that time? Of course not!
God told them very clearly and in detail because it was certainly going to be fulfilled in the providence of God.
Soon after the Exodus, some people began to miss the food that they were eating in Egypt.
Then, they began to complain against Moses and God.
For them they needed a time to cast away the habits of slaves and to become real people of God.
Namely, they needed to wander around in the wilderness for 40 years.
From time to time God proclaimed words of incredible blessings for this church.
Sometimes, we thought His words were going to be fulfilled right away.
But God's thoughts were different.
First, He let us make vessels that could receive the blessings so the blessings would not be spilled.
And now God is letting us make a vessel that is much bigger than before.
This is the abundant providence of God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will give the sacrifice of thanksgiving to the good God who gives us back a jewel for a tear drop we shed and the wise God who lets us reap 30, 60, and 100 times more for even just a single seed.

 
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