Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10: 35-38) “
Jesus said that we are not worthy to be a disciple of Jesus if we think that our relationships with people are more important than our relationship with Jesus. This also means that the more we love Jesus, the more the peace of our relationship with God will be broken if it is not centered in Jesus.
Our relationships with people, especially with our loved ones or close friends, are very important. However, as Jesus said, there are times when a relationship with unbelieving family, friends, and neighbors becomes uncomfortable due to our faith.
The Bible makes little reference to the Apostle Paul’s family, except that the Apostle Paul came from the tribe of Benjamin. Perhaps after the Apostle Paul abandoned Judaism and became a Christian, his faith created a disagreement within his family. If so, it could not have been easy, but Paul clearly chose a more precious relationship with Christ.
On the other hand, many names are listed in the last chapters of the Epistle to the church in Rome. The names of the fellow workers in Rome, including Priscilla and Aquila, were called by Paul one by one. Timothy and Tertius, who were with Paul in Corinth, joined him in greeting the saints in Rome in the Lord’s name. In fact, Paul had countless fellow workers of the Lord in each city. They were Paul’s spiritual brothers and sisters, parents, and children — a family made by the power of Christ’s blood.
As an evangelist, especially as a church planter, I make relationships with many people. I have found many Korean-Americans thirst for true relationships in their lonely immigrant life. They look for a true friend. But the first true relationship they have to make is with Jesus Christ. Because Jesus can be their most true, good, and powerful Friend and Shepherd.
Recently some families have been in very close fellowship with my family. Their relationship with us is very important and precious. But I know that there can be no peace unless our relationship is first established in Jesus. I sincerely hope that all the relationships with people I meet, especially those who become close with us, can grow in the Lord.
One of the goals of this church planting mission is “direct and intentional evangelistic efforts.” All the people I meet ultimately need a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray for me that I will lead all the people I meet to Jesus more directly. Please pray for me that all my thoughts, words, and deeds will be more intentional to preach the Lord Jesus to the people.
I hope that a church of the Lord will be established by people who unite and grow in Christ with love.
(Ephesians 4:15-16) “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
I sincerely thank you for your prayers and support. By them, I have no doubt that God’s Kingdom will be expanded.
Myungjoong Andy Yong