KEYWORDS: children, lord, will, life, family, time

Shooting Straight, Part 5--Letter Links: Does Good Parenting Even Pay Off?

August 9, 2004

(ML #3503, GN 1091)

FD/MM/FM July 2004

The Silver Lining

ML #3166:39-52, 87-113, Lifelines 24

The Burden of Responsibility

39. (Mama: ) It's encouraging how the Lord confirms that His promise is true and will be fulfilled—that "if we train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it." But that doesn't mean that there won't be some detours along the way, as our children‚ once they're old enough, have to take responsibility for their own choices. Some have to learn through the school of hard knocks and by making the wrong choices before they can be fully persuaded in their heart what the right choice is.

40. Of course it's difficult and painful to see your child take that detour and make those choices, because you wanted the best for them. You had great plans for them. You wanted them to grow up into strong soldiers for the Lord who are sold out and dedicated to His service, and it hurts to see things turn out otherwise. But you have to trust the Lord for their lives‚ and that He's going to bring them around in the end, no matter what turns their road takes in the meantime. You can't hold on to the plans that you had for them, but you must realize that they have to take responsibility for themselves.

41. While it is your responsibility to teach and train them and be the best sample you can to them, and to help them all you can, once they've made a definite decision to forsake their service for the Lord, then the responsibility is no longer yours, but theirs. The Enemy will try to blame you and attack you with condemnation, or tell you that there must be something terribly wrong with you for things to have turned out that way. But once you've done what you could, you have to commit the situation to the Lord and trust that He will work things out.

42. Dad gave a very good message along these lines for a dear long-time Family member with many children, several of whom have left the Family, which caused him much heartache. To make matters worse, there was a lack of communication concerning his sons' decisions, and he was not notified of their leaving for quite some time. As a result, his sons, who he had always had a close relationship with, became bitter toward him and toward the Family, as they thought he no longer cared for them.

43. This is such a heartbreaking situation, and I could feel his sadness, the despair, the hopelessness, the disappointment and even the anger that he must have felt. I admire him for sticking it out, for holding on and remaining faithful in spite of the mistakes and problems, just as I admire all of you precious parents who have done likewise. After hearing his reaction, I wanted so much to comfort him. I knew it would be a tremendous boost to his spirit to hear from Dad, so we prayed for him, and Dad gave some wonderful words of encouragement and counsel, parts of which I'm including below, as they apply not only to this brother‚ but to you as well. In his message‚ Dad also shares some of his own testimony and battles‚ which I'm sure will encourage you who have experienced similar things:

44. (Dad speaking: ) You've been a very fruitful tree and brought forth a lot of good fruit. The Lord chose you to bring forth all that fruit because He knew you were a good, strong tree‚ and you still have more fruit to come! That's what the tree is for—to bear fruit. The tree can't help the type of fruit that it bears. Though a strong and fruitful tree may have lots of good fruit‚ there's always some fruit that is weak or drops off before it has fully matured, or because there's some problem with it. The tree can't help that any more than you can help how all your children turn out. Even in nature, the best of trees don't yield 100% perfect fruit. Neither can the tree control what kind of storms may come its way.

45. Look at me! Here I was God's prophet and God's chosen, but I sometimes got discouraged about my own life and failures and children, thinking, "If the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, then what about my kids that seem to have problems? Does that mean I'm not a good tree? Is there something wrong with me?" But I learned that I couldn't have any set plans for my kids. I couldn't hold on tightly to any dreams of what I wanted them to be. I wanted them to be spiritual leaders, strong leaders of the flock‚ but that's not how they all turned out.

46. The tree can only feed the sap and nourishment to the fruit, and that's our job with our children when they're young and growing: to feed them the sap of the Word, to pour into them and to nourish them. But there comes a time when the fruit must take responsibility for itself and what it does with the sap, all that nourishment and food that has been poured into it.

47. When our kids come of age (usually around the age of mid-teens), then they stand before the Lord with their own personal choice, and they have to make their own decisions between good and evil. They stand before the Lord and the decision is theirs. The parents' greatest responsibility is being faithful to feed the young fruit in its developing stages. After that, although the tree can send more water and nourishment to the fruit, when it becomes full grown, the tree has done its job.

