KP Yohannan: Life is Beautiful When You Know Why

by: KP Yohannan

Life is Beautiful When You Know Why

Seeing Him - KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaKing Solomon’s journey into life began with an incredible, supernatural experience with the Almighty God who had chosen him to be king over His people Israel. Solomon was inexperienced and naive, but he had a humble and tender heart.

In a childlike manner he said to God, “I don’t know what to do.” And God asked him, “What do you want?” Solomon could have requested all the things 99.9 percent of people ask for—riches, power and a long life—but he didn’t. Instead he said, “All I want is wisdom.”

God was pleased, and He gave him more knowledge, wisdom and understanding than any human being on earth. Solomon applied this wisdom to lead God’s people in righteousness and justice.

Life was beautiful because Solomon knew his purpose on earth, and he looked to God to enable him to fulfill that purpose.

But later on Solomon got off on a tragic detour. He decided to find out if there was something more to life than walking with God and doing His will. He set out to use his great wisdom to figure out everything under the sun and, in the process, create his own independent life centered around himself.

By the time he was done, he was completely disillusioned, lost and empty. He summed up his findings with the words, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Then he went on and described life as a series of meaningless and futile pursuits that end up in grief and nothingness.

What happened to godly Solomon and his wonderful relationship with God that he would come up with such a depressing conclusion? He experienced that our lives as human beings lose their beauty and joy when we no longer know why we are on earth, for our lives only make sense and have purpose in relationship to our Creator.

Once we walk away from Him, everything becomes meaningless.

Is it possible that Solomon’s experience can happen to any one of us?

It can if we don’t know why we are on earth or if, as believers, we lose sight of the purpose of God in our lives. We all are driven by something, and that something determines what we say and do, the way we behave and the choices we make.

Long ago I had the following conversation with a 6-year-old boy in northern India:

Me: “What are you doing?”

Boy: “I go to school.”

Me: “Why do you go to school?”

Boy: “To learn.”

Me: “Why do you want to learn?

Boy: “So I can be smart.”

Me: “Why do you want to be smart?”

Boy: “So I can get a job.”

Me: “Why do you want to get a job?”

Boy: “So I can make money.”

Me: “Why do you want to make money?”

Boy: “So I can buy food to eat.”

Me: “Why do you want to eat food?”

Boy: “So I can live.”

At this point I told him that I had just one more question: “Why do you live?”

For the first time he paused. He looked this way and that, and in the end he looked straight into my eyes and said, “Why do I live? To die.”

I want to ask you a similar question: “What is it that makes you do what you do and be who you are today?” Think about it. Is it ambition, power, position or money that motivates you, or are you driven by fear, anger, bitterness, failure and the guilt of your past?

If your honest answer is any of the above, you are well on the way to ending up with Solomon’s sad conclusion about life: Everything is meaningless.

God’s Word tells us clearly that our life on earth is not meant to be a pointless existence, but that each of us was created to fulfill a wonderful and specific purpose in God’s plan: to live for Him.

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).

When Solomon lost sight of this truth, his life became empty. Perhaps you, too, got sidetracked in your own pursuits or find yourself trapped by past failures, hurt and guilt, and you wonder if there is a way back. Yes, there is! Many examples in the Bible are proof that God’s high calling for someone’s life never expires.

Peter, whom Christ said He would give the keys of the kingdom to, is one of them. After Peter had denied the Lord three times, he thought God had no use for him any longer. But when Jesus had a private talk with Peter after His resurrection, He never mentioned his failure but only asked him if he loved Him. Then He completely restored Peter’s calling. God will do the same for you.

My dear friend, the only thing that is truly worth living for is Jesus and Jesus alone. If He becomes your sole purpose, then you know why you are on earth, and your life will be fulfilled and beautiful even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Man’s Greatest Problem by KP Yohannan

My Hiding Place - KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaThe entire chapter of John 15 is all about relationship— man’s greatest problem since the Garden of Eden. It was there that our relationship with God was broken, and ever since, all our human relationships have been in total confusion as well. These were the two things Jesus talked about with His followers.

When we read this chapter in John, we could easily misunderstand that Jesus was instructing His disciples on bearing fruit, such as evangelism, witnessing, soul-winning and fulfilling the Great Commission. After all, He told them, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit” (John 15:5).

