KEYWORDS: love, others, lord, time, brother, family

Shooting Straight, Part 4--Letter Links: Free Time Investments That Count!

July 31, 2004

(ML #3502, GN 1090)

FD/MM July 2004

The Economy Revolution

(ML #330A:10-12, Vol.3)

10. UNLIKE THE COMMUNISTS, WE DO NOT CONSIDER THE SHARING OF OUR MATERIAL THINGS OUR PRIMARY GOAL, as materialism with us is only a means to an end. Our ultimate goal is the sharing of ourselves, the personnel and leadership in a loving fellowship of man created by God "wherein dwelleth righteousness" and happiness forever!

11. SO WE FEEL THAT THE GREATEST OF OUR SHARING IS NOT THE MERE SHARING OF OUR THINGS AND PERSONAL POSSESSIONS, BUT THE SHARING OF OUR LOVE AND PERSONAL SERVICES FOR EACH OTHER, which is our faith and which results in our works and the sharing of our material possessions. Jesus Himself had nothing material to share with His disciples, only His love and His life which He gave for them and for us that we too might have life and love forever!

12. AND "NO GREATER LOVE HATH ANY MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS!" So we consider that the sharing of ourselves, our love and our life with others‚ is the greatest of all sharing and our ultimate goal, as well as our present means to that end.

Come Together—In Love

(ML #3100:39-50, Lifelines 24)

39. (Dad speaking: ) Oh, my dear Family, if you could just see each other as the Lord sees you‚ it would make such a difference. It would be so much easier to love one another, to yield to one another, and to serve one another. Every single one of you is so important to Jesus, so needed, so valuable to the Family and to His Kingdom. It's sad that you look at each other with such partiality, such preconceived ideas, and with such a narrow vision. You look at some people as being so important, so popular‚ so famous, so gifted; and you look at others as being so ordinary, or worse yet, as being weights and bothers and problems. But each of you is so precious to the Lord. He loves you as His new Bride. He's madly in love with you, each of you, and He loves you as an only child, as if you were the only one He had to care for and dote upon and spoil with His gifts and blessings.

40. When I was with you on Earth, I knew that every Family member was precious and valuable. I knew that each one was one in a million‚ called and chosen by the Lord—every adult, every young person and every baby. I knew that you had a special calling‚ a high calling of God that few people in the whole world have the blessing of experiencing. I thought I understood all that. I thought I understood how important and needed and valuable you are, each of you. But when I came to the other side, I saw this so much more clearly. I saw the depth of the Lord's love for each of you. I saw the attention He gives to every detail of your life, and His great, great desire to see you happy. I finally understood what it means that He loves you—just you—and that He died for you—just you. He would have died for you if you had been the only one. That's how much He loves you.

41. When I came to Heaven and saw the Lord's love and devotion and respect for each of you, it put me to shame. I saw how much more love and appreciation I could have given to my loved ones. I saw how much more I could have been a tool in the Lord's hands, a vessel of His love to lighten the load of those around me, to encourage them when they were down‚ to whisper His sweet words of faith and encouragement when they were in need, to show tenderness and tolerance to the weaknesses of others. Yes, I learned really big lessons about love. Even in the areas that I thought I understood‚ the Lord opened my eyes and I saw so much more clearly the value and the importance of love.

42. He said, "By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another." We should have seen from that one simple verse, we should have perceived, we should have been able to understand the tremendous importance and power of love! But so many things stand in our way, so many things hold us back from loving as He would like us to—our pride, our shyness, our fear of what others will think of us, the religious upbringing of some, our thinking we don't have time, our being satisfied with our immediate relationships and not wanting to reach out to others in need‚ or the fear that our advances will not be met favorably, but that we will be rejected and turned away and not appreciated. Oh, there are so many ways that we guard our hearts and hold back and don't give the love that we want to.

43. I understand. I know how difficult it is. Because even as free as I was, even as much love as I gave, when I came Home to my Heavenly reward, I saw and learned that I could have given so much more. I could have lived in love so much more. I could have been Jesus so much more.

44. Please‚ dear children, don't miss this opportunity to let the Lord love through you! Time is short. Like the old song we used to sing, "Love your brother while he's still around." Love your brother while you have the opportunity! Do it! Be Jesus today! Don't miss your chance! Don't let pride or fear stand in your way! Everybody needs so much love, and the Lord has so much to give.

45. The love of God—the sweet, warm, compassionate love of Jesus—is the lifeblood of the Revolution! I've always believed that. I've always preached it, and I want to help you learn to live it more and more with each passing day.

46. Please humble yourself and do what the Lord asks. Look into each other's eyes and say, "I love you and I thank Jesus for you. By the grace of God, I give my life for you. By the grace of God, I will die daily for you each and every day of the year. For we are one; all one body we—one in hope, one in doctrine, one in unity. I love you with God's love, and I would never ever purposely do anything to hurt you." This is your pledge of love to one another.

47. Reach out with real emotion. Break down the walls. Let go of your pride and let the Spirit of the Lord flow through you like an electrical current, bringing warmth and light and life. Hold each other‚ weep, forgive each other, and let this be the beginning of a new day of love. Take it from me, kids, from someone who knows, from someone who has seen the love of Jesus. It gushes! It oozes! It overflows! It's without end! It's hot and passionate! It moves and changes and reaches out. It sees the need and jumps to the call. It's not cool or lukewarm, but it's hot! It's powerful!

48. The power of nature that you see unleashed in natural phenomena like earthquakes or volcanoes or tidal waves or tornadoes‚ all that power is nothing in comparison to the power of the love of God! You have that power inside you, but you just have to let it go by pouring it out and giving it to someone in need. You just have to unleash the power of love in your life, and you'll see it work for you and your loved ones and your Home. It'll bring you happiness and unity. Laughter will return to your Home, and you'll enjoy serving the Lord together. You'll miss each other when you're apart‚ and you'll look forward to the times when you can be together.

