Saturday, April 28, 2018

You Are Not Created For Heaven

"I have put my faith in Christ Jesus, my sins are forgiven in Him, now I have the gift of eternal life, and therefore I am awaiting to go to heaven"—such is the tendency of many Christians.

Although the assurance of heaven to those who believe in Christ Jesus is true, this narrow perception has done immense damage to Christianity.

A lot of Christians' focus is on heaven while they live here on earth for themselves. Their excitement is all about the benefits of salvation for themselves—such as love, forgiveness, deliverance, peace, joy, blessings and heaven. There seems no great passion and devotion in them for the Lord Himself.


It is necessary to understand that YOU ARE NOT CREATED FOR HEAVEN. The Scripture declares:

  • "All things were created through him and FOR HIM" (Col. 1:16). 
  • "FOR WHOM and by whom all things exist" (Heb. 2:10).
  • "For from him and through him and TO HIM are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen" (Rom. 11:33).
  • "Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and FOR WHOM WE EXIST" (1 Cor. 8:6).
  • "Everyone who is called by my name, WHOM I CREATED FOR MY GLORY" (Isa. 43:7). 
  • “The people WHOM I FORMED FOR MYSELF that they might declare my praise” (Isa. 43:21).

The Scriptures testify that WE ARE MADE FOR GOD AND FOR HIS GLORY. It is good to know that there is heaven for those who have faith in Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. But we must know: WE ARE NOT MADE FOR HEAVEN. WE ARE MADE FOR THE LORD AND FOR HIS GLORY.

If we are created for the Lord, don't you suppose our lives must be lived for the Lord? Shouldn't we know and submit to His Holy Scripture? Must not the purpose of the Lord and His will be our own purpose and will? Shouldn't His glory be our goal?


Salvation is not merely about possessing heaven. It is God's restoration of our lives to live (on earth and eternally) for the purpose for which we were created, i.e. for the Lord's glory.

The Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to bring you just to heaven. He died so that He can bring you to God: "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that HE MIGHT BRING US TO GOD" (1 Pet. 3:18).

God's passion and purpose for you is not to bring you to heaven, although there is heaven for those in Christ Jesus. God's goal for you is to bring you to Himself.

The Scripture in 2 Corinthians 5:17 is quite well-known, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." But here is a Scripture, just above two verses, which many Christians seem to have never read carefully in their entire life:

  • "He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised" (2 Cor. 5:15). 

Read the above Scripture again and again!

What do you think is the meaning of these words spoken by the Lord Jesus to His disciples: "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matt. 16:24).

When the Lord Jesus said, "Deny yourself," He meant, "Don't live for yourself." And when He said, "take up your cross and follow me," He meant, "Live for Me and follow Me at the cost of suffering and giving up everything." To follow Christ is nothing but to live for Christ. To become a disciple of Christ is to become completely devoted to Him. Doesn't He deserve this from us?

Paul well exemplified a self-denial and Christ-centered life in these words: "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal. 2:20).

Caution must be made here: We do not live for the Lord to earn salvation We live for the Lord because that's what salvation is. Sin has separated us from God, making us our own gods (Gen. 3:5). Salvation in the name of Christ Jesus is reconciliation to the only true God by whom and for whom we were created and redeemed. Blessed be HIS Name forever and ever.


So may we not live for ourselves on earth while hoping for heaven. In fact, here is the truth for us to reflect upon—HEAVEN IS NOT FOR THOSE WHO LIVE FOR THEMSELVES ON EARTH.

Do you know what eternal life is? It is not just endless living all through the eternity. Listen to the Word of God, "The life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us" (1 John 1:2).

The Scripture declares that eternal life is Jesus Christ. To have eternal life is to have Jesus eternally. And to have Jesus eternally is to know Him and to live for Him throughout the eternity, beginning from the time of our salvation on earth (cf. John 17:3). Heaven is all about Jesus.

Therefore, let our lives be marked on earth with a passion and devotion to live and die for the Lord and for His glory. Let us live for the One who made us for Himself and who redeemed us by His blood to make a people for His own possession.


1.    Delight yourself in the Lord and find your utmost satisfaction in Him.

2.    Pursue intimate relationship with Him through prayer.

3.    Enjoy worshipping Him and thanking Him at all times.

4.    The Holy Bible is God's mind and will. Therefore, study it diligently to know His will and to understand His purposes.

