Archive for December 2009

No One Is Spiritually Lactose-Intolerant   2 comments

So, Christmas is just a few days off. And, if we watch any TV, we all know what Christmas is all about. It’s about Santa telling me I’m good and giving me my new snowboard. It’s about hanging out with family and singing carols and exchanging presents and drinking egg nog. It’s about wearing sweaters that are shades of green and red way too bright to be normally worn. It’s about watching Charlie Brown learning about the true meaning of Christmas from Linas… I think.

But all of those things are truly insignificant when considering the true meaning of Christmas–the birth of a child who nearly three decades later would have commenced a sinless and perfect life by being nailed to a tree and dying for the sins of all those who would believe in Him. Yet, it seems to the rest of the world as something insignificant. After all, consider that Jesus died to save you and me from succumbing to the fate of an eternal death–and it takes you and me a holiday at the end of the calendar year to really remember and contemplate it. Doesn’t seem too much greater than the “regular” great stuff that happens in your life. Last Christmas, I got a sweater. Christmas of 2001, I got a watch. Christmas of 33 A.D., Jesus died for me. Really? It takes a holiday to remind you? It takes a holiday to remind me?

But the thing is, it really does take a Christmas holiday to remind us of what Jesus’ life on this world truly meant. Because we are still sinners, and we are quick to forget the greatest thing to ever happen to us. As time goes by, it seems to wane unless we are reminded of it by an outside cue. It’s not that Jesus isn’t great–it’s that we are just quick to forget just how great He really is. So, how do we remind ourselves of what He’s done not just this Christmas season, but throughout the days and weeks of the rest of the year?

1 Peter 2:1-5 says,

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up s a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

There are two parts to remembering Jesus Christ–two things we must regularly do so that we can remember our salvation in Him and draw near to Him over and over again.

1. Christian Babies Are Not Lactose-Intolerant

Peter, the author of this letter, calls Christians to act as “newborn babies.” This isn’t an exercise in acting childish and cutesy and infantile. Rather, it’s remembering who we truly are before God. Newborn babies cannot do anything without their parents. Likewise, despite our belief that we are autonomous and strong and intelligent–the Bible makes clear to us that we are absolutely incapable to do anything apart from the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. So, we need the Holy Spirit to lead us and empower us. In addition, we need the Word of God, which draws us deeper and deeper into understanding our salvation, to feed us and nourish us. Peter tells us to “long for the pure milk of the word” like babies. By it, they will grow strong and grow healthy. And likewise, we will always, on this earth, be in a child-like state of dependence on God and will, therefore, need spiritual milk to remain strong and healthy.

2. No One Likes The Dirty Rock

We are to live as those who are “rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God.” The things we do, the things we enjoy, and the things we disapprove of–this WILL make us social outcasts, in some respects. If we think we’re living for God, and people who are always around us don’t think we’re weird, even just a bit… either they’re Christian or you’re living like the world. We’re supposed to be stones that are living and growing and changing–“being built up as a spiritual house” in order to “offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Our lives are not to be focused on being accepted by the rest of the world, but is to be primarily concerned with being acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.


Posted December 22, 2009 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

Agency Law in the Old Testament   Leave a comment

To all you law students out there, I just wanted to share an example of agency law principles that I found in the Bible. Exodus 21:28-29:

“If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall surely be stoned and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall go unpunished. If, however, an ox was previously in the habit of goring and its owner has been warned, yet he does not confine it and kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death.”

The agent is generally liable for his wrongful, and ultra vires, actions, but the principal will be vicariously liable (through respondeat superior) for his agent’s actions if he had knowledge of the agent’s previous wrongful actions and did not take reasonable measures to prevent such actions from re-occurring. In that scenario, the agent is liable, but the principal is likewise liable… joint and several liability.

Posted December 14, 2009 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

Am I A Good Person?   1 comment

As a fellow sinner who is bombarded with this world’s perverted standard of good and bad, I thought this excerpt from my pastor’s sermon this past Sunday would be an encouragement to some and a rebuke to many, including myself. (Here’s the sermon if you want to listen to the whole thing, as Josh Harris is preaching the 5th part of a series called “Bookends of the Christian Life.”) This world, our own deceitful hearts included, tells us that if we don’t murder, if we help out charities and the poor, if we go to church and do church things, if we don’t steal and cheat and lie–if we don’t do this and we do do that, then we’re pretty good. Pretty good? According to what standard? Our standard? The standard of the law? The standard of society and our peers? Who cares? So, here’s a little excerpt from Josh’s sermon this past Sunday:

This is my plug for Jerry Bridges' new book, which speaks of the two bookends of the Christian life as the righteousness of Christ on one side and the power of the Holy Spirit on the other. There, I gave it all away--I ruined the ending.

We all want to believe that we’re basically good people. We want to believe that we’re doing good. We want to know that we measure up. And, at a much more fundamental level, we want to believe that God is pleased with us, that He accepts us… In the movie [“The Blind Side”], the husband [of Sandra Bullock] puts his arms around her to comfort her, and this is how he answers her question, Am I a good person? He says, “You are the best person I know.”

Michael Oher, with his adoptive parents.

When we ask this question, Am I a good person?, and we come to the Bible, the Bible gives us a very different answer. It doesn’t try to build up our self-esteem with empty words–it tells us the hard truth. It tells us, “No, you are not a good person.” It’s amazing how much bad news is in the Bible before you can get to the good news. No, you’re not a good person. In fact, by your very nature, Scripture tells us, “We’re sinful. We’re deserving of God’s judgment.” It tells us that nothing we can do can make us good before God, accepted before God. In fact, even our best works–even our best acts of charity and kindness to other people–are tainted by our own selfish motivations and sin.

