KEYWORDS: love, appreciation, lord, others, things, people

Shooting Straight, Part 14--Letter Links: A Pearl of Great Price!

April 12, 2005

Table of Contents

(ML #3538, GN 1129)

FD/MM/FM September 2004

Little People

ML #974, DB 1

1. WHEN THE DAY OF REWARDS COMES AROUND, the Great Judgment Seat of Christ in Heaven, & we get our crowns & our stars, we're going to see some of the littlest people come up that we never even realized existed, to get some of the greatest crowns, because they were little folks who were behind the scenes‚ almost unseen & unknown, who did the humblest jobs, the humblest administrations, to make the ministry of the others possible.

2. So don't forget that! It's the little people who keep the Kingdom going.

4. A lot of those nobodies who are slaving away behind the scenes‚ scrubbing floors & doing dishes & cooking & having babies & teaching the children & helping financially, litnessing & provisioning & all the rest, the mechanics who take care of the cars & the technicians who run the machines—a lot of them are not getting much reward now, & sometimes they don't even get much thanks from you!

5. BUT GOD KNOWS, GOD SEES, & "thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly"! (Mt.6:4,18) One of these days the whole World & all Heaven & all Earth & all Hell are going to know who the little people are & what you did & how much you sacrificed & how hard you worked & how little thanks & appreciation you got!

6. If you don't give'm some reward here & now, God's going to give it to'm then & there.—And it may put you to shame, because God had to reward them extra heavily & give'm an extra crown with more stars because you failed to do so here!

7. So don't forget it! Love them & be good to them & give them credit where credit is due & help them & show them appreciation, gratitude & thanks—thank them for every little thing they do. Encourage them & help them & strengthen them & nourish them & feed them & make their job as easy as you can.

8. DO YOU MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM TO BE GOOD? Remember that little story I told you about the sweet little Christian girl?—She was such a blessing to the neighborhood children, always doing good things for them & the people around, & then, for some reason, the Lord took her away, she died. So they came to her parents with a little scribble written on a piece of paper & asked if this could be put on her tombstone. And guess what it was?: "She made it easy for us to be good!"

9. Do you make it easy for others to be good? Do you try to show your thanks many times over, day after day? You can never say "I love you" too often! Be good to them & love them & thank'm & kiss'm & tell'm you love'm a hundred times a day & try to make it easy for them to be good.

10. Do you kiss your housekeeper often? Do you kiss your cook & love'r up good often? Do you kiss & love & hug & make love to your laundress?—I do mine!—That's part of their reward, part of their thanks‚ one way they know that I really appreciate'm & love'm.

11. After all, the happier I make them, the happier they'll make me! I don't do it with that motive, selfishly, but every employer oughtta know that the better he is to his employees‚ the better his employees are going to be to him!—You can't give without getting, you can't reward without receiving in return.

12. You can't ever outgive God, & one of the ways of giving to God is being good to His little ones, the little people‚ the nobodies‚ the ones who minister to you. So don't forget that. Without the nobodies, you'd be nobody!

13. MAY GOD HELP US TO BE GOOD TO THE LITTLE PEOPLE‚ THE LITTLE FOLKS. Don't neglect them, don't forget them‚ don't forget to praise them, thank them, love them & take good care of them, amen? So God bless'm!—& you bless'm!


ML #997:1-9, 17‚ 21, Vol.8

1. THE LORD GIVES LOTS OF PEOPLE CREDIT! He said of Andrew, "Behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile!" (Jn.1:47.) … The Lord commended the good and faithful servants who invested their talents wisely. (Mt.25:21-23.) He even commended the unjust steward for his wisdom. (Lk.16:8.) (Maria: So He wasn't afraid to praise people?) No! He praised people a lot! He said of David, "You're a man after My Own heart!" and of Job, "Who is like unto him in all the Earth?" (Ac.13:22; Job 1:8.)

2. GOD COMMENDS LOTS OF PEOPLE ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE BIBLE. Look at those letters to the churches in Revelation, look at all the praise and credit He gives them! The Lord knows that encouragement is very important. Just like you commend your children when you say, "Good boy!" (Maria: But some parents may say, "Well‚ Jesus does it all, so if we give them too much credit they're going to think it's of themselves.")

3. BUT THE LORD IS GOING TO GIVE US CREDIT! … Jesus doesn't do it all, we do part of it, and He helps us do it. (Maria: Well what about our looks? You're always praising and admiring our looks and our admirable personal qualities.) Well, you've taken care of your body‚ Honey, and you groom yourself well, you're attractive, smell good, you're bright and cute!

4. YOU'VE DONE YOUR BEST WITH WHAT GOD GAVE YOU! It's kind of like the farmer said to the preacher about his farm, remember? (Maria: "You should have seen it when God had it!") … It's true with everything. God gives you the basics to begin with and wants to see what you're going to do with it, both your body and talents and all the rest, but you've got to work on it!

5. If they work hard at it and try hard to make themselves attractive and admirable, I think people always ought to be commended. ... The Lord commends a lot of His children, servants and prophets.

6. (MARIA: I WAS READING THAT BOOK ABOUT ADMIRATION and I thought that's sort of my temptation, to know it's the Lord and if they're already proud we don't want to admire them or give them too much credit because then they'll get the big head! I think that's true in the Family, [people] have felt they're not to be novices being exalted, because pride is of the Devil so you don't want to contribute to people's pride.) (1Tim.3:6.)

7. HONEY, ALMOST EVERYBODY NEEDS ENCOURAGEMENT! Most people are not really conceited or real stuck on themselves. I think most people feel a certain amount of inferiority complex and tend to get a little discouraged with themselves, so therefore I think encouragement is a very important thing! I do it all the time! I praise everybody for everything they do that I see is good.

8. CHILDREN THRIVE ON PRAISE! I really know it works with kids, if you commend them for doing well and for being good and say‚ "Good boy, good girl!" they really thrive on it! It's more important to praise a child for his good works and his good behavior than it is to scold him for his bad behavior. Always accentuate the positive!

9. ONE OF THE WORST THINGS YOU CAN DO IS PICK ON EVERY LITTLE FAULT, always belittling, nagging, finding fault‚ beating somebody down, henpecking! It's one of the worst things in the world you could possibly do and that will really break up marriages!

17. THE DANGER IS WHEN YOU GET YOUR MIND DWELLING ON THE BAD TRAITS. The Lord says, "Choose the good and eschew the evil." (1Pe.3:11.) He says, "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise‚ think on these things!" (Phil.4:8.)—That applies to your mate as well. Try to remind yourself constantly of his or her good qualities, the good things, and try not to think about the bad things.

21. ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE BIBLE THE LORD COMMENDED PEOPLE FOR THEIR GOOD WORKS, and He promises to reward us for our good work. It has nothing to do with our salvation; we get salvation as a free gift by His mercy and grace and love, but it's our service and good works for Him that He especially commends! I thank God that He really appreciates our service and our sacrifice and the things we do for Him beyond the call of duty. So the Lord appreciates us and commends us!

I Love You—Just You

ML #2985:74–82, Lifelines 22

74. (Jesus:) Ponder at night when thou goest to sleep, "What have I done with my life today?" Ponder on the love that I bestowed upon thee. Count thy many blessings and thou wilt see 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 thee personally.

75. But I ask thee also to ponder how much thou hast given love. What hast thou done to show love unto 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.

76. Therefore if thou wouldst want to know that I love thee or how much I love thee—how much dost thou love others? How much dost thou give to those who I also love? For remember that I have no hands but thine, no eyes but thine, no heart to touch others' hearts but thy heart. So in this thou hast been commissioned to also give. For the more that thou lookest to receive love—this is not the way to know that I love thee, except that thou countest thy many blessings.

77. But give and it shall be given unto thee. For have I not said, "For inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto Me"? Therefore be touched by My love in touching others with My love, with thy love.

