1 Samuel 16: 7
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
Acts 10: 34 -35
Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 2008 Children’s Sunday School Devotional Service.
Let us give all thanks and glory to God the Father who has protected and guided our children to this day to offer up this devotional service.
I also give thanks to the devotees who have prepared for this service with all your hearts, minds, and souls.
Dear children of Manmin, do you know which king the national flag of Israel symbolizes? It is King David.
God sent the Prophet Samuel to the house of a person named Jesse to appoint David as the king.
As soon as Samuel had seen the sons of Jesse he thought, “The first son Eliab is handsome and tall, and he is going to be the king!”
But God said, “People look at the appearances, but I look at the heart.”
Then God told Samuel that it was not Eliab, but the last son, David, who was going to be the king.
At that time, David was just a youth shepherding sheep. But he later became the greatest king in the history of Israel.
He also went up to one of the highest ranks in heavenly kingdom. Then why did God choose David?
It was because David loved God in the very depths of his heart.
Here, ‘the very depths of his heart’ is the deep part of the heart that is also called the ‘inner heart’.
God does not look at the outward appearances, but the heart. He looks at you thinking, “Which child loves Me in his/her heart?”
Wouldn’t you like to become a great person like David, and wouldn’t you like to enter into New Jerusalem?
Even though you are children, if you just love God with all your heart you can become a great person like David.
You can become princes and princesses in New Jerusalem.
I pray in the name of the Lord that all you children will listen to this message carefully and love God with all your heart like David.
Dear children of Manmin, to love God with all your heart, first of all, you have to worship in spirit and truth.
I believe all Manmin children already know what it is to worship in spirit and truth. It is to worship by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
I told you this on Children’s Sunday, and do you remember it?
Those children who keep the message in mind will not play with other children or have idle thoughts during the worship services, but they will concentrate on the message.
They will praise God with bright faces. They will pray with all their hearts at prayer time.
They will also make the offerings to God that they took the time to carefully prepare.
Do you suppose that there are any children who do not really worship in spirit and truth like this?
They come to the church because their moms tell them they have to attend worship service.
Their minds are caught up in many other thoughts. They play with other children and fall asleep too.
But even these children can worship in spirit and truth if they begin to try from now on.
If you want to worship properly, you have to change the way you think.
You shouldn’t think, “Worship service is difficult,” but instead think, “Worship service is fun!” Please repeat, “Worship service is fun!”
Dear children, why do we attend worship service? We worship God because we are sons and daughters of God.
Is it fun to go to amusement parks with your mom and dad? It’s fun isn’t it?
Mom and dad let you ride exciting rides. They buy you delicious snacks and toys. So it’s fun.
Likewise, God the Father also gives you many gifts through the worship service.
If you worship in spirit and truth, God gives you health and He protects you from accidents.
He also gives you daily bread in your homes. He gives you wisdom to study well.
He gives you peace, happiness, and joy in your heart. But the greatest gift of all is the ticket to the heavenly kingdom and especially the ticket to New Jerusalem.
Therefore, worship service is supposed to be offered to God with a more joyful mindset than when you go to amusement parks.
Worship is not something done unwillingly as if it was hard work.
Do you now understand why we worship God? Then, from now you can practice worshiping in spirit and truth.
When you are in 6th grade, what if you still worshipped in the same way as when you were little babies or when you were in the 1st grade?
As you grow up and become older, your attitude in worship should also grow up.
Those in the 1st and 2nd grade do not have attitudes as mature as those who are in the 5th or 6th grade.
But you can still try thinking, “I can worship God better than kindergarten children.”
But suppose those children who are four or five years old fell asleep while listening to the message. Will God say, “They didn’t worship me in spirit and truth?” No, He won’t.
He will rather say, “You are so lovely when you are in the sanctuary of God for worship!” God accepts each of you with joy, when you try according to your age and measure of faith.
If you try according to your age and measure of faith each time, you will have the proper attitude in worship service. Then, later, it won’t be hard but fun to attend worship service.
When you grow up more, and become junior high or high school students, and eventually young adults, you will continue to worship in spirit and truth.
If you worship in spirit and truth from the time you are young children, God will bless your life. He will fulfill your dreams.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you children will worship God in spirit and truth with more happiness.