48. Son, you've done what you could. You've been faithful to feed your fruit. You've been faithful to love them, nurture them, guide them and counsel them. You've fulfilled your responsibility, and you've done that very well. The end purpose of the fruit is to find its place in the ground, and from the seed become a new sapling; then how it grows depends on it.

49. I know that your children leaving the Family is the cause for great sadness, because I went through it. I know the heartache it causes when your children don't give their whole lives to the Lord, because I've gone through that with some of my own children. Even God went through this with Lucifer and the other angels that refused to obey and follow. Everyone has to make their own decisions, and not even God‚ the perfect God, had one hundred percent total following. He did the best He could (and in fact what He did was perfect), but He knew each individual had to make his own choice. He doesn't expect that all our children will follow in our footsteps, just as all the angels didn't choose to follow Him and serve Him.

50. I love you, Son! You're one of David's mighty men!—A mighty man of valor, and faith, and children. Keep it up, and keep bearing fruit!—Love, Dad. (End of message from Dad.)

51. (Mama:) So parents, please don't continue to carry the burdens of discouragement and blame. A key quote from Dad's message, which I would like to repeat, is where he says, "The tree can only feed the sap and nourishment to the fruit‚ and that's our job with our children when they're young and growing: to feed them the sap of the Word‚ to pour into them and to nourish them. But there comes a time when the fruit must take responsibility for itself and what it does with the sap‚ all that nourishment and food that has been poured into it. The parents' greatest responsibility is being faithful to feed the young fruit in its developing stages. After that, although the tree can send more water and nourishment to the fruit, when the fruit becomes full grown, the tree has done its job."

52. Of course, even when they're older‚ you parents (and other adults and young people) should continue to feed them the Word and try to train them right, like Dad says, and most of all pray for them; but the choices are theirs‚ and the responsibility for the outcome of each choice is theirs.

You Will Reap the Fruit of Your Labors!

87. Reading all this may make you wonder, "Why pour into my children and put so much into them if they may end up not serving the Lord in the long run?" Or, if you've done all you can for your child and he or she leaves anyway, you may wonder, "My child has backslidden‚ so does that mean that after all I've put into him for so many years, I'm not going to reap the rewards of my labors because he's left and is not serving the Lord?"

88. The Lord and Dad have repeatedly said that investing in your children and their upbringing is one of the wisest investments you can make. But when some of them don't turn out as you'd hoped, you may be tempted to wonder how you could have been a wise investor if the child or children you invested in aren't yielding any dividends, but rather seem to have thrown it all away.

89. Even some of you who aren't parents, or who don't have kids who have left, or who have sacrificed and done your best to lovingly shepherd and help some young person who later left the Family, might also be tempted to think, "Was it a waste to pour so much into those young people who left‚ since in the end it seems to have gone nowhere?" I thought that would be a question you might have, so I brought it before the Lord. He sent Dad with the following reply:

90. (Dad speaking:) That's a good question. I can see how some people would have that question, but you can be sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that your children are a good investment! You can be sure that our dear parents will reap dividends from their children, if not in this life, then in the life to come. Every bit of love and time and prayer and energy and sacrifice that has been invested in the lives of the dear children will bring forth great reward to the parents!

91. Because you see, time on Earth is just a moment when compared with eternity. And while the decisions that the young people make will affect their fruitfulness and their training, these young people will never be lost to God's Kingdom! They will always be His children. Even though they be wayward for a time, they're still His children. The time, love and training that was invested in them before their decision to leave the Family will not be wasted; it will eventually bring forth fruit.

92. Those faithful parents will eventually be able to see the reward of their investment—if not in this life, if not immediately, then eventually in the Heavenly realm, in the eternal Kingdom of God. These young people who choose to leave for whatever reason‚ eventually when they come back to the Family to serve the Lord once again, or when they see the Lord face to face, will continue their training. So all that was invested in them will not be wasted and will never be lost.

93. Those who leave and turn their back on their calling and leave their plow unattended in the field will lose some of their reward. They will lose some of the honor that the Lord would have liked to have bestowed upon them had they continued faithful to the end. But they will never lose their place as God's children. They will never lose their place as children of David.

