How are you? Hope you had or are having a good day, today?
I think it was late February or early March this year. I listened to the sermon of Pastor Joe Sweet in Shekinah Worship Center in Lancaster, CA in YouTube. He shared his wife’s testimony from a few decades ago. When they were newly married, she moved in to Pastor Joe’s house. Then, she felt so uncomfortable on Pastor Joe’s used bed. But, Pastor Joe couldn’t afford to buy a new King size bed. She said to him, “My Father is rich. Let’s pray.” And she asked Him to provide them with a new high-quality King size bed. Next day, when she prayed, she didn’t ask it any more, but said, “Thank you, Father, for giving us a new high-quality King size bed.” She believed her prayer would be answered and she thanked for His provision, even before she saw it. She did that prayer, thanking Him, for 14 days. Then, Pastor Joe got a phone call from their friend. She said to him, “Do you happen to know who needs a new high-quality King size bed?” Then, she went on to share the background that her rich neighbor have one and asked her whether she knows anyone who needs it.
When I listened to the amusing yet amazing testimony, I was reminded of some other testimonies that people received miraculous healing, even when they didn’t receive it yet, but declared it by faith, thanking the Lord. Those testimonies together with Pastor Joe’s wife’s encouraged me. Then, I started to apply it to my situation.
I have a house in a suburb of Seoul and I’ve had a tenant for the past 4 years. The rent contract was supposed to be expired in late March this year. Last year, our leftist government established a regulation that is unfavorable to landlords. If tenants want to extend rent contracts for another 2 years, landlords should accept it, which makes it hard for them to sell their properties. Last year, I wanted to sell my house but was not sure whether my tenant wanted to extend the contract or move out. Then, I decided to lay my cares upon the Father, as He knows the best timing for everything. And I also didn’t want to work around the scheme to kick out my tenant, to sell my house, as she is a believer, another child of Him. And I had peace. Then, last October, my tenant reached out to me to say she planned to move out when the contract would be expired this year. I was really glad to hear that, feeling He makes a way. This February right after the Lunar New Year holidays, I got to know from her she planned to move out on Feb. 19th, while the contract ends on March 28th. She misunderstood the time on the contract. Anyway, she moved out early and I contacted a real estate agent, whom I got to know online. I was very grateful, as she is very nice and supportive. Then, when I asked her how the market had been, she said, “There has been no sales transaction at all. No buyer at all. Only rent transaction once in a while.” It was a discouraging report, yet I was not worried. I believed my Father would send me a buyer in His time and He wouldn’t let my house empty, not being sold nor being rented. I was very certain that my tenant's moving out is His first arrangement to sell my house. Thus He will make a way. When I shared this with my Christian hairdresser, she also encouraged me, sharing her story. She moved to her new flat in this Feb., after she made a contract in November or December last year. In making the contract with the seller, who is a Christian, she got to know from the agent that the seller listed her flat only in that month and she found out the buyer, my hairdresser, within a month. But, there were many sellers whose flats had been on the list for over a year, as they didn’t find buyers. Her story encouraged me much. And she said, “I will also pray for selling your house, together with you.” Later, when I heard Pastor Joe’s wife’s testimony, I was encouraged and started to pray, “Father, I thank You for sending me a good buyer. I thank You, as it was sold at a good price.” Not only I said that prayer, but I gave a love offering to a minister, really believing my house will be sold and I would receive money soon.
