Psalm 19:14 says, "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord my God". As a follower of Christ, we need to fill our mind, emotions, and our words with the word of God, so that we resemble Jesus Christ in every way.
According to Trevor Moawad in the interview on the youtube show, Impact Theory, he said "If somebody says aloud, it is the times more powerful than if they think it...when I say things out loud, it is 10X, if it is negative, 40 to 70 times more likely that would happen than I would not say anything."
Pastor Joon Hwang challenges that we need to say out out the Word of God from the Bible, not just to think them, so that we can actually experience what is in the Bible happening to our lives. There is a power in saying the Word of God out loud.
James Johnston in his commentary on the Psalms writes that God is talking God. He is not silent. According to Psalm 27: 7-11, God speaks to us through the Scriptures. He reveals, guides, and leads us through the Scriptures. When was last time you thought of meeting God when you were reading, studying or memorizing the Bible? The Bible is not boring, irrelevant, or hard to understand. The Bible is where you meet God face to face! May God give you desire to love the word of God, so that you can encounter God in more intimate and personal way.
Words matter. What we say, hear, or write can heal or hurt people, including our own selves. In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus teaches that what we say reveals what is in our heart. 2 Peter 1:3-4 teaches that God has given us everything we need to live a life honoring God, namely the Word of God. We can use the Scriptures to change our thoughts and feelings that are in our heart, so that we can act and live a life that resembles Christ.
What does a person who is spiritual renewed look like? In other words, when a person received a sense of spiritual renewal from Jesus, what are some of the characteristics of that person? According to Martin Lloyd Jones, he gives few of the characteristics. People who are spiritually renewed love people of God, their brothers and sisters in Christ. Church is a family of Christ and anyone who belongs to Christ must do life together, no matter what race, ethnicity, gender, background, or social-economic class we belong to. The church must never be a place where cliques are. It should be a place where all people of God belong and grow in Christ together.
What does a person who is spiritual renewed look like? In other words, when a person received a sense of spiritual renewal from Jesus, what are some of the characteristics of that person? According to Martin Lloyd Jones, he gives few of the characteristics. People who are spiritually renewed hate what God hates. Since God hates sin, those who are spiritually renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit hate sin. When they fall into sin, they quickly repent and return to Jesus for intimacy with Him. They have a strong desire to resemble Christ in every way.
What does a person who is spiritual renewed look like? In other words, when a person received a sense of spiritual renewal from Jesus, what are some of the characteristics of that person? According to Martin Lloyd Jones, he gives few of the characteristics. First, people who are spiritually renewed have a satisfaction with Christ in their hearts because they have a deeper intimacy with Jesus. This happens by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 12:2 states that in order to know God's good, pleasing, and perfect will, you need to be transformed into a new person by renewing of the mind or changing how you think. Pastor Joon Hwang is asking, "How are you changing the way you think of our God?" If your view of God is not good, then His will for you is not good. Before asking God to reveal His will for you, you need to start thinking who God really is from the Bible.
Romans 12:2 teaches how we can be totally changed or transformed. The answer is renewing of the mind or change how we think.
Paul pleads with the followers of Jesus Christ that we need to offer our bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice. What does that mean? Is it good or bad thing offer to God as a sacrifice? Where does offering our body as a sacrifice begin? Pastor Joon Hwang answers these questions as he explains Romans 12:1-2.
In Job 3, we see a revival break out in a very evil hopeless city, Nineveh. Today, we pray for a move of God that is so big and powerful in our own city.
In Psalm 77, a Psalmist overcomes his "great distress" or depression by remembering what God has done in the past for His people, namely Exodus. As we remember the specific moments God has done in our lives, we get to be reminded that the same God who showed faithfulness in the past will continue show His faithfulness to us today, no matter what circumstances we face.
Continuing on the series on the Biblical meditation, Pastor Joon Hwang teaches the Christians that we need to meditate on the God's precepts, His instructions, HIs commands, and His promises. This is a way to have a mind of Christ.
In Joshua 1:1-9, The Lord tells Joshua for the first time that He will be with Joshua like He was with Moses and no one can stand against Joshua (v.5). Then he tells Joshua to be strong and courageous 3 times. How can Joshua be strong and courageous? In verse 8, the Lord tells him to meditate on the Word of God day and night. The modern Christian in the West really misunderstand about the meditation and do not practice this very important and powerful practice of a Biblical meditation. Pastor Joon teaches what a Biblical meditation is and why this is a powerful tool for the renewing of our mind and having a mind of Christ.
