God’s Possession (John 3:16)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The play we just watched made me think of many things. When a person is born into this world, they do not come wearing clothes, a hat, or a ring. As someone wrote in the Bible, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there”. In other words, we arrive empty-handed and will depart in the same manner. When a person is born, they have nothing in their hands. However, as they go through life, they receive things from others. It’s during this journey that they come to perceive themselves as someone who possesses or owns something. Therefore, we think such selves as our true selves. However, in our true essence, we originally have nothing. Hence, when we depart, we do so in the same state.
However, now we come to the church and live a faith life. What kind of life is a faith life? It is not a life of losing but a life of gaining. A Faith life is not a life of deprivation but a life of possession. Some may misunderstand, thinking that coming to the church steals their time, money, and human relationships. This is a misconception.
Faith life is not about losing things but is aimed at gaining and possessing things. The question is, while everyone owns something and desires to own more, what are we trying to possess through our faith life? We are not living a faith life in order to gain what belongs to Mr Kim or the inheritance that my father is going to give me. The reason we are living a faith life is that we want to take possession of something that belongs to someone, and that someone is God. Faith life is about seeking to possess that which God possesses. And we can actually gain it. We do own it. As a result, what is God’s is now mine. God’s possession is now mine – this is the reason we live a faith life.
Of course, there is something we need to acknowledge first. “Everything that is mine is God’s!” We need to remember that we didn’t originally possess anything, even our existence and being come from God. The purpose of our faith life is to possess what belongs to God.
What do you think belongs to God? That which belongs to God is different from what belongs to human. No matter how much humans may own and possess, with time, they will lose everything. Just as they came into this world empty-handed, they will leave empty-handed. Therefore, there is nothing that humans can claim as their own. However, what comes from God is different because God has existed from eternity past to eternity future. Thus, everything He possesses is eternal. Nothing that belongs to Him will ever disappear. So if we can possess what belongs to Him, we will possess it for all eternity.
However, our human lifespan typically spans around 70 or 80 years. So, how can we possibly possess something eternal? It might seem beyond our dream. However, God created us humans as eternal beings. Our physical bodies may fade away with time, but that is not the end. Our soul-spirit endures eternally.
Why do we exist eternally? It is because God has prepared it this way for us to possess what belongs to Him. Therefore, we are able to possess the things of God. What belongs to God does not disappear but remains eternal. To God, those things which exist for a short time and then disappear mean nothing because God is He who lives eternally.
The word ‘eternal’ or ‘eternity’ may not hit home for you. If someone were to live for to 100 years, we would consider it a long life. A thousand years are ten times longer than a hundred years. There are ten thousand years, a hundred thousand years, and even a million years. However, eternity surpasses them at all. It has no end. This is how God exists. Consequently, everything He possesses is also everlasting.
God is a joyful being. For humans, happiness often depends on having something, but God can experience joy even without any possessions. Human happiness is fleeting, but God’s happiness is eternal. God is eternally joyful, without any conditions. While humans often require external sources of joy, God’s joy is eternal. Furthermore, God possesses limitless power, allowing Him to do anything He desires. Everything we refer to as ‘Mother Nature’ is God’s creation, crafted according to His will. All of it belongs to God.
Furthermore, God has created not only the visible world but also the invisible world. Among the invisible, there is non-material existence. We cannot see air, but it exists. Additionally, there are entities that transcend the material, such as countless spirits, angels, and the soul-spirits of human beings – none of which can be seen but all of which exist. Heaven and hell are also unseen but real, and all of these aspects of creation were brought into being by God.
God is almighty. Nothings is impossible for Him; whatever He decides, He is able to accomplish. God is all-knowing. Didn’t it say that He even numbers the hair on our heads? He even knows the thoughts in the hearts of that person. This is true. Regardless of the number of people on Earth, God knows the thoughts and minds of each and every one of them.
There is no one on Earth as rich as God. If He wished to monopolies everything He possesses, it would be impossible for anyone to obtain God’s possessions, no matter how hard they tried. However, God is the One who desires to share all the good things He has with human beings. He longs to bestow every good thing He possesses upon people. He doesn’t only give to the people that He looks upon with favor saying, “Ah, this person is outstanding”. Whether someone is exceptional or not, if they are human, God desires to share His blessing with them. In light of this, we say that God ‘called us by glory and virtue.” God wants to share what He has with him. In regards to this, we say that God “called us by glory and virtue”.
God is not only abundant in glory but also rich in virtue. Even if God were immensely rich in glory, without virtue, He would enjoy that glory alone. However, He desires to share all these blessings with us. That is why today, we can boldly possess the things of God.
Who are we? We were nothing but mere flesh, arriving empty-handed and departing in the same manner. However, God breathed life into us, bestowed His grace upon us, and enabled us to know Him and partake in all that belongs to God. This is why human is a remarkable creation. In terms of our physical existence, humans may appear no different from animals.
