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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   He who Fears God - Students'' Devotional    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   2 Corinthians 4: 18
Date
   2008-08-24



Passage

2 Corinthians 4: 18
"...while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, members of over 7,800 branch churches in Korea and all over the world including the United States, Canada, Peru, Honduras, Bolivia, El Salvador, Argentina, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, China, Japan, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Mongolia, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Botswana, Swaziland, Cote d'Ivoire, South Africa, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Russia, Belarus, Dagestan, Ukraine, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Ireland, Greece, Thailand, Vietnam, and local sanctuary members, those who are attending the service on the Internet all over the world, and television viewing audiences,

Let us give all thanks and glory to God who has allowed and blessed us to have this 2008 Students' Devotional Service.
I also give thanks to those who have prepared for this service with all your heart, mind, and soul. Dear students, soon you and I will be meeting the Lord Jesus who is our bridegroom.

For the brides to be ready to meet their grooms, they have to adorn themselves. So does that mean from now on we have to dress up and make our appearances more beautiful? No that is not what it means. It means we have to beautify our hearts.

Proverbs 31:30 says, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised."

If we yearn for beauty, fame, or honor that is only temporary and adorn ourselves with such things, we cannot receive praises when the Lord comes back.

We will not stand before the Lord as beautiful people, but instead we would have shabby appearances. We may not even have a house in the heavenly kingdom.
Today's reading passage 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, "while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." In this visible world, even the most beautiful things will disappear when the time comes.

But only the heart that reveres and fears God will last forever. It will not disappear forever.

Even though we may lack some of the physical attributes and qualifications on this earth, if we have a reverent fear of God we will be able to enjoy the glory and honor in the heavenly kingdom forever.

Therefore, I hope you will not long to have worldly beauty or honor that will soon disappear, but long for a reverent fear of God.

I pray in the name of the Lord that by doing so, when you go to heaven your form of beauty will be seen and admired by everyone.

Main

Dear students, and all the church members, what is it to fear God?

Proverbs 8:13 says, "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate."

Namely, to fear God is to hate sins and evil that is against God and cast them off. It is also to love God and keep His commandments.

We have to obey His commands that tell us to do, not do, keep, and cast away certain things.

At this time, God is requiring three things specifically of our students.

I hope you will remember these three points very well and cultivate them in your heart so that you can be recognized as students who fear God.

Dear students, foremost, you should be faithful. Here, faithfulness is to be faithful spiritually and physically.

First, those who are spiritually faithful will try to obey the word of God. They will try their best to please God.

They will not just give up saying, "I am just a student. It's difficult to live by the word of God."
If something is difficult, they will pray until it is done. You should ask for God's help with fasting if necessary.

Those who are spiritually faithful will also be faithful in a physical sense. Because you are students, you should do your duty as students.

For example, even if you are busy with your works for God's kingdom, you should also manage your time very well to do your homework.

But suppose you didn't do your work because you were attending the prayer meetings and other worship services or doing some works in your mission groups.

You go to school in the morning and get busy copying the homework of your friends. Then, what would your friends in school think? "She doesn't do her homework properly because she is attending church!"
It means you are disgracing God with your unfaithfulness.

Also, it is something natural that you study harder than usual during the exams.

But suppose you just go to bed without studying for the exams because you were busy and now tired.

And because you are not prepared, you don't get a good grade.

When the results come out, what would happen? Your parents won't like it. You will be ashamed of yourself before your teachers and students at school.

If your parents and family members are not believers, they may become strict with you or you may even be persecuted for believing.

If you bring down the glory of God this way, you cannot have as many rewards, although it seems that you have worked hard for God with so much effort. You cannot have true joy in you, but rather you will feel burdened and stressed.

Suppose a student does not study at all thinking he will become a pastor.

Can this kind of student really be recognized by God and become a pastor who is used by God?
If he is really trying to become a pastor, he has to study harder than other students and be recognized by the people.

To become God's workers, you should make yourself proper so that you can be recognized by not only your brothers in faith but by everybody and everywhere in this world.

Also, even when you do God's work, you have to have the basic knowledge and education.

Not only for pastors, but in any area, if you want to become powerful workers, you have to fulfill your duty as students. This is the way to glorify God as students and to edify many people.

