“I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. I do not receive honor from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?”
How have you been, everyone? I am sure you have had many things happen to you during the past few days as it did for me. Our human life is always facing continuing hardships and many tasks. But if we are people who have received the remission of sins, then we must understand what God is talking about and believe it and establish ourselves firmly upon that Word and follow the Lord with faith. I believe it is better to live each day having faith in the righteousness of the Lord than to be depressed by hardships and heavy burdens of work while lamenting in agony,
The Lord has bestowed His grace in all things and all tasks in our life from the moment He gave us the grace of salvation. When we come to understand the Lord more deeply after meeting Him, we can feel that the Lord has actually bestowed the unfathomable grace of mercy upon us each day and eternally within our life of walking together with the Lord. As we already know, there are people with whom we must keep a good relationship for a long time in our life and those we must not. The Lord is such a Person that we must share fellowship with for a long time, and actually for eternity. That’s because He is our God of love, the self-existing God full of blessed glory. Those who have met with the Lord for a long time can live a beautiful and blessed life. As the Apostle Paul said, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks,” we must understand God’s will in all things and live by giving thanks to Him.
Of course there could be difficult times even though we have led a faithful spiritual life after meeting the Lord in the Truth. Then, why did God allow such hard times? That’s because God wants to teach us something through such difficulties. Therefore we need to endure hardships we are facing by faith. And we must pay attention to what the Lord is telling us in such hardships. The Lord is leading us perfectly whether there are difficulties coming from all sides or whether we have no problems at all.
It is the same when Satan the Devil tempts us. The Lord knows how Satan the Devil attacks us and through what method he tries to ruin us. That’s why we must pray to the Lord even when Satan the Devil tempts us. Then we can hear perfectly how our Lord guides us, what He teaches us and what He supplies and through what method He protects us, how He blesses us and the Word He speaks to us to teach all these things.
I also have experienced so many marvelous things after meeting the Lord. There were some parts I could not understand in the Scriptures before, but I came to understand the difficult truth naturally after meeting the Lord and leading the spiritual life in Him. Unlike the textbook in the world, we do not understand the Scriptures through learning or memorization. Experiencing God’s Word in our life and our daily walk and professing in our hearts, “This is the truth God has spoken,” is the true understanding and awakening of the Scriptures. Just as I do, everyone may often realize that “God is saying this in such a context,” when one reflects on his life by shedding the light of the Word on it. It is the work of God who teaches us God’s Truth by guiding us personally. We can lead a proper spiritual life because God is guiding us every step of our life. It means that we can follow the Lord looking up to the righteousness of God and seeking the grace of God, and reconfirming His love and His Truth each day.
So many things happened to me during the past week, while I couldn’t get to meet you. After receiving the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I experience so many things in just a week. That’s why a week feels like it’s so long. A week seems so long that it would make up more than one book if I tried to describe all the things that happened during a week these days. This is probably the case for every Christian who has faith not just me. There is a Japanese author named Miura Ayako who is a Christian and we can see in the books she wrote such as “The Freezing Point” and “The Hill of Tending Sheep” that so many things happen in her spiritual life. We could also probably write a really long series of novel if we had to write about all the things that happened to us during one week.
There are so many things we want to talk about with each other. There were so many things that we have to take care of until now and there are so many things that we have to do from now on. I am thankful that God has kept us and protected us in the midst of so heavy burdens of work and bestowed the grace upon us so that we could come together to worship Him like this. We are people who could not come together in this place for worship if not for God’s grace and His merciful love. We humans can go astray just leading a prodigal life for a week. Therefore, we need to look toward the grace of God each day and confirm His love.
In 19th century, there was a person named George Mueller and they say he prayed so consistently that he was recognized by other people as the “man of prayer.” It is said that he looked up each Scriptural verse to ‘the prayer that will be answered’ every time he prayed to God and He prayed continuously while holding fast to the Word. And they say that the answer to the prayer actually came each time. Those of us believers should make our faith even more firm by always confirming it through the Lord’s Word like him and live a life that follows after the true righteousness that is in God’s Word.
We Give Thanks to Our Lord Once Again
We have read the Word from John 5:30-44 today. “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” Today’s Scripture passage begins like this. Through this Word, we can see what our Lord says about Satan and the people who do not follow God, and we also can see what He says to people like us who believe in Him.
