Subject 27 : God's letters to us in the age of coronavirus

[27-9] The Blessed Life That Abides in God (Ezekiel 47:1-12)

(Ezekiel 47:1-12)
“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.
And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist. Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed. He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.
When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other. Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.””

The Vision Seen by Prophet Ezekiel

In today’s Scripture reading, God showed His blessings to Prophet Ezekiel through a vision. I hope we can all draw God’s blessings from this passage by faith. In the vision, Prophet Ezekiel saw water flowing from the Temple, and all kinds of fruit trees and life forms thriving because of this water. This vision speaks about all the blessings awaiting the people of Israel—that is, how they would return from their war captivity and offer thanksgiving sacrifices to God. In other words, today’s Scripture reading speaks about the restoration of the people of Israel, and it also shows the greatness of the grace God would bestow on the spiritual people of Israel. More broadly, it also describes the blessings God is offering to all mankind. 
Verse 1 says, “Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.” It’s written here that water flowed from under the threshold of the Temple toward the east, and then toward the south. In verse 2, we see Ezekiel was taken to the north gate, and he saw water flowing from the right side. A man measured the land with a line, and the measurement came to be one thousand cubits, around 12 km. After measuring a thousand cubits, the man made Prophet Ezekiel cross the water. When Ezekiel crossed the water, the water came up to his ankles. After another thousand cubits were measured and Ezekiel was taken through this water, the water came up to his knees, and the third time a thousand cubits were measured and Ezekiel walked through the water, it came up to his waist. The man once again measured one thousand cubits, and by that point the water had turned into a river that could not be crossed. 
The man then said to Prophet Ezekiel, “Son of man, have you seen this?” When Ezekiel looked, he saw countless trees on both banks of the river. The man told him that the water would flow to the sea; the sea would be healed; every life form would live wherever the river went; there would be abundant fish; fishermen would stand by the banks; fruit trees would flourish; and their fruit would be for food and their leaves for medicine, for the water flowed from the sanctuary. This is a rough summary of today’s Scripture reading. The core message here is that as the water flowed from the sanctuary, it surged so abundantly that it became a river that could not be crossed. Spiritually speaking, God is promising here to restore the people of Israel, and for you and me living in New Testament times, God is saying that He would bestow us with such blessed grace. This is what God is saying to us today.

