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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   God-pleasing Fragrance - Women''''s Mission Devotional    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   John 20:15-18
Date
   2009-03-29



Passage

[John 20:15-18]
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, "Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her.

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 2009 Women's Mission devotional service. Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has guided us to have this devotional service.
I also give thanks to all the devotees who have prepared for this devotional service with all your hearts, minds, and souls.
God the Father has again given you a message about Mary Magdalene as He did last year.
It's the same Bible passage as last year, which is the scene in which the resurrected Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene first.
There are reasons for the Lord to give Mary Magdalene such a blessing.
It was because Mary Magdalene had such a beautifully good and loving heart.
She also gave out the fragrance of the goodness that could please God the Father. God the Father wants to receive this kind of pleasing aroma of goodness from you of the Women's Mission.
And so He has given you the title for this message, "God-pleasing Fragrance".
Devotees, please repeat after me the title of today's message. "God-pleasing fragrance".
I hope you will reflect upon yourselves through this message.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that, you will change into souls who really give out the aroma of goodness before the heavenly Father.

Main

Dear Devotees and members of the congregation, what is the fragrance of goodness that pleases God the Father?
First, it is service. When you serve others with outward deeds that come from the true heart, they can feel the fragrance of goodness.
Those who serve from heart will sincerely serve any kind of person.
They don't just serve their seniors or those who are worthy to be served.
They will obviously serve their seniors as is proper, as well as their juniors or subordinates.
Whether they are children, adults, the poor, or the rich, they serve everybody.
I hope the members of the Women's Mission will serve, respect, and lift up one another from the heart.
The younger should serve their elders, but the elders should also serve the younger.
The lower in the position should serve the higher in the position, and vice versa.
The rich should serve the poor, and the poor should also serve the rich.