You know the fact that our Lord healed many people who were suffering from sickness such as leprosy or bleeding for a long time and He also healed many handicapped people such as the blind or the lame. One day, Jesus healed a blind man on a Sabbath, and the Pharisees saw this criticized Jesus, “It is good that he can see, but why did it have to be on Sabbath?” They looked at this trivial thing and challenged Him even through He came to this world and healed so many sick people. The Jews at the time claimed the Law very strongly. The Law should now have been used as one of the means to fulfill God’ righteousness since Jesus Christ came, but the opening of the eyes of the blind on the Sabbath was such a big sin for these people who could not get rid of the stubbornness of the Law. But in spite of the fact that people said it was sin, the blind that opened his eyes for the first time in his life could not close his eyes again. He boldly walked around with open eyes regardless of what people said. The Jews eventually expelled this blind man and he later met our Jesus.
That I am brining up this story out of the blue in the midst of talking about the things the Lord does in our life is to inform you about the right standard of judgment. The Lord says, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous” (John 5:30). Those people judged Jesus, saying, “It is wrong. It is sin,” when Jesus healed the blind man on Sabbath. They said, “How could You make the eyes open and heal the sick on Sabbath.” But the Lord responded to their criticism, “I cannot judge anything Myself. It is right to judge according to whatever I hear. I do not do as I please, but I do according to the One who sent me. Therefore, my judgment is righteous.”
What does this Word mean? It means that we must never judge according to our own thinking when we judge others before the presence of God and that we must not react with our own thinking when God judges us. It is saying that we must not judge as we wish in our judgment of Jesus Christ like the Pharisees at the time and instead come to the conclusion according to God’s Word only. The Lord says that judging according to the Word of God the Father is the most perfect and correct way. We must judge only according to the Word spoken by God when we judge a person. And we must also think about the judgment that we will receive before God if we are people who have been born again. We ourselves will stand before God for the judgment whether it is for good or bad, and we will be judged according to the Word, the Word that God Himself tried to tell us who have been born again. We are beings that shall be judged by God according to God’s Word; people who do not believe cannot judge us.
Therefore, we must always consider “What has God said to me and what is recorded in the Lord’s Word?” and live out our faith according to this Word. Jesus is telling us about this through today’s Scripture passage. He said that it is right to judge according to whatever He hears from God the Father. In other words, He is saying that our faith must be approved according to the recorded Word of the Scriptures and that we will receive judgment according to that Word. There is no higher moral standard that exists in this world that could judge us. If there is a sole criterion for judgment, it is the Word of God. Even Jesus who is the Savior and the Creator said that He did not judge the world Himself but He judged through the criteria that He heard from the Father.
Then, how do we the born-again do before God? We should reflect on ourselves with God’s Word to be approved by Him. That’s how we should be approved for the right thing as the right thing and the wrong thing as the wrong thing. We must be approved and judged according to God’s Word only. We must thereby be clothed with mercy and grace through God’s Word. Our Lord tells us it is the most correct and perfect judgment.
The True Witness
The Lord says in the next verse, “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true.” It means that the Lord places the basis of His judgment and witness, and everything including the glory of God in the Word of God the Father. If we truly want to receive the proper witness and approval, through whom should we seek this? That’s right. This must be done through God the Father. Then how could we receive the approval that says we are right from God? In our spiritual life, the things that we believe, our judgment, the eternal life or blessing, our upright life, and doing the work of God━how can we receive the witness that says right or wrong in each of these matters? The Lord tells us about this matter in this passage. He says that we must receive the witness only within God’s Word.
It says that Jesus Christ did not witness according to Himself but He witnessed according to the Word of God the Father. We must also be approved before God as righteous through God’s Word. That is not too difficult. If one’s deeds and faith are right in reflection of one’s self in God’s Word, then it is right. If our ministry of salvation is perfect and right in reflection to God’s Word, then it is right. The thing that is once approved to be right never changes. This witness and the approval that we have received before the presence of God becomes the real and eternally imperishable Truth if God’s Word witnesses for us that our ministry of salvation is right and that we have received the salvation from sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It was not Jesus Christ Himself who witnessed that He is the Son of God, the Savior who blotted out all the sins of humanity. The Holy Spirit told all these things to John the Baptist already and John the Baptist, according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, witnessed Jesus Christ through the Word. It is written, “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth” (John 5:33). John the Baptist also witnessed, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” In fact, this is God’s witness, and the one that recorded this witness in the Bible is John the Apostle. Jesus revealed the fact that He is the Son of God not through Himself but through God’s Word recorded in the Old Testament. Jesus took a little sip when they gave Him wine vinegar while He was on the Cross and soon refused to drink more and He cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) From this Word, we could see that it was His solid will to fulfill our salvation perfectly according to the Scriptures.