Water Flowing from the Temple

Water flowed from under the Temple in all four directions—east, west, south, and north. This means that God would bless the people of Israel and also give such abundant blessings to us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What would be the core reason for God to restore us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? God restored the people of Israel to fulfill His will. Although God had let the people of Israel suffer under their enemy’s captivity when they committed idolatry, ultimately, God’s battle was with the fallen angel standing against Him. In other words, because the people of Israel listened to God’s opponent, worshipped idols instead of God, and in doing so did not give to Him the glory that He deserved, God became jealous and let the people of Israel eat the bread of adversity. However, God rebuked them precisely because He loved them so much. No matter what wrongdoings they did, in the end, God’s ultimate purpose was restoring them in both body and spirit with His blessings by freeing them completely from their slavery and having them return to the Kingdom of Israel. This was God’s will for the people of Israel, and it is also God’s will for you and me. Here, God is also speaking to you and me living in New Testaments times about true faith and spiritual growth. 
Today’s Scripture reading tells us that the water flowing from the Temple reached the ankles, the knees, and then the waist. Here God is speaking to us about not only the grace of salvation He has bestowed on us the righteous, but also the blessings He has given us in every aspect of our lives. When we first receive the remission of sins by listening to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can feel the joy of salvation and the grace of God descending on our hearts, but it is only about ankle-deep, and we can’t really feel beyond that. It is enough for us to realize that we have been saved. However, as we continue to carry on with our lives of faith by obeying and following the will of the Lord, we can truly appreciate just how great God’s blessings are. When you are waist-deep in water, it is difficult to walk. And when the water gets deep enough for your head to be submerged, you have to swim from then on. This is how God bestows His grace and blessings on us.
The God-given grace is found in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that Jesus Christ fulfilled when He came to this earth. At the time of the creation of the heavens and the earth, mankind listened to the fallen angel, God’s enemy, and together with him sinned against God by challenging His authority. As a result, human beings had to be punished for this sin. Because Adam and Eve, the ancestors of mankind, united their hearts with God’s enemy and did something that God abhorred, the entire human race had to suffer the consequences of this sin. The price of this sin was to eat the bread of adversity and drink the water of affliction, but there was a purpose behind this: it was to instill mankind with the desire to return to God. And when human beings do return to God like this, He will bestow them with abundant spiritual blessings of Heaven.  
When you and I first realize and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are overjoyed just for being saved from our sins. But, this joy grows even more. In a little while, we come to receive not only spiritual blessings, but once we live according to the will of God, we can feel blessings for our bodies also. For us to live according to the will of God, we must stand on His side rather than listening to the fallen angel opposing Him, and we must live by faith for God’s glory. Only then is it possible for us to live in obedience to God’s will. To listen to the Word of God and glorify Him in our lives means living according to His purpose. God will then bless us for knowing and believing in His providence. God will give us such great, abundant blessings that it will be like swimming in a river. He will bless us so that we can live completely immersed in His grace. 
Ever since I received the remission of my sins by realizing the Lord’s love and plan and believing in His gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, I have received countless blessings while living for the proclamation of this gospel, which is God’s will. To spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I have had to fight the false prophets who are God’s enemies, and I have also gone through many other struggles and hardships. However, every time I struggled, I could see God helping me. The Bible says that water flowed from God’s Temple, formed a river, reached the sea, and brought all living creatures in the sea to thrive. The Bible also says that as this river flowed through the land, trees bore many fruits for food and leaves for medicine. Just like this, we can also see our God giving us countless blessings both in body and spirit. When we grasp that God is our God, decide to never stand against Him no matter what, and determine ourselves to live for Him according to His purpose, we can see from our own experience how God grows our faith and at the same time fills us with many material blessings as well. Thanks to God’s blessings, we have been able to live by faith to this day. God said that He would bless us to swim in the river of grace, and the greatest blessing God has given to us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the fact that we can live for His glory.  

What Does It Mean for Us to Live for God’s Glory?

Even though we have done many wrongdoings against God, rather than condemning us for all those sins, God has made us eat the bread of adversity and drink the water of affliction, so that we would return to Him. This is the will of God, and accepting this will by faith is what it means to live for God’s glory. Ultimately, it is all about believing God when He says to us, “I love you. I have blotted out your sins with the water and the blood. I am your God. I have given you My Spirit and made you My children. I have given you the blessed gospel Word of everlasting life. I have also given you every Word so that you may believe in Me.” This is the greatest blessing God has in store for us sinners. It means that God has already given the Word of blessings to you and me. 
We the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have the Word of salvation and the remission of sins, and we also have in our hearts the Holy Spirit who enables us to believe in the Word of God. These are the greatest blessings for you and me. It is a tremendous blessing for me that I know the Word of God, understand the Word of God, and am preaching the true Word of God. Moreover, it is not just I but you have also been saved from the sins of the world, and we all now know what pleases God. What a wonderful blessing this is! Even after being saved from our sins, we could still have stood against God in unity with the fallen angel, but we are instead abiding in the Church always, and as a result we are able to hear and believe in the Word of God. Words cannot express how thankful I am for this. The more we get to know God’s love for us, the further away we get from His enemy. God has blessed us to now realize such mysteries with His Word. God has given such understanding to you and me who are abiding in His Church. 

The Righteous Are Always Battling God’s Opponents

Do you realize that the fallen angel is standing against God and fighting Him even now? Even at this very moment, the fallen angel is still standing against God, and he is also entering people’s hearts and agitating them to stand against God. Does this then mean that God is leaving His enemy alone because He is powerless? No, of course not! God is leaving him alone until the day of judgment, and in the meanwhile He is saving lost souls. Until this day when the fallen angel faces God’s judgment and is cast into hell, Satan will continue to enter into people’s hearts to make them stand against and challenge God. Before receiving the grace of salvation from God and realizing His will, we had listened to the fallen angel in our lives, but we no longer listen to any of his words anymore.  
Until the day of judgement, “Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” (Hebrews 1:13), God will bestow His grace on whom He will bestow His grace. While this battle is also fought between the Devil and us, in truth it is a battle between God and the fallen angel, His enemy. Rather than using force, God is graciously offering His merciful salvation to the souls. He is waging a spiritual battle against His enemy in this world. As God is fighting such a battle with the enemy, if we set our minds to believe in the Word of God, live by faith, follow His will, and glorify Him in our lives, God will untangle all the twisted knots of our lives and bestow us with indescribable blessings.   

God Is the God of the Righteous

God is the Savior of us, who had stood against Him. God is our Shepherd, and He is always on the side of the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He sides with those who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and are following His will. In other words, God is on our side, and that is why we are enjoying the marvelous grace of salvation and such wonderful blessings in both body and spirit. How is such a blessed life possible but by God’s grace? Even now, Satan is spewing out his lies and uttering nonsense, saying, “It’s not enough to just believe in Jesus. You have to be able to speak in tongues to open the gate of the spiritual dominion.” The fallen angel, entering into the hearts of people and of the false prophets, whispers to them and shows them false visions, trying to drive a wedge between God and us. Some people are deceived by this, and as a result they end up spreading these words of deception to others. 
However, for us the believers in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, God has become our God, and we have become His blessed people. Even though we had been constantly trampled by Satan, once we realize the true gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of Jesus Christ, we do not fall for the deceiving words of Satan whispering to us, “Go after your desires and be faithful to yourself.” Even though we have many shortcomings, we can reject him decisively and say, “God has saved us, and He has solved away all the curses of our sins. So why would we serve you, fallen angel, instead of God?” When we live for God, God will provide for our needs in time. God will help us in time of need.  
Today’s Scripture reading says that the water flowing from under the threshold of the Temple reached the ankles, the knees, the waist, and to the point where one had to swim. This means that God has clothed us in the unfathomable grace of salvation and the spiritual blessings of Heaven. God has given such blessings to all of us who believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. After being saved from all the sins of this world, we sometimes mistakenly set our minds on the flesh rather than the glory of God, and wonder to ourselves, “How can I live like this?” However, the thoughts of the flesh lead to death. When we harbor carnal thoughts, we worry about our future, wondering about what will happen to us. Gripped by doubt and uncertainty, we think to ourselves, “Even though we have been saved by faith, shouldn’t we live the rest of our lives by the strength of our flesh?” Isn’t this true for you? We all have gone through such a phase. 
Despite this, however, because our God has told us to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our lives, we are living according to the Word of God in obedience. Victory is ours if we set our minds to live spiritually for God instead of just ourselves; have the determination to say, “If I perish, I perish”; spread the righteousness of the Lord with this determination; and do indeed live for God. We are also redeeming the time to put the God-spoken Word in action. To fulfill God’s glorious purpose, we are now spreading the gospel through our literature ministry for the sake of everyone all over the world. And to preach the gospel like this, we have to support the gospel ministry. When we first began to work to support the gospel ministry, we faced a lot of hardship in the flesh. However, the more time went by, the more blessings God gave us. His grace reached the ankles, the knees, and the waist, and it eventually immersed us entirely so that we are now swimming in the river of grace. That is how we have come to finally live a life that is completely dedicated to glorifying God. This is the blessed Word of promise that God gave to the people of Israel, and to you and me as well, who are today’s spiritual people of Israel. And it is also our joy to see all who actually follow the Lord receive such blessings. 
Some people think in their flesh that if they follow the Lord, they will be ruined and end up in poverty. But such thoughts are from when we were not born again. Now that we have been born again, we will never fail if we live for God and dedicate our lives to the spreading of the gospel. There are stages to receiving God’s blessings by faith. In the first stage, we endure hardship and suffer many losses for the glory of God. In the second stage, as our faith in the Word of God grows more and more, we come to receive His blessings. Those who live for the glory of God endure many hardships to remove the dross of their hearts and flesh, and it is after this that they come to receive God’s great blessings and live with the righteous. Even though those who serve the gospel are bound to endure hardships and face difficulties, when they look back at how they have lived to this day, they can realize that they have received such tremendous blessings from God that it feels like a dream.  
