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05.19.24 "I Am The Lords Kkanbu (Besties - 나는 주의 깐부)"

  • “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” - John 15:10-15

  • In the movie "Squid Game," there is a famous line from Il-nam, the old man, who forgives Gi-hun for deceiving him to win the game. He says, “We are friends, aren't we? Don't you remember? We made a pact by linking our fingers. Between best friends, there is no 'yours' and 'mine'.” The term "Kkanbu" refers to a very close friend, so close that there is no distinction between what belongs to each other.

  • Similarly, Jesus calls us His friends, not His servants. Jesus demonstrated His great love for us by giving His life on the cross. Jesus has proven Himself to be our true friend. But are we becoming His true friends? Are we moving towards a closer relationship with Jesus?

  • How can we specifically apply and build a closer relationship with Jesus? Point 1: Listen to and Speak with Jesus

  • To build a good relationship, it is not enough to just talk or just listen; both are necessary. This is a basic rule. An intimate relationship involves communication. Our relationship with Jesus is no different. We must listen to Jesus' voice and also speak to Him. Jesus gives us clear guidance on how to communicate for an intimate relationship. “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love.” - John 15:10

  • Remaining in Jesus is not abstract but practical. Just like building a good body requires actual planning and routine, listening well to Jesus' voice is not merely about thoughts, imagination, feelings, or desires. It is very concrete. To become Jesus' true friends, we must know His commands. Knowing Jesus' will is the same as listening to Him. In John 10:11, Jesus says that the sheep recognize the shepherd’s voice.

  • Nominal Christians do not read the Bible on their own and do not seek to understand God's will for themselves. They are content with listening to the pastor’s sermons. However, faithful Christians design effective routines to hear God's voice. They open the Bible to hear Jesus' thoughts and heart, aligning their thinking with Jesus over time.

  • We are more accustomed to telling God what we want than listening to Him. It is important to express our desires and needs to God through prayer, but if we think a one-sided prayer means an intimate relationship with God, we are mistaken. There is a reason we should listen first before speaking in prayer. The world's economy, politics, leadership, and trends change rapidly. Our thoughts are constantly changing, but truth is eternal and on a different level. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” - Isaiah 55:8-9

  • Hearing God's voice through the Bible means discovering God's promises and love for us. It is about finding our value illuminated by His word and aligning our thoughts with His. Thus, we must practically hear God's voice through the Bible. Even a genius golfer like Tiger Woods still has a coach. A wise person listens not because they need wisdom but because they are already wise. “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” - Revelation 3:13. Listening comes first. Through reading the Bible and prayer, we create a two-way communication relationship with God. Point 2: Set Up Quality Time with Jesus

  • One of the best practices my wife and I tried while raising our son Joshua was giving him focused time. Despite being busy with ministry, I made it a point to spend at least 30 minutes of focused time with my son each day. During this time, I would put down my phone, and no one could interrupt us. In that time, my son and I were best friends. This consistent quality time increased our intimacy and slowly rebuilt his self-esteem.

  • Quality time with God means having a concentrated period where we are solely focused on Him. The Bible contains many examples of people who maintained close relationships with God through focused time. Daniel prayed three times a day, and Jesus' disciples worshiped three times a day.

  • Our Sunday worship service is an excellent quality time. It is not merely a routine attendance but a focused time where we stand before God. Through every part of the worship service, we communicate with God in spirit and truth, learning, understanding, and responding to His will with our spirit, mind, and body.

  • Additionally, we must set up quality time not only on Sundays but throughout the other six days of the week. Pastor Jo Jung-Min once said, "The time spent in church is for the life outside of church." In soccer, having high ball possession does not guarantee victory if the team lacks finishing power. Similarly, we should not rely solely on the Sunday service for the entire week. The reason we dedicate Sunday to God is to live out the rest of the week powerfully with the strength we receive from Sunday worship.

  • Our everyday life is also a mission field, a place where God has called us. Reading the Bible at work or praying during class is not the mark of a true Christian. When working, we should focus on our work, and when studying, we should focus on our studies. Being diligent in our given tasks and producing positive results at work is also God's work.

  • Life is busy and tough, draining our energy. Therefore, we must secure quality time with God even amidst our daily lives. Those who consistently spend quality time with God do not let circumstances control them but rather control their circumstances. Through quality time, we reset our hearts in the Word and seek strength through prayer. I believe that quality time bridges the gap between the tough reality and the life of a worshiper, and this is a practical way to become Jesus' true friends even in challenging situations.

  • Our church strives to have quality time with God three times a day. We start each morning, noon, and evening with a focused time on God, setting aside 10 minutes for intensive communion with Him. 1. Design 10/10/10 in a realistic way. Some may start with just 5 minutes. Quality time can be designed considering personal circumstances, the state of faith, and practices with the faith community. 2. Within the 10/10/10, include reading, listening, memorizing, studying, and meditating on the Bible. There is also copying the Bible by hand. 3. Do not feel guilty or treat it like a missed homework assignment if you cannot keep to the plan. Just start again. 4. Add quantity time to quality time. Continuously talk to God in trivial moments and at all times. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” - John 15:7

<Small Group Questions>

1. Why do you think securing quality time with God in your daily life is important? Please share beneficial experiences or difficulties you have encountered through this practice.

2. If you have a quality time method to introduce, please share it with your small group and help design good routines for each other.

3. Let's intercede for each other so that our small group members can enjoy an intimate relationship with Jesus.


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