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Goals for 1998! CM/FM 3160 1/98
1. This truly has been a wonderful year--in many ways one of our best yet! You can judge that for yourselves by studying the victories, stats and yearend analysis in GN 764, and I believe that you'll agree that the Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad! Thank You Jesus! Our wonderful Husband has been so good to us! He's supplied our needs abundantly, led us in a safe and fruitful path, taught us many needed, precious lessons, given us a wealth of Word--great riches from His Heavenly vaults--and kept us in the hollow of His hand with supernatural protection and guidance.
2. It's always so encouraging to look back over the year that has passed to acknowledge all that the Lord has done, and to see the fruits of our labors. You each deserve a gold medal of honor for your faithful service, endurance and willingness to run the race, to hold on, and to keep fighting in spite of difficulties, setbacks, afflictions, disappointments, moments of discouragement or despair, and the relentless attacks of the Enemy. He's done everything in his power to try to stop you, but you've been strong, valiant soldiers, and the Lord and Mama and I are so proud of you!
3. I greatly enjoyed the time I spent analyzing the progress of last year for the "Victory Review '97" GN. While doing so, I recalled how when Dad would give his yearend talks, he would often just marvel at how much would get done by the Family--such a small group with so few people, but so much fruit, so many results! He would be so full of thanksgiving to the Lord and admiration for you, our dear ones who have done so well to heed the call of the Lord when He said: "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men! Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature! And the things that thou hast heard of Me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also!" (Mat. 4:19; Mark 16:15; 2Tim.2:2). It's your obedience, faithfulness, loyalty, dedication, and sacrificial spirits that have made it possible for the Lord to work through you so greatly, and to accomplish so much during the year of 1997.
Commendation from Dad for a Job Well Done!
4. Mama and I are so thankful, and I know Dad is too, because just as I was preparing this portion of this Letter, Dad punched through in the spirit and said:
5. (Dad speaking:) Well done! Well done, my beloved Family! You've really outdone yourselves this year! What a testimony! What an inspiration! What a message to the world! It should convict many Christians to the heart when they see what a little tiny band of bedraggled, helpless, hopeless, hungry hippies have become, and what they and their children have done!
6. So many people expected that after my death the Family would just peter out, lose its momentum, and eventually fall apart! But it just goes to show that Jesus is the One Who's doing it all! He's the Leader, He's our Commander in Chief, and it's your faithfulness to Him that makes the difference, that makes our Family, though so small, so very fruitful!
7. You can't imagine the joy it brings me, the great satisfaction, how it thrills my heart to see that you're still attacking, still winning, and still giving it your all!And the Lord is blessing us more than ever! I'm so proud of each of you!
8. Now, from my perspective in Heaven, I see things much more clearly, and I can have a more precise reading of the state of the nation. This greater understanding has not brought disappointment or disillusionment, but great, great joy, because I've grown to appreciate each of you even more. I've seen your sacrifices and the difficulties you face. I've seen the times when you struggle, when you're tempted to quit, when the Enemy fights you so hard. But I've also seen you cry out to the Lord for strength, inspiration and answers, and He's come through for you every time.
9. I think possibly the thing I'm the most thankful for is that I've watched you learn to follow the Lord more carefully, more prayerfully, step by step. As you all know, many years ago I began to teach the Family to follow God, to know that it's His plan, His program, His prevision. He's the One Who's out front leading us all. He knows where He's going, He knows what He wants done, and only He can do it! In such a short amount of time, I've seen you progress so much in hearing from the Lord, going to Him in prayer, and then faithfully doing what He tells you to do. You're truly learning to follow God--"for God's sake follow God"--and that's undoubtedly one of the reasons why this year of 1997 has been so very, very fruitful!
10. Thank you for following God, for listening, for shticking! Thank you for loving the Lord and me and Mama and Peter enough to receive, believe, and obey the New Wine. You're still my revolutionary, dropped-out children, and I love you and am so proud of you!
11. As great as 1997 has been, the Lord has even more in store for us in 1998! I know it's hard to believe, but it's true! So now it's time to turn our eyes away from the past and look to the future. There's so much to do! The Lord has a special challenge for each of you. But as you accept the challenge and take up your cross daily to follow Jesus and change in the way that He asks you to change, He also has a special blessing for each of you! So don't get weary in well doing. Keep fighting, keep following, keep going! There's not much time left, so let's make the most of it! Praise the Lord! (End of message from Dad.)
12. (Peter:) As Dad suggested, let's turn our eyes to the future now and take a look at where we're headed and what the Lord expects of us. The future is as bright as the promises of God, and we have His good guarantees and Dad's word that this is going to be a year to remember! 1998 will undoubtedly be a year of change, excitement, fruitfulness, and lots of good news, wonderful encouragement, specific helpful instruction, and thrilling revelations from the Lord, as He continues to pour out the New Wine abundantly.
13. Of course, because we're following the Lord, we never can tell exactly which direction He'll leadin or what He has up His sleeve for us in the future. But we can be sure that as we delight ourselves in Him, He'll give us the desires of our hearts, supply all our needs, and continue to use us as His messengers to bring forth fruit for His Kingdom.
14. When thinking and praying about the future and how to best be prepared for the direction that the Lord will lead us in and the challenges He will put before us, Mama and I have spent many hours discussing and praying about the needs of the Family. As we've mentioned in past Letters, Mama and I read numerous personal letters from the field, reports from the CROs, and many of the comments and suggestions from the TRFs. I've also had the opportunity to visit different fields and to meet and talk personally with many brethren. Through all this various input, as well as hearing from the Lord and Dad in prophecy, we've become aware of what are the greatest weaknesses of the Family as a whole, and the most prevalent problems that you face in your Homes or personal lives.
15.I'm sure you'll agree that even though the Family overall has been very fruitful and made tremendous progress, there are areas where change is needed. We desperately need to improve in some ways: following the Word more closely, having greater love for one another and a greater desire to stand up for the truth, bearing one another's burdens, forsaking our sins and shortcomings, caring for those in need, and becoming a greater living example of all the truth our wonderful Husband and Lover has entrusted into our care. I'm sure this is no surprise to you.
16.Time is short and the Lord has said over and over again that He's preparing us to be His Endtime army. He's purging us of our weaknesses and strengthening us to be fit, able, strong, unified soldiers, ready to fight the battles that come our way and defeat the Enemy's attacks. We know the Lord has a lot in store for us in the year to come--new open doors, new ministries, and greater blessings which will surpass our expectations. His promises are abundant, and His ability and desire to fulfill those promises are without end. But we must do our part by being fully yielded and obedient, so that He can open up the windows of Heaven and pour down the blessings that He so longs to give us!
17. As Mama and I prayed about and analyzed the needs of the Family, the Lord led us to propose various goals that we as a Family can unitedly work toward in the year to come. Remember, the Lord said that these are the days of our preparation, days for us to practice, to prepare for war. We're not to be complacent. We're not to be like the watchmaker in the military who got so busy fixing watches that he forgot what he was there for. There's war ahead; it's coming. But the Lord is being merciful by warning us and giving us a period of time to grow in spirit.
18. It behooves us to make good use of this time of peace and plenty, and to strive to grow, lest when the time comes to fight we won't have the strength or skills we need. This time of peace that we now enjoy is limited. This warning should cause us all to sit up and take notice and ask ourselves, "What do we need to do now?"
19. I, for one, like to take time at the end of the year to review how the past year went, and to take personal stock with myself to see how I can improve, where I can do better.I like to set some personal goals for myself. I imagine many of you like to do the same. If you do, I think you'll be inspired by the following message from Dad in which he tells us the advantages of setting goals.
The Advantages of Setting Goals!
20.(Dad speaking:) Why goals? Well, there are many good reasons for setting goals! We're often so shortsighted. We get our eyes on today, and we miss seeing the forest for the trees right in front of us! We tire in well doing and lose the vision.
21.Goals are like the steps that get you from the bottom of the mountain to the top. If you find yourself at the bottom of a mountain and there's no gradual incline, but the sides of the mountain are sheer and steep, you figure there's no way you're going to make it up. Goals are steps cut into the mountain which enable you to climb the mountain one step at a time. Goals are the notches where you can place your feet and your hands. Goals give you something to grip, something to grab ahold of, something to take your next step on.
22.If you wonder how you can ever make it to the top, well, you don't have to feel like you have to do it all at once. All you have to look at and deal with is the next step ahead of you. You just have to have the faith to make it to your next goal, your next step, the next level. That next step isn't too high up there, is it? It's always within your reach, and all you have to do is lift your leg and you've made it!
23.So setting goals is really a key to victory, because it puts on a believable, attainable level what might otherwise look like an unobtainable victory. If you're having a hard time figuring out how you're going to climb some mountain in your life, then set yourself some goals. Break down the mountain into step-size goals, and then don't worry about reaching the top all in one jump; just take one step at a time!
24.With each step you make, each goal you attain, there's a feeling of fulfillment, accomplishment, and satisfaction--because you've come that much closer to your total goal! Pretty soon you can begin to have faith that you might actually make it up to the summit of the mountain. Because all those steps add up, and before you know it, you've climbed quite a ways!
25.Goals spur you on and keep you from getting lazy and lethargic and resting on your last victory, because there's always another one to come! That's why you should never let your life run out of goals. Don't ever let yourself stagnate with no more goals to reach for, no more steps to take up the mountain of life. Always have a goal! Always keep a vision! Keep plugging along upward, ever upward, one step, one goal at a time!
26.The setting of goals in the climb of our lives is taking us to the final and eventual prize which we will receive for running the race and fulfilling the high calling which He has given us! Let goals boost you higher and fill you with vision! (End of message from Dad.)
27. (Peter:) If we want to make the best use of our time and want to progress and prepare as best we can, then according to Dad's wise counsel above we can only benefit from setting goals--breaking up the big climb that's ahead of us into more manageable steps that are easier to understand and reach.
28. If we hope to use this time of peace and plenty to practice and grow in spirit and prepare for war, if we hope to be the strong fighters we need to be in the future, we can't just go about our preparation haphazardly. For this reason, Mama and I felt the need to propose united goals for the Family as a whole, so that together we can (1) overcome some of the widespread weaknesses in the Family, and (2) continue to make progress in the areas that we've done fairly well in, that we have a good start in, but where we need to keep pressing ahead and making a push so that they become more a part of our lives, our daily habits, and the regular activities of our Homes.
29. After much prayer and counseling together, and seeking the Lord and hearing from Him in prophecy, Mama and I would like to specify these goals for 1998 in this Letter. These goals are not presented in order of priority. On this, the Lord said:
30. (Jesus speaking:) All these goals are important. What is a higher priority for one person might be a lesser priority for another person. I would prefer for them to be listed on a long parallel line--each on par with the other. But that's not possible. Something has to be first and something has to be last in the presentation. But that does not make the first the most important goal and the last the least important. (End of message from Jesus.)
31. The most important point that you personally need to grow in, and what you as an individual or as a Home need to focus on might be different from the priorities of others.
32. Of course, I'll be presenting each of these goals briefly due to the limitations of time and space in this one GN, but in the future we'll be addressing these subjects in detail in GNs to come, Lord willing.
33.You'll see as you read on that our preparation for the future is broken down into various goals. However, in spite of having specific goals, it still might look like a pretty steep climb to you. These goals or steps might seem too big for you. If that's the case, you might want to take these goals and make smaller goals for yourself, like little mini-goals within each point, so you don't feel like you have to tackle everything at once. You can set daily, weekly, or monthly personal goals regarding the following points, which I believe will make them more manageable and will give you more faith that you can actually do it!
Goal Number 1
34. One area that you've done very well in, which Dad highly commended you for earlier, is learning to follow the Lord more closely by going to Him frequently with your questions so you could receive His answers in prophecy--His personal, specific direction for you and your individual situation. As Dad said, this is one of the reasons why we've had such a fruitful year and things have gone so well for us, because we've been getting our instructions from the Lord, and as a result, He's been able to bless us and prosper our efforts and supply our needs.
35. You've grown very much in this area. I've seen it in my travels, and we've heard via the CRO reports or your personal letters of the good fruits of your going to the Lord regularly, and we're very thankful for this. Mama and I are continuing to learn more and more about just how much the Lord wants us to seek Him about everything--both the big decisions and the little daily questions, situations or problems that come up. We're learning that the more we go to the Lord, the more we learn, the easier our work goes, the happier we are, the more specific the instruction He can give us, and the faster and more efficiently we're able to find and do His highest will!
36. We want to continue to progress in this area and to make it even more of a habit to go to the Lord,to hear from Him, to check with Him each step of the way. Mama does very well at this. As you know, she's very prayerful and always wants to ask the Lord and check with Him and hear from Him to make sure that what we're doing is exactly what He wants. Thank the Lord, I believe that I too have improved in this and am developing more of a habit of wanting to hear from the Lord in prophecy and get a confirmation, even when I'm pretty sure I know what to do. But we can still do better in this, and you will probably agree that you too, both as individuals and as a Home, can do better. There's always room for improvement!
