CHANGE YOUR LIFE. CHANGE YOUR WORLD.
GAIN BY GIVING
How God’s economics work
A DECLARATION OF LOVE The one solution to life’s many problems
LEFT BEHIND? The truth about the Rapture
02/26/02, 3:54 PM
Activated Ministries P.O. Box 462805 Escondido, CA 92046–2805 USA activatedUSA@activated.org (1–877) 862–3228 (toll-free) Activated Europe Bramingham Pk. Business Ctr. Enterprise Way Luton, Beds. LU3 4BU England activatedEurope@activated.org (07801) 442–317 Activated Africa P.O. Box 2150 Westville 3630 South Africa activatedAfrica@activated.org 083 55 68 213 Activated India P.O. Box 5215 G.P.O. Bangalore – 560 001 India activatedIndia@activated.org EDITOR Keith Phillips DESIGN Giselle LeFavre ILLUSTRATIONS Etienne Morel, Max Belmont, Lydia North
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Life is full of hard choices, and it seems they often have one thing in common: They all involve some self-sacrifice, some giving. Even things that might seem petty to others—or to you at other times or under different circumstances—can seem awfully big at the moment. You need a new jacket or a new pair of shoes, but the homeless shelter that just opened across town needs everything—especially your hard-earned cash. Your favorite sports team is playing for the championship tonight, but a friend whose wife died recently just phoned to ask if he could see you tonight, to talk. You’re bone-weary after a hard day at work and you were really looking forward to a restful evening, but your otherwisehousebound neighbor needs a ride to her seniors’ club and a ride back home.—Another late night! One voice says, “Look out for number one.” Another says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The choice is obvious, but not always easy. Where can you get the conviction to do what your heart tells you is right, even while the wisdom of this world tells you you’re going to come out the loser?—Only from God’s Word. “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38). “The generous soul will be made rich” (Proverbs 11:25). “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). These and a hundred other promises from God are yours every time you give of yourself for Him and others. We hope that this issue of Activated will boost your faith by helping you to see the subject of giving from God’s perspective. He has so much He wants to give you in return!
PRODUCTION Francisco Lopez VOL 1, ISSUE 8 © 2002 Aurora Production AG All Rights Reserved Printed in Thailand
Keith Phillips For your Activated Family
www.auroraproduction.com Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations in Activated are from the New King James Version of the Bible © 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2
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Bamboo ONCE UPON A TIME, in the heart of an eastern kingdom, lay a beautiful garden. And there in the cool of the morning, the master of the garden went for daily walks. Of all who dwelt in the garden, the most beautiful and beloved was gracious and noble Bamboo. Year after year Bamboo grew yet more beautiful and gracious. He was conscious of his master’s love and watchful delight, yet he was modest and in all things gentle. Often when Wind came to revel in the garden, Bamboo would throw aside his dignity. He would dance and sway merrily, tossing and swaying and leaping and bowing in joyous abandon. He would lead the great dance of the garden, which most delighted his master’s heart. One day the master himself drew near to contemplate his Bamboo. With eyes of curious expectancy, Bamboo bowed his great head to the ground in loving greeting. The master spoke: “Bamboo, Bamboo, I would use you.” Bamboo said: “Master, I am ready. Use me as you want.” “Bamboo,” the master’s voice was grave, “I would
be obliged to take you and cut you down.” A trembling of great horror shook Bamboo. “Cut ... me ... down? Me whom you, Master, have made the most beautiful in your entire garden? To cut me down, ah, not that, not that. Use me for your joy, O Master, but cut me not down!” “Beloved Bamboo”—the master’s voice grew graver still— “if I do not cut you down, then I cannot use you.” The garden grew still. Wind held his breath. Bamboo slowly bent his proud and glorious head. There came a whisper. Bamboo replied, “Master, if you cannot use me unless you cut me down, then do your will and cut.” “Bamboo, beloved Bamboo, I would cut your leaves and branches from you also.” “Master, Master, spare me! Cut me down and lay my beauty in the dust, but would you take from me my leaves and branches also?” “Bamboo, alas; if I do not cut them away, I cannot use you.” Sun hid his face. A listening butterfly glided fearfully away. Bamboo shivered in terrible expectancy, whispering low: “Master, cut away.”
