“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
What kinds of plans did you make for the New Year-
I think that you’ve probably already made the New Year’s resolutions that you want to achieve this year.
In the case of the students, one of those resolutions must be better grades. Are the plans you made for your studies going well-
Beginning today and for several weeks, I am going to talk about the keys to studying well.
Not only the students but also many of the other church members are living a new life since December 25 last year.
Before that, some of you had been sentenced to death due to unforgivable sins and lived without any hope.
But then, through the original love of the Father God that goes beyond justice, you were miraculously set free from the bondage of death.
Now, you have received the gift of a new life.
So, what kind of life ought you now to be living-
You’ve said good-bye to the sins that you had befriended.
You are also diligently casting away sins.
Now, you have to befriend only goodness and truth.
After pulling out the sins, the heart field is empty and barren, so now you have to fill it with the truth to make it fertile.
You should sow the seed of God’s word and diligently take care of it.
Then, you will be able to bear good fruits in your family, workplace, business fields, and schools.
You will also fulfill your God-given duties in the church and bear abundant fruit.
If you diligently work like the ants or honeybees for the kingdom of God, your rewards in Heaven will be stored up.
If you do not know where to begin, why don’t you try to make a New Year’s resolution by the guidance of the Holy Spirit-
Then, achieve that goal relying on the word of God preached from today.
In this year 2011, there are 365 days, that is 8,760 hours, that have been given to all of you.
Already more than 200 hours have passed.
Ephesians 5:16 says, “… [be careful] making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”
I hope you will manage your time very well so that you will be rich in the kingdom of God.
The message on the ‘Keys to Studying Well’ is beneficial not only for the students but also for all other members.
Nowadays, new kinds of knowledge are being released every day.
The people in the world study continually to survive the competition.
And since we believers are living in this world, we are no exception.
Those who are company employees have to take many tests for qualifications and promotions.
It’s not so different for those who conduct their own businesses.
For the company to maintain competitiveness, they have to learn new information and technology without ceasing.
Even housewives have to study.
For them to be able to raise and educate their children, they have to study harder than their children.
They have to learn how to cook, and they should have good information about how to live better.
Likewise, the secrets to studying well are beneficial in many aspects.
But above all, they are beneficial for you in your lives as Christians.
Regardless of your position in the church, all of you are workers for the kingdom of God.
You have to train yourselves continuously to become competent and capable workers.
You should have skills in the physical things that pertain to spirit as well as spiritual knowledge and power.
You have to learn the word of God as knowledge as well.
Levites and those who serve God with special skills should improve their knowledge and skills to fulfill their duties better.
Since we are an international church, wouldn’t it be nice if all the church members were able to at least greet others in different languages-
If you believe this message to be the sure methodology and utilize the keys, it will lead you in the way of success.
You will be able to achieve any kind of goal.
Dear students of Manmin, would you like to do well in your studies-
Are there any of you who wonder why you have to study, since it is not fun and it is only hard work-
Or, do any of you think you can just lead a good life in faith and receive the Lord who is coming again-
You students understand very well why you have to study hard.
But to answer this question, let me first talk about why you have to study hard, along with the purpose of studying.
If you were to ask children nowadays, “Why do you have to study-” then what would they say-
Think about it yourself, too.
According to one education commentator, the most common response is because they are afraid of being punished.
The situation is that students study only because they have to do it, out of the sense of duty.
It’s such a sad thing.
And for the most part, it is the responsibility of the parents and other adults.
Dear students, you don’t study only because others force you to.
You are not doing it for other people, either.
You study for your personal happiness and voluntarily out of your own freewill.
In the past, there were people who studied to seek the truth.
They sought answers to meaningful questions such as, “How can we live a truthful and a happy life-” and they studied to discover the answers.
But as time passed, people’s questions changed to become more like, “How can we live more comfortable and more materialistic lives-“
Nowadays, most students study hard to go to good colleges and get a job that pays very well.
The problem is that the gates to good colleges and well-paying jobs are small, and the competition is fierce.
Competition in good faith can have positive consequences for everyone, but too much competition will have negative effects on the students.
They feel that their studies are burdensome, and they begin to think of their friends only as competitors.
In Korea in particular, there is a heightened fervor for education and many parents lay great burdens of study on their children.
Some students even commit suicide as a result of suffering depression caused by the stress of studying.
Students of Manmin and parents, therefore, before we get into how to study well, we first have to understand the purpose of studying.
I said studying should be done for the happiness of the students.
Then, what is the greatest happiness for the students who believe in God-
It is to have the purpose of studying in glorifying God.
Thankfully, many of Manmin’s students are wise, and most of them study for the glory of God.
They have true faith, so they understand how precious it is to give glory to God and how blessed that kind of life is.
In fact, while we are living on this earth, the purpose of all our deeds is to give glory to God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
If you have this sure goal of studying in the Lord, a happy life is guaranteed.
When our God receives glory through His children, He gives the glory back to them, and He gives them blessings.
Now, if you students study hard to give glory to God, what kind of glory would He give back to you-
The word in Deuteronomy 26:19 says, “… and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken,” and these words will be realized in your lives.
You may not be able to get good grades right away. You may not immediately be able to give glory to God with your knowledge and talents.
Nevertheless, if you just study hard, God accepts it as glory in itself.
For example, as your friends see you always faithfully studying, they will feel that a person who has faith is different from others.
Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
As written, as they see your good deeds of studying hard, people around you will give glory to God.
If you also do better than what you could have done by receiving God’s grace and strength, you can give glory to God through this.
The worldly people will also acknowledge God thinking you are able to study better because you are a believer.
Along with this, they will recognize you and praise you.
God will also guide you to the way of prosperity.
He will fulfill your needs from time to time and bless you in various ways.
