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   2016 Prayer Title(1) - The Church the Father Loves    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   Ephesians 5:9


Ephesians 5:9
"…for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth."

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, I am going to talk about the first prayer title of 2016, "The Church that God Loves". Parents instinctively love their children. Even though they are immature, if the children say 'I love you,' the parents feel that their hard work in raising them is nothing. But as the children grow up and mature, the level of love between parents and children becomes different. To the extent that the children feel and realize what kinds of pains and feelings their parents must have had, their love for their parents becomes deeper. If the children feel this way about their parents, the parents would also have deeper love for their children.

It's the same between God the Father and us. Whether your faith is big or small, or you are a new believer or a leader, everyone is precious and lovely to the Father. But as we go through trials, experience relativity of things and take after the Father's heart, we become lovelier and more pleasing in the Father's sight.

God the Father is Light. 1 John 1:5 says, "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all."In order to become true children of God, who is light, we have to leave the darknessand enter into the light.

And the church filled with such children of light who are the children in spirit and whole spirit, this is the church that God loves. God will fulfill His providence at the end time through such children.

Children of light will bear the fruit of light. Today's reading passage Ephesians 5:9 says, "…for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth."I pray in the name of the Lord that you will keep this message in mind and become true children who are loved by God.

Dear brothers and sisters,

The first fruit of light is 'all goodness'.

It is a beautiful heart that is good and free of evil intentions.If you cultivate such a heart, you wouldn't have any hard feelings or do anything evil toward anyone. At home or in the work place, you would fulfill your duties. You would not seek your own and you wouldn't act unbecomingly. You'd be merciful to the poor and want to help others even if it meant sacrificing yourself.

Matthew 5:39-42 says, "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you."True goodness is acting as indicated in the passage, not only to those who are nice to you, but also to those who act with evil towards you.

Because you long for this true goodness, you've been praying and fasting diligently. Now, you might have a big smile on your face when you look back and realize that you've changed. You rejoice because you realize that you have cut yourself off the evil and untruths of your heart, which you previously enjoyed.

For example, some of the male members may have liked boxing or other types of fighting sports. Some people feel good when they see one of the players get beaten and bleed or they may curse at the boxers saying they are not good enough. The more evil you have in your heart, the more you like evil things.In the same way, the more evil things you enjoy, the more evil your heart will become. But if you really long for goodness, I believe you no longer enjoy such things now. When you see violence and cruelty, you do not feel good about it.You may even feel bad about it and do away with such things.

The same goes for women members, too. In the past, some of you watched hours of soap operas or entertainment programs on TV. You used to watch and enjoy the things that indulge and give a boost to cheating, envy and jealousy, quarrelling, adultery, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of this life. But the more goodness you have in your heart, the more you stay away from these things. It's not that you try not to watch them thinking you want to become sanctified. You do not enjoy them and you dislike them from your heart.

Of course, in order to bear the fruit of goodness, you shouldn't just hate evil, but you also need to practice goodness and sacrifice yourself. What is important here is you shouldn't just do good things outwardly but you must cultivate goodness in your heart.

For example, you know that Ruth served her mother-in-law with utmost goodness and love. Then, what kind of heart did Ruth have when she was serving her mother-in-law?She did not draw any limiting lines thinking, "How much do I have to sacrifice before others say I'm good?"It's not that she was forced to do it. In fact, she did not expect to get any reward or blessing for her service. With her love for her mother-in-law she just volunteered to sacrifice herself to fulfill her duty.

What kind of heart do you have when you act in goodness?Do you really long for goodness? Or do you practice goodness because you learned about goodness and you have to go into spirit? You should discern your motives.You can bear the fruit of light truly when you truly long for goodness from your heart.

Dear brothers and sisters,

The second fruit of light is 'righteousness'.

Generally, righteousness is to be able to sacrifice oneself for acause that is good. It is even to give one's life in sacrifice. The righteousness will be upright, and they do not forsake loyalty and integrity. They do not compromise with unrighteousness or agree with unrighteous people for their own benefit.

Those who are righteous can also grow up quickly in the faith. They easily practice the commands of God telling us to do, not do, keep, and cast away certain things. They take their duties seriously and faithfully fulfill them. They do not compromise with the unrighteousness but keep the truth. Those who keep their righteousness will have the evidence that God is with them.

When Daniel was thrown into the lion's den for refusing to cease praying, God closed the mouths of the lions to protect Daniel. Also, when he ate only vegetables in order tokeep from eating anything prohibited by the Law, God was pleased with him. He was healthier and more handsome than those who had savory foods and on top of that, God gave him amazing wisdom and inspiration, too.

