Anchor

“Do Small Things with Great Love”

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorYou are doing something great with your life when you’re doing all the small things with His great love. Love defies logic and keeps on loving when it makes no sense because that is what love does. What matters is that in the act of loving we become more like the givenness of Love Himself. What matters most is not if our love makes other people change, but that in loving, we change. What matters is that in the sacrificing to love someone, we become more like Someone. Regardless of anything or anyone else changing, the success of loving is in how we change because we kept on loving.

No matter what the outcome looks like, if your love has poured out, your life will be success-full.

We in this vulnerable communion of brokenness and givenness will simply keep surrendering again to love because God is love and this is all that wins.

Bottom line today? You aren’t ever missing your best life, when you aren’t missing opportunities to love like Christ.

—Ann Voskamp

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Do you want to be successful for the Lord and with others? Love, and you can’t lose, for love never fails! Do you want the key to every heart? Try love! It never fails, because God is love, and it’s impossible for Him to fail!

Always remember, no matter how busy you are‚ how important the work is, or how great your calling may be, love is the most important thing! Without love, all your good works are worth nothing to the Lord. Without love, all your accomplishments are empty ashes. Love is the only thing that’s going to endure beyond this life. Love is the only thing that lasts. Love is what you’re on earth to learn above all. So love!

—David Brandt Berg

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Whatever we become here in mortality is meaningless unless it is done for the benefit of others. Our gifts and talents are given to us to help us serve. And in serving others we grow spiritually.

We are here to help each other, to care for each other, to understand, forgive, and serve one another. We are here to have love for every person born on earth.

Anything we do to show love is worthwhile; a smile, a word of encouragement, a small act of sacrifice. We grow by these actions.

—Betty J. Eadie

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What is success in My eyes? What do you receive eternal rewards for? What is considered “success” in My kingdom? What is true accomplishment for Me? How do I measure it? What is most important to Me? It’s very simple: love and faithfulness.

I gave a pretty clear answer in the Bible when I said, through Paul, “One thing is required of a servant, and that is to be found faithful.” That pretty much sums it up. Faithfulness to Me, and faithfulness to love—that’s the true measure of success in My eyes.

—Jesus, speaking in prophecy

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If you want your life to count, you have to focus it. You don’t have time for everything, and not everything is of equal value.

Matthew 22:37–39 says, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.’”

Jesus said there are two things that are more valuable in life than anything else: loving God and loving each other.

Have you ever wondered why God didn’t just take you to Heaven when he created you? Why did he put you on Earth? You’re only here for 100 years at the most, and you’re going to live for eternity in Heaven or Hell. Why didn’t God just take everybody to Heaven?

The Bible is very clear that God put you here on Earth to do two things: to learn to love God and to learn to love other people. Life is not about acquisition, accomplishment, or achievement. It’s not about all the things the world tells you it’s about. You’re not taking your career to Heaven. You’re not taking your car to Heaven. You’re not taking your house to Heaven. But you are taking your character. You’re taking you.

God put you on Earth for 80 to 100 years so you can learn to love him with all your heart and learn to love others. Life is one giant lesson in love.

—Rick Warren

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“Do small things with great love.” What do these words mean for you? I’d like to share with you what it means to me and how it’s changed my life.

Do you have a list of role models, mentors, or heroes that have had an impact on who you are or who you want to be? Perhaps this list for you is long or short, but either way, the names on that list are those who have had a profound impact on how you view the world and what role you want to fulfill in this world.

For me, my list consists mostly of women who I have known in real life and deeply admire, mostly for their commitment to mothering and leading their families. I also have a short list of female heroines that I haven’t met, but I’ve had the privilege of reading about and studying. …

I’d like to share with you how Mother Teresa inspires me each day in the simplest way. As a wife and mother, working and living in my home each day, I often feel that perhaps my reach, or my impact in this world is tiny … maybe a little insignificant. Don’t get me wrong, I take care of my family as if my life depends on it and I work hard, every single day. Then I see these great saints, heroines and such who went out into the world and changed lives. Occasionally I can’t help but wonder what more can I do to change this very broken world?

Then there’s Mother Teresa, who has said the most beautiful, simplest things that speak to me. She often said that we don’t need to do big things, or have great power in this world to make a change. That we can actually promote change in this world by starting at home and loving our family. She’s so right. She also said to do small things with great love. For me personally, these two, simple, profound quotes speak on a level that I so need to hear, every day. My work at home is making an impact. It’s the small things that I do with great love that are going to leave a mark on this world and be the change.

When we choose to “do small things with great love” when we are at work, at school, in the grocery store, at the beach, on vacation, or wherever your life journey takes you … you can make a big impact in the smallest way.

—Mandy Velasquez

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

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Anchor

Bear One Another’s Burdens

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorBear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
—Galatians 6:2 NKJV

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A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him for dead.

Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite [temple assistant], when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan [a people despised and shunned by the Jews of those days], as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.”

So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves? (Jesus,Luke 10:30–36)

With the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus taught that our neighbor is anyone who needs our help, regardless of race, creed, color, nationality, condition, or location. If we have love, we won’t just pass by someone in need; we’ll take action, like the Samaritan did. That’s the difference between pity and compassion. Pity feels sorry; compassion does something about it. The compassionate put feet to their prayers and kind deeds to their kind words. Love is making a connection between God and somebody who needs His love, and we do that by showing others His love and manifesting it with action. “The love of Christ compels us.” (2 Corinthians 5:14 NKJV)

Love is the greatest need of man, so love is the greatest service to man. Love is spiritual, but is manifested in the physical. Love is seen as it is put into action. … Love is preferring the happiness of others to our own. Love is choosing to suffer, if necessary, in order to help someone else. Love is courage. Love is sacrifice. Love is never lost; it always has an effect sooner or later.

