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   True Value - Students Devotional    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   Ecclesiastes 12:13-14


[Ecclesiastes 12:13-14]
"The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil."


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has blessed us to have this 2009 Students' Devotional Service.
I also give thanks to all the devotees who have prepared for this service with all their hearts, minds, and souls.
Dear students of Manmin, one day a boy picked up an egg of an eagle from its nest on top of a high mountain.
After he came back home, he put it into the nest of his hen in his henhouse.
Soon, the eaglet hatched from the egg.
This eaglet followed other chickens and the mother hen and ate the worms from the ground.
But from one day, this eaglet began to feel that he was different from other chickens.
And when he saw an eagle flying in the sky, this eaglet realized who he was.
He realized, "I look like that big and marvelous bird. I'm not a chicken but an eagle. I can also fly high in the sky and climb to the top of the mountain too."
When he realized this, the life of this eaglet changed.
Before, he never used his wings but now he began to gain new strength in his wings as he moved them and practiced using them.
Finally his body climbed up to the sky and he found himself flying in the sky with dignity.
Before he used to search for worms on the ground with his eyes, but now his eyes looked strong and brave.
He didn't just follow after something to eat on the ground; now he could fly freely all over the sky.
This eagle made a big circle several times in the sky and he left for the top of the mountain leaving behind the henhouse where he could have been confined for the rest of his life.
Dear students of Manmin, do you understand why I am telling this story?
I'm trying to explain that you shouldn't be like the eagle that is confined in the henhouse.

There are more than 6.7 billion people in this world.
But most of them do not even know why they were born; why they have to live; and where they will go after they die.
They don't know how valuable life is.
Like henhouse chickens they see only actualities and like chickens looking for worms they follow after wealth, fame, and lust.
But even though they try hard, they cannot get everything they want, but they live in trials and disasters.
Even though they live a life that is relatively better off than most other people, in the end is still the judgment of punishments.
Even though they earn and enjoy many things, all those things are completely meaningless.
But you students of Manmin are different from these people.
Although you are living among the people in this world, you know what is truly valuable in life.
Also, unlike the people of this secular world, your spirits are so very precious because you have received the Holy Spirit.
You are the citizens of the heavenly kingdom and precious children of God the Creator.
God the Father bought you students at the price of the life of His one and only Son, Jesus.
His precious blood is what you are worth!
And for me as a shepherd, each of your souls is so precious to me as well.
I pray to God every day with tears and with the willingness to keep and protect you with all my life, that I can lead you to the best dwelling place in Heaven.
The value of your spirits is never less than that of grown ups just because you are younger. You are as precious as grown up adults.
And because you are younger, you have greater opportunity and more chances than grown up adults.
When you realize that you are not a chicken, but an eagle, then you can begin to move your wings.
If you realize who you are and how precious you are, then you will not waste your life to gain meaningless things.
You can concentrate on what is valuable, and you can more easily go into spirit than grown up adults who have more stains of this world.
You can greatly give glory to God and earn the respect of many people through your life.
Just like the title of this message, I hope you will realize by heart and know what true value really is.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will live a life that is a truly valuable life and one that you can be proud of.


Dear Students of Manmin, today's passage Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 says, "The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil."
It is the duty of men to fear (namely have respect and awe of) God and to keep His Commandments.
We have to depart from the way to eternal Hell and go the way of the eternal kingdom of Heaven.
We can recover the image of the holy God when we fear God and keep His Commandments.
We will be separated from those people who live perishing and meaningless lives. We will receive protection and blessing of God on this earth and later possess the eternal kingdom of Heaven.
Now, what do you have to do to fulfill your duty as men and live a truly valuable life?
First, you have to fill your heart with the things that are of God.