God has established His Church to protect those who have been saved from the sins of the world. And God has raised His servants for the sake of the saints. From there, God has given many workers of His to the members of the Church. Once His Church is established, God makes us carry out His work and support the gospel ministry. He makes us serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit with our labor, and we come to realize that God blesses us abundantly when we carry out this work together and live in His Church. Even though we have been freed from the enemy’s grip, without God’s Church, it is impossible for us to receive such blessings. Although we have been delivered from the world, we can never live such a blessed life without finding God’s Church and meeting His servants, workers, and people. Trying to prevent you from living such a life, the Devil continues to try to deceive you and keeps on goading you to stand against God, saying to you, “Go out to the world and live on your own. Are you dumb? Are you stupid? You will do just fine all on your own.” 
This is what the fallen angel is saying, but, in contrast, God said, “I will bless My people. I will bring the people of Israel back from their slavery and bless them in both body and spirit so that they may prosper.” God said that He will raise His servants for us. He said He will raise workers for us, protect us, feed us, clothe us, and bless us in both body and spirit to carry out His work. So, if we abide in God’s dominion and live by faith in His Word, we will come to live immersed in His blessings, as though we were swimming in a deep river. 
When you look at me, it may seem as though I am addicted to God’s work. It seems even to me that I am addicted. When I am done with one task, there are many more tasks waiting for me. I can see in my head that carrying out God’s work like this will be for my own good, and my heart also has this faith. Just as the Bible says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1), I can see it by faith. God pours His blessings on those who have the vessel of faith ready. But, if your vessel is too small, then you cannot receive that many blessings, since the vessel will be full in no time. Whenever we accomplish a task, I thank God, and I recommit my life to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, offer myself to this endeavor, and desire to serve God’s work together with our brothers and sisters. And then I prepare a bigger vessel, telling myself, “I should now prepare an even bigger vessel of faith.” I must prepare the vessel of faith first like this, asking God for even more blessings. My God then always fills the vessel that I prepared. Using these God-given blessings as the seed money, I then make even more preparations and keep on asking God to bless them. 
What it means to live amid God’s grace is something that is appreciated by only those who have actually lived like this. It means God is answering our prayers, blessing us, making sure that we are prosperous in both body and spirit, and letting us carry out worthwhile works. This is what it really is like to live the spiritual life of faith, and it means living with God’s amazing blessings. Ultimately, we are to live such a blessed life. 
We the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are living a purposeful life. We ought to say to ourselves, “I will be on God’s side, for I have been saved from my sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with my heart. I will not listen to the fallen angel who opposes God. And I will not do anything that besmirches God, nor will I ever stand against Him. Who is pleasing to God? God is pleased to see the gospel being spread. God is rejoiced to be with His people. It is a joy for God to take care of His people. God is pleased to see His people being blessed and prospering in both body and spirit.” Because God’s providence is so clear and definitive like this, we are moving toward that purpose step by step. God’s providence will then be all fulfilled. 
God’s Church was not as strong as it now is from the beginning. I struggled immensely with hardship when I first began to preach the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit in order to establish God’s Church in this world. I used to say in the past that I was sleeping with the enemies for the sake of spreading the gospel. I had slept with my enemies in the same room, ate from the same table, and lived together with them. I knew them all. I knew all about who they were and what they were doing. Even so, because there were many among them whose deliverance was my duty, I had to endure many hardships patiently. In time, God gradually cleansed our gathering with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Having purged us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God began to bless us so that we could live entirely for Him and support the gospel ministry energetically. All that I did was just pray to God and take a step, but whenever I did so, God blessed the work I was doing. I have experienced such blessings countless times in my life. 
God created us. However, our ancestors Adam and Eve, instead of siding with God, committed a great sin by standing against Him, uniting their hearts with His opponent, the fallen angel. Because we are all descendants of such wretched beings, we could not help but sin by standing against God, but God came looking for us, found us, and loved us. Jesus Christ Himself came to this earth, bore all our sins and curses through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, and suffered the death that we should have suffered for our sins by dying on the Cross. And to give us new life, He rose from the dead again and has made us God’s own children. In this way, we have been saved from our sins and become God’s workers. You and I have come to live for the glory of God. It is not just I but also you who have come to live for God’s glory. This makes me as rejoiced and thankful to God as the fact that I have been saved, or perhaps even more. 