—David Brandt Berg

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“Bear one another’s burdens,” the Bible says. It is a lesson about pain that we all can agree on. Some of us will not see pain as a gift; some will always accuse God of being unfair for allowing it. But, the fact is, pain and suffering are here among us, and we need to respond in some way. The response Jesus gave was to bear the burdens of those he touched. To live in the world as his body, his emotional incarnation, we must follow his example. The image of the body accurately portrays how God is working in the world. Sometimes he does enter in, occasionally by performing miracles, and often by giving supernatural strength to those in need. But mainly he relies on us, his agents, to do his work in the world. We are asked to live out the life of Christ in the world, not just to refer back to it or describe it. We announce his message, work for justice, pray for mercy . . . and suffer with the sufferers.
—Philip Yancey

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One of the beautiful aspects of the Christian gospel is that we really don’t have to live for ourselves in order to find the good life. In fact, the opposite is true: those who seek to save their lives will lose them. Jesus offered an alternative vision as the one who came to serve. As the apostle Paul encouraged the Philippian Christians to not merely look out for their own interests, but also to have the interests of others in mind, he looked to the life of Jesus. … How different the world might look if each day we took time to think about the needs of someone else—even just once per day?
—Margaret Manning

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Joni Eareckson Tada is the president of JET Ministries, a ministry which aims to serve the disabled. She is herself a quadriplegic. A few years ago she was a spectator at the Los Angeles Special Olympics. Her husband Ken was the coordinator for track and field events. Joni was among a large crowd watching the participants prepare for the 50 meters running race.

The starter’s gun fired, and off the contestants raced. As they rushed toward the finish line, one boy left the track and started running toward his friends standing in the infield. Ken blew his whistle, trying to get the boy to come back to the track, but all to no avail.

Then one of the other competitors noticed, a Down syndrome girl with thick bottle glasses. She stopped just short of the finish line and called out to the boy, “Stop, come back, this is the way.” Hearing the voice of his friend, the boy stopped and looked. “Come back, this is the way” she called. The boy stood there, confused. His friend, realizing he was confused, left the track and ran over to him. She linked arms with him and together they ran back to the track and finished the race. They were the last to cross the line, but were greeted by hugs from their fellow competitors and a standing ovation from the crowd.

The Down syndrome girl with the bottle glasses taught everyone present that day an important life lesson: that it’s important to take time out from our own goals in life to help others find their way. Reflecting on the episode afterwards, Ken was reminded of some verses from Romans 15:

“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. … May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.”

—Author unknown

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God has ordained that we may learn to bear one another’s burdens, for there is no man without fault, no man without burden, no man sufficient to himself nor wise enough. Hence we must support one another, console one another, mutually help, counsel, and advise.
―Thomas à Kempis

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Activated

Points to Ponder: Be Kind!

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Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you—not because they are nice, but because you are.
—Author unknown

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Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

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Getting money is not all a man’s business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

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To err on the side of kindness is seldom an error.
—Liz Armbruster

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How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

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How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
—George Elliston (1883–1946)

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Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910)

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If you haven’t any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.
—Bob Hope (1903–2003)

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Always be a little kinder than necessary.
—James M. Barrie (1860–1937)

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I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.
—Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)

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A kind word heals, but a malicious word maims.
—Russian proverb

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Don’t be yourself—be someone a little nicer.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–1983)

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Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how.
—Author unknown

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There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear.
—Frank Tyger (1929–2011)

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When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.
—Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972)

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By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965)

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Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
—Leo Buscaglia (1924–1998)

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You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

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A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
—Dave Barry (b. 1947)

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Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
—Og Mandino (1923–1996)

 

 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

 

Your New Life of Love!

David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-your-new-life-of-love

Have you ever wondered what life is really all about?–What you are here for, and if there is anything special that you are supposed to do? Well, the answer to these important questions can be found in the Bible, God’s loving Words to us all!

The Bible tells us that “God is Love!” (1John 4:8)–And that He loves you! He is your kind and loving Heavenly Father Who made this beautiful World as a home for you to live in, and He has given you a wonderful body, mind and heart with which to enjoy it!

God is not only Love, but “God is a Spirit!” (John 4:24) He is the great Spirit of Love Who created the entire Universe! He is so big and so great, that He is far beyond our simple human understanding! But because He loves us and wants us to know and love Him, He sent His Own Son to Earth in the form of a Man, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is like a picture of God to show us what God is like. Jesus talked about Love and showed Love to others and lived Love all the time.–And finally, He loved us so much that He gave His Own life to save us–you and me.

To receive God’s Love and Salvation in Jesus, all you have to do is confess that you re not perfect, that you have made mistakes and that you need God’s forgiveness. We have all done wrong, so we all need to be forgiven, because without forgiveness for our sins we will be separated from God’s perfect Love! (Romans 3:23; 6:23)

Jesus is our Big Brother, Who knows that we have done wrong and deserve a punishment. But He loved us so much that He offered to take our punishment for us, and God loved us so much that He sent Jesus, and promised to forgive us if we would believe in Jesus & accept His suffering for our sins.

Jesus wants to come and live with you as your very dear and close Friend. He says, “I stand at the door [of your heart] and knock: If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to you.” (Revelation 3:20) All you need to do is ask Him to come into your heart.

To receive Jesus and His everlasting forgiveness and Salvation is just that simple! There is nothing you can do to earn it or work for it, for it is the free Gift of God! The Bible says, “By grace [God’s Love and mercy] we are saved through faith, and not of ourselves or by our own good deeds. It is the gift of God!” (Ephesians 2:8,9)

If you have not yet received Jesus, you can ask Him to come into your heart right now by simply praying this little prayer:

Dear Jesus, I believe that You are the Son of God, and that You took my punishment and died for me. Please forgive me for all of my sins. I now invite you into my heart. Jesus, I know that I can never be good enough to save myself, so I ask You to please come in and give me Your free gift of Eternal Live! In Jesus name I ask, amen.

Jesus not only saves you, but He keeps you saved. The gift of God is Eternal Life (Romans 6:23), and once you have received Eternal Life, you cannot lose it!–If you could, it wouldn’t be eternal! Even if you fall and make mistakes, Jesus promised, “Whoever has come to Me, I will never cast him away!” (John 6:37) He may have to spank you if you are naughty and disobedient, but you will always be His saved child, for He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you!” (Hebrews 13:5)

When Jesus comes into your heart, your whole life is changed, like a newborn baby born into a whole new World! Jesus even said that Salvation is like being born again, that you are now a new and different person! (John 3:3; 2Corinthians 5:17)

Of course, like all new babies and small children, you have a lot to learn and a lot of growing to do!–And the way to grow in faith and understanding is to, like a newborn baby, hunger and thirst for the pure milk of the Word of God, and you will grow! (1Peter 2:2)

If you prayerfully read God’s wonderful Word in the Bible, you will find that it is a lamp for your feet and a light for your path, a living guide to you in your new life! (Psalm 119:105)

God’s Prophet, Jeremiah, exclaimed, “I found God’s Words and I did eat them! And His Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!” (Jeremiah 15:16) God’s Word is food for your soul, and if you wish to grow spiritually, you must feed and read from it faithfully!