49. As I said, I learned lots of lessons about love when I came to Heaven, and Mama has learned so much about love since my Homegoing. But there's still so much more to learn, so much more love to live and experience. So as you now take this bread and this wine, and as you do this in remembrance of His life, and the life of love that He's given you, and you make a pledge of love, not only to the Lord but to each other‚ please let this be a new beginning. Don't let it end here with this little meeting, this little ceremony, but carry on, tonight, tomorrow, the next day, next week, next month, with your new life of love. Grow in love, live love, overflow with love, and the world will know that you are His disciples, because you have love for one another.

50. I love you! Mama and Peter love you! Please love each other! God bless and keep you a loving Family of love‚ the Lord's lovers, known for the love that you give to each other and to His sheep. I am still your father and king and shepherd, and I, too, am learning to love more and more each day‚ by God's grace. Love, Dad. (End of message from Dad.)

Goals for 1998

(ML #3160:225-240‚ Lifelines 24)

225. (Jesus speaking:) All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people in the Family, where do they all come from? And where do they go, and what do they do to relieve their loneliness?

226. Loneliness can be such a weight, such a burden. It's similar to an ongoing physical affliction, in that it brings great discouragement and hopelessness with it, and many times the afflicted one feels that there's no answer or solution or deliverance in sight. It seems that the situation will continue on and on and on, and just that thought alone is almost enough to make the person want to give up and quit.

227. Loneliness brings such sadness, such heaviness of spirit. Those who are lonely often feel on the verge of tears. And the longer they're lonely‚ the more isolated, unloved and unwanted they feel. The longer a person is lonely, the easier it is for the Enemy to slip in and put a negative spin on innocent comments, gestures or jokes, to make the lonely person feel even more isolated or hurt or misunderstood. One of the saddest things about loneliness is that it sometimes causes the person to doubt My love and feel that I'm distant and uncaring, which is the exact opposite of the fruit that I want loneliness to bear.

228. When I bring loneliness into a person's life, it's to bring them closer to Me‚ to help them to draw nearer to Me, to encourage them to seek Me, love Me, lie in the bed of love with Me, and find in Me the fellowship and companionship they long for. In this way, loneliness can be a blessing. It can even be a token of My love—something that is hidden at first, but then revealed later in all its beauty‚ as it brings with it showers and showers of blessings in the form of greater dependency on Me‚ a closer walk with Me, and a keener sense of My presence.

229. Many times when those who are exercised in the blessing of loneliness learn the lessons and exhibit the good fruit of their experience, then it is My desire to deliver them from the loneliness, or at least the gripping sadness and heaviness of heart that accompanies it. But in order to do this‚ there are many pieces of the puzzle that must fit into place. Each one is needed if the picture is to be complete and the beauty is to be beheld by all.

230. Those who are lonely must reach out to those about them. Sometimes people are more lonely than they need to be because they develop selfish, withdrawn habits that isolate them further, and that make others feel that their help or fellowship is not needed. Sometimes lonely people give the impression that they're self-sufficient. This causes others to not be as tuned in to their feelings or needs as they would be if the lonely person were more honest and open about their longings. So part of the onus is on the lonely person to reach out, to make their needs known, to be humble enough to express a desire and receive the gift of love and friendship.

231. Those around the lonely one must also open their lives. They must be willing to be communicative, to show interest and enthusiasm, to listen, to include the lonely one in their daily or nightly activities, their free time activities, their lovemaking schedule, their Word time, their Family times. They must open their lives to the lonely ones during the various times of fellowship or recreation‚ those times when I work it out for their schedules to coincide so that it's possible to do those various activities together.

232. But the lonely person must also be willing to accept My will and My answers and My solutions. Sometimes people continue on in their loneliness because they have unrealistic expectations, or they're demanding something of Me that is not within My will to give them; and so in My love‚ I withhold their requests. And sometimes the lonely ones are so blinded by their own desires, which have become their willful desires, that they cannot see the blessings that are right at hand.

233. Those who are lonely must do their part, which is coming to Me and spending the time that I long to have with them. They must also reach out to others, and not just take the easy way out by scurrying back to their room or their lonely little bed so that they don't have to put forth the effort to make conversation or listen to others, and be cheerful, uplifting, and understanding.

234. And last but not least, the lonely one must accept My will. For when it is time to deliver My precious one from the loneliness and to bring surcease and comfort from the pain, My darling bride must be sensitive and open to the gifts of fellowship and companionship and love that I would bestow upon her. Sometimes the very solution that would fill the aching void is overlooked‚ because it is a plain gift, wrapped in crumpled old brown paper, instead of something flashy, sparkling, and "perfect" in the eyes of the beholder.

235. In order for there to be fewer lonely people in the Family, many things must work together in beautiful harmony: I must be allowed to work My works in the hearts of the lonely, and they in turn must draw nigh to Me and give Me the time and attention and sweet fellowship that I desire. They too must take the initiative to reach out to those about them and to show themselves eager for fellowship and companionship, willing to give their love, care and time to others, and be appreciative of the time and attention given to them.

236. Those ministering to the lonely ones must open their hearts and lives, and give of themselves, their time‚ and their loved ones. "Give unto him that asketh thee" should be the motto of those who seek to put the healing salve of My love on hearts that are weak and weary through loneliness.

237. I am able to deliver My precious brides from the grip of loneliness that would choke out their joy, peace of mind, and giving spirit. But there must be a yielding in the hearts of all the children of David; a yielding of independence, a giving up of "the ways we've always done things," a purging of the "me and thee and no other" spirit. There must be thankfulness, a grateful attitude on the part of the one who is lonely when others try to open their lives to them; and there must be an acceptance of My will‚ a willingness to be content with the situation or circumstances that I know are best, and a willingness to receive with joy the answer, the solution to loneliness that I will bring across their path. (End of message from Jesus.)

238. (Peter:) The Lord uses loneliness to bring forth good fruit in our lives by drawing us closer to Him. But even when the Lord is allowing loneliness in someone's life, we can still help that person by praying for them, supporting them, and being there for them when they need us. But also, let's remember that there are people who suffer greater loneliness than is needed because of our lack of love and concern. Let's do something about that! Let's reach out to include others more in our lives, to open up to others and share our thoughts, our time‚ our loved ones. Let's draw a bigger circle that includes more people in our lives.