5.    Obey God's commandments without reservations.

6.    Keep God's glory as your focus in everything you do.



Monday, March 12, 2018

The Answer to the Mystery of Suffering

Suffering exists because of the original sin. Adam's sin has brought the curse upon the entire human race. Added to this plight are the wrong choices every person has made, rebelling against God's holy standards. Even those who make the right choices—especially by believing in Christ Jesus and following Him—have to suffer as a consequence of living in this sinful world.

But, the problem many have is with God's role in suffering.

Some claim, “God must either be good but not all-powerful, or He must be all-powerful but not good. If God is both good and all-powerful, how can He allow suffering to exist in the world? Why doesn’t He erase suffering from the earth?”

The problem with such people is that they only consider the goodness of God and His almightiness. What is missing in their perspective is God’s sovereignty. God is not just good and almighty; He is also sovereign.

Here is the description of God’s sovereignty:

  • Psalm 135:6, "Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps." 
  • Proverbs 21:30, "No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord." 
  • Daniel 4:35, All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

What is the answer to the mystery of suffering? God’s sovereignty. But who knows God’s sovereign mind and work?

  • Isaiah 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." 
  • Romans 11:33-34, Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 
  • Psalm 92:5, "How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep!" 
  • Ecclesiastes 3:11, "Man cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end." 
  • Deuteronomy 29:29, "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."

What we know from the above Scriptures is that none would comprehend God’s sovereign mind, except that He reveals His mind to us.

To a certain extent, God's Word reveals the cause and purpose of suffering, but there are many questions with regards to suffering which remains mysterious to our finite minds. God's children simply have to trust God's sovereignty.

When one focuses only on God's goodness and His almightiness without giving thought to His sovereignty, he would assume God to function according to his expectations. It is only when one knows the sovereignty of God that he would heed the words, "Be still, and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10)

Though we have to go through suffering in this sinful world, God's Word has a good news for us. All those who have believed in Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins and have become a new creation by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, the glorious day is coming for them when "He [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Rev. 21:4)

Dear friend, don't give up in darkness. Wait for the light.


Friday, February 16, 2018

The Sermon on the Mount to the Saints on the Mount of Social Media

The teaching that the Lord Jesus gave in Matthew 5-7 chapters has come to be known as "The Sermon on the Mount." Christ taught different issues in these chapters. One of the matters He addressed was "anxiety(Matt. 6:25-34).

Based on the words of Christ, I address here the issue of anxiety for identity in social media. Apparently, these days social media has a dominating influence on the identity of people all over the world. Even God's people have yielded themselves to the temptation of building their identity on people's responses to their pictures and posts in social media.

Therefore, the following message is written to help the saints of God not to let social media determine their identity (who they are). Those who have ears to hear let them hear the conviction of this message.


Do not be anxious about your acceptance nor look out for attention, how many likes you get or how many thumbs up you receive or people's responses to your posts.

Is not your life more than likes and thumbs up and smiles and other emojis?

Look at the birds of the air: they may neither seek for acceptance nor crave for attention, and yet your heavenly Father cares for them. Are you not of more value than they?

And which of you by seeking attention, acceptance and approval of people can add more value to your life?

Consider the lilies of the field, how beautiful they are and how they grow. Can a man produce by himself such beauty? Not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Do you understand how fearfully and wonderfully you are made? Do you know you are God's image? Do you see how glorious your life is, which is redeemed by the blood of Christ from the mire of sin? Do you know you are God's chosen, beloved and holy one?

Stop being anxious and refuse to build your identity on digital emojis and people's approval. Do not be obsessed with posting your pictures or your personal matters and keep an eye out for how many likes or responses you get. For the pagans seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you do not need them.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, feast your eyes on the beauty of the Lord Jesus, behold the glory of God, gaze upon the cross on which Christ died for your sins, consider the eternal glory awaiting for you, set your mind on the things above—and you will count all the emojis as nothing.

Therefore, do not seek people's attention and be not anxious about your acceptance, nor about people's responses to your posts. Your heavenly Father loves you like no other and graciously accepts you based on the work of Christ Jesus on the cross.

Flee from building your identity on the vain and fleeting glory of social media. Know Christ Jesus and know who you are in Him, the Eternal Glorious One, who loved you and laid His life for you. That's all that matters. That's all you need. That's all-sufficient for you. Rejoice in the Lord always.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Proverb of the World and Proverbs of the Word

These days a lot of emphasis is laid on the importance of appreciation by the secular world. I call it a 'proverb of the world'. It states, “Don’t be negative.” “Don’t be judgmental.” “Be positive.” “Appreciate others.”