The more educated should serve the less educated, and the less educated should serve the more educated, as well.
I hope you will serve one another from the heart this way.
Jesus said in Matthew 23:11, "But the greatest among you shall be your servant."
We can see that in our church those who follow this teaching and serve others have become the leaders.
But if you serve others in order to be recognized by others, it is not true service.
True service is to serve everybody any time and any place because of your love for goodness.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:42, "And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."
Anybody can give a small child a cup of cold water to drink.
The Father will be happy with this kind of service and give us rewards.
But there is a condition saying, "In the name of a disciple."
Jesus said in the latter part of John 8:31, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;" Therefore, to serve 'in the name of a disciple' is to serve others with good heart that is cultivated by the word of God.
It is not service coming out of educated etiquette or human sympathy.
It is when the goodness of service comes from the heart and is shown as true deeds.
Such people will hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and receive His guidance very well.
So, they can serve others exactly according to the others' situations.
They neither serve too much causing embarrassment, nor too little causing feelings of discomfort.
For example, even for a cup of water, they serve it in the best way in the given situation.
They consider whether they should give warm or icy cold water, in a glass or in a big cup, or in a small tea cup, and all other things to make the others most comfortable and satisfied.
The aroma of goodness that God the Father desires comes from this kind of heart-of-service.
Also, when you do not want anything in return, you can give out a thicker fragrance of service.
Mary Magdalene served Jesus by understanding His heart completely, and she desired nothing in return.
She didn't think the Lord would do something for her if she served Him.
Since she had received such great love and grace, Mary just served with a heart that could sacrifice her everything without sparing anything.
Since Jesus had given her such great love and grace, she loved Him.
If there is somebody whom you really love, you would want to give to that person continuously.
If you think, "I gave everything to her with my love, so she ought to do this much for me," then it is not spiritual love.
You might be serving wanting something in return thinking, 'When I serve others in this mission group, the members will acknowledge me. I will be elected as a higher leader in the next election.' But in this case, you cannot give out God-pleasing aroma no matter how much you work and try to serve.
It's the same in ushering and other voluntary works.
You should not want something in return thinking, "I am working this hard, and the leaders will put me in a better position later."
If you serve because you are just happy to serve even though others don't recognize you it is the service of loving goodness.
Psalm 51:6 says, "Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom."
I hope you will remember this and cultivate it so that all your service will be the aroma of goodness that is pleasing to the Father.
Dear Devotees and other church members; the second aspect of a God-pleasing fragrance is to rejoice with the truth.
This is the attitude of sincere rejoicing when others bear more fruit, and receive more praise, recognition, and love than you.
The spiritual love in 1 Corinthians 13 has this attribute.
If all you members of the Women's Mission can rejoice sincerely, then, being united in the Holy Spirit, you will be able to bear much more fruit than now.
Suppose all you women's mission members can rejoice with the truth.
Then, when one person is praised, it is not only her joy, but the joy of the Women's Mission as a whole.
The joy will be hundreds or thousands of times greater.
But what if you do not rejoice together but become jealous?
When somebody does something well, it will make many people uncomfortable.
Eventually, that person who earns praise will feel uncomfortable, too.
Which situation would you prefer, the former one or the latter one? Obviously it's the former.
God the Father wants all of you to have the heart of goodness to sincerely rejoice.
When others are well-off, you rejoice like it's your own good fortune. When others bear more fruit than you, you are thankful that they filled up the amount that you couldn't fulfill. When others go into whole spirit quicker than you, you rejoice together for there has come forth a fruit that fulfills the Gospel of Holiness.
If you have this kind of heart, you will give out the fragrance of goodness that pleases God.
At the time of Jesus there were many other women and also disciples besides Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus commended somebody, Mary Magdalene rejoiced as if she had been commended. If somebody pleased Jesus and became strength to Him, she was grateful to that person.
She did not become discouraged thinking, "Why can't I become strength to Jesus? Why can't I please Him?"
Neither did she have any hard feelings wondering why Jesus wasn't praising her.
She just remained at Jesus' side fulfilling her duty faithfully with joy and thanks.
Mary Magdalene always gave out the fragrance of the goodness that pleases God.
She is still giving out the most excellent fragrance of goodness rejoicing with the truth.
Mary Magdalene went to the position where she is loved by the Father the most among all women who have been saved since the creation.
Now, how would she act if somebody comes forth as a more spiritual woman during these end times?
Would she be somewhat disappointed because she had to give up her position of being loved by God the most? Of course not!
She would rejoice more than anybody else. She was able to have gone up to the highest position among women because she had this kind of a heart.
Good and spiritual persons become happy and joyful when others are well-off.
When their neighbors, friends, or co-workers are praised, awarded, or recognized, they rejoice as if it were their own.
When they love God, they will be happy when others are loved and blessed by God more than they are.
They won't become discouraged thinking, "Why does God bless her but not me?"
They consider others' blessing as their own and others' joy as their own.
I hope all you members of the Women's Mission will be filled with this kind of happiness and joy.
Dear Devotees, and members of the congregation, the God-pleasing fragrance, thirdly, is to love the Lord more deeply in any kind of situation.
When is the moment that you can feel the love of Mary Magdalene for the Lord to the utmost degree? It is when Jesus was taking the sufferings of the cross.
When Jesus was arrested, most of the disciples ran away out of fear of also getting into trouble.
But Mary Magdalene, along with the Virgin Mary, stayed with Jesus until He died on the cross.
She stayed with Jesus until the end with the kind of mind thinking, "Only if I could take the blood that my Lord shed! Only if I can bear the pain of the Lord! How can I comfort Him in His pain? How can I share His pain?" This was not all.
After Jesus died, she was the first to go to His tomb in the early morning to put perfume on His body.
That was when she became the first person to see the resurrected Lord. Many people followed Jesus when He was performing many signs and wonders.
Mary Magdalene just seemed to be one of them at that time.
But during those times, Mary Magdalene increased her love for the Lord.
She received the words of the Lord as her own and she bore the perfect fruit of spirit in her heart.
As a result, she could show deeper love for the Lord when He was in the worst situation.
God the Father wants you women's mission members to love the Lord more deeply.
Many of you love Him in the great depths of your hearts, yet I hope your love will become even deeper.
In doing so, I hope you will be able to show perfect love in any kind of situation, just like Mary Magdalene.
The more you are united in love, the more clearly you can understand another person's heart and deliver it.
That is also the reason why the Lord had Mary Magdalene deliver the news of resurrection first.
After the ascension of the Lord, Mary Magdalene preached His resurrection in many places.
Every time, she delivered the love of the Lord that was flowing out of her heart to the people.
This way, those who met Mary Magdalene came to love the Lord, too.
In this same way it is very important to be united in love.
In the church, we can see the fruits of the leaders are different when they take care of the souls, according to how much they are united with the Lord in love.
The more they are united with the Lord in love, the more love of the Lord is delivered to the souls through those leaders.
So, the believers are also connected to the Lord and they grow in their faith.
You of the women's mission must take care of some of the functions in the church in my place. I hope you will be able to deliver my heart very well in carrying out those duties.
For example, when guests visit our church, it's the Women's Mission members who usher them and guide them.
It is through you the guests will have a first impression of the church and the Senior Pastor.
In the future, we will have more events with outside guests.
I hope you will be able to deliver the heart of the shepherd as faces of the church on those occasions.

Conclusion

Dear Devotees and all church members, using three points of comparison to the heart of Mary Magdalene I have explained to you the fragrance of goodness that is pleasing to God.
The first is service. The second is the heart to sincerely rejoice.
I urge you to check your heart when others are praised or considered better than you.
How did you feel? Didn't you have any kind of discomfort or discouragement?
Did you have such thoughts, but not realize it is something wrong?
Of course, some of you try to have the good hearts to rejoice together.
I hope all you women's mission members will have the heart of goodness to sincerely rejoice and be united as one in the Holy Spirit.
You can bear more fruit when you are united as one in spirit.
Third, I said you have to love the Lord in increasingly greater depth in any kind of situation.
It's because you can deliver the heart of the Lord better when you are united with the Lord in love.
I hope this message will become your life and power so that you members of the Women's Mission will come forth as good and beautiful fruits of the Father.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will grow up as trustworthy workers of the church, be used by God greatly, and also receive love in the kingdom of heaven.

[Amen]

 
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