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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Wisdom from Above(3) - gentle    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   James 3:17
Date
   2008-08-10



Passage

James 3:17
"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

People usually say that when they are watching others playing chess and they are not playing the game themselves, they can see better moves than those the players make.

Even though the one who is playing is actually a better player, he may miss basic things if he is under great pressure to win the game.

But those who are watching the game are not under any pressure. They can comfortably watch the game, so they have a better overall view and room to think.

Our Christian life is sometimes similar to this situation.

When we seek our own benefit and cling to it, we may not be able to discern the truth.

We know what the truth is in our knowledge, but we cannot give up the benefit and thus cannot act according to the truth.

But if our heart is filled with truth and if we have cast off selfish desires, we will have spiritual comfort.

We can easily discern what is right, and it won't be difficult to practice the truth and show goodness to others.

It's because, even though it seems that we are going through something hurtful right now, we believe that God will repay us with greater blessings.

It's also because, even though God doesn't repay us right away, we feel happier acting in the truth before God.

If we have this kind of heart, we will always show the deeds that are pleasing in God's sight, and we will be loved by Him.

Then, we will be able to receive greater blessings than when we try to gain our own benefit and seek personal advantage.

We will also be able to see the way of truth clearly, so we can also give clear answers concerning the problems of other people.

This is the wisdom that we can gain through being gentle and reasonable, as in today's passage reading.
This wisdom is especially needed for the pastors and leaders when they are doing God's work, taking care of the church members and giving proper advice to them.

Of course, if you have this wisdom it will benefit you greatly in your daily lives, too.

This is the third session of the 'Wisdom from Above'.

I pray in the name of the Lord that, through this message, you will abundantly gain wisdom in being gentle and reasonable.

Body

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the wisdom from above is, first of all, pure and then peaceable.

Those who accomplish sanctification and follow peace can also bear the fruit of gentleness and reasonableness.

Gentleness and reasonableness have similarities, so we can bind them as a pair.

Gentleness and reasonableness come from having comfort and abundance in the heart as one's heart is changing into the truth.

Goodness and truth do not just stay inside, but they come out as beautiful words and deeds.

When a person has abundant truth in his heart and at the same time he has the freedom of the truth, he can even offer up all that he has. This is the gentleness.

He can give up not only material things, but also his time, effort, interests, service, and even his life.

To be able to give up oneself completely, a person must be filled with the truth in his heart completely, without having any selfishness.

If we seek our own benefits, our own tastes, pride, opinions, and so on, we cannot offer up our self.

Jesus is the best role-model of giving up everything with the heart of abundant truth.

Jesus is the Son of God and He had no sin or blemish. His heart was the truth itself.
While He was living on this earth, He lived only by the will of God and offered up His everything.

Going without eating or resting, He preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and healed the sick.

He toiled so much and shed so many tears and finally offered up even His life for the souls.

He had no sin or blemish, but to save the ugly and evil sinners He was crucified on the cross.

Jesus gave His everything and in doing so He became the King of kings sitting in the most high position of all.

With His deeds He saved countless souls and guided them to the heavenly kingdom.

Next, we can learn about gentleness through the deeds of Abraham in Genesis chapter 13.

When Abraham and Lot received blessings from God and when their livestock were many, each one's shepherds had quarrels.

Because they had to feed and water their herds on a limited land, it was difficult to accommodate so many animals.

When Abraham found out about this, he made up his mind to separate.

So, in Genesis 13:9, he said to Lot, "Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left."

If Lot took the better place, Abraham wanted to take the other side.

In fact, if you think of this situation, Abraham could have become angry with Lot.

Above all, Lot received blessings because of Abraham.

Abraham was loved by God and because Lot stayed with him, Lot's possessions also received blessings. Furthermore Lot was Abraham's nephew.

So, if he heard that there were quarrels among the servants, what should Lot have done?

Obviously, he should have sternly warned his servants so that such news wouldn't be heard by his uncle Abraham.

But it was not the case with Lot.

Also, even when he separated from Abraham, he just chose the better land.

An ordinary person would have been disappointed and even angry with such a nephew as Lot. But, Abraham didn't have any kind of discomfort.