Also, when you study faithfully overcoming many kinds of difficulties, it will help you cultivate a spiritual heart.


It's because faithfulness and endurance are very important points not only for studying but for cultivating spiritual hearts, too.

Furthermore, if you study hard and learn many things while you are a student, it will become great strength to accomplish God's works later. To the extent that you gain knowledge and develop your skills, you will have more chances to be used by God.

Above all, it is your way to prepare your vessel to study faithfully in school and have peace with your friends and teachers.

But some students may misunderstand this point. They become disappointed thinking, "If I do not excel in studies, does it mean I have no faith?"

It's not true. Even if you have faith and pray hard, can everybody become number 1?

To be able to excel in academics, many conditions must be met including the faith, ability and the effort of the student and the environment. This is justice.

Some students have talents in other things than studying. Some students do not have a very good environment to study.

So, I hope the parents will remember this point very well.

You should not scold your children saying, "You have faith and pray, so why aren't you good in your academics?"

You should not hurt the feelings of your children by comparing them with other children. You should pray for them and help your children to do their best with their abilities.

But this does not mean that you should just submit to your circumstances. God the Father is pleased with faith. He is pleased when you rely on Him and do something that is beyond your own ability.

If you rely on the power of God, the power of your memory or understanding can be better. You can have greater concentration and also be more mentally fit.

Recently, you heard a testimony of a believer in the United States.

This child wasn't able to do even addition and subtraction, but he received the handkerchief prayer by faith every day. Then, what happened?

He came to excel in math and even received a presidential award.

It's the same when you try to choose your future jobs. Rather than making your own choice, it is important to ask for God's will and to commit everything to Him.

Then, even if you may lack some of the physical conditions, God will guide you to the good way. You may be able to get into good colleges and good companies later.

Students of Manmin, you may have some concerns when you try hard but cannot see visible fruit.

But God knows all your conditions and situations. Thus, He looks at your inner heart rather than fruits that are seen right now.

He receives the aroma of your heart trying to give glory to God by studying hard, and trying to diligently attend worship services, pray, and work faithfully for His kingdom.

Though you are just students, He earnestly wants you to be faithful in all God's house and come into New Jerusalem.

Psalm 37:3 says, "Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness."

I urge you to be spiritually and physically faithful by trusting God. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will overcome and rule over this world to give glory to God and enter into the city of New Jerusalem.

Dear students of Manmin and the church members, to fear God secondly you have to be sincere.

The dictionary associates sincerity with being trustworthy, genuine and honest.

If you are sincere, it means you have genuineness and truthfulness. Easily put, to be sincere is to have a trustworthy and unchanging heart.

The sincerity that I am talking about here is that you have to be sincere in your faith in God. You should not just believe in Him and rely on Him only when you are filled with the Spirit.

You should believe in God and rely on Him in any kind of situation. Then, please check yourself at this moment.

When somebody receives grace, he is full of Spirit and rejoices, but when he is not so filled with Spirit, he cannot rejoice or give thanks. He may stop praying and even look toward the world.

Recently you had summer retreat. Most of you witnessed signs and wonders in which God expressed His love for you.

You also received the fullness of the Holy Spirit through the Word and prayer.

At the camp fire, you praised God passionately and also probably made confessions like, "I will love God and the Lord only." "I will not look at the world and just live by the Word." "I will try my best in my faith and studying."

But how is it now? By any chance have you slipped back to the way you were before you received God's grace?

Then, why does the fullness of Spirit disappear? It disappears when you cannot keep the decisions you made in your heart.

Some students make up their mind to pray continually, especially in the front rows in prayer meetings.

They bind themselves by making promises to God, such as "I will pray in Daniel prayer meeting two or three hours a day."

If you made a promise like this, you have to keep it. But it is not something very easy. You feel burdened to pray and just bear with your daily life with so much difficulty.

You may break the promise because of this and that reason. Then, you get disappointed.

If you have bound yourself up by making promises like this before God, it may be sincerity in your sight.

You have established a kind of framework thinking, "This is sincerity."

But I am not saying you should not make any kind of vow before God. I am just saying that you should not make them within your will just because you are filled with Spirit at the moment.

You have to consider your measure of faith, the power of prayer, and your inner heart and make them with discretion.

The most important thing is your heart. It is important to try not to forget the grace God has given you and to pray to change yourself.

