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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Father''s Love - Christmas Service    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   1 John 4:16
Date
   2013-12-25



[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."


[Introduction]

Dear brothers and sisters, members of over 10,000 branch churches in Korea and all over the world, local sanctuary members, those who are attending the service on the Internet worldwide, [children of Sunday school], GCN viewing audiences, Merry Christmas! Congratulations on the birth of Jesus!

If it snows all-night, you will probably be amazed seeing that the world has become completely white in the morning. Seeing the world covered with white snow, we can feel the heart of God the Father. We can feel the love of the Father who wants to cover the whole world with His love and make it white and clean. The evidence of His love is Jesus.

He sent Jesus in order to cover the whole world with His love and to cleanse all the sins of all mankind. Jesus poured out the love of the Father God during the three years of His ministry. Eventually He died on the cross to redeem mankind from their sins. Christmas is a day to remember the love of Jesus who came to save us.

But those who truly understand the meaning of Christmas will not just give thanks on the Christmas day. Today's reading passage 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." If we really believe in the love of God who gave His only begotten Son, we have to abide in His love, too. Namely, we have to abide in the truth. Because Jesus came to forgive us of our sins, we can say we understand the meaning of Christmas only when we have nothing to do with sins.

But how many people actually live such a life today? The churches are not purifying the world but they are rather being stained by the world at this end time. Moreover, many of you believers here who have heard the gospel of holiness were stained by the world and going the way of death. But God the Father gave such people another chance. That day was December 25, 2010.

Since this day, the Father has been unfolding His unimaginable love before us. He opened the way to be forgiven of even unforgivable sins by the tears and sacrifice of the shepherd. Furthermore, He gave strength to all the members to be able to live a holy life that is separated from the world. He gave you the grace and power to run towards spirit and whole spirit.

Through this message, I hope you will realize more deeply the love of the Father given to you until now. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will pay back His love and come forth as a complete fruit of spirit.


[Main]

Dear brothers and sisters,

On this Christmas 2013, the first thing we must realize is the love of the Father God who has been patient for such a long time.

God created Adam in order to gain true children. He wanted to share happiness with His children who could understand His heart. But He could not get such children easily. Even though God sent His chosen ones and taught the people the way of life, people continuously refused to accept God.

But God still did not give up on us. 2 Peter 3:8-9 says, "But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." As said, He waited a thousand years, another thousand years, and another thousand years, for six thousand years He has waited. He kept on earnestly hoping that true sons and daughters who could understand His heart would come forth some day.

To be patient in the spiritual sense is not just to sit and wait quietly. It is to bear with all the aftermaths of being patient and to pay the price until the fruit is finally borne. God the Father has also been bearing with the aftermaths and He suffered great pain to pay the price.

One time He had to punish the whole world with a flood.

When He had to punish the world that He had created with so much love, from His heart flowed so many tears like the rains that flooded the Earth. He had to see the chosen people Israel betray Him and worship idols, and He had to see their destruction. He had to see His only begotten Son being despised by the people and finally crucified. It is not that God can take such things easily because He is divine. It's because He also has humanity like us. He feels pain, sorrow, joy, and happiness. And because He is goodness itself, He feels such feelings even more intensely than any other. Whenever He saw that the world that He carefully created was stained by sins and that the people vented evil, He suffered unbearable pains. And yet He is still waiting. He has been waiting until this moment for such a long time with the belief that certainly there would be true children by the time human cultivation is over.

And it is the same for you as well. When you did not accept the gospel right away and when you could not cast away sins soon enough, if God had given you only a couple of chances and then gave up, what would have happened to you? Most of you probably would not have been saved. I hope you will remember that you are what you are today because of the love of the Father who has been patient with us for such a long time.

Dear brothers and sisters,

The second thing we have to remember on this Christmas day is the love of the Father who has not forsaken us but changed us.

At the time of the Exodus, the sons of Israel saw so many powerful works of God. They saw the Ten Plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the water gushing out from a rock, and ate the manna and quail coming down from the sky. But the problem is that their hearts did not change even though they had so many experiences. When they saw the glory of God, they rejoiced and praised Him. But when there were hardships, they immediately began to complain, and they continued to disobey again and again. Eventually, God would forsake them, but Moses put up his life to bring down the forgiveness of God.

At that time, because Moses understood the heart of God very well he could boldly ask for God to forgive them, even while he saw God's wrath. It is not that God would never forgive them but only because Moses asked He would. Namely, the deeper part of God's heart is that He wanted to save them even though they were to be punished according to justice, and Moses knew this heart of God very well.

In a sense, it would have been easier for Moses to start all over again, too. It was not an easy task to lead the people who had been slaves for a long time and had become so stiff-necked. It would have been easier to form a whole new group of people, teach them the Law and train them so that they will be very obedient.

Let's consider the following allegory. Suppose you gave birth to a son and raised him with so much care, and later you hear shocking news. He is not able to speak or walk well, so you have tests done and he has an innate disability. It is incurable, and the doctor says the majority of such kids die before they become adults.

Now, what would you do? Can you just say "He can't be cured so why should we suffer any longer raising such a child? We can have other children and raise them!"and then just give up on your son? Real parents would never be able to do that. Furthermore, if there is just the least bit of a possibility, and even though you have to spend your entire family fortune, you would want to cure your son.

The same goes for the heart of God the Father. He sometimes gets angry or rebukes the people harshly, but He can never forsake them. It is the heart of the Father to save and change the people. He did the same for you, too. If you think of your past, can you say that you were good-hearted? How strong were your self-righteousness and frameworks, and to what extent have you committed acts of disobedience? Some of you were so slow to change, that people around you were thinking, "When is he going to change? Is it possible for him to really go into spirit?"

