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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Complete Faithfulness - Inauguration Service    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Revelation 2: 10
Date
   2008-09-21



Passage

Revelation 2: 10
"Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Let us give all thanks and glory to God who allowed us to have this 2008 inauguration service.

This year, we have 3 assistant pastors, 23 elders, 43 active senior deaconesses, 15 honorary senior deaconesses, and 6 associate senior deaconesses. In total we have 90 individuals who are being inaugurated today.

I congratulate all of you who are being inaugurated today. I also give thanks to all the guests who have come to celebrate with them.

Dear inaugurated workers, all church members: this year we have a great number of workers who are being inaugurated today. Just as we have abundant harvest in autumn field, our church has also borne abundant fruit.

You at individual level also have received blessings for you have borne precious fruit in your lives.

When the grain is formed, there is a time for it to be fully filled.

It's the same with you. Receiving a title is not the end.

You will be able to enjoy great honor when you give to God the best quality fruit by completely fulfilling your duty. Today's reading passage Revelation 2:10 the latter half says "Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."

As said, the crown of life will be given to those who work faithfully until death. If their qualifications are a little higher, they will also receive the crown of gold and the crown of righteousness.

So, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will hold on to the feelings and the joy in the word given to you today so that you will be faithful with great passion until you receive the glorious crowns.

Body

Today's beloved inaugurates, to be faithful as titled church members, first of all, you have to have a heart of love for God.
What does it mean by 'being faithful until death'? It is to let your 'self' die everyday and obey the will of the Lord. Namely, it is to keep the commandments of God.

Additionally, it is to dedicate yourself to the point of not even sparing your life in order to accomplish the kingdom of God. John 14:15 says, "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."

As said, if you love God, it is not difficult to keep His commandments. You will keep them with joy.

Also, it won't be difficult to fulfill your duties.

To be faithful until death in your duties, you have to give up your own desires, personal satisfaction, and comfortable life.

Sometimes you cannot rest or eat, and you fast with prayer. You sometimes mourn so much for the souls.

The work for the kingdom of God is difficult and sometimes you may face hardships and persecution for no apparent reason. From a worldly point of view it is not an easy way to follow.

But if you love God, you can follow the way with joy. It was the case with the apostle Paul, who is one of the best examples of a person who works for God faithfully until death.

Still, he confessed as follows. In Colossians 1:24 he said, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions."

He loved God so much that instead of lamenting over the hardships he received on account of the souls, he rejoiced and professed his faith.

It did not matter what kind of threat he faced, he did not step back or become afraid, and in the end, he gave his life in martyrdom.

1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love." Because Paul loved God, he didn't fear anything. As for me also, as the senior pastor of the church, I had to risk even my life in many things until today.
But because I love God who has given me such great grace and love, I could overcome everything.

I know each of you also have love and grace that you received from God.

You have the grace of God that has been given to each of you specifically, such as grace of salvation; the grace that gives you hope for heaven; the grace that removes the burdens of life and releases you from disease; and the grace that comforts you in your sorrow and fills you with joy.

Furthermore, you and I have received special love from God.

God has guided us to clearly understand the meaning of human cultivation.

He has not only let us know about New Jerusalem where the throne of God is located, but He has clearly shown us the way to get there.

He has given us precious duties and chances to work faithfully for Him. How truly great and amazing this love is!

To the extent that we feel this love and fill our hearts with it, we can be faithful until death.

If you feel it is difficult to keep the commands of God and to be faithful, it is because your love for God in your heart is somewhat lacking.

Therefore, I hope you will always remember the grace you have received, so that you will not give God the fleshly love that changes, but the spiritual love that never changes.

I pray in the name of the Lord that despite the difficulties you encounter, you will be faithful workers who do not consider it to be suffering when it is on account of your love for God.

Dear inaugurates and church members, to be faithful completely, secondly, you must have truthfulness in heart.

When you first receive a title, many of you emotionally profess, "I am so thankful to receive salvation, and the Lord has given me this precious duty, too! I will be faithful in my love of God and for the souls!"

But as time passes, in many cases that first love and passion of your heart and your confession changes according to circumstances.

Suppose you work hard but nobody recognizes you. Then, you may become somewhat disappointed or you become tired.

If you see somebody in a similar situation who is advancing ahead of you, or when you find you have shortcomings as one of the leaders, you become disheartened.

