Author Archives: gfaseo

What Do We Lack? by KP Yohannan

I believe the Lord looks for that “one thing” we grasp so tightly and depend on. It could be anything: our strength, our abilities, our education, a meaningful relationship, our years of Christian experience, our connections, the good reputation we have established, our position, our extraordinary discernment and other spiritual gifts, our plans for marriage or the things of this world like the rich young ruler.

In the New Testament book of Revelation, we encounter a group of people in the church of Laodicea who were convinced that they were rich and lacked nothing. Yet the Lord told them that they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. Why did the Lord think they lacked everything? It is because they had become self-reliant, which prevented them from experiencing the genuine life of Christ.

KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaAs long as we hold on to that one thing in which we trust, we will never be able to surrender fully to Christ. Consequently, there will always be a distance between the Lord and us. Such lack of closeness results in frustration and discouragement on our part. In addition, that one thing will be a constant hindrance for the rivers of living water to flow freely out from us and give life to others.

How do we recognize the “one thing” still lacking in us? We will know it by the discouragement, tension, bitterness, frustration and irritation that fill our hearts, when that “one thing” is tampered with. God will open our eyes, and we will recognize it if we truly desire to. We will then have the grace to surrender it to the Lord, not by looking at what we are letting go, but by looking at all that we have in Christ— the pearl of great price.

You see, if “our riches,” that which we value most, are the Lord and what we have in Him, then no raging storm can cause any disturbance. Amy Carmichael once wrote, “A cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.”

I believe the Lord wants us to live in a continual state of seeing Him as everything and being content in Him alone. Those whose life is full of joy and the unhindered presence of the Lord are the ones who experience a continuous feast on Him. Nothing else will matter to them, and abandonment to Christ alone is their obvious choice.

Will you believe that He is truly the pearl of great price? Step out. You’ll find Him to be so much more than you imagine.

This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

Christ is the Answer by KP Yohannan

KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaWe cannot manufacture humility. The moment someone tries to be humble, we notice it like a bad taste in our mouth. The outside actions may look right, but their spirit doesn’t match. Humility manifests itself from the reality and understanding we have within us. Natural man with all his knowledge and determination cannot simply be humble.

Christ is our answer. He must be our focus. It is Him working within us and us responding to Him by which we will truly become humble. When we humble ourselves before Him and desire His work in this area, He has the open door to work with us. And He will.

Then in our relationships with others and our daily events of life, we will have many chances to humble ourselves in response to His promptings. Each of these moments is an opportunity for us to be conformed into the humility of Christ and have that mark of humility on our lives.

James 4:10 exhorts us: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord.” For our transformation into Christlikeness, this is where it starts. Will you make a commitment today to practice this Scripture? You will find that your love and compassion for others will grow tremendously, and you will experience the joy of being a servant like Jesus.

Don’t wait.

This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

Tender Hearts by KP Yohannan

KP Yohannan - Gospel for Asia

“You know one of the hardest things I have to deal with is to sit in front of a man who has done awful, stupid things in his life or ministry yet has no conviction of sin. Even if he is caught, he acts as if there is no problem and simply asks for a transfer. I am weary of it.”

These were the exact words to me from a minister whose denomination appointed him as a counselor for its ministers and church workers across several nations.

Many respected Christian agencies report record attrition rates of up to 80 percent for their well-trained, postgraduate field workers. Most barely survive their second term, and only a few make it past their third. The number one reason for leaving the mission field is not death threats from an anti-Christian community or lack of funds, but personal relationship conflicts. They simply can’t get along with their co-workers or the leadership.

Recent studies have estimated the divorce rate among born-again Christians in America to be anywhere from 35 percent to as high as 72.5 percent. Incidentally, the likelihood of divorce appears to be identical for both believers and nonbelievers. Most couples file for divorce not because of a spouse’s infidelity, but because of incompatibility. Again, it’s a relationship problem that destroys the foundation of our families and fills our prisons with delinquent teenagers.