78. I look at thee, dear girl, so shy‚ so simple, so humble, so plain, and thou dost wonder if I love thee. Look at the children that thou dost care for all the day long. Do they not just love thee to bits? Do they not rejoice when thou dost walk into their classroom? Do they not always want to hold thy hand when they walk about with thee? They are My love for thee, and oh, how very much love they have for thee!—So receive My love.

79. And thou, dear mother, look at thy children. Do they not love thee? Do they not need thee? Their love is so that they need thee‚ they desire thee always, they do not want you to even leave! That is My love for thee!

80. But thou knowest not always how much I love thee because thou dost go too fast. Thou art in such a hurry; thou dost not stop for love. Have I not said through My Maria that love is the most important thing? There are so many cares and worries encumbering thee. Thou hast put importance on many things—thy accomplishments, thy work, thy aspirations, thy career. But more important than those are the people about thee, those that need thee, those that have a pain.

81. Wilt thou ponder this when thou dost go to bed at night? Wilt thou look around thee to all those that I have put on thy path that day and see what they need? Then maybe thou wilt comfort them, and encourage them, and love them, and give to them. Stop, and look, and listen to the whispers that I will whisper in thine ear to show thee who needs love.

82. But ye do go too fast, all of you—you parents, you shepherds, and you and you and you and you also! Ye do not take the time to love. For it takes time to make a baby‚ to grow a flower, and to love a person in such a way that this person will be not only touched‚ but changed by love. Therefore take time to love; make time to love. For love is the most important thing.

A New Day of Love

ML #3011:2–12, 51-54, Lifelines 22

2. (Prophecy:) "O, the Love of Jesus! O, the Love of Jesus! O, the Love of Jesus that fills me to the full! So does My Love fill you to the full, yea, unto overflowing! So do I give unto you seeds of Love, seeds of power, seeds of anointing and seeds of My Word. For it doth not take much to please Me, with ye that are giving your whole lives to Me. I am pleased and I am thankful for your sacrifices of love, for your dying daily. For there are so few of My children who love Me so much to give Me their whole lives.

3. "I look upon those who love Me so much with great love and care and tenderness. I love all My children, but how I love those that live for Me, and those that die for Me—that die daily in their service unto Me, sacrificing, forging ahead, even trudging ahead!—Who carry on day after day, through hardship and strain and trouble, through toil and care.—Who love Me and serve Me even when it seems I am not loving and caring for them, yet they trust Me.—Even those who suffer unto death trusting Me.

4. "Oh‚ how I love them! And because of My love for you—ye who serve Me, ye who love Me, and ye who have given your lives unto Me—I will now pour forth unto you and bestow upon you great measures of My Love! For ye have all come before Me, seeking Me, pouring out your hearts unto Me, crying unto Me to be filled with My Love." (The Lord is referring here to our April 1st "Day of Pentecost" prayers for an outpouring of His Love.)

5. "I will answer your heartcry and your prayer, and I will pour forth My Spirit of Love upon you in great measure! For I give unto you a way to more fully love Me. And I give unto you ways to receive My Love and to make known My Love unto others.

6. "I call you forth now as an Army of Love, saying unto you: Lovest thou Me?—Love one another. Lovest thou Me?—Care for one another. Lovest thou Me?—Sacrifice for one another. For by this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, that ye love Me, and that ye love one another!

7. "Ye do many things out of your love for Me, to show Me your love. Ye obey, ye go forth to witness‚ ye even give your lives for Me. Now I say unto you, do such deeds for one another, that all may know of your love for one another. In doing these deeds for one another, ye do them unto Me. For he that doeth these things unto the least of these his brethren, doeth them unto Me.

8. "For I have filled you with My Spirit of Love, but as with all gifts, it must be exercised. So begin—begin to love one another. Begin with deeds of kindness, words of love, with touches of affection, with the showing of appreciation, with the speaking of kind words to one another, appreciative words to one another; the holding of hands, the patting on the back, the stroking of the face. Begin by faith to manifest this gift of Love that hath been poured forth upon you. And as with all gifts, as ye become exercised therein, it shall grow and grow, and become stronger and stronger, and ye shall radiate My Love for one another.

9. "Think good thoughts of one another. Do not criticize or look down upon another. As ye look at each one, think in your heart that, 'This one loves my Lover‚ Jesus. This one serves my Lord with his whole life.' Think, 'Jesus loves this one just as He loves me, and this one loves Jesus just as I do.'

10. "Look not at the faults and the failings and the shortcomings, for I do not. I look at the love they have for Me. Do ye likewise. For all come short of the glory of God‚ even you. When ye think to criticize others, think of your own faults. For all have shortcomings, and all have faults and failings.—You too. So overlook those things and see as I see. See the love. See that these are faithful to serve Me and have given their lives unto Me, and have sacrificed in their service unto Me.

11. "Look upon one another with love, think upon one another with love, pray for one another in love. Exercise this gift that I have given you, that ye may become strong in My Love for one another, that ye may become bonded all as one, as a strong Family united under the banner and anointing of My Love‚ that ye may go forth as a strong band of soldiers—united, loyal, faithful unto one another and all together unto Me.

12. "For My banner is over you, and My banner is Love. And Mine anointing is over you, and Mine anointing is Love. And this is the greatest anointing that could be upon you, because Love is the power that created the universe‚ My Love for you." (End of prophecy.)

51. (Prophecy:) "Forgiveness‚ mercy, tenderness, gentleness, acts and deeds of kindness and caring, simplicity, thoughtfulness, rewards, words of love, words of encouragement, words of praise, all the positive and good things that you can say about someone, loving touches and caresses, giving of yourselves, taking time to talk, taking time to listen‚ making time to share, helping to carry the load, small acts of consideration, stooping to help the other—these will show My Love and will reassure others of My Love.

52. "What makes you feel My Love? Think about the things that happen in your life that reassure you that I love you and others love you. There are many good answers there, and many ways that you can do the same for the one beside you: A warm greeting instead of an indifferent glance; a smile and cheerful words reassure you that everything is okay; a moment to answer a question with consideration and sincerity, instead of pressured haste and busy rush, making others feel belittled or in the way; time to help the one next to you, and in so doing, help them to feel My appreciation and that I need them‚ that I appreciate them and their service to Me‚ I appreciate their labors in the duties that I ask of them.

53. "The list does not really have an end‚ for My Love is endless and without limit and without bounds. As ye learn to seek Me and desire My Love to grow in your hearts and in your lives, ye will be thrilled at the wonderful resurrection of love in your life, at the beauty and joy of simply giving and loving others.

54. "Be a little channel of Jesus. Be a little duct that the refreshing, soothing, comforting waters of My Love can flow through. Be a little pansy to cheer their day. I need little channels. Upon the smallest, most insignificant, seemingly obscure stones is My great work laid." (End of prophecy.)

Show Appreciation

ML #3254, GN 859

The Importance of Expressing Praise and Appreciation to Others!

3. In this first message, the Lord explains how very important praise and appreciation are! They're actual spiritual powers which uplift, encourage and strengthen! Lord help us to be more faithful to use them for the benefit of our brothers and sisters!

4. (Jesus:) You might not realize it‚ but praise is an actual spiritual power which uplifts‚ encourages, and strengthens. When you praise Me, you empower Me to work on your behalf. When you praise your brothers and sisters, mates, co-workers, and children, you're strengthening their walls of defense against the Enemy's discouragement‚ and giving them spiritual strength to keep going.

5. Praise is such a powerful tool against the attacks of the Enemy! It helps you to count your blessings, to see the positive, to keep your mind on the good things, and it also does wonders for the person who you're encouraging. When you praise Me, it draws us closer together and strengthens our bonds of love. When you praise and appreciate those around you, it also draws you together; it encourages you that you need each other. It helps the other person to know that you love them, need them, and that they're not alone or unnoticed, that their labors are worthwhile.

