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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Trust - District, Sub-district, Cell Leaders'' Devotional    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Matthew 16:16
Date
   2013-03-24



[Passage]

[Matthew 16:16]
"Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'"


Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has blessed us to offer this district, sub-district, and cell leaders' devotional service.
I give thanks to the devotees who have prepared for this service with all your heart.
Dear devotees and other members, at the time of Jesus people's responses were different towards Jesus who was manifesting the power of God.
Some of them said John the Baptist resurrected, others said Elijah came again, and still others said He was just another one of the many prophets.
Of course, there were also people who were criticizing Him saying He was demon-possessed.
But the disciples did not care to pay attention to such criticism, and they delivered the words that were of goodness only.
Then, Jesus asked them, "Who do you say I am?"
Then Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
This profession did not come from Peter's thoughts.
God let Peter realize it because he trusted and loved Jesus.
Of course, since Peter had not received the Holy Spirit yet, when he later denied Jesus, he left a blemish on his life.
But since the time he witnessed the resurrection of the Lord and his trust became perfect, Peter had no more fear.
He performed with great power of God, and He boldly preached the gospel even before the people and officials who were hostile towards him.
When he was finally being crucified upside down, Peter in his heart did not have fear or doubt but only fervent love and complete trust towards the Lord.
I believe you devotees would like to make the same kind of spiritual profession from your hearts.
Of course, many of you say, "I believe and trust in the Father God and the Lord," and "I love and trust the shepherd, too."
But as the leaders of cells, sub-districts, and districts for the church members, for your profession to be true and perfect, you must have come into spirit by now.
Today, I am going to explain the three aspects that are needed for you to have true trust.
Through this message, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will become completely united as one with the Father God, the Lord, and the shepherd through your true trust and love.


