[Romans 12: 3], [John 14: 21]
[Romans 12: 3]
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”
[John 14: 21]
“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Our God is love. Also, He wants to share His overflowing love with us. The reason why He made the first man Adam is to gain true children who can share their love with Him.
Now, do you love God? Of course, God’s children who are saved will say yes, but how truly do you love Him? In today’s passage John 14:21, Jesus says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
Only those men of spirit who keep God’s commands completely and dwell in the truth without committing any sins even from the heart can confess that they truly love God.
In order to gain those children, God also has been enduring for such a long time until He gave out His one and only Son.
This is the 14th session of the measure of faith, and I will talk to you about the 4th level of faith. I urge you to come out as God’s children who truly love God through this message.
By doing so, may God and the Lord love you in all aspects and you lead your life with the evidences of God’s loving you, I pray in the name of the Lord!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the 4th level of faith is the faith to love the Lord to the utmost degree.
Passing the 3rd level where you can practice the word, it is the level where you have cast off sinful natures in your heart and you practice the word dwelling in the truth completely.
Let me give you an example to explain how the 4th level of faith is different from the 1st, 2nd, and the 3rd levels of faith. Let us say a person has made false rumors about you and is slandering you.
He is spreading bad rumors about you saying that you said something that you never said and you did something you never did. Then, how would you react?
If you are in the 1st level or the beginning of the 2nd level, it is difficult to bear with it. You will go to him immediately to argue about what is wrong and what is right.
If you argue with him with anger, your voice may be raised, and if you have more evil, you will quarrel with him with bad words. But it is such a shameful thing to do this kind of thin as a child of God.
Only if you are at the middle stage of the 2nd level, you can control yourself not to get angry or give out evil so much because you have been trying to cast off evil so far. But how would a person at 3rd level of faith react?
The 3rd level of faith is the faith to practice the word, but if you are not standing on the rock of faith yet, your anger may be agitated. You have sudden agitation in your mind and have uncomfortable feelings.
Because you know the truth, you try to control your ill-feelings and bear with it saying, “I should be thankful and rejoice.” But you cannot really give thanks from the depth of your heart.
But it’s different at the 4th level. No matter who says what and what kind of wrong accusation you face, you don’t have any agitation of your feeling. Because you didn’t commit any sin against God and your conscience does not condemn you, your thanks and joy do not disappear because of those things.
Rather, as Jesus did, you can bless even your enemies and have mercy on the other person and pray for him so that he won’t commit sins.
Likewise, even in the same situation, the reaction would be different according to the measure of faith and the fragrance of your heart reaches God in different measure. Let me give you another example.
Let us say your parents are in emergency and have to go through an operation. You are in desperate need of money, and you pick up a bag full of money on the street. At the 1st or the 2nd level of faith, you may just take the money.
At the 2nd level, heart of spirit that tries to follow goodness and the lust of the flesh that follows your own desire will fight against each other.
Then, if the desire of the flesh wins with the thought that you definitely need the money, you may spend it for yourself though you have some qualms of conscience.
But at the 3rd level, you may have a thought of untruth momentarily thinking, “I can solve my problem with this money,” but you will finally follow the good conscience and return it to owner.
But at the 4th level, it is completely different. No matter how much you need the money, you don’t have any desire to take somebody else’s belonging, so you don’t have any struggle in your mind. You rather worry about the owner who must be worrying about the lost money and you only try to return it as quickly as possible.
If you have this kind of heart, you don’t have any shame before both God and men, and you can be confident of yourself.
Because you have any evil in your heart, you feel pains of your heart and feel afflicted according to your situations. But if you don’t have any evil in your heart, you will always be full of the Holy Spirit and have happy and comfortable mind regardless of your situations.
From now, let us delve into the characteristics of the 4th level of faith. First, the 4th level of faith is the level to love God unconditionally.
You don’t try to love but you just love God so much from your heart. You don’t want anything in return but you love Him unconditionally.
In keeping God’s commands, you don’t keep them to receive answers to your prayer or any blessings. Neither do you keep them in fear of facing disasters.
Because you feel the love of God who loved us first like fire in your heart, you feel it is so obvious to love Him and keep His commands.
Daniel kept on praying with thanks knowing that he would be thrown into lion’s den if he prayed.
He didn’t pray with sorrow and with so much worry in his heart saying, “God, save me! I am trying to keep Your will and I am in danger.” But rather, he prayed with thanks in comfort.
He only loved God and followed His will, and because he committed the result into God’s hands, he could be thankful whether he would die or live. It was the case with his three friends, too. What did they confess before the king who threatened them to throw them into fiery furnace if they didn’t worship the idol?
Daniel 3:17-18 says, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
They didn’t only trust the power of God who could save them from the fire but even if God would not save then, they would only follow the will of God. This is the confession that those at the 4th level of faith can make.
It was same with Paul and Silas. In Acts chapter 16, while preaching the gospel, Paul and Silas were imprisoned with their feet fastened in the stocks.
Then, what did they do? They didn’t complain to God saying, “God, are you really living? We preached the gospel following your command, and why do you let us suffer this way?”
This is a kind of confession that people at 1st or 2nd level of faith will make. If you are at the 3rd level, you won’t complain like this, but your feelings may be hurt.
They may offer a prayer that is not proper saying, “Father, I suffered contempt and was beaten while preaching the gospel. Please heal me quickly and let me out quickly.”
