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   Incense offered up to God with Thanksgiving    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee

Scripture Reading

John 6:54

"He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today is happy Thanksgiving Day.

I give all thanks and glory to Father God who has protected us for a year and given us abundant fruits in spirit and flesh.

Even though we meet various feasts with thankful mind for a year, we have an enriching and satisfying heart especially on Thanksgiving day.

When we think of the grace of God that has been given us in our lives, our hearts are filled with joy like ripened grain standing in the golden fields and dancing.

In such joy, today I am going to deliver a message entitled, "Incense Offered Up before God with Thanksgiving."

As said in first part of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "in everything give thanks," all things are the subject of thanksgiving to children of God.

Whether you sit or stand, you eat or whatever you do, there is only reason for thanks and it is also a reason for thanksgiving because God, who receives the incense of thanks, gives us great grace.

Today, I will preach about the reasons for thanks in 2 categories.

Through this message I urge you to offer the incense of thanks to God from your inner heart.

In the name of Jesus Christ I pray that as time goes by, you may offer the thicker incense to God.

Dear brother and sisters in Christ,

The first reason for thanks to God is the grace of God, which makes your souls prosper.

3 John 2 says, "Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers."

Only when your soul prospers can you advance to the higher levels of heaven, receive blessings in all aspects, experience success in everything you do, and enjoy good health.

To prosper in your soul is to cast off sins and evils in your heart and to be sanctified.

So it means to change into a true child who resembles the Holy God. Then, what do you have to do to have your spirit and soul get along well? In today's scripture, you have to eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood.

As John 6:53-54 says "So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." "

It tells us that you can join the resurrection at the end of ages only when you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, namely, Jesus Christ.

I say again, if you don't eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you will not have life and you will not be able to be resurrected. How important are these words?

The reason we offer the communion service at every feast is to remind us that there is eternal life in us only through eating the flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His blood.

In communion service, the bread refers to the flesh of the Son of Man - Jesus Christ, and the cup refers to His blood.

How then can you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood?

First of all, spiritual meaning of "eating the flesh of the Son of Man" is "making spiritual bread of the word of God."

John 1:1 says "the Word was with God," and John 1:14 says "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."

God the Word became flesh and came to the earth as a man. He is Jesus.

So, eating the flesh of the Son of Man, that is Jesus, refers to making spiritual bread of the word of God.

Then, what do you have to do in order to make your spiritual bread of the word of God?

First, you have to read and learn the Bible and change your heart according to the word of God. And If you change according to what you've learned, you can say you make spiritual food of the word of God.

You have to drink the blood of the Son of Man to make spiritual food of the flesh of the Son of Man. When you eat food, you should drink water to digest and absorb it well.

Water is needed by the body to eliminate waste and absorb the renewing nutrition by the body.

Likewise, the spiritual meaning of drinking the blood of the Son of Man is learning the word of God. In the meantime the deeds and effort to obey according to God's word have to come together.

For example if you learn "love each other,' you have to try to love even your enemy. Thus, hatred, jealousy and pride are taken out, and love instead fills your heart.

When you try to obey according the truth, the untruths in your heart are removed and the truth is filling your heart instead.

As said in 1 John 1:7, we have a true life within us, only if drinking the blood of the Son of Man.

1 John 1:7 says "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."

The first part of Leviticus 17:14 says, "For as for the life of all flesh, its blood is identified with its life."

When Jesus died for us, He shed His precious blood that is identified with His life, so when we believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, we can receive the forgiveness of our sins and gain eternal life.

If you really believe this truth, you will surely come to walk in the light and live according to the word of God as Jesus is in the light.

Only then can you be deemed to have true faith and receive eternal life through the blood of the Son of Man.

Even though Jesus shed His blood and died because of our sins, if you say "I believe. Thank you" only with your lips but live in your sins, you cannot be deemed to have "faith."

Of course, you cannot keep all the words of God from the beginning after you accept the Lord as your Savior.

But if you keep praying and practice the word of God, God will give you His grace and strength and you will be able to abide in the Word of God more completely.