6. Praise‚ encouragement, and appreciation are some of the most effective weapons against the Enemy's attacks! Those who learn to wield them skillfully not only develop strong fighting muscles in the spirit through concentrating on the positive, but they also become rescuers of those in need‚ who I know I can send to encourage and help those who are faltering and in need of uplifting.

7. So learn to be one of My encouragers! Learn to wield the weapon of praise and encouragement against the Enemy's attacks on your brethren. Realize that when you see something good about someone, it's probably Me putting that thought in your heart because I want you to say it! And the more you learn to give what I put in your heart, the more I can give you, and the more effective you'll be in My hand as a tool of encouragement and uplifting.

8. What is showing appreciation? It's taking the time to either put into words or show by your actions what it is about a person that you like, what it is that makes you want to be around that person, or what that person does or is that makes your Home a happier Home and your life a happier life.

9. It doesn't have to be big things that you praise or appreciate people for. As a matter of fact, concentrate on the little things, because the little things are the things that often go unnoticed. If you feel you're not observant enough to notice or know what to say, just ask Me! And then when I give you something, say it! Don't be too proud or worry about what the other person will think—just lovingly give My Words.

10. For example, if you see a pregnant mommy looking radiant and beautiful, tell her! It might just be the time that she's battling about the physical changes in her body and feeling unattractive. When your child does something sweet, go out of your way to praise them for it and let them know that you noticed. When the cook puts out the food, show your appreciation for whatever I put on your heart, whether it's the nice presentation‚ the clean kitchen, the delicious sauce, etc. Let your JETT know how much you appreciate her help and sacrifice in helping you with the kids at Family time. Tell the dear single in your Home how much you admire him or her and appreciate their being on call to fill in—how much it does to strengthen your Home and keep things running smoothly.

11. Everyone needs praise and appreciation, and when you give it freely, you become a channel for My love to flow through to that person. So give! Realize the tremendous power of My Spirit which is in your hands, and give praise and appreciation to those around you.

12. You should even appreciate the ones outside your Homes. The waiter, the garbage men, the shop owners, the contacts—let them know how appreciative you are of their labors. Thank them, and never be too proud to show your love—because it's really My love for them. You are the tool I want to use to encourage them. (End of message.)

13. (Mama:) Along the lines of how powerful appreciation is, I want to share with you a little message the Lord gave about how it even helps your children to grow physically. Just as experiments have proven that tiny babies can't develop and even die if they aren't touched and don't feel the warmth of someone's body, and those who aren't talked to don't develop properly, so it is with appreciation—children who aren't appreciated don't grow as well as they would with appreciation.

14. The Lord said, "Praise helps your children to grow physically because it makes them happy, content, secure, encouraged—and when they are happy and surrounded by your love and encouragement, their bodies grow and have a stronger resistance to sickness and disease. When they do not receive the love and praise and encouragement that they so desperately need, their little bodies cannot function correctly; they get run-down and are more susceptible to sickness, and they don't grow as well physically."

What Holds Us Back from Showing Appreciation?

15. (Mama:) Now that the Lord has told us what a powerful spiritual weapon appreciation is, what is it that holds us back from giving it more freely? And when we show appreciation, how can we be most effective? The Lord answers those questions for us with some good practical counsel in this next message!

16. (Jesus speaking: ) There are so many things that hinder the show of appreciation:

- Being in a hurry.

- Being too shy.

- Thinking the other person will think what you do or say is dumb.

- Thinking that your show of appreciation will be misinterpreted by the recipient.

- Feeling that to say or do something sweet would be looked upon by others as being corny or overdone.

17. Sometimes people don't show proper appreciation because they just don't take the time to look around them to even notice the many blessings that come their way through others' actions and sacrifices. So the most important first step if you want to show more appreciation for others is to pray and ask Me to open your eyes and to help you to see how much there is in each of your brothers and sisters, friends and lovers, your mate or children, that can be appreciated. I'm not talking about general appreciation, but specific things that are unique to that individual.

18. Just stop for a moment and look at that person and let Me speak to your heart about all their good qualities, the things they do that are special, that light up your life and make your load easier and give you a reason to live and joy in your heart. You can even stop and ask Me to speak to you in prophecy about that person, and I'll show you things that you would have never thought of or seen on your own‚ things which you can then appreciate them for, and be even more effective in your giving of encouragement!

19. Once you've let Me reveal to you how much there is to appreciate, then it's just a matter of making that appreciation known to the other person—and the easiest way to consistently, faithfully and impartially show appreciation is through your words. A lot of times people want to say something appreciative and it's right on the tip of their tongue, but they hold back because they're embarrassed and they don't know what the other person's reaction will be.

20. But let Me remind you of one very important people–handling principle which I think will give you the faith to step out more to put those thoughts into words: Everybody is hungry for appreciation. There's not one person on Earth who doesn't need the encouragement of appreciation. Everyone needs to know that they're noticed, that the things they do make a difference‚ that it matters to somebody.

21. Even just a few words of simple, honest‚ sincere appreciation can go so far to make somebody's day, to help pull them out of a negative mood or to help refute the lies of the Enemy. Very few people are actually conceited; most people have inferiority complexes. Most people think negatively about themselves, and their own flaws and weaknesses loom before them as an almost unconquerable mountain.

22. The Enemy has been able to get a hold on so many of the children of David through negativity and comparing and low self-esteem because those around them were not faithful to pass on My love through words of encouragement and appreciation. So make it a personal project, even a hobby, if you will, to give it all you've got to develop the gift of encouragement. It's easy, as I've said; just slow down long enough and prayerfully seek Me—even in prophecy—and let Me show you all there is to appreciate in those around you, then step out by faith to put that appreciation into words.

Be Specific!

23. Now, if you really want the words you speak to do the most and to hit the bull's-eye, be as specific as you possibly can be in what you say. It doesn't always have to be long and flowery; it can be simple and specific too. Just say whatever words I put on your heart! But be specific, and if you can't think of anything specific, then ask Me and let Me show you something specific to appreciate!

24. The more specific the appreciation, the easier it is for the recipient to believe it. Instead of saying, "I really appreciate the way you're always so cheerful," you can say, "When I see you in the morning, you always have a cheerful smile on your face and you never fail to say 'Good morning' and to show interest in me. It really lifts my spirit and I look forward to seeing you each day."

25. Or if you want to encourage a child, instead of simply saying, "Good girl, Honey. I appreciate when you don't leave messes around," instead say, "Good girl, Honey! I know it's difficult for you when you want to go on to a new game or go to get-out, but I appreciate it when you take those extra minutes to put away your toys and to straighten up the room. It shows you're really growing up. You're becoming conscientious and mature, and it's a very important quality."

26. Or if your mate does something special for you—makes you a little snack, brings you a wild flower from his get–out walk‚ or takes the time to make the room nice and romantic before your date—instead of just saying‚ "Oh, thank you‚ that's so nice of you," you can say, "Thank you so much. I really appreciate the love you show me. You're such a good sample of Jesus' love to me, and you can't imagine how these little acts of love inspire me and make me love you all the more."

27. If someone has prepared a meal, instead of just saying "Thanks for cooking! I appreciate it," try to make your appreciation more specific, saying‚ "Thank you for cooking and going out of your way to make the presentation of the food so appetizing. It makes it taste even better when it's arranged so beautifully on the plates. I know that takes extra time and effort, and I really appreciate it."

28. When you thank the provisioners or shoppers, be specific and say, "Thank you for driving all over town today to get our needs and minister to the contacts. It must have been a really big day for you, since it was so hot and involved a lot of driving. I really appreciate it!"

29. Tell the teachers and childcare people how much you appreciate the way they're so watchful and prayerful with the kids at get-out, or the way they're always looking for new opportunities for the kids to learn about witnessing, or how they tune in to the kids during little moments like snack time, always trying to make their time together fun, educational, and a learning experience. Tell them you appreciate their diligent care of the school materials‚ the way they're so energetic with the kids, or the way they're teaching them to sing. The possibilities for specific appreciation are limitless! You just have to pray and ask Me to open your eyes, and you'll be amazed at how much there is to appreciate in those around you!