As such, our Lord came to this world and fulfilled the work of salvation not according to His own desires. He did only according to what the Scriptures said and fulfilled it exactly according to the Scriptures. If our Lord, the one and only God, did as such, then how should we who are leading a spiritual life in this world do? That’s right. We must do and believe and follow exactly according to the Scriptures as our Lord did. And we must receive the witness through the Scriptural Word and nothing else. I am saying that we must receive the confirmation of the witness through God’s Word. We must always pay attention to the Word God has spoken to us who have been born again through faith regardless of what the people who do not believe say.
It says, “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.” Our Lord said that He does not take witness from people. We the saints must take witness only through God and no one else. The Lord did not ask anyone to approve Him when He was in this world. There were many things said about Him, but He did not seek witness from anyone of this world. Our faith and the way of life should also be like that.
Do You Live the Spiritual Life before God?
Do you live out your faith before God? Or, do you live the spiritual life trying to look good before people? That’s right. We who have been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit must live the spiritual life before God. There is a Greek word ‘Koram Deo’ which means “before God.” This word was used often before, but it is hardly ever used by anyone these days. As this word implies, we must bear in mind of the fact that Jesus took the witness only before God when He sought the witness. Our spiritual life becomes upright when we follow such a formula of the faith of Jesus. What does the Word say about the work that I am doing, about my thoughts and deeds? Always paying attention to God’s Word in this manner is the truly upright orientation of faith. Only when we have such an orientation, can we get rid of our wrongdoings quickly and also receive the perfect grace of God in regards to them. We can do this only by confirming ourselves through the Word.
I will reiterate this. Jesus did not take witness from people. Then, from whom should we Christians take witness in regards to all the things we do? It’s through the Word of God. Among the things we do, there probably are things that could be approved before God as truly upright and some things that could not. Whenever things turn out to be right or wrong before God’s Word, we should take God’s Word and go forth more boldly in the things which God says are right and we should resolutely discard the things that He says are not right. That is the way we who have received the witness before God should go forth.
The Lord said, “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.” Like this Word, the people who put trust in John the Baptist, the people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has fulfilled have already received salvation. And we are such people who have received salvation.
We, human beings, finally find the way that leads us to the Truth only after we go through so many failures repeatedly. We who have been born again also have experienced many failures in our flesh but we always have the Word of the Truth beside us. Only the Lord tells us the Truth exclusively in this world unchangingly through the Word. By believing in the Truth, we can realize, “This part in me is right, but that is wrong,” and choose the right path. Jesus’ beloved disciple Peter also made many mistakes like us, but he later said, “Yes, Lord. You know that I love You,” and truly received the witness in the Truth, believed in the Truth, followed the Truth, and eventually became a true servant of God.
We can also fall and make a lot of mistakes like Peter. But what does God’s Truth tell us? Doesn’t it still say that we are the saved? That’s why we can experience every problem being resolved before God no matter what mistakes we make if we just see what the Lord is saying, confirm the Word of witness and turn back from our wrongdoings. No matter what wrong our children have done, what would we do if they just turn back and walk the upright path? Everything would be recovered to them. I want you to know that following our Lord is similar to that.
Though I have not followed you around during the past week, I can guess to a certain degree how you have lived during that time. I know all too well how Satan the Devil tempted you and in what areas you were weak. But the person who knows you the best is the Lord. That’s why the Lord tells us, “Receive My witness and don’t try to receive the witness from man.”
When we receive the witness as to what is right and wrong through the Word, we can propel the right parts even more firmly and correct the wrong parts. The important thing here is that the method of correcting the wrongs also must come through the Word. We must turn to the Word that witnesses the Truth, hold fast to the pleasing Word of God, and proceed in the right path from the wrong path by believing in the Word. It is useless for a person to keep on making resolutions in fleshly terms. We must ponder on, “What do the Scriptures say about this? What do the Scriptures say about my weaknesses? What does God say within my life?” We must listen and read God’s Word concerning these matters and confirm it with perfect understanding. And then we can understand exactly what we should do and go forth in the right path by believing in that Word.
