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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Thought    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Numbers14:9-10
Date
   2008-02-17



Passage

Numbers 14: 9-10

"Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them." [10] But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has blessed us to have this 2008 Cell, Group, and District Leaders' devotional service.

I give thanks to the devotees who have prepared for this service with all your hearts and minds and effort. Dear district leaders, group leaders, cell leaders, assistant cell leaders, and service leaders, when you are entrusted with the duty of saving souls, you will have one more earnest desire.

It is the desire for spiritual power and authority. Of course, even when you didn't have the duty before, because you heard and understood the word and you longed for sanctification, you also desired spiritual power and authority.

But after you receive the duty and are entrusted with the flock, the magnitude of your desire is totally different from before.

You do not just desire for it in general, but your desire becomes very specific and more earnest.

It's because you now have to preach the gospel, visit the members and solve their problems, and plant faith in them.

And as you face various situations, you feel the need for spiritual power even more greatly.

A soldier on the battle field would want a rifle and even one bullet so earnestly. Likewise, you come to earnestly long for the authority over your words, spiritual brevity, and Holy Spirit's voice and guidance.

You also feel in your bones the necessity of being sanctified, thinking like, "I can really bear spiritual fruits only when I am spirit. I really have to be a spiritual worker."

To that extent, you have greater longing and pray fervently.

God will hear that prayer, and give you the strength to become sanctified. That is why your duty is such a great blessing.

It will be not only your reward of saving souls, but also great strength for you to become sanctified more quickly. How thankful you are that you received such precious duties!
In this service, I will deliver a very important message for you to become spiritual workers who can do this duty very well.

It is about 'thoughts'. More specifically, it is that you have to cast off fleshly thoughts and have only spiritual thoughts.

You have heard many messages about fleshly thoughts and spiritual thoughts.

But not many of you can boldly confess that you have only spiritual thoughts.

Through this message, I hope you will cast off all fleshly thoughts and have only spiritual thoughts.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will become workers who follow only the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit in all things and bear abundant spiritual fruits.

Body

Dear devotees and members, today's passage is the confession of Joshua and Caleb that you know very well.

Among the twelve who spied out Canaan, only Joshua and Caleb confessed with faith. They said that even though the people in Canaan were very strong, they could win if God were with them.

Numbers 14:9 says, "Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them."

Can you confess like this?

If you have fleshly thoughts, you cannot have this kind of confession.

In reality, the words of the other ten spies are right.

The Canaanites were big and they were in great number.

Their iron weapons were stronger than those of Israel. If they fought only with human power, they didn't have a chance to win but they would only be brutally killed.

Even after seeing this kind of reality, they said, "They will be our prey." This could not be said without faith.

It was the confession coming from strong trust and faith that God's will was to conquer the Canaan land and they would certainly win if they relied on God's power.

Also, they said, "Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us."

Can you district, group, and cell leaders confess that God is with you?

"God being with you" also means that you are living by the word of God.

If you are just staying in sins following the habits of your old self, you cannot say God is with you. God will not guarantee such a word, either.

Joshua and Caleb were living by the word of God, and they could have spiritual thoughts.

They did not use any fleshly thoughts seeing the reality of the situation.

They only looked up to God and relied on Him, and that's how they could have spiritual thoughts.

We can confess with faith and obey only the will of God when we have spiritual thoughts.

When we obey, then, we will be able to experience the works of God.

In any kind of difficult situation, God changes impossible into possible.

But when people heard their confession of faith, those without faith tried to stone them.

To the people who were full of fleshly thoughts, it sounded like something that would drive them all to their deaths.

Spiritual thoughts and fleshly thoughts are this different.

Today's passage verse 10 says, "But all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Then the glory of the LORD appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel."

Before they were stoned, God Himself intervened in the dangerous situation.

The glory of the LORD appeared before all the congregation, and God protected Joshua and Caleb.

God also made it such that all the congregation of those in attendance would die in the wilderness, but only Joshua and Caleb would go into the Canaan land as they had confessed.

Likewise, those who have spiritual thoughts are guaranteed by God without fail.

God Himself proves that they truly pleased Him.

Do you also want to confess with faith having spiritual thoughts and be guaranteed by God like Joshua and Caleb?