30. So you see, it's not that difficult to show appreciation. Just put yourself in the shoes of the other person and think, "Now, what would I like someone to say to me right now?" Ask Me to show you the sacrifice that they've made or any little difficulty that they might have encountered, and then show through your words that you realize it‚ that you know whatever they've done has taken time‚ effort, and has cost them in some way. You can show appreciation for the things that people do for you, for the qualities that they have, for the sacrifices they make, for the gifts I've given them, for the way they're growing and progressing.

31. There are so many things to be appreciative about, that appreciation should be flowing freely in your Homes. There should never be a lack of appreciation, for once you get in the habit of going slow enough and prayerfully assessing whatever situation you're in and looking around to see how you can be a blessing by giving appreciation, you'll be surprised at the multitude of opportunities you'll find. You'll see that it's easy to be appreciative. It just takes honest concern‚ a moment of observation, and then the humility to put into words the appreciation that you feel.

32. I can give you the gift of appreciation if you'll just ask Me, and then put feet to your prayers by putting forth the effort to build a good habit of showing sincere, honest appreciation each time you have the opportunity. And the wonderful thing about it is, the more you show appreciation, the happier it makes you, because part of being appreciative is recognizing your blessings, being positive, looking on the bright side. And the more you do that‚ the more thankful you'll be. (End of message.)

Pass It On!

33. (Mama:) Next is a very beautiful word picture the Lord gave which I think will really help you in your push to be more appreciative. It sure gave me the vision! Thank You Jesus for giving us such wonderful, descriptive word pictures. They stick with us and remind us often of the message You're trying to get across. You really do make it easy for us to be good, our loving, caring Husband! You're so wonderful!

34. (Jesus: ) Picture this in your mind. You have a wonderful mate—wife or husband—that you love so deeply and intensely‚ you're sure that nothing can surpass the wonderful love you feel for them. You know everything about them. You've been married for years, and so have had a lot of time to talk and know their heart and their thoughts‚ what makes them happy, the things they love and appreciate, as well as the things they feel sad about or that they don't like about themselves. You know they have fears and apprehensions, and sometimes they get discouraged, but to you they're just wonderful.

35. Every time you tell them something you love about them, it encourages them so much, and you see them flourish more than ever before. When they're down, sometimes all they need is a little compliment, and it makes their eyes shine again and they're back on the road to victory. You know that they love you deeply and are very concerned about what you think of them, so your compliments mean a lot. Besides all their wonderful qualities—some hidden and some more obvious—that you admire and love about them, they're also just absolutely beautiful to you. Some people don't notice their beauty, and sometimes they feel very unattractive, but to you they're just the most beautiful thing in the world.

36. There's only one problem: You're limited, for the most part, to showing your appreciation for them through others. You ask others to pass on the messages for you—and sometimes they get through and sometimes they don't. Sometimes you have to watch your beloved struggle through a very difficult day because the messages you keep sending are missed. People are too busy to pass them on, or they forget, or they fear what your sweetheart will think of them if they were to actually deliver the compliment or the thanks, the hug or the kiss, the smile or the wink. Oh, how heavy your heart is when you're not able to get the messages through.

37. Well, My sweet loves, as you've probably guessed, that's how it is with you. You're all My darling brides and I love you and so long to tell you. But for the most part, I'm limited to passing on My messages through you to each other. I do speak to you directly, and when I do, I really load it on—because I really want you to know how very much you mean to Me. But there are some days when I don't get through that way‚ and My plan is to send it to you through one of your loved ones—and through you to others of My brides whom I'm trying to reach.

38. Will you be My faithful messenger and pass on My appreciation to the ones I put on your heart? I thought maybe it would be easier for you to hear it this way, as then you know that there's always something you can pass on—you just have to ask Me for it. Even if you're not sure what the person needs, I'm their doting and caring Husband Who knows just what will turn their key and make them feel the most appreciated and loved—so ask Me! Thanks for passing it on! I need you and appreciate you!! (End of message.)

39. (Mama:) Thank You, precious Love, for that very convicting and motivating message. Please help us to do better. Help us to remember the responsibility You've given us to pass on Your messages of love!

Love and Appreciate the Dear Ones by Your Side!

40. In this next message the Lord explains further how we can show more appreciation to each other. We live such busy lives in reaching the world and we feel the responsibility to get out the message to the lost, but sometimes we fail to appreciate our own brothers and sisters. It's very sad that some of our own loved ones and mates of our greater marriage feel discouraged or useless and unloved‚ when the Lord has so much love that He wants to pour out!

41. Our whole ministry is giving the Lord's love to the world. How much more should we be faithful to give it to those beside us who have also given their lives to accomplishing that goal! As the Lord brings out‚ that's a very important part of our ministry—to be ministers of love and encouragement to our brethren.

42. Sometimes it's easy to become familiar with one another—and I think that's one of the main things that hinders appreciation. After a while it's easy to take people for granted—the sacrifices they make, the steps of progress they're making, the extra effort they put forth in a certain area, or especially their faithfulness in taking care of a certain thing day after day after day. In this message the Lord puts forth some suggestions of how to overcome that familiarity and see others more as He sees them.

43. (Jesus:) It's good that you tell others of Me, that you spread My love and My message abroad in the hearts of all men, that they may be drawn to Me and find life, peace, and true love. But neglect not to love those who are by your side, to love and appreciate your neighbor as yourself. This you ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.

44. This is My commandment, that you love others as yourself, that you appreciate others as you yourself wish to be appreciated‚ that you give to others as you wish to be given unto yourself. Look not every man on his own things, his own works and concerns, but look every man on the things and works of others and see how he may be a blessing to them.

45. Your ministry is not only to the world, but also to the dear ones by your side, your brothers and sisters in Me‚ your co-workers, friends and companions who also lay down their lives for Me daily, who have also taken up their cross to follow Me.

46. Appreciation begins with loving, appreciative thoughts. As a man or woman thinks in their heart, so are they. As they think positive and uplifting thoughts about their neighbors, this results in positive and uplifting attitudes and actions towards their neighbors.

47. Don't dwell on your brother or sister's lacks and failings, their faults and idiosyncrasies; think instead on their good points—how much they love Me‚ how hard they work‚ the sacrifices they make, their cheerfulness in the face of affliction, their faith in the midst of adversity, their love for the lost and their dedication to My cause.

48. This is why I counseled you in My Word to dwell on the things that are true‚ honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, to think of the virtues of others and the things for which they deserve praise. As you see others in this way, your attitudes towards them change, and they begin to feel the change in your spirit.

49. They begin to feel needed, appreciated, valued—not just another child who's learning lessons and growing up‚ not just another young person who does outreach or watches children, not just another SGA struggling to find their place in the Family and the one with whom they would like to spend the rest of their life, not just another older adult with afflictions or marital problems or difficulties with their young people.

50. As I have loved you, so should you love one another. Appreciate one another. Express your appreciation for each other every day in many little ways. When the women in the Home look beautiful, tell them so. And by beautiful, I don't mean just when they're dolled up with makeup or a fancy dress. You'll find so much beauty to appreciate once you start looking for it! When the men in the Home look neat, clean and handsome‚ or do something kind and courteous, tell them so. When the children are especially obedient or are making progress in some little way, tell them so. When the handyman has repaired something or done something worthy of praise, express your praise. When the cook has prepared a nice meal, tell her so.

51. Show your appreciation even if things don't turn out as people hoped they would. Maybe the child made a few mistakes in her drawing, or the cook burned the potatoes, or the handyman bent a few nails, or someone completed a project but forgot a few little details. Praise the love and effort that went into it and overlook the faults, if you can, like the Lord does. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and be loving and sincere in your approval, appreciation and praise.