239. Let's do all we can to rid the Family of the loneliness that's a result of our selfishness, lack of love, and lack of concern for others. Yes, there will always be some lonely people, and the Lord will continue to allow that‚ but let's make sure to do our part so that we can know for sure that if someone is lonely‚ it's because the Lord is working in their life, and not because of our lacks, shortsightedness or unwillingness to be the friend and strength and lover and companion that that person needs. A worthwhile personal goal for each of us would be to do our part to help there be fewer lonely people in the Family.

240. If you are one of the people who suffers loneliness, there's something for you to do as well to help us all reach this goal. Please do your part to use the loneliness the Lord allows in your life to bring forth good fruit by drawing close to Him. And don't forget that He also expects you to reach out to others, to receive the love and attention available to you, to give love, attention‚ care and understanding to others, and to accept His will; then, in His time, to receive the way He wants to deliver you from the pain and grip of severe loneliness.

Living the Lord's Law of Love‚ Part 11

(ML #3211:49-93, GN 814)

What It Means to Put the Greater Family First!

49. (Dad speaking:) Putting the greater marriage first doesn't mean you need to minimize your ties to your personal family, but it means giving the greater marriage the proper importance. It does not mean you must forsake the marital unit, but you are to embrace the far greater concept of marriage. It means that instead of drawing a circle around your own little family that will shut others out, you are to draw a circle that brings others in. For example, it doesn't mean loving your own children less, but it means taking the children of others into your arms, your heart, your lives, and trying to love them as much as you love your own. It means bringing others up to the level of your personal marriage relationship and your personal individual family—bringing them up to the level of love, understanding, sympathy, concern‚ and all the things you naturally feel for your personal family.

50. This is a complicated concept, because the Lord wants us to love others as we love ourselves. He wants us to be considerate of their needs, to give of our time, strength, love, and prayer, to do what we can to make sure all our mates are well cared for, happy and complete, as much as possible. On the other hand, He purposely, distinctly‚ and within His will gives you greater natural feelings for your personal family, for your one wife or mate, and also for your own children. He does that because He knows we all need some personal touch in our lives. Children need personal attention and personal love, to feel like they belong to somebody, that they have a place. They need to feel the security, comfort and warmth of the family unit.

51. So there's a place for both—the personal, individual family and the greater family. Each has its purpose, and you can love one without neglecting the other.

52. I would say the tendency of most people, of course, is to have a deeper love for their personal family, their immediate mate and their own children. Our priorities usually center around our own mates and our own children—not only because of our natural selfishness and independence, but also because of God-given desires and burdens that He's put in our hearts to care for and protect our individual family units.

53. It's very natural and understandable to be more concerned about your own mate and your own children—that they have their needs supplied, that they are happy, that they feel loved and content and challenged. It's good to love your mate and children in this way, and it's part of your duty as a husband or wife or father or mother.

54. People of the world are also concerned for their immediate family. But it takes the supernatural love of Jesus, the miraculous grace of God, to try to love others as much as you love your personal family, and to care as much about their personal needs and their feelings of happiness‚ security, contentment and challenge.

55. It takes the supernatural love of the Lord to care as much for a single mother and the needs of her children as you do for your own wife and your own children. It takes a supernatural vision in the spirit to see that single mother and her children as being your wife and your children in the spirit. It takes the supernatural love of God to be moved with compassion for that single brother or sister, and to reach out and give them what they need—whether it's a shoulder to cry on, a prayer, some time of communication, or lovemaking.

56. All of this requires the work of the Spirit. You can't do it on your own. You have to be strong in the Spirit, strong in faith, strong in love‚ strong in sacrifice. That's why so few people in the Family fully understand the principle of "One Wife" or the concept of the greater marriage‚ because very few people want to make that kind of sacrifice. And the sacrifice I'm talking about is not forsaking or minimizing or mistreating your own individual family, but it's broadening the borders of your tents and giving more love and more concern‚ bringing others in and making them feel a part.

57. It's sad that the Family has gotten quite separate, quite selfish these days. The married couples are quite exclusive in their relationships and there is a lot of loneliness. Many people feel quite alone. You know, it's a natural God-given desire to want to belong to a family, a team, or some kind of body where you feel like you have a place and you make a difference, where people want you as an individual, they need you, and you make a meaningful contribution.

58. That's why companies that make all the employees feel important and needed and crucial to the success of the business are often very profitable. The employees are very loyal and they'll work hard and sacrifice willingly, because that feeling of oneness and belonging is a great motivation. It's a much better motivation than just money, promotion or glory, because it's a God-given desire‚ something that the Lord has put in the heart of man.

59. It's sad that even in some of our Homes people feel like they don't belong. They feel a little bit like outsiders, and like something is missing. They're there and they do their part, they fulfill their duties, but they wonder who really cares. Sure, they make a difference on the schedule of Home duties, and they take part in the witnessing and the training of the children and the JJT and the raising of finances, but they don't really feel like an integral part of a team or a body or a marriage.

60. I guess that's why there's so much moving from Home to Home. People don't stick together for long or dig in to pioneer and nurture and build a strong, lasting work for the Lord. They're always flitting from here to there, from one Home to another or one field to another.

61. What I really think they're looking for is just to belong. They want to find their place and those they can feel close to. They want to be somewhere where they feel acceptedneeded and wanted—somewhere where if they left, it would really make a difference and they'd be missed as an individual, as a person, not just as someone to fill in the schedule, or help raise funds, or clean the house, but that their particular gifts, their talents, their personality, their sense of humor, their strengths, even their weaknesses and their individual or funny ways would be missed.

62. To put the greater Family first means to love your brethren with as much love as you can possibly muster up! It means, by God's grace, to give your brethren, your mates, your teamworkers, your co-workers, your friends, that single mother, that single brother or sister, and all the children as much love, attention, recognition and appreciation as you possibly can.

63. Remember, when you feel like you're doing all you can to muster up the love‚ that's when you must let the love of Christ constrain you! It all has to be a miracle of the Lord's love! The supernatural love of God is love enough to love anybody—and that's what it'll take to live the Law of Love. This is what it's all about—loving others with His supernatural love. But you're going to find that if you just step out and obey, He'll give you the love you need.

