Sunday Morning – 12 May 2019 10:55:34 am – Pastor James Yang
No matter who you are, if you accept the Word of God and receive salvation, then you can only be happy.
The woman caught in adultery (WCA) could not help but die. But as she accepted the Word of God, she could live. Her heart was so humble that she was able to live.
These days, as I read the book of Judges, I could see my own heart.
“When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim. And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel.”
Judges 4:1-3 NKJV
It is not because of the goodness of the Israelites that they were delivered. The people received grace because the others were so wicked.
The Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord. So they were sold for 20 years and they were harshly oppressed.
When things turn out well, do you have the heart that it was because of your effort? Or do you have the heart that it is 100% the grace of God?
Why is it written that the people of Canaan were evil? In fact, it is because God had already given the land of Canaan to the Israelites. But they did not invade or fight and defeat Jabin because of the nine hundred chariots of iron. This is exactly the same as the Israelites who could not invade the Jebusites – the fortress of Zion until David came into power.
God had already given the ability to the people but they did not accept it. The situation was a lot bigger. They were captured by their own thoughts.
“And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.”
Judges 4:3-4 NKJV
The Israelites were so evil and forsook the Lord in their heart. As such, they were harshly oppressed for 20 years.
It is written:
“When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD.”
Judges 4:1 NKJV
What is evil? Evil is not crying out to the Lord.
We think that others should be changed. But we fail to consider ourselves.
I began to see the evil in my heart and I began to cry out to the Lord. I was able to repent from my heart. If we can understand the position of our heart, then we will naturally cry out to the Lord. If we do not discover our own heart, we will not cry out to the Lord.
Not crying out is evil in the eyes of God. This is why the Israel people had to suffer 20 years under the hands of Jabin.
Then God prepared prophetess Deborah and God saved Israel.
From the very beginning, we have every condition to cry out and look for God. We originally have no intention to look out to the Lord. We are surrounded by problems. Even inside the church many brothers and sisters come to talk to me about their problems. As I see it, I used to think “Ahh this brother is too selfish. That sister is too arrogant”. However, I did not understand that I had to cry out to the Lord. So I found out my own evil.
Personally, I went to church since I was a child. I went to church in my own way. Then, when I met a brother in the army, he told me that I had not received salvation. I tried to prove him wrong with my speaking of tongues and my ability to pray. I had all these as my own righteousness. Then, I realised that I was truly a sinner. When I reached that position, I could listen to the Words of God.
As I had fellowship with the lady in Osaka (Bible Seminar trip), I was so thankful as she accepted all the Words of God. I felt she was so pure and innocent at heart.
If you understand that you are in that evil position, then the Words of God will flow in you and lead you. But many people focus on the do’s and dont’s.
Through the bible, God really wants to show his real heart to us.
“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?””
Luke 10:25 NKJV
This question is wrong to begin with. I myself cannot even have the same heart as my wife. For instance, when she feels hot, I should also feel so. But I feel cold. So it is impossible for me to love her. How can I even love my neighbour? I am convinced that I cannot even keep the law.
The law is really for us to come to the knowledge of sin.
Either we can go to heaven by keep all the laws perfectly or we can go to heaven by grace. We have to choose one of them.
Choose to follow the Words rather than the circumstances. Time to time you are at the cross roads. Which do you choose?
We are often afraid of perishing. We must draw this clear demarcation. Either we follow the Words only or perish.
Jesus insinuated that the lawyer could try to keep the law. Yet, He shared the parable about the half dead man. Then He asked “Who do you think was neighbour to the half dead man?” And the lawyer said “The Samaritan”. When Jesus said “Go and do likewise” many people misunderstand this. They think that they should look for someone to save and take the role of the saviour the Samaritan. But the Saviour and Samaritan represents Jesus Christ.
We are in fact like maggots in the eyes of God. If we realise this, then we will only listen to Jesus. The lawyer was not sure of who he was. He abide in his own thoughts that if he keeps the law, then he would be able to have eternal life.
For the WCA, when she was caught, she could not do anything at all. She had no excuse at all. She only held on to the Word of God, which is the promise of God.
While I was in Nagoya in Japan, the pastor there took me to meet one man who was 106 years old. As we had tea, I asked the man how he came to believe in God. He said that he had believed since he was a baby and so it has been 106 years. I was surprised by his answer. I asked him if he could go to heaven and he said he could because he had prayed and gave a lot of offerings to the church. Then I asserted that he was wrong and that this is not salvation at all. I preached the gospel and said that we are people who are born as sinners. It is only by grace and by what Jesus has done that we can go to heaven. It has nothing to do with our own effort. So I shared with him that all our sins of the past, present and future are all washed away by Jesus Christ.
If you are able to understand who you are via the Word of God, then all your own ideas and experiences you can put down and forsake.
“Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?””
John 8:9-10 NKJV
I asked myself, how much would the WCA have said “thank you” to Jesus. She would have said it countless times as she was profoundly thankful to Jesus. The Word of Jesus became true power inside of her.
But people who are arrogant in the heart say things such as “Well, that’s your point of view and I have my point of view”.
But those humble in the heart, find enormous strength in the heart of God.
I have many unforgettable words in my heart.
When my wife had cancer, the Word in 2 Timothy 2:4 came to my heart.
“No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
II Timothy 2:4 NKJV
For me, I am a soldier of God. If my wife dies of cancer, what strength of God can I have as a soldier? But God enlisted me as a soldier.
Take the case of sister Yury with her panic attack disorder. I shared the Word with her from Isaiah 53:5 “…by His stripes we are healed”. This is written in the past perfect tense. So she is healed.
I believe that such Words be upon you.