Main

Dear devotees, for you to accomplish true trust, first of all, you have to cast away fleshly thoughts.
Those who use fleshly thoughts judge everything according to their own standards, and they think following their own benefit.
They criticize something right as something wrong, and think what is actually good is evil.
Nevertheless, they do not realize that their thoughts are wrong.
For example, suppose you have a favorable feeling about somebody, and that person does not greet you back properly and her face does not look happy.
Then, men of flesh will have many kinds of thoughts.
"What is her problem? Does she have some kind of misunderstanding about me? I thought she was nice but obviously she is not!"
Then, their favorable feeling towards that person disappears in an instant.
If somebody says something that is opposite to their ideas, they say, "I know how the things go. I am a very sensible person, you know."
They are being stubborn about their wrong ideas.
There are many events of this kind in the Bible, too.
When the Ark of the Covenant was brought back to Jerusalem, David praised God with his dancing.
At that time, his wife Michal looked down on David seeing him dance.
She thought his action lacked dignity and was lowly.
But David was not frivolous at all; he just humbled himself like a child before God.
The Ark of Covenant signifies the presence of God, and he was so happy to have the Ark near him that he could not help but praise God with dancing.
If Michal's heart had goodness, she would have felt the joy of David and gave glory to God together with him.
But in her evilness and arrogance, she judged David's good act as evil, and for that she was cursed.
When Jesus was ministering, those who had fleshly thoughts thought of Jesus' good ministry only in evil ways.
They could not take what was good as something good.
For example, in Luke chapter 13, there is a scene in which Jesus healed a woman who had been demon-possessed and bent double for 18 years.
If you had been in that scene, what would you have thought?
I believe you would have thought like, "God's work is truly amazing! She was set free from her 18-years of sickness and she must be so happy! Who is this Jesus manifesting this power of God?"
But the synagogue official who knew the Law very well condemned Jesus as a sinner.
He showed his indignation saying, "One must not labor on the Sabbath, and why does He drive out a demon on the Sabbath? He can do that during the other six days of the week!"
He could not think of the fact that God's power was manifested and a person who used to live a wretched life experienced the love of God.
If this synagogue official was the one who was healed, would he have still hated Jesus for healing him on the Sabbath?
One passes judgment and condemnation on others according to his self-righteousness and frameworks of thoughts because he does not have love or goodness. And yet he insists that it is the will of God.
I have experienced such incidents quite often.
For example, when I help those who are in need, I follow the urging of the Holy Spirit.
I give appropriate amount to appropriate persons, and I try my best so that through that help, that person can realize the love of God and come out towards life.
But seeing that helping act, some people pass judgment and condemnation in their fleshly thoughts.
"Why does he help that person with so much in finances? There must be other people who are in need, too. I am in need, too." Thinking this way, they harbor uncomfortable feelings.
Or, they judge me saying, "There must be other important things to do, but he is wasting that money."
Even though I help others in goodness, following the works of the Holy Spirit, those who have fleshly thoughts will still think they are right.
If they themselves have received the help while in hardships, they would most definitely not have complained.
They would just give thanks saying God's love is great.
After all, they have fleshly thoughts and judge what is good as evil because of their greed, envy and jealousy, and self-righteousness and selfish frameworks.
Such people will utilize so many fleshly thoughts not just about charitable works but in many other aspects as well.
Even when they listen to the sermons, they have uncomfortable feelings when things do not agree with their own ideas.
They have evil thoughts even while seeing what is good, so they suffer in their hearts.
If they fall into fleshly thoughts in greater depth, some of them eventually become captured by the works of Satan.
Therefore, for you to have complete trust, first of all, you have to cast off all kinds of fleshly thoughts.
1 Corinthians 2:13 latter part says, "...combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words." As said, we can understand heart of spirit and have trust only when we have spiritual thoughts.
I hope you will find out and rid yourself of the evil in you which hinders you from realizing what is good, and have spiritual thoughts all the time.
Dear devotees, for you to have perfect trust secondly you have to hear the voice and receive the touching of the Holy Spirit.
You can receive the touches of the Holy Spirit to the extent that you cast away evil and fleshly thoughts.
It means you can understand the good will of the Father God in the works of the Holy Spirit.
For example, when a gentile woman who had a demon-possessed daughter asked Jesus for healing, He coldly turned her down.
He said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
But this woman did not become disheartened.
She humbled herself even more and pleaded.
She said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
As He heard this humble confession, Jesus praised her faith and healed her daughter immediately.
If you were watching this scene, what would you have thought?
Those who have fleshly thoughts could have judged Jesus saying He did not have love.
On the contrary, those who trust Jesus would still believe in His goodness and love.
And they would think about the case deeply, "What is the reason Jesus is speaking that way?"
If you contemplate on it with a good heart, you can realize the will of Jesus in the touching of the Holy Spirit.
In fact, if this woman had any pride, she could have harbored grudges against Jesus or become disheartened and given up receiving an answer.
But because she had the faith to receive the answer, her attitudes did not change and she spoke only good words.
Jesus let this woman show her faith until the end to let her fill up the measure of justice for her to be able to receive her answer.
Those who discern the situation with a good heart can understand this intention of Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