There are some people who stand against the work of God the Savior even after being saved from their sins. They sin by seeking their own carnal wellbeing and prosperity. But, once we are born again, we ought to labor for God and carry out His work.  
I don’t know about you, but I believe it’s a great blessing that I have so much of God’s work to carry out today, tomorrow, and beyond. There are many more greater blessings than even this: I am standing on God’s side; God is on my side; He is my God and my Savior; God has prepared for me everything I need on this earth; He has readied His House for me to live and is waiting for me; I will live forever with God; I have become one of God’s people and workers; I belong to Him; and I am living for His glory. What wonderful blessings are these? There is no blessing greater than these. There are countless people living in this world, and 99.9 percent of them are standing against God in their lives. This means 99.9 percent of human beings are not really living their lives, and are instead living to stand against God. Only an extremely few people are standing with God and living in His love and grace. 
The one simple fact that we are not standing in the path of the opponents against God itself means that we have received tremendous blessings to swim freely in the river of the grace of God. Isn’t this true? For those whose lives belong to God’s enemy, their end is miserable. Their earthly lives are also wretched. You can see this wretchedness just by looking at your own parents and grandparents. There is no need to look far; you can see it right next to you. Those who stand against God live a hurried life trying to look after their own flesh and meet the necessities of life, but their end is wretched. Because their hearts have sins, even their laughter is tainted by worries, and they can never laugh wholeheartedly. Because they have so many worries, even when there is a cause to celebrate, they are always wary. In contrast, those who are on God’s side laugh and rejoice wholeheartedly when they are happy. Friendship is not just for people in the same age group. You can be friends with anyone regardless of the age, young and old alike. The righteous can all share communion with one another. You and I have come to live such a blessed life, and this has been made possible all because God has blessed us for standing on His side. 
Our lives are blessed because we are living on God’s side; this is why we have received God’s blessings and are enjoying them freely in our bodies and spirits, and why we can live a worthy life of service with pride and self-esteem. Living such a life is God’s blessing. God said that He would give such a blessed life to the people of Israel, and that He would also give such blessings to you and me, who had been Gentiles. And I believe that this Word has been fulfilled to you and me today. 
I am so happy every day of my life. My life is structured along a regular pattern. My daily routine is the same every day. You can easily find me at a specific place on a specific time. Not a day is missed. I go to the workplace even on Sundays. Unless I do my work with all my heart like this, it does not get done. If I were to slack off when carrying out the work of the gospel like the people of the world, my vessel would be tiny. I must make the vessel of faith bigger before God. I pray to God to bless my vessel, and I share these blessings with you. I am constantly receiving and enjoying God’s blessings in my life. Because you are also living by faith in God, you all are also the recipients of God’s blessings. The fact that you belong to God and are living on His side means that you have already received His blessings. It would be a tragedy if you were to side with God’s enemy and belong to him instead. The culmination for those who stand against God is nothing but sorrow and curses. All that awaits them is rebuke.  
I hope and pray that you would all realize what a blessed life it is to be on God’s side and belong to Him. And I ask you to believe this with your heart. I do not know how we have come to receive such wonderful blessings. When I was living out in the world, nothing went well for me even though I did my best and worked tirelessly. All I got was a grave illness. So, not wanting to be a burden to others, I wanted to end my life quietly, but I thought to myself, “Before I go, I should address the problem of sin in my conscience.” 
While searching for a solution, I heard some people say to me in passing, “If you believe in Jesus, you will receive the remission of sins.” I thought to myself, “I should go to a church and speak with someone there to get the problem of sin resolved.” So, I went to a church, spoke with the members there, and asked them to address my sins. I attended the church only a few times, but I felt something warm and cozy enveloping my soul, and it dawned on me, “I shouldn’t die! I should live!” Like this, as courage sprang forth in my heart, I asked God to heal me from my illness, and I promised Him that if He did so, I would believe Him, believe in Jesus, and attend church in two months’ time. After two months, the promised time came. Before starting to attend church, I probed around a bit trying to prepare myself, and found out that churchgoers should not smoke or drink. So, although it was hard, I quit smoking and drinking. I figured since I was going to become a Christian, I might as well go in all the way. I practiced Christianity like this for a long time. Yet, even though I believed in God, I couldn’t help but stand against Him. Although I professed to be a believer, since I had not even received the remission of sins, I was ultimately doing little more than living for myself and seeking my own worldly prosperity.  
