feast: If You Do These Things, You Shall Never Fall
Given 23-Oct-05; Sermon #FT05-06; 40 minutes
God has not set up us for failure, but if we can't control our inordinate pride (inspired by the spirit and power of the air), we could destroy our own chances of fulfilling God's purpose for us. We must resist Satan's pressure to get all wrapped up in ourselves. We have been separated from the world for the purpose of becoming sanctified, putting to death our carnality by mortifying the desires of our flesh. Ironically, God is using Satan and his devices to perfect us, humbling us, preparing us as members of God's family. Our biggest challenge is to learn humility and avoid the pitfall of pride- as Peter had to learn the lesson from bitter experience- - to harness his emotions, codifying his lessons in II Peter 1:5-7—becoming love as God is love.
In far-off France I heard your call
And here am I to give my all.
I know in my soul what you expect of me
And all that and more I shall be.
A knight of the Table Round should be invincible,
Succeed where a less fantastic man would fail.
Climb a wall no one else can climb,
Cleave a dragon in record time,
Swim a moat in a coat of heavy iron mail.
No matter the pain he ought to be unwinceable,
Impossible deeds should be his daily fare.
But where in the world
Is there in the world
A man so extraordinaire?
C'est moi! C'est moi!
I'm forced to admit;
'Tis I, I humbly reply.
That mortal who these marvels can do,
C'est moi, C'est moi, 'tis I.
I've never lost in battle or game
I'm simply the best by far
When swords are crossed
'tis always the same
One blow and "au revoir."
C'est moi! c'est moi!
So admirably fit,
A French Prometheus unbound.
And here I stand with valor untold,
Exceptionally brave, amazingly bold,
To serve at the Table Round
The soul of a knight should be a thing remarkable,
His heart and his mind as pure as morning dew,
With a will and a self-restraint
That's the envy of every saint,
He could easily work a miracle or two.
To love and desire he ought to be unsparkable;
The ways of the flesh should offer no allure.
But where in the world
Is there in the world
A man so untouched and pure?
C'est moi! C'est moi!
I blush to disclose, I'm far too noble to lie.
That man in whom these qualities bloom
C'est moi, c'est moi, 'tis I.
I've never strayed from all I believe.
I'm blessed with an iron will.
Had I been made the partner of Eve,
We'd be in Eden still.
C'est moi! C'est moi!
The angels have chosen to fight their battle below.
And here I stand as pure as a prayer,
With virtue to spare,
The godliest man I know
[Song: "C'est Moi" from the musical Camelot, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe]
Well, brethren, if you had been able to understand those words a little bit better, you would have known that that was the song that is just a good example to us about the greatest opportunity a man could ever be offered that turned into an absolute disaster with the wrong attitude. The thrust of the song was "C'est moi!" which means, "It's me!" It was all about him. The music you just heard, of course, was from Camelot. The song "C'est moi is a compilation of thoughts of Lancelot as he heads from France after being moved to join with the noble cause and serve as a knight in the Round Table of King Arthur.
Men through the ages have tried to envision the perfect society but always only according to their own imperfect rules. This story is just another one of those scenarios. Camelot was to be a place of refuge for the distressed. It was to be a society where the strong linked arms to do battle for the oppressed, and all of them lived by the same noble rules. If you are familiar at all with the most modern version of this Camelot tale—the song you just heard was from that play—then you know the story of how the gifted Lancelot came from France to help Arthur in his noble cause. He came to help defend the defenseless and build a society that had the loftiest of goals in fairness and justice. He came with enough abilities and talent to make him shine as the most noble and greatest of the Knights of the Round Table. He also came with an ego big enough for a hundred men, and in the song he sings about how noble he was and how he fought against the lusts of the flesh, which had no allure for him.
He knew his own abilities and he knew his great innate desire for righteousness and fairness, and that he was the noblest of men by far, as he says—or so he thought. Lancelot thought of himself as the pinnacle of righteousness, as he says in the song: his "valor untold, exceptionally brave, amazingly bold." He is not subject to the lusts, desires, and allures of the flesh. He boasts that all this must be true, because he is far too noble to lie. He continues that he is blessed with an iron will; and my favorite line in the song is when he says that if he had been the partner of Eve, they would be in Eden still.
