By Peter Amsterdam
November 12, 2013
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It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
The Family International’s seventh core value is:
Spiritual solutions. We apply spiritual principles to everyday challenges to overcome obstacles, resolve conflict, maximize potential, and heal hearts. We seek to share our spiritual wealth and knowledge with others.
The Bible contains God’s revelation about Himself, His love for humanity, the means of salvation, and of the relationship He wishes to have with humankind. It also contains instruction on how to live in a manner that is pleasing to Him, which is the foundation for living a happy, fulfilling, and productive life in harmony with God and others. It is within the Bible that we learn truths revealed by God after which we can pattern our lives.
From God’s Word, His instruction to us, we find the biblical principles, the spiritual principles, which serve as the compass of our life and help us to face the challenges of everyday life. His words convey principles which guide us in our interaction with others and our decision making, helping us to know the difference between right and wrong. These spiritual principles set the tone for our moral standard, our ethics, our attitudes about life, love, the world, the environment, and relationships. Though the Bible doesn’t specifically deal with every possible situation that every person may face in life, it gives us the principles needed to navigate the complexities of life in a manner that is pleasing to God.
These spiritual principles are meant to serve as a compass throughout the journey that is our lives. They help us to face the challenges of life with confidence that we can make good and wise decisions, that we can develop proper attitudes about life and others. They show us how to respond when we face obstacles or conflict. They help us to know what direction to take at every crossroad.
Being connected to God—the source of life—and being aware of the truth of His presence in our lives, the words of guidance He has given to mankind, the marvel of being connected to Him and communicating with Him, gives us the ability to live our lives in alignment with Him.
Examples of some of these principles are:
There are, of course, many more, but these are the ones I wanted to share with you here.
We consider it our duty to live the biblical truths, the spiritual principles, and to share them with others in order to bring them into relationship with God which can, in turn, help to direct them as well as to heal the wounds of their lives. If the principles of God’s Word were understood and applied by all, it would prevent so much of the hurt, wrong, tragedy, lack, and grief that is prevalent in the world today.
We believe that when a person’s heart is changed through belief in Christ’s death and resurrection, through the work of the Holy Spirit, their actions will naturally follow suit. They become a new creation in Christ when they accept and understand God’s Word and begin to live by the spiritual principles taught in the Bible. This results in a realignment of their life in accordance to God’s Spirit within them. We believe that this marvelous heart change within an individual is the most powerful and lasting way to truly change the world, to address the needs of humanity, even the most dire of situations.
Changing the heart solves the “heart problem” which is the one disease, rooted in our sin, that everybody has. Salvation connects mankind to the Problem-Solver. God has a promise and solution for every problem we face.
When a person establishes a personal relationship with God, they are able to request His help and avail of His magnificent power. All God’s promises become available to them. We are privileged to wield the keys of the kingdom of heaven to bring others to God.
Therefore, we consider the sharing of God’s Word and His lessons on how to live life as a practical solution to the most pressing needs in today’s world. We adopt a holistic approach when it comes to meeting the life and heart needs of the individual by considering and addressing all of man’s needs.
God made man in His image; therefore we are not only physical beings but both physical and spiritual. We therefore have both spiritual and physical needs. It’s natural to do all we can to meet our physical needs, as if we don’t, it will result in sickness and death. However, our spiritual needs can be more easily neglected unless we commit to meeting those needs on a regular basis.
Our primary spiritual need is to be in relationship with God, our Creator. We have an inborn need to communicate with God, through prayer, and through listening to Him through His words, and through His voice, as He speaks to our hearts. We desire to stay connected with Him through obeying what He shows us to do. This is important, as when we focus solely, or mostly, on what Jesus referred to as the “cares of this life” and we neglect our spiritual needs, our lives become out of balance.
As Jesus told His disciples, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
We realize the great value of supplying the needs of a person’s soul, and this motivates us to share the spiritual wealth of God’s truth that we have with others.
We believe that there are spiritual steps that must be taken to find solutions to the full range of problems we encounter in our everyday lives. We believe that bringing problems and challenges to God is the starting point for finding solutions and overcoming challenges.