52. During your praise times‚ think of something to praise Me for about your mate, your children, your brothers and sisters and co–workers. Don't merely say that they're wonderful or are a blessing, but be specific:

53. "Thank You Lord for Marie and what a terrific mother she is and how much she loves her children and is so sacrificial in caring for them, willing to give up what little free time she has so that they can be happy and fulfilled."

54. "Thank You Lord for Pete and how he works so hard to pay our bills and keep our Home running smoothly each month, taking care of a multitude of business."

55. "Thank You Jesus for Phillip and what a good sample he is of prayerfulness and including You in his conversations and thoughts. It's so uplifting to be around him because he's praising You and voicing his love for You, and it makes me want to do the same."

56. "Thank You Lord for Jeanie and how cheerful she is. Even when she gets asked to do things that she probably doesn't really feel like doing, she never makes anyone feel bad for asking for her help, and is so cheerful and willing."

57. "Jesus, thank You for John, and for what a good handyman You've made him. Thank You that we don't have to pay lots of money to get the little things fixed and repaired and even built around the house, because You've gifted him with the know-how to take care of those things. He fills such a big need in our Home."

58. "Lord, thank You for Sherry and what a good sample she is of getting in your Word and sharing it with others. It's always so encouraging when she shares with me one of her recent favorite quotes, and makes me want to go read that Letter too. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and I'm so thankful for how she's helped me to be more faithful in my Word time!"

59. You could do this even if you're not having praise time—go around the circle and express appreciation for each other‚ or express your appreciation for one person or child who is in need of encouragement and praise.

60. For someone's birthday, you could even prepare a list of all the things they do and the ways they are which you appreciate about them—their kindness and gentleness with the children, their courtesy and concern for others, their sweet and cheerful spirit, their attitude of praise, their liveliness and uplifting attitude, their diligence in business‚ their ability in the kitchen‚ their love for the lost and the way they know how to get out the tools‚ their talent in follow-up or the mail ministry, and many other such things.

61. It's also good that you express more interest in your brothers and sisters. Though you live close together, often you don't know each other in a deep way. Share testimonies of your life before or after joining the Family, or growing up in the Family, over dinner or during fellowship. As you come to know each other more deeply, you'll learn to appreciate each other more.

62. Love and appreciate your neighbors—the brethren by your side—in the same way you love the lost. You wouldn't think of being grouchy, irritable, or angry with the lost, or rushing off when they're in need and wish to talk. Try to have the same love and appreciation for those who live with you and are close by you. Smile, even though you may not feel like it. Hug them, even if you're not feeling affectionate. Talk to them, even though you're short on time.

63. When you're with your mate, your children, or your brothers and sisters, give them your full attention. Don't be distracted by other thoughts, other jobs, other people, but give them your loving look, your listening ears, your concentration and prayerful attention, your sympathetic heart, your affectionate touch, your caring and concerned words.

64. Another way to effectively give appreciation is by telling a person an encouraging thing someone else has told you about them. Of course, you must be prayerful and wise when you pass on another's words, but when someone compliments someone else in your presence and you prayerfully pass it on‚ it can be doubly encouraging to know that someone appreciates them enough to tell others about it, and that you also appreciate them enough to pass on the compliment.

65. As you give to others, it will be given to you. As you care for and appreciate others, so will they care for and appreciate you. Then your Home will truly be a Home of hearts‚ with hearts full of love overflowing on each other and the lost. (End of message.)

Don't Let Pride Hold You Back!

67. In this next message, the Lord talks about one of the main reasons we hold back from being freely appreciative—pride!

68. (Jesus:) Showing appreciation to others and being able to express your heartfelt appreciation in words is so important. It's not only important and a great encouragement to others‚ but it's important for you to be able to express your appreciation because it helps you to grow in love and humility.

69. It's more difficult for some people than others, but that doesn't mean that you can't do it or that you'll never feel comfortable expressing your sincere appreciation to others. It doesn't matter if you feel comfortable telling someone how much you appreciate the wonderful job they did, or how much they mean to you—the important thing is that you express it in some way‚ even if it's only a little beginning and seems like a tiny spark of appreciation. A little bit of love and appreciation goes a long way. So don't withhold your words of love just because you feel a bit embarrassed or awkward saying them.

70. The Enemy really fights people through their pride and uses it to stop you from growing and progressing and showing love to others. That's why it's so difficult for some people to step out by faith and say those words of appreciation. I understand, and I'm not expecting perfection. I don't expect you to be able to give a big speech, but it's important that you are able to express some words of love and appreciation to those who really need to hear such things from you. Don't worry if you feel awkward; just do it anyway, and know that as you do I will bless you and help you. Each time you step out and say something heartfelt and sincerely give some words of appreciation to another, I will cause that step to strengthen you in this area.

71. I know how difficult it is for some people; it's not because they don't want to or because they don't have enough love for others. It's just pride and the Enemy fighting and resisting the flow of love. You have to fight against the Enemy's pride and not let it stop you. Just step out by faith and trust Me that I will do what I have promised.

72. Some people worry about what others will think, or wonder if others will be embarrassed when they express words of appreciation. Even if it appears that the other person is a little humbled by your words of love and appreciation, trust Me that they need those words more than you can imagine. Your words of love could be the very words that will help them through a battle and give them the encouragement to fight on. You don't know the results‚ but I do, and I'm so thankful when My children don't let their pride stand in the way, but let Me use them to be vessels of My love.

73. For some people it's a matter of forming the habit. Just like it took time to form the habit of saying love words to Me, for some people it takes time and effort to form the habit of saying words of appreciation to others. Some people don't think it's important enough to work on and make a habit of. They think it doesn't matter that much, and that what they say won't make much difference, so why bother. But it will make a difference. You don't know all the details of the results, but it will make a difference. It will make a difference to you personally by helping you to grow and progress and move forward with My Spirit of love. The loving words you express to others cause them to trust you more, to have more faith, to feel My Spirit of unity and love.

74. Some people are quite bound by pride, and this really holds them back. They want to express their appreciation, but the act of doing it is so difficult for them that they turn away. If you feel like this‚ then ask Me for My help. Pray and ask Me to tell you what to say, what words to use‚ and I will help you. As we work together on this area of your life you will grow and become more confident and have more faith to express your appreciation for others. I'll help you and tell you what to say and how to say it. You'll progress as you listen to Me and do the things I say.

75. Don't let the Enemy stand in your way and block the flow of My Spirit and My love in your life, but fight for it, even if it kills your pride at first. Each time you express appreciation in some way, you're growing and moving forward‚ and it will become easier for you. I will help you and I will bless your faith and obedience to do My will. (End of message.)

76. (Mama:) So, Lord, please help us to be willing to lay aside our pride and become channels of Your love and encouragement. Help us to grow in the area of appreciating and encouraging one another. It's obviously very important to You, Lord, and You've promised that it's another step towards learning to be humble—something else which we desperately need! Thank You Jesus!

Pass on the Credit!

77. This next message from Dad is about the importance of passing on the credit to people for what they do, which goes along with learning to be humble and show appreciation to others. About this message from Dad, the Lord said:

78. (Jesus:) A great part of showing appreciation is just learning to humbly acknowledge the great part that other people play and how much you need them. It takes humility—which is why so few people do it, because people are naturally proud. But showing appreciation and passing on the credit is a good way to learn humility. (End of message.)

79. (Dad:) It's important to give people credit and show them appreciation for the little things they do. Sometimes it's easier to give others credit for the really big, obvious things that most people will know about anyway. You can't always get away with taking the credit to yourself in some of the big things because you know that others are aware that someone else had a big part in it, but it's often the little daily things of life that people are tempted to take the credit for when they should give it to whom credit is due.

80. It's not a good sign when people don't want to acknowledge that someone else helped them, showed them a solution, offered the best suggestion, had a good idea or solved the problem. For some people it might be a habit to automatically just take the credit, and they don't even realize that it wasn't their idea in the first place‚ it was someone else's! But it's not only important to your spiritual life to give others credit for the things they do for you, but it also shows others that you trust them, appreciate them, and have faith in their ideas and contributions.

