Cheon Seong Gyeong: Episode 285
Chapter 3: The Mission of a Church Leader
Section 3: A Church Leader's Devotional Life, 07-15
(7) What kind of place is heaven? The answer is simple. Briefly, it is the world where people who lived for others go. People who lived for themselves cannot enter heaven. Only those who lived for God and the world can go to that place. Whether you are a church leader or a member, no matter how faithful you have been and no matter how much devotion you have offered, if it was all for yourself, you will be unable to enter the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, if you lived according to the original way of the Will and followed the principle of living for the sake of others, you will surely go to the kingdom of heaven. That is, from the time you reached the age of maturity, if you lived for the sake of others and for God, and if you went the way of death for God and humanity, you will indeed go to the kingdom of heaven.
(8) Whether you are a local church leader or district leader, you have to know how to read people. You should be able to glimpse their spirituality and tell what level they are at. The tasks that a spiritual leader needs to perform are very difficult. That is why you must pray. When you pray about what is on the other side of the mountain, images of what is there should appear in your mind. But, to reach that level, you need to offer devotion. A church leader has to know the spiritual state of his or her members even before they do. A person who seriously offers devotion is able to know what has happened to them.
(9) Long ago, when I was leading a church with a gathering of about four hundred people, I called out the church members' names one by one. I knew their spiritual level right away. I saw those with a high spirit standing upright above the horizon; those with a lower spirit stood slanted and those whose spiritual level was lower stood upside down. In order to have this kind of spiritual experience you need to be in tune with God. You need to resonate with Him. When you play the geo-mun-go, a Korean lute, if one of its strings is even the slightest bit loose, the instrument will be out of tune and its sound will be discordant. We must create resonating harmony.
(10) Never mistreat a person who offers devotion to Heaven. When a family member from the countryside brings me even one apple, I do not eat it casually. Treating an object offered with devotion in the wrong way cannot be forgiven. Ignoring a single-minded heart of devotion is an inexcusable sin against heavenly law. Do not treat things that contain someone's devotion carelessly. If something contains 99 degrees of devotion, you have to offer 100 degrees of devotion before you are qualified to touch it. Suppose the leader of a certain group accepts things offered with much devotion but does not connect them to Heaven. Then the more the members of that group offer devotional conditions, the more quickly the leader and the group will decline. That is why some spiritual groups prosper for a span of time but then quickly go to ruin. It is because they disregarded Heaven's way.
(11) The greater the number of people praying and offering devotion for you, the more blessed you will be. However, to have many people offering devotion for you, you should first give all the blessings you have to others. Unless you do that, not many people will pray for you to receive God's blessings. The person who has ten people offering devotion for his or her sake is someone God will remember. The church consists of a group of people who have created an environment of such devotion. It is a place where people say, "Let us expand the environment by encouraging one another to go to a new level."
(12) Church leaders should not offer devotion for themselves. They should be offering devotion for many thousands of other people. They should lead people to reach a level of devotion that is not only for their families but also for their nation and even for the world. A church leader's eyes should be fixed not on his own family and church members. He should have the heart to go out to the country and world while appealing to Heaven, "Please combine my devotion and my church members' devotion to make a path on which we can serve the world." If a church leader establishes unity with his members and has a reciprocal relationship with them in this manner, God will surely come and dwell among them. God comes when the church members and their leader become one. However, this happens when they unite not for the revival of their church but for the revival of the nation.
Devotion and Heaven's work
(13) This is the era when we should restore the people. If the Unification Church members's devotion does not surpass the era of the family, then the leader must take responsibility to offer more devotion. If this does not happen, the church will not be able to break through to the level of the people. However, if even one person is able to go to this level by investing All his life and love, just as God has invested His boundless life force, then the Unification Church will develop through him. However, if there is no one like that, we will remain stagnant or retreat. For the church to develop, there must be a driving force behind the scenes. This means someone must invest life and soul, becoming a sacrifice to lift the Unification Church even beyond the people and the nation to the world. You should know who that person is. In sacrificing himself, that person should invest not only his life and soul but also all his love. Unless such a person exists, the Unification Church will not develop to the world level. This is the viewpoint of the Principle.
(14) When you follow the Will, you have to invest your life completely. You have to invest your life force and the power of your love for a higher realm, beyond the nation and the world. Your life force and the power of your love become the elements that enable you to pioneer the path to grow the church. There will be people who struggle so much when having to face the destiny of the Unification Church and to embrace all the sorrowful circumstances on this earth. If so, even if you offer all manner of devotion for them and give them all manner of thanks and appreciation, it still will not be enough. Nevertheless, anyone who criticizes those members and ignores them will eventually perish. When you see that the Unification Church is growing you should feel endlessly grateful. At the same time, you should feel how lacking you are and pray, "I am at this level today, but please give me strength to become better." You should not be the kind of person who just lets the seasons come and go. If during the autumn and winter you are unable to discover the life force and the power of love that are deep inside you, you will be unable to meet the coming spring and fully blossom. It will then be the end of the road for you.
(15) Suppose that the founders of religions and the leaders who followed them were unable to fully prepare the path for people on earth to go to the good spirit world. Nevertheless, if someone continued pursuing that path for people on earth, while offering sincere devotion, God would protect that person. This does not mean God would protect him or her all the time. Rather, it means that when that individual faced the situation where his or her predecessors failed, or encountered a similar situation, if he or she offered devotion, God would lead that person to break through the predecessors' failed circumstances. This is how God works to advance humankind to the point where we can directly receive His grace.