Christmas Gifts; Fresno, California
August 21, 2021
Earthly life is a model for us to help prepare ourselves for heaven. Heaven is a community of believers who live in harmony with one another, and who are existing in the presence of and, indeed, within the very life force of God himself. We will all exist within him as he shares with us the very essence of his supernatural being. In order for us to do that, we must all be made holy like him. Part of that becoming like him takes place while we live here on earth. When our lives here end and we get to the gates of heaven, he will do the rest. No one can enter without being pure and holy like he is. Since, in this heavenly relationship, we receive continual love and caring from not only God, but also from each other, we must learn to give it as well as receive it on this earth. If no one gave then no one would receive. That is the primary lesson that we must learn, embrace, and practice here on earth, no matter how hard it might initially be for us. In heaven, love and caring and sharing lives with one another exists in a continual eternal flow, powered by Almighty God himself. This is the bliss that we call heaven. Everyone counts, everyone is included, everyone is worthy, everyone is valued, and everyone is loved. God makes it this way because we are his people and he is our God for eternity. Our ultimate goal on earth is to reach out, work toward, and eventually end up in this eternal and holy community.
We all want to be loved and valued on earth, but that can’t happen unless others are willing to lavish it on us. But, true love is always an exchange, not a one-way street. That means that he or she who wants to receive love and caring from others must also give them the same back. That is the hard part that we must learn to do on earth. We must learn to love even those who are hard to love, those who don’t give much in return, or who even reject our love. To be able to do that is evidence of God’s presence and graces within us. Without God in our lives we are simply unable to give as we should.
Giving and loving and serving is the very hallmark of Christianity. These acts not only show that you are truly sons of God, but you will also receive greatly in return. In Luke’s gospel, Chapter 6, Jesus expresses this very clearly:
“To you who hear me, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who maltreat you.” Verses 27-28
“Do to others what you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, how can you claim any credit? Sinners do as much. If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what merit is there in it for you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.” Verses 31-34
“Give, and it shall be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will they pour into the fold of your garment. For the measure you measure with will be measured back to you.” Verse 38.
In our world today, this process of learning to give is being upended, thwarted, and stunted by a powerfully addictive new philosophy sweeping across America. It pits itself directly against the message in the title of this article and twists it into its exact opposite: “It is in taking that we receive”. I can guarantee you that the author of this new self-centered philosophy is none other than Satan himself along with his hoards of followers. That’s what makes it so diabolical, deadly, and hard to stop, because it is not just humans promoting it on their own. This very orientation and philosophy is what got them all ejected from heaven long ago. Opposites like this are a sign of the Devil’s presence, because along with refusing to subject himself to God’s will and authority over him, he has also pitted himself against all that God is and stands for. He is beside himself with an unrelenting fury and rage at God for casting him out of heaven, and in retaliation and vindictiveness takes opposite positions to all that God says and does. And he delights in taking special aim at all of God’s followers and believers–especially Christians! Beware!
The Devil and his demon followers are all for themselves and selfishness, and teach all humans who will listen to be the same. They promote selfish living, thinking and actions as everyone’s right, and then teach them to accuse all those who oppose them as being evil and non-inclusive haters. The Devil teaches his people on earth that they should think of themselves and their ideas as better and holier than others’ ideas, and that they must continually fight against all who oppose them. That’s exactly the way hell is and why there is never ending conflict there–all are continually fighting for dominance and control, and any semblance or appearance of order and cooperation is maintained by forced obedience through intimidation and beatings. The dominant ones fight for leadership and then fight to remain there. The very strongest dominate the others. Each one keeps his position until a stronger one comes along and batters him out of the way. This is the ultimate result of the philosophy that it is only in taking that anyone will ever get anything. But as the previous scriptures declare, it is actually in giving of yourself to others that not only paves the way for you yourself to receive here on earth, but especially in eternity. St. Francis’s well known prayer eloquently states this:
Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is despair, hope,
Where there is darkness, light,
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
To be understood, as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born
To eternal life.
As we can easily see the evidence every day in America, the acts of taking and demanding destroy relationships, tear families apart, disrupt communities, rob us of safety, and have the potential to unleash an undercurrent of turmoil that will destroy the peaceful America that we once knew. The remedy is to go back to one nation under God, back to the good of all, and back to self-control and self-sacrifice. We must all reject this selfish “My way, my life, my gain, and my right” doctrine, which pits itself against all who disagree. And on top of this, this philosophy relentlessly demands respect, acceptance, and ‘inclusion’ from the human family, no matter how sordid, sinful, and destructive its beliefs, behaviors, and lifestyles are. We must have the courage to oppose and reject the evil that these often ignorant individuals have immersed themselves in, no matter how much ridicule and condemnation that we might receive in return. They will call us haters and evil, and you must prepare yourself to withstand it. Ally yourself with God, with godly people, with the Bible, with the truth, and speak out. That is the only way you will be able to help stem this great tide of evil! The battle for America has begun in earnest–arm yourself and don’t be caught flat footed. Our hope for victory is in God only, cling to him.