April 22, Monday

We mourn the passing of our dear colleague and friend Dr. Johann Kim who went to be with the Lord this past Saturday while serving the Lord in Greece.  While we miss him dearly already, we will continue the work of the Lord that he so faithfully carried out all his life. We love you Pastor Johann. We will see you soon in the presence of our Lord—Ryun Chang from Greece.

Today’s AMI Devotional is written by Esther Chailim who serves at Kairos Christian Church in San Diego.  

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

2 Corinthians 2:14:15

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

One of the traditions of the triumphal procession was to burn spices, spreading the aroma of victory into the streets for all the crowd to know. In the same light, I think Paul was alluding to the fact that we as believers were captured by the grace of God so that we can be a fragrance of Christ to all those we encounter.  

If there is one couple I can confidently say who exemplifies being used to spread the aroma of Christ everywhere they go, it is Pastor Johann and Sister Grace.  They have immensely impacted the lives of so many they come across, including mine. To many, they are spiritual parents, mentors, co-laborers, and dear friends.  I had the great privilege and honor to serve alongside them in 2012 for a 1-year internship, where I got to witness, first hand, their love for the Lord and their relentless pursuit to make Christ known wherever they went.  Of course, not everything was picture perfect as they struggled through moments of discouragement and unsuccessful attempts, but never once did they give up hope in our Lord or cease in worship. And it’s evident that through their ministry, so many lives were touched by the Spirit of God. The aroma they left behind always pointed back to Christ, our Savior

Last Monday I received the devastating news that Pastor Johann was in the ER in critical condition from bleeding in his brain. He and Sister Grace had been in Athens, Greece for about a month, in obedience, spreading the good news of Christ to the many refugees there. Upon their arrival, they faced much attack from the enemy, even losing their laptops (with all his teaching material) from a team robbery, prior to a 3-day intensive teaching seminar.  But in faith, he persisted to teach and minister out of the work of the Holy Spirit. And by the grace of God, Sister Grace informed me that “he finished well.” We see that, still, in the face of much spiritual attack, the aroma that he and Sister Grace leave behind continues to point back to Christ, our Savior, worshiping Him through and through. I was reminded of this, once again their spiritual daughter, Christine Yun, updated us about the state of Pastor Johann’s condition. She shared this after meeting some of the refugees Pastor Johann and Sister Grace had been ministering to, “They said Pastor Johann and Sister Grace changed their life and I absolutely believe this — as they carry the Spirit of our Living God everywhere we go. This brings a lot of comfort to us…and if we weren’t certain already, God is so glorified through their obedience and love for Him and can see how they have deeply touched lives of the people here.” Her words could not describe their love for Jesus more perfectly.

This morning, I learned that Pastor Johann went to be with the Lord. Though I grieve over the loss of my pastor, spiritual father, and friend, I am comforted knowing that he is dancing and worshiping side by side with our Heavenly Father.  It is without a doubt that every waking moment of Pastor Johann’s life was fully, and whole-heartedly devoted to our Lord, Jesus Christ. His faith is unlike anyone’s I have ever met and it is clear that many have smelled the sweet fragrance of Christ throughout his ministry.  I believe he and the apostle Paul share that same passion and zeal for the Lord in spreading the aroma of the knowledge of Christ everywhere they went. All glory, honor and praise to our Lord, Jesus Christ

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for the life and ministry of Pastor Johann and Sister Grace. I am so honored to know such people of faith and I know that You, Lord, are so pleased with them. As their lives continue to spread the aroma of Christ knowledge to all, I pray that we too, as believers, can do the same.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 6


Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Peter 4:7-11: The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Questions to Consider

  1. What does Peter mean by “the end of all things is near?”
  2. How does love cover sins?
  3. How do we spread the aroma of Christ to others?

Notes

  1. In light of Christ’s return, Peter was encouraging the church to live godly lives. Because we do not know the time and date of His return, he exhorts us to be alert and of sober mind, so that we can pray.  And as we wait for His return, this ought to influence our attitude, actions and relationships with others.
  2. Just as God’s love deals with our sins through his forgiveness, Peter encourages us to choose love and forgiveness when we are dealing with relationships. When we enter a relationship with love, we are much more willing to overlook that person’s faults.  When we’re sinned against, love overrides our reflex for revenge.”
  3. We should love each other deeply, offering hospitality and using our gifts to serve others.  God uses us as humans to be instruments in delivering His word, so we are encouraged to speak, with reverence, the words of God by preaching, teaching or simply talking with others about His goodness and faithfulness.

Evening Reflection

Take some time to reflect on your own life.  Do others smell the scent of Christ in you? Can they see that you live for the Lord or do they simply know that you go to church?  Our time on earth is limited, so I want to encourage us to be like our brothers in Christ, the apostle Paul and Pastor Johann, and continually spread the aroma of Christ everywhere we go.  Let’s be intentional in the conversations to make Christ known.

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