By the way, different people receive the works of the Holy Spirit in different depths.
If you receive works of the Holy Spirit more clearly, you can understand Jesus' will more deeply.
Namely, Jesus knew the faith of this woman already, and He wanted to give a lesson to other people as well through the example of this woman.
So many people say they believe, but when they do not receive an answer they expect, they easily become discouraged or even complain against God.
If they do not like something a little bit, they change their mind even though they did not suffer some great contempt.
Jesus drew out this humble profession of faith from this woman to show such people an example of what true faith is.
If you contemplate on it with a good heart, you can understand this will of Jesus by the help of the Holy Spirit.
Your trust in Jesus will also be deepened to the extent that you understand His good will.
Let me give you another example.
Suppose there is a person who has received an outpouring of grace and has become very passionate in his faith and I praised him saying he is very fervent and he will go into spirit soon.
Then some people begin to have questions.
They think like, "Doesn't the senior pastor know about his shortcomings? The church members should not mistakenly think that he actually does have great faith. Or is it that he did something good for the senior pastor and earned favoritism?"
It's not that I do not know his shortcomings or I have favoritism toward a certain person.
It's just that I want many church members to be challenged by the change that this person is going through.
Also, I want this changed person to be encouraged and become even more fervent through my praise.
But a deeper reason in my praise is that, because I love the flock entrusted to me, I do not consider your shortcomings as shortcomings.
I believe that you will definitely change, and I look forward to your changing with the eyes of faith.
So, if anybody tries just a little bit, I sow before God with the confession of faith and love for that person.
Those who receive the works of the Holy Spirit will realize the good will of the Father God in such small things, too.
The more they realize the good will of the Father, the more trust and love they will have, and they will naturally come to say, "I will rely on His love and go into deeper level of spirit very soon."
Dear devotees, thirdly, your trust will increase to the extent that your love increases.
Peter trusted and loved Jesus when He was following Jesus as a disciple.
But after the crucifixion, the level of his love was no longer the same.
His master whom he loved so much, and especially the good and precious Son of God, took tremendous sufferings right in front of his eyes.
But rather than protecting Jesus, he denied Him, and even spoke words of cursing.
But Jesus just looked at this Peter quietly without any rebuking.
Jesus just received the crucifixion.
After witnessing the sufferings of Jesus who died for him, Peter's love was not the same.
As his love deepened, his trust in the Lord became completely different, too.
He was afraid even before a little maid-servant, but now, he boldly preached the gospel even when he was surrounded by people who were hostile.
Even when he was being crucified upside down, his trust was not shaken at all.
He did not think like, "Did the Lord really resurrect? If the gospel I am preaching is true, why wouldn't God protect me? Why do I have to be killed this way?" He only took the martyrdom in a glorious way in his fervent love and firm trust in the Lord.
Dear devotees, since God met me, I loved God the Father so much, and for that reason I could not doubt Him at all.
Even when I encountered things that I could not understand at all, or even during such harsh trials, my trust in the Lord never wavered even for a moment.
Right after the opening of the church, I was rebuked by God for seven consecutives weeks in front of so many church members.
I was living only for the glory of God with all my strength, and I could not figure out what God meant by saying I was evil.
Nevertheless, I never thought like, "Why would the Father humiliate me in front of the church members?" I never felt wrongfully accused, resentful, or sad.
I only had thankfulness and willingness to realize what my dear Father was rebuking me about and change it.
Finally, God let me know that He tested my heart, and He praised me for my unwavering trust.
It was the same in 1998 and '99.
God said it was a blessing, but for me in reality, it was unimaginable pain and sorrowful suffering.
But passing all those moments, I never doubted the promise of God saying that it was a blessing.
I was perfectly convinced that the God of love was guiding me and giving me the best things, for He is faithful and good.
Dear church members and devotees, immature little children think their dad is the most excellent person in the whole world.
Even if anybody says something bad about their dads, they never think their dad is bad or stay away from him.
They rather get angry, saying, "My dad is not bad!"
Also, when the children grow up and understand the sacrifices that their parents made, their love become deeper than before.
If anybody gossips about their parents or mocks them, they cannot bear the pain in their heart.
And God the Father and the Lord are so much more faithful and purer than any parents of this world.
They are worthy to receive our life-giving love, and they are worthy of our complete trust.
Now, what kind of love and trust do you have for God?
The same goes for the trust towards your shepherd.
Many of you say, "Senior pastor, thank you for the grace you are giving me. Thank you for your sacrifice and dedication for me. I love you."
If your confessions are true, you can become united, with the trust from the depth of your heart, and that trust will not be shaken.


Conclusion

Dear devotees and church members, in order for you to have perfect trust, first of all, you have to cast away fleshly thoughts. Secondly, you have to discern the good will of God by receiving the touching of the Holy Spirit. Thirdly, your trust will increase as your love increases.
Keep in mind the message you heard, realize yourself more deeply, and cultivate a true heart.
In doing so, I hope your profession of faith will be acknowledged as 100% pure gold in the sight of God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will go into spirit and whole spirit quickly, and run towards your goal without ceasing until the Lord comes back again.

 
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