When God sees you obeying His word, He acknowledges that you have faith.

You have listened to spiritual messages, so you know very well how to let your spirit prosper.

Through Spirit-filled worships services and prayers, you have received the grace and strength and been able to eat and drink the flesh and the blood of the Son of Man.

In addition God has given you special graces according to the timings so that you might long for spirit more fervently.

Looking back and see this year of 2007, God has made you know depths of the spiritual realm and opened your spiritual eyes so that you could long for spirit more and more.

Sometimes He has strictly advised and warned you and let you realize that you have to throw away fleshly things.

Eventually all these have been by the love of God who intends to make your spirit prosper and the grace of our Father God who leads you into New Jerusalem.

In such grace, most of you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood and your souls prosper everyday.

Thus, when your spirits prosper, you are not only successful in all aspects and in good health on earth but enjoy greater glory in heaven as well.

Thus, it is great blessings to you that you attend this church proclaiming the gospel of sanctification and eat the flesh of the Son of the Man and drink His blood.

I hope all of you realize and bear this grace in mind, and give thanks for this grace from deep in your heart.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The second reason for giving thanks to God is His grace in which He has let you go well in everything and be in good health as your spirit and soul prosper.

God gives you not only spiritual blessings but also fleshly blessings as your spirit prospers.

No matter how much they want and endeavor, the people of the world cannot go beyond the limitations of their capability.

They cannot change death, life, misfortune and fortune as they want, and helplessly have to suffer form disasters.

But that is a totally different story to the children of God. All kinds of disease are rampant and accidents and disasters increase in this world, but those of you who eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood have nothing to do with them.

How many blessings has God given you and your family who attend this church together at your homes, businesses, and works this year?

Once in a while you may go through a difficulty because of your mistake, but God minimizes your damage and makes all things to work together for good.

The blessings the children of God receive do not end at His protecting you from disasters.

As said in John 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

If your spirit prospers and live by the word of God, you can receive anything that you ask for including peace at your home, promotion at your works, and blessing in finance.

You Manmin members always experience greater blessings than expected according to your measure of faith.

You can receive blessings which are difficult to gain just with your faith because you live in the space of spirit that is pleasing to God.

How many testimonies have you experienced just to look back and see this year?

For example, your summer retreat site alone was cool despite the scorching countrywide heat in summer and you spent this year's summer without harmful insects because of a swarm of dragonflies sent by God.

Some farmers testified that they could do farming without chemicals because dragonflies ate harmful insects.

Even your businesses and works were protected from stormy typhoons.

That typhoon flooded many hotels next to a hotel run by a church member and caused extensive damages to the hotels. But the typhoon died out and stormy rain stopped just before his hotel was flooded.

And when many water farms were attacked by the typhoon, the farms by our church members were protected.

Even though a man's leg was run over by the wheels of a 47-seater bus and a hand of another man was sucked into a meat slicing machine, they were completely healed by prayer.

In addition, your lives are always filled with miraculous things that the people of the world cannot believe, so that I cannot testify to all your testimonies from this podium.

I urge you to think about the grace of God who has let you experience the living God and possess spiritual faith and delicately led the life of each of you.

So I ask you to offer incense of thanks as much as you can.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today we have looked into two conditions for our thanksgiving to God.

First of all, I told you to give thanks to God for letting your spirit prosper through eating of the flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His blood, and secondly, you have to give thanks to God for letting everything go well with you as your spirit prospers.

I wish for you to always remember the grace in which God has blessed you in spirit and flesh and led you to the path to more blessings.

And I ask you to bear in your mind the will of God who has given you the grace.

Even though you confess these thanks to God for His grace, when you become true children by eating the flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His blood, God can joyfully receive the incense of your thanksgiving.

The reason that God endures with us in unfailing love and mercy and gives us His grace everyday is because He wants to gain true children who resemble Him.

Just as ripened grains and good fruits please farmers, you will have to come forth as men of whole spirit and please God.

So I pray that all of you may receive greater grace reserved by God and draw closer to the throne of God and dwell in great glory, in the name of Lord Jesus Christ.