However, you should be careful about one thing here. It is good to follow the truth, but you should not create your own forms of righteousness and frameworks. Although Daniel was a captive, he kept the commandments with his life. But he did not look down on or condemned his people who could not keep the commandments as he did. He did not force them to follow his example.

Even though you keep the righteousness with all your life, if you become arrogant and condemn others, then you cannot shine the light of life to others but instead you become burdensome to them. In order to bear the fruit of righteousness, you should not have righteousness in your sight but God's righteousness.

Dear brothers and sisters,

When you try to bear the fruit of righteousness, you should remember one more thing.

That is that righteousness in the truth is based on faith more than anything else. No matter how diligently youpursue what is right in your sight, you cannot cultivate righteousness with that. Your actions become your righteousness when you obey God's words with trust in Him.

It is said of Abraham, the Father of Faith, that he was justified for his faith in God. Abraham learned about God from his ancestors since childhood. So, even when he did not have substantial experience with God, he immediately obeyed God's command telling him to leave his household, his father's house.

From that time on, Abraham's trust in God became deeper as he experiencedthe works of God. When God said He would give him a son, even when he was too old to have a child, he just believed God.

After he begot this seed of promise, God told him to offer him as a burnt offering, but he just trusted and obeyed. Hebrews 11:17-19 explains about that as follows:"By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son.It was he to whom it was said, "In Isaac your descendants shall be called." He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type."

God did not explain to Abraham why He was telling Abraham to offer Isaac. Abraham's trust and obedience in God was not because he had already heard about God's plan and understood the situation. He just trusted God and believed there was God's plan, and so he was willing to obey any command. As he believed and obeyed in that way, he could realize the will of God in commanding him to offer Isaac from his heart.

How lovely Abraham must have been in the sight of God!Of course, such trust was not established overnight. Every time he experienced the works of God, Abraham kept it in his heart again and again. He kept on obeying based on that trust, and he realized the will of God more deeply. He could go into deeper level of spirit.

Eventually, he could show his faith in a situation that could not be understood at all by human thoughts. Through this righteousness of faith, Abraham received the blessing to become the Father of Faith.

If you think about this righteousness of Abraham, I believe you can understand why trust and love is so important in the spiritual flow of this church. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will understand the deep will of God through complete faith and obedience likethat of Abraham, and also practice the truth with all your life.

Dear brothers and sisters,

The third fruit of light is 'truth'.

To be true is to have no falsehood or changing. You'd not break a little promise. Once you make up your mind, you never change your mind. Even though you don't see the results quickly, you just keep on going forward toward the goal. Only such true people can be acknowledged both by God and men as being trustworthy.

Now, how much of fruit of truth have you been bearing? If you look back at the past, sometimes you were greatly blessed by messages, you realized great things and you made up your mind to do certain things. If you just kept the grace you had received and your determination, you'd have gone onto the rock and into spirit and whole spirit quickly.

But even if you have not kept the grace you had received, you don't have to be disappointed. If you just make up your mind once again and bear the fruit of truth, you can certainly become a fruit of spirit.

Brothers and sisters, in order to completely bear the fruit of light, you must have goodness, righteousness, and truth all together. If you are good but lack righteousness, you might look indecisive and foolish. You wouldn't be able to shed the light of truth on the unbelievers, but rather you could be ignored or even used. In the faith as well, you can't lead others to spirit or give birth to life, so it is not spiritual goodness.

On the other hand, if you are righteous but lack goodness, it is not virtuous either, and you can't really shed the light of truth. So now, even though you have the harmony of goodness and righteousness, you must also have truth in you. Even though you at one time cast away evil with earnest heart and practiced righteousness in complete obedience, if you take evil again and choose to disobey, you can't harvest good fruit after all.

Adam was a living spirit. He was free of evil and only obeyed.But, when he chose disobedience with his freewill,he was corrupted to become flesh. In order to get the complete fruit of light, we have to cultivate truth, so that we can keep on choosing goodness and righteousness with our freewill.


Dear brothers and sisters,

Zephaniah 3:17 says, "The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."

What wonderful words!If the LORD your God is in your midst, also if He will exult over you with joy and be quiet in His love, and will rejoice over you, how honored you'd be!Darkness won't even approach you in your life, and you will be blessed when you come in and go out. Also, like Abraham, you willgive out the light to those who meet you and you will be a source of blessing.

I ask you to fervently pray in 2016 to bear the fruit of all goodness, righteousness, and truth. In doing so, may God fulfill all His providence at the end time through you who are the lights, and may He eventually lead you to New Jerusalem, I pray in the name of the Lord!