The bottom line in this whole story, though, is that Lancelot and King Arthur's wife, Guinevere, fall madly in lust with each other and their passion brings down the whole kingdom, Camelot. Lancelot was not as "immune," as he thought, to the lusts of the flesh as he imagined himself to be. Brethren, this is just a myth, but as with all myths, based on reality. This same thing—though not in quite the same way, but with the same attitude of unrequited lust—happened before, and that event is the main reason that we are here in this room today.
Ezekiel 28:12-15, 17 Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you...Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you."'"
Isaiah 14:12-14 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'"
Brethren, this is part and parcel of what these Holy Days are all about. Our great God, our great and loving Creator, is working out a plan with us and through us: that His Family will grow and create, throughout eternity, without this ugly attitude ever raising its head again. He is working out a perfect plan and we have the privilege of being in on the ground floor. He will never allow a Satan with that kind of attitude to pollute the holiness of His royal Family. He has come up with a plan that will set godly perfection in our hearts and in the minds of the Family members for eternity.
We are here this week celebrating a major stepping-stone in that plan and purpose of God. We are here this week to learn to fear God. We are here this week because we have heard the call from far-off lands to dwell together as His Family and to learn to practice what we preach within the Family. We are here to practice relationships and brotherly kindness. According to God's Word, it will last for eternity.
John Ritenbaugh said yesterday, "Those who live everlasting life are those who learn to live it in the flesh." I think Brian said yesterday, "We are all searching for the perfect mate, but how willing are we to become the perfect mate?" God has not set us up for failure. As a matter of fact, He has given us everything we need to succeed, and then some. He has given us incredible gifts. Each one of us is blessed with specially designed gifts from God, for just us. However, as from the earliest of creation, there is one major trap out there that could bring us down and, if God would let it, bring down His whole Family. For sure, He is not going to let that happen. That trap is the pride of thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought.
James 4:1-7, 10 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you...Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
The apostle James shows us that our troubles come from unrestrained human nature with its pride. James tells us right here in verse 4 that we are not living by every word of God in our relationships. We are playing adulterers in that we are still living in the world's ways, and it is evident within those relationships. In verse 5, he says, "Do you think the Scripture says in vain...?" Are we really living the Word of God? Because if we were, brethren, there would be no wars or fighting among us, even little ones.
Brethren, we have a tremendous number of gifts and blessings laid before us and we will succeed where lesser men would fail—but that success is not our own. It does not belong to any one of us; it belongs to God and the Family. The apostle James tells us we should be submitting ourselves, one to the other, and humbling ourselves in the sight of the Lord. Where is the place that we can submit? Where is the place that we humble ourselves in His sight? It is right here, in this room, within the Family, in our interactions with each other.
We must always be on our guard and resist Satan because his mind would like us to get so caught up in ourselves, as he did, that we would get caught up in the biggest trap he has laid for us. This is Satan's world, and all its thinking and motives are the enemy of God's plan and purpose, even what it says about human relationships with each other. However, even this enemy God will use to refine and perfect His holy people. This can be a very painful and frustrating thing to us, because it is a very hard thing to do.
Romans 8:15-25 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption[we heard these very same words yesterday], by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Brethren, here is the greatest hope that we have right now. We have been separated from this world to do great things. As implied here, this is a painful process and a difficult process, but the end result is the Family of God. We are in the middle of a war and, as the song we just heard said, we must know what is expected of us. No matter what the pain, we must be "unwinceable, with impossible deeds our daily fare"; but again, through all this, we must be careful of the trap. One of the things we must understand is that our biggest trial and frustration is going to be in combating the same thing that everyone else throughout history has seen and combated. Turn with me to I Corinthians and we will see what God says about that.
I Corinthians 10: 1-13 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
I told you that I thought my favorite line in "C'est moi" was "if I had been the partner of Eve, we'd be in Eden still." I think that it is my favorite line because it totally defined the presumptuousness of the man—and it is possible that it defines our own presumptuousness. The Scripture said that these things happened to them so that we do not do the same thing, but how many of us have been presumptuous enough in the past to think such things? "If I had been in the Garden, I would not have been tricked by Satan," or "If I had been in the wilderness, I never would have whined about the food," or "I would have marched right into the Promised Land when God said 'Go ahead'; I never would have been grumbling or griping. I would have done exactly what God said."
God is using Satan and his devices to perfect us, and we must always realize that the whole process is about creating a Family—a Family that will never, ever, through all eternity, swell with the pride that Satan had or that we heard in the song from Lancelot. Turn with me to Jeremiah 17, where God again talks about trusting in yourself.