Yes, I do believe that appreciation is wonderful. We must practice appreciation when it is necessary as it is a great means of encouragement.

What saddens me is that the world is addicted to appreciation and resistant to correction. This tendency has greatly influenced the mindset and attitudes of Christians too. Since the beginning of the exodus of Israelites, what we observe is that God’s people are more prone to the influence of the culture rather than to the command of God’s Word.

Loving Appreciation and Despising Correction

I fear to see how people in churches love appreciation and despise correction. When they are corrected, their face falls down, their emotions are disturbed, and their reactions are either wild or bitterly suppressed.

How seldom do we find people responding to correction, saying, “Thank you for your correction. It helps me to become a better Christian. Please continue to help me become more like Christ.” Such words can only be uttered by a wise person who deeply reveres God and His Word.

No matter how the talk of people and their Christian walk is, like the world, churches want to be just in the business of appreciation. They don’t want to offend one another, even if it is for good. They love to please each other through appreciation. They are reluctant both to receive and to give correction.

Proverbs of the Word

When I turn to the Proverbs of the Word, I don’t find much about the importance of “appreciation”. I find it only once where a godly woman is praised (Pro. 31:28, 30). The emphasis of the book of Proverbs is on “correction” (reproof, rebuke).

The words “reproof” and “rebuke” (correction) are used 20 times in the book of Proverbs. There could be more. And when the book of Proverbs speaks about correction, its attention is more on receiving correction rather than on giving it.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that appreciation is wrong. Although we don’t find about it in Proverbs, there are other parts of the Scripture which speak of it a bit.

As mentioned earlier, I believe in appreciation. It is a great encouraging tool. It is one of the love languages of people. We all love appreciation. Sometimes it rightly encourages us and at other times it pampers our ‘self’. Interestingly, correction is not the love language of anyone. It appears to be the hate language of people.

Proverbs on Correction

If we love God and His Word, we must be people who love correction. Look at the following few Scriptures from Proverbs which speaks about the importance of correction. The words commonly used for “correction” are “reproof” and “rebuke.”

  • Wisdom says, “If you turn at my reproof , behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.” (Proverbs 1:23, ESV)

  • “My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12, ESV)

  • “Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.” (Proverbs 10:17, ESV)

  • “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:1, ESV)

  • “A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” (Proverbs 13:1, ESV)

  • “Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.” (Proverbs 13:18, ESV)

  • “A fool despises his father's instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.” (Proverbs 15:3, ESV)

  • “There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way; whoever hates reproof will die.” (Proverbs 15:10, ESV)

  • “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.” (Proverbs 15:31-32, ESV)

  • “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.” (Proverbs 27:5, ESV)

  • “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.” (Proverbs 29:1, ESV)

Moreover, observe the very purpose of God-breathed Scripture: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV) Even God's Word is given for the purpose of reproof and rebuke. It is not given for appreciation but for correction.

Correction Shapes Character

Honestly, in my many years of Christian life, I have learned so much more through correction rather than through appreciation. Whatever growth people see in me, much of the growth is the result of correction. The day that I stop taking correction, my growth halts and I become stagnant and dead.

Recently, I have taken initiation and asked a brother to correct me if he had observed any flaws in my character. What he corrected in me has led to a radical change in my life and ministry. I am forever thankful to him. How true are these words, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses!” (Proverbs 27:6, ESV) Well, there were times where I resisted correction to my own loss of character.

Never forget that appreciation encourages us, but correction shapes our character. Appreciation makes us feel good about ourselves but correction helps us to grow well towards maturity. We indeed need appreciation, but more than that what we need is correction. He who loves appreciation and hates correction desires destruction of his character, perhaps even of his soul.

Cultivate the Love Language of Correction

Correction may not be the love language of the worldly people, but it must certainly be the love language of godly people because the book of Proverbs speaks so much of its benefits. Christians must resist being like the world and become the light of the world. They must cultivate a humble heart of receiving correction. According to God’s Word, only a fool hates correction.

Agreed, it is painful to receive correction. It hurts our ‘ego’. But, as followers of Christ, are we not called to deny ourselves and to follow the right path to change?

