What a blessing it is to know God! Knowing God is the greatest joy and privilege of my life. Are you also grateful for the opportunity to know and be loved by God, and to devote your love solely to Him?
May our love for Him continue to deepen in its depth and expand in its breadth. We can know God beyond mere knowledge, as Romans reminds us that the Spirit of God is poured into our hearts, filling our souls with His love. (Rom 5:5)
While I still love Jesus, it’s not quite the same as when I was in my early twenties. When I look back on the time, I was so passionate about my love for Jesus. I was just so joyful when I think about Jesus. One day, while I was working outside, God’s love suddenly poured into my heart. During the fall sweet potato harvest, while helping my parents on weekends, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the passion of love, feeling compelled to do anything for Him. I vividly remember shedding tears of gratitude for God’s grace while digging sweet potatoes, sensing perhaps that Jesus was calling me to become a pastor. That moment filled me with so much happiness.
It is unfortunate to see those who don’t know who true God is. There are some who only know God intellectually, without truly experiencing Him in their hearts. In John 8, we see that even after witnessing Jesus, some still did not recognize Him as the Son of God. Despite their knowledge of the Bible, which they had memorized, they lacked the personal experience of God’s love in their lives. As a result, they could not comprehend who God truly was, and failed to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. This led them to dismiss Him as either insane or possessed by a demon.
Why did this happen? It wasn’t simply a matter of not reading the Bible often enough. Rather, it was because they had not fully accepted in their hearts that the Creator God is a God of love. They had not tasted the depth of God’s love, and so were unable to recognize it when God stood before them in the person of Jesus.
Let us apply this biblical story to modern times. Even today, many people fail to recognize Jesus. I myself once saw Jesus on the street, though it was a spiritual sighting rather than a physical one. When God wants to convey a message to me, He does so through the Holy Spirit who helps me understand it easily. On that particular day, the Holy Spirit showed me a vision of hundreds of Jesuses, each one accompanying a person on the street. Sadly, those people were unable to recognize Jesus in a spiritual sense.
As I recount this experience, I realize it might sound grotesque, like a scene from a horror movie where a ghost or demon pursues people. But that’s not how it felt at the time. Instead, I felt deep sadness as I observed Jesus’s longing for each person’s love. I sensed in my heart just how much Jesus loves them, even though they remained indifferent to Him.
Sometimes I find myself asking, “If Jesus were to appear in human form in front of me right now, would I recognize Him?” Of course, we know that Jesus will not physically appear (with His resurrected body) to us until the end of the age. However, pondering this question helps me to assess the condition of my soul and my faith. In the Gospels, we read about Anna and Simeon, who recognized the infant Jesus as the Messiah who would save them. This was not due to any special ability they possessed but was purely God’s grace at work in their lives. Yes, it was God grace but also, they were passionate to search and love God, too. Anna and Simeon’s hearts, minds, and souls were firmly fixed on God. They constantly prayed and yearned for God’s presence, and they remained in His love. This allowed them to discern the presence of the Savior, even in the form of a baby. Their example reminds us that while we cannot rely on our own abilities to recognize God’s presence, we can strive to cultivate a deep relationship with Him through our prayer, love, and devotion.
I used to think that I knew God well and had fully experienced His love. But recently, I realized that I had become too complacent. In the book of Revelation, Jesus rebukes one of the seven churches for being lukewarm and warns them that He will spit them out of His mouth. Being cold means that we should actively fight against our own sins and shortcomings, rather than accepting them without question. Being hot means that we should also strive to have a burning passion for God, to love Him wholeheartedly.
I want to develop more zeal for God and not waste my time on meaningless things. Life is short, but if we devote ourselves to loving God and serving others, our time will not be in vain. Let us make the most of our time on this earth by loving God and others with all our hearts.
I often witness people in their later years filled with regret, having lived a life of vanity and emptiness. It pains me deeply to see individuals depart from this world without having truly experienced the truth and love of God.
It is a precious blessing to have the opportunity to know and experience the love of Jesus, regardless of age. The love and grace of God have the power to transform a person’s life, enriching their soul and imbuing their existence with nobility.
Above all else, let us prioritize seeking to know God’s love, communicating with Him, and deepening our relationship. Shouldn’t this be the primary focus of every church? Rather than treating the church as a business and prioritizing growth, let’s prioritize taking care of people’s souls and helping them experience God’s grace.
With this in mind, I have organized a Bible study meeting that aligns with this goal. Starting on the first Sunday of May at 9:00 am (for 30 min), we will hold a Bible study meeting every other week. Our focus for this year, until December, will be to study prayer and God’s love as revealed in the Bible.
Also, we are planning to gather for a prayer meeting at 9 am on Sundays when there is no Bible study. This meeting will also last for 30 minutes and will provide an opportunity to put into practice what we have learned through Bible study. Our focus will be on prayer that involves communication with God through the Holy Spirit, rather than the repetition of scripted prayers in front of stone statues.
Oh, how wonderful is the grace and love of God! It knows no limits, and its depth is beyond measure. God is so good. How can we explain God’s fascinating character and wisdom with human language. Words can only do so much to describe the indescribable. It’s like trying to explain the taste of Korean dishes like “Jjamppong” and “Jajang” – you can only truly understand their flavor by tasting them yourself. The wisdom, power, and grace of God, as well as His love, are truly amazing. His love is so great! Let us savor His love together.
Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 30th, Habakkuk 2:14
Pastor John Kim, Lakeridge Lutheran Church