But Paul and Silas didn’t complain or worry about what would happen even after they were beaten and mocked in front of so many people. They rather rejoiced, gave thanks, and sang a praise of glory to God although they bleeding and their feet were fastened in the stocks.
This is the form of a person at the 4th level, and the true children of God whom He wants to gain. When the emotion-filled praise was sounding, by God’s work, there was an earthquake. The doors were opened and their stocks were loosened.
The second characteristic of the 4th level of faith is that they love God first.
If you love God first, you don’t have any desire for worldly fame or wealth, and you love God more than your family or your own life.
Philippians 3:7-8 says, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,”
It means he could forsake all the things he considered valuable and precious in the world, only if it was for the Lord.
Luke 14:26-27 says, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.  ‘Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
Mark 10:29-30 says, “Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake,  but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”
If you follow these words, you may face persecutions in the beginning, and if you don’t have enough faith, you may have hard time because of that.
But when your faith does not change and you live a life of a holy believer, even the worldly people will acknowledge you.
Furthermore, if you go into spirit and love God first, Satan cannot work on you any more, so all persecutions will go away and people will recognize you and respect you as true Christian.
As for me too, there were many incidents right after I accepted the Lord.
When my parents who were in our hometown came to Seoul and whole family members had a meeting, we couldn’t attend it to keep the Sabbath. When seniors visited us, I didn’t offering them any alcohol. When something different like this began to take place, they complained about it.
But as time went, my family members and relatives came to love and trust us more. In consideration of our situations, they had family gatherings on other days than Sunday. Now, most of my relatives are believers who are saved.
My mother, too, loved me the most among all her children until her death. If you act by your faith and do not compromise, God will work for you and you will finally be able to give glory to God.
But you shouldn’t misunderstand this. By saying God is more important than your children or family and you have to cut off fleshly affection, it does not mean you should be coldhearted towards your family members not serving them as you are supposed to.
If it is not to violate the law of God, you should serve your family members much better than unbelievers do. Also, you should be faithful in all God’s house as parents, as children, and as members of a family.
It is also the will of God to let your unbelieving family members to be touched by your good deeds, accept the Lord, and receive salvation. But it is something obvious that you love God first than anybody else in the world if you believe in God who has give birth to our spirit and saved us from the punishments of hell.
If you love God first this way, you will serve everybody with goodness and love and seek others’ benefit first in everything. Then, you will love others with truly spiritual love.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, those who have not reached this level of faith do not understand other people who have great measure of faith and misunderstand them.
For example, I heard some people saying, “When Abraham was taking Isaac to offer him as a sacrifice, Abraham was in great agony and despair.”
But Abraham’s level of faith was not as low as that. If his faith had been only that much, God wouldn’t have allowed such a test in the first place. Abraham didn’t either hesitate about what God commanded him.
He believed God would revive Isaac, and even if God would not revive him, Abraham could just give his son with thanks only if God told him to do so.
Because God is the master of his life and the life of his son, he could give his son at any time only if God commanded, although his son was so precious and lovely.
Therefore, Abraham obeyed with only joy without any hesitation or recitation. As a result of his obedience, he was blessed to be established as the father of faith.
Proverbs 8:17 says, “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.”
As said, when you love God first and love Him unconditionally, God loves you to the utmost degree and meets you all the time.
Namely, He blesses you for you soul to be prosperous, gives you health, and gives you glory both on this earth and in heaven. I will explain to you about the blessing of our soul’s prosperity in the next session.
Let me conclude the message, Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, long ago, when God called me as His servant, He gave us the following word. “My servant, you loved Me first more than your parents, your wife, and anything else,” and told me that He would use me as a great servant.
After I receive such words, I looked back at myself. And I could boldly confess I really loved God first more than all my possessions, my family, and even to the extent where I could offer my life to God.
It is the same all the time since then. I always urged my wife not to try to serve me but to be faithful for the kingdom of God and for the souls.
I could have sent my daughters to good colleges and let them meet good spouses, but I rather taught them to love God first and live for Him rather than seeking such personal happiness.
Then, all my three daughters volunteered to become ministers. I did not compromise but stood against all kinds of hardships, temptations, and persecutions, if they were not right according to the will of God.
I prayed for the souls whom the Lord entrusted to me with all my energy to the last bit even in a moment where it seemed to be the end of my life. Even when I had no strength to stand up myself, I taught the congregation what the will of God is holding on to the pulpit.
When those people who received grace and healing sent me offerings, I collected each penny and gave them for the kingdom of God and for the souls.
When I gave to God everything I had, what am I left with? Did I become a poor and lonely person, with nothing left for myself, because I gave everything completely?
Not at all! God gave me back the love I gave to Him more than abundantly, and He always showed to me the evidence of His love for me.
He is with me with His power to use me as His great servant, and He explained to me even secret things of God’s word.
He gave me health, happiness of family, financial blessings, fame and authority so abundantly. He let me receive love from countless believers around the world.
Only if you go into spirit, your life will be filled with the evidences that you are loved by God. Especially, if you come into whole spirit, the blessings and glory that God gives you cannot be expressed with words.
The almighty God has prepared everything for His dear children and is waiting to give as much as He can.
Only if you come into spirit, He will bless you so greatly and He is waiting for that day more than you are looking forward to that day.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will come into spirit and whole spirit quickly so that you will be able to share your love with God, receive blessings, and give glory to Him in all aspects!