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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Do you really Love ME?

Many Christians can profess very loudly or boldly in person or on the internet that they love the Lord very much. Apostle Peter, before the Resurrection of Christ, was such a person. Peter was very loud and bold. But yet, Jesus allowed three circumstances to show him that he had said such statements out of pride. Even when Peter had cut the ear off the high priest's servant, Peter was attempting to defend God out of his pride. Jesus told Peter that HE did not need his help and Jesus could send for multitudes of angels. 

Today, for many Christians, they are like Peter. We should not pride ourselves that we possess the same weaknesses but we should look at scripture to see our sin and pride to humble ourselves. When other Christians, secular people, or secular leaders are in the wrong with "moral rights" or against the gospel, many Christians, like Peter, will begin to argue, get angry, and attempt to defend "moral rights" or the gospel out their pride. They think they are defending God or the gospel out of love or just because it is the right thing to do. However, just like Peter, it is their carnal flesh that is speaking. It is very sad that I see so many Christians sinning as they think they are defending this country or the bible. They argue and defend out of hate. Many Christians hate their government with such passion. Without realizing, they are usurping God's authority. Without realizing, it is their own sin that has cause their own personal situations to deteriorate. But yet, they think they are still operating and defending out of love. What is to love the Lord? 

After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples on the shores where the disciples were fishing. No one but John recognized the Lord. Why only John? But when John said that it was the Lord, it was Peter who was first to jump off the boat swimming to short to meet Jesus. On the surface, it can appear that Peter had passion for the Lord. After all, it was Peter who boldly had claimed that he would never deny HIM and even die for HIM. And even after denying Jesus three times, Peter still looks as though he is passionate and loves the Lord the most. The other disciples stayed on the boat to bring the fish and net in. Peter jumped and rushed to the Lord to beat all the disciples. He was the first to meet HIM.

Many Christians appear to the Lord this way. Even if you never missed a Sunday service, even if you were the person who made the biggest offering, even if you were the one who was always earliest to church, even if you were one who shouted loudest during worship or prayer time, even if you spent hours in ministry, even if you read the bible numerous times in a year, and even if you are on the internet preaching and witnessing the Lord may ask you as HE asked Peter, DO YOU LOVE ME? 

Peter thought he was loving the Lord. He thought loving God was professing very boldly and loudly. Peter thought jumping off the boat to reach HIM before all the other disciples proved he loved Jesus more but yet Jesus asked him, DO YOU LOVE ME? In fact, Jesus asked Peter three times. 

To those in ministry and leadership, I want you to pay close attention to the revelation Jesus is revealing in HIS three questions. The Lord said the two greatest commandments are first to love your Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind. The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. You cannot fulfill the first greatest commandment without fulfilling the second. 

First question, Do you love ME? Jesus answered, then feed my lambs, The second time was tend to my sheep and lastly, feed my sheep.

John 21:15-17 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.

What are lambs? Lambs are baby sheep. Lambs represents baby Christians. Whether starting out a church, ministry, cell groups, or any leadership, God will test you by sending HIS lambs first. The lambs are baby Christians who may have much problems. They may have a hard time obeying, following instructions, getting into trouble and such. But you must have the Shepherd's heart and love them to pass your test before HE sends you more lambs or sheep.  The baby lambs may be the spiritual leopards, the spiritually blind and deaf Christians, the spiritual orphans and widows, the spiritual rejects, abused, and so forth. Can you love and endure them?

Your first ministry may be your spouses, your children, or your in laws and they may be baby Christians who do not know much. God is saying, if you LOVE ME, you will feed them. This is not just about physical eating. You must be one to teach and witness spiritual food to grow the lambs or baby Christians. Your feeding them spiritual milk, your words and conduct walking as Jesus did is the food for them to digest. If you reject and cannot endure such lambs, then we are rejecting and denying Jesus and thus failing our tests. Our tests, trials, and tribulations is represented by the CROSS. We must carry our cross daily which is to face our tests and trials, die to ourselves, sacrificing so the baby lambs may live as we lay down our lives. 

After passing the first test of Love, they become sheep or God will send us more sheep. Jesus' second command is to tend or take care of HIS sheep. Sheep are spiritual adults. They are not baby sheep. Jesus wants us to sacrifice ourselves taking care of HIS people. We are to embrace and endure HIS people. 