The four Gospels of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, give us the beautiful story of Jesus life on Earth. If you read the fourth Gospel first, the Gospel of Saint John, you will find that it is one of the easiest to understand and contains the most Words of Jesus and His loving plan for your life!

Another great help to you in your new life will be the wonderful power of God’s precious Holy Spirit! When Jesus comes into your heart, you are born again of the Spirit (John 3:8), so you have God’s Spirit living in you already. But you can also overflow with the Holy Spirit, if you simply ask the Lord to fill you with His Power.

We are all like jars or glasses. When we receive Jesus, we are no longer dry and empty glasses, we have received a wonderful portion of God’s living waters! (John 7:38,39) But when we ask the Lord to fill us with His Holy Spirit, He then pours so much of His Heavenly Spirit of Love and power into us that we are filled up to overflowing!

When the Lord fills us with the Holy spirit, we also receive the extra power and strength to boldly tell others about Jesus and God’s Love, to witness to them of the wonderful new life we have found! Jesus promised, “You shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me!” (Acts 1:8)

The Bible also says that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, Who, like a loving mother, tender and gentle with a little baby, hovers over the newborn child of god, waiting, comforting, nursing and caring for us.

To receive this wonderful power, all you have to do is sincerely pray and ask Jesus for it! Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you!–For your Heavenly Father shall give the Holy Spirit to all those who ask Him! (Luke 11:9-13)

Just as every healthy newborn baby cries for his mother when he needs her comfort, help or nourishment, so crying out to the Lord in prayer is something that comes naturally to every born-again child of God.

Prayer is not just a religious ritual or tradition, but it is personal living communication between a child of God and his Heavenly Father! It is the royal telephone that keeps you in touch with Heaven!

Jesus is your closest and best Friend, and will always hear when you cry to Him for help. He says, “Call unto Me, and I will answer you and show you great and wonderful things that you know not!” (Jeremiah 33:3)

Prayer is not just a one-way communication in which you do all the talking and God does all the listening. God speaks to His children today just like He always has! If you sincerely ask Him for answers, He will speak to your heart, and open your eyes to see wonderful things out of His Word as you prayerfully read it. (Psalm 119:18) He will also answer your prayers by supplying all your needs for help, healing, guidance, material needs, etc. (Philippians 4:19)

Another important part of a newborn child of God’s spiritual life is fellowship with other Christians who also know and love the Lord. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them!” (Matthew 18:19,20) So there is great power and blessing in spiritual unity!

Real Christian fellowship is not just sitting in church listening to someone speaking from the pulpit. It is joining together with others to pray and read and study God’s Word. “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another!” (1John 1:7)

If you don’t know anyone else who has asked Jesus into their heart, and you don’t have any other spiritual brothers and sisters nearby that you can fellowship with, don’t despair!–You can personally lead other folks into God’s Heavenly Kingdom by simply telling them how they can ask Jesus into their hearts, and then inviting them to pray with you to do so!

Telling others about Jesus, explaining god’s simply plan of Salvation to them, is called witnessing. Just as every child should grow up to become a useful member of his family or useful citizen of his country, so the newborn child of God can prove himself a useful and grateful member of God’s Kingdom by witnessing to others!–This is the most important and wonderful job in the whole World, telling other folks the Good News about God’s Love in Jesus! (Mark 16:15)

You can start out by telling your friends and family how happy you are since you asked Jesus into your heart. You can share this comic with them to help them understand how they too can receive Jesus.

God will greatly bless you, inspire you and reward you as you step out and share His Love with others and tell them how they can find Jesus and a new life in Him too!

The Bible not only gives us spiritual nourishment, but it even tells us the future! It is full of many predictions and prophecies written by God’s Prophets thousands of years ago that describe events happening in the World right now! We are now living in the period which the bible calls the Time of the End, the very last days of evil Man’s selfish and cruel rule!

The Bible warns us that a powerful One-World government will arise in these very last days, ruled by a Devil-possessed dictator known as the Antichrist, or Red Beast, who will try to force all of the World’s people to worship him for 3-1/2 years! (2 Thessalonians 2)

–And be branded like cattle with his credit mark or number–666–in their foreheads or hands! The Antichrist’s reign of terror will bring on the world the worst time of trouble it has every known! (Revelation 13 & Matthew 24)

But during this darkest night of world history, the brightest Dawn will suddenly occur!–For at the end of the Antichrist’s reign, Jesus Christ Himself will return, in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory to rescue His children from the Red Beast’s persecution! (Matthew 24:29-31; 1Corinthians 15:51,52; Revelation 14:14-16)

All of the Christians who have already died will receive new immortal, indestructible, resurrection bodies! Those of us who are still alive on Earth will be instantly changed as we receive new miraculous super-bodies also!–And we’ll all sail up into the sky to meet the Lord in the air! (1Thessalonians 4:14-17)

After a great Party in Heaven, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, we will all return to Earth with the Lord, to crush and defeat the evil forces of the Antichrist in the supernatural Battle of Armageddon!! (Revelation 19)

Then Jesus and all of His resurrected children will take over this World to organise it, rule it and run it the way it should have been run all along!–The Kingdom of God on Earth! (Revelation 20:4)

After a thousand years of this wonderful reign of Christ on Earth, God’s great Heavenly City, 1500-miles high, wide and long will descend onto the beautiful recreated Garden-of-Eden-like New Earth where we will all live with Him forever!

In God’s Heavenly City, we will enjoy more beauty, pleasure and excitement than we have ever before imagined!–And we will be challenged and thrilled with the task of spreading God’s Love throughout the whole Universe!

Those who have been the most faithful to the Lord now will receive the greatest rewards and blessings then! (Revelation 2:10; Daniel 12:2,3)

So be faithful to love Jesus, and to try to help others to find Him here, so that they too can enjoy His wonderful Heavenly City of the Future!

REMEMBER!:
For a wonderful New Life of Love, all you have to do is:

  1. Be born again!
  2. Read God’s Words!
  3. Be filled with God’s Spirit!
  4. Pray!
  5. Fellowship!
  6. Tell others!
  7. Know that Jesus is returning soon!

If you would like to know more about your New Life and how you can live for Jesus, please write us today! God bless you! We love you!

 

 
 
Source: http://freebiblestudiesonline.org/your-new-life-of-love/
 
 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

You Can Have Freedom from Fear!

free-bible-studies-online-you-can-have-freedom-from-fear

David Brandt Berg

Fear is today’s No.1 killer! Believe it or not, fear causes more sickness and more mental illness and more premature deaths than anything else on Earth! Doctors have discovered that heart muscle is actually DESTROYED when people are subject to great fear. Dr. Marilyn Cebelin, writing in the General Practitioner’s newspaper, “Pulse,” says the hormone, adrenalin, literally DESTROYS heart muscles when people are subjected to intense stress and fear.

