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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Thanksgiving    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   John 6: 53
Date
   2008-11-16



Passage

John 6: 53
"So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves."

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, members of over 8,000 branch churches in Korea and all over the world including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Japan, Mongolia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, DR Congo, Gabon, Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Russia, Sweden, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, Dagestan, and local sanctuary members, those who are attending the service on the Internet all over the world, and GCN viewing audiences,
Today is the Thanksgiving Sunday and after this service we will celebrate Holy Communion. God the Father has given us the message with the title 'Thanksgiving'.
This Thanksgiving Sunday is the time to give thanks to God the Father for the fruits that are born throughout the year.
The reason why we are able to gain the grain and fruits in harvest is because God the Father has given the sunshine, air, and water.
This "harvest" is not just concerning farming, but it's the same with everything.
God the Father has given us health and protected us from accidents so we could live in safety throughout the year.
Also, spiritually speaking, the reason why we could take up our God-given duties for the kingdom of God is because of the help received from God the Father.
We can bear the fruits physically and spiritually because God the Father has given us grace and strength. Then, does that mean those who bear little or no fruit cannot give thanks?
Of course not! They should give thanks even more! I will explain why.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will receive greater blessings and answers to your prayers through thanksgiving.

Main

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in this message, I will talk to you about thanksgiving in two aspects.
First, thanksgiving is the passage way through which we pull down answers from God.
Obviously, when we are experiencing conditions that are good, we will all give thanks to God.
But, when the situations surrounding us are not so good, many people don't give thanks.
But if we can give thanks even in situations in which it is almost impossible for us to give thanks, God will be moved and give us grace and blessings.
It's because to give thanks is in accordance with the justice of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
To give thanks in everything means that we have to give thanks in any kind of circumstances for everything no matter what it may be. It is clearly stated that this is the will of God for us.
To give thanks in all things is the expression of obedience to the will of God. And God's children should not just stay at this level of giving thanks in obedience to God's will.
Just by the fact that we are saved, we should be able to give thanks in all things. Without the grace of God we would fall into eternal fire of Hell and suffer forever.
Thinking about this, we can understand how great a gift of God it is to receive salvation. Therefore, I hope you will all give thanks in all things.
Next, to give thanks is the expression of faith in the word of God.
Mark 11:24 says, "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you."
If we believe in this verse because we believe in God, we will not be disappointed even if there is no answer right now.
Because we believe that God will give us the best response to what we are asking at the best time, then it doesn't matter even if the physical conditions or situations get worse.
I have always received God's answers and blessings with this kind of faith. It's not only with the things for the whole church, but in personal matters also.
For example, quite recently, once my eyes were reddened very much. But I didn't worry at all.
I just gave thanks thinking that God would give me better eyesight. And in fact my eyesight became better.
Also, recently, my voice became a little rough and husky and I felt like I had a frog in my throat. My voice didn't become hoarse even during the 2-week continuous special revival meetings.
But when that suddenly happened and I had some difficulty talking, I just gave thanks thinking the Father was again just giving me a better voice. I have always given thanks. If I give thanks with faith for a certain matter, that thanksgiving was realized in reality.
Likewise, to give thanks in all things it the secret to receive better things from God. Because we believe in God, there is nothing to worry or get disappointed about.
We believe that God the Father knows everything and that He will give us the good things at the best time. Believing like this, we can naturally give thanks.
Likewise, thanksgiving is the expression of our faith in God's word and the expression of our obedience to the will of God.
Therefore, having satisfied the justice of God through thanksgiving, we can bring down God's answers.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will understand that thanksgiving is the passage way of receiving answers and offer up to God the sacrifices of thanks in all things.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, secondly, thanksgiving is the power to change ourselves. Namely, it is great strength in changing our heart into spirit.
Let me explain this in relation with the meaning of the Holy Communion, in which we will soon partake.
In Holy Communion we eat the bread and drink the wine. The bread symbolizes the flesh of the Lord, and the wine symbolizes the blood of the Lord.
And John 1:1 says, "the Word was God."
Also John 1:14 says that the word that came in flesh is Jesus.
Therefore, to eat the bread, namely the flesh of the Lord, is to 'eat' the word of God. We must fill our hearts with the word of God by diligently learning and hearing the word of God which is the truth.
Namely, we have to get rid of the untruth in our hearts and refill it with the truth that is goodness and love. This is the spiritual meaning of 'eating the flesh of the Lord', the bread.
Next, what is the meaning of drinking the blood of the Lord, which is the wine?
The blood of the Lord is the blood of the power to cleanse all sins, and it's the blood of life that gives us eternal life.
For this power of the precious blood of the Lord to completely come upon us, we have to act in light.
It's because 1 John 1:7 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."
Therefore, to drink the blood of the Lord has the spiritual meaning that we have to act according to the word of God who is light.
And those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Lord with thanksgiving can quickly change into spirit.
In many cases, when we first begin to understand the word of God and learn the deeper spiritual meanings of it, we are very happy and rejoice.
We are thankful that we can listen to the spiritual word and we are also moved by the mysterious providence of God contained in the Bible.
We also confess as in Psalm 119:103, "How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
But when we get into the process of taking the word of God into ourselves, the situation may change. To eat the flesh of the Lord is to have the truth contained in the word of God in our heart.
Namely, hatred, arrogance, and falsehood have to be cast off and love, humbleness, and truthfulness have to take their place in our heart.
To do this, we have to go through trials.
It's like for the pure gold to come out from the furnace, it has to be refined in fire to remove the impurities.
Likewise, for our heart to change into heart of truth which is clean and pure without any spot or blemish, we have to go through certain processes.
First, we have to realize the sins and evil in us that is against the word of God.
And we have to remove them.
But many times when they find out the untruths in them, they lose strength.
They think they have been leading a faithful Christian life, and when they find out that they have such evil in them, they are surprised or become disappointed.
And those who can give thanks in these situations can change more quickly than those who lose strength.
If we don't discover the evil in us, we will just remain as men of flesh, but if it is realized, how thankful we are!
Also, Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
If we try all our best to change into truth, crying out in prayer, God will certainly give us grace and strength. Also, the Holy Spirit in us will help us so we can cast away untruths from our heart.
Those who fall back with disappointment, being unable to give thanks, are actually losing these great spiritual blessings. Of course, after some time, they will recover their strength and stand up again, but it's a waste of time.
Therefore, I hope you will overcome any kind of trials or tests of faith only with thanks.
1 Peter 1:7 says, "so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"
Even if we are going through trials like fire, we will be able to give thanks and rejoice if we just hold on to this verse.
I hope all of you will come into spirit and whole spirit quickly with this power derived from 'thanksgiving'.

Conclusion

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in this sermon, I talked to you about two aspects of 'thanksgiving'.
First, thanksgiving is the passage way to bring down God's answers, and second, it is the strength to change ourselves.
I hope you will keep this message in mind and give thanks in all things.
I also urge you to give thanks for all the abundant grace and love of God and give thanks in heart and deed.
Also, I mentioned that even when we have some things for which we cannot really give thanks, we will receive greater blessings and answers if we give thanks with faith.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will always give thanks and glory to God the Father this way.

[Amen]

 
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