Once passing the second test of Love, we are now commanded to feed HIS Sheep. Adult sheep need more than milk. Adult sheep or spiritually mature Christians need to be fed meat. They require deeper revelation and Word. But in order for leaders or pastors to feed the adult sheep such revelation, we are to spend many hours in prayer and in HIS Presence to draw out the deeper revelation. Out of Love, we will spend such time. Such shepherds will forsake many things of the world to spend the time at HIS bosom to draw out the secrets and treasures of God's heart to feed HIS sheep. 

Isaiah 45:3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
    secret riches.
I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.

Jesus is saying to HIS people, if you really LOVE HIM, then take care, love, and feed (spiritually) HIS PEOPLE until HIS Return. 

1 Peter 5:1-4 I warn and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honor and splendor) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded):
2 TEND (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully;
3 Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation).
4 And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the [a]conqueror’s crown of glory.

Acts 20:28-29 Take care and be on guard for yourselves and the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you bishops and guardians, to shepherd (tend and feed and guide) the church of the Lord or [d]of God which He obtained for Himself [buying it and saving it for Himself] with His own blood.

29 I know that after I am gone, ferocious wolves will get in among you, not sparing the flock;

Glory to HIM
Pastor Steve Yong Kim 
Fire of God Church 
Fremont,. CA USA

Monday, April 20, 2015

Full surrendered required to save your families

Luke 14:31-33 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.
There is a promise here given to us in a parable. The Lord said, the king with 20,000 can represent HIM and the king with 10,000 can represent you. We are kingdoms and priests. We are to be a holy nation.
If we are Kingdoms then everyone under our authority is under our kingdom. Our children are under our authority. Maybe your spouses and other family members who may not even be proper believers can be considered under your kingdom.
When the king of 10,000 made terms to surrender, then his whole nation would live. But if the king with 10,000 tried to fight, then many within his kingdom would die. In fact, maybe all within the kingdom of the king of 10,000 would completely die. Therefore, in order for the king of 10,000 and his nation to live, he will have to surrender. He would have to fully surrender.
We have to fully surrender to the Great King of Kings and then our kingdom would be under HIS kingdom and everyone under our authority will live. Many times, Christians are trying to evangelize and preach to their family members trying to make them change but with little result. The bible does not say go nag your family members to believe in Jesus. The bible says for YOU to die to yourself and come to full surrender to Jesus. Many Christians think they have surrendered to Jesus but if that was the case, then why are you still struggling in many areas. The areas we struggle are areas we have yet to fully surrender whether that be people, finance, health, etc.
We look at Rahab, one woman who heard by faith and acted. When she heard, she believed to act. She hid the two spies surrendering to God's Kingdom, forsaking her way of life, and risking her life, she was not only able to save herself but her family including her parents.
Noah obeyed God and built the ark and because of his obedience, he was able to save his family as they all went into the Ark. The Ark represents salvation. Even the animals are under man's authority so Noah was able to save the animals.
When we see our loved ones dying without Christ, then perhaps, we are still the king with 10,000 fighting and wrestling with God thinking we have surrendered when we are not. Perhaps, we are still resisting the Holy Spirit ourselves. This is something we must humble ourselves and ask God. Am I fully surrendered to You, Lord? Because if we are, then we should see good fruit from our surrender.
In verse 33, "So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own."
God requires FULL SURRENDER AND OBEDIENCE TO BE HIS DISCIPLE. There are no divided hearts in the Kingdom of God.
Glory to HIM
Pastor Steve Yong Kim

Thursday, April 16, 2015

True Disciples or Christians

True disciples or Christians in Christ Jesus in the New testament era are those who will persevere to the end. If we cannot persevere trials, tribulations, sufferings, learning to obey, learning to submit, and the tests of life, which is our CROSS, we cannot be His disciple. The amount of Word we know, the years being a Christian or what gifts we may possess do not alone determine our discipleship. We must come to a Resurrected New Life.

Matt 16:24-25 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Be wise as a snake?

Matthew 10"16 “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves

In some translations, the verse states to be wise as a serpent. Whether shrewd as a snake or wise as a serpent, does this mean we need to be wise as the devil? Of course not! We must look at the Word spiritually which means without prayer and an answer from the Holy Spirit, they are but words and a riddle. However, the children of God are not to be in darkness. We are to be the salt and light of the world and we are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven while others are not. But not all of God's people understand the secrets of heaven because many have not grown to spiritual maturity as they pray, worship, read, obey, and die to themselves seeking His answers. We must grow to spiritual maturity and to the completion of our salvation. 

Matthew 13:11-13 "He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables,
For they look, but they don’t really see.
    They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand."