“Bamboo, Bamboo, I would divide you in two and cut out your heart, for if I do not cut so, I cannot use you.” “Master, Master, then cut and divide.” So did the master of the garden take Bamboo and cut him down and hack off his branches and strip off his leaves and divide him in two and cut out his heart. Lifting him gently, he carried him to where there was a spring of fresh, sparkling water in the midst of Master’s dry fields. Then putting down one end of Bamboo in the spring and the other end into the water channel in his field, the master gently laid down his beloved Bamboo. The spring sang welcome. The clear sparkling water raced joyously down the channel of Bamboo’s torn body into the waiting fields. Then the rice was planted and the days went by. The shoots grew. The harvest came. In that day was Bamboo, once so glorious in his stately beauty, yet more glorious in his brokenness and humility. In his beauty he had been a picture of life abundant, but in his brokenness he became a channel of abundant life to his master’s world. —Author unknown
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By David Brandt Berg
LOVE IS THE PRIMARY SOLUTION
If we have real love, we can’t face a needy situation without doing something about it.
to all of man’s problems of today, as well as those of the past—true love, the love of God and the love of fellow man. This is still God’s answer, even in such a complex and confused society as that of the world today. It is people’s rejection of the love of God and His loving laws that causes them to be selfish and cruel to their neighbor—man’s inhumanity to man, which is so apparent in today’s weary world with all of its enslavement by oppression, tyranny and exploitation. Hundreds of millions suffer needlessly from hunger and malnutrition, disease and ill health, poverty, overwork and abuse, not to mention the tortures of war and nightmares of perpetual fearful insecurity. All of these evils are caused by people’s lack of love for God and each other, as well as their defiance of God’s laws of love, faith, peace, and harmony. The solution is so simple: If we truly love God, we can love each
other. We can then follow His rules of life, liberty, and the possession of happiness, and all will be well and happy in Him! This is why Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment is to love—to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” And the second is “like it”—it’s almost equal, almost the same: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37–39). If we have real love, we can’t face a needy situation without doing something about it. We can’t just pass by the poor man on the road to Jericho! We must take action like the Samaritan did. (See Luke 10:25–37.) Many people today say of those who need help, “Oh, I’m so sorry, how sad.” But compassion must be put into action. That’s the difference between pity and compassion: Pity just feels sorry; compassion does something about it! We must demonstrate our faith by our works, and love can seldom activated issue 8
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Jesus had nothing material to share with His disciples,
be proven without some tangible manifestation. To say you love someone and yet not try to help them physically in whatever way they may need—food, clothing, shelter, and so on—this is not love! True, the need for real love is a spiritual need, but it must be manifested physically, in works—“faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). “For whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17–18). However, we must always remember that the greatest manifestation of our love is not the mere sharing of our material things and personal possessions, but the sharing of ourselves with others, along with our love and our faith. Jesus had nothing material to share with His disciples, only His love and His life, which He gave for them and for us, that we too might have life and love forever.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). So we consider that the sharing of ourselves, our love, and our lives with others is the greatest of all sharing and our ultimate goal. True happiness is found not in personal pursuit of selfish pleasure and satisfaction, but in finding God and giving His love to others and bringing them happiness. Do that, and happiness will pursue and overtake and overwhelm you personally, without your even seeking it for yourself! “For whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). If you sow love, you’re going to reap love. If you sow friendship, you’re going to reap friendship. So obey God’s laws of love—unselfish love, love for Him and others. Give others that love which is their due, and so shall you also receive. “Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you” (Luke 6:38 TLB). Find out what wonders love can do. You’ll find a whole new world of love you have only dreamed of! There are wonders of love that you can enjoy along with some other lonely soul—if only you will try! If you give love, you will get love. Love wasn’t put in your heart to stay. Love isn’t love till you give it away! •
(The above was excerpted from David Brandt Berg’s article by the same title, published in Dare to Be Different.) activated issue 8
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Giving to God
—Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg
The Bible tells us that during a terrible drought and famine in the days of the prophet Elijah, a poor widow in the town of Zarephath was out trying to ﬁnd a few sticks in order to make a ﬁre to bake one last bread-cake for herself and her son before they died of starvation. But God‛s prophet came along and told her, “Make me a small cake from it ﬁrst, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel: `The bin of ﬂour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.‛”—And that‛s exactly what happened! (1 Kings 17:10–16). She put God and His prophet, His worker, ﬁrst. She fed and took care of him ﬁrst, and she miraculously survived three long years of famine. All that time, she kept eating out of the same barrel of meal and the same cruse of oil, both of which had been almost empty at the start! It reminds me of when I was a poor college student trying to exist on only $25 a month in a little 14-foot trailer [caravan] with a wife and two small children, when my wife suggested that God would bless us if we would tithe what little we had. I protested at ﬁrst that we couldn‛t afford it, but when we prayed to ﬁnd the Lord‛s will about it, we opened the Bible to
the very Scripture about the widow who gave her last two mites to the Lord‛s treasury (Mark 12:41–44). Jesus said of her:
of her “She out put in all poverty had, her that she hood.” eli whole liv
“Dave, here‛s something someone gave me to give you!”