37. So what if we set that as our first goal--to be more willing and available to go to the Lord, to put before Him our specific questions, and receive the personal, tailor-made instruction, guidance, and encouragement that He has for our unique situations. Let's not try to do things in our own strength. Even when we have experience in a certain field or we're pretty sure that what we're doing is His will, let's still take the time whenever possible to hear from Him, to get His confirmation, and to give Him a chance to give us any additional information that we may need.
38.Let's take up the challenge, each of us and each Home, to follow the Lord as closely as possible, by hearing from Him not only through the written Word, but also through the living Word that He eagerly wants to give in response to our questions.
Goal Number 2
39. Speaking of the written Word, it seems fitting and wise for us to set as our second goal to take more time to read, understand and absorb the New Wine. The Lord is pouring forth His Word so abundantly and rapidly that we understand that it's difficult for you to keep up with it. So many important GNs are published on a monthly basis that we realize it's not easy for you to have the time to really study the Letters, so that you understand them well and are able to fully put them into practice in your Homes.
40. The age-old problem is finding the time to read the Word. I believe that you all have a desire to read and study the Word, and you want to be able to grasp and follow closely wherever the Lord is leading, but there always seems to be so much to do! I understand and sympathize. Mama and I often find ourselves in the same boat. We too are sometimes tempted to cut our time with the Lord short, our personal prayer time or devotions. But thank the Lord, He usually helps us to resist that temptation and to just trust Him, knowing that if we take the time with Him in personal prayer, hearing from Him and reading the Word, then He will somehow multiply our efforts and help us to do whatever work He knows needs to get done.
41. With the great responsibilities that we all carry--not just those of us in top leadership, but each of you as well--we must realize that if we're to have the strength and wisdom necessary for the great work that the Lord has called us to do, we're going to have to spend more time with Him alone in prayer and reading the Word.
42. I'm sure that some or even many of you have been fairly faithful with your Word time, and you've regularly spent time in quietness and meditation. But for those of you who've gotten slack in this area, who've fallen into the habit of skimming the GNs or missing some of them altogether, how about if you try as one of your personal goals for 1998 to turn over a new leaf in this area, and put your Word time on the top of your to-do list. Make it a priority! Give the Lord His due, put Him in first place, and I guarantee that it won't be long before you'll see the Lord's blessings as a result.
Goal Number 3
43. Through the years we've learned a lot about the power of prayer. Dad and Mama have both been excellent examples of looking to the Lord and praying desperately in intercessory prayer for the needs of others and the Family. We've published quite a bit of Word on how to make prayer more of a habit, and I believe that we as a Family have progressed in this area. We're certainly praying a lot more now than we were in years past.
44.It's become more our natural reaction to pray when we hear about people's battles, struggles or needs. We're more inclined to pray and seek the Lord's help, anointing, and guidance before each of our daily activities. We're becoming more accustomed to manifesting our weakness and utter dependence on the Lord by acknowledging Him in prayer many times throughout the day. You all have probably noticed a great improvement in our prayerfulness overall, and I'm sure that that, too, is another one of the reasons why the Lord has been able to bless us so greatly with supply, protection, and fruitfulness.
45. In recent months, the Lord challenged us to make further progress in our prayerfulness by learning to turn every thought into a prayer. (See "Thought Power!" ML #3155, GN 760.) What better way to have more of the spirit of prayer in our lives than to try to make a conscious effort to turn our thoughts into prayers?
46. Instead of just thinking about someone, why not pray for them right then and there in the moment you have the thought? When you think about your outreach teams and wonder how they're doing, why not pray for them? When you're thinking about your children, or concerned about their health, progress, scholastics or ongoing problems--instead of worrying, why not pray for them? When you wonder what's for dinner, why not let that thought trigger a desire to pray for the provisioners, the cooks, or the kitchen overseer?
47.When you see something that reminds you of one of your friends who's now on a distant mission field, why not turn that thought into a prayer for that person and the other missionaries in that country? When you think, "Oh, I really need to send so-and-so a letter or an e-mail message," why not immediately transform that thought into a prayer that you shoot up to the Lord on that person's behalf?
48. There are so many ways that we can turn our thoughts into prayers, and I'm sure that if we would do that, it would result in a lot more prayer power being generated. We would be able to greatly enlarge our habit of prayer. Instead of just praying at set times, like before our meals, before bed, before meetings, before outreach, before making phone calls, before driving, etc., all the times when you have a firmly established habit to pray, we'd be praying for a lot of things that seem like little things or little thoughts. These immediate prayers, though short, are still powerful; in fact, they might be even more powerful, because they would be more numerous!
49. The Lord said, "By turning your thoughts into prayer, you turn them into creative power. I've equipped each of you with this great gift, therefore learn to use it. Learn to wield it. Learn to convert your thoughts into powerful prayer. Thought power turned into prayer will materialize into My blessings, My intervention, My protection, power and strength, My healing balm poured out on those for whom you care" (ML #3155:8,12).
50. We can reach the four corners of the Earth through our prayers! We can touch people's lives through our prayers--all the people we love, our children, our mate, our friends, our contacts, the people we witness to, our parents or relatives, even world leaders and people we read about in the WND or newspapers, or see on the news. So why don't we all set as goal number three to cultivate more of a spirit of prayer by turning our thoughts into prayers. Let's all try to learn to be more prayerful by developing even more of a habit to be in constant communication with the Lord, through many immediate, short prayers.
51. You've all got a good start, because as I said, you've progressed greatly in your prayerfulness over the years. But any progress we make in being more prayerful will be multiplied many, many times over, and we'll certainly see the fruit of it in our lives and in the lives of others.
Goal Number 4
52. Another area you've done well in and have improved in over recent years is praise. The establishment of affection time with Jesus helped us all to get in the habit of being willing to stop what we're doing to have a few minutes of praise time with the Lord; to acknowledge Him and spend precious moments resting in His arms, telling Him how much we love Him and need Him.
53.The interesting thing about praise is that the more you get in the habit of praising the Lord, the more you want to, and the easier it becomes. Praise is so important, because, as Dad taught us, praise is the voice of faith. And we know that this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. I think sometimes we underestimate the power of praise and how tremendously effective it is in bringing the Lord's Spirit into our lives, enabling us to resist the attacks of the Enemy, and enhancing our sample to others by helping us to be more positive, more cheerful, and more uplifting to those around us.
54.The Lord loves praise! He dwells in the praises of His people. So I think we'd really be missing something if we didn't make a personal commitment to learn to be more praiseful, and to praise without ceasing.
55. The Lord wants us to praise Him in all situations--especially when we don't feel like it. If we can build on the habit that we now have of praising the Lord regularly, I think we can make a lot of progress in learning to turn any negative, doubtful, unhappy thoughts into thoughts of praise and thanksgiving. Even when we're tempted to be out of it, or critical, or to complain a little bit--either in our thoughts or with our words--if we'll just make a conscious effort to think about our blessings, to dwell on all the good, to concentrate on all that the Lord has done for us and all the ways that He's kept us, and blessed and prospered and protected us, then I think it'll do a lot to help us get over any bad habits we may have where our first reactions are negative, murmury, or even just indifferent.
56. I'm reminded of a story from the Good Thots about that preacher, Dr. Alexander Whyte, who was famous for being so praiseful in his prayers. He always found something to thank the Lord for, even in bad times. One stormy morning a member of his congregation thought to himself, "The preacher won't have anything to thank God for on a terrible morning like this." But he began his prayer, "We thank Thee, O God, that it's not always like this." What a good example of looking at things positively and being praiseful! (Good Thots 1, pg.582, #21).
57.If we pray desperately and really ask the Lord to help us, and set our minds to it, I think we could all become a lot more praiseful. And not only would it make the Lord a lot happier, but it would make all of us a lot happier too!
58. Praise is powerful! The Lord wants our praise. So why don't we each make a conscious effort this year to be more praiseful; to replace negative thoughts with positive, thankful, praiseful thoughts. Let's also try as much as possible in our speech and in our interactions with others to glorify the Lord, as Preacher Whyte did, by praising Him and acknowledging how He's blessed us, instead of complaining or getting down in the dumps or reacting negatively.
59. When we were praying about including the goals of being more prayerful and praiseful, the Lord said:
60. (Jesus speaking:) Any effort My children put toward learning to be more prayerful, to carry more of the spirit of prayer and learn to praise without ceasing, will be effort well spent. It's a matter of self-discipline. It's a matter of being aware of the need. It's a matter of putting your mind to it and wanting to develop these habits. If you do, if you keep it in the forefront of your mind, and you make a conscious effort, and you remind each other, little by little you will make progress toward developing the habits of prayerfulness and praisefulness that I wish for you to have. (End of message from Jesus.)
Goal Number 5
61. (Peter:) Very closely related to spending more time in prayer and praise, hearing from the Lord in prophecy, and faithfully reading, absorbing, and putting into practice the written Word is the need to take time with the Lord in the bed of love, loving Him intimately, receiving His seeds, being His bride.
62. We're very thankful that many of you have commented regarding your personal experience with the "Loving Jesus" revelation, confirming that it has been a great blessing in your life. Some of you who've chosen to love the Lord in this way feel a greater closeness to Him. Others don't have such feelings, but you take it by faith that even though you don't feel closer to Jesus, He's fulfilling the promises that He attached to the "Loving Jesus" revelation, and many of you see the fruits of it in your lives. For those of us who are saying the love words to the Lord, it doesn't matter whether or not it's made a noticeable or big difference in the way we feel, because we know by faith that we are closer to Him. That greater closeness is manifested in many ways, such as:
--More love for others.
--A greater desire to do His will.
--A more consistent hunger for His Word.
--More understanding of others.
--A stronger desire to understand the ways of the Lord, to seek Him more desperately, and to hear from Him in prophecy.
--Sweeter, more open communication with our mates, friends, loved ones, and children.
--More faith in the Lord's unconditional love.
--Greater power to resist the fear and condemnation of the Enemy.
--More peace of mind and awareness of the Lord's love and care.
--The desire to be deeper and more personal in our witnessing to others, because of a greater realization of how empty their lives must be without the Lord.
--More humble, intimate, sexual contact with our mates, lovers or friends.
--An overall greater awareness of the Lord's desire to be close to us and to be a part of every moment of our lives--every activity, every thought, every decision.
63. Mama and I understand that you're each progressing in loving the Lord intimately according to your own faith and desire. But for those who are willing and open to the challenge, we'd like to set as our fifth goal to spend more time with the Lord in the bed of love--loving Him intimately, passionately, completely; becoming one with Him; saying love words to Him; receiving His seeds; and filling His need for love, intimacy and heart-to-heart fellowship with us, His Bride.
64. I will include for you here a few comments that were recently sent to us by some of the CROs. I hope these will encourage those of you who have already established a regular habit of loving the Lord intimately, by saying the love words either privately or during your times of sexual fellowship with others, or both, to continue to set aside that special time with the Lord. And for those of you who for whatever reason have been timid or reluctant to embrace the "Loving Jesus" revelation fully, we pray that you will eventually feel motivated to step forth by faith, through seeing the good fruit it has borne in others' lives. One CRO commented:
65. "In our visitation, we've seen that the Homes that are doing well in general are those that use the gift of prophecy fairly regularly, and who believe and practice the 'Loving Jesus' revelation to the best of their ability and level of faith. Those are the Homes that have a vision and good fruit, are fairly stable financially, whose people are happy, and where they're striving for more fruit and new projects, etc.
66. "I'm personally trying to encourage others by sharing my testimony of how much the 'Loving Jesus' revelation has helped me. I'm doing this by trying to be more intimate with the Lord in my public prayers and by having 'Loving Jesus' inspirations--times of praising, singing, and saying love words and words of gratitude to the Lord. I'm not claiming to have attained; I'm just sharing what I do.
67. "I've seen the good fruits in those that practice the 'Loving Jesus' revelation, so I can't help but be sold out on it. I'm a 'satisfied customer,' and the more I hear about it, the more I want to do it. It's been my salvation. When I read the promises the Lord gave in relation to this revelation, I claim them; and though many times I don't really 'feel' it so much, I still see the fruits.
68. "I can't analyze it; I'm just sold on it! In my life He's greatly blessed every step of faith I've taken toward wanting to please Him by loving Him more intimately. And in my case, as a shepherd, I feel He's expecting me to do it publicly, albeit prayerfully, with wisdom and within the guidelines put forth in the Word, so as to encourage others and hopefully not offend anyone." (For more details and guidelines on how to love the Lord intimately as a group, please see "Loving Jesus Jewels," ML #3045:57-80, GN 674. Those paragraphs also include examples of love words you can use during times of united praise. Please also see "Loving Jesus--Part 7," ML #3033:64-66, GN 665, which will tell you the difference between the love words you would say to Jesus in private and those you would say publicly, when either children or outsiders are present.)