94. His plan will not be thwarted or defeated. If they don't see the error of their ways in this life, and repent and change and come back to His service, they will see the error of their ways when they're taken to His Heavenly Kingdom. Then they will understand, and then they'll have a desire to once again receive the training, receive the Word, and grow in the Spirit.

95. So if the parents of these children who've left feel that they're not seeing any dividends or benefits for all that they've invested, it's because their vision is shortsighted. They need to trust the Lord that "He which has begun a good work will perfect it" eventually. That which He has begun will not be defeated, will not be lost, and will not turn into a sour investment, but it will bear fruit.

96. As the Lord told you, some investments bring forth their dividends quickly and you see the rewards of your investments before your eyes, but others take more time. So the parents who feel that they're not seeing rewards, or even that their investment has been lost, have only to wait and have faith, for in time they will see the fruits of their labors.

97. You have all eternity before you, and the decisions that the young people make there on Earth are only for a moment. Some may have lessons to learn and may have to endure the way of the transgressor, which is hard. Yet they will still eventually come back to the Lord and pick up where they left off, and receive the necessary training to become what they need to be for all eternity. So the investments will come; the dividends will come.

98. Don't lose faith! Don't lose heart! Don't feel that you've failed or that the Lord has failed, because He's given the majesty of choice to all His children. As they exercise this ability to choose, some choose the way of light and some choose the way of darkness. Some choose the way of righteousness and some choose the way of unrighteousness—the way of love or the way of the System.

99. But eventually even those who go down the road of the transgressor will see the error of their ways, and they will repent and will return to a place of softheartedness and receptivity. Though these young people will lose some of their reward, the Lord in His love and mercy will allow them to eventually catch up and be restored to their full place of service and honor. But it'll take time and training, either in this life or in the life to come.

100. So you see, Honey, the answer to this question is just a matter of faith—having faith in the Lord that what He says is true, that His promises never fail, and that in His love He will have mercy even upon His wayward children. Though He will not be able to honor them and bless them as quickly or as fully as His faithful ones, He will still bring them to a place of repentance and to a place where they will once again be able to receive the training, love and attention that they need, so that they will bring forth the fruit and dividends that He has promised to their faithful parents.

101. When these parents have done all that they could, given all that they could give, prayed all that they can pray, and loved as much as they can love, then they just need to trust the Lord! Trust Him that He does all things well‚ that none of His children will be lost, and that none of His promises will go unfulfilled. He will never fail. His love will never fail. His children are in His hands, and no one will be able to pluck them out of their place which He has ordained for eternity.

102. So if the parents or shepherds are tempted to doubt or be discouraged or feel that they've failed in some way, or that the Lord has failed, they just need to look a little farther into the future. They need to look to the Heavenly realm and to eternity, and it will help them to see that what they're experiencing now is only a moment in time! It's only one small piece of a very, very big puzzle. It's only one step in a huge staircase that leads ever closer to Jesus.

103. Some people climb the staircase more quickly than others. Some people climb the staircase, and then they turn around and go back down a few steps, or a lot of steps. But they're still on the staircase, and eventually they'll again continue their climb up the staircase that leads ever closer to Jesus.

104. So when you wonder about the promises of God and how and when He fulfills them, realize that the things that happen on Earth are not the end, but are only one part of a long journey; they're only a small moment in time when compared with all eternity. The immediate dividends that you see from your children there on Earth are nothing compared to the dividends that you will see as your children continue to serve the Lord for all eternity.

105. The dividends will continue to grow and grow as your children continue to be faithful—not just on Earth, but for all time! For they'll continue to be beacons of light‚ servants of the Lord. They'll continue to be rewarded according to their labors. And the parents will continue to be rewarded according to their labors as well.

106. So I just can't say it enough that raising children is a good investment‚ a wise investment! You never lose by investing in your children—even those who look like black sheep‚ and who look like they might go astray. It's still a wise investment, and all that the parents have given will eventually come back to them in the form of rewards‚ satisfaction, happiness, and great joy at sooner or later seeing their children serve the Lord!