81. It's good for your pride to give the credit and thanks where it belongs. It helps to keep you humble, knowing that you don't have all the answers, and that others have some pretty good answers and tips. Plus, if you don't give credit to whom it's due, it's just being dishonest. If that person hears you take the credit for something that was actually their doing, they know you're not being perfectly honest about the situation, that you're taking credit for something that isn't yours to take. It not only discredits you in their eyes and ministers to your pride and promotes dishonesty, but it's also belittling to the one who really deserves the credit and may discourage them.

82. So if someone helps you with something or in some way makes things easier for you, or offers a good suggestion, it really pays to give them the credit when you're talking to others. It makes the person feel happier knowing that you appreciate what they did for you; it makes them respect you and trust you. They see your unselfishness, generosity, and honesty, and it's a good sample of love and humility. But if you're dishonest and take the credit to yourself, it's a poor sample—one of pride and selfishness.

83. It takes maturity to be willing to give to others, to be unselfish and generous in the little things‚ to acknowledge the good that others do. So let's be generous and unselfish and give credit to whom credit is due. It's good for your pride, it's good for your unity, and it's good for everyone's happiness. (End of message.)

Dispel Discouragement with Loving Appreciation!

84. (Mama:) This last message from our sweet Husband is a good reminder of many of the points He brought out earlier in this GN—how important appreciation is‚ what a powerful weapon it is against the Enemy's discouragement, how desperately it's needed, and how much He's counting on us to give it!

85. (Jesus: ) One of the Devil's favorite weapons is discouragement, yet I put in your hands a tool, the key to triumph over the Devil's discouragement when it strikes those around you—your mate, your children, your parents, your brothers and sisters, your co-workers and fellow servants in Me. You can help them to discard the discouragement that would seek to engulf them by showing a good measure of genuine, heartfelt, loving appreciation throughout the day. By giving appreciation you can lend them a helping hand, come to their aid, and help relieve their distress.

86. My children, if you are to accomplish My purpose and reach the goals I have set before you, you must learn the art of showing loving appreciation to each other‚ and as you do this, you'll be brought closer to your goals.

87. If you want to reach your goal of loving one another more, follow the path of giving loving appreciation. If you want to reach out to the lonely, begin by walking down this path of showing honest appreciation. If you strive toward the goal of praising Me more, you'll be more appreciative of those around you. If you're lending Me your ear more frequently, honing your gifts of prophecy and pulling down My seeds, listening to My voice more, I will guide you to show more appreciation to those around you. For this is My manner and My way; it is My nature to show loving appreciation to those around you, using you to do so.

88. Showing appreciation to those around you is love. It's a very necessary ingredient—a soothing oil that keeps the love flowing among you. Appreciation is a vital pivot on which My love turns. Lift up one another, My children, by showing heartfelt, genuine, loving appreciation for each other, and so fulfill My Law of Love.

89. When I walked on the Earth, My Father taught Me the value of giving love and appreciation to those around Me, and this was a key to keeping My disciples encouraged and inspired. Many times, though our living conditions were difficult, it was the love and appreciation that kept everyone going. We didn't always have a place to lay our heads at night, but bonds of love grew strong among us, well-oiled with loving acts of kindness, consideration‚ and regard for one another. Giving appreciation is Heaven's way, and as My Father led Me to shower My followers with regular, sincere, heartfelt doses of appreciation day by day, it was contagious, and soon they were giving it to each other.

90. It didn't always come naturally to My first disciples in the beginning, but in time they learned. It rubbed off on them when they realized the good fruits in the sample I was able to give them. This is one of the reasons My Early Church thrived—showing a large measure of love through showing a large measure of appreciation and regard for each other.

91. Give, My children‚ and it will be given unto you! Give love through giving appreciation. The most important thing about this whole process is that you, My dear ones, hold in your hands keys that can help unlock victories for the one who sits next to you. You can help to lighten their load‚ ease their burdens, cheer their hearts‚ and relieve their discouragement. You can help bring sweet relief by showing appreciation and giving praise and commendation! Everybody needs encouragement! By showing genuine love and appreciation, you may well be saving a life. For a wounded spirit, who can bear? That's how important appreciation is!

92. I have given you the sample to follow. Do I not give you plenty of encouragement in My interactions with you? Words of love and appreciation, gratitude and thanks? I commend you‚ and I would that you do the same for others. This is especially important in this day as Satan fights ruthlessly using discouragement. Because of this, I give you this commission to show loving appreciation at every opportunity, and so fulfill My Law of Love.

93. Will you do this for Me? This is My desire, but I have no lips to speak through but yours, no hands to accomplish loving acts through but yours; therefore reach out and give appreciation to your mates. Yield your members to Me, for I desire to encourage you all—and I need your help to do it. No one is past falling into discouragement at one time or another, and I wish to ward off such disheartening attacks with the soothing salve of heartfelt appreciation.

94. If you want to know how you can show more loving appreciation to your mates‚ start with prayer. As you pray more and listen to My voice whispering in your ear throughout the day, I will lead you and guide you in ways to encourage others; I will teach you how to show genuine, loving appreciation to all your mates. Be open and look to Me throughout the day for loving ways you can express your appreciation for another.

95. One of the biggest wiles that Satan uses to hinder you from showing appreciation to those around you is through a hurried spirit. By getting you to think you don't have time, the Enemy can stop you from reaching out to others in this way. For under the guise of a hurried spirit, of being too busy and not having enough time, a lack of showing sincere appreciation thrives. Yet, I tell you, time spent in showing loving appreciation will never be wasted, but it will come back to you a hundredfold. You will never lose by giving heartfelt appreciation to those around you.

96. You must see this commission not as merely something good to do, should it work out‚ but as a vital necessity, for it is. For without this loving encouragement and commendation and giving recognition and honor to whom it is due‚ the heart of man will wither and become discouraged, and the feet will turn out of the way of righteousness. So lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees with liberal doses of positive praise and encouragement.

97. Therefore, receive this commission joyfully, My children, and listen to Me guiding you throughout the day to express your love to others by giving heartfelt, loving appreciation for the things they do, for who they are and what they are, for what they mean to you, for how they love Me and have given their lives in My service, for how they sacrifice day after day to serve you and My Family.

98. There are many things you can do throughout the day to show appreciation, and if you will be open to My voice, I will lead you on how you can reach out to those around you in this way. I will lead you on how you can put into words the things you value and appreciate in others.

99. You can express your gratitude by thanking your mates for the things they do for you day by day, such as provisioning the food, cooking a meal, washing the dishes, doing the shopping, washing the laundry or tending to other household duties, fixing your computer snag, doing the handyman jobs around your work area, taking care of the dog, teaching the toddler, driving the car‚ doing the outreach and follow-up, performing shows, working on "Consider the Poor" projects, handling the business, writing letters for the mail ministry, tending to My flocks, upholding you in prayer, laboring to pull down My seeds, and the list goes on and on!

100. You can also show your appreciation by putting your words of thankfulness into action. Appreciation is shown with kind words, but also in loving acts such as giving hugs, lending a listening ear, going out of your way to lighten the other's load—by washing an extra dish, running an errand for them, bringing them something they need, making their coffee, cleaning up after yourself, picking a flower on your get-out walk to give to another‚ offering your services to sew a button on, taking someone a little snack, doing a little job for them, going out of your way to do a kind deed. It doesn't have to always be time-consuming; it can be simple, yet sincere.

101. As you pray and follow My leading‚ I will lead you in all these things. The most important thing is to be open, to see the need and act upon it. And I say, the need is great, My children, the need is great! For Satan seeks to enter in through discouragement as never before. Therefore, I commission you to counterattack—to wield your weapons wisely and accurately by tuning in to Me, by seeking Me throughout the day for ways in which you can show genuine, heartfelt, loving appreciation to all those around you. Will you be My hands and My mouth to show them My love and admiration through kind loving words and acts of genuine loving appreciation? (End of message.)