64. This is what He wants to do; He wants to love others through you. He has no hands but your hands, no arms but your arms, no mouth but yours to speak His words of love and encouragement. Right now it might seem impossible to you, but if you'll just give God a chance to love others through you, He'll do all the rest. He'll do what you can't do. His love will constrain you and move you to love others in a way you never thought possible before. As you put Him first and love the Family with His love, He will pour down His grace upon you—grace enough to love others, because it'll be His supernatural love working through you.

65. Each of you needs to ask the Lord to help you to love others as much as you love your own immediate family. That's the spirit of "One Wife" and putting the greater marriage first: When you're willing to expand your exclusive private relationship and reach out to others; when you're willing to sacrifice some of the private time you would have together to include others; when you're willing to open up your heart, mind and time to include other children when you're tutoring your own, or teaching them to read, or doing a science project with them, or reading them a story, or helping them to learn a new language‚ or just having fun, fellowship or get–out with them.

66. It's so easy to be private and exclusive; that's the natural way of man. It takes something supernatural to be giving, open, unselfish, and to love others as you love your own personal family. But it's not an impossibility! The Lord can do it! You just have to work at it and be willing to try. And above all you have to ask the Lord for His supernatural grace and love.

67. Now some people are called to make a decision that requires them to put their personal family in second place to the will of God. Sometimes people, especially shepherds and leaders or those with unusual callings, are asked to make great sacrifices for the sake of their ministry. You look at our leadership today and you see that many of them spend a lot of time away from their loved ones or their lovers or their children, and they do that for the greater good of the Kingdom and the Family. In many ways I guess it does look like they're putting their personal family in second place‚ and I think they are, because what has first place in their hearts is a desire and willingness to do the Lord's will no matter what the cost. If He asks them to do something to serve the Family, to shepherd the Family, to pioneer‚ to feed the Family or to strengthen the Family‚ and it requires a sacrifice of the time that they would normally have with their individual family, then they're willing to do that.

68. In such cases, they do put their family in second place. But you can be sure that the Lord blesses such sacrifices—both for the mate who must leave to fulfill the Lord's will and for the mate and children who stay back. And even though such sacrifices are difficult, and sometimes it may even look like the children or the mate suffer as a result‚ you can be sure, and I guarantee, that the Lord will bless such sacrifices in ways both seen and unseen. It might not always seem like it to those involved, but in the long run the Lord will more than repay—you can never outgive God!

69. The Lord asks all Family members to make sacrifices to one degree or another. Just like the example of the leader or shepherd above, the Lord will ask something of you personally in order to promote His Kingdom and His love and the unity He's trying to bring about, and to help you to be the loving Family He wants you to be.

70. For example, say you're a young couple with small children and you're looking forward to spending your family day together having a picnic, a little quiet time, a little personal communication‚ and giving a little individual attention to your own children after a busy week. But then the Lord lays it on your heart that the single mother in your Home and her children would like to go with you to the park on your picnic. She's been lonely and her children would enjoy the fellowship.

71. In that case, the Lord in a way is asking you to put your personal family and even your personal desires in second place for that time, so that you can open your lives and your time and your attention to someone who is in need. But you see, you're not really loving your immediate family less—you're loving the others more than you were previously if or when you tended to have a more exclusive outlook! You're trying your best to love the single mom and her children as much as you love your own, by drawing a circle to bring others in.

72. Here's another example: Maybe you as a couple had planned to go to bed early and have a time of lovemaking, but instead it turns out one of your co-workers is having a big battle with loneliness and is really missing a friend that he or she used to be very close to. So instead of having your personal time together, you invite your co-worker in for some Word time, fellowship time, and prayer time together. Or you go out for a walk together. Or you even have your mate go spend time in fellowship and lovemaking with that person who is lonely. This is another example of how you put your own personal desires and your personal family in second place. But it doesn't mean you love your mate less; it means you try to love that lonely person and give some of the time, attention and love to him or her that you would normally enjoy or that you had previously been enjoying exclusively.

73. It means that you open your lives together to others, that you hear the heartcries of those around you. This doesn't mean you have to love your immediate family less, and of course these times of reaching out to others need to be balanced with the genuine needs of your personal family and marriage and the investment of time you need to give them too. Of course you will still need time alone with your personal family, and you do not need to feel you always have to invite others along.

74. But take it from me, I can guarantee that if you'll begin to look at the needs of others, as you begin to look outward, as you become more sensitive to the needs of others around you‚ you're gonna find that the time you spend sacrificing to meet the needs of others is not really a sacrifice at all. You're gonna find it doesn't have to harm your marriage or your own personal family to help meet the needs of others around you—someone who has less than you, someone who is needy. You're gonna find that, instead of it being a sacrifice, you'll have the Lord's blessing and reward for your giving. You're gonna discover the great benefits there are in living His Law of Love, and that you never lose by giving!

75. That's what I did. I always opened my home and my arms to others. I drew a circle to bring others in! That's why we have the Family today. There's always room for one more! There's always room to reach out to others and include them in your circle of love and fellowship. Pray and let the Lord lead. Pray and ask Him how to find the balance, and He'll make it clear.

76. Naturally, you won't be able to meet everyone's needs the same; the important thing is to be open to who the Lord is leading you to reach out to! That's why He gave us the Family! We're one body! And everyone's needs should be getting met‚ and everyone should be doing their part to make that happen in whatever way or in whatever capacity the Lord is leading you to. If the Lord is speaking to your heart to reach out to those around you, you'd be wise to listen and follow His leading. Try it, and discover the great benefits it will bring to your life and the lives of others.

77. So you see, putting your greater marriage first does not mean you're putting your private marriage down to a place of lesser care, or to a place where your mate or children will be harmed. It means that you bring others up to a place of greater care, and you're willing to let your own desires and personal preferences take second place to the needs of others at times.