107. So trust the Lord even when momentary setbacks come. When your children make decisions that break your heart, you have to trust that the Lord still has them in His hands. He still has a plan for them, and He will eventually get through to them. Please resist the Enemy's fears and worries! Don't worry! Just keep trusting the Lord and doing the best you can to pour into all your children, and all the children that are round about you. Give as much as you can give, because your sacrifice and your giving will be rewarded far beyond anything that you can imagine!

108. It's a wise investment. It's the best investment! So give and give and give! Keep on giving to your own children and to the other children round about you, and you won't be disappointed! Even your momentary disappointments and heartbreaks will be swept away when you see the Lord's plan fulfilled, and you'll know that He does all things well.

109. So keep giving‚ keep praying, and don't lose hope, don't lose faith! Keep trusting the Lord, and keep raising those beautiful big families for Jesus! (End of message from Dad)

110. (Mama:) I pray that these precious Words from Dad will help lift a load off the shoulders of those of you who've been worried or burdened, or who are battling with discouragement and doubting the Lord's plan for our young ones. Wasn't that analogy of the staircase interesting? Even though your child may seem to be climbing down, or even running down, they're still on the staircase and they can't get off. The helmet is firmly attached, and sooner or later they're going to turn around and then the Lord is going to help them start going up again. They may have a lot of a catching up to do then, and a steep climb to get back to where they started going down, but they'll get there, and eventually go far beyond!

111. Dad says here that no matter what happens‚ the Lord's plan will not be defeated! Isn't that encouraging? We just have to have faith in the Lord and His promises, and that His Word is solid and will not fail—and it won't! While its fulfillment may be delayed according to individual choices that people make, and some will yield their dividends much slower than others, in the end the Lord will bring them all to full fruition. Of course, for those who don't choose the Lord's will in their lives, the road can be pretty difficult and they'll have a lot to catch up on, either in this life or in the next. But the Lord promises that in the end, they will catch up and fully blossom for Him.

112. Sometimes we look at things so narrowly, or as Dad put it, our vision is shortsighted. But if we can just trust the Lord and not get in such a hurry and flurry about things, then it'll be easier for us to see how the Lord is going to fulfill each of His promises eventually. And "eventually" is the key word here, one which Dad uses repeatedly in the above message. Look at all the different times he says "eventually" and tries to remind us that everything doesn't have to happen immediately. We've got all eternity for the Lord to work in our kids' lives! I'll list for you here the different circumstances where Dad uses the word "eventually." It's so encouraging!

  1. The time, love and training invested in your children won't be lost; it will eventually bring forth fruit.
  2. You parents will see the reward of your investment eventually; if not in this life, then in the Heavenly realm.
  3. All the kids who leave the Lord's will and service will eventually come back to Him and pick up their training right where they left off.
  4. He who has begun a good work in your kids will perfect it eventually.
  5. If your kids have lessons to learn and if they must endure the way of the transgressor, they'll eventually come back to the Lord and pick up where they left off, to receive the necessary training to become what they need to be for all eternity.
  6. Even though they lose some of their immediate reward, the Lord will eventually allow the ones who leave His will to catch up and be restored to their full place of service and honor.
  7. Even if some kids turn around and go back down the staircase a few steps, or a lot of steps‚ they're still on the staircase and eventually they'll again begin their climb up the staircase that leads ever closer to Jesus.
  8. Even for those kids who look like black sheep, who look like they're going astray, all that you parents have given will eventually come back to you in the form of rewards, satisfaction‚ happiness and great joy at seeing your children serve the Lord.
  9. Don't worry when your children make decisions that break your heart, because the Lord still has them in His hands; He still has a plan for them, and He'll eventually get through to them.

113. It's so comforting to be reminded that what happens on Earth is only a moment in time! It's only a tiny part of the big picture‚ a small piece of an enormous puzzle. We and the Lord have all eternity! Thank You Jesus!

Drawing the Line

ML #3241:52–67, GN 843

Your Children Are Destined to Rule and Reign with Me!

52. (Jesus speaking:) You are the precious parents of My Endtime generation. You are they whom I have called to train My special and unique children—those who will serve Me in the very Last Days. I've trained you these many years—through experience‚ through the Words of David, through My voice and leading in your hearts, and through the miracles which I have done in your lives that prove over and over again how I never fail, and that living for Me, though difficult, is worth the sacrifice! Your children are reaching the time when I have great need of them. They're entering the days when they will be called upon to testify as My witnesses. Indeed, they were born for these days which are coming!