Interestingly enough, within 2 weeks after that prayer, I had two missed calls and one text message from an unknown number. Much to my surprise, the text message said, “I’m interested in buying your house, if it’s not been sold yet.”, mentioning my house address. I was thrilled and surprised and I asked my real estate agent to contact this person. And she reported back to me, after calling the potential buyer, saying he knows the town very well, as his friend lives there. So, it sounded like his friend let him know my house seemed empty, after my tenant moved out and he got my phone number from the person who managed the community contact info. The potential buyer tried to lower down the price way too much, though. Then, the next Friday, I just felt in my heart that I would hear the good news on my house from the agent that day. Last year, when the long-awaited answer of my prayer came, the Holy Spirit also gave that feeling in my heart earlier on the day and I got a call, to my amazement. Soon enough, on that day, my agent called me to say she got an agreement on the price which was actually higher than the price I said to her. She was good at negotiation and I was able to make a contract the very next week. Praise God! I was simply overjoyed and amazed at how awesome our Father is! He is a Way Maker and a Miracle Worker. My agent said to me again, “There was none who visited us to buy a house at all. No sales transaction at all.” I couldn’t thank Him enough and I felt I could even fly! I texted my hairdresser to share this good news, as she had been praying for me. And she said, “I got goose bumps! I didn’t expect the prayer to be answered so soon! I can’t wait till I hear from you more!” She simply rejoiced with me. What a joy intercessors have when prayers are answered! So, my agent arranged the contract date for the next Friday and I was supposed to receive 10% of the sales price as deposit on that day. Out of gratitude, I transferred another love offering to the minister, even before I would receive the deposit in a week. After I transferred the money and texted the minister, she said that it was a real answer to her prayer and only God knows what it meant to her. And she thanked me for being obedient to the Lord. After that, I was amazed again. My agent said that she requested the buyer to transfer “pre-deposit” which is not a standard in the procedure, and the amount I got as pre-deposit was a little bit higher than the love offering I just transferred. I’m grateful for His faithfulness. Later in the evening, when I listened to Shekinah Worship Center’s worship meeting, the first song they sang was “O Taste and See that the Lord is good!” I couldn’t agree with it enough! I sang along, overjoyed.
Since then, I made an adjustment to my prayer. Instead of saying “Father, please baptize so and so in Your Spirit. Father, please save so and so and bring them to eternal life,” I began to say to Him, “Father, I thank You for baptizing so and so in Your Spirit. Father, I thank You for bringing salvation to so and so.” And I believe He will make a way and He will do miracles in His time. I trust His faithfulness. He will answer my prayers when they are all in line with His will.
I hope my testimony as well as Pastor Joe’s wife’s encourage you. It’s my desire and prayer that when we ask Him, we don’t get double-minded, but trust Him. He supplies all our needs and He knows the best for each one of us. In His way and in His time, He will make a way. Yes & Amen!
Have a bliss!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
How are you? I’m well.
Have you ever watched the show, The Chosen? If you’re interested, you can download the free application, The Chosen. There is no ID nor Password needed. I loved watching the show and look forward to a new season. I read CBN news reported on the show often time, including the news that it was on air in France public TV channel. My Singapore pastor couples also mentioned the show so that I thought I would try to watch an episode. And I completed watching the first two seasons. I like the show a lot, as it helps me understand the Gospels and realize how compassionate Jesus is. I found a split second of vision or a dream speaks volume. So do the scenes from this show. The show actually added some imaginations, not 100% coming from the Scriptures. Yet, even the imaginations really spoke to me and I’d like to share one of them.
I think it was after Matthew, the tax collector joined other disciples, when Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.” I can’t remember the exact scene, but it was after dinner and the disciples started to argue with one another. I think it started from someone who was against Matthew, the tax collector. They kept quarreling in front of Mary, the mother of Jesus and another Mary who was set free from the evil spirits. But Jesus wasn’t there. Of course, they wouldn’t fight in front of Him. In the middle of the fight, they heard Jesus walking back to His tent, but His way of walking was a bit different from normal. And they found Him wounded all over, being kind of lame. Immediately, I realized how hurt our Father is, when His children bicker, slander or gossip against one another. It simply wounds Him.
Sister Margaret Seaward shared her testimony. I don’t recall it all exactly so that I would paraphrase it. Long time ago when she was cooking, she wanted to taste the food in the middle. She used her finger to get a little bit of it in the pot, as her finger was able to tolerate the heat. When she tried to taste it, she somehow missed her tongue, but she put the hot food on the skin inside her lip. She felt it so hot and painful. At that moment, she heard the Lord speaking to her, “Why don’t you bite your finger?” She said that she had another two episodes related to her finger earlier on that day. So, she said to Him, “Lord, how can I bite my finger? It will hurt.” And He said, “That’s what My children (The body of Christ) do to one another!” You wouldn’t bite your finger, as it’s the precious part of your body, would you?
Pastor Rick Joyner also shared one of his dreams. In the dream, he saw his own son fallen into a sewage. But people were just mocking his son and laughing at him, not trying to help and save him from the sewage. Pastor Rick was watching the scene and it broke his heart. And the Lord taught him it is what His children do to one another, and He shared His pains when the churches criticized a pastor who went to prison long ago for his mistake to misappropriate the fund of his ministry. Friend, I’m not saying misappropriation of the fund is ok, but I’m trying to say that we, as His children, should love another child of God, even when he or she made a mistake. If he or she keeps on sinning, we should talk to him or her in person with two or three witnesses, yet with love for his or her soul. But these days, we see Christians slander pastors, worship leaders and so on, openly through social media and so forth.