It was a twentydollar bill!—Nearly 10 times as much as we tithed! That‛s the way God is: He loves to outgive you, and He‛ll never let you outgive Him! If your motives for giving are right and unselﬁsh, He will always give you back much more than you gave.
Well, I couldn‛t argue with that! I‛d been saying we couldn‛t afford to give one tenth of our living, and here in the Bible was a poor widow giving all of her living! So the next Sunday we tithed our $2.50 to the church we were attending then, and Monday morning, after one of my college classes, the professor said:
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I‛m not even sure the Temple needed that poor widow‛s two mites, but God honored her for her sacriﬁce just the same. As Jesus remarked,
So you can even give all your living and still not hurt, because God will bless you for it. If your intentions are good and pure, God will bless you for giving. That‛s His promise! He said, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try [test] Me now in this … if I will not open for you the windows of Heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). “Seek ﬁrst the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). God‛s going to repay you! “Whatever you spend,” He says, “I will repay!” Do you remember who said that? It‛s in that wonderful story about the Good Samaritan who found the poor man along the side of the road, who‛d been beaten by thieves and left for dead. The Good Samaritan picked him up and took him to an inn and told the innkeeper, “Whatever you spend, I will repay you.” (See Luke 10:30–37.)
“Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood” (Mark 12:43–44).
I think you‛re going to ﬁnd that in giving to God and His work, you‛re not really sacriﬁcing at all; you‛re just investing, and the returns are going to be far beyond anything you have invested. So put your investment in Christ Jesus and God‛s work, and you‛ll reap eternal dividends. God will bless you for it and see that you get good returns on your investment—the best! You‛ll share forever in the eternal rewards of the souls won as a result of your giving. Put God ﬁrst and lay aside the tithe for His work, then He‛s promised to put you ﬁrst with abundant blessings. He will bless you with so much that you won‛t even be able to hold it all! ●
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Gain by Giving
God sees unselﬁshness and He will reward it.
YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED the peaceful happiness, even radiance, in people who make it a habit to give. Whether it’s time, money, help, or just friendly encouragement, they always seem to not only be content themselves, but have enough to share with others. Jesus explained why in the following Scripture: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap” (Luke 6:38 NIV). If we give to others, yield to them to make them happy, or put their wishes above our own, we can sometimes feel like we’re losing out. But we’re not really. God sees such unselfishness and He will reward it. You never lose by giving. *** A story is told of a well-to-do lady who had become a Christian late in life. One day she was walking along the city street accompanied by
her granddaughter. When a beggar approached them, the old lady listened to his tale. She then took a bill from her purse and placed it in his palm. At the next corner a Salvation Army volunteer was waiting, and the old lady dropped a gift into her kettle. Her granddaughter looked at her with curiosity and then said: “Grandma, I guess you have lost a lot since you became a Christian, haven’t you?” “Yes,” said the old lady, “I have. I have lost a quick temper, a habit of criticizing others, and a tendency to spend all my spare time in frivolous social events and pleasures that mean nothing. I have also lost a spirit of greed and selfishness. Yes, indeed, I have lost a good deal. “And what I have gained is invaluable!—Peace of mind; power in prayer; a Friend who is always with me, who knows, loves, and protects me; fulfillment and richness in life that I never knew existed; faith that allows no room for fears; activated issue 8
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a promise of a wonderful heavenly home when I’m through with this earthly one—and much more! Yes, I’m happy about what I’ve lost, and what I have gained is priceless!”