78. I know this isn't easy, but that's what living "One Wife" is all about. And you can be sure that the Lord will bless your efforts and reward you. It may not happen immediately‚ and it may not be in the way that you expect, but some way, somehow, the Lord will make it pay. He'll show you that you never lose by giving—by giving love, care, and attention to others, as you give to your own loved ones‚ your mate‚ your children, and those closest to you. (End of message from Dad)

79. (Mama:) This good talk from Dad really helps to clarify some points that I think we've misunderstood. It seems many had previously concluded that to have the greater marriage in first place, you have to somehow lessen your love for your mate and children in your private marriage. That idea, of course, is not very inviting. Now you can see that the point is that you are to try to include others in your circle of love. Instead of putting your personal families down to a place of less love‚ you bring others up to a place of more love!

80. The whole point of living "One Wife" is to spread more love, more concern, more caring and sacrificial sharing. It doesn't make sense to think we would have to love our personal families less in order to accomplish this. That's not it at all! We are to continue to love our mates and children as much as ever, but we should try to love others impartially, which can only be done by a miracle of God! Of course, that's the ideal, the goal we can reach for. We won't always make it, but we can try! I'm sure we'll grow in love as we exercise our giving‚ sharing and loving muscles.

81. You couples might be tempted to think that in order to reach out to others like this, it will mean you will have a whole lot less time with your mate or children. Though you may be giving some of your time to others, broadening your marriage or parenting teamwork in this way does not have to detract from or lessen the care you give your own children or mate. It is not meant to weaken your marriage and family relationship.

82. Of course, as Dad pointed out, the needs and heartcries of those around you should be balanced out with the genuine needs of your marriage and the investment you need to make in your personal relationship. But as you begin to look outward and become more sensitive to others' needs, you may find that some of the personal time you have been accustomed to having together as a couple or family can be shared or even given to others without causing harm to your marriage or nuclear family. When giving in this way, to meet the needs of someone who has less than you or someone who is especially needy at the time, you can be sure of the Lord's blessing and reward.

83. Because there are so many different circumstances, I'd suggest you couples openly and honestly discuss this prospect of opening your lives up more to others. Take the time to evaluate and assess your marriage and how it presently stands. Go to the Lord together, seek His counsel, and get His leading to see if you need to invest a little time to strengthen the foundation of your marriage. Or, if you feel your marriage is pretty stable, if you feel secure with each other's love, seek the Lord on how you can begin including others more in your circle of love‚ whether it's reading with others, fellowshipping with others, reaching out to spend intimate time with others in need‚ or a combination of these and other activities. The Lord is able to make these things clear if you'll ask Him and be faithful to follow His leading.

84. Reaching out to others in these ways does not mean that your love together is lessened, but it's a broadening of your love as you draw a circle to bring others in. Through the Law of Love series and this further explanation of the "One Wife" vision, the Lord and Dad are trying to help us come to the realization that some of our former mindsets might need to change. One of our CROs explained this as follows, which I thought was very well put:

85. When we married couples spend time away from our mates in order to spend time with others, or we spend time together reading or fellowshipping with someone else rather than just spending time doing these things together alone, as a couple, it doesn't need to mean a lessening of the love the married couple has for each other, or a deterioration in the marriage relationship.

86. If we couples look at it realistically, we'll probably have to agree that we do have some time together that is "extra" or "comfortable" or just what we've gotten used to. Of course, that's what married life is about, just having the other "around" and loving their presence, and it does hurt for this to change. It can feel like a lessening of the love we've had together or putting it down to a lesser degree in order to reach out to others and include others more. But perhaps some of what we've gotten used to, although nice and we love and value it, is really "extra" when put in the context of the little that others may have‚ especially singles, and also in context with the goal the Lord's set for us of living the "One Wife" vision, with each in the Family being one of our mates in our greater marriage.

87. So some aspects of our married lives will have to change, and one aspect will probably be the amount of time we married couples actually spend together, or at least spend alone together. But this shouldn't be confused with what the Lord and Dad said about how living the "One Wife" vision does not mean that our love for our mates and children in our private marriage is lessened, that it isn't putting our personal families down to a place of less love, that we are to continue to love our mates and children just as much as ever.

88. It seems that what it means is a realization that some of what we've become accustomed to as far as time and life together as a married couple, the actual time we're used to spending together alone, as an individual couple, is quite selfish and non-inclusive of others and largely based on System values. It is true that couples do need time together for the reasons the Marriage GNs brought out, but that being exclusive and protective isn't of the Lord or His way, and this is the change of attitude we need to have.

89. So living the "One Wife" vision is going to mean a change in the time we spend exclusively with our mates. And in order to make this possible, so that it doesn't result in our feeling that it means a lessening of our love for our mates or putting it down to a lesser level, it seems we need to change our attitudes regarding what is actually necessary and what are those things that we've just become accustomed to but which aren't really necessary. It seems that many of our present attitudes and our sense of values along these lines are like bad habits that we didn't realize before, but which are a result of our own selfish natures, as well as the input and acceptance of System values all our lives, and we now need to change how we view these things.

90. Regarding this whole "time spent with each other" aspect for married couples, it seems that the readjustment of our thinking along these lines is important in order to bring the "One Wife" vision to pass without our thinking that we're losing something we had before‚ and thus maybe thinking that it does indeed mean a lessening of the love we have or show to each other. (End of comments from CRO.)

91. (Mama: ) This CRO makes some very valid points here. Please ask the Lord if you need to change your expectations regarding what you've come to feel is actually necessary in your personal marriage and family situation. It's possible that some of you have become accustomed to a certain standard as far as personal or private time together that might be a bit exaggerated‚ and perhaps you need to adjust somewhat how you view these things, in order to be able to enlarge your circle of love.

92. Another helpful tip might be for you couples to seriously evaluate your time and seek the Lord for ways to best utilize the time you do have, both together and with others. Whether it is genuinely difficult to find the needed time together as a couple‚ due to ministries and responsibilities, or whether you have become accustomed to a standard that is exaggerated, as mentioned above, the Lord is able to help you find the balance and help you make the most out of your time together and with others. It always helps to schedule your time in order to get the most out it. So ask the Lord to show you ways you can adjust and accommodate to fit in everything you need to do in order to have the necessary time both together and with others.

