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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   The Most Precious Thing - Young Adults'' Devotional    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Philippians3:8
Date
   2008-05-18



Passage

Philippians 3: 8

"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,"
Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has let us have this 2008 Young Adults' Devotional Service. I give thanks to all the devotees who have prepared for this service with all their hearts.

Dear devotees, you offer a devotional service every year.

You try hard every year to offer to God the best and most special praise, the most precious offerings, and the most pleasing worship service in the eyes of God.
You also offer vowed prayers and fasting as you long for more grace.

I believe you have wholeheartedly prepared for this devotional service.

Therefore, God the Father wants to give you the best things. He has always given you the way of blessings each year.

But the most important thing is that you hold tight to the words of grace. You shouldn't just hear the Word and then forget about it, but keep it in mind and practice it.

The Word that you receive in this service should be planted in you, and you should pray about it for one whole year.

When you keep the word in mind and practice it, your life will be a pleasing aroma before God the Father, as the word 'devotion' suggests.

God will accept that aroma pleasingly and give you the promised blessings abundantly.

Everything that you have given to the Lord and done for Him until now will be born as fruit of blessings in actuality.

I hope this worship service is also accepted by God as pleasing aroma.

That way, in the name of the Lord I pray that you will abundantly receive all the blessings that God has prepared for you in your lives.

Body

Dear devotees, the title of today's message is, 'The Most Precious Thing'. What is the most precious thing to you?
Some say money is more precious than life.

Some others consider their dream to be successful most precious.

Still others consider fame, social authority, health, or family the most precious thing.

But today's passage Philippians 3:8 says, "More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,"

Paul gave up the honor of his social position; his learning, knowledge and attainments; and all the comfort he could enjoy in this world. And he did not give them up reluctantly. He considered them rubbish and willingly gave them up.

Then, what was so precious to the apostle Paul that he could give up the things that were so precious to others, like they were rubbish?


The most precious thing for the apostle Paul was, first of all, the love of God.

1 Timothy 1:15 says, "It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all."

Before Paul accepted the Lord, he severely persecuted the believers.

But when he met Jesus Christ, he realized the overwhelming love of God.

"I persecuted the name of the Lord so much, but Jesus died for a person like me! The innocent Son of God went through so much pain and suffering and died for a sinner like me!"

He deeply felt something like this and had overflowing love and thanks from his heart.

As he found out his shortcomings and faults, the grace of God was all the more precious to him.

That is why he devoted his entire life to repaying the love of God.

2 Corinthians 5:13-15 says, "For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf."

As said, the apostle Paul lived only for the Lord.

Even when he was misunderstood by others while doing the work of the Lord, he never gave any excuses.

Even though he gave up everything for the Lord and had nothing remaining, he was not sad about it.

He had much knowledge, but he denied his knowledge and his own righteousness before the word of God.

Dear devotees, most of you know my story very well.

There was almost nothing left for me but to die while suffering from diseases for 7 years. I was forsaken by everybody around me.

I was left with only despair and pain. But still I didn't seek God. But God sought me first and saved me from all diseases, poverty, and unhappiness.

Then He gave me the hope of heaven and precious duty.

The more I think of that love, the more the emotions and thanks well up from my heart.

And because that love is always in my heart, I could not see anything else.

I wanted to live only for God, and I have lived like that as well.

And how is it with you? This special love of God is not only for a certain group of people.

The love of the Lord of taking the cross for sinners is the same for all of us.

When you look back on your life, how great is the love of God that you have received? Of course, not everybody has accepted the Lord through such a dramatic situation as in the case of Paul or that in my own case.

But, everybody has his or her own testimony. When you first realized the love of God and you were burning with passion, you accepted the way of faith with all your life.

But how is it now? Is there no change? Are you still as passionate as, or even more passionate than before?
The love of God does not fade with the passage of time.

It is renewed as time goes, and it becomes deeper and deeper.

I hope you will always remember the grace and love that God has given you, and have renewed grace every day.

Dear devotees, the second most precious thing to the apostle Paul was the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. God not only saves us, but also prepares the kingdom of heaven for us.

He has given new life to our spirits and saved us from hell. How thankful we are just for this!

Furthermore, God gives His children the kingdom of heaven and there is nothing on this earth that can compare with it.

Let me give you an example. Suppose you have such a great amount of debt that you are arrested and sentenced to death for it.

But a rich man loved you and paid all your debt for you. Then, you ought to be so thankful to him that you would repay that grace for the rest of your life.

But that rich man did not only pay back your debt but he accepted you as his son.

He registered you in his family and made you his heir, and let you enjoy all his possessions. How deeply would you then be affected! We have received this kind of grace. The apostle Paul saw the kingdom of heaven himself. He saw Paradise in the third heaven.

Of the dwelling places in heaven, Paradise is the lowest level. But nothing on this earth could even begin to compare with Paradise.

Now, Paul could consider every kind of wealth, authority, and happiness of this world to be nothing but rubbish.

With this hope of heaven, Paul was filled with happiness in any kind of situation.

Even though he was hungry and thirsty and exhausted because of the hard work, his heart was always filled with this hope and joy.

Being under such severe sufferings, even when he seemed to have no more hope for living, he thought of the grace of the Father who had given him the kingdom of heaven, and he gained the strength to run in the race again.

He then tried his best to change himself, and that's why he confessed, "I die daily." It was to accomplish a holy and sanctified heart, and to dwell near the throne of God.

Dear young adults and other members, you have been learning a lot about the heavenly kingdom and life in it.

