• John Kim

On some recent panels I’ve been finding myself likening a relationship with God to a professional wrestling match.

“We’re all ringside watching this incredible battle ensue in our daily lives. There’s the good guy and the bad guy, and with each blow that’s dealt we inch closer to the edge of our seats. We get to watch as if the balance hangs in the air, but in reality each of our battles are scripted just like a WWE match. The reality is that God has already won the battle. We don’t need to fight, we just need to come into alignment with what he’s already done. The whole thing is scripted, just like professional wrestling.

As a kid, my favorite wrestler by far was Hulk Hogan. He got banged up in every encounter, and he even lost some matches here and there. But there was no doubt he would be back on top, because he was unquestionably the greatest. I just looked him up online to write this post, and found it interesting that he’s also a big believer in the big guy upstairs.

God allows setbacks because they’re a set up for the ultimate victory. If Hulk Hogan jumped into the ring without a fight, we wouldn’t have the pleasure of experiencing an incredible living drama. But life is just that… a scripted series where we know how it all ends. (Spoiler alert… the good guy wins!)

If you’re feeling down and out today, just remember… the battle is won. The war has been won. Because of what he’s already done. You might feel banged up, but victory is around the corner.

  • John Kim

I had a pretty tough childhood. I looked different than the kids in my town. They made fun of me for being scrawny. I wasn’t as athletic as them. I wanted so desperately to be accepted, but instead I was othered. At age ten, I remember thinking “I should just go kill myself. Then they’d feel sorry for bullying me like this.”

Like many others, I started to rebel as a teenager. Funny thing is that my peers started to respect me for it, so I went all in on that strategy. I spent the next decade selling fake IDs, stealing cars and dealing drugs. I had multiple run ins with the police.

Looking back, I realize now that those efforts to earn acceptance were misplaced.

Yesterday we had some disciplinary issues with our oldest son Kyan. I won’t get into details, but at one point he screamed “I just want to kill myself!” He proceeded to jump into the pool with his clothes on and held his head underwater. It was more for dramatic effect than anything, but it had me thinking about my youth this morning, and it brought me to Matthew 3.

In this passage, Jesus emerges from his baptism and God speaks out “this is my son, whom I love. With him I am well pleased.” Whether you’re a Christian or not, it’s hard to deny that this dude called Jesus had a pretty significant impact on the world. And yet before he “did” one thing… before he preached one sermon, before he cast out one demon, before he healed one person… Before Jesus started his public ministry he was fully known and fully loved.

Another translation puts God’s words this way. “You are my dearly loved son, and you bring me great joy.”

The truth is that any effort to earn acceptance is misplaced. You’re not valued because of anything you’ve done. You’re not loved because you’ve been endowed with gifts or talents. God waited on me patiently for decades, smiling as I strived to earn the respect of my peers, my family and my heavenly father. But it wasn’t until I had my own son that I really understood how much I’m loved before I “do” anything.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed today like I am, God wants you to know that he loves you. You bring him incredible joy. Even before you lift a finger, he’s already so pleased with you.

  • John Kim

I remember when Pastor Sam Kim first asked me to preach at Solomon’s Porch Singapore. I had never imagined myself in the pulpit, and really struggled to see myself doing a half decent job. But even when I didn’t believe in myself, my pastor believed in me. He might have regretted it when I got on stage and motor mouthed through the whole sermon in half the allotted time. I was so nervous I’m not sure anyone caught a word of what I was saying.

A couple weeks back I gave my last sermon at SP. I’ve slowed down my delivery, but I still feel so unworthy every time I get up there. Anyways, I shared that when God calls, often it’s from a place of lack. We might feel unable, but he is always able. He always has more faith in us than we have in ourselves.

Every now and then, we encounter a friend, a spouse, or a spiritual father who believes in us more than we believe in ourselves. Make sure to give thanks, because they are a gift from God.

Sermon is at (starts at 33:18)