Canadian medical circles also report that WORRY increases chances of infectious disease, in that it weakens the body’s ability to fight off germs. A recent study of cases of streptococcal infection, according to Dr. Robert Haggerty, revealed that one out of four cases of such infections occurred after prolonged trauma and anxiety. Heart trouble, high blood pressure, arthritis and stomach ulcers are all basically caused by worry, tension, stress and fear!

Jesus said that in the Last Days “men’s hearts would be failing them for FEAR.”–Luke 21:26. Doctors say that there’s more heart failure today than ever in the World’s history because there’s more FEAR. In 1982, heart attacks caused 554,900 deaths in the U.S. alone, while hypertensive diseases caused 31,500 deaths!

People today are afraid! They’re afraid of the future, they’re afraid of what’s going to happen in the World, they’re afraid of each other, they’re afraid of social pressures, afraid of failing in school or work, afraid of being unemployed.–Afraid that they won’t have enough money for their families. They worry about so many things!

MUCH of this type of fear, believe it or not, stems from selfishness, from being overly concerned about one’s self, one’s self preservation, self-image, what the future holds for one’s SELF. The Apostle John wrote, “Perfect LOVE casts OUT fear, for fear has torment.”–1John 4:18. When that “perfect love” that comes from Jesus fills our lives, it crowds out this type of selfish worry and fear, and when our hearts are filled with love for others, then we don’t think and worry about ourselves so much.

There are many different types of worries and fears, and two of the most common concern the past and the future: Regret over the past and fear of the future.

A lesson on how to keep such fears from affecting us can be learned from modern ocean liners: They are constructed so that the captain can press a button and lower steel doors that separate one watertight bulkhead (compartment) from another, so if the hull is pierced in a disaster it can be sealed off and the ship can stay afloat. So it should be in the “ship” of our own lives; we have to learn how to make doors come down and shut out our worries about yesterday with its mistakes and failures, and also lower another door that shuts out our needless fears of the future, so we can live for just this day alone.–Otherwise our worries may cause us to go under!

Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”–Matthew 6:34. But too many people are like a man in the insane asylum whose chief trouble was his fear that he wouldn’t get his next meal. As soon as one meal was finished, he immediately began to worry about the next, and most of his time and strength were spent worrying!–How ridiculous! It just doesn’t make sense to worry about the future. Why open an umbrella when it’s not raining anywhere near you? Besides, have you noticed that it’s the things that never happen that seem to worry us the most? Like the famous writer, Mark Twain, said towards the end of his life, “I’m an old man, and I’ve had many troubles–most of which never happened!”

I read recently about a businessman who drew up what he called a “Worry Chart”, in which he kept a record of his fears. He discovered that 40% of them were about things that, in all probability, would never happen; 30% concerned past decisions that he could not now unmake; 12% dealt with other people’s criticism of him; and 10% were worries about his health. He concluded that there were valid reasons for only 8% of his worries!

Of course, as CHRISTIANS we don’t have to fear or worry about ANYTHING, because we know that “ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love the Lord!”–Romans 8:28. The famous evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, used to say, “You can travel FIRST or SECOND class to Heaven! SECOND class is, ‘What time I am AFRAID, I will TRUST.’–Psalm 56:3. And FIRST class is, ‘I will trust, and NOT be afraid.’–Isaiah 12:2. So why not buy a first class ticket?”

That’s one of the greatest of all liberations for a Christian, to be free from fear!–EVERY type of fear: Fear of the unknown, fear of the dark, fear of enemies, fear of failure and fear of death. We have COMPLETE FREEDOM from fear in JESUS! If you trust GOD, then you have FAITH and not fear. You know your Heavenly Father loves you and is going to take care of you and yours–your family, your future, your job, your wife, your children, your EVERYTHING, if you do your best to love, obey and follow Him!

It’s FAITH in Jesus that keeps us from fear. Faith in God is the best cure for fear in the World! “The LORD is my LIGHT and my SALVATION; WHOM shall I FEAR? The LORD is the STRENGTH of my life; of WHOM shall I be AFRAID? God has NOT given us a spirit of FEAR, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND! For perfect LOVE casts out ALL fear!”–Psalm 27:1; 2Timothy 1:7; 1John 4:18.

Faith and fear cannot totally occupy your mind and heart at the same time.–It’s just impossible! It’s like the natural law of physics that states, “Two bodies cannot occupy the same place at the same time.”–And the same holds true in the spiritual. Faith is the opposite of fear, and when you have faith, you cannot fear!

Turning on the FAITH in your HEART is like turning on the LIGHT in a ROOM! If you go into a room and it’s dark, how do you get RID of the darkness? Do you try to SHOO the darkness out? Do you go in with your fists and FIGHT it? No, when you don’t want darkness in the room you just turn on the light, right? You just let the light in!–And the darkness turns tail and runs! “Chase away the shades of night, by letting in God’s love and light!”

And that’s how you get rid of fear!–By turning on faith! And how do you get faith?–From reading the Word of God in your Bible and Daily Food! The Bible says, “Faith COMES by hearing the WORD of GOD!”–Romans 10:17. Faith comes and grows as you faithfully read and hear God’s Word! It’s the WORD that will strengthen you and give you more faith. So the more you read the WORD, the MORE FAITH you will have and the LESS FEAR you will have!

On the other hand, believe it or not, SOME kinds of fear are healthy! It’s good to fear–or at least have a healthy RESPECT for–fire, electricity, lightning and anything that can cause accidents and do us or others damage and harm. God has placed within us beneficial automatic reactions, protective instincts, that make us react quickly and instinctively to danger!

The most healthy fear of all is to fear GOD! The Bible says, “The fear of God is the BEGINNING of WISDOM.”–Proverbs 9:10. A part of our LOVE for God should be a healthy RESPECT and FEAR of Him, like a child respects his father, especially if he’s been naughty and done wrong and knows that he deserves a spanking! Fearing God is a form of worshipping God. It’s giving Him the reverence and respect that He deserves.

However, in like manner, fearing the DEVIL is another example of the WRONG kind of DESTRUCTIVE fear that tears you down and brings you under stress and spiritual bondage. To fear the Devil and his powers is really worshipping the Devil!–So DON’T do it!–Not for a fraction of a second! “Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God and HIM ONLY shalt thou fear!”–Matthew 4:10. “This,” the wise King Solomon said, “is the whole duty of Man, to fear God”–only God–“and keep His commandments”!–Ecclesiastes 12:13. If you pin your faith in God, and fear God, all other fears will disappear!

