The Work of the Cross by K. P. Yohannan

You see, in the work the Lord does in our lives, salvation is just the beginning; the majority of the work remains—the work of the cross. Through the cross, God is continually trying to break us of our own hard self. In the measure in which we can be broken, in the same measure we shall experience the resurrection life and the rivers of living water that flow without hindrance.

How can we tell if we are broken or unbroken? When we have embraced the work of the cross, our lives will reflect the beauty of our Savior. But when we are still unbroken, our lives look very different.

I want to present some questions, which hopefully will shed some light on your heart so you may see what condition it is in.

Do you focus on the failures of others? Are you quick to blame people when things have gone wrong? Do you become defensive when someone criticizes you, the work you did or the things you’ve said? When we are unbroken, we tend to have a self-protective spirit, regarding our own lives as precious—are you like this, protective of your time, your rights and your reputation?

Do you compare yourself to others and feel deserving of honor? Are you driven to be recognized and strive to do things—even spiritually—to find appreciation from others? Are you easily wounded when others are promoted and you are overlooked?

Because of unbrokenness, we can find it very difficult to share our real spiritual need with others. Do you make certain that no one finds out about your sin?

Unbrokenness can often make us blind to our own true heart condition, thinking we have no need of repentance. Do you have a hard time saying, “I was wrong. Would you forgive me?”

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.

Mystery to the Truth by K.P. Yohannan

Our decision was not based on the fact that he had started a dozen churches or that he was able to oversee a large region of the country quite well. Our decision was based on the fact that God was with him and that he knew how to pray.

You see, prayer is God’s method of carry­ing out His purposes upon this earth. There is a mystery to the truth that God waits to hear and answer the prayers of His people. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 9:37–38? “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (emphasis added).

There are many people all throughout Christian history who knew the power of prayer. John Hyde was one of them. In the late 1800s, he left his home in Illinois to serve the Lord as a missionary to the people of India. There he labored, not just physi­cally but, more important, in prayer. He was known to stay up late into the night praying, as well as rising very early each morning, cry­ing out to God, “Give me souls, O God, or I die!” He was so gripped with passion for the lost, and he knew that the strongholds the enemy had upon the people could only be broken through prayer. And so pray he did.

In fact, he prayed so much that the posi­tion of his heart had shifted in his chest, later causing the complications that led to his death. But because of his prayers, in 1904 the northwestern states of India where he had labored for years experienced one of the greatest revivals the nation has ever known!

Just like Praying Hyde, we too can learn to pray and see God accomplish great things through our prayers. But we must learn. You could read every book ever written on prayer, but that won’t make you a person of prayer. We learn to pray by doing it.

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.

Love One Another by K.P. Yohannan

The kingdom of God is a relational king­dom. Think about it; Jesus didn’t ask us to only pray alone. He said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20, emphasis mine). Neither did He send out the disciples individually but rather two by two (see Mark 6). His purpose in doing things this way was so that they would be able to minister to each other and support one an­other as they reached out to the lost around them, and so that the world, by observing the disciples’ love for one another, would know the love of God.

During Jesus’ last few moments before going to the cross, He left His disciples not with a series of steps on how to reach the lost. He did not sit them down with note­books and pens or have them memorize cer­tain methods, techniques or anything else. To prepare them for the enormous task ahead, He simply left this powerful statement: “By this all men will know that you are my dis­ciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35, NIV, emphasis mine).

What is disunity except the lack of love? When we recognize the importance that Jesus placed upon loving one another above all else, and we begin to walk in obedience to His command, nothing will be able to hinder us from seeing the kingdom of God come in our generation!

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.

History Reveals by K. P. Yohannan

In the Bible, God left us the complete stories of spiritual giants through whom He worked—Moses, Elijah, David and many more—just as they were, flaws and all. He did not touch up the negatives or use Photoshop to present them in a better light. There was no cover-up.

Look at Moses. What an incredible life story is his—forsaken at birth and then rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter. He was raised in a powerful family of influence. As an adult, Moses’ heart was burdened for his people, and he spoke out against the cruel slavery inflicted upon the children of Israel. Unfortunately, he “ruined” what he felt God had called him to do by killing a man and subsequently spent 40 years hiding in the desert.