He had so much gentleness of heart he could give up everything and even more if the other person wanted.

But Abraham didn't suffer any loss at all because he conceded in Lot's favor. Rather, he gained a much greater advantage than what he had given.

Since Abraham showed goodness to Lot, God promised him that He would give all the lands in north, south, east, and west, and also give him countless descendants.

Because Abraham showed overflowing gentleness, the rules of justice were fulfilled that he could receive such a blessing.

Because he acted with much more goodness than what was required of him, he received greater blessings from God.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in this world, they say it is not wise to give up your things to others but to keep them.

If a person is struck once, he should strike back once, too. If they give one, they want to receive more than that. They think that is wisdom.

But the word of God says it is blessed to give than to receive. When we give and share in the name of the Lord, we will receive greater blessings from God. This is true wisdom.

Let me introduce a testimony of a businessman.

He now has a very large business, but at first, he just started with a small shop in the outskirts of the city.

Since he didn't have enough financing, he couldn't have much stock in the shop. Because it was not a very busy street, the sales figures weren't that much.

But he had the desire to serve the others rather than to make greater profit when he treated the customers.

When customers came in, he served them with coffee or tea and consulted with them even on very small things.

Even though he couldn't sell something expensive right away, he answered their questions the best he could. If he didn't know something at the moment, he tried to give the answer by asking other shopkeepers.

Also, in that town, there were many elderly citizens whose bodies were weak and who were living in loneliness.

When these people passed by the shop, he would go out, hold their hands, and ask them how they were doing.

He asked them about the condition of their health, whether their children were visiting them often, and other such matters.

It there were colds going around, he prepared tonics for colds and made them available to those who were passing the shop. It didn't cost much, but how much does this kind of act move the hearts of people?

It was not pretentious acts trying only to please them and make them buy something.

If he had had desire for money, he would have sought to deal with some rich customers and save that kind of money. But he didn't do those things with selfish desires.

He really cared for each person in the town and showed abundant love.

Even though the customers didn't buy anything in the shop, he would see them off with smiles so that they wouldn't be embarrassed in any way.

If anybody asked to exchange something, he would just exchange it without having any uncomfortable feelings.

At that time, people didn't have cell phones like today, so there were some people who wanted to use the phone in the shop.

Then, he just let them use it.

As more and more people wanted to use the telephone, he got an extension for the line to put the phone on the outside of the counter.

He offered to let his telephone be used in such a way that those who were using it felt very comfortable about it.

Those who were touched by this kind of gentleness and kindness not only became regular customers but also introduced this shop to their relatives.

When they were moving out of the town, they would recommend those who were coming in to go to this shop.

He gave more than what he was expected to do and served others, but he didn't have any loss.

He gained the hearts of people, and this cannot be compared to a little bit of profit at the moment.

On the basis of this kind of human relationship, his shop became bigger and bigger, and now he owns a big company.

Many people, when they hear such a testimony, are touched and also think that they want to do the same. But in reality, it's not easy to do it.

If the customer looks around for such a long time but does not buy anything, many times the proprietor gets irritated.

After they explain about the commodity, if it seems the customer won't buy it, their tone of voice becomes irritated.

They treat the customer kindly when he buys something, but when he changes his mind and comes back for an exchange, he is treated coldly.

Then, the customers will not become regulars. Their feelings will be hurt and they will not come back again.

Of course, even the unbelievers know how they can buy the heart of others in this kind of situation.

But as long as they have selfishness, anger, and greed in them, they cannot show abundant gentleness.

They cannot overcome their rising tempers and irritations and their emotions are shown on the outside too.

That is why the meaning of gentleness is not just giving up one's everything. The truth has to abundantly dwell in one's heart first, and from that truth he has to give up his everything.

To fill our heart with truth, make it rich, and to give of ourselves and serve others is the wisdom to win the hearts of others.

We will gain much greater benefit than when we try to keep our things.

Because we know this, our church has been trying to do this.

Since the opening of the church, we supported other newly-opened churches.

Even when we didn't have enough for ourselves, we saved even one more penny to spend for world mission and saving more souls.