You learned how the heavenly kingdom is categorized, the appearance of the houses in each dwelling place, what kinds of facilities there are and the facilities in the houses at the different levels. You have learned about the different kinds of decorations in those houses and how the angels serve you. You have heard about the kinds of clothes and crowns that will be given to you. You even heard about how our forms and shapes will change in the heavenly kingdom. You have heard so much and in such detail!

These words are not just for a particular group of people. It's not a story of something that is very far off in the future.

It is the place into which you have to go, and when the Lord comes back soon, we will be given these dwelling places. Then, how much do you think of heavenly kingdom in your everyday life?

When you listen about the kingdom of heaven, how much inspiration of the Spirit do you have?

If you truly hope to go into heavenly kingdom, you should not just hope for it, but you have to actually invest in it.

Just to buy one house on this earth, how much do people struggle and endure?

They save money. They go without buying what they want, and not eating expensive things. They also work without taking enough rest.

There aren't any houses on earth that compare with a house in heavenly kingdom, so it is worth it to endure and invest.

We should not try to store up things on this earth, but we should store up in the kingdom of heaven.

Above all, we should quickly cast off sins and evil. We also have to fulfill our duties faithfully. Even if there are difficulties in reality, you will not grow weary if you have hope of heaven.

I hope you will store everything in heavenly kingdom with joy and thanks everyday.
Dear devotees, the third most precious thing for the apostle Paul was the souls.

If you know the love of God and hope for heavenly kingdom, you will surely have a burning love for other souls.

You cannot just remain comfortable just because you are saved and can go to heaven.

There are so many others who are running towards hell, and you cannot just stand by and watch them go.

Paul knew about heaven and hell very clearly.

Paul also knew very well how much God mourns and becomes heartbroken when He sees dying souls. So, from the time that Paul met the Lord he spent the rest of his life administering to other souls.

He traveled here and there without rest, visited the churches and taught the believers.

He experienced so much hardship and suffering. He had to overcome cold and hot weather and many times he was hungry and many times he got no sleep.

He even encountered robbers; he was persecuted without cause and beaten many times. He was even jailed and he once drifted in the sea.

2 Corinthians 11:28 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?"

Even while he was enduring innumerable trials and so much suffering, he was not concerned about himself. He was not concerned with better food or clothes. He did not think about his comfort, enjoying more things, or receiving more love from others.

He only worried about how to plant more faith in each church and how to encourage each person to overcome trials. He prayed for these things with tears.

It was not his desire to receive praise from God for working so faithfully and saving so many souls.

He didn't want to be lifted high by the people. He didn't want anything in return.

Romans 9:3 says, "For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh."

Because the souls were so precious, he said he could exchange them even with his salvation. He could even to go hell in place of others, and what would he have wanted from those souls?

It was unconditional and sacrificial love.

He only sacrificed and devoted himself for the souls even until the last moment of his life.

How is it with you?

I hope you will look back on yourself and see just how much pity you have for dying souls and how preciously you are taking care of the souls who are entrusted to you.

Rather than experiencing comfort in life and enjoying yourselves, I hope you will find more happiness when you pray, preach the gospel, and take care of other souls.

Conclusion

Dear young adult devotees and other members, if God asks you the following question, what would you say? "My son, My daughter, what is the most precious thing to you?" If He asks me, I will have the same answer as Paul.

The love of the Father God is the most precious, and the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and the souls are the most precious.

Is there anyone among you who is thinking, "That's strange, the most precious thing should be only one thing, so why has he named three things?"

If you listen to this message and understand it in spirit, you will understand all these three are one.

The most important thing is the love of God the Father, but I explained it in three aspects for better understanding.

Because the love of God was the most precious for me, I lived only for the glory of God.

I put my hope in heaven and spent each day to save more souls. I sacrificed and devoted my life, but I have never thought this life is hard.

I have overcome sufferings that were like death, but I had no fear.

It was because the love of God the Father was so good and the souls were so precious.

I didn't put anything of this world before the kingdom of heaven. I don't have anything that I want to possess or enjoy more.

I have given to God again and again, but I still have so many things.

It's because no matter how hard I have given to God, God the Father has always given me more than what I give.

He let me receive love from so many people. He gave me everything, even fame and wealth, without lacking in anything.

He has been giving me more and more authority over the Word and Power as days have passed. Above all else, He lets me feel the inexpressible love of God more deeply day by day, so I can live such a happy life.

It's the happiness that the world cannot give or understand.

Dear young adults, what do you have in your heart?

Is the love of God so precious to you, and do you remember that love in your heart each moment?

Or, maybe you are not actually taking things of the world, but don't you have some kind of lingering attachment to the world?

You already heard and learned so much about how good heaven is.

You also know well that the end is so very near, and soon the Lord will come back.

Thus, you should not think there is still time left and you can still direct your heart toward the world a little longer. People who think like this are no different from the five foolish virgins in Matthew chapter 25.

The five foolish virgins had known that the bridegroom was coming soon, and they were waiting for him.

But, when the groom was delayed, they just fell asleep without adequately preparing their oil.

When they heard that the groom was coming, it was too late to prepare the oil.

You young adults have been decorating yourselves as brides of the Lord.

You have given many things to God including your hearts, time, faithfulness, and offerings.

I want all these things to be given back to you as complete blessings.

You should receive blessings on this earth and also, you should receive the glory of New Jerusalem in heavenly kingdom.

For this, I hope you will be on alert even more.

If you have lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and boastful pride of this life remaining in you, you should cast them off as soon as possible.

Only then can God acknowledge you as His beloved sons and daughters and guide you into the glory of New Jerusalem.

I hope you will be filled with only the love of God, the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, and love of souls.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be able to boldly confess that you love God the Father more than anything.

Amen

 
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