I will turn back to today’s Scripture passage again and John 5:35-38, “He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.”
The Lord pointed to John the Baptist and said that he is the lamp that shines for a time. The Lord said that there is a greater witness than the gospel of the water and the Spirit witnessed by John the Baptist as it is said, “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.” Here, the greater witness than John the Baptist’s witness means the righteous work of salvation that Jesus Christ performed according to God’s Word. Of course John the Baptist’s witness is one of the witnesses, but Jesus Christ is saying that all the work He Himself did in this world is the greater witness of God. It means that God witnessed to Himself. Our God is saying now that the witness of His promise to make us new creatures and the witness of actually blotting out all the sins of human beings according to the Word in the Old Testament that He would blot out all our sins is the true witness.
Do you believe in the fact that Jesus came to this world and blotted out all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit as it is recorded in the Scriptures, the witness of the salvation? We cannot express it in any other way than to say that it is truly an amazing witness. When we get right down to it, all the recorded Word in the thick Bible is just about this: It is all about how Jesus Christ would blot out people’s sins eternally and how He fulfilled the work of the salvation perfectly. Who promised this and who fulfilled it? God promised this and His Son Jesus Christ fulfilled it.
Believing in this is to be saved. As the Scriptures say, “But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe” (John 5:38), believing in God’s Word is to believe in Him, and it is the only way of receiving the witness from God. Nonetheless, there are many people who still put aside God’s Word and talk about strange things when the Truth tells us this. In our country, Korea, too, the time will come when it will be difficult to hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit that is God’s Truth. They say it is difficult to preach with a proper Bible in some Western countries like because the Bible has already been distorted. But believing according to the Word is the most perfect rock of faith even when we look back to history. The Word in the Scriptures is the most fundamental and the most perfect witness.
But there are many people today who distort the Bible, the Word of God. Many so-called theologians have published new translated versions jointly, and there probably are many more now. But those newly translated Bible versions have many areas that are wrong. The Bible that we use now was printed by the Korean Bible Society. As it is probably the case in other countries, many Bible versions are also sold well in our country. Should we ourselves make another version of the Bible? It is possible. But I want to keep on using the Bible version that I have now because there are so many Bible versions that have translated God’s Word incorrectly. I want to concentrate only on preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit for a while.
For Whose Glory Are We Living?
Let’s return to the Word and look at the passage from John 5:39, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” The Bible is the Word that bears witness to the Lord. The Lord said, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). All the Words in the Bible bear witness to Jesus and God Himself, too. Jesus who is God, the Creator of all things in the universe, promised to us His salvation through the Word. And He came to this world and fulfilled all things as He promised. Do you believe in this? The Bible is not a literary novel or a history book. This Bible is God’s Word that seeks to fulfill the remission of sins to us through Jesus Christ. There is no other use or purpose for this Book. The only purpose for the Bible is to save us the humanity from sin and make us receive eternal life before the presence of God.
The Lord continues on and says, “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. I do not receive honor from men” and “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?”
Do you know what our Lord is most disappointed in? God is most disappointed about us seeking our own glory and not seeking the glory from God when He came to this world and talks about the judgment, the evidence of our salvation, the Word of God, and His glory. That is why our Lord said, “I do not receive honor from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” We need to seek the Glory of God according to this Word and receive this glory and perfectly possess it in our hearts.
We need to always think deeply before the presence of the Lord about whether we should be approved by people or be approved by God; whether we should be loved by people or by God. Though the Lord spoke about this to us as if it’s really easy, but we must think about it deeply because we are human beings that cannot easily accept the Truth. The Lord said, “I do not receive honor from men.” But, what about us? We are not the omnipotent Creator. We are creatures living with so much concern and confusion. We are beings that are so weak. Therefore, we must think deeply whether we will live a victorious life or a life of failure. We cannot be approved by God if we receive the glory and recognition from the world. And we cannot be approved by the world if we are approved by God. We must make a good selection from these two choices. Should we love God, or should we love ourselves and the other people? People who love God believe and follow Him, but people who do not love God do not believe Him and rather follow after something in the world to be approved by the world.