Even if some people went beyond common sense and asked us to give up even our jacket, we gave it if that could save those souls.

Even if we were struck on our right cheek for no reason, we offered even the left cheek if that only could bring us peace.

We were not struck because we didn't have the power to fight back and we did not offer the other cheek because we were insensible.

It was because we had the love to save souls and believed the works of the almighty God.

When we kept acting in the same way, God gave us greater and greater blessings each year.

And in such a short time, God let us grow into the mega size church that it is today.

As we shared and gave, we didn't become poor, but richer and richer.

A wise person will realize this and apply the principle.

It's the same when you work for God's kingdom and take care of the souls.

In 2 Corinthians 12:15, we can see a confession of the apostle Paul. It says, "I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?"

When you give everything with your love for God and love for souls, it may seem that you are wasting your possessions.

But, as you keep on acting that way, you will be loved by God and the people more and more.

When the apostle Paul gave up his everything, he gained a worker like Timothy who considered Paul like a father and served and loved him accordingly.

Also, he gained a church and members who would be willing to even pluck out their eyes and give them to him.

In my case, too, I have given everything in my life for God and for the souls. And you are the witnesses of what I have received through such a life. Also, just consider the cases of the leaders in the church. What kinds of persons are loved by the church members?

Those whose spiritual eyes are opened, those who work very well, those with great talents, those who have great faith or teach very well, are these the ones who are loved and recognized by others?

Those who are really loved by others are those who offer all they have and serve others with all their heart.

Not only with material things but they serve with tears and all their energy.

Whether they are asleep or are awake, they always harbor the souls in their heart and pray for them always.

They cry with others in sorrow, pray together at times of trials, and share the joy and mourning together.

When the leaders sacrifice and give everything they will be loved by the flock. God will also love them, lift them up, and guide them to spirit and whole spirit quickly.

Furthermore, if you cultivate truth in your heart and if you can give of yourself, you will have the wisdom to be able to discern the truth clearly.

Them, you will be able to revive the souls and also heal wounded hearts.

I will continue to explain about the spiritual wisdom that comes from gentleness in the next session.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we see the parable of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15.

When the younger son wasted the money of the father, became like a beggar and finally returned to his home, the father rejoiced so much that he gave a party.

But the older son who came in from working was disappointed and angry seeing this party.

His father never gave him a party even though he worked hard all the time. But, there was a feast for his reckless and extravagant younger brother. So his feelings were hurt because he was not able to understand the situation.

He thought something like, "Father is so pleased with my brother. Doesn't it mean he loves my brother more than me? Does my father intend to give all the inheritance to only my brother?"

This elder son had been working for his father, but he was short in his love for his father.

He wasn't sure of his father's love for him, either.

If he had the love of his father in his heart, he could have treated his brother with more comfort, gentleness, and generosity like his father did.

He wouldn't have been nervous thinking his position would be taken away or he had to keep his possessions.

He would have thought his father's things were his and his father's joy was his, too. If he had had welcomed his brother with this kind attitude, how secure his father must have felt!

He would have been so happy, loving his first son even more, thinking, "Yes, surely he is my first son. He understands my heart."

The father gave a party for his younger son, but it was with the first son that he had entrusted all the family property.

It's the same with you.

If truth in you is full, you will be overflowing with the love of God.

Then, you won't feel stingy about giving your things to others. You won't be nervous when others are better-off than yourself.

You can help others do better and you can give up your things so others can enjoy more.

Because the grace God has given me is overflowing in me, I want to share all of that grace with you.

I want to give all I have if that could lead you to be loved by God, even more than myself.

I have told you many times that if somebody is loved by God and the church members more than I, then I am willing to give up even the position of the senior pastor any time.

I hope you will fill your hearts with truth fully and have abundant and generous gentleness.

Then, you will have the peace and joy in you with which you can offer up everything again and again.

You will not care about the small advantages before your eyes now, but have the hope of receiving even greater blessings from God.

I pray in the name of the Lord that, by acting this way, you will experience the blessings of this wisdom, which says 'it is more blessed to give than to receive' and 'those who humble themselves will become great'.

 
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