Note: When we give correction, we must do it with love and kindness. And when firmness is required in correction, it must be exercised with concern and without being harsh. Having said this, I must exhort that we must be more passionate and humble in receiving correction rather than giving correction. How we humbly receive correction encourages others to appropriately respond to correction.



Sunday, August 27, 2017

My Name Is Tradition


There are some truths in me and some lies.
To be honest, there is less truth in me and more lies.
And as you might know, a little truth is more dangerous,
Than an outright lie which is less treacherous.

People chase me blindly and do so without reason;
They follow me zealously, like their forefathers did, in and out of season;
Folks adore me and don’t bother with any questions;
They want to be left alone with their purposeless superstitions.

Here is my charisma and great feat;
People simply tend to lose their minds at my feet.
Not just the ignorant, but also the ones with intelligence;
They dance around me like gullible fools without hesitance.

My power thrives on people’s ignorance,
I enslave them in their arrogance;
And those who dare question my credibility
Are quickly silenced by the society.

Beware, those who challenge and deny me,
Make themselves my bitter enemy.
They face rejection and slander,
For becoming Truth’s defender.

My loyal servants cannot tolerate,
Reasonable people whom they oppose and berate;
They’d rather have ignorance and blind belief,
Than embrace Truth and acknowledge their misbelief.

For so they esteem me in their foolish minds,
Exchanging God’s Truth for mindless trends;
They defend me with such a zeal,
That even makes Truth seem so unreal.

Yeah, my name is tradition,
I am so loved and admired by those who've lost their reason.


Note: This poetry is about the traditions which are unbiblical, which unfortunately is what is prevailing in our society.



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Proclaim the Cross of Christ

Galatians 3:1-2, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?”

Paul’s disappointment and anger are clearly seen in his words to the Galatians. He was disturbed in his heart because after they received the gospel by faith in the finished work of Christ, they turned back to the works of the law.

It is foolish to consider attaining salvation by works, and so calls Paul, “O foolish Galatians.” “Who has bewitched you?” This is a term of witchcraft. In other words, “Who has influenced you in an evil way?” To wander away from the biblical gospel is like being bewitched by the evil.

Vivid Proclamation of Christ's Crucifixion

Paul goes on to explain, “It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified” (Gal. 3:1b). Does this mean that the Galatians witnessed with their eyes the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Where was Christ crucified? In Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus Himself said, “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Matt. 16:21).

Where was Galatia? Galatia was a Roman Province, located near the central region of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). It is surrounded by Bithynia, Pontus, Cappadocia, and Phrygia. The churches of Galatia include Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, which Paul visited in his first missionary journey.

Galatia and Jerusalem are separated by hundreds of miles. Then how did the Galatians witness with their eyes the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ?

This doesn’t speak about seeing the crucifixion of Christ with physical eyes. Paul didn’t say, “It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly crucified.” He said, “It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly PORTRAYED AS crucified.” This speaks about the public proclamation of the gospel of Christ Jesus with a clear verbal description of Christ’s crucifixion.

The cross of Christ speaks of man’s sin for which He was crucified. The cross of Christ demonstrates God’s love towards sinners. The cross of Christ manifests the satisfaction of God’s justice. The cross of Christ reveals the propitiatory sacrifice of the Lord Jesus to reconcile man to God. The cross of Christ shows the only hope of man, which is to believe in the death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus to receive God’s gift of eternal life. This is what the gospel of the cross is.

Paul's Passion for the Cross of Christ

When we examine the ministry of Paul, we observe that God had wrought great miracles through this man. He was a man filled with the knowledge of the Scriptures. He had supernatural experiences. He walked in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He was an extraordinary apostle. He was a church planter. He was a disciple-maker. He was a fundraiser who helped numerous needy believers.

In spite of all these great gifts and accomplishments, Paul’s focus and emphasis were on proclaiming the crucified Lord. Like the sun that shines, giving light to all the earth, so the cross of Christ shone over Paul’s entire ministry.

Elsewhere Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). He even said, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14).

Paul didn’t proclaim the crucifixion of Christ as a passing remark, as many do today. The cross was not peripheral but absolutely central to his message. What the Lord Jesus did on the cross drove everything that Paul spoke and did. The message of the cross permeated every cell of his body.

When Paul preached the gospel to the people, the Lord Jesus was clearly presented to them as crucified. According to Paul, there is no gospel without the cross. How precisely, emphatically, vividly, passionately, magnificently, he proclaimed the gospel of Christ Jesus that it was as if the listeners saw the crucifixion of the Lord.