He will store up your rewards in Heaven.
God-given titles are not just as elders, senior deaconesses, choir members or group leaders. Being a student can be a God-given title, too.
And studying is your duty.
Because you are still students, you cannot give a lot of offerings or spend much time working for God.
But if you do the duty of a student, God will accept it with joy, and pay you back with blessings and rewards.
Of course, this does not mean you can neglect the actual church duties such as being a class leader or a choir member and just study hard.
If you can, it is better to fulfill your God-given duties and store up more rewards.
But at the same time, it is not the will of God to neglect your studies and just do your church duties.
It is the will and providence of God that you study hard and prepare for the future when you are a student.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven”
We can understand this just by observing a tree.
If the fruit is borne too early on a very young tree, the fruit is not good, and it is difficult for the tree to mature fully.
The tree must first grow with firm roots, then branches and then many leaves.
They also have to have buds and produce flowers.
Only when the fruits are borne after all these processes will they not lay great burdens on the tree.
It’s the same with our students.
Now is the time for you to prepare to bear the fruit.
You have to supply nourishment to your body to be healthy. You have to make your inner self mature and gain knowledge and go through the process of gaining the kinds of experiences you need.
As said, it is important to diligently learn many things and grow up both inside and out during your growth period.
Only then can you form the strong wood that can be used as pillars in the kingdom of God.
It is in these ways you should fulfill your God-given duties in the church, but you have to do it while fulfilling your duty as students.
God can give you complete rewards and blessings when you offer this kind of faithfulness.
Dear students of Manmin, even in your eyes, those students who are studying hard must look very happy.
If you study very well, you can not only give glory to God but also fulfill your dreams, so you are happy.
If you understand that studying is a way to make your dreams come true, you will feel differently about studying.
For example, there are many foreign guests coming to our church.
Some students study foreign languages very hard because they want to talk to these foreign guests.
This kind of motivation can develop into a vision to become a missionary and spread the gospel.
If you study to achieve your goal, you will find it delightful and not difficult to learn new things.
Also, there are many students who want to become praise leaders and give glory to God.
These students study singing, musical instruments, and dance and constantly improve their skills.
Other than these, there are many students who study to become workers in Manmin TV, secretarial bureau, or WCDN.
Many of you study hard to become joy to the shepherd.
If your grades go up, you come to me with joy to deliver the news.
Then, I rejoice with you and encourage you.
Recently I gave some students whose families are in financial difficulties, laptops or electronic dictionaries for studying and they are studying much harder than before.
Those who study hard will feel delighted just by the studying itself.
They feel confidence and a sense of reward and achievement, so they are happy.
I will talk to you about the details of the ‘Keys to Studying Well’ beginning with the next session.
Let me read the testimony of a student that was recently in the Manmin Newsletter.
It is the testimony of Young Eun Cho, a senior in high school, with the title, “God Changed Such a Wretched Person as Me! It’s Like a Dream!”
I entered into puberty just after entering middle school. I followed my parents and attended church, but I didn’t lead a proper Christian life.
I considered my friends more precious than anything else, and I came back home very late at night after hanging out with my friends.
I wore make-up and had colored contact lenses. I wore very short skirts and shoes with at least a 10 cm heel, though I couldn’t really walk well in them.
I went to Karaoke and Internet Café like my home, and I didn’t care about keeping the Lord’s Day.
While the family members were in the church, I watched TV or surfed the Internet at home and played with my friends. I’d then go to the church around the time the Sunday morning service would be over.
Whenever my parents asked me if I attended the service, I would have a temper tantrum toward them insisting that I had.
So, even though I sat in the Sunday evening service, I would not listen to the sermons.
I chatted with friends or played with my cell phone, and I even just slept through the service.
But since the 2010 students’ summer retreat, changes began to take place in my heart.
During the camp fire, we had a time of repentance, and while weeping with my friends, I thought I wanted to go to Heaven.
We decided to change, and since then I could listen to the sermons in the worship service.
I thought, “This is such a good message!”
Listening to the sermons, I made up my mind to live by the word of God. Then I offered two 3-day fasts and one 5-day fast with a repenting heart.
While I was doing a 3-day fast, the senior pastor was in mountain prayer for 3 weeks, and I wept so much missing him because I was so thankful for his love of bearing with me for a long time.
With a repenting mind, I wrote a letter to senior pastor asking for his intercession.
On that day itself, I was praying in the 2-term continuous special Daniel prayer meeting, and such wonderful grace of God came upon me.
Throughout the whole prayer meeting from the beginning at 9 until the end at 11:40, the grace of repentance came upon me and I kept on weeping.
I was thinking, “I broke the heart of God the Father, the Lord, and the shepherd! I was destined to fall into Hell!”
Tears welled up from my eyes and they even wetted my heart.
In the mini crusades every Sunday, the senior pastor felt sorry for the fact that the students were befriending the world, and he prayed for us with tears. I was really sorry.
Also, when he said that he would even give his life if he just could save those believers and students who were going towards Hell, I made up my mind once again shedding many tears.
Then, the spiritual glitter on my face changed, and my heart was changed.
I came to long for every worship service. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy, I put on the nicest clothes on Sundays to come before God and worship Him.
Naturally, my life in school and my language changed.
Before, I skipped some classes and went to school just to hang around with friends. But now I study hard, and I got second place in my class with higher grades.
I will stop here because of the limited time.
Students, and brothers and sisters, whatever kind of life you have been living until now, it is already history.
You have been born again.
Do not forget the love of God who has endured with you for a long time, and His expectations.
As long as you imprint this love in your heart and remember it, you can begin anything anew including studying.
I have great expectations for you, and I will also support you with prayers.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will all become reliable reinforcements in the ministry with explosive works of God.