Devotional Service

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Title Inner Heart
Preacher Speaker Pastor Emeritus Jaerock Lee Bible 1 Samuel 1:26-28 Date 2013.05.26

[1 Samuel 1: 26-28]
"She said, "Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the LORD. For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there."

This is the prayer devotees' devotional service.
Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has blessed us to have this 2013 prayer devotees' devotional service.
I give thanks to you devotees who have been continually praying for the kingdom of God, the church, the shepherd, and the members.
Dear devotees, imagine that there are two people who wake up at the same time in the morning.
One drags her heavy body out of bed and begins the day with a feeling of difficulty, saying, "It's just another day of the same routine."
But, as soon as she wakes up the other person is thankful that a new day has begun.
She faces the morning saying to God, "Father God, today as in previous days, I commit my life into your hands."
Everybody faces a new day, but the day will be a very different one for each person, according to where they set their focus.
If the focus of his life is towards God until the end of the day, a meaningful life can be lived, while another person might live a meaningless day.
You devotees are praying in the same place during the same hours almost everyday as prayer devotees.
And how much of your heart are you offering up to God the Father?
Are you really praying with all your heart as those who have been given the duty of praying?
In this message, I will talk to you in three aspects about what kind of inner heart God desires for you to have.
Through this message, I pray in the name of the Lord that you will cultivate a kind of inner heart that God desires so that He can joyfully accept the aroma of your prayers.

Dear devotees,
The kind of inner heart that God really wants you to have is first of all, an unchanging heart.
Many church members these days are having a fierce spiritual fight against this changing mind to get to the rock of faith.
They guard their lips so that they won't speak carelessly and they try to remember and keep in mind what they decided so that they won't change it by their will.
Now, how should the prayer devotees act since you are dedicated to God the Father?
You should be recognized by God the Father as true devotees who are pure and spotless.
I want you to think about the moment when you became a prayer devotee and prayed on your knees for the first time.
Think of your prayers then. You prayed with tears and with all your heart, saying, "I will fulfill this glorious, blessed, and honorable duty for the kingdom of God the Father!"
Are you still praying with the same prayers with all your heart without a change of mind?
Also, are you keeping the duration of time in prayer that you have to keep as prayer devotees?
God has pointed out the fact that you are not keeping your prayer time and you do not take it seriously.
Unlike in the past, your mind is at ease and you come late for the prayer. Some of you have missed prayer due to personal reasons once then twice.
At times, you have left in the middle of the prayer meeting. Initially you feel sorry before God, but later, your feeling of embarrassment and shame soon disappears.
Also, if you have vowed prayer time for your personal things, you try your best.
But you regard only lightly the vowed prayer time for the kingdom of God.
What a shameful thing this is before God!
Dear devotees, prayer devotees are offerings that are offered completely before God.
You have to keep the time of your prayers leaving no blemish, for it is your promise with God.
Of course, you might confidently say, "I kept my place of prayer," and "I filled up the amount of prayer that I promised God."
But still, you have to think about how well you have been applying the contents of your prayer in your actual everyday lives.
For example, you prayed so many times that you would cast away hard-feelings, serve your husband with all your heart, and speak only words of goodness, and that you would change.
You promise many things to God with your lips, but not many of you actually keep your promises.
Furthermore, you do not even remember what you promised God in your prayers. This is to mock God.
If you prayed with all your heart, you must have tried to keep the contents of your prayers without changing your attitudes.
You should have changed greatly by now.
But if you do not change yourself, and if you are still repeating the same kinds of prayers, how can God answer your prayers?
I hope you will realize what unchanging heart is through the story of Hannah in today's reading passage.
God the Father heard the earnest prayer of Hannah and let her conceive a son.
That son was the Prophet Samuel.
When she actually had such a desired son in her bosom, what would she have felt?
She must have been overjoyed for the son was so lovely!
But when she was offering Samuel to God, did her heart sway in any way?
Would she have said, "Father God, this little child still needs the hands of his mother. I will offer him to You just a little while later."?
Or would she have prayed, "I do not have enough faith, so please, just let me cancel my vow."?
Today's reading passage 1 Samuel 1:28 says, "So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD." She kept her vow without any hesitation.
She only gave praises and worshiped God who answered her prayers.
As she kept her vow without changing her mind, God the Father blessed her to give birth to three more sons and two daughters.
If you offer prayers with an unchanging inner heart like Hannah, you can become greater strength to the kingdom of God, the church, and your shepherd.
I hope you will keep your determination that you had in the beginning and keep on strengthening it until the Lord comes back.
I urge you to pray with such an unchanging inner heart.
Dear devotees,
The kind of inner heart that God the Father wants you to have, secondly, is a heart that does not compromise.
When you hear the word 'compromise' you immediately think of new believers who are compromising with the world.
But in your growth of faith, according to each one's circumstances and growing process of faith, you can compromise in various ways.
The kind of compromising that I am talking about now is to look at all the situations only according to your own views.
To be more specific, you compromise in various ways thinking that it is for the kingdom of God the Father.
Prayer devotees have the duty to concentrate on prayers only.
But sometimes you misuse your duty for your personal benefit.
Let me give you an example.
You have your duties and responsibilities to your family, too.
Sometimes you will find it hard to be faithful in all God's household.
Sometimes you neglect your family members, and you might hear your husbands or children complain.
But every time, you give excuses saying, "I am a prayer devotee, and I have to keep on praying, so I did not have time to care for this family."
But it does not mean that you really offered fervent and Spirit-filled prayers.
You do not even fill up your time in prayers, but then you cover your shortcomings saying you have the duty of a prayer devotee.
Let me give you another example.
God the Father separated prayer devotees from any other organization and made up a separate group.
So, it is an independent group in the church.
But sometimes you might have to take care of some matters in your parish or mission groups.
But you think, "My duty is to pray for the kingdom of God," "I have to concentrate on prayers with all my heart," and you neglect all the other things thinking it is only natural.
If you cannot be present in other meetings due to vowed prayers, you can pray for those meetings.
But if you justify your choices without feeling sorry at all for not being able to be present in other meetings, you cannot be considered a proper prayer devotee who prays for the whole world.
God the Father did not prohibit you from doing other services for God such as visiting members, evangelism, or other physical services, just because you are prayer devotees.
If you gain more capability and do more than what is given to you as prayer devotees, you can store up more rewards in Heaven.
Dear devotees,
As Proverbs 16:2 says, "All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives," you might think all your acts are good in your sight.
But you have to check whether your hearts are proper in the sight of God who searches our hearts.
Your first priority has to be the will of God the Father, and to make this happen, you have to pray carefully thinking about which choice is goodness and truth.
This way, your prayers will not contain your own viewpoints or your own desires.
Also, because you do not have any intention to compromise, you will not give any excuses.
Then, you will be able to acknowledge your fault, and you will realize your shortcomings that you could not see before.
As you realize your fleshly attributes that are revealed, you can more quickly go into spirit, too.
I hope you will have a heart that does not compromise so that you can wonderfully fulfill the will of the Father God.

2013-05-28 Posted
2013-05-31 Updated

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