Remember that Moses was a real human being with the same feelings as you and I. Forty years is a long time to contemplate failure. When the Lord eventually came to offer him hope and unfold His rescue plan, Moses responded that God was making a mistake and that He should look for someone else (see Exodus 4:10, 13).

Elijah—the great prophet of God—was one who, in a time of terrible discouragement, simply said, “I want to die” (see 1 Kings 19:4). Talk about singing the blues!

David is another classic example. This shepherd boy turned king seemed to take the worst fall of them all. This national hero who began so well, anointed by God and considered a man after His own heart, fell into adultery and then murdered the woman’s husband to cover it up (see 2 Samuel 11). Does it get much worse than that?

Why does God show us the failures of these great leaders? Could it be He wants us to know that in spite of our fiascoes, He can still make something glorious out of our lives?

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.

Only the Beginning by K. P. Yohannan

The silence of the great hall in Cochin was broken only by soft, choking sobs. The Spirit of God was moving over the room with awesome power convicting of sin and calling men and women into His service. Before the meeting ended, 120 of the 1,200 pastors and Christian leaders present made their way to the altar, responding to the “call of the North.”

They were not saying, “I’m willing to go,” but rather “I am going.”

They made the choice to leave home, village and family, business or career and go where they would be hated and feared. Meanwhile, another 600 pastors pledged to return to their congregations and raise up more missionaries who would leave South India and go to the North.

I stood silently in the holy hush, praying for the earnest pastors crowded around the altar. I was humbled by the presence of God.

As I prayed, my heart ached for these men. How many would be beaten and go hungry or be cold and lonely in the years ahead?

How many would sit in jails for their faith? I prayed for the blessing and protection of God on them and for more sponsors across the seas to stand with them.

They were leaving material comforts, family ties and personal ambitions. Ahead lay a new life among strangers. But I also knew they would witness spiritual victory as many thousands turned to Christ and helped form new congregations in the unreached villages of North India.

With me in the meeting was U.S. Christian radio broadcaster David Mains, a serious student of revival. He had joined us in Cochin as one of the conference speakers. He later testified how the Lord had taken over the meeting in a most unusual way.

“It would hardly have been different,” he wrote later, “had Jesus Himself been bodily among us. The spirit of worship filled the hall. The singing was electrifying. The power of the Holy Spirit came upon the audience. Men actually groaned aloud. I have read of such conviction in early American history during times like the two Great Awakenings, but I had never anticipated experiencing it firsthand.”

But the Lord is not simply calling out huge numbers of national workers. God is at work saving people in numbers we never before dreamed possible. People are coming to Christ all across Asia at an accelerated rate wherever salvation is being proclaimed. In some areas like India, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand it is not uncommon now for the Christian community to grow as much in only one month as it formerly did in a whole year.

Reports of mass conversion and church growth are being underplayed in the Western press. The exciting truth about God’s working in Asia has yet to be told, partly because the press has limited access. Except in a few countries, like Korea and the Philippines, the real story is not getting out.

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.

There Is Hope by K. P. Yohannan

Robert Robinson lived in the 18th century. Converted through George Whitefield’s preaching, he himself went on to become the Methodist minister who wrote the famous hymn “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” You probably remember the lines:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,

Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;

Streams of mercy, never ceasing,

Call for songs of loudest praise.

In his latter years, Robinson wandered from the faith to pursue the pleasures of this world. While riding on a stagecoach during this time, he sat by a woman deeply fascinated by a book she was reading. When she came across a lyric she considered especially beautiful, she turned to Robinson and said, “I am reading something wonderful. What do you think about it?” This is what she read:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love.

She had no idea she was sitting next to the very man who had penned those words years earlier.

Upon remembering the song and the man he once was, Robinson broke down. With tears he replied, “Madam, I am the poor, unhappy man who composed that hymn many years ago. I would give a thousand worlds, if I had them, to enjoy the feelings I had then.” Through this encounter, Robinson was brought back into the outstretched arms of his loving God.

This story of restoration at the end of sin’s winding road is neither the first, nor will it be the last. From the beginning of time, history has demonstrated that there is hope for the one who has fallen.

The fact that you are [reading this article] shows that you too are seeking for that reassuring hope. I want you to know there is hope. Our failures are no surprise to God. He knows, with greater understanding than we, the creation He made. And this One, who sees our sins, also knows His purposes for us.

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.

