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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Whole-hearted Praise - Performing Arts Committee Devotional    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Isaiah 43: 21
Date
   2014-06-29



[Passage]

[Isaiah 43: 21]
"The people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise."


[Introduction]

Dear brothers and sisters, Let's give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has blessed us to have this 2014 Performing Arts Committee devotional service. I give thanks to the devotees who prepared for this service with all your hearts.

Dear devotees,

For the Performing Arts Committee devotional service, there must be something that the church members as well as God the Father are expecting. They have great expectations for the special performance and they have the hope of receiving blessing through the praise.

In the past, your praise was not like the praise that you are offering now. You adorned yourselves on the outside, but actually, in your lives you indulged in flesh, thereby making God sorrowful. But during the past several years, through the tears and earnest advice of the shepherd, the Performing Arts Committee has come to an awakening. Those who were going the way of death were turned around and have come into the way of salvation, and many of you are on the rock of faith and in spirit. To that same extent, the aroma of your praises became beautiful and acceptable to God.

Dear devotees,

Songs are sung with the mouth. Dances are done with the whole body, and instruments are played with hands and mouths. But praise is not done with voice or with the whole body or hands and feet. The praise that is acceptable to God is offered with heart. Rather than a good voice, excellent talent, highly trained skills, or anything else, the most important thing is the heart of those who offer praises. Now, I will deliver a message with the title with 'Whole-hearted praise'.

I hope all you devotees will be qualified as performers of God and be able to offer up to Him perfect aroma of praises.

Dear brothers and sisters, and church members,

In order to offer whole-hearted praise, first of all, you have to offer praises that are proper in God's sight.

The fundamental purpose of praising is to lift up the glory of God. Of course, we sing about our gratefulness for the grace, hope of Heaven, or about repentance and determination for change. We sing about happiness and joy in the Lord, too.

But regardless of the contents and the format, what you must never forget is that all praises are offered for the glory of God the Father. Especially, you devotees do not just personally sing praises. You have a duty to lead the praise in front of the congregation to help with the worship service.

But even though you are singing in front of people, your praising is not for any man, and by no means is it for yourselves. If in any way you sing praises to make yourself look good to others, namely to flaunt yourself, to be recognized, or for your own satisfaction, it is never a proper praise in the sight of God.

In the heart of the singers, they must always think about how they can touch the heart of the Father through the praises. This concerns not only the soloists, but all the other teams, the choirs, and the Orchestra, who must all keep this fact in mind.

Even though you are in spirit or close to spirit, you must not think you are doing just fine. You have to check yourself all the time and discern your heart properly as to whether you have any ulterior motive. You shouldn't think like, "What will the church members like? Will this draw an encore request?" Instead, you have to think of the ways to please God and to touch His heart.

If the Father is touched, He will pour down grace from above upon all the church members. You have to offer up to the Father an excellent praise so the Father would want to hear it once more, and this should lead to an encore request. You shouldn't try to make yourself impressive through make-up, costumes, or adornments. You are only putting on those things to make your praise perfect and holy before the Father.

Suppose you have a costume for a special performance of your team, and what if you don't like the color or the design does not really fit your body shape? If you just want to offer up to the Father a proper praise, you wouldn't have any kind of uncomfortable feelings saying, "I don't like this kind of color." If you think your costumes must be more splendid than others', or you should be prettier than others, or your team must be more popular than other teams, then, your praise will not be proper in God's sight.

If you want to do something very special because you don't want to be ordinary, of if you want to hear from others that your team is really good and your skills are excellent, your praise is not proper either. Also, you should discern between whether you are simply enjoying singing and dancing because of your character, or if you are actually offering up praises before the Father.

If you are talented and enjoy the stage, you might enjoy the opportunities to show your skills before people saying that you are offering up praises before the Father. Rather than giving glory to God, you are drunk with your own pleasure, but you might not even notice that. You might think that you sang a wonderful praise song and the congregation may have been touched by it.

But, God looks at the heart. I hope you will check yourself thoroughly as to whether you really wanted to give glory to God or you wanted to reveal yourself, namely whether you wanted to show your skills to the fullest like the performers of the world. In doing so, I ask you, to offer up only praises that are pleasing in the sight of God.

Dear devotees, and other members,

Secondly, whole-hearted praises are offered with all your heart.

Psalm 66:18 says, "If I regard wickedness in my heart, the LORD will not hear;" As is the case with the prayers, God will not hear your praise if you harbor sin in your heart. Let me give you an allegory. Suppose you received a big and pretty cake, but when you open the box, it smells foul. The cream and the fruit on the cake went bad. Certainly, none of you would say, "It went bad and smells foul, but I will eat it anyway because it's pretty."

The same goes for praising. Let's suppose you dance in angelic costumes and sing how great God is with such beautiful voices. Further, suppose you give thanks to God for saving us from sins and how much we want to go to New Jerusalem. But, what if your heart is filled with lust and you try to seduce somebody with the beauty of your movements. Or, what if you are jealous and fear that others may look prettier than you? Can God accept such praises while He is seeing your heart?

