“All that we call human history — money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery — is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

- CS Lewis


Because in order to shine, they must first be broken.”

-Nick Vitellaro


The very scary word in Putin's new statement on the Ukraine crisis


Just Jesus Christ

(Notes by Sam Lim)

8/11/2014 - 1st night sermon

Is there someone or something you love more than God?
ex. your phone.
If someone asks you whether you love your phone or God more, you’ll most likely say God.. but my question to you is this: who do you spend more time with? What’s the first thing that we grab in the morning?

Genesis 22

1. To love the one who blesses more than the blessings themselves.
2. To trust that God is the ultimate provider, because God first loved us.

When we love the provider more than our provisions, we are free.
When we hold onto God’s gifts with an iron fist, we become anxious.

The ironic thing about God’s gift is that the more we let go, the more we are blessed. When we try to hold on to the blessings as if they were ours, God can’t give us as much since our hands are closed so tightly.
- Nothing that we do not give away is truly ours.

The reason why we are able to love God first and foremost is because God loved us first.
God takes away from us to refine us and to bring us closer to Him.

8/12/2014 2nd day 1st seminar

Why does God allow suffering in our lives?
Was there ever a time where you asked God, “WHY?”

Joel 1,2

1. God will allow you to endure what you hate, to prepare you to enjoy what you love.
ex) studying
- if you neglect studying now, you won’t be able to do what God was planning for you to do.

2. God will allow you to hit rock bottom, so that you may realize that He is the rock at the bottom.

Don’t seek the blessings; seek the blesser.
- Tony Evans

When we are struggling, what do you turn to?
When we turn to sin.. in that moment, it may feel good, but it will bring more sin into your life, leaving you with more suffering than before.

When you feel like God is not near.. remember that the teacher is silent during the test.

There’s a difference between a test and temptation.
Test (by God) - to remind you to come back to God.
Temptation (by Satan) - to make us fall into sin.

Grace - getting what we don’t deserve.
Mercy - Not receiving the punishment that we do deserve.

8/12/2014 - Seminar 2

Inner beauty shows on the outside.

He refines us until only He defines us.

God made us different so that we can reach out to different people - all for the same God.

8/12/2014 - Seminar 3

Has there been a time when you felt like you weren’t good enough? When you felt unworthy.. insufficient.. inadequate.. when you felt like a failure..

John 13:36-38

1. When we come to the end of ourselves, we see the beginning of Christ.

John 18:15-18,25-27 - Denial of Peter
Luke 22:60-62 - Jesus looking at Peter after he denies Him

Do you know how it feels to disappoint someone that you respect and look up to?
Can you imagine how Peter must have felt when he saw Christ look at him after the rooster crowed?

sin - man trying to be like God.
salvation - believing in God who became a man.

The end of ourselves is the beginning of God.
ex) How lifeguards are taught to wait until the person drowns to save them.

Peter had to be shattered completely before God worked with him.

John 21 - Jesus appeared again to Peter. When Peter saw that it was Jesus, he jumped into the water and swam to the shore.

2. Christ uses your greatest weakness and your inadequacy for his greatest work.

If you learn from your failures, you have a great life changing moment.
If you don’t, it remains a failure.


God doesn’t always call the equip, but He always equips those He calls.

When God wants to develop something in me, He will put me in exactly opposite situations.
ex) when God wants you to learn to love, He will put you in situations where it will be very difficult to love. For how can we learn to love genuinely if everyone that we interact with are so loving and easy to love? Our faith and beliefs are put to the test and are refined.

Hebrews 2:18 - Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

153 fish.

1.5.3. Prayer

1. - The audience of one.. we worship/adore/praise/live for one - God.
5. 5 hindrances that may be hindering you from your relationship with God
ex) pride, jealousy (You are dissatisfied with who God has created you to be.. dissatisfied with His blessings..), forgiveness, fear,selfishness.
3. B.O.P. or S.O.P. - Brothers of Prayer or Sisters Of Prayer.
God created us to be in a community. The enemy wants isolation, God wants communication.
We’re already losing the battle against Satan if we start comparing ourselves to one another. Let us truly become humble and love one another, as dear children of God.

The greater the mistake or failure, the sweeter the redemption.