53. Don't think that it was in vain that you bore so many children, for it was part of My perfect plan—not only part of My plan for your lives, to keep you soft‚ loving‚ desperate and giving, but part of My plan for the entire world! For these babes which you have borne have been raised with a very special heritage, and it will not be long before I call on them to give to others in great measure.

54. So think it not strange that these fiery trials try you—your children's battles, their straying from the path, or the machinations of the Evil One with which he tries to snuff out their service. Do not wonder why the battle has gotten so intense in recent years, thinking that it's because the Family has failed or strayed from the path of My perfect will. No! Though you might have made mistakes, and at times you personally have missed My highest will, the Family overall has maintained the course which I set through the Word which I have poured out to you through My queen.

55. You now have a chance to get back on board with the moves of My Spirit‚ and thus be empowered to fight the battles! The battles are intensifying because Satan knows that his time is short! He's trying all he can to stop our children, for he knows that through them will come his greatest defeat!

56. So be not discouraged through looking at the waves, but be thrilled with the promises I have given you that your children are destined to be used of Me! You must only do your part. If your children are causing problems in your Home or you've not been able to get them under control, don't accept it! See it for the all-out spiritual warfare that it is, and go on the attack!

57. Yes, the Enemy is trying to stop you! Yes, he is trying to get your children! Are you going to let him? Determine in your hearts that it will not be without a fight! And if you fight and you use the new weapons that I've given you, I will come to your aid and send the forces of Heaven to intercede for you in the battle! If you fight, you will win! But you mustn't give up! You mustn't sink down in despair, for that will lose you the battle! Valuable time is ticking away! You must come before Me and receive your personalized battle plan, and then determine in your hearts that you will fight to the death—and win you shall!

58. My dear ones, I did not bring you thus far to have you be defeated in this battle! It's yours to win, for these, your children, are destined to rule and reign with Me! So hang on to them! Hang on to the crown of life that I have given you—the crown of seeing your children used in mighty ways! That crown is yours—I hold it out to you!

59. If you feel you're losing the fight, remember that the darkest hour is just before dawn. Even if you have to separate yourselves physically from the body because of some of your children, and thus leave full-time fellowship because you're not able to control them‚ don't sink down in defeat and despair! Remember that you are permanently joined in spirit and heart‚ and that soon this race will be won if you don't give up! Keep fighting, and you'll win! Keep coming to Me for the answers, and then keep putting them into practice, no matter what the cost! Keep praising Me in spite of the battle‚ in spite of the seeming loss‚ in spite of your wounds! Determine in your hearts that you will never, never give in to the lies of the Enemy‚ and after you've done all—stand firm! You'll be helped by the forces of Heaven, and the Enemy will be defeated in the end!

60. You must determine in your hearts that you will not give in to lying vanities, that you will not be scared by the Enemy's "boo," that you will not take no for an answer! I have said yes! I have promised the victory, so hold on to My Words through the fight, and I will fulfill My promise!

61. My dear loves, remember that your battle is on the spiritual plane, not just the physical. You're fighting the Enemy and his evil spirits and influences, not your children. At times the battle can be confusing, when you feel frustrated or overwhelmed. You can feel that your children are not yielding to Me or to your correction‚ and it's easy to get frustrated or feel that you're losing the battle because of their wrong choices. It's true‚ they must decide for Me in order to be used of Me. But your part is the patience, the conviction, the loving firmness, and the coming back to Me again and again for further instruction on how to proceed.

62. Trying to legislate righteousness will not work! Trying to force them to obey and change will not work. This battle will not be won overnight, and it will not be an easy victory. That's why I instruct you to set your face as a flint and determine now in your heart before Me that you will never give up! And part of that never giving up is continuing to seek Me for the love, the patience, the wisdom, the temperance, the understanding, and the other gifts of My Spirit that you need to win the battle.

63. It's not a battle of flesh or of force—it's a battle of love! It's a battle of conviction! And the battle will be won as you lay down your life, your pride, your preconceived ideas, and seek Me for how to best overcome. Then I will come to you and be your Teamworker, your Helper‚ your Instructor. I'll give you of the riches of Heaven—Heavenly wisdom, Heavenly understanding, new ideas, faith which comes from My Word, and love that knows no boundaries, that you might have the strength and means wherewith to win this war.