This is what the Holy Spirit has revealed. Rather than looking at the word snake and referencing it as the devil, we need to look at the character of an actual physical snake. The snake's nature is one that avoids confrontation. It does not go looking for a fight. It does not go looking to show off its menace or venom. It minds its own business and goes it own way. It is wise in the sense it avoids fights and confrontation to stay alive. 

It is a given that God will send us through or among the wolves. The wolves are there to devour us but we must go through them nevertheless. Wolves are sheep's natural enemy. The sheep by itself will get devoured by the wolves. What does the wolf represent? Wolves can represent unbelieving or religious spouses, parents, in laws, children, bosses, friends, religious pastors, religious Christians, and so forth.  When we receive revelation that leads us to the pure gospel,  we will face the wolves which can be the people above. Wolves are against spiritual teaching and gifts. Wolves are against the work of the Holy Spirit. Wolves were against Jesus and they are still against those who are following Jesus with all their hearts. God is teaching us how to handle such people as we become more spiritual. 

Therefore, we must avoid confrontation and fights but when confronted we must be harmless as a dove to go through the wolves. In some translation, it may state gentle or unoffensive. What is the spiritual meaning of gentleness? We all think we can be gentle and many can be gentle for some moments. But when we resort back to anger, strife, fighting, and such, we are not acting as a holy people. Whatever we choose each day is what will get stronger in us. If we choose the traits of God by dying to the flesh, then the presence of the Holy Spirit will become stronger. If we choose the traits of the devil, then we will continue to lose the presence of the Holy Spirit and become more carnal. If we are carnal, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

What is gentleness? 

1 Cor 4:12-13 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.

When going through the spiritual wolves, we must avoid fights and confrontations. Demanding someone to believe in Jesus and stating they will go to hell if they do not believe in your way and calling them names is not being wise as a snake nor being gentle. You will never win your families by fighting with them. You will win them as YOU Surrender to Jesus and walk HIS Walk carrying your own crosses. As we avoid fights, we must bless those who curse us rather than fighting back like a wolf. We must be patient and endure those who abuse and persecute us. We must appeal gently when evil things are said or if they slander us. We must be ready to be someone else's trash. In the book of Philippians, it states, we must look at the other person more highly than ourselves. We must be gentle and humble. 

Therefore, to make it through the wolves and eventually win them, we must avoid fights and confrontations being gentle as we bless them even thought they curse us. We must be able to feed our enemies and put coal over their heads. You must be able to feed your enemies the Word of God through your good deeds so that your light may shine. The light of God in you is your good deeds.

The snake usually has venom to kill. We are to be wise as a snake. If we are not wise, then we can use our negative words which is the venom to bring death rather than life. The snake just doesn't bite randomly to inject venom on anything that moves. This would represent speaking rashly and unwisely. It preserves its venom and only strikes to eat. Eating can represent life. We must be wise when to speak and what words to speak to bring life. Otherwise, we can speak death. The power of our tongue can produce life or death. 

If we are the children of God, then we must act and speak like our King. We must possess HIS character and traits. Otherwise, we may be acting like the children of the devil and Jesus told some of HIS own people and the Pharisees that they were the children of the devil. It is not a matter of being nice one day and a crazy person the next. You must be consistently righteous if you are HIS righteousness. Those who are righteous will practice righteousness consistently and eternally. 

Glory to HIM
Pastor Steve Yong Kim
Fire of God Church 

Friday, April 10, 2015

We all need to be fully surrendered

“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us. ” A.W. Tozer

Most Christians, without realizing it, they interfere with God’s work. Most of Christians claim, that they have decided to fully trust, follow and love God. But in reality, they are only deceiving themselves. I still witness many christians in a self deluded condition. In my wilderness years, God has cornered me to teach me how to fully trust and follow Him. But in order to learn, my choice needed to be made first. 

God cornered and asked me, “Will you choose Me over every things or people in your life? Even if, you might have to risk losing every things in your life, including your husband and even your children?”  I was captivated by God. 

In my spirit, I knew That I had to fully choose Him. Now, because my determination was so firm and unshakable, God was able to rapidly work in many things in my life. Problems of my husband, life, business, children could not shake me a bit. In fact, I didn’t even have a bit of time to be concerned about things or problems of my husband and my children. I was so into God. My whole being was fascinated by God. He was my life. He was my strength. I chased after God with all my life. 

Now, many rewards are given to me by my beloved Lord. Above all, having a spiritual romantic relationship with Jesus is greatest reward. Let us always exam our hearts. Let your hearts be surrendered. God is more than willing to grant many great rewards to you IF you seek Him with all your strength and life. 

“Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will.” A.W. Tozer

Pastor Yoojin Kim
Fire of God Church