But, then, it’s in the midst of this bad news–this hard, difficult communication–that the Bible gives us this incredibly wonderful news that says, “No, you’re not a good person. But Jesus has come to save you. Jesus has been perfectly good for you. And Jesus has died to pay for all of your sin and disobedience.”

[God] made [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Here’s some knowledge… God does not think you are good. God does not think I am good. In fact, God thinks we’re pretty disgusting and despicable people. Romans 3:10 says that “There is none righteous, not even one… there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside… there is none who does good, there is not even one.” I’m pretty sure when this was written, it didn’t mean… none righteous, but you and you and you, as long as you’re not as bad as Hitler. It’s not a am-I-less-bad-than-him standard! It’s a am-I-as-good-and-pure-as-the-God-who-has-never-sinned-and-vehemently-hates-evil standard! And no one comes within any measurable distance of it.

And I’m not primarily saying this so that you who read will feel bad. The primary audience for this is myself, so that I can remind myself that there is none good but God and His sinless Son, Jesus Christ. But I don’t hope you feel bad. Rather, I hope you feel soooo bad that you turn to Jesus.

Self-esteem does nothing for our society but cause people to do atrocious acts. Tiger Woods? He’s a “good” person because he’s an amazing golfer that donates millions to charity. Good job, Tiger. Pat yourself on the back and pick yourself a mistress or two on the way home.

One of my favorite modern role models is John Piper, the head pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN. And it’s not necessarily because he’s an intelligent man, or he’s an eloquent speaker, or that he’s so skinny and small that I could totally take him in a fight. Those are all good things, even the last one. Rather, I look up to John Piper because I have never seen a man with less self-esteem. He’s not depressed and mopey (because that’s just self-esteem cloaked in self-loathing). Rather, he has God-esteem. He thinks so little of himself because he thinks so highly of God. And that’s where he gets his motivation and that’s where he gets his confidence and that’s where he gets his boldness–from God.

Piper once said that he knew no greater sinner in this world than John Piper. Gosh, I so wish I can say that about myself–that I know no greater sinner in this world than Mitchell Kim. But I can’t because I keep on buying this lie that I feed myself that I am a pretty good person. Not as bad as some of the people I know, and definitely not as bad as Hitler. (Because everyone knows, if you’re ever feeling bad about yourself, you can always compare yourself to Hitler. But, no, Hitler is a horrible sinner, but you’re no better and I’m no better.)

Don’t feed your pride and don’t feed your self-esteem. That leads to death and sorrow and tragedy. Rather, realize your state before God that, even if you scored higher on a “goodness test” than the person next to you, he got a 1% whereas you got a 1.1%–it means you’re both failures! And the more we recognize our failures and our sins and our shortcomings, the greater God’s gift of salvation and forgiveness in Jesus Christ becomes. For those of you feeling good about yourselves, I hope you learn to feel bad about yourselves and feel good about Jesus. For those of you in Jesus, remember that though we are bad, we are covered in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Posted December 11, 2009 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

Top Free Agents on My Christmas List for the Dodgers   Leave a comment

1. Randy Wolf, LHP

2. Ben Sheets, RHP

3. Rich Harden, RHP

4. Erik Bedard, LHP

5. Pedro Martinez, RHP

If he’s available: Ryota Igarashi, RHP

Yes, I know that these are all pitchers, but that’s what the Dodgers need, pitching. The thing is, the Dodgers two best pitchers (Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley) will not eat up innings. There is no way the two of them will be able to get more than 400 innings because they aren’t effective pitch-count pitchers, and they walk a lot of people (although Kershaw seems to rarely give up a hit). Why do the Dodgers need to follow protocol and go for a 5-man rotation? Why can’t they go for a 5.5-man rotation? Give their first three starters the regular work, about 30-35 starts, and give the last two rotation spots to three pitchers who can each get 20-25 starts. Here’s what it could look like…

LHP- Clayton Kershaw

RHP- Chad Billingsley

RHP- Hiroki Kuroda

4 and 5 starters- Rich Harden/Ben Sheets/Erik Bedard or Pedro Martinez

Each of them have a history of injury or are too old to throw 180 innings. So… why not minimize their work load and pitch three of them 120 innings. Give Pedro an extra month at the start of the season to relax and get into the groove of things. Give Harden an extra two weeks at the All-Star break to heal his arm. Give Bedard and Sheets every fourth start off. It can work!

Posted December 8, 2009 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

Tiger Woods’ Bogey   1 comment

I really don’t have too much of intelligence or worth to add to the new scandal surrounding Tiger Woods and his adulterous relationship with some diner waitress. Actually, just one thought… it’s not about being satisfied once you have the most beautiful woman out there. I think Tiger’s wife is a Swedish super model (categorically, they don’t really get hotter than that). But, he still wasn’t satisfied. Here are just two things to consider, and I won’t add any commentary to them.

First, from Proverbs 5:1-4, written by the wisest man in the face of the earth, Solomon:

My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ears to my understanding; that you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

Second, some thoughts from C.J. Mahaney, the President of Sovereign Grace Ministries (here’s the original post):

Tiger cannot intimidate this enemy like he can Pebble Beach or any of the field of professional golfers. And there is no privacy he can claim from this enemy, regardless of his resolve, his silence, or the name painted on his yacht. It’s likely Tiger only perceives the press hunting him out of a vain “curiosity about public figures.” But Tiger is being hunted and hounded by a far greater foe: the consequences of his sin.

And this story should humble and sober us. It should make us ask: Are there any so-called “secret sins” in my life? Is there anything I have done that I hope nobody discovers? Is there anything right now in my life that I should confess to God and the appropriate individuals?

And this should leave us more amazed by grace because there, but for the grace of God, go I.

Posted December 7, 2009 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized