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   Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   Ro 14:8

As unlawfulness and sins are prevailing these days, we need to shed the light and fragrance of Christ and preach the good news ardently. To bring as many people as possible to the path of life, we should have the proper attitude and heart as workers of the Lord.
Then, what attitude and heart should we have before God?
Paul the Apostle confessed in Romans 14:8, "If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." We should follow his example.
In the Early Church, the apostles and the saints thought nothing of their lives for the kingdom of God. Although they were given to the lions as prey and were killed by sword, they kept their faith to the end and died martyr with pleasure. Their martyrdom made it possible to evangelize Rome and build the foundation of the world evangelization.
We should follow the ancestors of our faith and accomplish the will of God with the eager heart and passion of ’we will devote our lives to the Lord and other people and be faithful, even to the point of death casting away all our greeds and selves.’

What to belong to the Lord whether we die or live?
What should we do to belong to the Lord whether we die or live like Paul the Apostle and expand the kingdom of God greatly and to be recognized by God?

1) We have to die thoroughly and change perfectly through the truth.
In 1Corinthians 15:31, Paul confessed, "I die every day- I mean that, brothers- just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord." what ’die’ means here is throwing away the cravings of sinful man, the lust of eyes and the boasting of what we have and do to seek for the will of God our Master. We should not only break down the mind of sinful man and our own theories and frames, but also drive away our own way of thinking in what is right or not, and our own likes and dislikes or the so called self-assertion. In other words, we should adjust ourselves to the will of God.
Let’s take some examples. First, we can’t complete the kingdom of God when we don’t throw away our personal affection or feelings. For example, suppose that you designate as officials not the ones whom God is pleased with but the ones whom you are pleased with. This will result in the failure in many spiritual things and bring no revival. How pitiful it is! Therefore, anyone who claims to be a true worker of the Christ our Lord must crucify the sinful nature with its passions and desires thoroughly.

Second, when served, we might take it for granted. The faithful believers will heartily serve the servants of the Lord like Jesus Christ. Some of the servants of God give thanks to God for the service they get - even a glass of water. They humble themselves even more making a firm determination, ’I will serve my flock with more faithful and humbler heart.’ But some of the servants of God take it for granted because of their positions and even wield power over their flocks.
Third, it is not proper to keep our own thoughts, theories and frames, either. Sometimes, we pray that we will leave everything in the hands of God. But when something urgent comes up, we’d seek human ways to solve the problem rather than pray to God to receive His answers. It is an evidence that our ’selves’ are still alive. Therefore, we should throw away all of these from our hearts and become the true workers of the Lord who live only by the will of God our Master.
What then do we have to keep in mind so as to throw away our ’selves’ and change in the truth? We should always be alert in the Lord not to become numbed spiritually. That is to say, loving God and longing for the truth, we should become newer and more spiritual every day in all aspects of our faith. So to accomplish His work, God chooses those who love Him with all their hearts and cherish His words and dedicate themselves to His work.
As we love God more than anything else and do our best for His kingdom and righteousness, we can gain His trust and guarantee and thus do His works. That is to say, when we take ourselves captive and be obedient to the Lord and change every day in the truth, God’s hands will be with us to do His great works.