The Bank of Heaven “Take this to the poor widow who lives on the edge of town,” the old German shoemaker told his young apprentice, handing him a basket of fresh garden vegetables. The shoemaker worked hard at his trade and cultivated his little garden patch to make ends meet, yet he always seemed to be giving away what little he had. “How can you afford to give so much away?” he was asked. “I give nothing away,” he said. “I lend it to the Lord, and He repays me many times. I am ashamed that people think I am generous when I am repaid so much. A long time ago, when I was very poor, I saw someone even poorer than I. I wanted to give something to him, but I could not see how I could afford to. However, I did give, and the Lord has helped me ever since. I have always had some work, and my garden grows well. Since then I have never stopped to think twice when I have heard of someone in need. No, even if I gave away all I have, the Lord would not let me starve. It is like money in the bank, only this time the bank—the Bank of Heaven—never fails, and the interest comes back every day.” God loves to outgive you, and He’ll never let you outgive Him. He always gives you much, much more than you ever give. The more you give, the more He’ll give you in return. God may not always reward you
in mere dollars and cents; it may be in protection from accidents, misfortunes or serious illnesses that would have cost you a hundred times more than anything you have given. But in whatever way it comes, He will reward you.
Give and It Shall Be Given unto You! According to legend, there was once an abbey which had a very generous abbot. No beggar was ever turned away, and the abbot gave all he could to the needy. The strange thing was that the more he gave away, the richer the abbey seemed to become. When the old abbot died, he was replaced by a new one with exactly the opposite nature—he was mean and stingy. One day an elderly man arrived at the monastery, saying that he had stayed there years before and was seeking shelter again. The abbot turned the visitor away, saying that the abbey could no longer afford its former hospitality. “Our monastery cannot provide for strangers like it used to when we were wealthy,” he said. “No one seems to make gifts towards our work nowadays.” “Ah well,” said the stranger, “I think that is because you banished a brother from the monastery.” “I don’t think we ever did that,” said the puzzled abbot. “Oh yes,” was the reply. “And he had a twin. The one you banished was called ‘Give’ and his twin was ‘It shall be given unto you.’ You banished ‘Give,’ so his brother decided to go as well.” •
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Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg
“LEFT atthew chapter 24 is quite clear on the subject of Jesus’ Second Coming, when He is going to return to gather all those who have received Him as their Savior and take them with Him back to Heaven—an event commonly referred to as “the Rapture.” The rest of the Bible is also clear on when this happens. That’s why for nearly 1,800 years practically every Christian believed Jesus would come back after the period He refers to as “Great Tribulation”—three and a half years of intense persecution. It’s only in the last couple of hundred years that people like C.I. Scofield (1843–1921) came along with the false doctrine that Jesus would come before the Tribulation. “Don’t worry, Jesus is going to come and take you out of this world before the trouble comes, so you won’t have to suffer.” Naturally that became a very popular doctrine, because it was just what everybody had been waiting to hear. From my experience, many Christians who say they believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture just don’t want to have to go through the Tribulation and aren’t the least bit prepared for it, so they come up with their own interpretation of the Scriptures or latch onto someone
else’s false teaching. But the Bible specifically says not to do that. “No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20). I don’t care what other religious groups or other Christians say; what does the Bible say? In Matthew 24, Jesus’ disciples ask Him what will be the sign of His return, and Jesus answers with not one but a number of signs—wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecution of Christians, a proliferation of false prophets, lawlessness, a pervading lack of love, and the Gospel being preached in every nation. “Then,” He says, “the end will come” (Matthew 24:4–14). Beginning with the next verse, Jesus tells us what we can expect during the Great
Tribulation— the last three and a half years leading up to His return, which is also the last half of the Antichrist’s reign. Jesus also tells us what specific sign to watch for, so we’ll know exactly when that period is beginning. “When you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place … then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:15,21). We find out in the book of Revelation that this “abomination of desolation” is an image of the Antichrist, or Beast (Revelation 13:14–15). Both Daniel and Revelation tell us that this image will be set up in the holy place at exactly the middle of the Antichrist’s seven-year reign (Daniel 9:27; 12:11; Matthew 24:15–21; Revelation 13:5). When does Jesus come back for us?—That’s also plain as day: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days” Jesus returns (Matthew 24:29). Jesus doesn’t say that when we see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place He’s about to rescue us out of this world, away from the Antichrist activated issue 8
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Christ’s coming is imminent or that He’s already here somewhere (Matthew 24:23–26). He tells us to not believe any of them, because when He comes, we will know it! Some people who teach a pre-Tribulation Rapture go so far as to say that it’s going to be a secret Rapture—that nobody is going to see Him except the saved. Nobody else is even going to know He came. All of a sudden a bunch of us are just going to disappear, and those who are left behind won’t know what’s happened to us. If the Rapture is supposed to be a secret, why will the Lord make so much noise and put on such a show when He comes? His Word tells us that He’s going to “come in the clouds with great power and glory.” The sky will light up from one end to the other, and there will be such signs in the heavens that we couldn’t possibly mistake the fact that Jesus is