93. As you work on finding a good balance between strengthening and enjoying your marriage and reaching out to others, you will need to go back to the Lord often in prayer. I suggest you seek Him often to know when to reach out, to whom, how much and in what way. Also seek Him about when it is necessary to have time alone with your mate and children. As you seek Him for ways to put these principles of "One Wife" into practice in your lives, He will faithfully lead you each step of the way. This is an ongoing process. It's not something you pray about once and then forget about. You don't just give once and then stop giving. Keep praying to know what He wants you to do and how He wants you to show love. Pray about every aspect of how to put the "One Wife" vision into practice in your life, and He will lead you and strengthen your marriage, your family and your circle of love.

Choices and Consequences‚ Part 2

(ML #3485:30-74, GN 1070)

What Does It Mean to Be Your "Brother's Keeper"?

30. (Jesus:) Being your brother's keeper is to love another more than yourself.

31. Being your brother's keeper will make you do whatever is necessary to make sure that no physical‚ emotional, or spiritual harm comes to that person.

32. Being your brother's keeper means being supportive.

33. Being your brother's keeper means that you will always have a good word to say behind their back.

34. Being your brother's keeper means that you would never gossip about that person, or in any way hinder their fellowship with others through spreading untruths, or even facts that are none of your business to know or repeat.

35. Being your brother's keeper means pointing one another to the Word.

36. Being your brother's keeper means being the right kind of friend.

37. Being your brother's keeper means being there for one another.

38. Being your brother's keeper means that there will be times that you will have to put each other's spiritual well–being above your personal friendship—even if it will mean the end of your friendship.

39. Being your brother's keeper will allow you to share one another's joys, and will eliminate comparing.

40. Being your brother's keeper means doing no harm to one another.

41. Being your brother's keeper means helping each other stand strong against compromise and temptation.

42. Being your brother's keeper is responsibility. It means you realize that I hold you accountable for your influence on your friends and your influence on their choices that determine how they turn out, what they accomplish, and how well they serve Me. Of course, each person's choice is ultimately between Me and them. But how much have you contributed to those choices, whether for good or bad? That is what I hold you accountable for.

43. Being your brother's keeper is opening your life to another so that they can help you, correct you, safeguard you, and likewise help others in turn.

44. Being your brother's keeper is the ultimate bond of friendship, brotherhood, and unity.

45. Being your brother's keeper means wanting the best for one another.

46. Being your brother's keeper will strengthen the Family at all levels.

47. Being your brother's keeper requires humility‚ but the rewards are worth it.

48. Being your brother's keeper requires a close connection with Me; in fact, it requires that I'm the most important One in your life. If you're not tied in tight with your biggest Brother of all, you won't be the kind of brother or sister that your friends and loved ones need.

49. Being your brother's keeper means speaking the truth in love, even if you know it will hurt.

50. Being your brother's keeper is your duty.

51. Being your brother's keeper never means unprayerful criticism of one another, holding grudges, or placing labels.

52. Being your brother's keeper means that you are clued in to the fact that there are dangers in this world to your service for Me, to your mental health, to your emotional well-being, and even to your bodies and lives. And because of this‚ it means doing all that you can to guard one another from those dangers. You can't be your brother's keeper if your head is buried in the sand and you pretend that nothing ever goes wrong and that there are never consequences for your actions.

53. Being your brother's keeper means that sometimes you will have to forgo something that you personally have the faith for, for the sake of another. "If eating meat causeth my brother to stumble, I will eat no meat."

54. Being your brother's keeper is bearing one another's burdens.

55. Being your brother's keeper means giving till it hurts. It means being willing to share what's most precious to you—your time, your loved one, yourself—if it will help someone else.

56. Being your brother's keeper requires you to have a desire to not just want to personally be the best disciple you can be, but to also have a passion to help as many others as possible reach that goal.

57. Being your brother's keeper means caring more about someone's long-term future than their short-term happiness.

58. Being your brother's keeper means lending prayerful words of advice.

59. Being your brother's keeper also means knowing when to just be silent and pray.

60. Being your brother's keeper means never giving up on someone.

61. Being your brother's keeper means encouraging others in the decisions they make to live My Word, and making it as easy as possible for them to make the changes they need to make.

62. Being your brother's keeper requires you to live around those who have similar goals. It requires teamwork—a shared objective.

63. Being your brother's keeper will help you to be twice the disciple that you would be on your own, and likewise you will help others reach twice their potential as well.

64. Being your brother's keeper means being Spirit-led, so that you do the right thing, at the right time, for the right person.

65. Being your brother's keeper requires a lack of self-righteousness. It won't work if you're esteeming yourself as somehow better than the others around you.

66. Being your brother's keeper means knowing that you're all in this together, and that the tighter you stick together and the more you can watch out for each other, the easier it will be and the more you'll get done along the way.

67. Being your brother's keeper means a willingness to consider any sacrifice, if it will help someone else.

68. Being your brother's keeper means treating others the way you would want to be treated, and approaching their needs, problems, and also successes with the same courtesy, love‚ admiration, and sensitivity that you would want in those same situations.

69. Being your brother's keeper is not a work of the flesh. It is allowing yourself to be a physical extension of My Spirit, so that I can touch another through you.

70. Being your brother's keeper means not jumping to conclusions or making assumptions‚ but taking the time to understand one another and know each other on a deep level.

71. Being your brother's keeper is a two-way street—you give some, and you get some.

72. Being your brother's keeper means sticking up for one another in the face of negativity, unloving hurt, or attacks of the Enemy.

73. Being your brother's keeper requires an understanding that actions speak louder than words, and that a sample is greater than a sermon.

74. Being your brother's keeper is My will for all of you. (End of message from Jesus.)


FJWL 1:104

At night when you go to sleep, ponder the love that I have bestowed upon you. Count your many blessings and you will see how in so many little ways and in so many little things and through so many people I have extended a kiss, a touch, a word, a blessing, a meal, the weather‚ a house—so many ways that I have loved you personally.

But I ask you also to ponder how much you have given love. What have you done to show love to another, that they may also be touched with My love? For have I not said unto you that there is greater joy in giving than in receiving? There is so much more love in giving love than in receiving love.

How much do you give to those who I also love? For remember that I have no hands but yours, no eyes but yours‚ no heart to touch others' hearts but your heart. So in this you have been commissioned to also give.