Dear children of Manmin, to love God with all your heart, secondly, you have to pray with all your heart.
Do you all pray with all your heart? Please think about how you pray.
Do you pray only because your parents are telling you to pray? Do you suddenly become tired and sleepy when you try to pray?
Do you think about other things when you pray? Or, don’t you remember what you have prayed for? Then it means you did not pray with all your heart.
To pray with all your heart is to pray earnestly before God with proper attitude and with a mind concentrated on prayer.
Just praying for a long time is not prayer with all your heart. Even if you pray for a short period of time, the more important thing is to concentrate and to be filled with the Holy Spirit in prayer.
When you pray with joyful hearts and not with the sense of being forced, you can pray with all your heart.
Dear children, why do we have to pray? If you don’t talk to your parents, both you and your parents will be very sad.
What if you couldn’t talk to your parents about what you did today?
What if you couldn’t ask for money to buy a notebook you need or you cannot ask your mom for your dinner?
Prayer is talking to God in much this same way. So if you don’t pray, it really is something that is quite sad.
God can give you what you need only when you pray.
For example, to go to New Jerusalem, you have to cast away all kinds of the things of the ‘black heart’ that is bad.
To be able to do so you have to pray to God saying, “God, please give me strength to do only good without sinning. Drive away the enemy devil, Satan.”
Also, you have to pray, “Please keep me safe in all things and give me wisdom so I can study well.”
God is waiting everyday for you just to ask thinking, “What will I be able to provide for them today?”
So, you should also pray to God everyday with a joyful heart and mind. And you should pray with all your heart.
Just as in the case of worship service, it is very important to have the correct attitude of prayer.
If you train yourself to pray with all your heart, you can do it better and better. And it is important to do it everyday.
Then, later, you will feel that it is more awkward for you when you do not pray.
Dear children of Manmin, now, we can talk to the Lord only through prayer. But in New Jerusalem, we can talk to Him face to face.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will all go into New Jerusalem and talk to the Lord face to face joyfully.
For the children to love God with all their hearts, thirdly, parents and teachers have to teach the students correctly.
Since the opening of this church, we have seen many children grow up.
I feel very heartbroken to see some children who seem to have good faith when they are young, but after they grow up they abandon their faith.
It’s because they did not really take in and digest the love of God, the word of truth, and the power of God and make it their own.
Because they felt leading a Christian life is hard, they finally took the easier and more comfortable way of the world.
Therefore, when parents and teachers provide children with spiritual food, they have to feed them according to their measures of faith and their ages, so that they can digest it well.
First, we have to teach them who God and the Lord are, and let them understand why we have to attend worship services and pray.
If you just force them to do it, they will get the feeling that God is a fearful God.
Also, you should teach them in detail how they can worship God and pray to Him at their level.
You shouldn’t just think, “They will worship very well with their friends and pray well, too. They are very obedient to me.”
You should also pay attention, check on and know exactly where and how your children are worshiping and praying.
Of course it is important to trust your children, but you should also teach them what they don’t know and help them do what they are not able to do.
The important thing is the devotion of the parents, guidance pastors and teachers. To the extent that you accomplish a spiritual heart, you can discern the faith of children. You can then plant in them the love of God with wisdom.
Even though you have not yet fully accomplished the spiritual heart yet, you can discern their faith to the extent that you pray and fast for the children.
The most important thing is actually setting a good example. No form of education is better than learning naturally by learning from what they see and hear as they grow up.
Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” Those parents who raise their children to love God will receive great rewards in heavenly kingdom.
It’s the same with the guidance pastors and teachers. I hope you will love the children like your own children as Paul raised Timothy like a son.
As you do that, I pray in the name of the Lord that the children will be able to say to you, “I was able to come into New Jerusalem because of my parents and because of my good teachers.”
Dear children of Manmin, we can find some common things in great and successful persons in the world.
One is that they make it a point to have good habits. Good habits in little things can change the whole course of a person’s life.
And what habits are the most important for you children who believe in the Lord? They are the habits of worship and prayer.
God will take care of the lives of those children who worship in spirit and truth and pray with all their hearts.
God will give them eternal life.
I pray in the name of the Lord that all children, parents, and teachers will understand this point so you can give glory to God on earth and reach New Jerusalem.