Last year, I had a chance to talk to a missionary whose daughter left her small workplace a few months ago. I actually had a dream on her daughter, and she didn’t look happy in the dream. When I called the missionary, I asked her how her daughter is. And she said that her daughter had been very upset, due to her previous employer, who is one of the elders in her church. When she left the employer, she was eligible for some kind of retirement pension. But the elder didn’t pay it to her, saying his business wasn’t good enough to pay it to her now. Legally, she had every right to report and claim it to the ministry of Labor, which would result in the penalty to the employer, the elder. So, the missionary mother said to her, “Babe, please don’t claim it. If you do, it’s putting shame on our Father.” I agreed with her. She understood what the Lord’s will is and she trusted He is the Provider.
I think it’s not difficult to find those who left their church or even left the Lord, saying they were offended in their church. But I would like to remind us that nobody is perfect, and we are in the learning curve and in the middle of being transformed. If you are a parent and your kids fight against one another, your heart would be broken. We should be His mature sons and daughters. Friend, it’s my prayer that we don’t fight, backbite or gossip against one another, but ask our Father to give us His love, even when we are offended. Bringing joy to Him is our strength.
Have a bliss!
These six things the Lord hates,
How are you? I’m well.
On January 20th this year, I read Proverbs chapter 20 and read the verse 10:
“Diverse weights and diverse measures,
They are both alike, an abomination to the Lord.”
Then, I thought to myself that there are a few other verses in Proverbs that talk about diverse weights and diverse measures. And I’ve been thinking that there should be no cheating in business. I didn’t really meditate on that verse much, as I think I would never cheat others by diverse weights and measures, if I would be in some kind of business. Then, I highlighted the verses that speak about the importance of our words from our lips or mouth.
Then, I think it was the very next night when I had a dream, hearing the Lord speaking to me. I didn’t see any in the dream, but I heard His voice only and it was so clear. He was actually teaching me with the verses I read from Proverbs 20, saying “The verse on diverse weights and diverse measures you read is more on a double standard than cheating others in business. Just like you highlighted the words on lying lips, it is also talking about “truth” that you’ve been meditating on.” When I woke up in the middle of the night, I still remembered what He said. Though I felt it was His voice, I wanted to make sure whether it was really Him and whether I understood Him correctly. So, in the morning, I grabbed my Bible in The Passion Translation version. I usually read New King James Version, and now refer The Passion Translation often, as it is not word for word translation from the original languages, but the meanings in the cultural contexts are translated into easy English. So, I looked up Proverbs 20:10 and stood amazed, reading “God hates it when you demonstrate a double standard – one for “them” and one for “you.” I already read through the book of Proverbs in The Passion Translation long ago, but as I didn’t compare each verse from each different translation, I would have not known the expression of a double standard was the verse on diverse weights and measures in New King James translation. And the Lord wants me to understand the meanings correctly, as He intended. Now, I got to realize this verse on a double standard is indeed talking about truth. I thought I would never sin by cheating others in business, but when it comes to a double standard, I’m not good at it and I really need His grace. I believe if we criticize others in our hearts or in our words, there is a high risk of having a double standard. I don’t know about you, but for me, I realized that I focused on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet failed to notice the glaring flaw of my own. And most of the time, it was out of pride, out of self-righteousness or out of religious spirit.
I don’t like the selfish, but recently while I was cooking, the Lord shed light on my selfish motive in praying for someone. He made me realize that I prayed for him, not to bring joy to Him but to make myself comfortable. I know that my initial prayer for him was out of a pure heart, but I lost it and then prayed out of selfishness. I repented, being thankful to the Lord for letting me know. While I don’t like the selfish and sometimes even look down on them in my heart, I was being so selfish. It’s merely one example.
I believe that one of the best ways not to have double standards would be not to judge others. It includes judging others both in our hearts and in our words. I believe we have One and Only True Judge, Who searches our hearts. I recall the late Pastor Neville Johnson said that we are not smart enough to judge others. We don’t know their upbringings, their circumstances and their hearts. I think we don’t even know our own hearts, unless God shows us our motives. The Scripture says,
“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
While I read the book of Proverbs, I realized it talks about truth quite often.
“Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3~4)
Friend, it’s my prayer that you and I write mercy and truth on the tablet of our hearts. And we don’t judge others and we don’t have a double standard. The Truth shall make us free.
Have a bliss!
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1~5)
How are you? Hope you had or are having a good day, today?
Last week, I wrote that I would share what Pastor Rick Joyner said on how we become sons of God. Actually, the answer is already known in the Bible: Love your God and love your neighbors. Yes, this is simple yet true. Pastor Rick said that these sons of God don’t even realize they are the sons, as their focus is not on them, but on the Lord. And they help others reach the goal before they do. When we love Him, we would only think of brining joy to Him and loving our neighbors as ourselves is bringing joy to Him. Through our mundane life and menial works in our daily life, we learn to become like Him.
I’m in the middle of reading a Richard Foster’s book, “Streams of Living Water” and his message on Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels echoed what I learned and believed on our lifestyle:
Where did he learn all these things and so much more? I will tell you where. He learned them in his carpentry work and at home with his parents and his brothers and sisters. Jesus did not all of a sudden one day start spouting nice sayings about God. No, when he began his public ministry, he was speaking out of a life that had been tested and tried. He had proven the teachings to be true over and over again as he sawed wood and assembled chairs and built cabinets. It is critical that we understand the significance of this. Today we tend to confine Jesus and his work to stained glass and high altars and silent retreats, or perhaps to intercessory prayer work and revival meetings. And clearly there was a specifically religious or liturgical dimension to Jesus’ incarnational living. He went to synagogue “as was his custom” (Luke 4:16). As a faithful Jew he recited the Shema twice a day: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD one” (Deut. 6:4, NIV). In addition, he observed the three hours of prayer that were part and parcel of Jewish practice: morning, afternoon, and evening. But as good and essential as these things were (and are), we must recognize that the majority of Jesus’ life — and of ours — is found in our families and homes, in our work and play, among our neighbors and in our everyday surroundings. This tangible world is the place we most fully express the meaning of incarnational living. This is where we experience the outflow of love, joy, peace, and all the fruit of the Spirit. Here and nowhere else. It was true for Jesus; it is true for us. This is the Incarnational Tradition.
Foster, Richard J.. Streams of Living Water (pp. 20-21). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
This year, somehow, the word, “truth” was being highlighted again and again in my Bible reading. Jesus is the Truth, and He said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)” And He also said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)” What would be worshipping in truth? I believe it’s our walking in love, obeying His Words. I love to worship Him, singing praises. Whenever I take a walk, I sing praises. When I wash dishes, I sing praises. After dinner, I sit on the sofa and sing praises. I love to sing praises and worship our Father. And I keep it in mind that if I don’t obey Him and don’t love my family, friends, neighbors and others, I don’t worship Him in truth. If I have an unforgiving heart or bitterness toward someone, I don’t worship Him in truth. If I am selfish and self-centered, I don’t worship Him in truth. I would dread hearing Him say that I’m a hypocrite or my worship was in vain.
It’s my desire and prayer that you and I bring joy to Him, by walking in love and worshipping Him in truth. He doesn’t see what we do, but what we become. Friend, do you think it’s impossible that we would become like Him? I recently reread Pastor Rick Joyner’s book, “Overcoming the Religious Spirit.” He wrote ten things we can do to get free of the religious spirit and one of them really refreshed me:
Pray that the same love with which the Father loved the Son would be in us. The Lord Jesus Himself prayed for the same love with which the Father loved Him to be in us (see John 17). We know that this prayer of the Son of God, who was in perfect harmony with the Father, will be answered. We have not because we ask not. When this love replaces religious duty, our good works will greatly exceed what they would be otherwise.
Joyner, Rick. Overcoming the Religious Spirit (Combatting Spiritual Strongholds Series) (p. 25). MorningStar Publications, a division of MorningStar Fellowship Church. Kindle Edition.
How powerful this prayer is, as Jesus already prayed for us! It would be answered, if we prayed in agreement with Him. Friend, would you like to join me in praying this prayer for you and me?
Have a bliss!
He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. (1 John 2:4~5)”
How are you? I’m well.
Today I would like to write about sons of God that Pastor Rick Joyner mentioned on the Lord’s visitation. He quoted what Jesus spoke to him: Labors are cheap; Friends are expensive; Sons are priceless.
