26 March 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
On March 20th, James Kui who is now a chartered accountant shared how he first encountered God’s love in the Full Gospel Businessmen (FGB) Fellowship in Damansara Utama Chapter, led by Victor Liew.
James Kui came to know the Lord 37 years ago in a Christian fellowship in UK. He had always wanted to know the true God. In 1977, he was invited to a Christian fellowship, and while the Christians were praying, he asked God, “Where are you?”
Immediately, both of his hands were lifted up and the next moment, he saw Jesus Christ standing right in front of him! Whilst in that state, the worship leader led James that night to receive Jesus.
From that day on, he voraciously read the Bible from cover to cover—Matthew to Revelation—in merely three weeks. However, he did not hear God speak in an audible voice though he heard many stories of how believers in Christ would hear from Him.
On a Good Friday night that same year, James returned to his room after the church service. While praying before he retired to bed that night, he asked God why he never heard from Him. His ears were tingling, ever so ready to hear His Voice… But there was nothing.
Lo and behold! Jesus Christ walked into his room and took James’ right hand to pick his black Bible on the bedside table and guided him through the Bible using his index finger. Christ talked to Him through the Word concerning his Christian faith and future events.
At that moment, his mind was filled with so many questions he wanted to ask Jesus as a young Christian. But the only sentence he could verbalize was, “Can I share this experience with my friends?”
Immediately, Jesus moved his index finger from the book of Revelation to Acts 18:9-10 that says: “Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.”
James never knew that the Bible could speak and answer his earthly questions from the Bible!
That was the first and last time Jesus spoke to James in that manner, using his index finger to show scripture in the Bible. James got baptized in the Holy Spirit three months later, which was the time he started to hear the audible voice of God.
At first, he felt apprehensive hearing His Voice. But after some years, he began to have confidence in this voice, which he then followed, obeyed, and received many blessings over the last 37 years. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
This beautiful relationship with God, James shared, is founded on God’s Everlasting Love (Jer 31:3), that He out of love, gave us His one and only begotten son (1 John 4:9)!
Jesus said, “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9-10)
God gives us an option, shared James, by saying ‘if you keep my commands…” If we choose to obey God, we will remain in His Love (John 15:9-10). That is why Jesus says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” (John 14:21a)
However, this love for God will be threatened and tested during the last days, shared James, which God has spoken to him many times.
Jesus said, ““Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matt 24:9-13)
What stood out to James is how many Christians those days will give up their faith, betraying and pursuing one another with hatred. If you said you love God, you will be tested and that is whether you love one another, James shared.
How much do you love your brother-in-Christ and sister-in-Christ ?
If you really love your brethren, would you betray your brother-in-Christ and sister-in-Christ, as the Scripture said there would be betrayal? If you really love him or her, would you hate, judge, or condemn him or her?
ONE BODY IN CHRIST
Whatever denomination we are from, we are one body in Christ—not two or many bodies—because there’s only one Christ, shared James. But today, churches are suffering division right down to the fellowship among brothers and married couples.
Why are we in the same body and yet we cannot see eye-to-eye? When marriages or relationships broke down, Christians could not love one another and they would even pursue hatred or betrayal instead of love.
The Corinthians church suffered the same division as well. That is why Paul wrote, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.“ (1 Cor 12:12-13)
James shared a few reasons why we cannot love each other.
JUDGING AND CONDEMNING
The first reason is that we are very good in judging and condemning other people, but we fail to look at ourselves.
Matthew 7:3 says, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?”
Sometimes, we are so focused on the wrongs other people do, we do not realize that we did the same wrongdoing.
1 Cor 6:7-8 says, “Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren!” Hence, judge yourself before you judge others. What good is it to judge other people?
Luke 6:37 says, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
If we do not learn to forgive others, God will not forgive us (Matt 6:15). Whether we like it or not, we go through life everyday being offended or offending people multiple times at home, in the office, or on the road.
The truth is none of us are perfect. All of us make mistakes, even pastors because they are human. Only God can judge. Psalm 75:7 says, “But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another.”
Our only commandment is to love one another, not judge each other, shared James. But many believers in Christ do not understand this principle of love.
Painting a picture of judging unrighteous believers in Christ, James shared how many of us do what we do; because we believe what we do is right and we are righteous from our perspective. But on the Day of Judgment, it is God who judges. Christians are counted righteous simply because God see His son Jesus in each of His faithful believers – even those whom we wrongly judged as unrighteous believers in Christ !
The truth is that all of us have fallen short from God’s standard of righteousness (Romans 3:23). All of us are sinners! That is why, James shared from a book he read, that there are Christians in the Hades because they refused to forgive people who wronged them.
Whatever God’s judgment is on a person, it is God’s authority to judge. Proverbs 21:2 says, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.”
Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” An unrighteous man would reap from his actions.
Even our Patriarch Jacob who cheated Esau out of his birthrights, but later in life, Jacob was cheated many times, shared James. Many Christians today would have judged and condemned Jacob for the single act of cheating as an unrighteous person.
How true it is today that even church pastors and marketplace ministers have been judged and condemned for any so-called abuse of funds. And interestingly, it is not even their money that have been abused but God's money. What God has commanded us is NOT to judge or condemn but to forgive and love one another.
Vengeance is for God to pay, not us to pay (Romans 12:19). But Jesus says, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matt 5:44) What more our brothers and sisters-in-Christ who offended or wronged us?
James shared how some people would leave the church out of resentment for their pastors’ unrighteous acts. Nevertheless, Jesus had been offended many times by the Priests and Pharisees but He did not leave the synagogues during His time, because the synagogue is His Father’s house.
Jesus reconciled the world to Father God through His love on the cross of Calvary. For any reconciliation to happen in a divided Church or a divided Ministry, love is the answer.
We cannot abide in the love of Christ if we are adamant in choosing not to keep His commandment. The Lord says: "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12). There is no option or condition whatsoever for one to love another for the sake of unity in the Body of Christ.
God’s words is to be taken seriously, James shared. During the last days, Christ would separate the goats and sheeps (Matt 25:31-46). Authority and power come from Heaven, but if they are used to judge and condemn their brothers-in-Christ and sisters-in-Christ, then they need to answer to God for not forgiving or repenting.
GREED OR COVETEOUSNESS
Another reason why we cannot love is the greed in our hearts. The Ten Commandments birthed from God’s heart wrote how we should not covet (Exodus 20:17).
Greed, according to a book written by a lady pastor, is a sin that should not be taken too lightly. Out of 40 years of ministry, she shared that she never saw anyone repenting from the sin of covetousness, compared to other sins such as adultery and lust.
This is because greed or covetousness is so secretive, deep-rooted, and destructive, James shared, which is not immediately visible.
He shared that there are four types of greed in this world, including greed for material wealth, greed for power and position, greed for sexual pleasure (i.e. Samson for Delilah in Judges 16), greed for men’s acceptance and honor.
Greed destroys people's lives and ministries and it’s the MAIN CAUSE of disunity in most disputes and disagreements in Churches and Ministries. Only love can heal and reconcile. Unless Christians abide in Christ and vow to keep His commandment to love one another, there will be no healing or reconciliation in any divided Church or any divided Ministry whether local or international.
But who are we hiding from because there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed (Luke 8:17). Hence, repent on things that are not right.
In conclusion, although this message is a hard message to share, James reiterated that the reason we live in this world is to show the love of God, which is perfect only when we love each other (1 John 4:12).
Hence, brothers and sisters… let us forgive and reconcile. It is time to truly love one another as we abide in Christ!
References for pictures