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Jin Eun Jung – Live Deeply

I’m Pastor Jin Eun Jung of Sarang Church in Knoxville, and I’ll be guest preaching at CSPC Sunday. This is how God’s been enabling me to live deeply.

Change is difficult for human beings- I realize that by looking at myself. A few weeks ago, when I was meditating on the Word of God, I had to confess, ‘Lord, I’m still struggling with this sinful desire. Every day I pray to you, but I’m still struggling.’ Here’s what I wrestle with: When I lead a church Bible study, so many times, I want to show MY righteousness instead of Christ’s righteousness. That’s easy to do when you’re a pastor- you job is to speak! So I find myself pointing out this answer and that answer, making such and such a point. Don’t get me wrong- I genuinely want to teach & help my congregation, but this can also become a subtle way of flaunting my knowledge or education or spirituality. Once I come back home after finishing a small group meeting or Bible study, I often feel, ‘I shouldn’t have talked like that.’ I’m tired of having this regret, but I keep on doing the same thing. Why am I still struggling? After all, I’m a pastor! For me, my struggle is I’m praying, but my heart’s not in it; not sincerely. So I need to be praying more sincerely, not just out of habit. God was very kind to reveal that to me in my meditation, and now I’m trying to follow Him in making that change to my prayer life. The good news? I’m seeing some change-  it’s been going a little better lately.  For instance, before group Bible study now, I stand alone in front of God for a minute or two and pray: ‘Lord, I’m going to lead this Bible study, but I don’t want to show my righteousness. I want to just glorify YOUR righteousness. Please clean my heart and use my lips in that way.’ Then I go serve, and it makes some difference- He strengthens me.

Will you pray for my continued strength and faithfulness? My family’s last year has been really, really busy. My wife is now a full-time student at UT pursuing her Master’s degree. That consumes a lot of her time & energy. So I still have my pastor job, but my husband and father job (we have an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old) has become more demanding. Please also pray for our church to grow in maturity. We’re grateful to share CSPC’s campus, and God is doing a lot of good work. For example, about 17 Korean college students attend our church. Half of those are still finding their way in terms of faith- they don’t accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. But they still all come together at my house every Friday night for Korean food, sharing together, and having fun. Step by step, I’m confident some will become Christians. None have yet, but they will. Until recently, we also had six Japanese students attending. It’s really, really difficult culturally in Japan to believe in Jesus Christ, yet these students attended church many Sundays and came to our house to share food and fellowship. The last time we were together, we prayed for them and shared the Gospel, telling them, ‘We want you to have the greatest gift for your life, Jesus Christ.’ So there’s been a lot of opportunity to share the Gospel. We’ve had one adult baptism this year- a man who accepted Christ after attending our church for four years! Step by step, ever since he started attending church, the Lord opened this man’s heart. It’s our church culture that we really don’t push people to make a decision or get baptized. But we see a lot of people taking steps toward knowing Jesus, and we help them wherever they are on the journey. I know how patient & kind the Lord has been with me. How could I not give that same grace to others?

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