You might think “Aren’t we all children of God as we believe in Jesus?” Yes, we become a child of God, when each one of us believes in Jesus. Then, who are the sons of God? I’d like to share what the late Pastor Neville Johnson wrote in his book, Secrets of the Kingdom volume II:
HEBREWS 2:10 10. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
It has been said many times that “life is not easy.” Well, it wasn’t meant to be, and the conditions here on earth are perfect for the making of sons of God. Even Jesus had to suffer as part of His sojourn here.
HEBREWS 5:8-9 8. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Jesus suffered much anguish during His days in the flesh in this world; heartache was a part of His life here. You cannot escape suffering and some heartache while here on this earth; it is part of the deal. Life on this planet is hard enough to give us the opportunity of becoming sons of God. You may say, “I became a son of God when I was born again! Not so – you became a child of God.
1 JOHN 3:2 2. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
The word son here in this verse is the Greek word teknon G5043: a child. The Jewish custom of the placing of a son was a very important event in Jewish life. When a child came of age, usually around thirty years of age, he went through a ceremony that initiated him into sonship. The father would call together friends and relatives to this ceremony in which the boy became a son. Up until that time, this boy had never been referred to as a son, but at the end of this ceremony the father would say, “THIS IS MY SON,” and from that time on this SON had rights and privileges that he had never had before. This son could now transact business in his father’s name; he could, as it were, sign checks and generally represent his father. This is what was happening to Jesus in Matthew 3:16-17.
MATTHEW 3:16-17 16. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Every Jew who was there at that time and heard this voice from heaven knew exactly what it meant. Jesus was being placed as a Son by His Father.
God’s major purpose for us
God’s first and foremost purpose for us is that we become Sons of God while still in the flesh in this life. God’s foremost purpose for you is that you become like Him, conformed to His image and likeness. God made man in His own image and likeness, but this was lost through the fall of Adam (see Gen 1:27).
ROMANS 8:29 29. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
This is God’s prime purpose for you being here During all the work we do for the Lord here, the prime purpose is not in what we do for Him, but in what we are becoming. We fail in our reason for being here if we do not become like Him. To become like Him is what our destiny here on Planet Earth is all about; anything else is secondary to this. The real gain, the real merit is not in what we do for the Lord, important as that is, but in who we are becoming.
Planet Earth – a school-house for the sons of God
Many attend universities for four or five years, gaining knowledge that will hopefully be useful in their vocation in this life. However, very few have the understanding that God has placed us in His university, His school-house having given us a limited time in which to graduate with the required spiritual knowledge and understanding coupled with the required changes in us that this earthly course is designed to achieve – namely, to become like Him. We are in God’s school-house and, even as Christians, we can die without having graduated. Sure, we will go to heaven, but the main purpose of coming here to earth is not achieved and this affects our ongoing role in eternity.
Imagine that you are a father with a son at age of 5. You would love him so much, but you would not give him a blank check. God loves us as His children, when we come to Him through Jesus. But He wants us to grow and be mature enough to be co-heirs of His Son, Jesus.
When I was young, I used to think that there are so many do’s and don’ts in Christianity. It was mainly because of legalism in Korea church. So, I once thought that it would be better for us to get saved just right before our death or on our sick bed, after doing what we want, only if we would know our time to die. Now, I’m grateful that the Lord opened my eyes and helped me understand it’s not about religion, but about relationship. And He gave me mercy and made me pursue the high calling and long for being like Him. I don’t want to be saved only. Being saved is great, but I want to fulfill my eternal destiny, by growing and being conformed to the character of Jesus.
One day, my friend said to me, “I don’t care about reigning in 1,000 years. I’ll be simply satisfied with being in Heaven.” I still pray that the Lord may open her eyes. I think not only she, but many Christians would think they are simply fine with being saved only, but don’t want to go further into the likeness of His character. The Lord said, “Yet Jacob I have loved; But Esau I have hated.” (Malachi 1:2~3b) He hated Esau’s taking his birthright lightly and sold it for a bowl of soup.
Friend, He wants us to turn our eyes upon Him and His Kingdom in eternity, not on this world, just like Esau. It’s my prayer that you are encouraged to become His sons, too. I heard many preachers say or write about metamorphosis, likening our character to Jesus’. I believe He loves both caterpillars and butterflies. Yet again, I believe He wants caterpillars to be transformed into butterflies, as they are meant to be.
Pastor Rick Joyner shared how we become sons of God. Would you want to know? I think I would write what he shared, next week. :)
Have a bliss!
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14)