Proclaim the Cross of Christ

This is how we must proclaim the gospel. The listeners must clearly see with the eyes of the heart the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. They may forget almost everything we speak but not the cross because of our vivid description of it and emphasis on it. Our proclamation of the gospel-centered on the cross must leave an indelible mark on their minds.

It is the cross which discloses Christ as the unique Savior from all the so-called saviors of the world and of other religions. Jesus is the only Savior of the world because He is the only One who went to the cross to save the world. We cannot exalt Christ without elevating His cross.

Therefore, the effective presentation of the gospel is portraying before the eyes of people the Lord Jesus Christ as crucified. Let us resolve, like Paul, to proclaim Christ and Him crucified.



Saturday, May 6, 2017

An Unusual Man of God

I can never forget the day I met this man for the first time. My youngest son, Joe, was born on December 7, 2006. The next day he came to meet me and to see my newborn son in the hospital. He had recently shifted to Hyderabad from Bangalore and someone suggested my name to him. So, he wanted to meet me. And since the day we met in the hospital, we became close brothers in the Lord. This man is Kim Taeyeob. His Indian name is John Kim.

Brother John was born in South Korea on August 4,1960, to a poor family. He grew up facing many challenges in life and ended up becoming a young rebel. Thankfully, he came to know the Lord at a young age. Thereafter he went to a seminary for training and served as a pastor for few years. Later, he felt the Lord calling him to India to serve as a missionary. After much thinking and prayer, in 2003, he finally moved to India with his beloved wife and son.

Brother John faithfully served the Lord in India for 13 years. A few months ago, he felt the Lord calling him to another third world country (which I leave unnamed) to serve as a missionary. After giving much thought, going through emotional struggle, and praying, in May, 2017, he moved to that country.

I have known brother John for more than 10 years. During his stay in India, he has been a blessing to many people, and I am one among them, perhaps the most. I write this article to share what I observed and learned from this man of God. There is so much to speak about the Lord’s work in him that I could easily write a book. I hope these brief words would be a great encouragement to the readers, especially to missionaries, pastors, and other Christian leaders.

Note: Whenever we read a person’s biography or listen to a testimony about others, we must know that it is a witness about the power of the gospel of Christ Jesus in transforming a worst sinner into a beautiful saint. Therefore, all glory goes to God for His amazing grace and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit.


I cannot speak about brother John without mentioning about his commitment to the Lord’s work. When he felt the Lord calling him to India, he left his comfortable life in South Korea and came to India. He was not disobedient to God-given vision. (Acts 26:19)

Due to his serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus, he constantly suffered from weakness and sickness. He faced the pressure to return to his homeland many times. However, he wanted to serve and die in the land to which the Lord had called him to serve. Even on the day he was leaving India to serve the Lord in another country, he was physically unwell.

The country that he has now gone to is not an easy place to live. India is a lot better in comparison. Nevertheless, to brother John, what matters in life is not enjoying the comforts of life, but walking in obedience to the Lord who loved him and gave His life for him.

During his stay in India, brother John lived a simple life. He was a man without love for material riches, worldly pleasures or comforts. He was extremely cautious about how he spent money, especially when spending money on himself. He had very few pairs of clothes, so much so that at times we were tempted to buy him some. On one occasion, we pooled in money and bought a new windshield for his vehicle which had worn out. This is not because he had no money. Although he had the opportunity to live a luxurious life, he chose to live a frugal life for the sake of using money for better purposes.


A lot of missionaries and Christian leaders seem to be ministry-oriented, not people-centered. On the contrary, brother John is a people person. He puts people before ministry. In fact, to him, ministry is loving people.

In TENTS ministry, which is established through his encouragement and efforts, all the brothers can testify that brother John cares for people. When brothers or their family members fell sick or became unwell, without even caring about the distance, he immediately went to visit and to encourage them and kept following up about their welfare. If you live in his circle, you would know that there is a brother who always cares for you.

Here is a testimony of one brother: “My wife became quite sick to the point of death. At this dark hour, brother John and his wife stood with us. He fervently prayed for us and even raised prayer support from his countrymen. He gave away his own medicine to help my wife. He constantly visited us traveling a long distance and encouraged us. He cared for us more than our own family members.”