Because these reports are not about secular society but represent the condition of the Church at large, we must ask ourselves: What’s wrong with our hearts that we would produce such a poor testimony?

It seems our hearts are no longer tender toward our God, toward our brothers and sisters in Christ or toward our spouses and families. At the center of each of these relationship problems is our unwillingness to humble ourselves and take responsibility for our sin. Instead, we fight and manipulate others to protect our self-image.

This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus by KP Yohannan

KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaOne of the senior leaders in our ministry told me about a man who had been aggressively pursuing the Lord over the past decade. This man made this statement: “All I want is to know Jesus. If someone comes and arrests me, puts me in jail, beats me or kills me, I have no problem. In all this, all I’m longing for is to know Jesus. He is the only thing that matters in my life.”

If we listen closely, we’ll hear the Lord calling out to our hearts, Be Mine. Let My life be yours.

Please, don’t look for a quick fix. This call from the Lord is a daily walking with Him, being sensitive to Him, seeking to hear His voice, seeking to do His will, wanting to please Him, loving Him through our choices. It is not obedience to the letter of the law but rather understanding the heart of our Master and making that our very life. This is not a fill-in-the-blank test, but a life consumed with Him, His thoughts, His wishes. It is a nonstop, living, alive, growing relationship with the Creator of this world.

My brothers and sisters, we must see Jesus—everywhere, in all of our life, in everything. Hebrews tells us, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2, niv).

Have you ever studied a car that was passing you, and all of a sudden without realizing it, you actually started to steer toward the passing car? The more you dwell on negative things, the more negative you become. The more you dwell on positive thoughts, the more positive you become. The more time you spend with someone, the more you actually take on their mannerisms and vocabulary without even trying.

We are called to be partakers of His nature (see 2 Peter 1:4). How do we do that? We see Jesus. Scripture says that when we see Him, we will be like Him (see 1 John 3:2). Just like the passing car, the thoughts we entertain, and the people we spend time with—if we look at Jesus and keep Him before us, we will go to Him. We will become like Him. The measure in which we’re able to see Him continually in all our circumstances, in the same measure we will experience Him and His life through us.

This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

His Best by KP Yohannan

KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaBefore going to the cross, Jesus prayed His incredible prayer on our behalf recorded in the Gospel of John. His main petition was “that they all may be one” (John 17:21).

But how is this oneness possible? Will it happen if we all think the same thoughts and, as a result, respond to one another with great kindness, love and understanding? And can we achieve these same thoughts by some deeper-level education that eliminates all differences between us and causes us to live above such things?

You already know the answer.

Humanly speaking, that is impossible. Even in a small local fellowship, the believers come from different family backgrounds and upbringings. All have different personalities, behavior patterns, levels of education and spiritual understanding.

However, one key to love, unity and following the Lord is my willingness to take responsibility for my sin. When my heart is tender before God, I will no longer accuse my brother or sister for my failure.

Instead, I will say, like the prodigal son, “Father, I have sinned.” And that attitude will open the way for God to unite us as His people and fulfill His promises. Blaming others became part of our human nature with the fall of man. Imagine this: While Adam and Eve were sinless, they daily walked hand in hand with the Almighty, who dwells in light no man can approach.

But when they sinned, everything changed. God came to Adam and asked, “What on earth have you done?” and Adam answered, “Me? I didn’t do it. If You want to know the real problem, it’s this woman You gave me” (see Genesis 3:9–12).

Here God had just caught Adam red-handed. The man stood there totally naked, except for a withering fig leaf. He had just lost everything, yet he was unwilling to admit his sin. Instead, he protected and defended himself and shifted the blame to his wife.

And then when God questioned Eve, she responded, “Well, what can I say? The serpent deceived me” (Genesis 3:13, paraphrased). There will never be unity or rivers of living water flowing through our lives until we come to a place where we take responsibility for our sin.