64. So don't feel alone or forsaken—you have the most powerful might of Heaven engaged in battle for you! For these, your children, My children, are the hope of the future and I have great need of them. Are you willing to fight to win them for Me? Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary? I'm not telling you that it will be easy or that the victory will be swift. But I do tell you that it will be worth the fight, and we will rejoice together at the sight of our precious children sitting at My hand, and ruling with love the kingdoms of the world!

65. In the coming days they will be mighty in spirit and will gain understanding and strength through the days of tribulation. They will be mighty witnesses for Me, and will gladly give their lives for the cause of love in My Name. Then in the days of My Kingdom on Earth, they will fulfill the royal destiny that I have given to them—that of being kings and queens to Me!

66. My precious parents and shepherds, it will be worth it all! But I need each of you! Every one of you has a role to fill in this great battle, so seek Me for how and what you should do. And above all, desperately pray for My love, My patience, My mercy, My conviction, and the strength and will to continue fighting until the victory is won!

67. I love you and will be with you in the fight! Your queen is fighting courageously by your side in spirit, as is your King Peter. Your Father David is fully dedicated to working behind the scenes, and will help you at any moment you need him. All the power of Heaven is at your command, so be not dismayed, but fight! (End of message from Jesus.)

They'll Always Be Mine

ML #3300:51-66, GN 899

What Is God's Highest Will?

51. (Maria: ) I know that there may be a question on some of your hearts about how the Lord's will and plan fits in with the choices that people make to leave the Family. It's difficult, if not impossible, to know or understand everything that the Lord has done in each person's life and how they reached the decision to leave the Family.

52. We tend to automatically think that they're out of the Lord's will if they're not in the Family, but the Lord has said that in some cases because of the choices some make, they may go out for a time for one reason or another, but that He'll teach them lessons through the things they experience. We asked the Lord to explain how He looks at those who leave and how we—whether their parents‚ shepherds, friends or peers—should look at them.

53. (Jesus speaking:) My ways are higher than your ways‚ and My thoughts cannot be compared to your thoughts. This is one thing that you'll never be able to figure out or see exactly as I see it. That's because you'll never fully know the heart and mind and spirit of each person I created, but I do.

54. It's wiser not to judge or to hang labels on people who have left the Family. You don't know all that they went through or all the reasons why they made the choices they made. You may know much and understand much, but there is more beneath the surface in their heart, thoughts, intents and desires which you won't know about until you get to Heaven and it is revealed to you there.

55. Each baby that was or is born within the Family, I placed within the circle of the Family for a good reason. I gave them a head start to being a missionary and disciple. I gave them a high calling, a chance and opportunity to serve Me in a very special way. But I don't love Family babies or children more than the other children in the world. Each one came from My hand‚ and I want each child and each person on Earth to have the same opportunity to know Me and love Me with all their heart.

56. As each person makes choices‚ within the Family or without the Family, I judge them according to their hearts, as well as the training that they have had‚ the input‚ the love, the Word, the sample. I hold those who have grown up or been in the Family for many years more accountable, more responsible in their subsequent choices, than people of the world. But remember‚ I am the Judge, not you. You should love and pray for those who have chosen to no longer be in the Family, and pray that they will allow Me to keep them under the shadow of My wings.

57. My will is a mysterious thing. It's something that I have created as a means of letting an individual know that he or she and I are in perfect harmony, perfect sync; that they are within My plan and following Me closely. Not everyone desires to be within My will, but to those who do, who love Me and want to make My plan their plan, I give the gift of knowing My highest will. I communicate this to the individual. Once you find My highest will for you, you can have peace and rest in your heart.

58. For the most part, you don't have to worry about those around you and get into analyzing whether or not they're in My highest will. You certainly don't have to worry about those who have chosen to leave the Family, because I am caring for them. I'm watching out for them. If you ask Me, I may tell you whether or not someone is in My highest will or not, but usually it's enough for you to be concerned about staying in My will yourself.