Jeremiah 17: 5, 7-10 Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD...Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.
Cursed be the man whose heart trusts in himself; and blessed be the man, and permanently planted in God's Family, who submits totally and completely to God. God is constantly searching our hearts to see how close we are to the perfection He demands and to see what else needs to be done to rid us of the pride that could, if He let it, destroy the Kingdom. Turn with me to Ephesians 2, where we will take a look at the plan and purpose of God.
Ephesians 2:1-10 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Here is the plan and purpose of God. The thing that we must always remember is no matter how God chooses to use us, no matter how close to perfection we come, God is creating in us a humble nature that will never turn on the Family in pride. He has delivered us to humbly walk in good works according to His Word, and this is the place where we practice it. We practice it among our own Family, here in this room.
For the remainder of this split sermon, I would like to let us look at someone for advice on what to do so we do not fall into this trap, so that we never fall or stumble. We will look at someone who himself was almost trapped and see what he has to say about falling and how to avoid it.
Luke 22:25-34 And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called 'benefactors.' But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." But he said to Him, "Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death." Then He said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me."
Notice that Christ is talking about leadership and those that have the ability to lord it over others, those who have tremendous gifts. Peter was like the mythical Lancelot, an incredibly gifted leader. Here Christ was telling him of the trap of pride that is the mind of Satan. I am certain you all remember a little time before this when Christ had explained that He must suffer and die, and Peter adamantly refused the truth by saying, "Christ must not die." Christ said to Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" It was the prideful attitude that Christ saw, and He knew exactly who was behind that attitude. That is why He is talking to Peter about this today.
Brethren, this is the same problem that we face today, because it is the same problem that existed from the time that iniquity was found in Satan. God is going to wipe it out; but Peter has gone through it and, speaking from unforgettable experiences, tells us exactly how we can keep from getting caught up in Satan's trap.
II Peter 1:1, 3-10 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ...As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent [work very hard] to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.
Right from the first verse, Peter draws a bridge to us: "To them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ." He is telling us that, in spite of the separation of time and distance, we share the very same priceless gift of the blood of Jesus Christ. By implication, we share the same traps if we do not follow this tried and true method of defense. He gives us, in a seven-step process, a way that will keep us from falling into the trap that almost ensnared him. In verse 5, he starts by saying that we begin with a precious promise of faith, but we must add to it virtue. The word here used for virtue indicates a courageous life of moral excellence reflecting the very faith we profess. This is the same word that is translated praises in I Peter 2:9, where it says, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."
To this courageous moral excellence must be added the true knowledge of the Gospel and the plan and purpose of God. Remember, brethren, this is the same Peter who did not believe the revealed knowledge of Jesus Christ, which He gave to him face-to-face. Turn to Matthew 16, and we will see that example.
Matthew 16:13-23 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men."
At one point, Peter is given revealed knowledge from the very Father: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. However, when Christ tried to explain to him from the Scriptures that He must suffer and die for this very plan to succeed, Peter actually rebuked and rejected the true knowledge in favor of his own emotions and said, "Be it far from You, Lord. This shall not be unto Thee!" We must not allow Satan to work on our emotions to overwhelm us, to overwhelm the true knowledge of the revealed Word of God. That is what we need to be working on, here, among each other, with each other.
Back in II Peter 1:6, "to knowledge, add temperance." This word means "self-control." As I said before, keep in mind who is doing the teaching here. This is Peter, who impetuously took up a sword and tried to defend Christ when they came to get Him. This is Peter who told Christ, in his own foolish pride, "Others may leave You, but I will never be fearful and run." Peter tells us from experience that you must master your passions and sensual desires and harness them with the truth so that they will not become the snare that puts you at odds with God and with God's plan and purpose and puts you out of the Family.
"To this temperance, add patience." The word patience means "steadfastness, constancy, endurance; being unswerved from your deliberate purpose." Here again, we see this man Peter speaking to us from his own experience. He had been in the company of Jesus Christ for over three years and had been constantly taught by Him of the Father's plan and purpose. He had seen the resurrected Christ face-to-face. He knew that he had a special calling and responsibility and yet, within a few short weeks after seeing Christ, here he was again, as recorded in John 21, doing what he had always done: He was working at fishing. He was barely even able to recognize Christ a couple of weeks later. Christ had to ask him three times, "Peter, do you really love Me? Then do what you are supposed to be doing. Feed those I have given you the spiritual food that they need. Wait for Me to give you your marching orders. Do not be running off doing something else." What an impact this must have had on Peter! He had to exercise patience for the rest of his life, as he steadfastly waited for God to show him the direction that he should go and not to be rushing off someplace else.