Of course, we must recognise that the Enemy, the Devil, does have certain power. In fact, almost the Devil’s total power is in fear. He’ll often say “Boo!”, and say all kinds of terrible things to try to frighten you! But you don’t have to listen to him. Jesus called him, “A LIAR from the beginning.”–John 8:44. The Devil is a liar and is usually bluffing and hardly ever able to accomplish his threats!–Especially to a child of God who is protected by the Lord’s Holy Spirit and Angels!

The Devil reminds me of an ugly little Pekinese dog that I encountered while shopping the other day. For no reason he started barking and yapping at me like crazy. Its owner, an old lady, picked him up and actually said, “Oh, don’t worry! He’s just a little DEVIL!” And that struck me as a good lesson on what the Devil is like!–He makes such a big noise, when actually he’s so little and powerless compared to the LORD!

So you don’t ever have to worry or fear Satan’s power, because God is much bigger than any devil!–Or even Satan himself! The power of the Lord is much, much greater! “GREATER is He that is in YOU (Jesus), than he that is in the WORLD (the Devil).”–1John 4:4. In other words, God is saying, “My power in you is much greater than the Devil’s power in the World’s children!–MUCH greater!” In fact, all the devils of Hell, including Satan himself, are subject to your power, because you have the power of CHRIST! Jesus said, “ALL power is given unto ME in Heaven and in Earth!”–Matthew 28:18. YOU’RE not stronger than the Devil, but JESUS is!-And you have Jesus and His power, and the Devil and his demons have to do what you tell them to when you COMMAND them to do it in Jesus’ name!

If you feel the Devil is attacking you with fears, worries, anxiety etc., you can pray in the Name of Jesus and resist and overcome him!–Jesus said, “Behold, I give you power over all the power of the Enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”-Luke 10:19. This power is YOURS if you believe His Word, claim His promises and pray in the Name of Jesus! In fact, if you are filled with faith and His Holy Spirit, you have the authority to resist the Devil directly, just like Jesus and His early disciples did.

I’ll never forget when I was a kid about 12 years old, delivering newspapers, and I had to go into a certain yard to get to a house in the rear. Suddenly, out from the back yard came this huge Great Dane dog, barking and growling furiously, coming at me full speed, leaping and bounding! I thought, “Oh, no!–I’m a goner! This is IT!” But I knew I didn’t dare turn my back on him to run or he would bite me for sure. Yet, on the other hand, he was too big for me to face, and I was invading HIS territory! He was just too big for me!

I thank God that I remembered to cry out to the Lord, and I did something that I’d never done before, but which I’ve since done to the Devil many times when he’s tried to attack and frighten and scare me!–I suddenly jutted my hand out toward him and I yelled, “I REBUKE YOU IN JESUS’ NAME!”–And, boy, did he put on the brakes! He skidded to a stop and looked absolutely STARTLED!–And turned tail and ran away!

The Devil is just like that dog, a coward!–And if you face him down and RESIST him in Jesus’ name, he’ll run! You don’t get the victory over the Enemy by running FROM him! You get the victory by standing your ground and making HIM run!

Some fears are imaginary, and others, like that big dog, really exist. But whether real or imaginary, you have power over your fears to REBUKE and get RID of them in Jesus’ Name! You have to fight fear and fight the Devil! You have to face your fears, recognise they’re there, decide between the real fears and the unreal ones, the truth and the lie, and then go to the attack to dispel the vaporous fiction of the fairy tale and to drive away the genuine reality of real threat!

Praising the Lord and quoting God’s Word out loud is an excellent way to attack your fears! Memorise faith-building Scriptures like Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd…I will fear no evil.” Put all other thoughts out of your mind and just think about Jesus and His Love and His power. “Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on Thee.”–Isaiah 26:3.

There are also some fears that you may need HELP in fighting. Some people have deep-rooted fears that are actual phobias.–For instance, some people almost panic when they’re shut up in a closed place. Others fear to go outside. Others fear heights, tunnels, the dark, snakes etc.–If you feel terrified by some extreme fear that you don’t feel strong enough to overcome just between you and the Lord, then it helps greatly to have someone else pray WITH to be delivered from that fear! The Bible says, “ONE can chase a THOUSAND, but TWO can put TEN THOUSAND to flight!”–Deuteronomy 32:30. “If any TWO of you shall agree on Earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it SHALL be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven!”–Matthew 18:19. Often, deep-rooted irrational fears are caused by bad SPIRITS, demons, and–as mentioned before–these spirits of fear can be commanded to depart in the Name of Jesus!-And they HAVE to obey! “SUBMIT yourselves to GOD, RESIST the Devil and he WILL flee from you!”–James 4:7.

So don’t be afraid of the Devil, HE’S afraid of you! “The Devil flees each time he sees the weakest saint upon his knees!” There’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the Devil!–He was defeated 2,000 years ago!–When Jesus Christ, the Son of God, won the victory for our souls on the Cross of Calvary!

“And though this World with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us!
We will NOT fear, for God hath willed,
His TRUTH to TRIUMPH through US!

The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble NOT for him!
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little Word shall fell Him!”–JESUS!

You have power over the Devil and all fears through JESUS and His WORD!–Pray and believe and be freed from fear today!–In Jesus’ name! Amen?

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Wonder of It All!

David Brandt Berg

free-bible-studies-online-the-wonder-of-it-all

How often do we stop to pause and thank the Lord for how WONDERFUL life is, or can be? We have so MUCH to be THANKFUL for! How much easier even our PROBLEMS would seem if we would stop to count our many BLESSINGS!–Like the beautiful blessings of love, affection and sex that give such meaning and fullness to our lives! Yet often we either take them for granted, or else ignore them, and, in our hurried daily pace, don’t take the time for them! But what would life be like without them?

“In the BEGINNING, God made them MALE and FEMALE”, (Genesis 1:28) and He had very GOOD reasons for doing so! Have you ever thought of what this World would be like without sex and the love of a man for a woman, and women for men? I can’t even imagine such a life, can you? For instance, how would we reproduce ourselves? I guess we would have had to split in two like amoebas or something! Horrors! But God, in His love and wisdom, gave us SEX! Isn’t that wonderful! Even one of the writers of the Bible couldn’t get over how wonderful it was when he exclaimed, “There are three things too wonderful for me to understand”–the last of which was “the way of a man with a maid!” (Proverbs 30:18-19)

I was thumbing through my file of newspaper clippings recently and I came across several amazing articles! The first article was headlined “Four Hugs a Day Shoos the Blues Away!” The article stated that a Dr. Virginia Satir told a gathering of over 4,000 delegates to the American Orthopsychiatric Association that 4 hugs a day will help you survive the blues, but a dozen is better! She went on to say that 4 hugs was actually needed for survival, 8 were good for maintenance and 12 for growth.