and the trouble to come. He warns us to head for the hills (Matthew 24:16). In other words, we will still be here. And why did the Lord and the prophets go to so much trouble to tell us exactly how long the Great Tribulation would last—the exact time in terms of days, months, and years—if we didn’t need to know these things, if we won’t be here, counting the days and the weeks? (Daniel 7:25; 12:11; Revelation 13:5). Jesus told us these specifics because He wants us to be able to take heart in knowing that the Tribulation isn’t going to last forever, and that every passing day is bringing us closer to the glorious end. During the Tribulation, things will get so bad that many people will think it’s time for Jesus to come, especially Christians who were taught that He was supposed to come before the Tribulation. They’re going to expect Him to come any day. But Jesus warns us not to expect Him sooner than has been foretold. He also warns us to not be deceived by either false christs who will try to deceive us into thinking that they are Christ, or by false prophets who will try to tell us that
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coming. In fact, it says that “every eye shall see Him.” Everyone will also see the dead in Christ— all the saved people who have already died—rising to meet Him in the air as He comes. They’ll hear Jesus, too, because He’ll “descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and a great sound of the trump of God.” And why are all of the unsaved going to mourn?—Because they’re going to see and know what’s happening (Matthew 24:27,30; Acts 1:9–11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 1:7). It will be the greatest spectacle the world has ever seen. That doesn’t sound like a secret coming or secret Rapture to me! Does it to you? And there it is again, plain as day: After the dead rise to meet the Lord, “then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). If we got raptured before, then what are we doing still here? • (To be continued.) 11
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Saved from by Himself
From Magda, Ukraine
Right from the start I knew that this was definitely not my day. I had looked forward to that evening, when my friend Marek and I were to make a trip by train to Moscow, but it seemed that everything was going wrong. By the time we got in the car to leave for the train station, it was getting late. I began to worry that we wouldn’t make it to the train on time. As we attempted to drive off, 12
the car wouldn’t start. Time was running out! We piled into a friend’s van, and were on our way at last. Then we missed a turn, got lost, and had to go back the way we had come. I prayed, “Lord, I’m sorry we’re so late. I know that You never fail, so please do this miracle that we need so desperately! Delay the train! Please, Lord!” As we pulled up to the station, activated issue 8
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“As the train began to pick up speed, I waited for death.”
I looked at the clock. It read one minute till the train’s departure. It was impossible to make it! “Jesus, please!”—And I was off, running to catch the train. Marek ran behind me. By the time I reached the platform, the doors were shut and the train was already moving. The train began to pick up speed. “No! It can’t be! Jesus, why don’t You stop the train?” I jumped up on the step by the train door. Then I realized that the doors were locked and there was nobody in that car to let me in. There I was, hanging onto the door of the rapidly accelerating train. Realizing that it was no use trying to get in, I thought I’d better jump off. “But the ground is covered with ice,” I thought to myself, with growing horror. “If I land on the ground, I’ll probably slip right back onto the tracks!” But I saw no other choice. As I jumped, my foot caught on the train’s step and I was pulled underneath the train. Desperately, I grabbed for something under the train. The train kept picking up speed. My head dragged and banged on the ground, between the train’s wheels. My long hair hung loose, and to this day I still can’t understand why it didn’t get caught in the fast-moving wheels. The loud noise of the train’s wheels on the tracks drowned out all other sounds. Screaming would have been of no use. At that moment I gave up all hope. I prayed, “Jesus, in a couple of minutes I’ll be seeing You face to face. What am I going to say? What was my life worth?” I waited
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for death. I wasn’t scared, but I was so sorry that I had not done more with my life that I had now so foolishly thrown away. If only I could have another chance! My hands felt so sore and tired, and they were freezing! How much longer could I hold on? Then suddenly the train stopped. I later found out that the train’s conductor heard some commotion on the platform, looked out, saw my boot sticking out from under the train, and pulled the emergency brake. The whole ordeal had lasted just a few minutes. I expected to be badly injured, but to everyone’s amazement I only had a few scratches and bruises. “She was saved by God Himself,” the conductor said, in awe. A crowd gathered, and everyone stared at me in disbelief. And there was Marek. He had lost sight of me before I hopped on the train, and then had turned back to look for me when he saw the train moving. When he heard people screaming that a girl had fallen under the train, it hadn’t even occurred to him that it could have been me! We boarded the train, and the next morning we arrived safely in Moscow. Thinking back on that day, it’s hard to believe that it really happened to me. I’m sure an angel was with me. I didn’t see him, but I know he was there. I wasn’t alone! Now I understand that my life does not belong to me. Perhaps it did at one time, but I foolishly threw it away. Then the Lord, in His wonderful mercy, took it into His hands and gave it back to me. Now I truly belong to Him! • 13
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Answers to your Questions Q: What can I do to avoid the friction I’ve been having with one of my associates at work, and to open better lines of communication with this person?
