Monthly Archives: August 2013

Christ’s Heart Cry

Road to Reality - KP Yohannan Books

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[M]issionary conference season. These are extended periods of special church meetings, lasting about 13 weeks each spring and fall. During this time, missions-minded churches carry on an old tradition that began centuries ago.

As I have made the rounds of these conferences each year, certain truths have become evident. One of the most devastating is the fact that the concept of missions has been so cheapened that many Christians now equate it with fund-raising. It has been reduced to just another appeal for money, similar to the annual budget campaign or the building fund drive.

If and when missions is reduced to a dollars-and-cents decision—merely another option for our giving—we prove that we have lost sight of the Savior. The test of our true affection is not how much we give, but how we live. Missions is not something we do, but something we are.

Jesus has made clear the mission mandate for each one of us who claims to follow Him. He said that He lived to do the will of His Father; the fields of lost souls were white unto harvest; and He was sending us into those fields just as the Father had sent Him (John 4:34–38).

That means “missions” is simply an extension of His life, working through your life, to reach this generation with the love of God for a lost humanity. God is not asking us to give money to missions, but to make missions the central passion of our lives!

The Church, as the corporate expression of the Body of Christ, exists only to fulfill His will. And what is His will? He is “. . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Christ meant His Church to be primarily a missionary organization—or better yet, a missionary organism.

The Body of Christ, His Church, is the living presence of a God whose heart is pounding with a passion for lost and dying souls. We must therefore be fellowshiping and worshiping with one thing in mind: reaching lost men and women wherever they are. We are to be a people willing to exchange anything and everything we have for the pearl of great price—the kingdom of God.

Is the Christ we worship and follow today the same Christ of the Gospels? Jesus was always pressing on to preach the Gospel in the next village. His heart’s cry and prayer was for the dead and dying, for the lost, sick and undone. And the heart of every true disciple who follows in the steps of Jesus will be the same. We must be willing, as He was, to let everything go for the sake of lost souls—to give our lives to recapture just one lost inch of territory from darkness and hell.

Excerpt from Chapter 2 of The Road to Reality (ISBN 9781595891136) © 2012 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.

Missing: The Other Side of Grace

Road to Reality - KP Yohannan Books

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We lost it. Somewhere along our journey from a dead religion of laws and guilt, we modern Christians have misplaced the other side of grace. It was undoubtedly left beside the road with the best of motives. I’m sure that most of those who abandoned reality sincerely wanted to display the immeasurable love of God to a lost and needy world.

But we have failed to reveal the wonderful grace of Jesus we sing about with obedience in our everyday lives. Instead, we have produced an “old dishwater” kind of religion—that insipid, lukewarm faith that Jesus said He would spew out of His mouth!

All those uncomfortable scripture verses about taking up the cross—discipline, sacrifice and suffering—somehow, they just seem to get in the way of our modern-day “convenience store” Christianity. We’ve been taught to serve up a watered-down gospel for so long that the real Gospel has become an embarrassment.

However, half a truth is no truth at all. Obedience must always be a vital part of our response to His love and grace. Faith without works is dead. It is time for us to find our balance again—to restore authentic Christianity before it’s too late. Distorted, perverted gospels always self-destruct.

My prayer for the reader of this book is that God will use it to help you take your first steps. The bridges to reality in our spiritual pilgrimage may seem a bit unfamiliar. The road is strange to us. The disciplines of spiritual reality are “lost arts” to most modern Christians. But they have been tried, tested and proven by millions before you.

They are your only way out of the fantasy and illusion of so much that seeks to counterfeit Christianity today. May I challenge you to come along and begin a journey on the road to reality? Won’t you venture out with us and journey into the heart of Jesus?

Introduction to The Road to Reality (ISBN 9781595891136) © 2012 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.

Lead by Example

Touching Godliness - KP Yohannan Books

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An ambassador to another country carries the responsibility and weight of properly representing his or her homeland. Everything communicated and done is received as a reflection of the policies, beliefs and wishes of the government. This is a heavy responsibility, and failure to accurately represent his or her country is a serious matter.

Now, as a delegated authority of Almighty God, think how serious our responsibility is. What we say, what we do and how we take care of those He has entrusted to us are a reflection on Him.

Godliness and proven character are supremely important for all leaders. Unless we maintain close fellowship with God through the Word, prayer and fasting, how will we properly represent the Authority? How will we know what instructions He is giving us? How will we know how to exercise authority over the people and the work God has appointed to us?

If Jesus needed to stay in such close contact with God that He could say He only did what His Father showed Him to do, how much more do we need the same? How can we assume that we can get by even for a moment without involving the Father, if Jesus could not? If He desperately needed the Father’s input, don’t we even more so need to hear from the Lord in all we do?

As leaders, we need to be people who can be watched and followed. In 1 Corinthians Paul says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” He didn’t say, “Follow me. I have knowledge.” No. He simply said, “Follow me—my life, the example you have seen in me as I have followed Christ.” As we follow Christ closely, others should then be able to follow us.

Excerpt from Chapter 9 of Touching Godliness (ISBN 9781595891211) © 2008 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.

He Almost Chose Pride Over Healing

Touching Godliness - KP Yohannan Books

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Naaman, the famous leper in the Old Testament, was the most powerful human being in Syria next to the king. As commander of the army, when he walked through the streets his own people respected him and did whatever he commanded. But Naaman was full of leprosy.

He heard rumors about a mighty prophet in Israel and went there to get healed by Elisha. I am sure he expected an auspicious reception with a lot of gracious words being said to him. But now this strange prophet, who hardly had any riches and was living out in the middle of nowhere, sent out a servant boy to tell Naaman to go dip in the Jordan River seven times.

Naaman got mad and snapped, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy” (2 Kings 5:11, NIV). His anger grows, and he feels he has been treated disrespectfully. “What on earth is this two-bit prophet talking about? In my country we have rivers far better than the Jordan. Why can’t I go there and be cleansed! What nonsense is this?”

In his anger, Naaman starts to go back home. Why should he humble himself before this prophet who didn’t even have the courtesy to come out and properly greet him? The truth is, to be healed Naaman had to submit to the one God had appointed to help him. He almost chose pride over healing. Then his servants said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?” (2 Kings 5:13, NIV), and they pleaded with him to submit to what he had been told. Finally Naaman obeyed the instructions of Elisha.

What happened? He was healed, and his flesh was restored to that of a young boy. His pride and his own reasoning, however, had nearly kept him from the miracle he had been hoping for.

Excerpt from Chapter 8 of Touching Godliness (ISBN 9781595891211) © 2008 by K.P. Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia.