David Brandt Berg (1919-1994) was the son of well-known American evangelist Virginia Brandt Berg. In 1968, David and his wife and teenage children pioneered a ministry to the counterculture youth of Huntington Beach, California. This ministry grew into an international Christian missionary movement known today as the Family International (TFI). (Articles by David Brandt Berg used in Activated are adapted.)
Change is one thing that drives us closer to God. “Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.”1 All things change, but Jesus never. He’s the only thing that remains constant.
The things we need to know, God tells us, and sometimes the things we want to know, He tells us; but often He throws a veil over the future so that it is known only to Him. In any case, regardless of what we know or don’t know, He’s promised to never leave nor forsake us. “I am with you always,” He says, “even to the end of the age.”1 And He’s given us the torch of His Word to show us where our path is going. We can always throw the light of God’s Word on the path ahead.2
A good executive is not a boss—he is a servant! Jesus wasn’t just trying to teach His disciples humility when He said, “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.”1 A good executive simply is not a dictator. He listens to his employees. When the top people don’t communicate with those under them, then of course they don’t understand them or their problems. When that happens, they’re headed for trouble!
The Word of God is the most powerful truth on earth.—Words that contain the very spirit and life of God Himself.1 The Word is the spiritual spark of God that ignites us with His life, light, and power. Reading, absorbing, and following God’s Word is one of the most important things you can do to build your relationship with Him. It’s what keeps you in tune with God and helps you to keep going God’s way. When you listen to God and His Word and obey His truth, you’ll be happy and fruitful.2
I was looking at a tree outside my window and thinking how beautiful and perfect it is,producing exactlywhat God designed it to produce, fruitful and flowering, strong and beautiful, fulfilling its mission in life. A tree is a vision of the perfection of God’s creation. Even if a tree is struck by lightning, toppled in a storm, or cut down, the root will send forth new shoots, new life. Isn’t that beautiful?
Life is one big learning experience, and for those of us who know and love Jesus, He is our teacher. More than anything, He wants to teach us all we need to know about Him and His love, so things will go better and we’ll be happier.
He knows that none of us can accomplish any real good if we depend on our own supposed strength and wisdom. In fact, He said, “Without Me you can do nothing.”1 But the Bible also says that we “can do all things through Christ.”2 That’s the key right there. We need to learn to let Jesus do things through us.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to give what you’ve got. There is not one of God’s children who cannot afford to give something to help others less fortunate. You may think you can’t afford to give, or you may not be able to give a lot at first, but God blesses everybody that gives. If you’re not rich, that’s all the more reason to give, so God can bless you and help you have more.
Some Christian denominations, as well as some other religions, teach that suffering and sadness are measures of spirituality or religiosity, but it’s supposed to be just the opposite. God doesn’t intend for religion to be grievous, and Jesus certainly didn’t make it that way.
I don’t see how people can be truly happy until they have their deepest needs met. Even if they have everything they could wish for materially, they need something to satisfy their spiritual hunger. Thank God, Jesus does that!
There’s such a thing as being too sober and taking things too seriously, especially ourselves. The ability to laugh at ourselves is a great asset and helps keep us humble. People who can’t laugh at their own mistakes or take the mistakes of others with a sense of humor are either too proud or have too severe a sense of life.
God intended for us to enjoy living, and He has given us the ability, senses, and environment to do so. In fact, our main purpose in life is, as Martin Luther once said, “to love God and enjoy Him forever.”
Through His children, God is trying to show the world what He is like. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”1 Jesus came to love the world, and He calls us to do likewise in every facet of life. The only way that others will ever find His joy and peace and love and happiness and heaven is through us.
No matter where we are from, if we have Jesus, we are now His ambassadors and represent the King of kings, the One who runs the universe.