Another CRO commented:
69. "When traveling, in every Home we visit we have a 'Loving Jesus' night in which we turn down the lights, create a sort of cozy, romantic atmosphere, and sing love songs to the Lord. Sometimes we serve wine. Many times the songs are from the 'Desiring You' and 'Open for Love' tapes. Then in between songs we praise the Lord by saying love words of gratitude for all that He's done. To end, we usually have a time in which He speaks in prophecy.
70. "Many people have commented how nice it is to have such times of praise and communion with the Lord. On such a night it's always conducive to sharing testimonies of the wonderful blessings that are being bestowed upon us because of our willingness to love Jesus in this special way.
71. "I've not only seen the fruits of the 'Loving Jesus' revelation in the personal lives of those who have embraced it--myself included--but also in the Homes that as a whole are learning to love Jesus in this special way. Also I've seen the fruit in our overall area, and I can truly say that I can't remember a time in our history when we've been more blessed."
72. (Peter:) Of course, loving the Lord intimately in this way--becoming one with Him and receiving His seeds by saying love words to Him, either privately or with a partner--is not a requirement. Mama and I and the Lord Himself do not demand or require it of you. But as we expressed in the original "Loving Jesus" series, the Lord has promised wonderful benefits and blessings in the lives of those who choose to believe and practice this new intimate way of loving Him. It stands to reason that conversely, if you choose not to love Him in this new way, then you will forfeit some of these promised blessings.
73. The choice is yours, of course. But please try to be open-minded and realize that this new way of loving the Lord is one of the new weapons. We encourage you to please do your best to accept, receive, and practice the "Loving Jesus" revelation. Even if it still goes contrary to your natural way of thinking or looking at things, we hope you'll step out by faith and try it. If you've already tried it, we encourage you to continue to practice it as much as possible. We believe that as you do, you'll be rewarded with more freedom of the Spirit; a deeper, more mature, more intimate relationship with the Lord; and many other blessings that will be crucial to your preparation for the days ahead.
74. When working on this GN, Mama and I wondered how much we needed to ask you to progress, dear Family, in the area of loving the Lord intimately, because according to the Family survey that was published in "Victory Review '97," a high percentage of people in the Family practice the Loving Jesus revelation to some degree. When we asked the Lord about this, He explained the following:
75. (Jesus speaking:) People truly are loving Me and praising Me and saying mild love words, howbeit very infrequently in some cases, and they certainly are not going as far as I would desire. For I would love to ravish them all in My bed of love and fill them with My seeds daily, to give them strength and renewed power, wisdom, vision, inspiration and encouragement.
76. Many have barely stuck their big toe in the water when there are oceans to swim in--oceans of love, oceans of power, strength and goodness that they can receive from Me and My seeds. Although many are practicing this revelation, and more and more are stepping out and saying mild love words and getting their feet wet, I want them to dive in.--To revel in My love; to be covered and overflowing with My seeds and My love, that they may pass on My Spirit to others and have the strength to care for My many sheep. I want them to feel loved, to have peace and contentment and total satisfaction, by spending time with Me in My bed of love. (End of message from Jesus.)
Goal Number 6
77.The two greatest commandments are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (See Mark 12:30,31.) This we know. As we seek to bring to pass the first five goals proposed for 1998, we will be doing our best, by faith, to love the Lord and to put Him first in our lives. But He has also commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. He said, "By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another" (Jn.13:35).
78. Love is the lifeblood of the Family. Love is the foundation, the cornerstone. Love is what the Family should be known for. Our love for one another should be like a soft, warm, cozy blanket that wraps gently around each one of us, in which we find comfort and security, peace and understanding.
79.Unfortunately, and I'm sorry to have to say this, one of the areas that the Family generally has fallen sadly short in is that simple, unconditional, brotherly love that "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things," the type that "never fails" and that "puts away any childish things" that divide you from others (1Cor.13). I'm talking about the kind of love that understands, forgives, and reaches out a helping hand to love without partiality. The kind of love that loves the unlovely, looks past one another's faults and shortcomings, sees the Lord in others, and sees each individual as someone who's given their heart and life to Jesus and the Family, someone who deserves to be accepted, nurtured, cared for, and loved.
80. As the Lord has told us before, we can be Jesus for one another. (See ML #3032:76-95, GN 664.) We can be the manifestation of His love. The concern, sympathy, affection, patience, faith, understanding and love that we show for another may be the very thing that will give that person the faith, courage and strength to keep going, to fight on, and to win the victory.
81. Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me" (Mat.25:40). So Mama and I ask each of you--have you been Jesus for your brethren? Have you treated the least of these as you would treat Jesus? Have you been the example of the Lord's love that He wants you to be?
82. Later on in this Letter I'll talk more in detail about some specific ways that we as a Family can improve in the way we love and care for one another. But for now, how about if we set as a general overall goal to love one another more--to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, to be Jesus for our brethren, to let the Lord's love shine through us more, and be manifested in more forgiveness, understanding, communication, sharing, support, sympathy, affection, and practical, loving, caring action!
83. Let's give of our time, be a listening ear, and open our hearts, our beds and our lives to others. Let's be swift to forgive and forget. Let's do our best to share our worldly possessions, love others' children as if they were our own, and be our brother's keeper. Let's not hold back the simple affection that so wonderfully communicates the Lord's love. Let's try with all our hearts to set a good example, be a strong shoulder to lean on or cry on, and be a sample of the Lord's unconditional love. Let's not jump to conclusions or judge unfairly, but instead give the benefit of the doubt to those who are struggling. Let's bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the Law of Love!
84. We, the Family, beginning way back in the early days, used to be known for our love. In fact, many people joined the Family simply because of love. For the first time in their lives they felt real, tangible, forgiving, unconditional love. Can this still be said of you and your Home? Are you known for your love? If not, then for the future of the Family and your Home and your own personal service for the Lord, Mama and I ask you to please open your heart and see the need to learn to love again, to be Jesus for others. Let this be one of your personal goals for 1998.
Goal Number 7
85.As you can see from the stats in "Victory Review '97," overall you have done very, very well in witnessing. It's tremendously satisfying--thrilling, in fact--to see the many doors the Lord has opened and how you've walked through those doors prayerfully, lovingly, and at great personal sacrifice. I know it's not the big, flamboyant, spectacular open doors that are so difficult to walk through; that's not where your obedience to the great commission is tested. But it's in the tests and trials you face in that everyday, sometimes monotonous need to go out to distribute literature and tools, and do follow-up.
86.Thank the Lord, I believe most of you have the opportunity to participate in exciting shows and presentations and witness to top people sometimes, or people who are very receptive and appreciative. I'm sure these experiences give you a big boost of inspiration and help you to feel and see that it's worth it all.
87. But the Lord gives you a special reward, and He looks on you with the greatest admiration when you're willing to go out day after day, even sometimes when you don't feel like it. I know you all have those days when you don't feel well, you're tired, you're frustrated, you're a little bored or uninspired, and yet you still muster up the courage and strength, sometimes just out of sheer obedience to the Lord and the Word, or out of a need to raise funds, and you go out witnessing.
88.Sometimes you have good days, and sometimes you have days where everything seems to go wrong, everything's a struggle, and it's very discouraging. I understand how that day-to-day fight to witness, to get out the tools and raise funds, is a very big test. But I also know that the Lord is so proud of you, and He has you, His missionaries, those who go forth with a message, on the top of His list. Though it may seem to you that sometimes you're forgotten or unappreciated, and your ministry at times might seem quite uneventful or unexciting, the Lord will give you special commendation for your faithfulness, your willingness to stick and to go out day after day, especially on those days when you don't feel like it.
89. From what Mama and I can tell, from all we read and hear, some of you have been especially faithful in your ministry of witnessing, outreach, and follow-up. You're fervent in your love for lost souls. You find great satisfaction in leading people to the Lord, following up on them, and seeing them grow stronger in their relationship with Him. Some of you do very well at cultivating friends, contacts and supporters.
90. But, sad to say, others of you have grown quite dry in the spirit, and your witnessing has almost become a job or a routine, or simply a way to bring in needed finances. You've lost that motivation, that desire to win souls, that love for the lost that motivates you and compels you and drives you to speak His Words of truth and salvation. If you feel that way, I'm sorry. I know it can be a lot of hard work raising support every month. It must be quite a burden for you when you lose your motivation and inspiration, and it must make your daily witnessing activities rather laborious, or even boring.
91. As you know, Mama and I have had the blessing of doing some witnessing this last year, and it's been such a pleasure. I've been so impressed by Mama's sample. When she has had the opportunity to travel, which has not been that often, of course, she witnesses--giving tracts, giving words of love, trying whenever possible to lift up the Lord, glorify Him, and give His message. She's as wholehearted in her witnessing as she is in everything else she does. What's especially interesting is that she's very sensitive to see the Lord's hand in circumstances, to recognize when He moves in a certain direction because He wants us to reach someone, to give them the message, to be a testimony and a witness.
92. Mama's sample has instilled in me--or I should say, caused to be reborn in me--a greater sensitivity and awareness of how the Lord works and brings people across my path because He wants me to be a witness, He wants me to give those people His message. As a result, I've found myself trying to be more faithful when traveling to pass out tracts and to be a testimony of His love, even in little ways, whenever possible. I believe I look at the individuals I meet more through the Lord's eyes, trying to see or be mindful of their needs, their heartaches, their emptiness, and I find that's a great motivation for me to witness, to be more instant in season and out of season.
93. I'm thankful that even though much of my time is spent in a selah WS unit, I also have the opportunity to travel regularly, which puts me in contact with quite a few outsiders. As a result, I've been able to set as a personal goal to be more faithful as a witness by giving those I come in contact with some kind of message, and I've found real joy in being the Lord's messenger boy. Of course, I don't always have the opportunity--in fact, rarely--to give people a deep personal witness. Because unlike many of you, I don't spend much time out for the sole purpose of witnessing. But even to give out tracts has become a source of satisfaction to me. I've tried to learn from Mama's example, and I pray that I'll be a faithful witness this year, and that the Lord will use me as He sees fit to deliver His message and to win to Him as many as possible of those who come across my path.
94. When you look at each person you meet as an individual, as someone who has needs, and you realize that the Lord took special care in engineering the situation and circumstances so that you might meet that person, then it makes your task of witnessing much more interesting, and each person is of greater significance to you. As a result, it spurs you to action; it encourages you to say those few words of witness, or offer the tract, or show the Lord's love, sympathy and understanding in some way.
95. Mama and I have discussed it, and though we as a Family overall have done very well in our witnessing,we feel that we can be even more fruitful if each of us were to feel more of a personal commitment and responsibility to faithfully and consistently witness to those who come across our path.
96. So we would like to propose as goal number seven to preach the Word, to be instant in season and out of season, to be a constant witness of the Lord's love at every opportunity. Lord help us to see each person who comes across our path as someone special to the Lord, and to recognize that He allowed us to meet that person, to talk with them, in order to give us the opportunity to be a witness--to deliver our soul, to be an example of Him, and to give that person the opportunity to hear His Words of love and salvation.
97. I believe with all my heart that if you do what you can to take up that challenge in your life, that your daily activities, especially your witnessing activities, will take on more meaning, and hence you'll be a better example to your children, your friends and contacts, your new disciples, and the people you follow up on. They'll feel your greater sincerity and see in you a driving motivation to be a missionary, someone who goes out to seek and to save the lost.
98. This is our reason for living! This is why each of us joined the Family! Or for you young people, this is why you remain in the Family--because you believe you are called and chosen by the Lord to witness, win souls, and give forth His message.
99. As I said, we as a Family have done very well overall, but we believe that in the year to come we can do even better, and especially find greater personal satisfaction in our witnessing if we each do what we can, day by day, to be faithful to give the Lord's love and Word to those we come in contact with. Regardless of our limitations or how our circumstances might seem to dictate otherwise, if we each determine in our hearts that we're going to be like Tommy, one who faithfully gives the message to those who pass under our window, we will feel the Lord's blessing in our lives and see our needs supplied much more abundantly.
Goal Number 8
100. We just sent you two GNs on the subject of our young people--"The Silver Lining," Parts 1 and 2 (GNs 762 and 763). With the publishing of this and other Word, you are no doubt becoming more aware of the very fierce spiritual battle now being waged for the lives and service of our young people. On that subject, I want to quote here an excerpt of the message from the angel that was included in the Letter "How to Keep our Teens" (GN 760):
101."This battle for your young ones is one of the greatest battles going on in the universe at this time. Yes, the Evil One always seeks for a way to get in, to hinder the work of God, and to enter the hearts and minds of men. But this is a concerted effort, an all-out attack, a militant war that he's waging in this day, trying to defeat the young of the children of David. He knows of the promise of their future. He knows the mighty weapon they will be in the hand of our God, and so he fights to defeat them now, when they are weak, before they can see the promises fulfilled.
