Every year, I, along with four other pastors (KiChae Han, HyungEun Ji, KwanJae Yoo, and ChanKyu Lee), have been leading a pastors’ seminar. This year, we shared the joy of serving pastors in New Zealand. It has already been 6 years since we started. We first began small, but we see our continuity bearing results in an amazing way. Whatever it may be, continuity brings out an amazing power. To continue means to repeat. It means adding to the numbers. The important thing is to start. All great accomplishments begin with a first step. No matter how great of an idea it may be, if you don’t turn the idea into action then there is no result. Starting and taking the first step is what’s important. In the process of a child’s growth, we see that the whole family cheers when a baby takes his or her first step. ‘The first step’ is truly beautiful. However, there is something that is even more important than starting. That is to continue what has been started.
We all know that power of continuity. Small drops of water could penetrate a rock if they continue to drop on the rock. No matter how small it may be, if it repeats and continues itself, it will bring about a powerful result. Muscles are not made overnight. Muscles are formed only through repetition and continuity. It is the same for the muscles of our mind and spirit. However, as many of us have experienced, continuing important works is not easy. For example, continuing to read through the Bible once every year, meditating and praying daily, evangelizing and participating in mission for the salvation of souls, and keeping at a lifelong journey of learning for the growth of oneself and family are definitely not easy things to do.
When I was first learning about meditation, the most difficult thing was to continue. It wasn’t easy at first, but as I strengthened my spiritual willpower I was able to continue in meditating on the Word. Then how can we continue to do things that we consider to be important to us? How can we strengthen our spiritual willpower? First, we must repeatedly remind ourselves of the importance of the things we want to continue. We repeat what we consider to be meaningful. For such reason, we must add a new dimension of meaning into the things that we want to continue. In order to remind ourselves of the meaning of the things we want to continue, it is good to keep books that teaches us about the importance of the things we want to continue near us. When I was first learning about the Word meditation, I kept the books that taught about the importance of the Word meditation near me and read them frequently.
Second, we must be well aware of the benefits from the things we want to continue. People tend to continue what is beneficial to them. Try to think of the long-term benefits than the short-term. The physical benefits are good, but try to be more interested in the spiritual benefits. If it is beneficial to you, your family, and your community, then make sure to continue do it.
Third, we need to build a good system that will help you with continuity. Along with a good system, you also need appropriate tools and instruments. To meditate on the Word, it is helpful to subscribe to devotional books like ‘Living Life.' To memorize scripture, utilize the Bible scripture memorization booklet that our church prepares every year. If you want to read through the Bible once a year then adopt a system that helps you to go through a reading checklist.
Fourth, we need a small community that encourages us to continue. When we are encouraged, we are able to revive from the thoughts of giving up. When we are encouraged, we are able to continue with our work. For that reason, we must spur one another toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Fifth, we are able to continue when we understand the principle of the critical point. A critical point is the moment that a transformation happens. Water turns to vapor at 100 ºC, not at 99 ºC. The difference of 1 ºC makes a great change. When we continue with our work, we will reach a critical moment at some time. When we reach the critical point, we will experience a transformation. We come to understand the taste of what we have been continuing. David said that the Word of God is sweet like honey. He had experienced the taste of the Word by continuing to meditate on the Word. Whatever it may be, when we continue, we can reach a certain point, and when we do, we swiftly enter into a new dimension of life.
Pray in order to continue what’s important to you. Seek God’s help and grace. There is a limitation to human effort. When God helps and pours His wisdom and power, we are able to continue our work. In particular, share what you consider to be valuable with others. That is when you are able to continue what you treasure all the more. I pray that God will pour His grace on you to continue to do things you value through this letter.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.