But thankfully, you devotees are offering much cleaner aroma of praise than before. But you should try harder. You should check yourself without ceasing, to realize to what extent you cast off untruths; to what extent you have cultivated goodness and love; and to what extent you are crying out in prayer and trying to change yourself in the space of the shepherd. You have to try to change whatever shortcoming you realize through prayers and fasting. You have to keep in mind what you have realized in yourself and cultivate a sincere heart.

I do not think I am a good singer. But when I sing, I know very well how pleased the Father is with my praising. Also, I know how much strength and comfort the church members receive through that praise. It's because I am offering up a true aroma of praise out of sincere heart.

I hope the praising of the Performing Arts Committee will be the same. I ask you to offer up proper praise that touches the heart of the Father and supplies the congregation with God's grace and blessing.

Dear devotees and other members,

Thirdly, in order to offer up whole-hearted praise, the praise must be separated from the world.

The fundamental goal of praising is to worship God and lift Him up.

The music and dancing of the world that have nothing to do with God, also have many genres and techniques. The purpose of such worldly music and dancing is for their own satisfaction and to flaunt themselves. Furthermore, the ultimate goal of the worldly music is to lead the people to darkness and to praise Lucifer.

Lucifer stands against God and also wants to receive worship and glory. For that reason she is leading the flow of the worldly music. Such music will lead people deeper into sins. It will lead people to smoothly come in contact with the standing against God and the worshipping of Satan.

In particular, teenagers and even children sing songs with rough and lustful lyrics, and they mimick the dances that contain filthy meanings. And yet they do not realize how harmful these things are to their spirits.

But the bigger problem is that those who are composing and singing praise songs are also influenced by such trends of the world. Of course, if there is something excellent in the culture of the world, it is OK to apply it in the church. But knowing how to use necessary parts of the world and not being able to discern the worldly trends and being stained by them is totally different.

In today's church, there is a trend to accept worldly culture saying that they have to have diversity of praise songs or that it is easier to evangelize unbelievers by having some common factor with them. By following those trends the church becomes filled with dirty and suggestive melodies and lyrics that are not pleasing in the sight of God.

Rather than revealing the glory of holy God, they touch the fleshly natures of people, and they even use lyrics that contain darkness. Also, for the worldly people, just as we get happiness through praises, they get pleasure and satisfaction through fleshly music and dancing. They might feel sensational pleasure, or some say after singing at the top of their voice or shaking their whole body, their stress goes away.

Some say they can forget about all their worries or they feel happy. Some feel happy if their artistic desire is met through an excellent piece of work or performance. But we should know that such joy or happiness has nothing to do with eternal life. They cannot give spiritual hope or strength.

The fullness of the Holy Spirit is not just momentary joy, but it gives birth to change and life. If we please God with whole-hearted praise, we can also get the answer and assurance of the solutions to problems. I ask you devotees to check the attitude of your heart when you sing or lead praises. Other church members can check themselves, too.

Whenever you sing, do you offer praises with the desire to lift up the Father, as if you were praying with all your heart? Or do you just sing with your lips without giving your heart? Do you sing just enjoying the beat, melody and the rhythm? Do you sing for your own joy and sing expressing your fleshly mind? If you check your heart after the praises, you can easily see whether you praised with fullness of the Spirit, giving your heart in each verse of the song, or you were just enjoying yourself singing and dancing.

If you offered praises that were acceptable to God in 2nd part of the Friday all-night service, in praise and worship, or any other time, you will not just be happy just for that moment. You will feel the love of the Father and the Lord more deeply, and you will realize the heart of the shepherd more clearly, giving you a new kind of grace. You will have increased spiritual faith and heavenly hope, and receive the power to practice the truth.

On the contrary, suppose you sang and danced hard, but if you felt empty after you went back home and if you had to take in worldly things again, it means you did not offer praise acceptable to God.

Dear devotees and church members,

There is one more thing you should remember. The reason why God gave us Manmin praises is because He wanted pure and clean praises that are not stained by the world. But if you change the rhythm or add some harmony, even if it is the same melody, just by such rearrangement of the song, it can become a completely different one.

When God was giving us Manmin praises, He could have given us only the lyrics, but He gave us the melody, too. They are the lyrics and melodies that purify our hearts and increase our faith and heavenly hope. Except for those who are officially allowed to arrange those songs, it is prohibited to arrange them or modify the lyrics. It means you must not pollute the pure lyrics and melodies. Manmin songs are a gift of God given to you for you are accomplishing world evangelism with the holiness gospel at this end time. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will realize the love of God more deeply and receive grace and strength to change yourselves everyday through those holy praise songs.


[Conclusion]

Dear devotees, and other members,

Today's reading passage Isaiah 43:21 says, "The people whom I formed for Myself will declare My praise." The reason why we were created is to become true children of God who praise Him with true hearts. Furthermore, you are especially set apart to praise God and give glory to Him.

You heard many times that those who sing on the holy altar must be holy not only on the altar, but in your everyday lives, and your whole life must be giving glory to God. Also, you have been trying hard to live such a life until now.

But I ask you to be on the alert even more and try harder. You think you have been only giving glory to God, but you should always check as to whether you unknowingly have ulterior motives in singing, or whether you are at a spiritual stoppage due to spiritual laziness.

I hope you will more quickly advance into deeper realm of spirit beginning with this devotional service. In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that, you will become precious performers who can offer up blameless praises to the Father who is worthy to be glorified.

 
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