102."So fight, loved ones, fight! Give all to this battle, for it is with one battle at a time that we win the war. This is now the greatest battle and the one which needs your prayers the most. This is the Enemy's battering ram with which he is trying to take out the gates of your city and bring great defeat. He will not win, for as soon as the Heavenly reinforcements are released, he will meet with sure defeat.
103."But you must pray! You must pray and pray and pray again, so that the King can release the power needed to win this battle. Pray! His power is released when you pray, and it's on hold when you do not pray. So please pray! All Heaven is waiting, the troops are assembled, and the hour is now. Pray, that they may march forward! (End of message from angel, ML #3154:55-57.)
104.(Peter:) When young people become adults, the choice of what they do with their life is up to them. They're the ones who decide whether they'll serve the Lord, and if so, how effectively--if they'll serve Him one hundred percent, with their whole hearts, or if they'll stay in the outer fringes of the Family and not really dive in or surrender their all or yield completely to the Lord.
105. But there's a lot that goes into preparing each young person for that time of decision. Even though each young person is responsible for their own decisions, and they choose whether they will serve the Lord or not, we adults are responsible, too, to do our part to help them to serve the Lord and to make it as easy as possible for them.
106. Each of us is responsible to give the young people what we can, and to be a good sample of love, dedication and loyalty to the Lord. Each of us is responsible to be obedient to the New Wine. Each of us is responsible to show how it's done, to lead the way through our personal example in such things as witnessing, caring for others, doing our part to carry the load in our Home, seeking the Lord desperately, hearing from Him in prophecy, and praying with all our hearts for those in need.
107. The Lord spoke a great deal last year about the need to help our young people by giving them responsibility and decision-making authority, and by training them to be used in a capacity that really challenges them, where they feel needed and like they're doing something that really counts. So let's make it one of our personal goals for the upcoming year to be the kind of sample the Lord wants us to be to the young people, and also to pray for our children, JETTs, teens and young adults. Let's pour into them and do everything we possibly can to train them and give them the opportunity to be used and challenged and fulfilled in their service for the Lord.
108. Let's answer the Lord's call to do battle with the Enemy and keep our young people serving the Lord! Let's fight for them, support them and love them! Let's give special care, understanding, desperate prayer, Godly counsel, and unconditional love to those who are weak and wavering, or doubting and fainting in their minds. Each young person is called and chosen, so let's do all we can to help them to choose to serve the Lord in the Family. Each one is needed; we don't have one to spare. So let's join together to fight and love and sacrifice and give it all we've got to keep our young people!
109. And for you young people who are making major decisions about your life and future, we challenge you to make it a personal goal for 1998 to be a sold-out disciple for Jesus! You too must recognize that the Enemy is going to do all he can to fight you, in hopes of discouraging, distracting or dissuading you in some way. He would be overjoyed to see you leave the Family altogether.
110. We older Family members and all our Heavenly forces will do all we can to help you fight the Enemy's attacks. We'll do our best to be your prayer warriors and a strong support and anchor for you. By God's grace and help, we'll give you the time, counsel, help and love you need. But you have to do your part too. You have to fight! You have to resist the Enemy's temptations and negative thoughts. You have to work hard to grow strong in faith and the Word, so you'll have the guts and determination to stick with your calling and not let go of your crown.
111. When you become an adult, the Lord puts the responsibility of your decisions in your hands, so please take this responsibility very seriously. Be sober and vigilant, realizing that the Enemy of your soul seeks to do you harm!
112.Mama and I challenge you young people to make it a personal goal for 1998 to become even stronger, more dedicated soldiers for the Lord. To do this, we beseech you to minimize ungodly influences in your life and raise a standard against the Enemy's inroads through such things as doubts, System music, ungodly movies, non-Word-based attitudes toward sex and relationships, time-wasters that keep you from reading and studying the Word, etc. I'm sorry that we keep harping on these things. I'm sure you get tired of hearing about them, but the truth is that if these things weren't ongoing serious problems, we wouldn't keep bringing them up. These are deadly attacks of the Enemy, and it's Mama's and my responsibility to expose these problems and to try to help you see their dangers and consequences. Of course, we of the older generation also need to take heed to these things. Let's help each other keep the standard.
Goal Number 9
113. One of our greatest testimonies to outsiders is our unity. They recognize that it's a miracle that we can live together in harmony. We're from different walks of life, different nationalities, different backgrounds; we're even two generations living together under the same roof, and in some cases three generations. And yet comparatively speaking, things go remarkably well, flow smoothly, and we're happy together.
114. Many families in the System, just the husband and wife with their children, have a hard time communicating on the shallowest level. Barely getting along and managing the day-to-day affairs of their lives as a small family unit is a near impossibility for many. So when they see us living together, working together and loving together, they know it's something very special. It helps them to believe that God does exist, that His love is real today, and it makes them want to have that love as well. "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35).
115. But I'm sorry to say that in recent years the Enemy has greatly attacked our unity. We're not as united as we should be, and this is a very serious breach of our spiritual security, as well as a strong hindrance to our fruitfulness and even our personal happiness. Being unified is extremely important, because it brings down the Spirit of the Lord and His blessings. To be in unity means we walk hand in hand, we're of the same mind, we fight together, pray together, reach for the same goals, have the same standards and convictions.
116. To be truly unified is like being arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder, standing in a circle around the same Center. And that Center is Jesus and the Word and our common goals of reaching the world for Him, preparing for the Endtime, caring for each other, and helping each other to be the strongest soldier we each can possibly be.
117. From the beginning of the Family, Dad and the Lord laid down key foundation principles and beliefs that set the Family apart, and unfortunately, in many Homes and your personal lives you have strayed from these foundation principles. This has caused a great weakening of the Family overall, and our unity in particular.
118. Mama and I would like to set as goal number nine to create stronger unity. But in order to achieve that goal, we'll have to work on overcoming what we call roadblocks to unity. It's not enough to just realize and accept the need for greater unity. We must also recognize what's standing in the way of our being more united; what's chipping away at our unity, our foundation of love; what shortcomings, disobedience or deviance from the Word are causing the Lord to lift the unity of the Spirit, and with it, some of the blessings that He would want to give us.
Roadblocks to Unity
119. It's as if we're traveling down the road of life, the path that the Lord wants us to walk down together as a tightly knit team, closely bonded in fellowship and sacrifice and unselfish motivation, and yet along this road there are different roadblocks, hurdles that the Enemy has put in place--or rather that we have allowed the Enemy to erect through our selfishness and lack of love, or our bitterness, jealousy and indifference.
120. Ever so slowly the Enemy has been allowed to build these various roadblocks, adding a board here, a board there, a nail here, a screw there, until gradually the roadblocks were firmly in place. And now they very effectively and drastically impede our being able to travel down this road of unity together. It's not enough to just try to move them aside a little, or to crawl under them or over them, or to ignore them. If we sincerely want to get where the Lord wants us to be, and we want to get there on time, without having a lot of stragglers, without leaving a lot of people behind, we need to go on the attack to destroy these various roadblocks and move them completely out of the way.
121. As I talk further in this Letter about what we have termed the roadblocks to unity, you'll see that some of these problems are long-standing. They'll not come as a surprise to you, for they're problems that we've grappled with for some time, and in some cases they're growing steadily worse, becoming more serious as time passes.
122. Lord willing, Mama and I hope to address these roadblocks to unity in detail in GNs throughout the year to come. The Lord has already given, or we are in the process of receiving from Him, some much-needed answers and counsel regarding these problems. We will try, by God's grace, to get this Word to you as quickly as possible. But in the meantime, I'll address here very briefly these various roadblocks to unity, and I ask that you please set your hearts and minds strongly in the direction of overcoming these roadblocks--rooting them out, tearing them down, getting rid of them completely.
123. This needs to be one of our united goals for the year of 1998 if we hope to be the strong soldiers and revolutionary Endtime army that the Lord wants us to be. We can't hope to be blessed with unity and overcome our weak areas by just going on business as usual. We have to wake up to the seriousness of the situation--that we're in danger of solidifying, becoming cold and lifeless, and even dying on the vine, unless we seriously consider, recognize, and go on the attack against these problems, these inroads of the Enemy which are weakening the foundation of the Family. On this subject the Lord said the following:
124.(Jesus speaking:) Unity is one of the prime requisites for pulling down My blessings. If the Family is lacking unity, it's because they are disobedient in one or several areas. For to disregard or to pull away from the foundation principles of the children of David is disobedience, and this affects My being able to pour down My blessings as abundantly and richly as I would like to. One of the blessings that I long to give to My children is unity, because unity is one of the greatest testimonies to outsiders. It's also a source of happiness and contentment for My children.
125. Where unity is lacking there is heaviness of spirit, contention, unhappiness, and the freedom of My Spirit is not allowed to flow as I would wish or as My children desire. So many of the blessings of the Spirit, the things that really make the lives of My children happier and more fulfilled, depend upon obedience, unity and faith.
126. At this point in time there are many roadblocks to unity, for many have become selfish, self-centered and distant regarding the pillar beliefs or the foundation of the Word--the "old landmarks." (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)
127. (Peter:) The rest of this message from the Lord, which I'll include in the pages that follow in this GN, addresses these roadblocks very directly. He's quite hard-hitting in some points. Please remember that there will be pubs on these subjects in the future, so your questions will be answered more fully at that time. But for now, the Lord is giving a short summary of the problems and the negative effects that are brought about by them.
128. You might wonder how the Lord and Dad could speak so positively about the condition of the Family earlier in this GNand in "Victory Review '97" while at the same time, in the following message, point out so many serious problems and their possible consequences if we don't forsake these sins and repair the damage done. What you need to remember is that Mama and I asked the Lord to speak specifically on the problems; to tell us what the roadblocks to unity are, and to explain how He sees the situation. Since we asked for that information, that's what He gave. Granted, when listening to one serious problem after another, it can sound quite daunting and even quite discouraging. But please understand that this is just one side of the "elephant."
129. The very good news that you read earlier in "Victory Review '97" still stands. There's much progress and many wonderful victories to rejoice about. However, we can't just dwell on the good and ignore the problems. Mama and I can't do that, and we're pretty sure you don't want to do that either. If we're to continue to have great years of progress and victories, we need to regularly be evaluating how we can do things better and where we're slipping.
130. Mama and I are not implying that any of you are necessarily guilty of all the problems discussed below. As I said, the following message is quite strong and the Lord often talks directly to you; so if you're sensitive, you might feel that this message is a little accusatory. Please try to resist feeling that way. No one is accusing you. We're simply passing on the Lord's Words as He has instructed us to do. We ask that you please don't take things too hard or get condemned by the Enemy. Just learn as you go, as we all are. Please be open to the Lord's checks and conviction, and if the shoe fits, wear it. But if not, then you can still benefit from the following explanations and warnings.
Goal Number 10
131. Okay, to begin with, the Lord addresses specifically the lack of living the "One Wife" vision and Acts 2:44 and 45. In the message below He enumerates the advantages of communal living and warns about a spirit of selfishness that hinders our living as His disciples did. Of course, we also recognize that with the implementation of the Love Charter the Lord has allowed greater diversity in the Family, which includes greater choice about who you live with and how large or small your Home is. This diversity has been a blessing and benefit to many, but a hardship to others. It has solved some problems and created others, as it's been a strengthening for some people or Homes but in other cases it's caused a weakening.
132. It appears that one of the ways the Family has been weakened is through the large number of single-family Homes (one couple and their children). Of course, we realize that there are situations where it's not possible for you to live with others, and where the Lord wants you to live in single-family Homes, and this is why your CROs have been authorized to grant exemptions to the minimum Home size requirement when they feel it is expedient or necessary. In some situations it's necessary, such as in sensitive pioneer fields like China. Also, sometimes the circumstances you find yourself in affect your choice, through no fault of your own. For example, some families haven't found others to live with simply due to the large size of their family. There are other situations where families have chosen to live alone so they can tune in to their children; or to avoid the problems of their children negatively affecting the kids of other families, or the children of other families negatively affecting their own kids. Or maybe you haven't been able to find others to work with you because of your location or personal situation. There are many reasons why the Lord might lead some of you to live in single-family Homes.
133. But there are other situations where people have chosen to live in single-family Homes mostly out of selfishness or laziness, or because in spirit they're drifting away from the basic foundation principles of the Family. These are the ones the Lord is addressing in this message.
134. (Jesus speaking:) Instead of living communally and sacrificing to be more efficient and more economical and a testimony of the principle of "all that believed were together and had all things common," a growing number have now chosen to live on their own. They feel it's easier, simpler, less complicated, and in their eyes it certainly requires less sacrifice and less yielding. But what these have forgotten is that living together and having all things in common and truly sharing not only your material possessions, but your time and talent and skills and love, is one of the most important testimonies setting the Family apart from other churches.
135. The lack of living Acts 2:44 and 45 is obviously a very big hindrance to unity. It's taking the easy way out and not being willing to make the sacrifices necessary to keep yielding and growing in love and preferring your brethren. Therefore, not only does it hinder the flow of My Spirit and the giving of My blessings and provision and protection, but it also hinders the personal growth of those who choose to remove themselves from the body and to live separately, on their own.