Why do you suppose God gave you two ears and only one mouth?
The quickest and surest solution to such communication problems is so simple that it’s often overlooked: One person needs to stop trying to communicate what’s on his or her mind long enough to listen to what the other person has to say. People like to talk, express themselves, be heard. People also need to feel needed, that what they have to contribute is significant and worthwhile. When you take time to listen attentively, even if you don’t necessarily agree with everything the other person is saying, you convey consideration and respect. Do that with the colleagues you’re having trouble communicating with, and you’ll probably be surprised at how positively they respond and how
open they are to your ideas and suggestions. How do you become a better listener? First of all, you must want to listen. You must sincerely have a desire to hear what the other person has to say. If you already see yourself as one who likes to listen, you might be thinking of social situations—the give-and-take chitchat when interesting little tidbits are being exchanged. But it is at times when the other person expresses an opinion contrary to your own that listening is most difficult but most important. This is unselfish listening. Unselfish listening is putting the brakes on that compelling desire to express yourself. You need to demonstrate a sincere desire to hear and evaluate what the other person has to say, before countering with your own position. Good listening takes effort. Notice the traits of the people whom you enjoy talking to, the good listeners. They show their interest with their eyes, posture, and the ways they react. It’s a sort of indescribable mood that says, “I enjoy listening to you. You’re important to me.” A calmness and patience about them tells you, “Take your time. I have nothing more vital to do at the moment than to hear what you have to say.” Listening is one way to better fulfill the ���law of Christ,” which the Bible sums up as “loving your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14; Matthew 22:37–39). • activated issue 8
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A Prayer of Thanks Thank You for Your protection in so many ways that we don’t realize. Sometimes it’s obvious, but other times we don’t even know that You’ve protected us because we don’t see what could have happened if You or Your angels hadn’t been there with us and prevented it. So we thank You and praise You for that.
Feeding Reading God’s Miraculous Supply Meat for a Month Numbers 11:18–23, 31 The Lord Pays a Widow’s Debts 2 Kings 4:1–6 Manna in the Wilderness Exodus 16:12–15
Coming next… Jesus wants to speak directly to you. Jesus wants to be your personal Shepherd (Psalm 23). When you feel alone, when you need a shoulder to cry on, someone to understand, a word of sympathy and encouragement, He is always available. You can go to Him and receive specific instruction, encouragement, and the answers you need, tailormade for your individual situation. As He speaks to you through His heavenly messages that are just what you need day by day, you’ll see how much He can relate to you and how much you can relate to Him. You’ll understand Him better, and you’ll realize more than ever what a close and caring Friend He is. Faith comes by hearing the Word—not only the written Word, but also the Words that Jesus, your personal and loving Shepherd, can give you through the marvelous gift of prophecy. —Maria David
To find out how you can receive personal words of love, encouragement, and guidance from Jesus, don’t miss the next issue of Activated. activated issue 8
Water from a Rock Exodus 17:1–6 Fed by Ravens 1 Kings 17:4–6 The Barrel of Meal and Cruse of Oil 1 Kings 17:10–16 Jesus Feeds Five Thousand Mark 6:34–44 A Few of God’s Many Promises of Supply Matthew 6:33 Philippians 4:19 Psalm 23:1 Psalm 34:10 Psalm 37:25 Matthew 7:7–11 Romans 8:32 15
02/26/02, 3:57 PM
BE A VESSEL OF MY LOVE . Do you think you can pour love out of yourself? If you try, you will soon find that your own love falls short. True, unfailing, self-sacrificial love does not come from yourself, by your own power or through your own efforts or habits, or your own knowing how to love. But as you fill up on Me and My love, you will have this kind of loveâ€” and more than enough. This love will then pour out on everyone you meet. First, you must let Me fill you up. A vessel that is moving or stopped up cannot be filled. You must be an empty vessel with an open mouth, and hold still and wait for Me to fill you up. Spend time with Me, and I will teach you to love. Then My face will shine on your face, and those who see you will know that this love does not come from you, but from Me.
s u s e J e m o Fr th Lov wi 02/26/02, 3:57 PM