You should do everything just with 'Yes' and 'Amen', but you tend to step back if something is not really beneficial to you.

You just become enthusiastic about the works that are beneficial to you and that you like to do.

Then, it means you do not fulfill your duty completely. You may not be where you should be, or you may think you are fulfilling your duties, but you have no substantial fruits to show for it. So, you become discouraged.

Furthermore, you may even regret taking the duty or think that you want to quit.

Why are there such changes? It's because you say you are working faithfully because you love God, but your heart is not really truthful.

Namely, at one corner of your heart, you want to be acknowledged by others and you want to fulfill your personal desires.

But, if your love for God is truthful, your first heart when you first received the duty will not change.

You will give thanks and rejoice just for the fact that God has made you a worker of the Lord.

Even if there is no reward, even if you go through persecutions and hardships for no reason because of your duties, you are just thankful.

As in the parable of 'unworthy servant' in Luke chapter 17, you just think that's what you are supposed to do.

Even when you find your shortcomings, you don't become disheartened, but humbly ask for God's power.
Your confession is from the depth of your heart and is true when you say, "I am nothing."

Likewise, it is best to have a truthful heart first and then receive the duty, but sometimes it doesn't happen that way.

So, as you fulfill your duties, your heart changes according to your personal benefit.

Even so, you should not be discouraged and your passion should not cool down. A true worker of God will still try to cast those things away and change himself.

If you try everyday to make your first confession more truthful, you will be able to become spiritual workers more quickly and more easily.

The aroma of your heart will be more beautiful and your fruit will be more abundant.

I hope you will take all your unfavorable situations as your opportunities so that you can have truthfulness itself in your heart.

I pray in the name of the Lord that in doing so you will fulfill your duty without having a change in heart somewhere in the middle so that you will earn praises from the Lord.

Beloved inaugurates: thirdly, to have complete faithfulness you have to have prayer from the depth of your hearts.

To offer up to God complete faithfulness, I said that you have to have love of God and truthful hearts.

I know you all desire to have this kind of heart, and to cultivate this kind of a beautiful heart, you have to pray with all your heart.

It is meaningless if all you do is just listen and gather knowledge.

I am sure you probably have heard this message so many times before your inauguration today, but if you lack love for God or truthfulness of heart, it means you lack the necessary prayer from the inner heart.

Even though you listen to the word and receive God's grace from it, you cannot really practice what you hear without praying from the depths of your heart.
Therefore, when you have listened to the message, you have to cry out in prayer before God with the determination that you will cultivate the word you have heard within you and be faithful as spiritual workers.

If you accumulate this kind of prayer of heart every day, your love for God will grow deeper and deeper.

To the extent that you have spiritual hearts by accomplishing the word within yourself through prayers, you will feel the love of God in you.

Also, as you pray with all your heart, you will go before God with a truthful heart that has no falsehood.

You can acknowledge your shortcomings and lay them all down before God without hiding anything.

God can give you His grace and strength so you can change, only when you have prayed earnestly with all your heart.

Then you will say "I love You, God" not only when you are filled with the Spirit, but also when you feel you lack certain things as well.

The strength to fulfill your duties does not come from worldly knowledge, your physical talents, or money. It comes from God-given wisdom and strength.

When you accumulate prayer of inner heart every day and when you accumulate love and truthfulness, you will finally become a powerful worker.

Therefore, if you say, "I don't have the ability to do this duty" without praying with all your heart, then, it is nothing but an excuse.

I pray in the name of the Lord that all you workers who are inaugurated today will become great and powerful workers through prayers of the inner heart.

Conclusion

Dear service appointees, the apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 1:12, "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service."

I believe this confession is your confession, too. I also believe that those of you who have already received titles confessed this way.

But as explained in the message, you should remember that the crown of life will be given to only those who are faithful until death.

Furthermore, if you become completely sanctified and are faithful in all God's house, you will receive the crown of gold and crown of righteousness in New Jerusalem.

And to be faithful until death, you have to cultivate love and truthfulness through prayers of the inner heart.

I sincerely hope that you will hold fast to this message so that on that Final Day you will be able to confess to the Lord, "Thank You for giving me such a precious duty and letting me come to this beautiful and honorable place!" in the name of the Lord I pray...

[Amen]

 
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