The thief on the cross experienced this truth in the last minutes of his life when he said, “I deserve this punishment for what I have done.” And Jesus immediately responded, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).

Unity only happens when we yield our rights and admit our failures. If we desire the oneness with our brothers and sisters for which Jesus prayed, then keeping a tender heart is not simply an option, but it is our highest priority.

Whom does the Lord want you to talk to? Don’t put off His best for your life.

This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

Forgive Me by KP Yohannan

KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaThe phrase “I have sinned against you with my words, attitude or response” comes only with great difficulty over our lips. We find it much easier to say, “I just made a dumb mistake . . . forget it.”

What’s missing in our so-called repentance is the deep sorrow the prodigal son had when he realized how much he had hurt the heart of his father. This sorrow caused him to lay aside all pretense and self-protection and then to confess with a broken heart, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight” (Luke 15:21).

Several leaders from a mission field I was visiting approached me with the urgent request to help them make peace between two co-workers. I agreed to talk with both men. The interesting thing was that neither one was willing to give in and admit any wrong. I realized that, technically, the brother who was the leader was absolutely right in what he had said and done. If he took his case to a court of law anywhere in the world, he would be vindicated as innocent. But if he was so right, why was the other brother so hurt? Why did he continue to insist he had been wronged?

Finally I spoke to the leader.

“I understand what you said to this brother,” I told him. “But tell me, in what spirit did you speak those words?”

There was dead silence. Then he responded: “I understand what you mean.”

Even truth can divide and destroy if it is not soaked and covered in love, grace and mercy—and presented with a tender heart.

If that tenderness of heart is missing in our relationships with our brothers and sisters, God’s work is greatly hindered. For Jesus said, “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). With these words, the Lord clearly identified the foundation of prayer: oneness in relationship with each other.

This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

God Hunt by KP Yohannan

KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaWhat about us? Do people encounter that overflowing joy, found in Jesus and the early Christians, in our lives as well?

There is no more powerful advertisement for the reality of the Gospel than a believer filled with the love of Christ and the joy of heaven.

Why is it, then, that our joy is so often nowhere to be found? We allow the problems of this world to overtake our heart and emotions. At the same time, we forget—or simply don’t believe—the promises of God that tell us not to be anxious for tomorrow and not to fear because He has overcome the world. We start counting our woes instead of counting our blessings. And we fail to recognize the goodness of God and His encouragement in our surroundings.

To begin to live a life filled with the joy of heaven, we must make a conscious decision to reverse all these trends.

One of the best ways to learn to smile is to go on a “God Hunt,” which is how my dear friend David Mains would describe it on his radio program. This simply means that I look every day to discover even the tiniest thing God deliberately arranged in my life to tell me of His love and care: Perhaps somebody writes a letter, calls on the phone or says a kind word, just when I need it. A motorist stops to let me safely cross the street. Someone offers to carry my grocery bag when I am exhausted. A total stranger smiles at me when I feel gloomy, as if God is reminding me, Be happy—I am with you.

Jesus, the One we serve, is the Light of the World. In Him there is no darkness, and there is so much to be happy about as we follow Him. Praise God!

What good things did God do for you today?

This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

Unity of the Spirit by KP Yohannan

KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaThe whole world agrees we are in need of peace and unity. Governments turn to force and strict laws to keep people from destroying each other. On a much smaller scale, millions of families and married couples have their own difficulties as they seek to find enough common ground to live in peace with each other.

God, on the other hand, expects Christians to “be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Philippians 2:2, kjv).

Why is unity so important to God? Paul Billheimer explains the reason in his book Destined for the Throne: Before the world began, the Father wanted to find a Bride for His Son, so He created us. God didn’t look for many brides, but only for one Bride. The purpose of the cross is to make millions of people from a million different backgrounds and races into one individual—the Bride of Christ.