The story of the blind whose eyes were opened by Jesus on the Sabbath tells us about the most fundamental aspect of our faith. He said “So what if it’s the Sabbath? It is joyful to open the eyes regardless of what day of the week it is. Does there have to be a designated day for eyes to be opened?” Like this, regardless of whether the eyes are opened on Sabbath or another day, it is a thankful matter to have a blind man open his eyes. But many people at the time thought it was sin rather than giving thanks for this work. We must have the heart that gives thanks for all things. We must have the heart of thanksgiving as the basis to love others, to treasure other souls, seek benefit of all the people, and seek the glory for God.
But there are many who still seek their own glory just like the Jews at the time. Opening the eyes of a blind man on Sabbath was a sin according to their own criteria. But it was the people who established the law that says they cannot even move a needle on the Sabbath, not the true righteousness of God. It is truly sad that there are people in this world who seek their own glory even now like the Jews who stubbornly claim the commandments they have established.
Dear fellow believers, those who seek God’s glory will surely receive the glory from God. Such people will also receive salvation. We shall receive the glory before the presence of the Lord and go forth on the path of the righteousness by being approved before God. Those who seek a strong faith before the presence of God receive the strong faith. Then what is the faith that comes from God? He approves our faith through the Word. He bears witness to our faith through the Word. That is the faith that comes from God. It’s not a matter of me believing in certain way, but it is the faith that the Lord gives to us for confirmation that says, “The Word of God speaks about this in this manner and I believe this Word. The Lord bears witness to me through this Word if I just believe in it. This is right.”
Where should we who believe in the Word of the Lord place the foundational basis of our thinking? We need to place it right before God. The foundational basis of our thinking should only be placed before God not on our own subjective thinking. Therefore, we must pay attention to what God is telling us to live for, what God is saying, God’s Word, not our own thinking as we live in this life. There are times when we must plan our life by ourselves. I am saying that we sometimes do things according to what I like and with our own thinking when we do something. But if we are the born-again, we must first think whether God will be happy or unhappy with it before we go ahead and do something. The Scriptures say, “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1). If we do something that God is not pleased with, we just receive even more suffering due to the deed we have done.
However, if we do the work that God is happy with, we always receive the approval of God, receive His grace, and receive the blessing though we may become exhausted. God is the One who has authority over all blessings. He is the One who gives joy and happiness to us. Therefore, I want you to know that understanding what He is pleased with and doing it is the wisest way of life.
What does the Lord say about His judgment and witnesses in today’s Scripture passage? What does the Lord say about eternal life, salvation, and the glory of God? The Lord says that God gave us such Word through Jesus because we humans have not thought about everything and having placed God at the center of our hearts until now. If we had lived by placing God at the center of our hearts, we should have returned the glory to Jesus with faith when Jesus came to this world and took all the sins of humanity by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist and died on the Cross. But the people’s thinking was different from God’s thoughts and God’s Word. Therefore they opposed every single thing the Lord did. They opposed Jesus so much that today’s passage from the Gospel of John chapter 5 repeats itself this again and again. I believe that this Word is spoken to us who live in this world now as well as the people of that time.
What Should We Live for Then?
What should we live for from now on? Should we live for the glory that comes from God, or should we live for the glory that comes from people. I do not want any of you here to seek the glory of man from one another. That was the most disappointing part to Jesus. What Jesus hates the most is that the humans are approving one another while throwing away God’s glory. Most people just seek their own glory. Most people seek their own profit and it is really rare to find a person who seeks the glory of Jesus Christ. But we are also exalted when we lift Him up just as the children are lifted up automatically if they exalt their father in a family.
Whether you are working, studying, or whatever you are doing, do you do it for your own self or do you do it for God? You must do everything for the righteousness of God. Our life is always aimed for the righteousness of God. We humans are beings that are always within God’s plans no matter how prominent we are. If God tells us to do everything for the glory of God, then we should have the faith that thinks, “I shall live if the Lord makes me live, and I shall die if the Lord lets me die. Then it is right for me to go to Him after doing the things that are pleasing to the Lord. Then how can we return the glory to Him? Conclusively, it is possible when we do everything for the glory of the Lord.” We should carry out all the works with such faith. He gives us His glory and blessing when we use all our achievements for the glory of God. But God would not give any sort of peace and glory to us and just ignore us saying, “Good. Go ahead and do as you please,” if we just seek our own glory.