Esteemed by God by K. P. Yohannan

In the book of Isaiah, we see a glimpse into God’s heart for the broken. In Isaiah 66:2 (NIV) God says, “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”

But we have a problem.

By nature, we all are the opposite of the one whom He esteems. We are all unbroken. We are as solid as the hardest substance you can find—unbending, self-centered, self ambitious and never wanting to give in. We are part of a world in which we are told, either directly or indirectly, “Fight for your rights! Be your own person! What matters is success, ability, personality, position, being important and first class in everything.” This is ingrained in us.

I remember some years ago a man applied to join GFA’s home staff. He was a computer expert, a brilliant man whose ability and talent would help the ministry in a significant way.

As he was getting ready to soon join us, he called our current office manager to ask a question that was very important to him. He explained how he was leaving an incredibly important position at his current job and went on to say, “My friends are asking me what my new position is going to be. I was wondering if you could tell me so that I can put it on my new business cards to let everyone know.”

We were taken back by his request. Not that business cards and titles are a bad thing—they are not. It was the seeking of great status and an honored title that jolted us.

I have never forgotten that day. As the office manager and I spoke, we both understood the answer we must give in reply. I said, “I don’t think we can offer him anything. If he is willing to come and clean the toilets, be a nobody, he may come. But since he already is demanding a position and looking for a great title, it would be best if he stays where he is. Please tell him not to come.”

This situation reminds me of something A.W. Tozer said: “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”

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.

Fitted Together by K. P. Yohannan

In 1 Kings 18:31, when the prophet Elijah repaired the broken altar, we are told he used 12 stones, “according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come . . .” This is an interesting statement, because at the time of this account the children of Israel were splintered into various groups, fragmented and backslidden in heart. Yet despite their condition, God still referred to them as one, together chosen as His children. It was on that restored altar, with the stones represent­ing the 12 tribes of Israel, that God made His great power known by defeating the prophets of Baal. 1­

But consider this: Would that altar have been complete with only 11 of the stones or 8 of the stones representing the tribes of Is­rael? No, it would not have been. It was all 12 stones that were recognized by God and all 12 through which He made His power known.

We can learn a lot from this Old Testa­ment example. Another beautiful illustration of how we are to be united as one is found in the temple Solomon built in Jerusalem. It is said that each stone used in its building was chipped at and carved away until it fit perfect­ly with the stones around it—so perfectly that no mortar was even needed to hold them to­gether. Each individual stone fit perfectly with the others, becoming one beautiful temple for the Lord. This is what the Lord desires for us today.

You see, rather than dwelling in a temple made with human hands as in the days of old, God has now chosen instead to dwell within us, His temple made with living stones—you and I (see 1 Peter 2:5). Like the stones used to build the temple, God desires His living stones to fit together perfectly by the unity of His Spirit and the bond of love.

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.

Time Alone With The Lord by KP Yohannan

Time alone with the Lord - KP Yohannan - Gospel for AsiaA few years ago, I heard the story of one missionary serving with our organization who, in a short time, had planted five churches in a difficult part of Northeast India. Curious of how this young brother did it, I called one of our senior leaders and asked him if he could tell me more about this brother’s ministry.

All that I knew was that he was from a tribal background and didn’t have any college education, yet regardless, it seemed that God was with him in a remarkable way. The first church he planted began with the healing of a Hindu priest who was paralyzed. Then, one after another, four more churches were born. I was more than curious to find out this brother’s secret.

Our senior leader said he would check into it and let me know what he found out. When he called to tell me, he said, “There is nothing unusual about him. I found nothing special except for one thing—he gets up very early each morning and spends two or three hours in prayer and then an hour or two reading the Bible. This habit began while he was studying in one of our Bible colleges.”

Let me give another example. One morning I was talking to a senior leader in our work on the mission field. He was traveling throughout North India to meet with many of our leaders and appoint new workers to projects that had recently been started. In our conversation we were discussing who might be able to take a certain new position. I asked him, “What do you think about this particular brother? He seems to be a really godly man. Why don’t we think about putting him in that position?”

We talked back and forth about this brother’s abilities, his lack of experience and the seriousness of the challenge in this new area of work. But finally we both agreed to trust him with the particular job. There was something about him that caused us to make that decision: He spends nearly four hours in prayer each day.

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.

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