1 John 2:15-17 says, "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever."
In this world where we are living, there are things that pertain to God and there are things that do not.
There are many things that tempt you among the things that are not of God.
There are many things that can provoke your curiosity and stimulate lust.
You may want to do the things that your friends are doing and you may want to have what they have.
But you know the truth.
You know what to choose between the things that belong to God and the things that belong to the world.
The things that belong to the world do not profit you at all even though they may appear to be good.
If you take the world following the fleeting pleasure, you may have fun for the moment.
But the fruit of it will harm your soul and make your fullness of Spirit disappear like some poisonous mushrooms.
For example, a certain student likes watching movies or TV dramas.
Because these things are not prohibited for students, he watches them thinking it is not sin.
But if he continues to take these things in, you may begin to desire more and more of things that are other than of God.
He doesn't just watch once or twice with self-control. He now tries to watch all the newly released movies, and he watches all the TV dramas.
When he is alone, rather than meditating on the word of God, he remembers the plot of the movie.
When he is supposed to meditate on the Lord or concentrate on his studies, he thinks about the celebrities of this world.
Even though you may not realize it, the culture of this world has the value of this world and untruth embedded in it.
So, if you take it again and again you'd be influenced by the culture of this world.
You are made from the dust of the ground.
And the constituents make up of the soil will change according to what you add to it.
If you add good elements it would be good soil but if you add dirty and harmful elements it'll be barren land.
Namely, when you see, hear, and feel something, that element is planted in your heart.
Also, people have a tendency to follow after what they see.
For example, you see a scene on TV in which many people sit together to have barbecue.
When you see the meat that is being roasted and the people eating the meat with so much delight on their faces what would you feel?
Unless you've just eaten and are full or you dislike meat, you would probably feel that you want to eat some meat, too.
You didn't even think about having any barbecue before, but your appetite is stimulated by what you have seen.
It's the same in the spiritual realm.
If you see, hear, and have contact with the truth continuously, the truth will be planted in your heart.
On the contrary however, if you see, hear, and take delight in the culture of this world, then the trends of the world will be planted in your heart.