The greatest spiritual solution is faith. That is, faith in the reality of the living God and knowledge of the loving relationship He longs to have with us. Finding and connecting with God and coming to understand His plan for mankind brings great liberty to our lives. We find peace and deep, abiding joy when we learn that God loves us and has our best interests at heart. This brings freedom from fear, hope for the future, and a sense of purpose, because we know that God has a purpose for our existence.
Another wonderful spiritual solution to life’s challenges is prayer. Through our own intercessory prayers and the prayers of others, we’re able to effect change beyond what our physical strength and abilities could ever accomplish. Desperate prayer delivers answers to our prayers and brings miracles—of healing, supply, and protection, for example—that no amount of work or money could ever bring into our lives and the lives of others. As the saying goes, “Prayer is not the least you can do; it is the most you can do.”
Praise is another spiritual solution. It brings down more of God’s spiritual and practical blessings. It lifts your spirit and puts you in a positive mindset. There are many accounts in the Bible that detail the power of praise to defeat a physical enemy and obtain victory. And God still responds to our praises today.
Generosity is another time-tested spiritual solution. At a time when so many are struggling, whether financially or in other ways, exercising generosity brings down God’s blessings. God blesses when we give to those in need. He also blesses when we give to Him through tithing and giving offerings and financial gifts over and above our tithes. Those who have committed to giving to Him can testify that giving to God and others is a spiritual solution that yields practical, tangible results.
We are passionate about sharing God’s spiritual solutions and teaching these “tools of the trade” to others so that they too can have personal access to spiritual power that can make their daily lives better on so many levels.
As an organization, TFI doesn’t have a lot of wealth or foundations to bring about practical change on a massive scale. Our strength is in presenting spiritual solutions and meeting the needs of the heart and spirit—giving encouragement, prayer, providing a listening ear, and offering Jesus, as well as challenging people to give their lives to God and to be a part of the change that is needed in today’s world. We are exercised at discerning the deep need in the heart of someone who is hurting. We’re attuned to the needs of the soul and spirit, and we have conviction that meeting people’s spiritual needs is extremely important. While someone’s spiritual needs may not necessarily be obvious, we understand that each person indeed has a great need, and we know that until those spiritual needs are met—by Jesus and His love—there remains a great void.
As our founder, David, so aptly put it:
What everybody needs is love! Love they have never known before, true love, sincere love, genuine love, the truly great love of their life, the love of all loves, of the Lover of all lovers, who alone can satisfy that deepest yearning of every human soul for total love and complete understanding—that deep hunger in the heart of man for his Creator!
The heart of man is the same the world over! His longings, loves, hunger for God and His truth, for joy and happiness and peace of mind are God-created and the same in men the world over! Man will never be truly happy with a heavy heart, a troubled mind, a discouraged spirit and an unsaved soul. The human soul can never be completely satisfied with anything less than utter union with the great and loving Spirit that created it!—God Himself!
We’re part of God’s spiritual solution sales force. That’s our focal point. Some people will never know that what they’ve been missing all along is Jesus until we show up at their door and present Him to them!
While we consider that the deepest and greatest need each person has is for them to get connected to God through Christ, the needs for food, medical care, housing, clean water, amongst other things, are vital for those in desperate need, as is freedom, justice, protection, and peace for those who are suffering oppression.
An effective way to meet the needs of our hurting world while using our unique strengths is to partner with other organizations or nonprofits who focus on providing physical and practical assistance to those in need. We are so grateful to the organizations and ministries that are committed and devoted to caring for people’s physical needs. That is an extremely important ministry. It’s a huge challenge in today’s world, where so many are impoverished and destitute. Caring for people and helping to provide their immediate, tangible needs is an important part of showing God’s love, and it is something Jesus instructed His followers to do.
In Jesus’ ministry, He understood both the physical and spiritual needs of humanity. He cared for people’s physical needs; He fed the hungry and healed the sick. He also tended to their spiritual needs, teaching them about God and His kingdom, about how to pray to receive their needs, about loving their fellow man, about living with righteousness and humility, about giving and serving.
Humanitarian and charitable works provide a platform for that beautiful blending. Some TFI members run their own nonprofits or charitable works and are able to provide both practical and spiritual assistance to the needy within their communities, which is a wonderful thing. Other TFI members partner with organizations that have an established and effective mechanism for aid distribution, or whatever service they provide. TFI members can then bring their skills of relating to people, demonstrating care and concern, and helping to carry the burdens and grief of the needy, while offering hope, prayer, and the truth of God’s Word.
TFI members have years of experience in this realm, thanks to our years of missionary service. We have learned how to work with just about anyone and everyone, from any culture or race. We are able to give much-needed encouragement, comfort, and hope—often in the face of great grief and loss—and to offer customized spiritual solutions, including, of course, a lasting relationship with Jesus. We greatly value and do what we can to meet people’s desperate physical needs, but we specialize in meeting their desperate heart needs, their spiritual needs. This is one of our niche skills. We are committed to the crusade of making the world a better place by changing one heart at a time.
Here is a challenge from David, our founder:
You say we can’t change the world? It’s too late, too bad, too big, too difficult? Well, why don’t you just try changing your part of the world? If you have changed just one life, you have changed a part of the world and you have proven that there is hope that it can all be changed! If one life can be changed, it shows that it’s possible that more lives can be changed. It can start with one person—maybe you!
Start with your own heart, your own mind, your own spirit, your own life, by receiving Jesus into your life, reading His Word, and putting its principles into practice in your life. Change your life, your home, your family, and you’ve changed a whole world—your world!
Then you and your little family can start trying to change your neighbors and friends and the people you come in contact with from day to day. You can make a special effort to reach lonely, hungry, needy hearts who are seeking love, seeking truth, seeking they know not what, but seeking happiness—desperately seeking to satisfy their yearning hearts that are so empty and barren and desolate for lack of the water of God’s Word and the warm sunshine of His love.
You can start individually, personally, just you or your little family, planting seeds, one by one, in heart after heart, day by day, by doing loving deeds for others and by telling them about Jesus. You could also give or recommend Christian materials to those you meet, to help them understand God’s Word. Patiently plant the seeds of the truth of God’s Word into that empty hole of an empty heart, then cover it with God’s love, and trust the great, warm, loving sunshine of His Spirit and the water of His Word to bring forth the miracle of new life.
It may seem only a tiny little bud at first, just a little sprig, just one insignificant little green shoot. What is that to the forest that’s needed? Well, it’s a beginning. It’s the beginning of the miracle of new life, and it will thrive and grow and flourish and become great and strong, a whole new “tree,” a whole new life, and maybe a whole new world!
You may not be in a situation where you can change hundreds of lives, but if you can reach out to one person, encourage one person, pray for one person, win one person to Jesus, disciple one person, they can go on and help others to change their lives. That person can win someone else and disciple someone else. You who are parents, pouring into your children, raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, you are shaping young lives and hearts that have ahead of them a potential lifetime of marvelous service to God and others.
There is a God-ordained place for each one of us where we can fulfill our calling and be part of God’s universal story of rescue, redemption, and reconciliation.
There are so many needs all around us. There are so many desperate people, hurting hearts, broken bodies, crushed spirits. The global challenges that we face are extremely complex. We realize that we can do so little in the face of so much heartache. Even our best and most noble human efforts will fall short. That is why we put so much emphasis on bringing eternal solutions through bringing a saving knowledge of Jesus to people. We know that full healing, help, and restoration will only come from God’s hand. That is why we aim to be His messengers to the world—proclaiming His message of hope, salvation, love, and peace through Jesus.
Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptures are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 John 6:63 NKJV.
 2 Corinthians 1:4 NKJV.
 Luke 4:18 ESV.
 Hebrews 13:16 NKJV.
 John 14:12 ESV.
 2 Corinthians 5:17.
 Matthew 16:26 ESV.
 Daily Might, Vol. 1, May 29, 1981.
 “Change the World,” January 1977.