We must always have our heart set upright. We must have the core of our hearts set right because no one in this world is perfect in his deeds. How can good acts be manifested when the center of our hearts are not set right? If you have the heart that seeks human glory in your heart at this moment, throw it away. The Lord is telling us that such heart is wrong. Then what is the upright heart? The Lord says that seeking the glory of God is the upright heart.
The spiritual life is not over with you saying, “I am happy to receive the remission of sins. The problem of sin is now over, and that’s it!” How much do we seek the glory of God and how faithfully do we carry out the work that is entrusted to us regardless of whether people approve us or not━these are seeking the glory of God and doing so is the true spiritual life at the same time. I want you to know that seeking only the glory of God diligently regardless of what the mainstream Christians say, no matter what your mother and father say is the upright heart.
All wrongdoings can be corrected when we believers set the core of our hearts straight before the presence of God. But we run into a wrong path when we do not set the core of our hearts upright. When I see a person, I look at whether the person’s heart is upright or not. Some shortcomings do not matter if the center of his heart is upright. Of course there are some people whose center of the heart goes astray even though their deeds seem upright. I immediately turn my eyes away from them.
We must set the center of our hearts straight. The Lord says to us innumerably, “Do you love me? Do you seek my glory?” even after we have received the remission of sins. Have you heard such voice of God? The person who realizes, “This is wrong in my life” and turns back even if no one rebukes him is the person that seeks the glory of God. Such people receive the love and the blessing from God. All the Word of the Lord is fulfilled through a person’s whole life through the faith that professes, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”
When David fought against Goliath, Goliath said to him, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” (1 Samuel 17:43) Actually, David regarded him as a dog. David did not war against Goliath because he was strong enough to defeat him. The sling and a stone with that David struck Goliath the Philistine was like a child’s toy, and how could Goliath ever think that he would die from getting hit by it? But David went forth with the faith that professed, “God, I believe that you will kill that dog-like guy,” because he had the upright heart before the presence of God. He could be so brave because he was relying on the Almighty God. So, David said to Goliath the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45-47). This is what true faith is all about. Such faith that believes in the Lord with the heart set upright often manifests amazing work of God.
We who believe and follow the Lord in this world are actually people with shortcomings. We must set the center of our hearts upright because we have shortcomings and weaknesses. It means that we must absolutely seek and follow the glory of God and live to return the glory to God. All things are possible if we set our hearts straight. You should also return the glory before the Lord. Before we ask of others, we must first give the glory to God ourselves. That is what pleases God. Just believe as it is if you know what God’s glory is and what the right thing is even though we are still weak and feeble beings. Just like Goliath was killed by David’s sling-stone that was like a plaything, tremendous works come through the faith. Our hearts are fixed by faith and our deeds are practiced according to the faith. I want you to recognize the truth that upright faith is prior to upright deeds. In other words, only when you set your faith upright, can you behave uprightly. “The heart became like that before the deed was performed” in the things that we do. I want you to know through faith that the heart manages the deed.
Our Lord said, “You do not seek the honor that comes from the only God.” God continues to speak about this in the Gospel of John chapter 5. The Lord was most disappointed about that. He said, “I do not judge Myself. I judge according to what I hear from the Father. I do not testify for Myself. I do so according to what the Father has spoken to Me.” It is written that even Jesus Christ, the King of all the creatures, did everything according to the commands of the Father. Then, what should we, the creatures, do? We must live exactly according to the Word in the Bible. That’s right. We must do all things according to the Word recorded in the Scriptures, not according to the simple regulation or the Law.
I want you to return glory to God through the faith of believing the righteousness of God and not seek glory from each other. I believe that we shall be clothed with the love and the grace of God when we truly live for the glory of God. I want you to throw away your own glory that is not upright. Whatever we do, we do everything for the glory of God.
Do you truly live for the Lord? Or, do you live to eat well and live well? The people who follow after the world shall be destroyed in the world. Whatever you do, I want you to set the purpose for the glory of the Lord in your heart and do it. I am sure you shall live for the glory of God in whatever you do, whether it is the family life, workplace, the study, or anything else.