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   True Workers - Inauguration Service    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


[1 Thessalonians 5:16-18]
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.


Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has blessed us to have this 2017 inauguration service. We have 2 assistant pastors, 6 elders, 47 senior deaconesses, and 1 associated senior deaconess, a total of 56 people being inaugurated today. Congratulations to all those who are being inaugurated today. I also give thanks to all the families, relatives, and guests who are here to celebrate together.

Those being inaugurated and other members,

The title of today's message is 'True Workers'. The reading passage 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." There probably aren't many Christians in the world who are not familiar with this passage. But how many Christians are actually rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and giving thanks in everything? Thankfully, in our church there are many who pray without ceasing and rejoice and give thanks in everything. Those who are being inaugurated must have been obeying this passage in your lives.

But even if you all are giving thanks in everything, the aroma of each one is different depending on the extent to which you love God. When your feelings are hurt, some of you try to give thanks while feeling forced, just because God's word says to give thanks. Some others might be saying, "Jesus took the cross for me, and I can't say this little thing is hard. My Lord, I thank You for saving me and guiding me!"

Those who have greater faith would say, "Father, Lord, thank You that you have protected me and guided me to the way of blessing all the time." They will move the Father's heart by saying from the depth of their heart, "No matter the current situations, I can overcome by relying on the Lord, and the Father's glory will be revealed through this." Then, the darkness will actually go away from your life and God's kingdom would be expanded.

It's not just about thanksgiving. Your joy and prayers have different aromas before the Father. And to be workers in the kingdom of God, you ought to rejoice, give thanks, and pray without ceasing as the Bible says. Furthermore, the aroma of your thanksgiving, joy, and prayers should be a beautiful and thick aroma that can touch the Father's heart. Then you will be such precious and noble workers.

Through this message, I pray in the name our Lord Jesus Christ that all those being inaugurated and other members will stand firmly as true workers who accomplish the kingdom of God greatly.


Dear congregation and those being inaugurated,

In order to become true workers, first of all, you must not have selfish or ulterior motives.

Selfish-motive is the desire to seek your own benefits and fleshly affections. It is also selfish motive to have greed for money, fame, and power, and to insist on your pride, personal opinion and tastes. If you want to be treated nicely, enjoy more things, and earn the recognition for your work, it is all selfish-motive.

The workers who are called for the kingdom of God should always first consider God's kingdom, the church, and the members. Pastors should be able to give their lives for the glory of the Lord and for the souls entrusted to you. You shouldn't put your mind on your wealth, fame, your parents and children, or your time and hobbies, but you have to care about the situations of the souls day and night. Those who have the titles of the elder and senior deaconess have to harbor and serve the church with the heart of parents as leaders of the members. Rather than your own spouse and children, you should be able to first think about the benefit of God's kingdom and the members.

2 Corinthians 11:23-27 talks about the sufferings that the apostle Paul went through while preaching the gospel. He toiled more than others, he was in prison, beaten many times, he went without food, and he was cold and without clothing. He was at the brink of death many times. But the conclusion is not that he wanted others to know about and acknowledge his sufferings. 2 Corinthians 11:28-29 says, "Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?" What mattered were not his sufferings. He only had the pressure on him of concern for the churches. He had pain when the believers' faith was weak, and his heart was burning if anyone stumbled.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 says, "For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?" When you stand before the Lord later, your exultation will not be fame, wealth or honor. It will be the fruits that you will have borne in the Lord. That is why 1 Thessalonians 3:7 says, "for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith;"

While Paul was going through distress and affliction, he heard that the believers in the church of Thessalonica were full of faith and love and they were longing to see Paul. The current sufferings did not matter to him, and he was comforted greatly by those believers, getting the strength to go on again.

I hope you would be able to make the same confession as Paul's until the Lord comes back again. I hope that if you die you will die for the Lord, and if you live you will live for the Lord, and you will live for the church, for God's kingdom, and for the believers. In so doing I hope you will live as true workers of the Lord.

Dear those being inaugurated, and other members,

In order for you to become true workers, secondly, you have to seek the benefit of others.

If you do not have selfish-motives, naturally you will serve the interest of others rather than your own. If you heard the holiness gospel and received a title in the church, you wouldn't shamelessly seek your own benefit first. Being a leader and a worker in the church, if you do something to serve your own interests, you'd probably feel ashamed of it and embarrassed when you pray.

So, the problem is that there are times when you are seeking your own but you just don't realize it. You sometimes insist on your opinions thinking you're right. You might force others to do something even though they cannot really handle it. You may not be following the order of hierarchy thinking that you are a leader, and you might have some discomfort about those who are not serving you the way you think you deserve being served. Then, peace will be broken. If peace is broken in any area related to you, you have to check yourself no matter what. You cannot put the blame on others thinking that peace is broken because the others are a new-believer, they are ill-mannered, they seek their own, or they are far from the truth. If you think like, "I am the leader and of course others have to serve and follow me. I am a pastor [an elder, a senior deaconess etc] and how can a lay member treat me this way?" it means you are thinking like unbelievers. If you know the truth, you will set the example of serving others first and pursue peace in the truth as the leaders.

You know very well how Abraham served Lot. When his herdsmen and those of his nephew had strife, Abraham immediately sought a way to have peace. He came up with the solution to separate the livestock because there were too many of them in a small area. Then, Abraham let his nephew Lot to choose the better land first. He did not feel uncomfortable with or rebuke his nephew thinking he was not respecting him. He did not think like, "OK, I let him choose first, but how can he actually choose the better land for himself first?" He wanted to serve the interest of the others first, sincerely wishing the best for them. And, he just followed the guidance of God the Father.

By not serving his own interests, it did not mean he had to suffer loss. But rather, because he pleased the Father God, he received even more blessings. I hope you pastors, elders, and senior deaconesses being inaugurated will cultivate this heart of Abraham. Then, God's glory will be revealed more greatly through you, and thanks to you, more souls will be guided to the way of salvation and blessings.


Those being inaugurated and other members,

I explained that in order for you to become true workers for the kingdom of God, first you must not have selfish-motives. Second, you must seek the benefit of others. If you seek the kingdom and glory of God and seek the benefit of others without having any selfish-motives, you will always be full of the Spirit. Joy and thanksgiving will flow from the depth of your heart.

You will be confident before God when you pray, so you can ask Him anything with faith. Then, you can bear abundant fruits in all respects. What kinds of fruits? You will plentifully bear the fruits of heart such as fruit of Light, the Love Chapter, fruits of the Holy Spirit, and Beatitudes and quickly take after the image of the Lord. You will also be able to bear good fruits in your given church duties. Of course, you will receive the desires of your hearts as well. The word of God will be actualized that says you will prosper in all things and be in good health even as your soul prospers.

I believe those who are being inaugurated have loved God with all your heart, mind, and soul in your march of faith until today. I believe you are full of happiness to receive important titles and you have the determination to run the race of faith with all your lives. I hope you will keep this message in mind and earn the recognition as true workers for the kingdom of God, thereby becoming pastors, elders, and senior deaconesses who are loved by the church members. I pray in the name of the Lord that, on the day you meet the Lord, you will be praised as good and faithful servants and dwell in great glory.