As I struggled with my sins, there were many times when I prayed to God to help me understand His Word, saying, “Lord, what is this Word saying? Please help me understand what You are saying here.” Even though the Bible said that my sins would be blotted out as white as snow, they were still intact in my heart despite believing in Jesus. So, I prayed to God constantly to shed light with His Word. One day, while reading Matthew, I had an epiphany. Jesus said in Matthew 3:15, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” I thought to myself, “The phrase ‘all righteousness’ means everything that is right. This means Jesus’ baptism was not a mere ritual, but the fulfillment of all the righteousness of God. It follows then that the purpose for which Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist was to fulfill all the righteousness of God. How was all the righteousness of God fulfilled here?” 
God then reminded me of the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, where the sacrificial offerings received sins passed on to them through the laying on hands. I could now understand why John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist as the representative of mankind for “thus” (hoo’-tos gar (οὕτως γὰρ in Greek)) to fulfill all righteousness “dikaiosune (δικαιοσύνην in Greek).” That is why Jesus said, “Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” From this passage I could now understand that my sins and all the sins of mankind were passed on to the head of Jesus. 
Ripples spread out silently throughout my heart, as if a stone were dropped on a large lake. When I realized the meaning of this passage, I was speechless and could not utter a single word for half an hour. From then on, whenever I read the Word of God, I could understand what it was saying. I came to understand what the Word of God was telling me, “Oh, so this is what the Word means!” Until I understood the Word of God, I had not stood entirely on His side, and as a result I had been grappling with many spiritual conflicts. However, by putting me through such difficult processes, God not only saved me, but also made me stand on His side ultimately. Determined to serve God, I said to myself, “I will never stand against God even if I were to starve to death. Now that I have been born again, I will not minister as I had been ministering before being born again. I will never live such a life. I will not minister to line my own pocket. Even if it means saving just one soul, I will preach to this soul the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and I will nourish it.” God then led me to my ministry, and that is how I got to where I am today.  
Even now, the greatest grace God has given me is the grace that has saved me and made me carry out the gospel ministry in my life. An even greater blessing than this is the fact that I have come to work by God’s side. Is there any greater blessing? Even after being saved, if I were to live my life opposed to God, I would be ruined. I would be treated like the man who received one talent. Rather than being God’s opponent, I am standing on His side and living for His glory despite my shortcomings—this is what it means to receive grace upon grace, and to live with God’s blessings upon blessings. I consider and believe that my life of faith is God’s blessing. Words cannot express just how grateful I am. When I look at you, I think the same: “You are enduring hardship to serve the Lord, but you are in fact living a blessed life. You are standing on God’s side and living your life according to His purpose.” It is with these inner thoughts that I pray together with you when we face hardship and carry out God’s work with you. I am so thankful for this. I do not know how much time I have left on this earth, but I am determined to live for the spreading of the gospel until the day I go into the presence of God.  
Even if we have 30,000 daily visitors to our website and 1,000 e-books are downloaded every day, we still have a long, long way to go, given the fact that the world population is around 8 billion. What we need is time. We need time not only for us to preach the gospel, but also for those who heard the gospel from us to preach it, and for these people to spread the gospel as well. I am biding my time for this. Even though I am getting old, I never think about my age. Even now I think I am still 28 years old. I live young. I want to think young and take good care of my health. Because I belong to God together with you, I pray to God to never let me stand on the side of His enemy, and I want to live on God’s side.   
Just as God has given us many blessings, I believe He will continue to bless us abundantly. I give all my thanks to God for His grace. Hallelujah!
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