The Product of Love
I think he saw the strategy and all that we had from God. He did multiply a living room very fast. I mean, what you are describing, how would that multiply?
We started with twelve people, but we certainly don’t fit into a living room now. There are 150 countries that we have some relationship with now, but that’s not something we tried to make happen. God gives the increase. It’s like the natural product of a marriage. How do you have children? You just do what comes naturally in a marriage. No one goes into it—at least I don’t think many people do—thinking, “Let’s have children.” They go into a marriage out of love and then they have children.
So in a living room what happens is that we are loving one another, and it then overflows into the streets and into the workplace. Then other people see it and they know you’re His disciples because they see how you love one another (John 13). That love and quality of life becomes contagious. People in other cities then begin to contact you, and pastors call and say, “I’m tired of just giving sermons. I want to see a hundred mothers, brothers, and sisters.” Jesus said the Kingdom of God would not be a hundred sermons, but it would be a hundred intimate relationships—mothers, brothers, and sisters. He didn’t say it would be third cousins that see each other at a family reunion once in a while, but that it would be a hundred mothers, brothers, and sisters. Jesus said, “Who are my mothers, brothers, and sisters?” Then to those seated in a circle around Him He said, “Those who do the will of God!”
Take up your cross daily. Encourage one another daily is what it says in Hebrews 3:13, “so that none are hardened and deceived by sin.” The involvement you have with your physical family, you also have with your Second-birth Family, and then the product of love multiplies. It’s contagious and other people want to see how they can have life too instead of just form and teaching.
You didn’t go to great effort to have a number of children, right? It was the product and overflow of love. That’s how it multiplies, but not because you focus on the children. You focus on the love, and the children are the byproduct of love. That’s how you multiply in a family. And so it is in the Second-birth Family, those that are born of water and the Spirit. They multiply in the same way—without great effort but by the natural product of loving each other.
Does it say, “This is how all men will know you’re My disciples—by your good sermons”? Does it say, “This is how all men will know you’re My disciples—by your work ethic”? No. It says, “This is how all men will know you’re My disciples, by how they see you loving one another.” You always hope, always trust and keep no record of wrongs. People see that you have love for each other in a way that’s absent in their own families, workplaces and experiences.
He didn’t say, “This is one way you’ll know this is from heaven.” He said, “This is how all men will know—by a hundred mothers, brothers, and sisters having intimate, daily relationships.” It’s not by the quality of teaching, though that is necessary too. Bad teaching is only going to take you in the wrong direction. Good teaching fertilizes the soil, but love is the seed of the soil that allows something to grow.
Love is the…what?
Love is the intimate relationship. Love is the seed, and Life comes from seeds. It doesn’t come from fertile soil. It comes from, “Night and day, house to house with tears…” It’s my taking the children’s hands and saying, “Come on, you can do it.” It’s courageously throwing the car keys to a child and saying, “I don’t really want to die, but I’m going to let you drive. : ) And I’ll be right here, I promise!”
Don’t wreck my car! : )
“I’ll give you liberty to drive because you have to learn to drive. You must. You all ought to be teachers by now.” That’s equipping the saints for works of service and equipping the children. John wrote it this way, “I write to you, children, because your sins have been forgiven. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning.” But then the third one is a surprising one. “I write to you, young men, because you’ve overcome the evil one” (1 John 2).
That sequence is wrong to the natural eye. The sequence should be children, young men and then fathers. But not so in the Kingdom. In the Kingdom it is, “I write to you, children, because your sins are forgiven. You’re forgiven, washed, and cleansed. The Spirit lives inside of you.” But most children are self-serving, aren’t they?
They only live for themselves. “Feed me! Feed me!” They don’t contribute very much besides being cute. That’s a big contribution though and it pleases me! I love the cuteness of children. : ) I couldn’t live without their cuteness. If everyone was born fifteen years old I’d be very upset! But a five-year-old can make my heart melt.
As good parents, at some point we need to teach them to learn how to feed themselves. And then they have to learn how to feed others. So, “I write to you, children, because your sins are forgiven.” Hallelujah, you’re born again. That’s good, but should it end there?
“I write to you, fathers, because you’ve known Him who is from the beginning. You’ve begun to become like God. Not only forgiven by God, but you’ve begun to be like God. You’ve become a father. You’ve begun to care for other people’s needs.” That’s what I see happening here. The children are being fed mostly by the one father and by the “Jethro-placed fathers” to some extent too.
The next step is, “I write to you, young men, because you’ve overcome the evil one.” You are building fathers to have children. And you’re building those children to become fathers, and building those fathers to become young men.”
There’s a process involved and for a young man, it isn’t just about the need to feed the children. It’s not just the need to give sermons, but the need to make fathers out of children, and to take satan on. It’s to take satan by the throat and cast him down. “I saw satan fall like lightning.” And, “He leapt for joy in the Holy Spirit.” Jesus jumped because He saw satan cast down. That’s what “young men” are all about.
“I write to you, children, because your sins are forgiven.” That’s good for them, but it’s not necessarily good for anyone else : ) “I write to you, fathers, because now you’ve become good for others.” And, “I write to you, young men, because now you’ve seen the unseen world.” That’s the sequence John used, and he said it twice. He said, “In case you misunderstand me, let me say the sequence again—children, fathers and then young men.”
Now, I’m not saying that all young men are apostles or that all apostles are young men. But if you’re going to be effective as an apostle, you better be a young man like Caleb. Eighty years old and still running with the footmen and the horsemen!
The young men are those that see the unseen realm and cast down the devil. Fathers know Him who is from the beginning. They know the Father-heart of God. Then, “I write to you, young men, because you’ve overcome the evil one.” He describes something that happens in an unseen world that is powerful. Fathers can feed and protect children and help them survive. A young man tears down satan’s kingdom—uproots it.
I’m trying to describe the next step of becoming more and more one. It would help more and more people to equip the saints for works of service—to turn the car keys over and teach more and more people how to drive the Ferrari, not just the jalopy.
I would see his role going forward over the next decade. It will take some time, but more and more he can have the vision of throwing the car keys to more and more people. He can help steer for a little while, jump out of the car, and then let them fill up their car with others and teach those people how to steer. Then he would be freed up to continue to teach more and more people how to steer and help more and more fathers become young men. Meanwhile more and more fathers help children become fathers.
All of that is built on the very principles you’re already building on, which is the organism of the body and the Life of God. “As many as are led by the Spirit are sons of God.” Yesterday he used the expression “antennae.” For example, “We have been given the antennae to hear the voice of God.” That was funny because we’ve been talking about that for twenty years! So, he said something like…How did he say it?
“Did you get that analogy from me?”
Yeah, like, “Did you steal our teaching?” : ) I said, “Or did you steal our teaching?!” : ) And he said, “We all got it from the same place—from the Head.”
Did you speak English with him?
No, we had three translators for six of us. : ) It was a very fun conversation though. I wanted to see his eyes and I wanted to hear his heart. That’s hard to do from far away and much easier from a close distance like this. I was glad and he’s a special man. I enjoyed him very much and his gift is evident.