Give and it shall be given unto you. For have I not said that inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto Me? Therefore be touched by My love in touching others with My love, with your love.

Will you ponder this when you go to bed at night? Will you look around you to all those that I have put on your path that day and see what they need? Then maybe you will comfort them, and encourage them, and love them, and give to them (ML #2985).

FJWL 1:173

Many shall be surprised when they come into My Heavenly Kingdom to see the great importance of love, the hidden, unseen acts of love, the giving of love. For to love is more important than service, more important than ministries, more important than many things that you think are so fruitful. These things you ought to have done but not to have left the other—the most important—undone, and that is to love.

Behold, this is a day of choice. This is a day of challenge. This is a day when I am saying to all of the children of David: How much will you love? How much will you think of others? How much will you give of yourselves? How much will you forsake your own personal plans‚ your preferences, your freedom, your independence, your immediate desires, to be able to give love to those who are in need?

Have I not said many times that I have no eyes but your eyes, no lips but yours, no hands but yours? Much of the love that I show can only be shown through another. Much of the comfort and encouragement and affection that I wish to bestow upon My children can only be given through another.

I have ordained and designed it this way that you might have need one for another, that it might draw you close in tight unity, that you might be bonded together in love.—That no one would be an island and no one would be self-sufficient, but that you would need one another and depend on one another, for in this will be your strength. So I have ordained it that My love can best be shown through another (ML #3017).

FJWL 2:419

(Dad: ) The Lord is breaking your heart for the brethren. You're seeing what it feels like to really love and care and take care of others. That is what maturity is, when you can take care of others and put the needs of others above your own. That's what love is all about. That's what being your brother's keeper is all about. That's what shepherding is all about.

Sometimes it seems easier to ignore things around you. It seems so much easier to just close your eyes sometimes or look the other way. But you can't. Even if you see others looking the other way‚ you can't, because you know the Lord is calling you to do more. You can't look away, just like the good Samaritan couldn't. He couldn't just pass by the poor man on the road to Jericho, he had to do something about it.

Now think about it. Did you ever think that maybe the Samaritan would have preferred to be on his merry way to get on with his business or pleasure or whatever he was on his way to do, and not have to be bothered with this pitiful mess of a guy he found on the road? Don't you think maybe the Samaritan was tempted to think that it would have been easier to just pass the guy up? Well, I've got news for you—that is exactly what he was tempted with. But he made the right choice. He made the right decision. He heard the voice of the Lord and he obeyed, he did the right thing, and now we have his sample to follow.

The Lord wants us all to feel responsible for each other. That's what love is all about!

FJWL 2:426

(Dad:) The Lord will always bless putting others above yourself. The way to be happy is to make others happy, and then happiness will find you. You don't go around trying to figure out what's gonna make you happy. It will never work that way. That will not bring happiness, and this is what you young folks are having to learn.

Our God is a moving God! He's always moving and changing, but His laws don't change. It's still the same formula—Jesus, then others‚ then you—that spells JOY!

Sometimes it is a test of faith to see if you're going to obey and follow God when He tells you to do something, even if you don't feel like it. That's when your faith gets tested. He might tell you to do something you don't feel like doing. But if you know the Lord is telling you to do it, and if you go ahead and walk by faith, not by sight, then you find that the Lord is able to make you the happiest of all. Then you find real joy—the joy of the Lord—in yielding and obeying.

God works in different ways in different people's lives. For some it's a big test to see if they're willing to put the happiness of others above their own, even if they have to go totally by faith on what God shows them. But He will always bless you if you follow this simple formula: J-O-Y! Jesus, Others, You! In fact‚ He will bless above and beyond everyone's wildest dreams! You can never outgive God. You can never make a sacrifice for Him. When you put Jesus first‚ others second, and yourself last, that's when true happiness will find you. So seek to make others happy, okay?

Word Topics: Selfishness and Self-Centeredness

Definition: Being concerned chiefly or only with one's self, without thinking of others.

1. Selfishness is a lack of love and consideration for the needs of others.

* Genesis 4:9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?

* Proverbs 18:17 He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him.

* Proverbs 24:11,12 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; 12 If thou sayest, Behold‚ we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? And He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? And shall not He render to every man according to his works?

* Ezekiel 34:8b,10,18,23,24 [God speaks against selfish shepherds, and He promises to raise up a David of the Last Days, who will unselfishly feed the sheep:] Neither did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not My flock. … 10 Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. … 18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? And to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? … 23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. 24 And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.

* Zechariah 7:6 And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves‚ and drink for yourselves?

* Matthew 25:42-45 For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick , and in prison and ye visited Me not. 44 Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungred, or athirst‚ or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee? 45 Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.

* Philippians 2:21 [Selfishness causes the Lord's work to suffer:] For all seek their own‚ not the things which are Jesus Christ's.

* 2 Timothy 3:1,2a [As the world enters the time of the End, selfishness becomes more pronounced:] This know also, that in the Last Days perilous times shall come. 2a For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous. [See also Matthew 24:12.]

* James 2:15,16 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them‚ Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

* James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

* 1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

2. Selfishness hoards itself poor.

* Proverbs 11:24b There is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

* Proverbs 13:7a There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing.

* Proverbs 15:27a He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house.

* Proverbs 28:27b He that hideth his eyes [from the needs of others] shall have many a curse.

* Ecclesiastes 5:13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun‚ namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

* Haggai 1:6‚9‚10 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? Saith the Lord of hosts. Because of Mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. 10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.

* Mark 10:21,22 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor‚ and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me. 22 And he was sad at that saying‚ and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

* Luke 12:15 And [Jesus] said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

* 2 Corinthians 9:6a But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly.

* Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. [See Genesis 31:5-9‚41,42 for the story of how God helped Jacob collect his due from his selfish father–in-law‚ Laban.]

* James 5:1-5 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. 3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the Last Days. 4 Behold‚ the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. 5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts‚ as in a day of slaughter.

3. Selfishness is the cause of many of the world's evils‚ including war, suffering and misery.

* Jeremiah 5:26-28 For among My people are found wicked men: they lay wait‚ as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. 28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea‚ they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

* Hosea 12:7 He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.

