Sunday Morning – 23 Sep 2018 10:43:11 am – Pastor James Yang
For the youth camp coming up this week, we were quite busy with the logistics of running the camp. Even two pastors have confirmed that they would be coming.
Yesterday, we went to inspect a piece of land which is about 3 hours from here. In total, I spent about 7 hours in the car. I felt that it would be such a waster of time, and I asked how we could spend the time more wisely. So we had testimony time and we also had a prayers meeting together.
The land we saw was so good. However, there was no water supply. I thought we could just dig the ground for water, but in Australia there are a lot of sanctions and restrictions. So we decided to consider the land. As we took initial steps to go forward with this, we could explore various lands. With the retreat centre, we can hold world camps and it would be very good.
“Then the king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there anywhere. For it shall be, on the day you go out and cross the Brook Kidron, know for certain you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.” And Shimei said to the king, “The saying is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do.” So Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days. Now it happened at the end of three years, that two slaves of Shimei ran away to Achish the son of Maachah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, “Look, your slaves are in Gath!” So Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to seek his slaves. And Shimei went and brought his slaves from Gath.”
I Kings 2:36-40 NKJV
In many aspects in our lives, we misunderstand a lot. When we say we have received salvation, it means we have received grace. Being able to receive grace and your effort/skills are two separate things. A problem occurred in the heart of Shimei. Shimei was a person who cursed the heart of David and David just let him live. A certain heart began to flesh out in his mind.
In this chapter, king David died and Solomon became the king. Solomon said to Shimei that he was someone who had cursed his father and that he was someone who should have died long time ago. So Solomon made a pact that should he cross Brook Kidron, then he would die. Shimei agreed that this was good.
When two slaves of Shimei ran away, he saddled his donkey and crossed over the brook Kidron. I asked myself why he did this. Surely Shimei thought that he was an ok person in that he even cursed the king and he was able to survive. However, in the eyes of Solomon, he was as good as dead. This heart of king Solomon could not flow into the heart of Shimei.
Solomon had no intent to keep Shimei alive.
What I can feel is that as we live, we get deceived a lot.
After we receive salvation, we are so thankful and we feel so joyful and jubilant. Why then do we fall back into sin, trespasses and our thoughts? You must be able to discern clearly that part where you need to receive grace from God.
Some people thought that after they received salvation, they thought that they would only be successful from then on but obviously as they see, they are not like that. In fact, most people fail. Why is this so? Because they are far from grace. If we received salvation, it means we received grace. Yet after salvation, many depart from grace.
“And Shimei said to the king, “The saying is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do.” So Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.”
I Kings 2:38 NKJV
A characteristics of such people is that they love it when laws are imposed upon them.
“knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,”
I Timothy 1:9 NKJV
The law is given for evil people. Solomon imposed a law on Shimei – the day he leaves Jerusalem, then he would die. To Shimei, this law was very good. Why? Because he thought that he could keep the law well. For three years, he lived well without any major problems. However, after that, two slaves of Shimei ran away from him and over to king Achish’s land. Shimei heard this. Had he received the heart of king Solomon, then he would not have had to go to bring the slaves back himself. He could have asked someone else. Shimei however, made light of what Solomon commanded him. Without grace, Shimei could not live. He just had the heart to trust himself. This is the heart that leads us to destruction.
Even though we may have received salvation, which is entirely by grace anyway, we are still evil only. There is only one condition for us to be righteous – and that is to stay inside Jesus. As soon as we step outside of Jesus, we are evil dirty and lustful. We humans are all the same.
We judge others – e.g. we may question why one brethren behaves this way and that. However, we ourselves have received grace and it is not through our works at all. Some people are confined by works after salvation. We are still evil no matter whether we may have received salvation.
In our church, we are the assembly of evil people.
Once I preached the gospel to one lady and she would not receive salvation. I wondered why. Then one day she explained to me. She had unwanted pregnancy and seven months later, they decided to abort the baby. For her, the feeling of guilt would not go away. Even after 20 – 30 years, the guilt never left her. She felt the baby moving and kicking inside her. She wept as she told me all this. She was obsessed with all this guilt. So I explained to her how Jesus was crucified and all our sins were washed. I asked her if all sins, except her deed of abortion, were washed? She said no, and then she got it.