136. It also takes away many opportunities that the children would have to grow and progress by being around Family children of their own age that they can interact with, witness with, perform with, and learn with. It also takes the children away from their other aunts and uncles who could pour into them and be a good example to them. A lack of desire to live Acts 2:44 and 45 strikes at the very foundation of the "One Wife" vision. For how can people live the "One Wife" vision if they don't even live under the same roof?
137. Not being willing to live together communally also takes away one of the avenues of great inspiration for My children. For when you live together in harmony, unity and love, you're able to partake of one of the greatest blessings and riches of the Family, which is available to so few Christians today. Most Christians live on their own and have so little fellowship with others who believe the same. They have so little time for heart-sharing, communication and united prayer; so little time for working together, ministering and witnessing together.
138. But those in the Family who live communally can avail themselves of these things every day, every night. And when there is great unity and love, mutual respect and support, then this becomes a source of great strength. For as I have said, "One can chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight!" And how much more when there are many of one mind and heart and spirit, united together, fighting for the same goals, bearing one another's burdens, rejoicing together at the victories, and seeking Me together for the battles.
139. Lack of living communally and sharing all things may look to some to be just a small deviance from My plan, part of their "personal choice" in this new day--something that doesn't make much difference and isn't really that important. But they don't understand the great blessings that they're sacrificing and the powerful testimony that they're losing in not being willing to make the sacrifices necessary to live together in love and have all things in common, as My early disciples did, and as the children of David have from the beginning and through the years. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)
140.(Peter:) The choice you make regarding whether or not to live with others is a matter of the heart and spirit. These decisions cannot be judged simply according to a set of rigid requirements or rules, because what is very much the Lord's perfect will for some might be a drifting away in spirit for others. There are many reasons why some Family members choose to live in single-family Homes, some of which are necessary and inevitable.
141.This question of living the "One Wife" vision and Acts 2:44 and 45 is broader than just whether you live in a single-family Home or not. Unfortunately, you can be living together with others and still be operating independently--keeping your finances separate, setting different standards for your children, not sharing the load in educating and caring for your children, and not reading the Word, praying or hearing from the Lord together. Even though you live communally, you might have a hard time saying you have many things in common, much less "all things" (Acts 2:44-45).
142. There are numerous examples of cases where there could be much more sharing of goods, finances, or personnel, whether you live together in the same Home or not, but pure selfishness stands in the way. It's terribly sad to see that there are many double standards now within the Family. For example, there are Homes in the same area, especially in poorer fields, where some have plenty due to home support or fundraising in home fields, while other Homes nearby, often where there are more nationals, are in great need.
143.In Homes where nationals and foreigners live together, what happens in some cases is that the foreigners leave the field periodically to raise funds, but when they return to their Home, instead of making those funds available to the Home teamwork to be used by all as Home finances,those who raised the funds hold on to them and then dole them out little by little, according to their own preferences or judgment. To make matters even worse, the foreigners who leave the field to raise funds also return with all the things they and their children need but with little or nothing for those who stayed behind, which makes for a very serious double standard when it comes to possessions as well. Needless to say, this causes a lot of resentment and division, and is a very poor sample of love and having all things in common. Brethren, these things ought not so to be!
144.It's this selfishness, this watching out for yourself and your own, that the Lord is unhappy about. This is not only a terrible testimony to outsiders but it greatly disheartens and even stumbles some of the brethren. God help us!
145. Not only is communal living a powerful testimony to outsiders, but it also helps you to stay obedient to the Word and the Charter when you live together with others, as you can help and uphold one another. You can be your brother's keeper. Of course, it's naturally much easier to have the conviction to obey and not compromise when you're working closely with others, rather than off on your own where you don't have as much incentive to try to be a good sample, and you're not accountable to others.
146.Mama and I ask that you seek the Lord regarding your personal attitudesand see if you've strayed from the Family's foundation beliefs regarding having all things in common, and loving deeply and without partiality those of your greater marriage--those in your Home and the whole Family. Please check your heart and see where you stand in spirit.
147.Are you still striving to live the Letters, to give your brethren as much as possible of your time, talents, and material goods? Are you willing to share what you have with those who have need, so all will have enough? Are you loving others' children and doing all you can to help to train them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Are you following closely the principles of the "One Wife" vision and Acts 2:44 and 45 that the Family was founded on? Or have you cooled off in spirit and decided that the Family lifestyle and the sacrificial love it requires is just not for you anymore? Let's commit ourselves to a personal goal of more fully living Acts 2:44 and 45 and the "One Wife" vision.
Goal Number 11
148. Next the Lord talks about a subject that is quite sensitive for many. I personally can relate, as it's something I've battled quite extensively in the past. You might have guessed--it's jealousy. It's difficult to address such a big subject in just a few paragraphs, but in the message below the Lord definitely calls a spade a spade and exposes the evils of jealousy in no uncertain terms. But He also gives a precious promise of deliverance for the Family, which I pray will be a blessing and give hope to those of you who battle jealousy. There will be more on this subject in the near future, which I'm sure will be a lifesaver and huge encouragement to you!
149. (Jesus speaking:) Jealousy strikes at the foundation of unity. Jealousy is the enemy of unity. Jealousy is a great divider, for jealousy kills love, inhibits communication, and gives way to resentment and bitterness. Jealousy divides even those who love each other, and prevents those who could love each other more deeply and more sweetly from drawing close in My Spirit.
150. When jealousy is allowed to flourish, when a standard is not raised against jealousy, then it is the beginning of the end of unity, because jealousy is the enemy of love, the enemy of the Law of Love, the enemy of sharing. Jealousy is of the Devil! Satan loves jealousy; he's the creator of jealousy. He is jealousy! But I hate jealousy with a perfect hatred! I am the destroyer of jealousy, for I am love. Jealousy is the opposite of love.
151. The Family must be rid of this evil attack of the Enemy if you're to progress down the road of unity that I have set before you. Each person must take a stand against jealousy and must see it for what it is--an attack of the Destroyer, an attack of the enemy of love. Everyone is prone to jealousy; it's a natural weakness of man. But I am greater than jealousy, and I have the victory through acceptance, yieldedness, and deliverance.
152. I have poured forth many seeds, many jewels, many answers for those who battle jealousy. There will be a great deliverance for the children of David, and they will once again experience the total freedom of My Spirit, and the full blessings of love and unity that I long to give them. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)
153. (Peter:) If you are one of the many who battle jealousy regularly, you know how difficult and discouraging it can be. Oh, how it hurts to admit that you're jealous, and how painful it is to be faced with the truth of how contrary it is to the Lord's love and His giving spirit. Hearing the Lord explain that jealousy is the enemy of love, sharing, and the Law of Love can be quite devastating.
154. It reminds me of when I was having severe jealousy battles in the past and I read the quote that says, "Jealousy goes against the spirit of the Family." As I've told you before, that really shook me up and made me want to go on the attack. I pray that reading the above message has the same effect on you. And that rather than making you feel lost or condemned, instead you'll get fighting mad and determine in your heart that you're going to defeat the Enemy's attacks!
155. The Lord can do it! As He mentions above, He's already given many precious Words of instruction and encouragement for those who battle jealousy. This encouragement and instruction includes the Letters that have been printed on this subject in the past, such as "Jealousy" (ML #287), "Greater Victories" (ML #727), "Honesty in Threesomes and Overcoming Jealousy" (ML #2023), "Battles with Jealousy and Victory Through United Prayer" (Peter #15, DB3), "Jealousy and Yieldedness" (Peter #34, DB3), "Put Jesus First" (Peter #35, DB3), "Overcoming Jealousy" (Peter #79, GN 632), and "Peter's New Year's Lessons of Love, Part 2" (Peter #80, GN 634). There will also be more counsel that you will be reading in the near future and in the months to come, and I believe you will find the answers you desperately seek in all these Words. Praise the Lord!
156. To be delivered from the clutches of the Enemy's jealousy, you have to really want it and put your mind to it. He doesn't give up that ground easily, and it can be a very big battle. I ought to know! But we can work together and help each other be strong in our efforts to defeat the Devil and break his chains of jealousy that have us bound. We can be rid of this enemy of love! There is freedom from jealousy if we have faith, yield, accept, pray desperately, and fight!
157.One other point regarding jealousy: Usually the first things that come to mind when discussing jealousy are the negative feelings and emotions that come about as the result of love relationships and sexual sharing, or prospective love relationships and sexual sharing, between men and women. But there is another kind of jealousy which is also very detrimental, as it brings with it so much unhappiness, discontentment and discouragement--comparing.
158.Comparing is a very common problem. In fact, I would venture to say that almost everybody compares negatively from time to time. Unfortunately, some people have a very bad habit of comparing negatively almost constantly, and as a result they find it almost impossible to look on the bright side, to count their blessings, or to be thankful for what the Lord has given them.
159.On this subject, the Lord said: "Comparing is jealousy. Comparing, envy and jealousy are all one and the same. They're all from the Enemy, because with comparing comes so much discontentment, unhappiness and even bitterness. Once you start walking down the road of comparing it's a long, long journey. It's a long winding road, heading ever downward, because the more you compare, the more dissatisfied you become with the way I made you. Pretty soon you can hardly see anything positive or good regarding your gifts, looks, ministry or the situation that I have seen fit to place you in." (End of message from Jesus.)
160.People compare negatively with others about a very wide variety of things: personal appearance, intelligence, popularity, personality, sex appeal, ministries, friendships, the ability to sing or play the guitar, dancing ability, speaking ability, computer knowledge, faith to raise funds and provision, gifts of prophecy, agility or skill in sports, physical health and strength, experience in dating and sex, sexual performance, writing and communication skills, positions that seem to afford greater closeness or intimacy with leadership, situations regarding family life, others' greater freedom due to having no or few children, and the list goes on and on!
161.I'm sure most of you have compared negatively with others at some time, so you know what a bummer it is, but I think we ought to understand that comparing is another form of jealousy. Though it is manifested slightly differently and though it is brought about by different circumstances, the end result is still the same: It brings forth disunity and unhappiness. And if you indulge in it regularly, the bad habit just grows and grows, until pretty soon you have almost no control over your thoughts. Your first reactions to almost anything are negative, and you find yourself almost constantly comparing negatively and not being satisfied.
162.By God's grace, let's set a personal goal to be delivered from the grip of jealousy--all forms of it, including the damaging habit of comparing--and be set free to love fully, as the Lord wants us to!
Goal Number 12
163. Naturally, the mention of jealousy usually brings to mind the subject of sexual sharing within the Law of Love. This is a hot topic indeed! Though a lot was published in the past regarding the Scriptural basis for sharing love with each other, we have not addressed the subject in full in recent years.
164. We realize there are numerous questions or misunderstandings that have weakened the faith of many of you in living the sexual side of the Law of Love, so we're preparing a series of GNs with many very interesting and helpful messages from the Lord and Dad on the subject. This Word will undoubtedly help you to understand the Law of Love better, and will help strengthen this weak area of the Family. But since you probably won't be receiving those GNs for some months, the Lord gave a short, strong message to outline the problem of not living the sexual aspects of the Law of Love, and to help us all have more incentive to change.
165. (Jesus speaking:) One of the foundation principles that I've given to the children of David through their father is the Law of Love. This is a unique and precious treasure that few understand, and even fewer have ever tried to live. The message of the Law of Love is one of the things that has set the children of David apart from others who believe in Me, and even serve Me, preach the Gospel, hear from Me in prophecy, exercise the gift of healing, and believe in the nearness of the Endtime.
166. So very, very few Christians understand, believe, and are willing to accept to live My Law of Love fully. That's because people today, even many of My Own children, have made a god out of their own bodies. Many have set sex and marriage even above Me. They're self-righteous, thinking they know better, and they've withheld from Me these things which are precious to them. They've set these things apart; they've not allowed Me to touch them. They've not been willing to share them or set them on the altar of sacrifice.
167. Many of My Christian children in the world have given Me their hearts in part,their lives in part, their service in part, their testimony in part. But so very few have been willing to give Me everything--even their marriages, their bodies, and their sexual practices. They're so foolish, so weak and immature. Just like little children, they have so little faith, and so they keep these things to themselves.
168. But the children of David are strong in truth. Much has been given to them that has not been given to any others. But there is much confusion, many unanswered questions, much negative talking behind closed doors--doubts, murmurs, accusations against this beautiful Law of Love which I have given to the children of David.
169. Many of the younger generation do not understand, and they've made other commitments and what they consider "moral decisions" that are not based on My Word. They see what they consider the mistakes of the past and of the first generation, and they've determined in their hearts that they will not be guilty of the same; yet they're foolish in that they have thrown the baby out with the bath water.
170. They've become blinded to the beauty and the good of sharing with others under the Law of Lovebecause they've dwelt solely on the negative and listened to the lies of the Enemy. They've become confused and deceived. They need to be instructed with the pure water of My Word, and to be strengthened in the meat of My Word, that they might accept, believe, receive, and live the truth that has been entrusted into their care.