102. (Mama: ) Learning to show appreciation is a genuine, tried and proven, guaranteed-to-work home improvement that doesn't require a lot of preparation to put it into practice. It doesn't take extra finances or additional personnel. It doesn't even take extra time to plan or coordinate in order to carry out! It's one of those treasures which doesn't cost anything to give away—except maybe a little humbling of your pride, or a little added prayerfulness for the Lord to lead and help you, or a few extra moments of going slow and seeing the need and filling it. But the rewards are so great, they're more than worth whatever it costs! Amen?

103. So don't delay, start today! Don't be afraid of what others will think when they see you so obviously making an effort to put the Word into practice! Just think of how wonderful Jesus will feel‚ how elated He'll be that He's able to show others His love through you. Think of what a wonderful difference it will make in the lives of others!

104. I love you, dear Family—each of you—and I appreciate very much the sacrifices you make to live for Jesus. I appreciate your willingness to humble yourselves to put His Words into practice. Even if you don't see the immediate fruit of it, the Lord promises it will be well worth it, and He's going to reward you greatly for it one day! He's the most appreciative, concerned, caring, tender‚ expressive, and doting Husband any bride could ever dream of having! Aren't we most richly blessed? I love you!

Always yours in our wonderful Husband, Mama

The Love Game!

105. P.S. Following is a message with more from the Lord on the value of love‚ appreciation, kindness, courtesy and encouragement here and now as well as hereafter. These things are very important to the Lord, and they carry on forever. Why not strive to set new personal records in loving and appreciating others today? I love you!

106. (Jesus: ) Everybody is in the love game and all Heaven is watching you play, because this is Heaven's favorite sport! I'm the author of the game, and I've designed it to have no limits. This is one game you can never get enough of. The time to play is right now. The time to stop is never. You can go as far in the game as you want. New records are being broken every day. Will you be next?

107. The love game will always keep your interest! It will always challenge you, stimulate you, satisfy you. It's the best active pastime you can ever take part in. And to top it off, it has the best payoff! It's the highest-paid sport of all time! The prizes you win for playing the game are off the charts‚ out of the world imagined by earthlings!

108. The rules of the game are this: The object is to be the most loving person you can—to show love and appreciation to as many people as you can, as often as you can.

109. The goal of the game is to be on the top of the list of the most loving. You can take as many turns as you like. A turn consists of doing something loving. Reach out and give someone a hug, a kiss, an encouraging word. Do a kind deed, tell someone how much you appreciate them, make a little sacrifice to help someone, lend a listening ear, say a kind word—take your pick from any one of a limitless number of things you can do to brighten someone's life, make their job easier or give them a little love.

110. Any deed you do to show love and appreciation to those around you gains points in the love game. The more turns you take, the more points you score. As long as you take a turn, you never lose. I have assigned each of you a Heavenly scorekeeper whose job is keeping track of your score. Every time you gain a point, it's recorded on your official love scorecard. You'll always win something for each point, but naturally those with the highest scores win the most prizes! When you arrive up Here‚ the scores will be displayed for all to see. You'll get to see who was the most loving, who showed others the most appreciation and who won the most prizes. It's all on exhibition up Here!

111. This is the most exciting game going on in the universe! Love is the name of the game! All Heaven is watching you play the game, rooting for you and cheering you on, watching to see how skilled you become, watching to see if you discover new moves and ways to score points. It's to your advantage to become skilled at the game right now, because when you get Here, the game goes on! Love—that's the name of the game in Heaven. It's the in thing in Heaven, and everyone plays it.

112. You might have a tennis match or a soccer match, but the hottest thing going in Heaven is watching you down there in the love match! My Heavenly helpers are all watching to see how you fare, to see how they might help coach you and help you develop your love skills. Take it from Me, it pays to learn the love game well. It pays to work out and stretch those love muscles, listen to your coaches, keep taking turns and stay in shape for the love game—because that's what's Heaven is all about!

113. If you want to get ahead in the game, train with Me. I'm the Champ. If you pay close attention, I'll teach you the winning strategies and techniques that will guarantee your success. The key to getting ahead in the love game is to give it all you've got. Be hard-core for love. Go all the way! Let the game of love occupy your mind and dictate your actions all the time. Remember, your game improves with practice. Never pass—always take that turn to show love and appreciation. Perform great feats of love when you can, but never underestimate the simple moves. You'll be surprised what the simple maneuvers will do. Simple little turns taken regularly and consistently add up the points!

114. I love this game! It's really My thing. The love game is the best recreation you will ever know. Stick with Me if you want to become skilled in the sport of love. I'll give you your game plan each morning geared to your playing field of that day. I'll keep giving you the right calls throughout the day so you can gain points. Be a love devotee, and you'll join the all-time greats—My all-star cast, those who are tops in the field of love, experts at the love game! Now, want to play? I challenge you to a love match! (End of message.)

Death to Depression

ML #3464:265-269, Post-it GN #11

265. (Mama:) The Lord said that a person battling depression needs lots of love, support, encouragement, warmth and tenderness. But this isn't true only in the case of those experiencing depression. We all need more love and encouragement no matter what battles or challenges we're facing in our lives, and in order to get it we have to give it—it's a cycle of love, and the Lord needs each of us.

266. Because the Enemy fights so many of us with discouragement regularly, the gift of encouragement is one that we should pray for the Lord to help us to activate, hone, and use. Jesus has blessed some people with a more outstanding or noticeable gift of encouragement, but we can all have a greater measure of that gift even if it's not a part of our nature. Whether or not it comes naturally, Jesus wants us to use the gift of encouragement more. Not only will we receive personal blessings in our lives as a result of loving and giving more, but the Lord can use us to touch, encourage, and lift up those who are weary and discouraged‚ thus helping to defeat the Enemy's attacks on them.

267. The gift of encouragement can be manifested in many ways—through giving affection, going out of your way to love another, helping someone in need, sharing a word of appreciation, forsaking your own wants and desires for the sake of another, complimenting someone, sharing a message of encouragement from the Lord for another when He lays it on your heart, and the list is endless. About the gift of encouragement, the Lord said:

268. (Jesus:) One of the greatest weapons of the Enemy to hinder My children is discouragement. Many battle with various forms of discouragement, depression, defeat, and condemnation, and this is why it's important that the members of My body have the gift of encouragement. You must stretch to make more room for this gift, to be used to be a blessing to others.

269. Allow Me to use your words and your hands to be an encouragement to others, to lift up the hands which hang down, to share the burdens and uplift the spirits of others. Exercise this gift. It is not a work of the flesh, but a yielding to My Spirit, allowing My Spirit to work within you. (End of message.)



Even though you are not in a position of leadership‚ that does not mean that you are not an influence on others. For there are many that look to you for prayer and for counsel—not only the lost to whom you witness‚ but also your brothers and sisters with whom you live. With great callings come greater responsibilities‚ and I ask you to be a sample of prayerfulness, a sample of yieldedness‚ a sample of simple, childlike faith, a sample of simplicity, a sample of one who is madly in love with Me, and who comes at My slightest bidding.

Let Me come into you and use your eyes to see the needs of others, whether great or small. Let Me use your ears to hear the heartcries of the lost, and let Me use your tongue to pour forth My words of love and of compassion, of prayer and of encouragement to a brother or sister who is cast down. Let Me use your mind that I may implant only My thoughts therein—thoughts of love and of kindness. Let Me take your heart in My hands and let it break for the multitudes of people who have not yet heard of My love. Yes, let Me break your heart, that I may afterwards pick up all the pieces and put it back together again as a softer, more useful vessel that My love can pour through.