59. My will for someone can change depending on circumstances and the choices they have made. I may have My ideal highest will for a person, yet if they make choices that make My highest will impossible to be fulfilled or met, then I will make allowance for them. I will provide other options, other paths they may travel within My will, which they may choose instead. I have given man freedom of choice, and in so doing, I've agreed to work with man and to adapt, to some extent, to the choices he makes.

60. My highest will for someone's life, meaning My original plan and preference, does not change. However, according to choices that one makes, My will in regards to certain specifics of a person's life may change. If someone chooses to veer from My original plan, I will show them My highest will among the available options for a particular situation, according to their choices. When this happens‚ though I will show them My highest will for their present situation, it will never be the same as My original highest will and choice for them.

61. If for some reason someone feels they are unable to remain in the Family or give their 100%, or there are other circumstances that they feel they have a duty or obligation to, and this leads them out of the Family, then I will adapt, and‚ in accordance with their choices, show them My will for them in their new situation. I will speak to their heart and let them know clearly through the different ways to know My will, what My highest will for them is in their current situation.

62. If they come to Me and communicate their feelings and desires and choices to Me, then I‚ as the good and loving Shepherd that I am, will not leave them or forsake them or cast them aside. Rather‚ I will do what I can to help them and show them what is My highest and best for them in their new life. But if someone pushes Me out of their life and doesn't want to involve Me in their life‚ then this is much more difficult. Then they do not allow Me to let them know how I would direct them, and this can lead to greater problems as they go about living a life without Me.

63. If you worry about your loved ones‚ your brothers, sisters, parents, or best friends who have left the Family, here's something practical and very helpful that you can do for them: Pray that they stay in touch with Me. Pray that‚ even though they're out of the Family, they will ask Me about their life and their plans. Pray that they will let Me speak to them with My still small voice and direct them. Encourage them to do this. Because if they do, then they can be protected and helped and empowered by Me.

64. I have great love for each of My children, and not one of them will I cast out. You can't always know whether or not someone is in My will, but you can do your part to pray for them and love them, and you can trust Me that I'm helping them the best I can, as much as they'll let Me. If they love Me and are leaning on Me, then they have protection and blessings. If someone chooses another path in life but is still willing to follow Me to a certain degree and give their life to Me in part‚ then I am happy and take whatever they give, and I will lead and guide them accordingly. For this they will be rewarded and blessed.

65. It is true that on some occasions I chart a course for one of My children that leads them out of the Family for a time. They choose this course, and I allow their passage down it because in My foresight, I know that this will help them, change them, and make them into the man or woman they need to be. In a case like this, it could be very much My will for someone to leave the Family for a time or to be experiencing another walk of life. But this is the exception rather than the rule.

66. In summary, it's impossible for you to fully understand how I work in each person's life and what would be best for them. You cannot hang a label on people and say whether they're meant to be here or there. Each one that I have placed in the Family, I have given a call to dedication and a life of commitment to Me. I have also given this call to many in the world, and do so more as you spread My message. But it's wisest not to judge, not to condemn, because more often than not, you'll be wrong and your condemnation and judgment will be held against you and not them. I'm taking care of them in My Own loving and wise way. I have more love and care than you could imagine, so leave your loved ones in My hands, and do your part to pray that they will listen to Me and abide in Me as much as possible. (End of message from Jesus.)

Mama's Birthday 2002, Part 2

ML #3445:87-93, GN 1030

Arrows in My Hand—Your Children

87. (Jesus speaking: ) I have said that your children are like arrows in the hand of a mighty man. I want to explain a little more about this‚ and how some of your "arrows" that have missed the target, in the form of your second generation who have left the Family‚ will yet come to play their part.

88. I'm bringing this subject up because I know that it is one that concerns you, and I want to reveal to you My plan concerning these by expounding and enlarging on My analogy of the arrows in the hand of an archer.

89. Yes, your children are My arrows, and I shoot them out toward the target of My highest will. But these aren't just dumb wooden arrows; they are living arrows, and thus they have a mind of their own—to decide whether to fly straight along the path I have shot them in, or whether they will deviate and seek some other course‚ or run out of steam and fall to the ground.