171. Many of those of the first generation have also become embittered due to past experiences,or they've become lazy and indifferent to living the Law of Love fully. They too need to be challenged, for it is through living the Law of Love fully that the living of the "One Wife" vision is possible. Without strong belief in the Law of Love and understanding of it, how can you believe and understand the "One Wife" vision, the truth of your greater marriage? Therefore much reassurance, instruction, encouragement, and a strong challenge needs to go out to both generations to once again kindle in their hearts and minds faith in the Law of Love and a desire to live the "One Wife" vision.
172. So much of what hinders the unity of the Family today is because of a lack of living the Law of Love and the "One Wife" vision fully. If there were greater love, concern, and faith in these areas, then there would also be greater care for the single mothers and their children, greater sexual freedom, less ostracizing of some, and fewer cliques. There would be a much greater willingness to love without partiality, to help each person to feel a part of the Family, the Home, the love, the unity, the oneness.
173. It's so very important that each of My children feels needed. This is such an important aspect of unity, because it is the source of much personal happiness in the lives of each of My children--the feeling that you belong, that you're needed, that someone cares, that your gifts or talents or contributions are worthwhile. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)
174.(Peter:) I realize, of course, that the above short message doesn't answer your concerns or questions regarding the Law of Love. The subject is enormous. But I hope you can take to heart the point the Lord is making, which is the importance of the Law of Love for the children of David, and our need to live it more fully. There are many Christians who love the Lord and who know Him and try to serve Him to the best of their ability, but we are amongst the very few who've been given the beautiful full truth of the Law of Love--thanks to Dad's yieldedness and obedience to pass on to us the message the Lord gave him.
175. It will take time to delve into this very meaty truth in detail and to answer your questions, explain the history of the Law of Love, unravel any misunderstandings, and put forth guidelines to help us all live this principle more fully. But I pray that reading the Lord's message above will instill in the hearts of you adults the desire to get back to the foundation principles of the Law of Love. And for you young people, I pray that this challenge will awaken in you the desire to be open to the truth of the Law of Love, and to give the Lord a chance to help you understand it and see the beauties of it. It would do us all good to set this as one of our personal goals for 1998.
Goal Number 13
176. You've probably noticed that recently there's a trend in the Family of becoming more worldly in many ways. By worldly, I mean closer to the world. It appears that some feel it's quite acceptable to not stay so far removed from the System; that it's possible to serve the Lord with one foot in the Family and the other in the System. I'd venture to say that such an attitude seeps in very slowly. Rarely does a person go from being completely dropped out in spirit to immediately being compromised and polluted with the ways and attitudes of the world.
177. When the Charter was first implemented, there was a problem with excess freedom, much of which bordered on worldliness. This was to be expected. It wasn't a surprise that there was such a backlash, as many of you were reacting to previous restrictions. Thank the Lord, many of you have now come back to a more happy medium in your freedoms, and you've put more emphasis on your responsibilities to the Lord and the Family as they're put forth in the Charter.
178. However, there is still a fairly large pull on the Family from the System. This is manifested in many different ways, such as: excess System influence from videos, System music, the Internet, or watching too much sports on TV, etc.; unfruitful ties and friendships with outsiders that are not based on witnessing or the Word; dead-end System jobs that afford no open doors for witnessing or ministering to others; and relationships with overbearing System relatives in which the Family members involved are compromising for gain or to be accepted.
179. It could be that the Lord allowed this time of fluidity regarding our relationship with the world as a test of each person's resolve, and also as part of "floating your faith." But the Lord makes it clear in the following message that there will be an inevitable division in the Family between those who seek to stay dropped out and revolutionary and those who continue to desire and compromise with the System.
180. As you read the following message, I ask you to check your heart and see which category you fall into. Regardless of where you've been up to this point, it's still possible for you to forsake all once again and get back to your First Love--the Lord and the Revolution for Jesus! Let's each make it a personal goal for 1998 to be one of His dropped-out Endtime soldiers!
181. (Jesus speaking:) In order to walk in unity you must be of one mind,your standards and obedience to the Word must be in sync, and you must be on the same wavelength when it comes to resisting the worldliness of the System and keeping yourselves pure and dropped out and separate from the Great Whore.
182. There cannot be great unity between those who are compromised and those who are true to the message. Those who have moved toward the System and partaken of her evils, and who have allowed their thoughts and actions to become polluted and compromised until there's hardly any difference between them and the children of the world, cannot be in unity with those who seek to stay dropped out, who want to be different, and who are willing to stand up for the truth and be counted.
183. I warn those who've moved closer and closer and closer to the ways of the world, those who have lost their pureness and innocence as they've become deceived, thinking that it won't hurt them because they can "take it"--that they are in danger of slipping away altogether. The flame of their faith burns dangerously low, and they must be pulled back to the pillar. They must make a stand to strengthen their convictions against the ways of the world and the sirens of the System. Those who partake of the evils of the Whore and drink in her delicacies with great enthusiasm, losing sight of the vision, the Word, the goal, cannot be in unity with those who continue to give their all to Me and who seek not to be encumbered with the ways of the world, the flesh, the System.
184. You cannot be equally yoked with unbelievers and those of the world and yet hope to stay in unity with the red-hot, dropped-out children of David. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)
Goal Number 14
185.(Peter:) When I was traveling in Russia and Western Europe last year, the Lord led me to speak to the brethren about bitterness. Possibly some of you have had the opportunity to see the video of that class. Lord willing, a similar class will be published in the GN very soon. Bitterness is a very serious problem in the Family today. In fact, the Lord says in the message below that bitterness is one of the biggest problems. Again, this is a big, complex, weighty subject which can hardly be touched on in just a few paragraphs, but the Lord very effectively points out the dangers of bitterness.
186. I pray that this warning will help you to start seriously and desperately seeking the Lord to see if you are bitter in any way. The Lord says that bitterness is hard to recognize, so please ask Him to open your eyes, and pray sincerely that you will see if you are in need of deliverance from bitterness.
187. (Jesus speaking:) Unity is born in love. Love is the foundation of unity, and where there has been a breakdown of love, there has been a breakdown of unity. Those of My Family who feel bitter, who hold grudges, who've been hurt and who hold on to those hurts, who talk negatively about others behind their backs, have not the love that they should have. For all these feelings of bitterness, resentment, criticalness, and self-righteousness stand in the way of love, and thereby destroy unity.
188. If there is to be the unity that I desire, then My children must rid themselves of these sins of the spirit--bitterness being one of the greatest and most dangerous, which is born out of resentment, criticalness, self-righteousness, and an unwillingness to forgive.
189.How can people be in unity when they're bitter? How can people be in unity when they lack love for each other? So My children must desperately call out to Me to be freed, to be delivered from the chains of the Enemy that would seek to bind them through bitterness; for such bitterness chokes the flow of My love toward one another.
190. Bitterness is one of the biggest problems in the Family today. Bitterness is a serious problem, because when a person becomes bitter, it cuts that one off from the freedom of the Spirit and from being able to receive the deep things of My Word. It causes their heart to become hard, and the ground that I would want to plant My seeds in becomes dry, hard, and impenetrable. The longer a person is allowed to continue on in their bitterness, the more chance there is of that person becoming hardened and cold and alienated from the life of God.
191. Many of those who are bitter can't even see the bitterness in their life. They can't see the danger of it or the damage that it's doing to their relationship with Me and others. It's a serious problem that needs to be exposed. It's one of the strongest and most widespread roadblocks to unity, because it's so diverse; people can be affected or afflicted with bitterness through so many avenues and because of so many different circumstances or reasons.
192.Bitterness is akin to hatred, division and jealousy, and if left to run its course, it can bring about the destruction of My children, their ministries, and their work for Me. Bitterness is a powerful tool of the Enemy, for it is often subtle. Those who suffer the sin of bitterness feel justified, and therefore often do not go on the attack to rid themselves of it. They expect the other person to make the first move. They feel they have been wronged and therefore they deserve an apology; they deserve for the other person to humble themselves first and even to come groveling to seek forgiveness. As long as a bitter person holds on to these ideas and desires, unity is impossible.
193. The bitterness of the Enemy must be exposed, and the dangers of this sin must again be clearly highlighted, so that when My children are under the fire of the conviction of My Spirit, they will move to rid themselves of this tool of the Enemy, this negative emotion, this sin that is weakening the children of David so. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)
194.(Peter:) There's a sober warning in the above words that if you continue on in bitterness, you risk choking out the freedom of the Spirit in your life and not being able to receive the deep things of the Word. Those dangers are serious, because if you're not free and you can't receive the deep things of the Word, how can you receive the New Wine, the radical revelations the Lord gives?
195. Bitterness is like that story of the famous "matador" plant which begins slowly and almost unnoticed, with its tiny tendrils gently wrapping around its host tree. But if given time, it grows and grows until it envelops the whole tree and squeezes the very life out of it! (See ML #2672:4, Lifelines 19.) Bitterness can do the same to you, unless you make a personal commitment, a goal for 1998, to rid yourself of any and all bitterness!
Goal Number 15
196.Earlier I commented on the need to have more love for each other--goal number six. This next portion of prophecy goes into a little more detail about how to have greater love. It addresses the problem of selfishness. We are all selfish to some degree. It seems to be a natural tendency of man. But in recent years, possibly due to having more independence, as well as misunderstanding or misapplying the Charter, selfishness seems to be coming up more and more in the Family. It's something we all have to fight against, and therefore it warrants being a goal for 1998--to be more unselfish, more giving.
197.(Jesus speaking:) Many of the problems with lack of unity are rooted in selfishness. Many of the roadblocks to unity are rooted in selfishness--whether it be an unwillingness to live together with others communally, or a lack of care for the single mothers, or a lack of sexual sharing and caring for those in need.
198. To live together in unity, to love others, to live the "One Wife" vision, to care for the single mothers, their children, and your peers, requires great, great unselfish love. It's a sacrifice. It's giving. Oftentimes it hurts. It's death to self. But this is the very heart and soul of a missionary. For if you're not willing to love and care for and give of yourself for your own brethren, those who are by your side who love Me, those who have chosen to serve Me and who are in need, then how can you say you love the lost? In fact, if you cannot love your brethren in need whom you have seen, how can you love Me whom you have not seen? Or how can you love those who you seek to save and minister to, those who are full of so many more weaknesses, problems, sins, and evil ways?
199.Loving your brethren and caring for those in need is an exercise in humility and love. It's the way that I have provided to keep your hearts soft, to keep you malleable, moldable, and fresh in the spirit. If you're pouring out day by day, caring for those in need in your own Home, your own brethren, then you'll be much more willing and ready to care for those in need who are lost--the unsaved, the unlovely, the ungodly children of the world.
200.Though your brethren have many weaknesses or NWOs that bother you, get on your nerves, or test your patience, they love Me and have given themselves to Me. Many have served many long, difficult years as faithful missionaries, faithful voices for the truth, and it is the least you can do to love and care for and do all you can to understand and sympathize with and meet the needs of these who are heroes and heroines in My eyes.
201.But little by little, through selfishness, you've hardened your heart to the ways of love that are the foundation of living the Law of Love and the "One Wife" vision. Little by little, day by day, you've stepped ever so slowly, but ever so gradually, away from the essence of My truth and the purity of caring for your brethren. Slowly, selfishness has seeped into your thoughts and your lifestyle. Even many of your decisions have been based on selfish goals, concerns or desires.
202.Selfishness is the way of the world. The people of the world are experts at living selfish lives--putting themselves first. But if you are to be the testimony I want you to be, then you must not only seek to put Me first, but you must also put the needs of others first, and this requires unselfishness that is borne of My Spirit. It's a miracle of My Spirit. For when you're selfish, you're full of self; but when you're unselfish, you're full of Me and My truth and light and Spirit. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)
Goal Number 16
203.(Peter:) Next the Lord addresses a subject that is of great concern to many of us. This relates directly to us all--both you young people and us older ones--and that is the generation gap! Overcoming the generation gap is very important, and it's a huge topic, as I'm sure you realize. We have addressed the uniting of the two generations at various times in the pubs with such Letters as "Independence Through Dependency" (ML #2534), "The PER" (ML #2865), "Loving Presentation" (ML #2894), and "Giving Teens Responsibility" (ML #2895). Various comments and opinions from you on this topic have also been included in the open forum section of the Grapevine.
204.As you'll read below, the Lord helps to explain the generation gap as it's manifested in the Family. He puts into words some of what each generation is thinking, and the natural tendencies many have to react negatively or unfairly to the other. While there are, of course, natural differences between the way most older and younger people think and act, their likes, dislikes and interests, He exposes the wrong attitude that it's natural or even expected to have a gap between the generations, and He encourages us that we can be truly united.
205. You ask, "Can I ever hope to understand the other generation?" Yes, you can! "Can there be unity--real, sweet, honest, strong unity--between the young people and those of the older generation?" Yes, there can be! The Lord has given more Word on this, which you will read soon; but for now, I hope this short message is encouraging and enlightening for you.