God of love knows your hearts. He knows your effort not to change your mind and your desire to always do your best before Him.

I hope you will commit to God even your weaknesses and shortcomings and pray.

When you face some hardships from time to time, please do not be discouraged but believe in God and rely on Him always.

Then, you will be able to change day by day continually. Finally, you will cultivate a spiritual heart.

I pray in the name of the Lord that as your height grows up, your faith will grow up and your love for God will also increase.

Dear students and church members, thirdly, he who fears God is truthful.

To be truthful is to have no deceitfulness in heart. How truthful are you before God? Also, how truthful are you before you parents, teachers, or friends?

To be truthful is to have no lies. He who is truthful will recognize his faults and shortcomings as they are.

If you try to hide or cover your shortcomings or problems, it means you are not truthful to that extent.

But if you long to cultivate spiritual hearts, you must have truthful heart. Only then can you solve your problems, fill your weaknesses, and change.

For example, suppose a student told her parents that she was going to the Saturday praise and worship service, but instead she went with her friends to a place that was not good for students.

And now she tried to just hide this fact from her parents.

She may be able to hide it at the moment. But later when you stand before the Lord, what secret can you have before Him?

The sea of crystal in front of the throne of God will show not only your actions but even every thought of yours that you had in your heart.

Then, how embarrassed and ashamed you will be!

Especially, if the things that you have done are related to your salvation, how regrettable you will be later! Therefore, it is best not to hide things. If you have done anything wrong, you have to repent and not commit the same thing again.

If you try to hide your fault and wrongdoings, you will not be able to avoid telling a lie.

If what you tried to hide is disclosed, your pride will be hurt and you will be heartbroken, so that you may even get angry and frustrated.
It's not only about your faults but your weaknesses or shortcomings, too.

For example, some students may have some difficult family situations. They may not be doing as good as other students in their studies.

So, they think, "Wouldn't my friends look down on me if they know this? I am so ashamed." And then they try to hide their situations.

They are trying to hide such things because they don't know the love of God. What kind of people did Jesus meet? Rich and educated? Those who are loved in the world?

No, He met the poor and sick and the neglected and the weak.

It's the same today. Whatever kind of person you may be, if you just go before God with truthfulness, He will meet you.

The weaker you are, the greater compassion He will have for you.

Therefore, before the Lord, there is no need to be ashamed of your weakness or shortcomings.

Especially, the situations in which you are placed right now are not the things that you chose.

And also you are not grown up adults yet. Because you are growing up, it is natural that you have many kinds of worries and concerns.

And God always wants to help you students. If you confess your weaknesses truthfully and ask for His help, He will give you the strength.

He can change your heart and even your circumstances.

I hope you will just lay down your self just as you are before God.

The important thing is not the appearances or physical conditions that are seen by others. What really matters is who you are in front of God.

Even though you have shortcomings now, it is important to change yourself day by day and cultivate your heart to be able to enter into New Jerusalem.
Therefore, I hope you will be renewed every day by the love of God the Father.

I pray in the name of the Lord that the sea of crystal in New Jerusalem will show only blameless things for you.

Conclusion

Dear students and all church members, when we go to heaven we will have completely different appearances.

Those who are short will be taller and those who have some excess weight will be thinner. Our skin will also be milky colored and shining. We will wear the shining fine linen clothing of heaven.

Those who go into the 1st kingdom or higher will also have jewels and other adornments that they receive as rewards. How beautiful it will be!

Also, in the 1st kingdom or higher you will have your own home, and it will be made and decorated in a way to fit your tastes exactly.

Are you thinking of how you will change and how beautiful your house will be?

I will tell you the way to imagine it. It is to look into your heart. If you go to heaven, your appearances will be beautiful as much as your heart is beautiful. Your house will also be as charming as the extent that you cultivate your spiritual heart.

Therefore, I hope you will spend the time given to you thinking of how to cultivate your reverent fear of God.

To truly fear God, first of all, we have to be faithful spiritually and physically.

Secondly, we have to be sincere in our faith in God. Thirdly, we have to be truthful when we go before God.

I hope you will accomplish all these three points and truly fear God.

I pray in the name of the Lord that all you students and church members will receive praise from the Lord in heaven.

[Amen]

 
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