90. Right now there are many who have chosen to fly along other paths and have not hit the target they were meant for‚ so they lie about, scattered on the ground, not being used of Me. As a wise archer, My quiver is full of many arrows, so for the time being I'm still shooting out those that will obey, and I'm continuing to use and raise up the second and third generations of My Family.

91. But when the days of evil will come upon this Earth‚ during the great final reaping, I will be in need of reinforcements‚ above and beyond those faithful who have remained by My side for many years. I will find Myself in need of all of My arrows, even those who chose a different path or life for a time. In the Last Days I will not have time to train new ones straight out of the System, so I will call for the help of My children who received training in their youth, and will rekindle the truth in their hearts.

92. That's when I will go out into the highways and byways and find and gather all those arrows that are lying about unused on the ground. Those will be the days in which you will experience the returning of your lost ones. I will lovingly pick them up from their useless places in the gutters and grasses and polish them off, re-sharpen their tips, and place them again in My quiver to be shot out once more to join their fellows.

93. So don't worry about the arrows that seem to lie about on the ground. Know that in due time I will gather them to Me once again. Rejoice rather for the arrows that do fly straight and are accomplishing My purpose. You are doing all that you can in praying that those which are gone will stay clean from too much of the world and will remember Me in their hearts. Those prayers are working and you will reap their benefits in the Latter Days. (End of message from Jesus.)

God's Greats

ML #3478:26–34, GN 1065

A Solid Foundation Will Stand

26. (Jesus:) "Suffer the little children to come unto Me, for of such is the Kingdom of God" (Mk.10:14). "Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven" (Mat.18:3).

27. I love children! Few people realize that I had several brothers and sisters, and as the oldest I often helped to care for and train them in My younger years. (See Matthew 12:46-50, 13:54-56.) And as I grew even older, into My teens, after My little adventure in the temple at Jerusalem, I helped to teach the scriptures to the younger boys of Nazareth, where Joseph and Mary could keep a better eye on Me than if I had been in Jerusalem, ha!

28. Many of those I taught were sitting in the audience the day that I read from Isaiah and told them: "This day has this scripture been fulfilled in your ears." And while many of the fathers sought to stone Me that day, many of their sons that I had taught the scriptures to soon sought Me out and became disciples, and were among the seventy that I sent forth.

29. There is great satisfaction in teaching a child the scriptures and the will of their Father in Heaven, and then watching that child go forth and preach it, teach it, live it, use it.

30. That will be your greatest reward as teachers and parents. Oh, don't get Me wrong. There are other rewards aplenty heaped up here for you and your labors of love. But all of them will pale in comparison to seeing the full effect of what your time, blood, sweat, and tears accomplished in the life of that child you helped to care for‚ to teach‚ and to raise. Your greatest joy‚ like My joy in welcoming each of My children Home, will be to see how that life you helped to guide onto the path of My will accomplished great and glorious feats in My Name.

31. The training you pour into children is never wasted. The time you give to them is invested in eternity. The truths you impart to them will be remembered in their hearts, and will be the foundation on which they build their life. What they build on it through their decisions, choices, and actions may stand or it may crumble. But that foundation will always be there, strong and unshakable, ready for them to build on again when they discover the works of their own hands have come to naught.

32. You cannot choose or control what they will decide to build with their life, but you can control the foundation that they will build on. That foundation will always be there, because it is a foundation built on the truth of My Word and the security of My love. It is the rock that this child will build their life on. And while what they choose to build may not weather the storms at first‚ the foundation will still stand‚ and they will be able to rebuild on it.

33. Whereas others, those who choose to give their children foundations that are not based on My Word, on My truth, are giving their children a foundation of shifting sand, and no matter how strong and ingenious a building those children build with their lives‚ it will come to naught. "For no other foundation can any man lay than that is laid‚ which is Jesus Christ" (1Cor. 3:11).

34. So don't be discouraged if you see your child, when he or she starts growing up, start to build something that you know won't stand the test of time. It's not your responsibility to choose what they will build, though you can guide and counsel them if they will listen. But your job is only to lay the foundation firmly and solidly, and you do that by laying the foundation of My Word, the foundation of their Christian heritage, built on love, grace, salvation, forgiveness, mercy, faith, hope, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance. That is something you can give them that no man will be able to take away from them, and that will be a part of their lives forever. (End of message.)

End of File