If your interests and desires are directed toward the things of the world, it can be seen in your eyes and faces as you become like secular people.
You care about the fashions and hairstyles that are popular. You care more about making yourself look more appealing rather than you care about going into spirit or studying.
Your manner of speech will use popular expressions of the world. You will eventually want to have a boyfriend or girlfriend and without you realizing it, your speech and actions become rough.
If you see and hear the evil things that are prohibited for students, the influence they have is even more devastating.
Your conscience would become numb, and you might even copy criminal actions of others.
It is the same with computer or Internet games.
Some students play the games for many hours, even all night.
Even when they close their eyes, they see the game played on screen, and they always think about the ways to increase their scores in the games.
Then it is very difficult for them to concentrate on studies.
Even when they come to church it is difficult for them to control their thoughts and concentrate on prayer or the worship service.
Especially nowadays, the visual effects of those games have become more stimulating and realistic.
Some of the games imitate sex crimes, violence, theft and even murder and because of those Internet games the thoughts and actions are imitated.
You may think you are just playing for fun and you're not following such evil things.
But the matter of fact is your heart becomes filthy just by seeing and hearing and enjoying such things.
Dear students, you also know very well that it is meaningless to take the things of this world.
Those things do not make you wise, beautiful or good.
They don't give you the kingdom of Heaven or allow you to live an abundant life on this earth.
They only give you misery, shame, and pain.
Because you sow in flesh, you get only perishing, changing, and meaningless results.
Nothing will remain in the lives of those who continuously take the flesh.
On the other hand, it would be different if you keep your heart in every matter and choose what belongs to God.
Because you sow for the spirit, you will reap what is spiritual and harvest abundant fruit.
You have already listened to many words of the truth, and the choice is now yours to make.
You have to choose between seeking after meaningless and lustful things or desiring to fill the things of God into yourself that God wants.
In order for you not to have the things of this world, you have to consciously and continuously try to fill your heart with the truth.
You shouldn't just think, "Oh, I really shouldn't do it," "I really shouldn't watch it," but you always have to try to think and speak in truth, and fill your heart with prayer, praises and the Word of God.
As you fill your hearts with these things anything that is not truth will go out from you.
Of course, it may not be easy to cut off all the things that you have so strongly desired of the world.
But the Holy Spirit will certainly help you when you try and pray.
The more you fill yourself with the things of God, the more easily you will practice the truth.
You don't have to feel compelled to do it, but you will be able to do it voluntarily from the heart.
When you choose the right thing and take the eternal things, your life will be truly valuable.
Dear students, secondly, in order to live a truly valuable life you have to be faithful trying to do your very best.
I said that your heart will be overflowing with joy and thanks if you do not put the things that God dislikes in your heart.
Even mentally, you will not be uncomfortable or unstable. But instead you will be comfortably at peace, and have the motivation to try.
Then, you can do everything faithfully trying your very best.
You will not feel that the things that you have to do are burdensome. You will have the willingness to do everything enthusiastically.
Psalm 37:3 says, "Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness."
Whether in your Christian life, your studies or serving your parents, it's the same in all things.
Even though nobody tells you to study, you will diligently study in school and review your lessons at home.
You would also be faithful in worship and prayers.
It's the same for the grown-up adults too.
If you really have truth in you, and if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will bear the fruit of faithfulness by trying your best in whatever your situation may be.
You will work hard in your workplaces and become the light and salt of the world.
In the case of female believers, you will do everything well at home and in the church without being inclined to only one side.
You will not neglect caring for your children and loving them as a parent.
To lead a Christian life truthfully, you have to be faithful in all aspects, not only in the church.
But if you are not faithful in all your areas of responsibility, or if you are inclined to one side, you cannot bear good fruit.
Dear students, you will certainly bear good fruits if you live a faithful life the best you can.
Even though you may lack in wisdom and strength, the Holy Spirit is with you and always helps you. God also works for the good in everything.
Your face will glow in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and you will be recognized and loved in the church.
Your grades will obviously go up, and you will be praised in your school and your home.
If you bear the fruit in the grace of God in this way, your joy and thanks will increase because of the fruit.
It is to live a truly valuable life when you bear good fruit in all aspects of your life by cultivating faithfulness.
Dear students of Manmin, to live a truly valuable life, third, you have to love God from the center of your heart.
God loves you all so much.
But the extent to which you feel His love will be different according to how much you love God or how much truth is dwelling in your heart.
As explained above, those who fill their hearts with the truth and cultivate faithfulness will more deeply feel the love of God.
They don't just pay lip service when they say that they love God.
To see whether you really love God the Father, you can check your heart with regards to your shepherd.
Some students always long for their shepherd and come to meet him.
They make professions of faith with happy faces and give testimonies concerning their lives.
When they go back they want to see him again in their life during the week.
These students can easily refute any kind of temptation.
They cannot do the things that are not in the truth.
They will be reminded of the word they heard from their shepherd. They will remember their shepherd who is shedding his tears for those souls who commit sins.
Also, they try to act in goodness for it is joy to their shepherd.
They try to do the things that can give glory to God the Father by cultivating faithfulness and bearing good fruit.
If you truly love your shepherd from the bottom of your hearts, you will certainty love God too.
If you think about God the Father and the Lord, you will be happy and filled with emotion.
You try to do the things to glorify God and live by His word because you want to please God.
In doing so, you would be confident in spirit.
1 John 3:21-22 says, "Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; [22] and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight."
It is not just grown ups who receive the answers to their prayers.
You students also can be confident before God and receive the answers to your prayers if you love God.
People around you would also recognize you saying, "You can see that young person is a good role model showing righteous, goodness, and faithfulness."
Just like in the case of Joseph, who became the Prime Minister of Egypt, people will feel that God is with you and also give glory to God.


Dear devotees, suppose your heart is a flower pot that has a seed of a precious fruit tree sown in it.
The seed has just sprouted. Now if you supply it with sunshine, clean water and nutrients; and if you care for it then it will grow, bloom, and soon it will also bear many fruits.
However, what if you feed it trash; add foul, smelly and polluted water without caring for it much?
The sprout will wither even before it blooms.
To bear precious, spiritual fruit in your heart, you must not take the perishing things of this world.
You have to fill your heart with only the truth, the spirit, and goodness.
If the momentary pleasure of this world tempts you, then why don't you try saying this in your heart:
"I don't belong to this perishing world! I am a child of God who gives glory to God by living a valuable and wonderful life!"
"I am a Prince of New Jerusalem. I am a Princess of New Jerusalem!"
When you fill yourself with the truth having this kind of determination and hope, the Holy Spirit will help you.
The grace and power of God the Father will be bestowed on you and you will live a life to glorify Him.
I pray in the name of the Lord that all you Manmin students will live a truly valuable life and take hold of New Jerusalem diligently by force.