But what Jesus is actually referring to in this chapter is their lives. He is showing them how they will be able to produce the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22–23: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

What Jesus is concentrating on here is not at all the kingdom work that you and I do nor the work the disciples were going to do later on in the book of Acts. The fruit we will bear if we abide in Him is transformed lives. All we do is simply the result of what we have become.

What Jesus explained to His disciples worked so well that we read later on in Acts 17:6, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”

A transformed life will impact everything around it and produce eternal results, without a single struggle to make it happen.

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.

What a Place That Will Be! by KP Yohannan

Jesus vividly illustrated for us with the parables of the lost coin, sheep and prodigal son how all of heaven breaks out in elaborate celebration over each sinner who turns to God (see Luke 15:7). He even portrays God the Father as the One who initiates the banquet, singing and dancing.

Above all, the joy, happiness and celebration will never come to an end in heaven. Psalm 16:11 says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

What a place that will be!

As believers, we have something outstanding that the world yearns for. Think about it—why do people like to listen to music, watch comedy shows, tell jokes, read cartoons or storybooks and play games? There is something in human nature that longs to smile and be happy. Yet all the happiness the world can offer is short-lived.

Our joy originates from heaven and is therefore able to fill our hearts even in the midst of suffering and difficulties. Paul and Silas, severely beaten and in chains, were celebrating in prison. Why? Their joy was anchored not in their own strength but in the promises of God: that all things would work out for their best, that Jesus had gone to the Father to prepare a place for them and that He would return to take them there.

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.

Our knowledge of the Bible turns into a relationship with Jesus by K. P. Yohannan

When we read through the book of Acts and all the letters Paul wrote, we see the result of one man’s commitment to know the Lord. Everything Paul did—evangelism, missions, sacrifice, hard work day and night—it all came out of one thing: loving Jesus, knowing the Lord.

Unless our knowledge of the Bible turns into a relationship with Jesus, the strong winds of persecution, discouragement, enticement from the world, a better job, higher salaries, concerns for the future, life struggles and relationship problems will knock us down; we will no longer closely follow the Lord.

There is no doubt that the three Hebrew young men survived the fiery furnace because of their love for the Lord. That’s the reason the fourth one, the unseen One, was there with them. And Moses rejected his position in Egypt, for by faith he saw “Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).

Every individual in the Bible who really came through and was approved by the Lord didn’t get there because of his or her achievements. It was because of a close, personal relationship with the Lord. That was the sustaining power. It takes this kind of love to go through trials and persecution just as those 50 families did who gladly walked away, willing to lose all and live and sleep under some trees in the jungle. Somehow, in their newfound faith, they saw “Him who is invisible” more visibly and tangibly than some of us do, who have learned everything and know our theology inside and out.

Today, the call of Jesus remains fresh and real: “Come, follow Me” (Luke 18:22). His footsteps will take us to the most unreached, to the suffering, to lost and dying millions. But serving them, interceding on their behalf and sacrificing to send missionaries to them will never be a burden for us because it’s all for Him. If we truly see the invisible One, all we do is because of Him, and it is truly our privilege and joy.

His arms are open wide—let us run after Him.

This entry was written by K.P. 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.

What is our Motivation? by K.P. Yohannan

What causes a young brother in Maharashtra, India, to decide to return to the same village where he was nearly beaten to death for leading 25 people to Christ?

What gives African Christians in Sudan the endurance not to renounce their faith, but to go through continuous suffering, pain and death?

They all understand what it means when Jesus says: “Follow Me.” You see, Christianity is not following a system, theology, doctrines or some ideas. It is following Him.

In all things that we do, we must keep in mind that the highest, most sacred call the Lord gave us is to walk with Him, to love Him and to know Him.

That’s why Paul wrote to the Philippians: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). In chapter three, he explains the purpose for which he renounced all things—not to reach the whole world with the Gospel, not to become a revolutionary, not to travel all over the world and plant a thousand churches—no, none of those things, but “that I may know Him” (Philippians 3:10).

This entry was written by K.P. 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.

David Livingstone’s Example by K.P. Yohannan

Henry Stanley, a worldly reporter, was sent to the jungles of Africa in search of David Livingstone. The last time the old missionary had been seen was seven years before when he returned to Africa in 1865. Finally, when Stanley found Livingstone in the middle of nowhere, the encounter changed him completely.