Let Me come into you and use your hands and your feet to dry the tears of those who are crying, to give a pat on the back to those who are discouraged, to be a helping hand to someone who is falling by the way. Let Me come into you and use your body as a vessel of My love to someone who needs it. You do not have to go out looking for ways that you can be a sample of My love; all you must do is be willing‚ heeding My gentle whispers, and I will put these situations in your path. They may seem small and insignificant, but they are great in My sight. It is a high calling to be a vessel of My love.

Word Topics: Appreciation

Definition: Recognition of the quality, worth, or significance of people and things.

1. In the Bible, the Lord often expressed His appreciation by giving people credit, praising them for their good qualities, or for making the right decisions.

* Job 1:8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth‚ a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

* Acts 13:22b And [the Lord] said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after Mine Own heart, which shall fulfill all My will.

* John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed‚ in whom is no guile [deceit]!

* Luke 7:9 [Referring to the faith of the centurion whose servant Jesus healed:] When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned Him about, and said unto the people that followed Him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

* Luke 16:8a [Jesus even praised the unjust steward for his wisdom:] And the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely.

* Matthew 15:22-28 [Jesus praised the Canaanite woman who did not get offended at His hard saying:] And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto Him, saying‚ Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and besought Him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But He answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman‚ great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

3. The Lord wants us also to show appreciation to others.

* Proverbs 31:30b A woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

* Song of Solomon 6:9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother‚ she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

* 1 Samuel 15:6 [King Saul remembered to show appreciation to foreign tribes for having shown kindness to his forefathers.] And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

* 1 Samuel 25:32-33 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: 33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.

* 2 Samuel 10:2a Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun … as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father.

* 1 King 2:7 But shew kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.

* Romans 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

* 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

* Philippians 4:8 [Everyone has some good qualities, so let's recognize them:] Finally‚ brethren‚ whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure‚ whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

4. The Apostle Paul's letters to the brethren were good samples of showing appreciation to others.

* Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

* Romans 16:1-2 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

* 1 Corinthians 16:15-18 [Paul makes mention of the family of Stephanus and his companions, who were faithful in their missionary work.]

* 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 [Paul honors the church at Macedonia for their extreme generosity and devotion to Paul's leadership.] [See also Philippians 4:14-16.]

* 2 Corinthians 8:16-23 [Paul commends the faithfulness of Titus and his traveling companion, who administered to the material needs of the Church.]

* Colossians 1:3-4 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints.

* 1 Thessalonians 1 [all] [Paul writes to the brethren in Thessalonica:] 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father. … 7 Ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

* 2 Thessalonians 1:3,4 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly‚ and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

5. Other examples in the Bible of showing appreciation:

* Genesis 41:39–41 [Pharaoh showed his appreciation to Joseph for interpreting his dream and for Joseph's wise counsel:] And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. 41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. [See also Genesis 41:1-43.]

* Exodus 2:11-21 [Reuel, the priest of Midian, scolded his daughters for not showing appreciation to Moses‚ who had helped them draw water:] 20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? Why is it that ye have left the man? Call him‚ that he may eat bread.

* Ruth 3:10 [Boaz expressed his appreciation to Ruth for her unselfish devotion:] 10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord‚ my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. [See all of chapter 3.]

* Nehemiah 7:2 I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.

* Esther 6:11b [King Ahasuerus showed his appreciation to Mordecai for unveiling the plot against the king's life by having Mordecai dressed in royal apparel and paraded through the city:] Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor. [See also Esther 6:1–11.]

* 1 King 13:1–7 [King Jeroboam of Judah was appreciative of the young prophet who had asked the Lord to restore the repentant king's hand:] 4 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. … 6 And the king answered and said unto the man of God‚ Intreat now the face of the Lord thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before. 7 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.

* 2 Kings 5:15 [After Naaman was cleansed of leprosy, he showed his appreciation to the prophet Elisha by offering him a reward:] And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore‚ I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. [See also 2 Kings 5:1-19.]

[See also Revelation chapters 2 and 3 for a wonderful example of how the Lord faithfully shows appreciation for good qualities, even when convicting us about our errors.]

Word Topics: Encouragement

Definition: That which inspires courage, confidence, hope, renewed strength of heart and soul; moral support.

1. The positive effects of encouragement:

* Proverbs 12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

* Proverbs 15:23b A word spoken in due season, how good is it!

* Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

* Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

* 2 Chronicles 15:8a When [King] Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage.

* 1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you‚ that your joy may be full. [See also John 15:11.]

2. Encourage others by just being there when others need us.

* Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

* Proverbs 18:24b There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

* Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

3. Share words of comfort, love and appreciation with those who are feeling low.

* Job 4:4 [Eliphaz tells Job:] Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.

* Isaiah 35:3,4a Strengthen ye the weak hands‚ and confirm the feeble knees. 4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not.

* 1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. [See also 5:11.]

4. Forgive and reassure those who've made mistakes.

* 2 Corinthians 2:7,8 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him [who'd committed a serious wrong, but was sorry for it], and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

* Lamentations 3:31-32 For the Lord will not cast off for ever: 32 But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.

* Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual‚ restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

5. Assist those who are burdened with troubles or a heavy load.

* Romans 15:1‚2 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.

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

* 1 Thessalonians 5:14b Comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

6. Remembering times when God gave us victories over our discouragement motivates us to want to encourage others.

* 2 Corinthians 1:4-7 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation‚ that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

7. Talk about Jesus and what He's done for you, and can do for others!

* 2 Chronicles 32:6-8,21 [Hezekiah, king of Judah‚ encouraged his people to trust in the Lord when an evil king laid siege to their country:] And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying, 7 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. ... 21 And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valor‚ and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria.

* Psalm 66:16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul.

* Psalm 78:2–7 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: 3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. 4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord‚ and His strength, and His wonderful works that He hath done. 5 For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 7 That they might set their hope in God‚ and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments. [See also Psalm 145:1,4,7‚11.]

* Psalm 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

* Psalm 69:30-32 I will praise the Name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. … 32 The humble shall see this, and be glad.

* Psalm 119:74 They that fear Thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in Thy Word.

* Isaiah 63:7 I will mention the lovingkindnesss of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He hath bestowed on them according to His mercies, and according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesss.

* 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.

8. Encourage yourself by thinking positive thoughts.

[See Positiveness/Negative Thinking, #5 and #11, page 615.]

9. United prayer and fellowship is a source of renewed encouragement.

* Psalms 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

* Acts 4:23-33 [Returning from severe persecution, Peter and John pray a courageous prayer together with the disciples:] 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. … 33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

* Romans 1:11,12 For I long to see you ... 12 That I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

* Colossians 2:2a [Paul wanted the Colossians to know how much he battled in Spirit for them] that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love. …

10. The Lord and His Word is our greatest source of encouragement.

* Isaiah 41:13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

* Matthew 14:27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them‚ saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

* Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

* Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

* Psalm 145:14 The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.

* John 6:63 It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life.

* Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?

* Colossians 3:16 Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

* 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 [Hearing about the return of Jesus is a great encouragement:] For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God. ... 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these Words.

11. Encouragement is a two-way street: When we encourage others‚ we ourselves are encouraged.

* 1 Samuel 30:1-19 [When King David's small militia suffered loss of their home town to an enemy attack and his own disheartened troops considered stoning him to death, he prayed and "encouraged himself in the Lord." And when he told his men that God had promised to recover their families and homes, they took courage and went into battle with him, recovering all in magnanimous victory. As David encouraged his men, the Lord also encouraged him, leading them together into triumph.]

* Isaiah 58:10 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:

* Proverbs 11:25 The liberal [generous] soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

* 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. [See also Acts 20:35.]

* 2 Corinthians 9:6b But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

12. The ability to encourage others is a gift from God, which He gives to you for the asking.

* Isaiah 50:4 The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.

* 1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

* 1 Corinthians 14:3,12,31 [The Lord sometimes uses the gift of prophecy to encourage His children.] But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification‚ and exhortation, and comfort. … 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the Church. ... 31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

* Hebrews 3:13 But exhort [encourage] one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

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