Today, we are celebrating the Resurrection Sunday (Easter). Many of the Christians thank God for raising Jesus from the dead, but don't realize God also raised us to a new life as well (Colossians 3:1). Every Christ follower is died to sin with Jesus and raised to a new life with Jesus. N.T. Wright calls a "new life" as belonging to "a new world". If we belong to a new world, we do things differently including thinking differently. Pastor Joon Hwang is challenging the believers to celebrate Easter by thinking like the resurrected ones. We cannot think like the old way, as if we still belong to the old world, since we are dead to it.
Our thinking determines who we are, who we become, and how we live. In Numbers 13-14, we see how the 12 leaders responded after scouting the land of Canaan. Even though all 12 people witnessed the same event, Caleb and Joshua responded totally different from the rest of 10 leaders. Why? They were thinking differently! Their thinking determined how they respond and how they live. When you experience the thoughts of fear, anxiety, or doubt, before you accept these thoughts into your mind, ask yourself, "Is this from God?" We need to pay more attention to our thinking because it determines how we live.
Next few weeks, pastor Joon Hwang is going to start a series on the Transformation of the Mind. In this first message of the series, he explains that what we think is crucial when we want to experience the transformation in our lives because everything starts with the mind. One of the areas the Christians don't pay too much attention is on what we put in our mind every day, even though the Bible is clear as to what we need to put in our mind (Philippians 4:8-9). Before thinking about how to win the battle against the toxic & evil thoughts, we need to first evaluate what we are putting in our mind everyday. We cannot expect a treasure to come out, when we put in only the garbage.
What if the Holy Spirit really transforms your life? Would you want it? Many of us say we want the Holy Spirit to encounter us and transform our lives, but we don't really want Him to really change our lives because we simply love our lives and how we live. We don't really want God to change our desires, passions, and purpose in life. Pastor Joon Hwang challenges the believers, Do you really want God to transform your life? What if He really shows up and encounters your life? Will you be ok with this new life He gives you?
Transformation in our spiritual relationship with Christ is impossible without the working of the Holy Spirit. However, many Evangelical Christians today only understand the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit. The Bible also records the empowering work of the Holy Spirit such as Acts 1:8 and Acts 8. We need both the indwelling and empowering work of the Holy Spirit in order to partner with the Holy Spirit to be like Jesus and do what He did on earth like the Christians in the book of Acts did.
Transformation, especially relating to our relationship with God is impossible without the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Francis Chan wrote in his book, The Forgotten God, "Many of us don't need more knowledge about the Holy Spirit. What we need is experiential knowledge of His presence." As we encounter the Holy Spirit, guided by Him as we walk with Him, and rely on Him in everything we do, we are going to experience the transformation to be like Christ.
Many of the Christians think they can "believe in God" without having a vibrant relationship with God. They seem like they can simply do religious activities and that's enough. In this sermon, Pastor Joon Hwang explains that God is looking for a worshipper, who wants to have a relationship with God, enjoying His presence, and live a daily life with Him. Following Christ is not merely doing religious activities, but actually following Him on a daily basis.
It is so easy to drift away from God if we are not focused on Him daily. Pastor Joon Hwang is challenging the Christians to check our hearts whether we have drifted away from God. If yes, God is encouraging us to return back to Him as we start the year, so we can experience Him and life to the full.
Do we really believe God of the Bible truly is madly in love with us, even in our weakness and brokenness? Do we really believe that He wants to be with us and commune with us? John 3:16 and Romans 8:38-39 claim that God loves us and no one or nothing can separate His love for us. We might believe this truth with our head knowledge, but not with our heart. Even though the Bible is clear who this God is, we listen to lies and come up with a conclusion that God is always sad, mad, or distant and despises us. If we really believe these lies about God, no wonder we don't want to be more intimate with God, spend more time with God, or obey what He says with gladness. As we are going over the theme of Transformation, we need to check our hearts and ask ourselves, "How do I really view God?" and "Is my view of God Biblical?"
Starting a new theme on the topic of Transformation in 2021, Pastor Joon Hwang challenges the believers to have a clean break-up with our sins and the old way of doing things, so that we can experience a transformation from the areas that need to be transformed into the Christ-likeness.
Are we progressing in maturity in Christ-likeness? Paul in Philippians 3:12-16 testifies that even though he is far from reaching the complete maturity in Christ, he is pressing on like an athlete running a race to win a medal or a prize. As we are spending the last few days of 2020, pastor Joon Hwang is challenging us to look back and see how much we have been progressing in maturity in Christlikeness. He is also challenging us to get back on track and start the new year with a fresh start of becoming more like Jesus Christ in every area of our lives.
According to Michel Hendricks & Jim Wilder in their book, The Other Half of Church, we don't know how to correct people in love. We often correct people in a rejecting and condemning way. However, Bible teaches us to tell the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Pastor Joon Hwang teaches practically how the Christ followers give a correction in love, so that we can help each other to be Christlike in our behavior and character.