8/13/2014 - 3rd day last service - Bible verses

Our joy is not complete until it is shared.
ex) sharing pictures of food on Facebook; posting statuses about your accomplishments or events

Ephesians 6 - Armor of God. Everything that is mentioned in this chapter is used for defense.. but the Word of God is described as the sword. We need to fight against sin with the Word of God.

Hebrews 2:18 - Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 4:15 - For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Peace beyond circumstance)

Peace is knowing that God is in control.

Romans 8:38-39 - For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God. Trust in his unfailing love.

Isaiah 41:10 - So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

2 Kings 6:11 - 17 - Chariots of fire. God of angel armies is always by our side. Army of God in the spiritual realm.

John 14:6 - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”


Why Militant Groups Succeed

Very interesting read.


Infographic Shows The Differences Between The Diseases We Donate To, And The Diseases That Kill Us | IFLScience


How the US, its allies, and its enemies all made ISIS possible


If you swing too much to knowledge, you start to puff up;

If you swing too much to Spirit-inspiration, you dry up;

But if you have both, you grow up.”



The Praying Son P. Steve Kim

(These notes are by Sam Lim)

Mark 1:35-39

Jesus was only able to accomplish the plans of God the Father by staying in His sonship with His Father. He stayed within His identity.

Jesus was in communion with the Father in prayer.

Jesus took time, even in midst of exhaustion, to spend time with His Father.

Jesus made sure that He had time for God. 
Why is it so hard for us to spend time with the Father? It’s because we think we can live life apart from God.
Jesus.. Even though He was the Son of God, and He had all the power and wisdom.. He said that He cannot do anything apart from the Father. Apart from the will of God.

People think that they are so self-sufficient and capable. It’s hard for them to feel like they need God.

We don’t cling to God because we think we can do it. There’s no sense of dependency.

Jesus was utterly dependent on the Father.. This is amazing because Jesus was God’s Son - He had all the power and wisdom.. And yet He depended on God. Who are we to not depend on God?

If we’re going to imitate Christ, let us imitate His dependence on God.

Prayer provides clarity.

The day after He casted out demons and healed people.. Instead of going back, He decided to go to other times. In His time with the Father, Jesus got the sense of clarity and purpose.

Before jumping into situations where it seems right in the world’s eyes, spend time with the Father and see what God wants you to do.

In His communion with God, Jesus got a deeper

When Jesus was baptized, God the Father told Him that He loves Him. Even Jesus needed to know and be reminded of His sonship.

Prayer in essence is recognizing who we are in Christ. Before anything else, we are the children of God. Let us recognize who we are before God.

When God sees you, He sees you in Christ. He sees you as sons and daughters. This is how God sees us right now.

We need to be reminded of God’s love for us.. And this reminder comes through prayer.

When God sees you, He sees Christ’s righteousness.

Satan minimizes sin when he tempts us. 
After we sin, Satan maximizes the sin and shames us. 
But we have to continually remind ourselves that we are God’s children.

As we go and become servants, let us imitate Christ’s sonship.

Find a place that you can meet God, and meet Him regularly.


Suffering Servant P. Steve Kim

(with my thoughts/comments) 

Cross defines Christ’s life, mission, accomplishment

Center of cross: suffering, weakness

We want to be like Jesus

Isaiah 53

Isaiah 52:13-53:7

Imitating Christ in ministry

Motivation of Christ in ministry

Acts 8 Philip shares with Ethiopian eunuch, that Isaiah 53 is referring to  Christ

Isaiah 52:13-14 à exalted on one hand, marred on other hand

Through Jesus’ suffering, God accomplishes His greatest task à salvation

Weakness is part of God’s tool to accomplish things

People God used are utterly weak, sinful, fail

He served the purpose of God

Heroes of faith in the Bible: permeated with weakness

It’s in your weakness that God works

Broken weak people

When we say we want to be like Jesus/imitate Jesus, we want to share in His weakness

à Paul boasts in his weakness to grow in intimacy with God, to glorify God

Through your weakness and because of your weakness God can work/move

Gospel paradigm flips around/upside down

Reminded of God’s grace

Isaiah 53:4-5 Jesus suffered in our place

Substitutionary sacrifice – that should’ve been me!