Well, she sounded like she must know what she’s talking about, so I enthusiastically tried hugging my wife more!–With wonderful results! At the moment I’m beyond surviving and hopefully by the end of the day I’ll be growing. I wonder what comes after 12 though? I guess she didn’t expect anyone to reach that level!

What a nice way to show affection one to another: With a hug or a kiss! Even the dear Apostle Paul admonished Christians to “greet each other with a holy kiss.” (2Corinthians 13:12) But sad to say, so many nations have been indoctrinated with the traditional “Judeo-Christian standard of morality” which is very straight-laced, stand-offish and cold in its ultra-rigid religious interpretations and guidelines to human relationships. How sad that entire CULTURES have misinterpreted the Scriptures and try to freeze all of society into a cold, unloving FORM with their rigid rules!

Rules, which, as it turns out, are not even Scriptural! And, as modern scientists have proven, such overly-puritanical codes of conduct are not even GOOD for people, psychologically, physically, and certainly not emotionally! How many hundreds of thousands of marriages fall apart every year simply because of a lack of showing affection and genuine displays of emotion?!

Remember, true Christianity is not just a mental, intellectual faith! It is supposed to change your HEART, and anything that moves your HEART logically has to move your EMOTIONS as well! Therefore, being LOVING, AFFECTIONATE and free enough to give HUGS and KISSES is an integral PART of obeying the Lord’s admonition to love others!

I found another fascinating article the other day, and it was about KISSING. According to a study done in Italy, a doctor found that “kissing stimulates the heart, which then gives more oxygen to the body’s cells, keeping the cells young and vibrant!”

It just goes to show that the natural desires that God placed in us to show LOVE and AFFECTION are actually BENEFICIAL and NEEDED for a healthy life! Not only are they morally RIGHT, but they are very NECESSARY parts of His plan for living!

Science has ALSO been discovering more and more how wonderful and beneficial SEX is! Now, we all knew it was wonderful anyway, but scientists are discovering more and more that sex–God’s wonderful design for showing love and having babies–doesn’t just FEEL good and leave you with that warm and satisfied feeling of complete unity with the one you love, but it has amazing MEDICAL and PSYCHOLOGICAL benefits as well!

For example, consider THIS fact: It has been discovered that an active sex life actually PREVENTS breast cancer in women because it helps maintain the right hormone balance! Researchers claim that it may prevent up to 65% of possible cases!

There is also evidence that sex can CURE arthritis, insomnia, ulcers, heart disease and hypertension! Think of all the ills we could avoid if we would just have more free and FREQUENT INTIMATE sexual relations with those whom we love!–As God Himself surely intended us to have!–SEX even helps cure a HANGOVER!

To quote Dr. Earl Marsh, Medical director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, “If people would get more sensually involved with those they care for, they would have less illness, would sleep better and there would be fewer of them in hospitals or in an early grave! HUGGING, TOUCHING, KISSING, anything like that would do! We have found that SEX is one of the most efficient treatments in RELIEVING TENSION which is the ROOT CAUSE of so many ailments. Once the tension is gone, then the intimacy of sex continues to cure and remove all the symptoms. Sex, even just intimate bodily contact, works to bring relief to the whole body!”

And that’s not all! Dr. Thomas Hackett, Chief of Psychiatry at Massachusetts’ General Hospital in Boston, says, “Sex is one of nature’s finest tonics! It is not only POSSIBLE after a HEART ATTACK, but seems to HELP with RECOVERY! People who RETURN to a sexual life almost invariably have a better prognosis in terms of returning to work and socialising after heart attacks. It is a DAMAGING MYTH that once you have a heart attack that you are ‘over the hill’ and there’s no sense in even talking about sex because you can’t have it any more.” Dr. Hackett is a co-author of a Heart Association booklet on sex and heart disease.

So what do you know!–All these years I’ve been engaged in HEART THERAPY!–Ha! It does my heart good just to READ all this!

According to another report entitled “Sexuality in Later Life”, issued by the National Institute for the Aging, regular sexual activity after a heart attack can help to PREVENT a SECOND attack! Dr. Marsh, whom I quoted earlier, says that “the trouble with our culture today is that those over 50 have been conditioned to think sex is taboo as a person gets older. But as people get older they often get into a tense mental state because of things like loneliness and anxiety about the future. That’s when hugging, kissing or touching could bring new meaning to their lives!”

And to quote yet another source, Jessie Potter, of Chicago’s National Institute for Human Relationships, says that, “Studies in European Hospitals have shown that even a BACK RUB has made patients feel so much better, that hospitals could eliminate the need for pain-killers and other medicines, particularly sleeping pills. SEX is ALSO one of our healthiest natural resources, but too many people leave it untapped.”

It just goes to show that God knew what He was doing when “He created them MALE and FEMALE and BLESSED them and said, ‘Be FRUITFUL and MULTIPLY (reproduce)!'” (Genesis 1:27-28). Knowing how vital love and sex are for the procreation of the human race, He made it so we’d not only DESIRE it, in fact, barely be able to resist it–but He ALSO made it so that we needed to have LOVE, SEX and AFFECTION for our own PSYCHOLOGICAL well-being and PHYSICAL HEALTH!

One doctor recently wrote that “Only 15 MINUTES a day of VIGOROUS EXERCISE that leaves you GASPING for breath will keep you HEALTHY!–Sounds like SEX to ME!

So here’s to love and sex, a never-ending source of WONDER!–And it’s obvious that God INTENDED it to be that way! As David said in Psalm 139:14, “I will PRAISE You, for I am FEARFULLY (awesomely) and WONDERFULLY made; Your works are MARVELLOUS, and my soul knows that right well!”

God CREATED men and women to not only need HIM and HIS Love, but to need LOVE and beautifully unifying, intimate SEXUAL contact with each other! We were MADE to be emotional, warm, loving and affectionate, and to NOT be that way is to not be NATURAL!

As Ecclesiastes 9:9 says, “live JOYFULLY with your wife whom you love all the days of your life!”–And ENJOY love, affection and sex as even a CURE-ALL for many diseases, afflictions, tensions & troubles!–It’s GOOD for you!–TRY it!–You’ll LOVE it!–And THANK GOD for it!