I must also mention the grace he shows towards people despite being hurt by them. I personally witnessed his immense patience and gracious attitude toward others, including myself. I wonder whether I or others would be as gracious as this man. He doesn’t easily give up on people. This may be because he is familiar with the gracious God and His amazing grace.


Brother John is married to Oh Hyunju. We call her Elizabeth. They have been married for more than 25 years and are blessed with only one son. They are one of the rare, loving and joyful couples I have ever seen in my life. Their love and commitment to each other causes us to envy their family life. One of my wife’s desires is to be like them.

Living closely to their family, we have seen that sister Elizabeth is a submissive wife and highly respects her husband. Brother John loves his wife and takes great care of her. They are physically, emotionally, mentally and heartily one flesh. This doesn’t mean they are a flawless couple. Yet, their strength in loving each other is greater than their failure of getting into occasional conflicts.

They not only loved the Lord and each other deeply, but have also devoted themselves to love and serve others as a family. Theirs is an open house, devoting themselves to show hospitality. We learned that when we go to their house, we must go with an empty stomach, because they would spread the table with a variety of foods, and that too nutritious ones. We had memorable moments in their house. Their hospitality and care makes us to feel guilty for failing to live up to their generosity.


We do not easily testify about someone, ‘He is a humble man’ as we quickly and usually say, ‘He is a good man.’ I would unhesitatingly testify, along with the brothers in TENTS ministry, “Brother John is a humble man.” Despite the fact that Korean churches are generally known for having authoritarian, highly pastor-centered, and top-heavy hierarchical leadership structure, brother John was different.

Brother John’s aim was not to build a name for himself. His passion was not to build an organization centered around him. His motive was not to be served by others. His expectation was not for others to elevate him. His conduct was not controlling, authoritarian, and dictatorial. Many times I have watched him giving preference to others' opinion than to his own.  His goal was only to glorify God and to build His kingdom. And we give glory to God for his humility. I sincerely desire to become like him in his patience, gentleness, and humility.

Out of the many incidents which speak about his humility, here is one. Once brother John and I went to Nepal. I was teaching in a Bible college for a few days. Since the roads were sandy and dusty, my shoes became dirty at the end of the day. Every morning, he would polish my shoes and keep them ready at the doorstep for me to wear. Only a person who intimately knows the humility of Christ, who washed His disciples’ feet, would be willing to serve others humbly.


Brother John is a man of prayer. He believes in the power of prayer. When it comes to important decisions, he takes time to pray rather than make hasty decisions. If he has problems with any person, he gives himself first to prayer and prays hard. In difficult situations, he pours his heart before his God like a child. If he thinks a lot, he also prays a lot about what he thinks. He has earned the right to say with Paul, “I served the Lord with all humility and with tears” (Acts 20:19).

Brother John and his wife have also developed the habit of studying the Holy Bible in an incredible way. They study the Old Testament twice and the New Testament 20 times every year. Their desire is to live a Bible-saturated life. He keeps encouraging others to study the entire Bible more than once every year. I am slowly toddling in their footsteps, studying the whole Bible at least once a year.


Brother John’s greatest passion was for the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the unreached places and for the planting of local churches. Like many missionaries, his focus was not on doing some social work, although he believed and practiced charity. His priority was the gospel and the church, which were also the main thrust of the book of Acts. He strongly believed in the importance of local church and was co-shepherding a church along with an Indian brother.

The co-pastor who served alongside brother John wrote to me, “Brother John is a man of commitment to church. His heart was for church. His sermons were gospel-centered. He gave himself unreservedly to serve the church members. Even when his health was in bad condition, he made himself available for church meetings and to encourage the brothers and sisters in church. Any part of the day or night, whatever the distance, if any church member was in need, he did not miss to serve them. Serving the church diligently and faithfully was his motto. And he patiently and graciously encouraged all the church members to do the same.”

I have known missionaries who were not part of any local church and some who nominally attended the church, but brother John took the local church seriously to heart and had poured his life into it. I wish many missionaries and Christian leaders would imitate his commitment to the gospel and to the local church.

Finally, this is my assertion. In my more than twenty years of Christian life, I have never seen a foreign Christian missionary in India like brother John. My wife wonders whether she would ever meet a missionary couple like them in the future. Although not immune to imperfections, brother John lived an unusual life among us. In a conference which I attended in India, one of his own countrymen said to me, “He is like Jesus.” What a testimony! All glory to God for this unusual man of God. May we imitate such men who imitate Christ.

We miss you, brother John.