In the light of this high calling, it is so serious and of utmost importance that each of us is “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit . . .” (Ephesians 4:3). “Endeavor” is another word for try, attempt, labor, strive, exert and struggle. Just by looking at these synonyms, it is obvious that it is a very deliberate, conscious act. We cannot simply say to one another, “Well, if you agree with what I say and if you eat the same food I like, I will sit at your table and we will have unity.”

In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us in the same text of Scripture exactly what we must do to be able to attain this unity: “I . . . beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3). What Paul is expressing is that we should do everything we can, even at the expense of our own feelings, to maintain this unity of the Spirit.

This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

Heavenly Father by KP Yohannan

KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaYou are so excited. For the first time in your Christian walk, you have discovered a fruit of the Spirit in an area of your life in which you’d struggled for years. Just when you’d almost given up, you read John 15:5: “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit.” Suddenly you understood that the whole concept of fruit-bearing was so simple: By staying in Jesus, letting His life flow through you, the fruit would naturally grow.

Now it has actually happened. You are rejoicing, and you can’t wait to show the new fruit to your Heavenly Father. To your great joy, He lets you know that He will soon come to inspect the branch in your life that has produced fruit. You can hardly wait for His arrival and suspect that He will surprise you with a certificate or a reward for doing so well.

But to your bewilderment, when He arrives He carries nothing but a pair of big pruning shears in His hands.

What is He planning to do? Somehow you get the feeling that His idea of inspecting your fruit-bearing branch doesn’t exactly match your own expectations.

John 15:2 tells us what God has in mind: “Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” This means that He will not leave us alone but instead is determined to make us even more fruitful. His strategy is to begin a very deliberate pruning process by allowing us to encounter troubles, tribulations and difficulties. These adversities serve as His shears and pruning knife.

That doesn’t sound like anything we would choose for ourselves. Often, our biggest concern is how much God is planning to cut off of our branch!

But let me tell you about the tea plantations in my native country of India. Thousands of acres are covered with beautiful, lush, deep green plants. But if you were to visit these same tea estates during a certain time of the year, you would immediately think that something had gone very wrong. Instead of thriving bushes with healthy, growing leaves, you would only find naked little stumps with a few bare branches clinging to them. They look dead and hopeless. All of their beauty is gone. If you were to search for answers, you would find laborers with sharp knives and shears going from tree to tree and mercilessly cutting nearly everything off, while others continually haul away truckloads of green, leafy branches.

That is pruning.

This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.

Walk by Faith by KP Yohannan

KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaWhen God puts His knife to our branches and begins to slice off the parts that must go, we often experience great loneliness, low emotional feelings and pain. Pruning actually creates a temporary dry spell in our spiritual life very similar to those barren tree stumps on the tea plantations. Saint John of the Cross from the 16th century termed this season of our lives “the dark night of the soul.”

Very often we feel confused, and we fail to understand what is going on. We pray, but God doesn’t seem to hear. We fast, but our situation stays the same. We repent of every imaginable sin we could have committed, but find no answer. Discouraged and frightened, we conclude that something is wrong with our spiritual life.

This is the most dangerous time during the pruning process, and it’s the one most often used by the Enemy to trip us up. He intends to deceive us into thinking that we have backslidden, have lost God’s grace and should quit serving God. Or he tries to convince us to create a counterfeit spiritual life to compensate for what we think we have lost. If we believe him, we will generate all kinds of carnal activities so no one would easily discover that God’s presence has left us.

But all the while, nothing is wrong with our spiritual life, and we haven’t lost anything. We are just going through the pruning process.

If we could only recognize that it is the hand of God that holds the knife, then we would be able to do the right thing: trust in His wisdom, humble ourselves and honor Him by walking in faith rather than sight. Then we would be able to accept the wilderness, the cutting, the discipline, the loneliness and the pain as necessary preparation for the future.

As the Master Gardener, God can already see how this pruning process will bring about character changes within us, transform our nature and deepen our relationship with Him. He knows how best to care for us.

Choose to walk by faith during your “dark night of the soul.”

This entry was written by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia, with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.