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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   The Heart of the Lord - Feast of Harvest and Evening Holy Communion    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   John 6: 54
Date
   2008-07-06



Passage

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,

Because we have the Holy Communion after the message, I will briefly explain about the meaning of Holy Communion before I deliver the message. Holy Communion is a ceremony to eat the bread and drink the wine, which symbolizes the flesh and blood of the Son of Man. It is to commemorate the love of the Lord Jesus who died on the cross and offered up all His flesh and blood for us.

Furthermore, Holy Communion is a ceremony that teaches us what we have to do to gain eternal life.

Today's passage John 6:54 says, "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

Physically ingesting the bread and wine of the Holy Communion does not give us eternal life in itself.

We have to realize the spiritual meaning contained in it and practice what we have realized to gain eternal life.

Namely, we have to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man in a spiritual sense.

Then, how can we eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man?

First, to eat the flesh of the Son of Man symbolizes understanding the word of God in our hearts. John 1:1 says that the Word was God.

And John 1:14 says that the Word became flesh and came to this earth, and He is Jesus.

Therefore, to eat the flesh of the Son of Man is to eat the word of God, meaning to take and understand the Word of God.

To understand the word of God is not just to learn the Bible as knowledge.

We have to change our hearts with that word. We have to fill our hearts with goodness and love.

To eat the flesh of the Son of Man properly, we have to drink the blood of the Son of Man at the same time.

This means that as we learn the word of God, we have to also put it into practice at the same time.

It's just like, when we eat food, we also have to consume liquids. Only with liquid can the body process waste and absorb the new nutrients.

If we learn the truth, we have to try to use it and to put it into practice. Only then will the word of God that we learned become our life and strength.

The untruth that was in heart will go away and the truth will replace it.

Hatred will go out and be replaced by love. Arrogance will go out and be replaced by humility.

1 John 1:7 also tells us very well that we have life only when we drink the blood of the Son of Man.

It 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."

Here, to walk in the light means to obey and practice the word of God. Jesus died and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of our sins.

Therefore, to be forgiven of our sins by the blood of Jesus, we have to walk in the light.

Through today's Holy Communion, I hope you will remember the love and grace of the Lord once again.

I hope you will eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man everyday so that you will certainly enjoy eternal life.

Body

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the title of today's message is 'The Heart of the Lord'.

As I talk about two aspects of the heart of the Lord today, I hope you will keep them in your heart.

First, the heart of the Lord is a heart of compassion.

When we have compassion for somebody, we put ourselves in their shoes, so we have sympathetic caring for their suffering. When we see a sinner, we don't just rebuke that sinner but we understand he may not have been able to keep from committing a sin and we can try to help him do better next time.

If that person can do better, we are willing to sacrifice ourselves to help him.

In the Bible, we see that Jesus comforted the orphans and widows, met with the poor and the sick and He healed them.

He preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven even to the prostitutes and tax-collectors who were despised by the people, and guided them to come to repentance.

Even to a woman who was caught in the act of the commission of a sin, He did not rebuke her from the beginning, saying, "Why did you commit sins knowing the Law?"

But He rather gave her a renewed life with love saying, "Do not sin again."

Even for a person like Judas Iscariot, He did not release him from his duty but tried to change him until the end. He gave up His life even for those priests who crucified Him, and even for those who were mocking Him.

Because of that compassion, we who were all once sinners can now call God, "Father".

It is not to hell we are destined but we now have hope for heaven, and especially the best dwelling place in heaven.

Then, how much compassion do you have in your heart?

Matthew chapter 18 gives us a parable about a person who was forgiven of his debt of 10,000 talents, but he was unwilling to forgive his fellow man who owed him one hundred denarii.

In today's sense, 10,000 talents is about 300 trillion won (300 billion dollars) and 100 denarii is about 5 million won (5 thousand dollars).

This man was forgiven of a debt that he could never have paid back, but he sent the man to the jail who owed him just 5 million won. We may think about it and never understand it, but today, something like this happens often.

They forget what kind of compassion they received from God and do not forgive the faults of brothers in faith.

Of course, for those who respect us and whose personalities are OK, even though they have some shortcomings, we try to understand and cover them.

But for those who do not respect us and always oppose our opinions, how do we act?