However, in the presence of God, humans are treated like Him. Despite this, if someone still says, “I am no different from animals! I simply need to live and then die!” they are treating themselves as mere animals. Yet, God regards humans in the same way He regards Himself. He desires to bestow all that He possesses upon us, humans. Therefore, what He desires is for us to embrace the truth that everything that belongs to God is also mine. What is God’s is mine.
But how can we dare to do that? Imagine someone coming to us and saying, ‘Everything that belongs to you is now mine!’ How absurd would that be? If someone came up to me saying, “All that is yours is mine!” how ridiculous would that be? But let’s say that little kid happened to be my son. Then what he said is right, isn’t it? Everything we have belongs to our child. Despite our simplicity and ignorance, God has embraced us and opened a way for us to declare, ‘What belongs to God is mine!’ and to make that claim. This is faith life.
Faith life is by no means a life of loss. Some may think, “In church, they ask for offerings and take away my time.’ They perceive it as losing based on what is visible. However, with inspiration, if we can see what God is doing, we come to realize that God is, in fact, trying to bestow many things upon us. Once we grasp this truth, we cannot help but be captivated by God. We cannot help but love Him. We cannot help but entrust our lives to Him.
So, what should you do as you return to the church from now on? You need to possess the things of God. You should be able to boldly proclaim, ‘What belongs to God is mine!’ As you grasp the richness of God’s own, your life will become even more abundant.
Let me provide a more concrete way to understand how to possess the things of God. It begins with knowing God. To possess what belongs to God, you must first know Him. Just as my son can own my possessions by knowing me, knowing someone implies that you own everything they have. When you can confidently declare to someone, ‘Everything you have is mine!’ then you truly know that person.
So in the Bible, the concept of “to know” is employed in a slightly different way than our common understanding. In the Book of Genesis of the Bible it says this: “Adam knew Eve his wife again, and she bore a son and name him Seth”. Adam, as the first spiritual human being, had relations with his wife Eve, resulting in her giving birth to a son. In the original Hebrew text, it is written as ‘Adam knew Eve his wife, so she bore a son.’ Similarly, when it is mentioned that God chose Abraham, it is expressed as ‘God knew Abraham.’ In these verses, ‘knowing’ implies having authority over that person and claiming everything they possess as one’s own. Therefore, if we are to possess the things of God, we must truly know God.
So, what is the way for us to know God? Originally, humans cannot know God because He is invisible. However, in the passage which I read for you it says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. When it mentions, “whoever believes in Him”, it means, whoever knows Him. In other words, whoever knows Jesus will know God. Knowing the invisible God is challenging, which is why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, for us.
Jesus came into history, spoke, acted, and interacted with many people, demonstrating Himself. That is why we can know Him. The invisible God may come to feel vague. We don’t know how we can know Him. However, we can know Jesus because everything He did is already written in the Bible.
When we observe Jesus and the works He carried out, if we find that He is so full of mercy, it means God is full of mercy. If we see that He has power, that means God has power. If He came and condemned and judged man because man sinned, that means God will do the same. But actually, when man committed wrong, Jesus never condemned, judged nor rebuked him. Instead He embraced man, forgave and opened a way to life for him. Thus He says, “I do not condemn you!” And it happens to be that God doesn’t condemn us because we sinned. Rather, He saves man who was doomed to death due to sin.
Whoever knows Jesus can know God. And only such a person can possess the things of God. Everything that God gives, He gives in a bag. And that bag is called eternal life. I am speaking figuratively. In eternal life is everything of God.
Eternal life means life that is everlasting. A seed has life in it. Although a seed is small, it contains its tree, the orchard and its amazing world. In the same way, within eternal life which God gives is everything that the eternal God has and enjoys. The reason God sent His Son was for us to know God and have eternal life through His Son. It was for us to enjoy all the things of God.
Can anyone dare say to God, “All that is Yours is mine”? But whoever has faith, whoever knows Jesus can say to God, “Yours is mine!” This is because God granted that. When we are facing hardships, there is no way for us to overcome them on our own.
For example, if suddenly in need of urgent funds and seeking help, what should we do? We say, ‘I need help!’ In such moments, we may call people everywhere to find a solution, but we, as Christians seek God. We call upon God because He is wealthy. What belongs to God is mine. God is rich. Moreover, when we lack health, God is abundant in life. So, we call upon God and say, ‘God, what is Yours is mine. Please grant me health!’ When we lack joy, we ask, ‘God give me Your joy! All that is Yours is mine!” To be able to do that is our faith lives.
Faith life is not about trying to have what other people who believe in Jesus have. If that is what’s on your mind, you’ll end up disappointed. If you think, “I notice that people attending Sungrak Church have something special, and I must obtain it too,’ you’ll find disappointment. God possesses everything, and having what belongs to God is what faith is about. We are here to assist you in that journey. Therefore, in the name of Jesus, I bless you that you become someone who possesses the things of God, who is joyful in His own right.
I’ll pray for this.
God our Father, thank You for sending us Jesus Christ so that we can possess everything that You possess. Help everyone here to discover more of that from now on and enjoy them abundantly. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center