Then, how can we have only spiritual thoughts? I hope you will check three aspects from now.

To have spiritual thoughts, first of all, you must not have desire to seek your own benefit or advantage.

You have to think of the kingdom of God first and seek other's benefit first.

Even though men work so hard for God's kingdom, they first have to follow the desires of the Holy Spirit.

Only then will they be able to have fruit.

But if they have desire to follow their own benefit, they cannot hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.

If it is beneficial for them to go to the east, they have such a great desire to go to the east, and they cannot think of anything else.

The Holy Spirit speaks to them to go to the west, but they cannot hear it. They hear the voice of their own desire much more loudly.

So, they only think of the ways to go to the east.

Therefore, we can see that we can discern the will of God only when we ask for it with our 'self' being empty. Only then the spiritual thoughts can follow.

Devotees today can discern the truth to some extent.

If you find your own desires, you feel ashamed of yourself and try to cast it off.
But in some cases, you are certainly seeking your own, but you don't realize it yourself.

It's because on the outside, that work is covered in such a way that it seems to be for the kingdom of God.

Let me give you an example. Suppose one leader is enthusiastic about giving offerings for the construction of sanctuary, and he is urging others to participate.

This is certainly for the construction of the sanctuary and for the kingdom of God. But in some cases, he may have his own underlying desires, although he seems to be working for the kingdom of God.

He thinks, "I will be praised by the shepherd by accomplishing this work. I will be acknowledged by the members."

Still, because he thinks he is working for the kingdom of God, he does not realize his own desires.

In this kind of case, even in the process of accomplishing it, he follows the ways that he thinks fit, rather than hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit.

He may also fall into some difficult situations by insisting his own ideas and break peace with others.

If you do not have any selfish desire, you will receive the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit even about the timing and methods of doing a certain work.

God will move the heart of others, too, and He will guarantee the result.

That is, He works for the good of everything.

Also, if you do not seek your own benefit, you will not have any stirring or swaying of heart no matter what kind of result you have after working hard.

Sometimes, you pray hard and accomplish something, but you do not gain any praise, instead you receive only some advice.

If you do not seek your own, you will still rejoice and work for God's kingdom with the same enthusiasm as before.

But, if you seek your own, it will be a little different.

You will be disappointed or lose heart thinking, "I tried so hard to gather the hearts of people. I visited each member, prayed and fasted, and how can he say that to me?"

You can have spiritual thoughts only when you cast off these kinds of things from the heart.

Then, you can bear great fruit, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit in spiritual thoughts.

Dear devotees, secondly, to have only spiritual thoughts, you have to cast off evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 says, "But examine everything carefully hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."

If you cast off evil and have a heart of goodness, the works of the Holy Spirit will be received precisely and accurately.

You can understand the other's heart, and you will not have any misunderstandings, or judging and condemnations.

If you think with evil, you will easily judge and condemn when you see things that do not agree with your thoughts.

You take several facts that you know and put them together thinking, "With out a doubt this must be what happened..."

You don't even know the other's heart, but just by seeing his facial expressions and actions you anticipate his thinking or feeling.

If somebody tells you not to judge in this situation, you say, "It is obvious if you look at the situation, so what am I judging?"

You just think it's clear.

Even if your wild guess turns out to be right, you cannot say you did not judge.

If you have your opinion just by guessing even without seeing it yourself and without checking it with that person, then, it is judging.

If you think in a good way, it's better, but if you think in evil, condemnation follows. Because of this, you come to have misunderstandings and ill-feelings against each other.

Those who judge do not think from the other's viewpoint but only from their own viewpoint.

Then, they have grumbles and uncomfortable feelings against each other in each matter, and they cannot be united as one. For example, in the standpoint of the cell leader, you may think your district leader cares for another cell more than your cell.

Meanwhile, a neighborhood cell near you had revival and the cell leader received an award.

If you have evil thinking in this situation, you will have many kinds of fleshly thoughts. You will also have grudges thinking, "Our district leader is neglecting my cell."

"If she helps me more, I can also bear great fruit." Then, you may even be jealous of the growth of your neighboring cell.

"I once said something not good about the district leader, and I wonder if somebody passed that word to the district leader? Maybe that's why she is upset with me." Thinking this way, you are uncomfortable with the district leader.