We have Christ’s righteousness – God loves us so much right now because we are in Christ

It’s all what God has done, not us

Beautiful exchange

In order to show/demonstrate the amount of God’s love for us, He had to take our place

Care for you – taking your punishment

Not because of us but because of Christ that God shows unending love and kindness to us

Motivated by Gospel: Jesus, I don’t need anything from You; I want to serve You à already received

Ex. David and Mephibosheth

Be like Jesus in service: high calling

  1. Weakness, broken – embrace
  2. See His love for us – become real to us


Vision of carrying luggage – influence

How do you do it? Jesus carrying

Not burdensome/weighed down

1 Timothy 4:9-16

When you look at God, do you look at His hands or His face?

1 Peter 4:7-11


Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts P. IJ Kim

Using them for the glory of God and for the edification of His Church

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14 – on spiritual gifts

God-given skills and abilities that we use to build up God’s church and His people


Holy Spirit

Born again, regeneration, sanctified, will be glorified

Your life doesn’t belong to you; it belongs to God

Sacredness, sanctity of life

Romans 12:4-11

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

1 Corinthians 12:27-30

Ephesians 4:7-12

Natural and supernatural dimensions to gifts

Offices – correspond with spiritual gifts

If you have gift/talent but not glorifying God and edifying Church, you are not using your spiritual gift for God – and it is not a spiritual gift

God is delighted with/by our worship and praise – like father delighted with/by toddler’s/child’s speaking

We are to use God-given spiritual gifts as we obey God’s call for advancing His kingdom, spreading the Gospel message, and establishing churches

Not having a specialty/spiritual gift does not excuse us from our callings as Jesus’ witnesses, disciple-makers, and worshipers

  1. What is my spiritual gift?
    1. Are you a true believer of Jesus Christ?
    2. Which spiritual gifts interest me the most?
    3. What is your ministry role?
    4. What is your future direction in serving the Lord?
    5. How can I receive or confirm about the gift of tongue or other “supernatural” spiritual gifts?
      1. Theology of (dispensational) cessation view vs. Pentecostal tradition (charismatic)
      2. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology


Can I lose spiritual gifts?

No but rusty, dormant if not used/practice


Multiply P. John Cha

(with my thoughts/comments)

Mark 6:34-44

5,000 men ~15,000 men, women, and children

Great need: hunger

Send them away to feed for themselves

But Jesus says – you feed them and minister to them

Feed your fellowship and entire campus ~15,000 people

  1. 1.    Jesus wants us to see how impossible our situation is
    1. Humanly physically we can’t do it

                                               i.     One disciple does the math to calculate how much money it would take

  1. b.    I’m a sinner for a holy purpose to handle His holy Word to shepherd eternal souls

                                               i.     Disqualify me due to my sins

  1. Die to self, entitlement

                                               i.     Reward not in this lifetime

                                              ii.     Meanwhile world is screaming here and now i.e. American Dream

  1. Meet only once a week for 2 hours while rest of time in world
  2. Sins
  3. Satan prowling like a lion
  4. Wounds, lies, temptations
  5. Only possible through God
  6. 2.    Jesus wants us to look around and see what we can give
    1. How many loaves do you have? Go and see

                                               i.     Gifts, talents, time, money, space/place

                                              ii.     Not much, but with God, it’s enough

  1. 5 loaves and 2 fish – meager
  2. Not much, but I’ll offer it to God
  3. God will do amazing things

                                               i.     Seek God all the more and experience God

                                              ii.     Even greater with the 5 loaves + 2 fish

  1. 3.    God will take what little we have and will multiply it beyond our dreams
    1. Overflow, leftovers – 12 basketfuls

                                               i.     That’s what God does

  1. Jesus multiplies and blesses – He causes it, not us

Impossible situations?

Your 5 loaves and 2 fish that God used?

Maybe great worship leader – but are you a true worship

Maybe great disciple – but are you a true disciple?

Very influential people

Very nice people

Very draining people

Who are you?

The reason why we don’t think about heaven or God for that matter is because we are so caught up in and enamored by this world and the things of this world

Unless we are practicing the presence of God

World “has” to be bad so that heaven is that much sweeter and enjoyed because God is good

We are unqualified but not disqualified

The one who is unqualified is nothing

But the One who makes us qualified is everything