206.(Jesus speaking:) There are now two generations in the Family, and in many ways they are worlds apart. The distance between these two generations is a great hindrance to unity. This distance is brought about through lack of communication, lack of respect, and lack of prayer and seeking Me and hearing My voice to help you have the right attitudes and draw the right conclusions.
207. It's so very easy to misunderstand and misjudge someone. It's so very easy to put words in their mouth, or to put a negative spin on their reactions, desires or actions. Having unity between the two generations requires supernatural love and a desire to understand others, to be willing to put yourself in their place and try to understand things from their point of view, and to try to see what they may be feeling or suffering or battling.
208. It's so easy when things don't go well to just develop a negative attitude, a defeatist attitude, that it's impossible to work with those of the other generation. Many of the young ones draw the conclusion that the older ones are too conservative, they don't understand, they want to cramp the younger generation's style or their freedom, they're just being old bottles and want to do things their way, or they're just being lazy or stupid or overprotective or unwilling to change. Many of the older generation are quick to be judgmental, draw negative conclusions, expect the worst, and be critical of young people's different ways and unusual habits.
209. The older ones have had more time and experience carrying heavy responsibility, therefore they sometimes look at the younger ones' natural desire for change or spontaneity or variety as something that gets in the way of progress. Most of the older ones want to be faithful shepherds, parents and examples. They don't want to be old bottles and stuck in a rut, but often they're frustrated and tired and overburdened.
210. When you put these two positions together, the attitudes of the young and old, and some of the wrong conclusions that they easily come to, and then the resentments and negative feelings that grow between them, it's a tremendous attack on unity.
211. It's not enough for the older generation to be unified with those of their own generation; nor is it enough for the younger ones to be united with their peers. It's of utmost importance that the two generations be united with each other, that there be a strong bond of love and respect, and that each can recognize the strengths in the other.
212. Each of the two generations is needed. Each is crucial to the success and continuance of the Family. Each has their place in the Endtime plan. But without unity, each generation will be limited, and the plan and vision which I have for the children of David in the End will not be perfectly fulfilled; in fact, there will be a great, great lacking.
213. You don't see it now, for the generation gap or the lack of unity between the two generations doesn't seem to be that big a problem. You know that it exists, and at times it's very, very obvious, but many on both sides have just accepted that that's the way it is, that it's impossible for two generations to truly be united.
214.You compare yourselves with those of the world, and you think, "Oh well, we're doing so much better than the people our age in the System. Look, System kids are virtually at sword's point with their parents, and the parents are at wits' end, not knowing how to understand, instruct, lead and guide their children." So comparatively speaking, you think you're doing pretty well, and you come to the conclusion that a lack of unity is only natural and to be expected.
215. That is true with natural man, and if all you had to depend on were the carnal ways of this world, then you would have no other remedy but to accept what looks inevitable to you. But you are not limited to the ways of natural man, nor to carnal thoughts and solutions. You have for the asking the supernatural solutions of My Spirit and My Word, which will bring a supernatural unity--which, of course, you don't see in the people of the world, because it's Heaven-sent and Heaven-born.
216. I say to the children of David that there is much, much more Word to be given as far as unity between the two generations. I long for a beautiful bond of love and understanding which will bring much more happiness to your Homes and to you as individuals. I have much to say to you regarding the generation gap, which is a subtle, serious, deadly blow of the Enemy. You are only beginning the journey of unity between the two generations. But it is a beautiful, fruitful and pleasant journey for all those who seek to yield, humble themselves, and reach the desired haven.
217. Be not unwise by comparing yourselves with those of the world. Be not deceived by the Enemy's lies that a division between the generations is inevitable, and therefore it's acceptable that there be a generation gap. For all things are possible to him that believes. My love is all-encompassing, and with My love you can even love that which is unlovely in your sight, that which is difficult to understand, and that which brings frustration.
218. I have poured out streams and rivers of answers, solutions and direction, and will continue to do so. You have but to create a vacuum and drink in My Word and do your best to put it into practice, and you'll see clear-cut, immediate progress which will encourage you to make yet more progress. Step by step, slowly but surely, you'll see this gap closed, and there will no longer be a door for the Enemy to walk in and out of freely with his lies and accusations and resentments and critical thoughts, which are so effective in driving a wedge between the two generations. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)
219. (Peter:) As the Lord said above, He's been pouring out many precious Words of instruction regarding how the two generations can work and live together happily. You'll be reading more on this soon. To get rid of the generation gap is a long-term project, as it takes time to be melted and molded together. But we'll all be miles ahead if young and old alike are willing to accept as a personal goal to work together in unity with those of the other generation.
Goal Number 17
220. Mama and I have read numerous heartcries from lonely Family members--people who are so lonely that their heart aches, they weep and feel unloved, unneeded, and uncared-for. They long so desperately to be special to someone, to have heart-to-heart communication. They're desperate to feel tenderness, love and understanding in another's arms, to see and experience the Lord's love consistently manifested through another human being.
221.To be lonely, very, very lonely, for a long period of time is a painful experience. It's an extremely serious problem in the world, but sadly it's also a growing problem in the Family. We have young people who feel ostracized, who don't feel accepted; and this lack of acceptance gives way to serious inferiority complexes and negative thinking and comparing. We have singles (both men and women) who are desperate for companionship, friendship, sex, someone to talk to and feel close to, as well as help with their children if they're single parents. These dear ones are crying out for an opportunity to lie in someone's arms and feel wanted, secure, safe and protected.
222. We have many people who live in busy Homes and who are surrounded every day and night with lots of people--yet they feel alone. They don't feel that they truly belong. They haven't found their place. They don't feel at home. They wonder if anybody would even miss them if they left, or if it would make a difference to anybody's personal life or happiness if they were not around.
223. There are those who've been married and who are now separated, who find the adjustment very difficult, because they no longer have that close bond with someone who they feel understands them and knows them so well. We have others who have never been married, but who long to find their soul mate, their other half, someone who they can serve the Lord with and have children with, someone they can belong to.
224. Granted, sometimes the Lord allows loneliness in our lives to teach us lessons, to drive us closer to Him, to help us to learn to seek our satisfaction and happiness from Him, our wonderful Lover and Husband. I'm certainly not saying that all loneliness is bad, or that people should never be lonely, because it's something that the Lord allows and uses very effectively in our lives. Nonetheless, there are those in the Family--many, I'm afraid--who battle such severe loneliness that they say it's probably the most difficult battle they've ever fought! They say they hurt so much inside that they can actually feel it physically, and it weakens them, discourages them, and practically tears their heart out. The Lord had the following to say on this subject:
225.(Jesus speaking:) All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people in the Family, where do they all come from? And where do they go, and what do they do to relieve their loneliness?
226. Loneliness can be such a weight, such a burden. It's similar to an ongoing physical affliction, in that it brings great discouragement and hopelessness with it, and many times the afflicted one feels that there's no answer or solution or deliverance in sight. It seems that the situation will continue on and on and on, and just that thought alone is almost enough to make the person want to give up and quit.
227.Loneliness brings such sadness, such heaviness of spirit. Those who are lonely often feel on the verge of tears. And the longer they're lonely, the more isolated, unloved and unwanted they feel. The longer a person is lonely, the easier it is for the Enemy to slip in and put a negative spin on innocent comments, gestures or jokes, to make the lonely person feel even more isolated or hurt or misunderstood. One of the saddest things about loneliness is that it sometimes causes the person to doubt My love and feel that I'm distant and uncaring, which is the exact opposite of the fruit that I want loneliness to bear.
228.When I bring loneliness into a person's life, it's to bring them closer to Me, to help them to draw nearer to Me, to encourage them to seek Me, love Me, lie in the bed of love with Me, and find in Me the fellowship and companionship they long for. In this way, loneliness can be a blessing. It can even be a token of My love--something that is hidden at first, but then revealed later in all its beauty, as it brings with it showers and showers of blessings in the form of greater dependency on Me, a closer walk with Me, and a keener sense of My presence.
229.Many times when those who are exercised in the blessing of loneliness learn the lessons and exhibit the good fruit of their experience, then it is My desire to deliver them from the loneliness, or at least the gripping sadness and heaviness of heart that accompanies it. But in order to do this, there are many pieces of the puzzle that must fit into place. Each one is needed if the picture is to be complete and the beauty is to be beheld by all.
230. Those who are lonely must reach out to those about them. Sometimes people are more lonely than they need to be because they develop selfish, withdrawn habits that isolate them further, and that make others feel that their help or fellowship is not needed. Sometimes lonely people give the impression that they're self-sufficient. This causes others to not be as tuned in to their feelings or needs as they would be if the lonely person were more honest and open about their longings. So part of the onus is on the lonely person to reach out, to make their needs known, to be humble enough to express a desire and receive the gift of love and friendship.
231. Those around the lonely one must also open their lives. They must be willing to be communicative, to show interest and enthusiasm, to listen, to include the lonely one in their daily or nightly activities, their free time activities, their lovemaking schedule, their Word time, their Family times. They must open their lives to the lonely ones during the various times of fellowship or recreation, those times when I work it out for their schedules to coincide so that it's possible to do those various activities together.
232.But the lonely person must also be willing to accept My will and My answers and My solutions. Sometimes people continue on in their loneliness because they have unrealistic expectations, or they're demanding something of Me that is not within My will to give them; and so in My love, I withhold their requests. And sometimes the lonely ones are so blinded by their own desires, which have become their willful desires, that they cannot see the blessings that are right at hand.
233. Those who are lonely must do their part, which is coming to Me and spending the time that I long to have with them. They must also reach out to others, and not just take the easy way out by scurrying back to their room or their lonely little bed so that they don't have to put forth the effort to make conversation or listen to others, and be cheerful, uplifting, and understanding.
234. And last but not least, the lonely one must accept My will. For when it is time to deliver My precious one from the loneliness and to bring surcease and comfort from the pain, My darling bride must be sensitive and open to the gifts of fellowship and companionship and love that I would bestow upon her. Sometimes the very solution that would fill the aching void is overlooked, because it is a plain gift, wrapped in crumpled old brown paper, instead of something flashy, sparkling, and "perfect" in the eyes of the beholder.
235.In order for there to be fewer lonely people in the Family, many things must work together in beautiful harmony: I must be allowed to work My works in the hearts of the lonely, and they in turn must draw nigh to Me and give Me the time and attention and sweet fellowship that I desire. They too must take the initiative to reach out to those about them and to show themselves eager for fellowship and companionship, willing to give their love, care and time to others, and be appreciative of the time and attention given to them.
236. Those ministering to the lonely ones must open their hearts and lives, and give of themselves, their time, and their loved ones. "Give unto him that asketh thee" should be the motto of those who seek to put the healing salve of My love on hearts that are weak and weary through loneliness.
237. I am able to deliver My precious brides from the grip of loneliness that would choke out their joy, peace of mind, and giving spirit. But there must be a yielding in the hearts of all the children of David; a yielding of independence, a giving up of "the ways we've always done things," a purging of the "me and thee and no other" spirit. There must be thankfulness, a grateful attitude on the part of the one who is lonely when others try to open their lives to them; and there must be an acceptance of My will, a willingness to be content with the situation or circumstances that I know are best, and a willingness to receive with joy the answer, the solution to loneliness that I will bring across their path. (End of message from Jesus.)
238. (Peter:) The Lord uses loneliness to bring forth good fruit in our lives by drawing us closer to Him. But even when the Lord is allowing loneliness in someone's life, we can still help that person by praying for them, supporting them, and being there for them when they need us. But also, let's remember that there are people who suffer greater loneliness than is needed because of our lack of love and concern. Let's do something about that! Let's reach out to include others more in our lives, to open up to others and share our thoughts, our time, our loved ones. Let's draw a bigger circle that includes more people in our lives.
239. Let's do all we can to rid the Family of the loneliness that's a result of our selfishness, lack of love, and lack of concern for others. Yes, there will always be some lonely people, and the Lord will continue to allow that, but let's make sure to do our part so that we can know for sure that if someone is lonely, it's because the Lord is working in their life, and not because of our lacks, shortsightedness or unwillingness to be the friend and strength and lover and companion that that person needs. A worthwhile personal goal for each of us would be to do our part to help there be fewer lonely people in the Family.
240. If you are one of the people who suffers loneliness, there's something for you to do as well to help us all reach this goal. Please do your part to use the loneliness the Lord allows in your life to bring forth good fruit by drawing close to Him. And don't forget that He also expects you to reach out to others, to receive the love and attention available to you, to give love, attention, care and understanding to others, and to accept His will; then, in His time, to receive the way He wants to deliver you from the pain and grip of severe loneliness.