2) We must obey those of higher positions in the line of the spiritual order with ’Amen’ and ’Yes’.
As 1Samuel 15:22 says, "...To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams", when God estimates His workers, He considers their obedience first. Jesus could become King of kings and Lord of lords because he obeyed God with Amen and faithfulness.
Why then do many people eventually disobey God although they are determined to obey Him? It is because of their lack of the spiritual faith to obey and because of their sinful mind of man and their own theories and frames.
Therefore, to be recognized by God to be obedient, we must have the spiritual faith with deeds and throw away our sins and become holy. In other words, to obey God fully, we have to pray fervently first and find our evils and cultivate the fields of our hearts through the truth. As we reach the full measure of obedience, God will make our ways successful and give us the power to destroy the camps of the enemy Satan and and glorify God our Father.
The obedience means in the sight of God that we do things beyond our knowledge and experience with faith not to mention observing the commands of God as His children.
Only this true obedience can bring forth the accomplishment of God’s works. In contrast, as long as we keep our own thoughts and frames, we can’t obey God fully.
We can learn from the Bible how Jesus and the ancestors of faith obeyed God.
2Corinthians 1:19 says, "...Jesus Christ, who was preached among you..., was not "Yes" and "No," but in him it has always been "Yes."
Revelation 3:14 describes Jesus Christ as "...the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation."
When God commanded Moses to raise his staff and divide the water of the Red Sea, he didn’t have his own way or depend on his own experiences and thoughts. Rather, as he believed in God’s words and obeyed with no condition, God considered it his faith and answered his prayer(Exodus 14:16-31).
Also Jesus kept close to him only those who obeyed him among many disciples. When he went up to the Mountain of Transfiguration and brought back to life the dead daughter of Jairus, the synagogue ruler, he took Peter, James and John with him(Matthew 17:1, Mark 5:37). These were willing to obey Jesus with Amen even when he commanded them to cast net into deep water or to bring a donkey to him.
We should remember that only when we obey God fully with Amen and Yes, we can become one with Him and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

3. We must be in the Lord, the origin of life and become one with our shepherd to lead his flock to the way of life and feed them up.
The leaders of Gu-yeok(Home cell group) and Gi-gwan(peer group) as well as the servants of the Lord should keep in their mind that they didn’t gather their flock for themselves but only are left with a part of the flocks already gathered by God. The flocks are bought by the Lord with his blood and God left them with the (senior) pastor on behalf of the Lord. That’s why the congregation are full of the Holy Spirit and grow fast when they see their senior pastor as shepherd. Remembering this, the good workers of God who truly love their flocks will naturally come close to the (senior) pastor for the flocks. Even physically speaking, a good shepherd will seek the best place of clean water and of the pasture and lead his flock there.
When members meet the shepherd, they are impressed with the Holy Spirit and grow fast in spirit. So, if we really love God-given lambs, we have to be close to the shepherd even for their souls. If he is a good shepherd, he will try to lead them to the way of life. In the same way, if the servants of the Lord really love their flocks, they should know where the green pastures and quiet waters are for their flocks to get the true satisfaction and life. Then they should come close to the shepherd(senior pastor) with their flocks.
There is a spiritual line of order in the church. Although Jesus Christ doesn’t lead us in person to the way of life, God leads the church through the (senior) pastor as the shepherd on behalf of the Lord. So God is pleased when we follow this spiritual order and blesses us to bear fruits abundantly.
It is the same as John 15 which says, ’The branches which remain in tree bear fruit, while the branches which don’t remain in tree are thrown away and withered’. So to speak, as a tree must always be in the place where it can absorb water to stay alive, when the spiritual order is not properly kept, the flocks of God will become thin.
From the Bible, we can learn that Jesus loved Peter, James and John as they always kept close to him and later they became the foundation of the Early Church. God or Jesus didn’t differentiate other disciples. As they believed and obeyed Jesus with true heart and would keep close to him with more anxiety, they could learn and realize more things and so reveal the great power of God.
In the same way, when we all are united with our Lord and become one in our heart, mind and will, our church can be much stronger and accomplish the kingdom of God to the full measure. And when the servants of God become one, all lay members will become one, too. This will please God and enemy Satan and devil will not even dare to come close to our church.

Dear brothers and sisters,
When Jesus dispatched seventy disciples, they received the power to repel the evil spirits in the name of Jesus Christ and could expand the kingdom of God. Likewise, if we prepare ourselves as good vessels, God will give us the power to realize His will. The good vessels to receive His power are those who can confess from their deep heart, "whether die or live, I belong to the Lord."
So, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ that all of you - the servants of the Lord and all the lay members - will become one in the Lord through the true obedience and receive the power from God so as to accomplish His kingdom.