Led by Pastor Gregory Johnson, Co-founder
I am certain if I consider what was done that I’ll realize what was given by the Son. It compels me to practice as I walk in “The Way,” to give as He gives us each day.
“God is with us always and we must walk in the path God has prepared for us,” said Dr. Mok Chong, AUHS professor, “This makes me think about what God has done for the world. He is the way, the truth, and the life.”
No matter where we go in life, God is with us. Although we are not perfect, we must walk in the path of His love and His word.
“When you think about what Jesus did for us in terms of giving His life, how much certain can we be of God’s love for us?” said Dr. Caroll Ryan, the President of AUHS.
Although God’s love is unconditional and everlasting, there are times in life where we feel alone and unloved. Hai Luong, an AUHS Admissions Coordinator, grew up in Vietnam with a family of thirteen children. His parents were often away from home so they could work and put food on the table. Luong always felt lonely as a child and always wondered if his parents really loved him. Although he was raised in a Christian family, he struggled to see God’s love for him. But when he took the time to read the word of God, his eyes were forever opened.
“When I came to America and really took the time to read the word of God, I experienced the love of Jesus,” Luong said, “God created us with an emptiness, a vacuum inside our heart that only God can fill. When I realized how much Jesus had done for us, how He came to this Earth to die on the cross for us, how He loved us unconditionally, I then realized what was given by the Son. Jesus gave us all the love in the world and when I received His love, the emptiness in my heart was filled.”
Pastor Johnson told the room to never take their life for granted because it is a gift from God.
“Sometimes we take for granted the life that we have been living. Every day in America, babies are killed, babies are sent away, and here we sit around and take for granted the fact that we’re alive,” said Pastor Johnson, “We take the fact that Christ died for us for granted. We take our food, our clothes and our health for granted. You need to consider all the people you see every Sunday to determine whether or not the life that you have is blessed.”
Giving- Giving is not parting with what you hold, it’s receiving the goodness your generosity unfolds. When you practice giving to others, what you may need, God ensures your prayers succeed.
When you give to others, it is not a loss. You always gain more than what you give.
“I went through a phase in life where I was oblivious and selfish. I was young and didn’t know better,” said Aya Almukhtar, AUHS Admissions Coordinator, “Then I started to mature in Christ and I became more spiritual. I began to understand what it means to be responsible for our brothers and sisters who are in need.”
We must do what is pleasing to God instead of pleasing ourselves with materialistic or worldly things.
“When you practice the giving act, you won’t get instant gratification or materialistic rewards, but you will get many blessings in return. God will put people in your path so you can give to them,” said Almukhtar, “Sometimes giving does not necessarily mean you need to give others money. The simplest act of giving could be with a kind word, a smile, and an honest deed.”
A lot of times when we give something, it is not out of comfort. The greatest things that you can give are the things that will make your own life unpleasant or uncomfortable. Pastor Johnson recalled how he studied for his respiratory therapy degree in Baltimore, Maryland, many years ago.
“It was a class of privileged kids. I was not privileged but I was there and I was the brightest one in the class. The hospital administrators were enamored with me,” Pastor Johnson said.
There was a black female student in the class who was not performing well, academically and the administrators planned to expel her. Pastor Johnson spoke with the director of the program and asked him why they decided to terminate the black female student and not the privileged student, (the daughter of a doctor), who was also performing in class just as poorly.
“I said, ‘I’ll get out of the program if you let her stay.’ The director gets up from his desk and started slamming everything around his office. He was so upset because I was his protégé,” Pastor Johnson said.
Pastor Johnson understood that he was an “inner-city kid,” his mother and grandmother cleaned houses for a living and that the quality of his own life was at stake.
“But I understood in that moment that this was going to be life and death for her. I wanted her to stay in the program and graduate. I knew that God will give me another opportunity,” Pastor Johnson said, “Sure enough, she graduated from the program. She was successful.”