Because you have such feelings and narrow-mindedness, fleshly thoughts continue to come up. How good it would be to think only in goodness!

"That cell doesn't have very good workers, and I am thankful that the district leader is taking care of that cell. Since district leader trusts me that I can take care of my cell, I will be more diligent and I will also pray for that cell. I should make our district leader not worry about my cell." If you think this way, everyone will be happy.

How pleased God will be with this cell leader? When she visits a member, God will give her more grace and let her bear more abundant fruit of evangelism also.

I hope you will think in goodness and from the viewpoint of others in every matter. Then, God will hear your heart's desires. He will guarantee your word and deeds with abundant fruit.

Dear devotees and members, thirdly, to have spiritual thoughts, you have to cast off arrogance.

This is a very important point for casting off fleshly thoughts.

Arrogance is the sinful nature that you have to be careful about until the end, unless you have gone into the whole spirit.

Other sinful natures and works of the flesh are revealed more greatly when you are new believers, and as you continue your Christian life, you will cast them off more and more.

But in many cases, arrogance is the opposite.

It does not reveal so much when you are a new-believer, but when you become workers and leaders, sometimes your arrogance becomes greater.

Nevertheless, you don't realize that you lift up yourself and have become arrogant.

Without realizing, you want to be lifted, and you are more and more accustomed to being served.

And you break peace with your framework and knowledge that you have accumulated so far.

"I have devoted myself for the God's kingdom this much. I have been with the shepherd for 10 or 20 years, so I know the heart of the shepherd more than anybody. I know what God the Father likes. I know what the shepherd likes. In this case, it is right to obey this way. In another case, this is the way to obey." If you are sure of yourself with thinking like this, you will only insist your opinion.

If it does not agree with your thoughts, you will disobey the word of your leaders, and you will break peace among other people around you.

But even if you gain one answer to a question in your experience, that answer is not always correct.

That answer may be correct, but according to the situation and the individual, another answer may also be right.

Also, even if your opinion is correct, your opinion is not the only correct answer.

Another person may have a better answer, and according to the situation, both this and that may be correct.

Even if your answer is better, you should not just insist on it, unless another opinion is sin and lawlessness.

Your opinion itself may be the truth, but to insist on it is untruth.

But as your positions become higher, and if you become arrogant because of your experience and knowledge, you don't listen to others. Then, you will not listen to not only other people but also the voice of the Holy Spirit.

To have good and spiritual thoughts, you must cast off this arrogance of thinking that you are right.

You have to be humble always, listen to even the little ones, and follow peace considering the standpoint of others and the situations.

Then, your plans will be guaranteed by God, and you will experience the works of the Holy Spirit to bear abundant fruit.

Conclusion

Dear devotees and members, I hope you will keep in mind these three aspects when you are fulfilling your duties.

Then, many of you will come forth as spiritual workers who have spiritual thoughts all the time.

If you have spiritual thoughts this way, you will be able to discern between what is right and wrong correctly.

You will be able to clearly discern between the good and evil, truth and untruth, and the will of God and thought of men.

When you visit a member, or when you interact with other church workers and your family members, there are many things that you have to discern.

In those situations, you should be able to discern in goodness whether you have to do a certain thing or not, or what words you should and should not say.

When you follow the voice of the truth, you will be able to bear abundant fruit.

Sometimes, as leaders you commit sins, and even when you repent, you still blame others.

You say you were deceived because you thought the other person was a reliable person.

It means you were unable to discern truth and untruth.

But if you fill your heart with the truth and have spiritual thoughts, it can never happen.

Why wouldn't you be able to discern whether or not the other person was speaking the truth, whether or not she was deceiving you to commit sins, or whether it was OK to do it or a work of the flesh that create a wall of sin before God?

You would be able to discern the other's heart and realize what you should do.

It does not matter even if the other person is much higher in position.

Whoever it is, if anybody tempts you to sin before God, you have no reason to be deceived and you must not obey such things.

I hope you will always have spiritual thoughts so that you will receive the power to act in the truth in all things.

I urge you to be able to confess with faith like Joshua and Caleb and be guaranteed by God with complete trust.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will enlarge the kingdom of God greatly and give glory to God, and also receive the key of New Jerusalem!

Amen

 
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