"Add to this patience, godliness." Godliness is that deep, reverential fear towards God. This is worshipping God in every aspect of our lives: adoring Him, loving Him, and magnifying Him at every opportunity that presents itself in every instant of our lives. It is being ready to give heart and hand to Him, no matter what the burden. Here again is the teaching that comes from Peter, a man like us, who thought that he could go to the very death for God; but when it came down to it, he, along with James and John, could not even stay awake long enough to support Jesus Christ in His darkest hour of greatest need in the garden before His death, as recorded in Matthew 26. Brethren, that word godliness is also translated holiness in some other places. We are to be holy, set apart to be like God, knowing that He is the One doing the work through us, diligently striving to be ready at any time and in any place to give everything we have to support the plan and purpose of the One we love.
Finally, "add to godliness brotherly kindness." Here again, the author is Peter. You notice that he has built up to this point, because it takes all these other things—faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness—to build up to brotherly kindness. Peter's response to Christ in John 21, when Christ gave him his job assignment for the rest of his life and even told him how he was going to have to die the same way He did, was to point a finger at John and say "What about him? What is he going to have to go through for the rest of his life?" Christ told him, "It is none of your business." God's plan and purpose for each of us is different, and we are just to love and support one another and Him.
I would like you to turn back with me to Luke 22, where we started talking about Peter, so that we can read what led up to this conversation on leadership that Christ had with the apostles. The time was the setting up of the Passover, the preparation for the final Passover meal that Christ would share with His closest friends, His family. In verse 8, it says that He sent Peter and John. That is very interesting in itself. Here were Peter and John, whom Christ specifically sent to prepare the room for the Passover:
Luke 22:15-22 Then He said to them [talking about some of the most important things that would happen at this time], "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you [My friends, My Family] before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. But behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table. And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"
Christ just told the apostles something that was probably the most important thing that would affect them and the rest of humanity for eternity. What did they say?
Luke 22:23 Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.
They missed the point.
Luke 22:24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.
This is where we started looking at Peter, because it was probably Peter and John who were behind this. Maybe that was the reason that they were brought out in the first part of this chapter; I do not know. You can be sure, though, that Peter remembered sitting at that table and hearing those words from Jesus Christ, in light of what they were thinking at the time. The setting was the preparation for the Passover. It was John and Peter who went down to set it up. This was one of the most important moments in history, and they were falling into the trap—the trap of pride. Who was in charge? Who was the best? Who had the most gifts? What was he going to do the rest of his life?
I am certain that when Peter became converted and received the Holy Spirit, his perspective changed incredibly. Instead of seeing the physical, he remembered his Elder Brother's prayer for the brethren, the night before He died. We heard this earlier today, too.
John 17:20-22 I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one
Brethren, Peter and the rest of the apostles realized how these words applied to those called by God to be in His Family, how they had significance to be a Family with Jesus Christ and the Father. We can be snared into thinking, "He likes him, better than He likes me," "He has an easier task than I do," or "What happened? Why is he getting to do that, and I have to do this, that, or the other thing?" when God in fact says, "How I use other members of the Family, how I take them through this life, what happens to them, is for Me to determine. This is a Family, and you are supposed to be working together as a Family, according to what I say in My Word, to love one another."
The greatest measure of how much we really love, trust, and respect God is how much we really love, trust, and respect the rest of the Family of God. This is what it all boils down to: that mindset of Satan, that mindset that divides us from each other, must never, ever be allowed in the Family of God. He would not allow it then; He will not allow it now. Brethren, this is a seven-step process. You notice that beyond brotherly kindness is love. This is not part of Peter's seven-step plan to never fall; it is what you will become if you do these things. This is the end result of the process: to become love as God is love.
Brethren, we are called of God from far-off France, Africa, America, Canada, Trinidad, Britain, wherever we have heard the call. We are here to give our all and to succeed where men would fail. We are here to fear God and achieve what, by any other means than God's way, would be impossible. We are here to submit to God in every aspect of our lives and become part of a Family of Creators that will be of one mind and one heart, working together throughout eternity, in peace and righteousness. The end result is not "c'est moi"; the end result is "c'est la Famille."