Goal Number 18
241. As we as a Family seek to grow stronger in these weak areas, by sharing more, loving more and giving more,there will arise a need for more personal shepherding. Many of the matters I've covered in this Letter involve affairs of the heart--people's emotions, relationships, feelings. Therefore your actions must be very prayerful, considerate, and done in counsel. Please don't dash off on a wild tangent, determining that you're going to prove how revolutionary you are, so you just push ahead in your own wisdom, or according to what you think is right, without even noticing that in your wake are people who are hurt or who don't understand what's happening and why.
242. These kinds of changes that involve yours and others' personal lives, such as practicing Acts 2:44 and 45 more, learning to live the Law of Love and the "One Wife" vision more, having more sexual sharing, or reaching out to the other generation, are not something that you can push in your own strength. You can't just do your own thing, what pleases you, and let the chips fall where they may. We do want to improve in these areas, but not at the expense of people's feelings, relationships, marriages, ministries, etc. We want the steps forward to be made in love.
243. We know that some of these changes will not come easily. It will be difficult to break old habits and it will require a lot of prayer, counseling, and also shepherding. There's a tendency in the Family, since the implementation of the Charter, for people to feel that shepherds shouldn't get involved in their personal lives, that they can basically do whatever they want, within their rights as expressed in the Charter. But shepherds do need to get involved sometimes, and your Charter rights also come with responsibilities. Remember, it's also the responsibility of all of us to live in love, and the Law of Love does not just concern sexual sharing, but is the Scriptural principle that should govern all actions in our lives. We need to act in love, but sometimes we can't clearly see the loving way without the help of our shepherds.
244.Mama and I beseech you to please be loving. One of the greatest safeguards against unloving, unwise actions is to be willing to counsel and be open to shepherding.
245. Of course, if you shepherds hope for people to be open to your advice and not resentful of your counsel, you'll need to be loving and understanding. We're not talking about barging into people's lives and hearts, and bossing them around or getting on their cases harshly or roughly. I certainly hope that kind of unloving immature leadership is a thing of the past. On the subject of shepherding the Lord said:
246. (Jesus speaking:) If people are not open to shepherding, it is a great hindrance to unity. It will also be a great hindrance to practicing the Law of Love, living the "One Wife" vision, or overcoming jealousy. When the Family begins to live this strong meat, they will be in need of more shepherding--not only shepherding from their earthly shepherds, but also shepherding from Me. They have to be willing to be humble and to realize that they need shepherding, that they can't go on making decisions or doing things just according to what seems right to them, according to their natural expectation or way of looking at things. They must seek for shepherding from their shepherds, from the written Word, and from Me personally, through the voice of prophecy.
247. If people are not open to shepherding, it will be a great hindrance to unity, because more mistakes will be made and people will be hurt. When people are hurt, naturally it hurts their unity, it hurts their communication, and it will hurt their faith in the Word. If people step out by faith to try to live the meat of the Word--if they try to overcome their problems with jealousy, and they try to be more loving and caring and more giving; if they try to take better care of their single brethren, their peers and the single parents and their children; and if they try to live the Law of Love more and have more sexual freedom--if they don't go about it wisely, and others are hurt, then it will naturally cause a backlash and people will pull back; or some people will use such mistakes and hurts to confirm their feelings that the Word can't be lived.
248. So it's very, very important that people are open to shepherding, that they counsel and pray, read the Word, and hear from Me directly, so they can make wise, loving decisions, which will help people to see the good fruit of living the Word, the good fruit of believing the meat of the Word, and it will encourage people to take further and bigger steps toward the goal.
249.But if people go off on a tangent and they refuse to seek the counsel and shepherding of their earthly shepherds, as well as My Word or the voice of prophecy, then a lot of mistakes will be made. People will be hurt, a lot of damage will be done, and people's faith and confidence in the Word and in the challenge to live the meat of the Word and reach the goals for 1998 will be hurt. (End of excerpt of message from Jesus.)
250. (Peter:) Mama and I ask you to please be open to shepherding. We all need shepherding. Mama shepherds me, and the Lord shepherds Mama, with just a little help from me. Lord help us all to be humble and willing to receive guidance, checks, counsel, correction and contrary opinions or viewpoints from others. Believe me, you'll be much less likely to make mistakes or hurt others if you take the time to go slow and counsel with others. And when things come up that you don't know how to handle, please seek the help of your earthly shepherds and your Great Shepherd, Jesus.
251. To close this message, the Lord again reminds us of the importance of the Word, hearing from Him in prophecy, and being open to shepherding:
252. (Jesus speaking:) I've poured forth so much from My Heavenly mines. I've piled high the treasures of truth. There's so much at your disposal--direction, answers, instruction, encouragement through the printed Word! I've also blessed each of you with an opportunity to hear from Me fresh, through My word of prophecy. There's so much available to you, to answer your questions and show you the way in which to walk, if you will only avail yourself of this truth, if you will only humble yourself and recognize your need to learn and change and progress. Receive of Me, receive from My Word, receive from My living voice, and receive from your shepherds, that you might grow and progress.
253. As each person turns to face the light and draws nearer to Me, greater will be the unity. Remember, unity is a gift from My hand, but it is also one of the prime requisites that I might be able to pour out My blessings. So if you want My blessings in your life this year, then seek unity. It's there for you, but you must want it and take the first step to reach out for it. Get rid of these roadblocks that hinder unity, and be smart; take the high roads, the shortcuts, the sure paths to unity that I've shown you. (End of message from Jesus.)
Summary List of Goals
254. (Peter:) To help us all remember the proposed goals for 1998, I'll list them here in point form, with a few sentences to summarize each goal.
Goal No. 1: Hear more from the Lord in prophecy.
Let's be more willing and available to go to the Lord, to ask Him our specific questions and receive the personal, tailor-made instruction, guidance and encouragement that He has for our situations. Let's follow the Lord as closely as possible by hearing from Him, not only through the written Word, but also through the living Word that He eagerly wants to give in response to our questions.
Goal No. 2: Feed more deeply of the Word; take more time to read, understand, and absorb the New Wine.
Let's turn over a new leaf in this area and put our Word time on the top of our to-do list. Let's make it a priority and keep the Lord in first place.
Goal No. 3: Have more of an attitude of prayer; turn every thought into a prayer.
Let's cultivate more of a spirit of prayer by turning our thoughts into prayers. Let's all try to learn to be more prayerful by developing even more of a habit to be in constant communication with the Lord, through many immediate short prayers, which are triggered by our thoughts.
Goal No. 4: Be more praiseful, especially when we don't feel like praising. Praise without ceasing.
Let's be more praiseful. Let's learn to replace negative thoughts with positive, thankful, praiseful thoughts. Let's also try as much as possible in our speech and in our actions to glorify the Lord, as Preacher Whyte did, by praising Him and acknowledging how He has blessed us, instead of complaining or getting down in the dumps or reacting negatively.
Goal No. 5: Love the Lord more intimately as His Bride; practice the "Loving Jesus" revelation more.
For those who are willing, let's spend more time with the Lord in the bed of love--saying love words to Him, loving Him intimately, becoming one with Him, receiving His seeds, and filling His need for love, intimacy and one-on-one, heart-to-heart fellowship with us, His Bride.
Let's do our best to accept, receive, and practice the "Loving Jesus" revelation. Even if it still goes contrary to your natural way of thinking or looking at things, we hope that you'll step out by faith and try it. If you've already tried it, we encourage you to continue to practice it as much as possible.
Goal No. 6: Love one another more.
Let's do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let's be Jesus for our brethren by letting the Lord's love shine through us more, and by manifesting more forgiveness, understanding, communication, sharing, support, sympathy, affection, and practical, loving, caring action. Let's bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the Law of Love!
Goal No. 7: Be constant witnesses.
Let's preach the Word, be instant in season and out of season, and be constant witnesses of the Lord's love at every opportunity. Let's see each person who comes across our path as someone special to the Lord, and recognize that He engineered the circumstances so we would meet that person, in order to give us the opportunity to be a witness. Let's determine in our hearts that we're going to be like Tommy and faithfully give the message to all those who pass under the windows of our lives.
Goal No. 8: Fight for our young people. (And for you young people: Make the decision to stay in the Family and be a sold-out disciple for Jesus.)
Let's answer the Lord's call to do battle with the Enemy and keep our young people serving the Lord! Let's fight for them, support them and love them. Let's give special care, understanding, desperate prayer, Godly counsel, and unconditional love to those who are weak and wavering, or doubting and fainting in their minds. Let's give it all we've got to be the right kind of sample to the young people, and pour into them and do everything we possibly can to train them and give them the opportunity to be used, challenged and fulfilled in their service for the Lord.
And for you young people who are making major decisions about your life and future, we challenge you to be sold-out disciples for Jesus! Fight! Resist the Devil's temptations and negative thoughts! Raise a standard against the Enemy's inroads! Work hard to grow strong in faith and the Word, so you'll have the guts and determination to stick with your calling and not let go of your crown.
Goal No. 9: Gain greater unity; get rid of the roadblocks to unity.
Let's set our hearts and minds to overcoming the roadblocks to unity--to rooting them out, tearing them down, and getting rid of them completely.
Goal No. 10: Live the "One Wife" vision and Acts 2:44 and 45 more.
Let's give to our brethren as much as possible of our time, talents, and material goods. Let's share what we have with those who have need, so all will have enough. Let's love others' children as our own, and do all we can to help to train all the children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Let's follow closely the principles of "One Wife" and Acts 2:44 and 45 that the Family was founded on.
Goal No. 11: Overcome jealousy in all forms, including comparing negatively.
Let's seek to be delivered from the grip of jealousy and to be set free to love fully as the Lord wants us to! Let's defeat the Devil and break his chains that have us bound. Let's be rid of this Enemy of love and find freedom from jealousy by having faith, accepting, yielding completely, praying desperately, and fighting!
Let's also work to overcome any bad habits of comparing negatively, which is also jealousy. Instead of complaining and being dissatisfied with what the Lord has given us, let's be positive and thankful and look on the bright side, playing the glad game!
Goal No. 12: Live the Law of Love more fully.
Let's get back to the foundation principles of the Law of Love in all areas of our lives. Let's be open to the truth, and give the Lord a chance to help us understand it and see the beauties of it.
Goal No. 13: Stay revolutionary!
Let's forsake worldliness and negative System influences and attitudes and get back to our First Love--the Lord and the Revolution for Jesus!Let's be His dropped-out Endtime soldiers!
Goal No. 14: Get rid of bitterness.
Let's get rid of any and all bitterness!
Goal No. 15: Be more unselfish.
Let's fight our natural tendency to be selfish, and learn to be more giving.
Goal No. 16: Overcome the generation gap.
Let's get rid of the generation gap and be melted and molded together, so we can all work together in unity.
Goal No. 17: Have fewer lonely people in the Family.
Let's each do our part to help there be fewer lonely people in the Family.
Goal No. 18: Be open to shepherding.
Let's be humble and willing to receive guidance, checks, counsel, correction and contrary opinions or viewpoints from others. Let's avoid making mistakes or hurting others, as much as possible, by going slow and seeking the help and counsel of our earthly shepherds and our Great Shepherd, Jesus. (And shepherds, please handle people with love!)
Do What You Can--And the Lord Will Do the Rest!
255.This list of goals might seem like a lot and you might feel overwhelmed right now, thinking, "How in the world can I possibly attack in all these things? How can I make progress in areas that have been weaknesses for me for so long?!" If you know that it's your nature to be selfish, or you have a problem with jealousy, or there's disunity in your Home or city, or you're worried about your children who you feel are not doing well, or you're reluctant to share more with others because you just don't want to, you don't have a burden, or you're not attracted to them, these feelings or similar ones may make this list of goals look like a list of impossibilities to you.
256. Please don't worry or think that we're expecting you to get instant victories in all these areas and to become perfect shining examples overnight! We know it's going to take time to improve in these areas; it's going to take a major rewiring of some fairly longstanding mental blocks and negative attitudes, and it's going to take an increase of faith.
257.In the months to come, we'll address these subjects in detail in the GNs. We all know that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." And we have confidence that as you read not only this GN and prayerfully consider the points brought out herein, but also as you read the Word that will be published in the future, that the Lord, by His Spirit, will do the work in your heart and life. If you have the desire, the yieldedness, and you want to change, if you say to the Lord, "I believe; help Thou my unbelief," and you do what you can, then He will do the rest.
258. We're all in this together! We're fighting together, we're progressing together, and we're going to win together. Mama and I have faith that there are great victories to come, and that a bright, happy, unified future awaits us all.
259. Remember, do what you can and the Lord will do the rest. Don't think you have to fight this on your own and overcome your weaknesses on your own. You'll find that the GNs for the Birthday Feast for this year contain some important answers to some of your questions about how to overcome your longstanding NWOs. The testimonies and examples shared in those GNs will give you faith that with God all things are possible.
260. This is just the beginning of a great year of progress, victories, and overcoming. The Lord, through the Word, will lead the way, and we believe with all our hearts that you will do all you can to follow closely. By God's grace, Mama and I will do the same. We love you, we need you, and we're so proud of you.
Much love and prayers,
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family