When those people have the same kind of shortcomings, we even recall and remember their past faults and rebuke them for it.

We don't trust and bear with them, but keep on telling them immediately what they have to do to change.

Sometimes, we say we are bearing with others, but in fact we are just ignoring them with a cold attitude.

Have you had this kind of attitude? Even if we are in higher in authority or administrative position or even if our faith is greater and our fruits are more abundant than others, we couldn't have been forgiven in the first place without the compassion of the Lord.

If we do not show compassion to our weaker brothers and sisters, we cannot receive compassion before the Lord.

I hope you will be able to forgive and accept even those who do not agree with you or who act in fleshly way and give you a hard time.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, second, the heart of the Lord is the heart of service. This is not just single-direction service of the subordinates serving those in higher positions.

Among colleagues the leaders should serve subordinates and we all have to serve one another.

The older and more mature we become and the higher our positions become, we are apt to become accustomed to being served by others.

So, without realizing it, we desire to be served, even though we may say we don't want to be served at all. If somebody does not serve us as much as others do, we may judge them thinking, "He doesn't even know the hierarchy and duty of men," or one may even resent and begrudge them for it.

For example, we may give a good gift to one of our subordinates. If the present is not something the person appreciates, he may feel a little uncomfortable about it.

So, he doesn't show any expression of liking it or he does not sincerely express his thanks to us for it. Then we feel disappointed because of it.

Would this be true service for that person?

When we do not point out our subordinates' mistakes or faults, we sometimes just suppress it in our heart.

If the other person does not change at all, even though we are withholding our rebuke, we may feel bad about it thinking, "As a leader I have really tolerated a lot from him, but because I haven't reprimanded him, he doesn't even realize it."

Also, we may think that we only point out one mistake out of every ten. But in that one point, we may blurt out our feelings about all the other nine mistakes as well. Brothers and sisters, the basic tenet of service is to give comfort to others.

Even if we give something good or bear with them, if we cause discomfort to others, it is not serving them.

Especially, the higher your position becomes, you have to realize that the influence that your words and actions carry becomes increasingly greater.

For example, a boss in a company tells one of his subordinates, "I need this kind of bag and I don't have time to go and buy it."

The boss might not have meant anything by it, but the subordinate may feel the burden of wondering, "Do I have to go and buy it for him?"

This is just one example, but those who are leaders in the church should be careful in everything.

A pastor or a leader may simply offer a bit of advice to a layman member in an attempt to motivate him to do better, but this may hurt his feelings very much. From the pastor's point of view he put trust in that person and simply wanted to encourage him. But, sometimes a person may be discouraged even more by advice.

Of course, it is proper for the one who receives the advice to accept everything with the heart of spirit and goodness. If he can do it, everything will be God's grace to him.

But the leaders should be careful to always act graciously and generously, even when they interact with faithful members and workers or other pastors who are in subordinate positions.

Matthew 18:10 says, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven."

I hope you will respect and serve even the little ones and consider their view-points at all times.

Even when you see the shortcomings of the others, you shouldn't just say, "You know your duty and you should be able to do at least this much. So, why can't you do it?" You should first think, "What is the reason that he has lost so much of his strength? Is he in a very difficult situation? How can I comfort him and help him?"

Even if it is something very good for the person to do, you should not force the person to do it. Spiritual service is to strengthen him to be able to do it by himself.

I hope you will think of the pains and situations of each other with the heart of the Lord who washed the feet of His disciples and give comfort and strength to each other.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 1 Peter 3:8 says, "To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit."

Jesus did not break a bruised reed or put out a smoldering wick.

He experienced all the pains of mankind, took pity on them, and redeemed them. Because He had that kind of heart, all the saved souls can find rest and peace in Him. I hope you will also cultivate this heart of the Lord.

We should be strict with ourselves to act in righteousness and truth, but we must also show compassion toward others and serve them.

Also, to cultivate the heart of the Lord, please remember that we always have to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man.

Then, countless souls in the heavenly kingdom will bow before you to thank you.

They will say, "I was strengthened and comforted by you in my trials so that I could come to a better dwelling place in heaven."

I pray that, together with the Lord, you will experience eternal honor and glory offered by countless numbers of such souls forever and ever.

[Amen]

 
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