Shimei was possessed with his thoughts. And so was the brothers of Joseph.
“But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
Genesis 45:5 NKJV
After Joseph discovered the heart of God, the problems of all humans and what not will leave you. For instance, hatred heart, jealousy, etc. — all associations with humans will break apart. However, many people still look at things humanistically.
Just as when the rocket is launched, it jets off and then when it reaches space, the second part disintegrates. Likewise, when we receive the heart of God, the humanistic hearts all disintegrates.
Joseph said something shocking to the brothers – “Brothers, it is not you who sent me here”.
Why is it that we all have hate in our hearts? This is because we have not met the heart of God yet. It does not matter who we are; as long as our heart is connected to the Lord, then all the humanistic heart will vanish.
When Joseph said that it was God who sent them here, it was really eye opening. In our spiritual life journey, we should be able to say what Joseph said. With one verse in the bible, we can describe the heart of Joseph.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
Proverbs 3:6 NKJV
If we acknowledge God, then all our humanistic things will break down. Let’s say that in the church, there are someone you don’t like, won’t you ignore that person?
Without the heart of God, Joseph would only be able to have this heart to exact revenge upon his brothers.
“Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”
Romans 7:20 NKJV
If you perceive your work as your work, then problems occur. God has done things that we could not do. God has plans to save us all.
Have you ever thought that you were the ones who committed sins? If so, then you have been deceived. In fact, it is actually sin that committed sins. Our thoughts actually come from Satan.
For brethren, they are also often deceived. There are still fleshful things attached to the brethren and it does not go away.
“‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” ’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.”
Genesis 50:17 NKJV
Why did Joseph weep? Because in his eyes, he could see the world of God and how God was working. He wanted to give this world to his brothers, but his brothers’ hearts were not connected to the heart of God because they still believed themselves.
Many brethren still come to church and live a life alienated from God.
One day, I could compare my life before and after salvation. I was ministering, and this was a thought I had – to live spiritual life well. Not even once I thought that this thought was wrong. Then one pastor called me and asked for fellowship. He asked me if I was trying to live my spiritual life well and I replied with a resounding “Yes”. Soon then I realised that I was doing something wrong.
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,”
Galatians 1:6 NKJV
The gospel where our works is added is a different gospel.
Once I ministered in Korea, there was a sister who became blind because of diabetes. I went to her house and her lights were all off. She made coffee for me. One day, I drank it and it was so salty. Then she found out that her grandson had misplaced the location of the sugar and the salt jars.
People live such kind of life before God.
Wise people receive the heart of God as it is.
If God says that we are sanctified, then we are. If God says that we are righteous, then we are so.
One day, I read about Jacob and Esau. Isaac blessed Jacob. Isaac only checked out one thing. He felt the hair on the skin of Jacob and blessed him. He could not see how Jacob looked like. In the same, our justification is not through our works but through the grace of God.
When I worked in Hyundai motor corporation, I only got in by grace. I knew the deputy manager and that was all that they asked me and so I passed the interview.
Likewise, this is how I go to heaven as well. When I stand before heaven, they will ask me “Do you know anyone?” And I will say that I know Jesus and this is how I will pass. Sadly, many people are focusing on their works to be righteous.
Within Jesus only we are righteous, and we are justified. The moment we step out of Jesus, we are nothing.
When we say we believe in Jesus, it means we do not believe in ourselves.
Why did the brothers of Joseph refuse to receive the Words of Joseph? It is because they made great of their works rather than the grace of God.
Many pastors teach people that people should work well, and do good and even ask for confession. This is nonsense.
When I see my son’s room, despite his cleaning, I am still not satisfied. Likewise, when we have to go to heaven, our works are all not satisfactory as well.
Joseph’s brothers could not put down the heart to trust in themselves.
A leper once cried out to Jesus “Lord, if you are willing, please let me be healed”. This is very profound. When we are wiling, then God will work.