* Micah 6:12 For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

* 1 Timothy 6:9,10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

* James 4:1,2a From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2a Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not.

4. Self-centeredness and trying to get your own way yields bad fruit.

* 1 Samuel 2:22-25a and 3:13 [Eli, the priest was judged by God for letting his sons have their own way:] Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 23 And he said unto them‚ Why do ye such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. 24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord's people to transgress. 25a If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father. 3:13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.

* 1 Kings 1:1a,5,6a [The bad fruit of King David spoiling his son:] Now King David was old and stricken in years; 5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself‚ saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6a And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying‚ Why hast thou done so? [See verses 16-21.]

* Proverbs 1:30-32 They would none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

* Proverbs 14:14a The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.

* Isaiah 65:2 I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.

* Jeremiah 7:24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear‚ but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

* Luke 15:12,13 [The story of the Prodigal Son:] And the younger of them said to his father‚ Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together‚ and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

5. Pursuing our own desires and self-interests won't bring satisfaction.

* Job 9:4b Who hath hardened himself against Him, and hath prospered?

* Job 27:8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?

* Psalm 106:15 And He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

* Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

* Ecclesiastes 1:8 All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing‚ nor the ear filled with hearing.

* Ecclesiastes 2:10,11 [A self-indulgent King Solomon said:] And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them‚ I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor: and this was my portion of all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

6. The true Christian life is one of self-denial—just the opposite of self-centeredness.

* Luke 9:23 And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me‚ let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. [See Titus 2:12.]

* Luke 14:26,27 If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea‚ and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.

* Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself‚ so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

* Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him [the Devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

* 2 Corinthians 5:15 He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them‚ and rose again.

* Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

7. When we put the Lord and others before ourselves, the Lord usually grants us our personal desires.

* Psalm 34:9,10 O fear the Lord, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. 10 The young lions do lack‚ and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

* Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. [See Psalm 21:2; 145:19.]

* Psalm 84:11b No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.

* Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

* 1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world‚ that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, Who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.

8. The Word warns against using personal charm, motivated by pride‚ to draw others to yourself or to get your own way. We should rather draw people to the Lord.

* Proverbs 25:27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.

* John 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?

* John 7:18a He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory.

* 1 Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

* 1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body‚ and in your spirit, which are God's.

* 1 Corinthians 10:31,33 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. ... 33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

* 2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

* 1 Thessalonians 2:3-6 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness‚ nor in guile: 4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the Gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know‚ nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: 6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome‚ as the apostles of Christ.

* Philippians 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.

9. God always blesses unselfishness.

* Deuteronomy 15:10 Thou shalt surely give him [the poor], and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.

* Proverbs 11:24a-26 There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth. 25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. 26 He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

* Proverbs 13:7b There is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

* Proverbs 14:21b He that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

* Isaiah 58:10,11 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought‚ and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

* Matthew 6:3‚4 But when thou doest alms [give to the needy], let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms [giving] may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.

* Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

* John 12:24,25 Verily, verily, I say unto you‚ Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

* Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the Words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

10. Unselfishness is a cornerstone of Christianity.

* Romans 15:1-3a We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. 3a For even Christ pleased not Himself.

* 1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.

* 1 Corinthians 13:5b Charity [love] seeketh not her own.

* 2 Corinthians 5:14a,15 For the love of Christ constraineth us. 15 And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.

* 2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly‚ or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

* Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

* Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

* Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

* James 2:8 If ye fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well.

* 1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

11. Jesus taught unselfishness by His Own loving sample.

* Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto‚ but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many. [See also Isaiah 53:12; 1 Timothy 2:6a.]

* John 15:12,13 This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

* 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ‚ that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.

* 1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

12. In the Lord's work, commitment and unselfishness go hand-in-hand.

* Matthew 26:39 And He went a little further‚ and fell on His face, and prayed, saying‚ O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.

* Jeremiah 42:6 Whether it be good, or whether it be evil [difficult or sacrificial], we will obey the voice of the Lord our God, to Whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.

* Luke 17:10 So likewise ye‚ when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

* 1 Corinthians 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things‚ not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

[See also 2 Corinthians 5:15; Philippians 3:8; Hebrews 11:24-26.]

13. True Christianity gives sacrificially and calls nothing its own.

* Matthew 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

* Luke 3:11 He answereth and saith unto them‚ He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

* Luke 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

* Acts 2:44,45 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

* Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.

14. Unselfishness was characterized by many of God's "greats."

* Genesis 13:9 [When strife arose between the herdsmen of his nephew, Lot, and his own, Abraham wisely offered to divide up their land, giving Lot first choice of the best land:] Is not the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand‚ then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

* Genesis 50:21 [Joseph showed extraordinary kindness to his brothers, who previously had sold him tried to kill him and then sold him to Egyptian traders as a slave:] Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you‚ and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

* 1 Samuel 18:4 [Jonathan, the son of King Saul, befriends David and gives his belongings to him:] And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

* 1 Kings 17:8-16 [The poor widow of Zarephath shares what's left of her food with Elijah, and is blessed during the drought:] And the Word of the Lord came unto [Elijah], saying, 9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, ... and dwell there: behold‚ I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold‚ the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her‚ and said, Bring me, I pray thee‚ a morsel of bread in thine hand. 12 And she said‚ As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake‚ but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks‚ that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth. 15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 16 And the barrel of meal wasted not‚ neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the Word of the Lord, which He spake by Elijah.

* Mark 12:41-44 [The poor widow shared with God unselfishly from her heart all that she had:] And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites‚ which make a farthing. 43 And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

* Mark 14:3-9 [The woman who anointed Jesus with an expensive ointment is to be honored:] And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on His head. 4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence‚ and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. 6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on Me. 7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but Me ye have not always. 8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint My body to the burying. 9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial

* Luke 10:29-37 [The good Samaritan is an example to us all of unselfish kindness shown to a stranger:] But he [a religious lawyer]‚ willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan‚ as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed‚ he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more‚ when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three‚ thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

* Romans 16:4 [Paul said of Priscilla and Aquila:] Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.

* Philippians 2:30 [Epaphroditus:] Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

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