But the Father has never forsaken you and He has given you grace until the end so you could change. I hope you will be thankful once again that you can still run towards New Jerusalem because of His love.

Dear brothers and sisters,

The third thing we have to realize on this Christmas Day is the love of the Father who has let us bear the fruits of glory instead of the fruit of embarrassment or of shame.

John 17:24 says, "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world."

Jesus did not come to this earth just to save us. Of course we have to be forgiven of our sins, but eventually, He wanted us to become His true children by resembling Him and enjoy glory together with Him. Of course, we should be so thankful that we can go to even Paradise. How emotional we will be since we will have barely escaped the fires of Hell!

But what God wanted to give to us was not Paradise, but New Jerusalem. He does not want us to remain at a level of embarrassment and shame for not having cast away sins completely, but He wants us to enjoy great honor by changing into true children of God who resemble Him.

There are many believers who do not think beyond receiving salvation, but you are different. You know that there are different measures of faith even after being saved, and that you have to take hold of Heaven by force. Thus, you can seek greater glory. I hope you will once again engrave the love of God who has let you enjoy greater glory.

Dear brothers and sisters,

The love of the Father is the love of patience, love of not forsaking but changing us, and love of giving us great glory. I felt this love so thoroughly through the past days. Ever since I received the vision of accomplishing world evangelism with the holiness gospel more than 30 years ago, I have been preaching holiness until now. And I have been waiting for workers who are in spirit.

Even when the pastors or leaders committed sins, I just bore with all the aftermaths, waiting for them to change. As church-wise trials continued, the financial burden that I had to take for the church was just so heavy that it seemed to choke me. Even when the leaders could not show any faith, I made a profession of faith and showed them the fruit of my faith. And I waited and waited.

I spent each year, thinking, "Spiritual faith of the church members will grow up quickly if I show this power of God," "they will soon be sanctified," "They will soon become spiritual warriors."

But in 2010, what was unfolded before my eyes was not seeing the list of men of spirit that I had been waiting for the last 30 years. Instead there were sins that I cannot even mention, and the list of the pastors, leaders, and church members who were on the way of death for clearly having trampled on the cross of the Lord.

What could I have done at that time? Even in the pain like the collapse of the world, I did not have the leisure to be disheartened. I could not say I quit. I could not say, "Please God, send me a new group, instead of these people for whom there is no way to be saved. Send me a flock who have not committed sins so I will be able to accomplish world evangelism."

Even though I faced betrayal from those whom I loved for 30 years, or for those who committed sins leading to death, I could not say, "I will give up on them." So, I clung to God again. I spent days that were worse than death itself, asking God for His forgiveness and to forgive them. But forgiveness of their sins was not the only thing I needed. Of course, I would have been so thankful if you could have just been forgiven of unforgivable sins and received even shameful salvation. Such forgiveness was given on December 25, 2010.

We were so thankful that you received forgiveness of sins, but it was a day of embarrassment and shame, too. And what the Father truly wanted was not a day of embarrassment and shame but a day of glory. So I had to cling to God even more so that you could grow up in faith to reach the rock of faith and enter into spirit. The result of my three years' of clinging to God is you who are here.

You were sinners who were destined to die, and now you heard that you were in the third level of faith, and some of you have reached the rock of faith and even entered into spirit. Not just those who committed sins leading to death, but those of you who had been in spiritual slumber for so many years have awakened, too. Your eyes opened so that you could see your self-righteousness and frameworks of thinking.

Longing to really change and to really go into spirit sprang out from the depths of your hearts. You are now running towards the rock of faith, spirit, and whole spirit, and you are bearing the fruit of substantial changes in yourselves. If you do not lose this longing and keep on marching in your moving towards spirit, I am sure that the standardization of spirit, which is like a dream for us, will come true. For this reason, I am filled with more emotions on this Christmas Day than any other time.


[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am truly thankful to you, for you have been running your march of faith until now. But the Father is warning you once again. It is that you should not be satisfied with the measure of faith you have received thinking it is something that you have achieved.

Of course, you will all say that you did not do anything and it was all by the love of the Father, the love of the Lord, and the love of the shepherd. You'd say the sacrifice of the shepherd filled up the 90% and you just trusted and loved the shepherd to be on the rock of faith and went into spirit. And if such words of yours are true, you should also do your part to fill up your deeds that are worthy of your measure of faith.

You must not become lazy by mistakenly thinking like, "It is enough because I trust and love the shepherd. I must have been doing fine because I am on the rock of faith and in spirit." Those who are on the rock of faith and close to spirit must store up continuously prayers and fasting to quickly cast away the evil that is in your nature.

Those of you who are in spirit must look back on yourselves to fill up their deficiencies and shortcomings, so that you won't go through any stoppage. A man of complete spirit will not lack any of the goodness, love, and the knowledge of the truth. But God has given you the measure of faith considering the shepherd, so you have to remember that you have deficiencies and shortcomings that you have to fill up and actually fill them up.

Those who are not on the rock of faith yet, you can just keep going without losing your longing for spirit. You can just grow your inner person without being at ease in your mind. Then, soon most of the church members will go beyond the rock of faith and get close to spirit. There will be so many men of spirit and whole spirit, and this will repay my tears and mourning as you said you would repay me.

Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has given us such amazing love. I hope you will never forget the love that you saw, heard about, and learned for the last three years. In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that all of you will come forth as fruits of glory to be able to pay back the love of the Lord who came to this earth for us.

 
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