Stanley lived with Livingstone for four months, sharing the same hut and every part of his life as well. He watched him closely and listened to his words. To his amazement, he could find no fault in this man. Up to that point, Stanley had been very critical of religion and even described himself as the worst infidel in London. But there in the jungle he encountered a man who simply lived out the words of Jesus: “Leave all and follow Me” (see Luke 18:22). Seeing Livingstone’s love, his zeal and his commitment, Stanley’s heart changed. “I was converted by him,” he wrote, “although he had not tried to do it.”

With all the frantic activities of modern-day Christianity, it is time for us to learn that it is not the plans we make or the programs that matter most, but the simple truth of letting His life flow through us.

Don’t let it end. The journey continues . . .

This entry was written by K.P. 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.

Losing our Focus and Vision by K. P. Yohannan

It is a challenge to follow His call to walk away from these things—but it is an even greater challenge to realize we always have the chance to turn around, to go back to a life that is more comfortable.

Our Enemy, the devil, knows this, and he works hard to persuade us to do so. Let us look at what he uses to try to make us return:

Losing our focus and vision. Paul’s earthly journey was marked by his passion to know the Lord intimately. He said he counted everything as a loss compared to knowing Christ (see Philippians 3:8). Those in the cloud of witnesses had one thing on their mind—their desire to be in heaven with the Lord. Our aim is the Lord Himself. Hebrews says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2, niv).

And out of that pursuit of Him, who first loved us, comes a heart to reach the lost. Jesus came to seek and save the lost (see Luke 19:10). And as we grow to know Him more, what is important to Him becomes important to us. Out of Paul’s pursuit of the Lord came an undying passion for the lost. He was constrained by his love for Christ to live a life of incredible suffering, from which many heard the Good News (see 2 Corinthians 5:13–14, kjv).

Paul kept his focus and was able to say near the end of his life, “I have finished the race” (2 Timothy 4:7). You and I will stay faithful to continue on this journey as long as we keep the end in mind. Don’t let the devil use day-to-day discouragements to take you off course.

This entry was written by K.P. 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 is Bigger by K. P. Yohannan

It is a challenge to follow His call to walk away from these things—but it is an even greater challenge to realize we always have the chance to turn around, to go back to a life that is more comfortable.

Our Enemy, the devil, knows this, and he works hard to persuade us to do so. Let us look at what he uses to try to make us return:

The fear of the unknown. The children of Israel suffered under terrible slavery in Egypt. Yet after God led them out and did mighty acts on their behalf, they longed to return, remembering the leeks and the garlic. What happened? They were afraid of what would happen to them in an unfamiliar land filled with giants. We, too, face unknowns; what we must remember is that God is bigger than the giants, our problems and our fears.

This entry was written by K.P. 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.

Life or Death by K. P. Yohannan

It is a challenge to follow His call to walk away from these things—but it is an even greater challenge to realize we always have the chance to turn around, to go back to a life that is more comfortable.

Our Enemy, the devil, knows this, and he works hard to persuade us to do so. Let us look at what he uses to try to make us return:

Material things. Demas, one of Paul’s co-workers, had this problem. This man traveled so many miles with Paul and shared hardships with him; he could have become another Timothy, but Paul says of him, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10). We will face financial struggles of some sort, have friends who are better off than we are, and feel the need to do something to improve our lives or take better care of our families. The devil will use this. It’s a strong pull, but we must make the decision: Life or death, we will not return.

This entry was written by K.P. 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.

The Opportunity to Return by K. P. Yohannan

After we are saved and begin our relationship with God, we learn that our journey with Him has just started. We discover every day that the ordinary components of life—relationships, emotional security, accomplishments, our profession or position, financial stability or even our cultural or national heritage—can hinder us from fully giving our lives for His purposes and growing closer to Him. One by one, God calls us to walk away from these things.

Abraham, Moses and Joseph—all those in the “cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us—were also called to walk away from their “normal” lives (see Hebrews 11:4–12:1). Let us see how they responded:

All these people . . . admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them (Hebrews 11:13–16, niv).

The “opportunity to return”—what a significant phrase this is!

This entry was written by K.P. 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.