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

The Windows of Heaven!

A dramatisation of Malachi 1:6-14; 3:6-12; Nehemiah 10:35-39; 12:44-47; 13:4-13

Based on the writings of David Brandt Berg

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The sky was dark and gloomy, and turbulent clouds rolled over the dry Judean hills as a man came striding down a rough slope through the tall dry grass, leading a heavily-laden donkey behind him. With him was a young lad with a basket in his hand. The man was thin, almost gaunt, and he clutched his rough mantle tightly around himself to keep out the wind. As they came around a giant boulder, ahead of them in the darkened valley was a small village. At its edge was a collection of farmhouses huddled together.

In a few moments they arrived at the door of a humble little mud house. A couple of dry trees, their bare branches rattling in the wind, stood in the yard. From inside the house came the sound of voices. Tying his donkey, the man lifted the heavy baskets off its back. Entering the small dwelling, he found a crowd of people dressed in tattered clothing and a young Levite was reading to them from a worn old scroll.

Looking up from his reading, he greeted them: “Malachi! Little Johanan! What a nice surprise! And what is this you have?”

Setting the basket down, Malachi greeted him and answered, “Grain, fruit, dried figs, a side of lamb!–And there’s more outside.”

“But you already brought your TITHE a few weeks ago!” the Levite responded.

“Yes! And this is a FREEWILL offering above that!” Malachi smiled. We had it to spare and thought you might need it.”

“NEED it?! My good man!–You are an answer to our PRAYERS!” he exclaimed as he and his young wife went to help bring in the rest of the produce. “Why, you are one of the few families who are faithful to give!”

Outside the house, he whispered gravely to Malachi, “These days, most people give very few freewill gifts!–Let alone faithfully give one-tenth of their goods in a tithe. When the poor, the widows, the orphans and the strangers come to me, I offer them what few crumbs I can, but it’s very little. But I can still read to them from God’s Word, so they come for that.”

Malachi pounded the wall and turned away, shaking his head. “And you’re doing such a GOOD job, Eleazar! It’s not right that the people don’t give to you as they should when you’ve dedicated your life to serving the Lord and helping others! I mean, are we the Lord’s people or are we not? If people truly love Him, why do they not give to His servants as they’ve been told to?”

“Papa,” little Johanan asked, “is EVERYONE supposed to tithe like WE do?”

“Yes, they are!” his father answered. “The Lord richly blesses His people, gives them rich harvests and protects them all year round, and He has requested that we, in return, give Him a mere one-tenth of all the increase that He has blessed us with.

“The Lord commanded: ‘Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase that your fields produce.–A tithe of everything from the land BELONGS to the LORD; it is HOLY to the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 14:22; Leviticus 27:3O)

“If it’s GOD’S, then why do we give it to the LEVITES?” the little lad asked.

“That’s HOW we give it to GOD,” Malachi answered, smiling at Eleazar. “Because the Levites are SERVING GOD full-time, every day. So the Lord said, ‘I give to the Levites all the tithes that the Israelites present to the Lord, in return for the WORK they do while SERVING Me!’ (Numbers 18:21,24) The Lord also said, ‘Be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in the land.’ (Deuteronomy 12:19)–But look at dear Eleazar. He’s skinny as a rail. He barely has enough for himself and his wife, let alone to give to others!”

“Really … we manage to …” Eleazar began to protest humbly.

“Nonsense!” Malachi replied. “How can you keep on serving the LORD if the Lord’s PEOPLE don’t help you by giving as they should? We OWE it to you! As He said in His Word, ‘It is your WAGES for your WORK!'” (Numbers 18:21)–And you shouldn’t be too shy to ask for your WAGES, should you?”

Eleazar looked intently at Malachi and said, “What a fire and devotion you have for the Lord! One would almost think that you were…well…a PROPHET!”

Malachi laughed, “I’m just a man trying to do good. But tell me, I’m going down to the Temple at Jerusalem. Is there anything I can do for you or get for you there?”

“Why yes, you can!” Eleazar answered. “Would you take my tithe there with you?”

“Certainly! By all means.”

They carried the last of the produce inside his house and his wife sorted through it, setting aside one-tenth of everything they had just been given, careful to make sure that they gave the BEST of everything. They then put it in a small basket on the donkey’s back, and Malachi and his son continued down the hills toward Jerusalem.

“Papa, why did they tithe the gift we gave them?” Johanan asked. “They have so little, and yet they tithe even that. Why?”

“Because even the servants of God who serve Him fulltime are required to tithe,” (Numbers 18:25-29) Malachi answered. “So because Eleazar and his wife love the Lord, they faithfully obey and tithe to Him!”

Within a couple of hours they’d arrived in Jerusalem and made their way through the narrow streets to the Temple. Accompanied by his son, Malachi carried the small basket to the storage rooms of the Temple and gave it to the steward; then he walked through the Temple toward the inner court. An aged man with a long white beard met him there.

“My lord, Ezra!” Malachi said reverently. He pulled out a bag of coins from his belt and quietly said, “I have saved up the money as I promised, and here it is: To be dedicated to support the servants of the Lord who work on making COPIES of His WORD.”

“Thank you. May God bless you!” the old man replied. “If only MORE of the Lord’s people gave generously as you do! But I’m afraid to say that no copies of the Lord’s Word can be made now. Gifts and tithes have been so few that we just can’t support the Lord’s servants who are needed for this Work. Most of our best copiers have gone.”

“GONE? Where have they gone to?”

“Most have gone to work on farms to support themselves and have enough to eat,” the old man replied. (Nehemiah 13:1O)

Exasperated, Malachi questioned, “But when Nehemiah was here as Governor of Judah, didn’t the people PROMISE that they would faithfully tithe and give gifts to support the Lord’s Work and His servants?”

Ezra answered, “Not only that, but they signed a written statement that they would not neglect to help the Lord’s Work. But in the years since Nehemiah has been gone, the people have forgotten their promises. In fact, the storerooms are practically EMPTY.” (Nehemiah 9:38; 10:28-29,35-39)

In a tired voice, the ancient Patriarch sighed, “And now, if you will excuse me, I am very weary.” As Ezra retired to his chamber, Malachi strode sadly towards the outer courts of the Temple, his son at his side.

“How can we reproduce the Word of God if people do not support the Lord’s workers?” he asked his tiny son.

Thinking a minute, little Johanan said, “Maybe you should REMIND people to give.”

“Maybe I should!” Malachi replied.

Coming to the outer courts where people were milling about, Malachi saw one of the rich nobles of Jerusalem bringing in his tithe. Nehemiah looked at the produce and knew it could be nowhere near one-tenth of his increase. Looking closer, he could barely believe what he saw. The fruit was the worst of the harvest: Bug-eaten and small.

He saw others leading in cattle and rams to be sacrificed. To his shock he saw that most of the animals being brought in were either BLIND or CRIPPLED or DISEASED! Instead of offering the BEST of their herds and produce to the Lord in thankfulness for His blessing, people were trying to get by by giving Him their offscouring and refuse.

Malachi stood there, tears welling up in his eyes. Then suddenly the Spirit of the Lord fell upon him and he leapt up on the Temple steps and cried out, “Thus saith the Lord: ‘When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them to Me, should I accept them? Try offering them to your Governor! Would HE be pleased with you? Would HE accept it?” (Malachi 1:8)

Turning towards the rich nobleman, Malachi continued, “The Lord commanded His people, ‘Bring ALL your tithes so that the Levites, the fatherless and the widows may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may BLESS YOU in all the work of your hands.” (Deuteronomy 14:28-29) (See also 1Corinthians 16:2.)

“How CAN I tithe?” a fat merchant complained. “I ALREADY have to pay TAXES to the government! The ‘King’s tax’ takes up the money I WOULD have given to the Lord!”

“One-tenth of your increase BELONGS to GOD!” Malachi shouted. “You owe it to the King OF Kings, and must pay it even BEFORE the ‘King’s tax’! If you would pay God’s tithe FIRST, He would bless you and see to it that you have enough for your tax AND plenty left over for yourself!”

A farmer protested, “How can I give? The locusts and other pests have eaten the produce of my land and fruit trees! There’s barely enough to feed my family! How could I spare to give one-tenth of it to God?”

“Don’t you see?” Malachi demanded, “your LACK of giving is what BROUGHT these problems upon you in the first place! God would BLESS you and prevent the pests from devouring your crops if you would honour Him and pay Him His tithe!” (Malachi 3:11)

Many of the people were visibly moved at these words, but others were still grumbling among themselves. How easy it would be for them to receive God’s blessing, yet by selfishly WITHHOLDING and NOT paying God his 1O%, they were not only missing God’s blessing, but they were robbing Him as well!

Tears streaming down his face, Malachi prophesied, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Will a man rob GOD?–Yet you DO rob Me!'”

“Rob God!?” a devout noblewoman retorted, “how do we rob God?” (Malachi 3:8)

“In TITHES and OFFERINGS!” the Lord’s answer rang out above the crowd. “Do you wonder why your land is under a curse, why you are not as blessed as you could be? It is because you are ROBBING Me. Bring the WHOLE tithe into the storeroom, that there may be FOOD in My house!” (Malachi 3:9-1O)

Then, raising his hands upward to the heavens to where beautiful rays of golden sunlight were streaming down through a break in the dark clouds, Malachi prophesied, “‘TEST me in this:’, says the Lord. ‘TEST Me! Give your tithes and gifts and see if I will not THROW OPEN the windows of Heaven and POUR out so MANY BLESSINGS upon you that you will not have room enough to contain them!” (Malachi 3:1O)

It was a beautiful promise!–And several of the people in the crowd were moved to tears and resolved to begin tithing.

It was not long afterwards that Nehemiah, the Governor of Judah, returned. Discovering how the Lord’s Work had suffered in his absence, he set the example by tithing himself, then publicly urged the people to do so also and give to help support the servants of the Lord! Then ALL the people of Judah began giving their tithes faithfully once again, and continued to do so all the days of Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 13:6-12; 12:47)

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

(1) God has always BLESSED people for GIVING to Him and His Work. This is God’s fundamental law of economics: If you put HIM FIRST, then He blesses you for it. Jesus promised, “GIVE and it shall be GIVEN YOU!” (Luke 6:38) That’s the way God is: He loves to outgive you, and He’ll never let you outgive Him! The more you give, the more HE’LL give BACK! “Honour the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your income. THEN your storehouses will be filled with PLENTY, and your vats will OVERFLOW with new wine!” (Proverbs 3:9,1O)

God may not always reward you in mere dollars and cents; it may be in protection, His saving you from accidents, misfortunes or serious illnesses that would have cost you a hundred times more than whatever you have given! But in whatever way it comes, He WILL reward you!

(2) God’s message through Malachi challenged the people to put HIS PROMISE to the TEST! The Lord said, “PROVE ME now (by tithing 1O% of your income) and see if I will not open up the windows of Heaven and pour out such a BLESSING that there will not be room enough to contain it!” (Malachi 3:1O)

It takes FAITH to give, because at first all you see is what you’re sacrificing.–It looks like it is going to hurt and that you’re losing, but when you do give, acting in simple faith, appreciation and thankfulness for all the Lord has already given you, then the Lord blesses you even MORE! When it comes to God and His Work, it’s good business to give to the LORD. It’s a sure investment earning the highest possible rate of INTEREST and DIVIDENDS of anything you can invest in.

(3) Like the Levites of old, we too are actively SERVING GOD FULL-TIME, and without the financial help of our friends and supporters, we would simply not be able to continue our Ministry. Even Jesus Himself had supporters who gave to help Him and His work. (Luke 8:1-3) There were people from all walks of life who, although they weren’t active full-time disciples travelling with Him in His Mission, helped by contributing whatever they could to supply Him and His disciples’ physical needs so that their vital spiritual ministry could carry on.

(4) The Apostle Paul explained, “The Levites which work in the Temple get their food FROM the Temple. In the same way, those who PREACH the Gospel should receive their living FROM the Gospel. If we have SOWN SPIRITUAL seed among you, it is only natural that we should REAP a MATERIAL harvest from you.” (1Corinthians 9:7-14)

(5) Every one of our dear friends who faithfully supports our work plays a vital role in reaching the World for Jesus! Every gift they send to help further our Worldwide missionary effort is a PART of their lives which goes out to the mission field! It is the hard-earned product of their blood, sweat and tears shed for the Lord and His Work, resulting in literally millions of souls saved–lives changed by the Love and power of God!

Would YOU like for God to open His windows of blessing on YOUR life, and to discover the joys of investing in His Work? If so, contact us today! We’d be happy to explain how, by giving on a regular basis or tithing each month, you can become a partner in the GREATEST work on Earth!–And reap ETERNAL dividends in Heaven by helping other lonely souls to find Salvation in Jesus!

 

 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International