Banner Style #1
3′ x 6′ or 4′ x 8′ versatile all weather vinyl banner, with grommets
Lifting Our Values understands that every pastor has a different vision so as to enlighten and educate His flock. So to accommodate the different movements of the Spirit, we have developed three different versions of this banner to motivate and encourage participation in our program, with three different “reasons to change.”
- 1. (blank – no reason to change) the banner displayed
- 2. Eternity is Forever!
- 3. Eternal Life is not easy to obtain –Matthew 7:14
Banner is available to purchase or download for free to print at your local printer, but not for resale.
If you need this banner a different size…contact us at contact@LiftingOurValues.com
This banner is part of the “God Wants You in Heaven” church series, which shows us how to leave the world behind and live for God and salvation. This banner is offered in three different styles, based on the needs of the parish to instill understanding of God’s love in His mercy and in His gift of fear.
The devil has persuaded us to remove Fear of the Lord–fear of God’s just punishments–“servile fear [which] is a gift of the Holy Ghost” St. Aquinas (Summa Theologica II q.19, art.6) from our lives. Lifting Our Values understands the great need to have this fear, as it is the “beginning of wisdom” Proverbs 9:10, since it causes man to sincerely turn to God for His mercy (help) and seek wholeheartedly to amend all of his sinful ways.
It would be great if we could just wake up one day, hear God calling us to change, and then abandon everything and live for Him alone out of perfect love for Him. But sadly, we can’t just will (hope) to be able to do that and then do it. Truly surrendering our lives, leaving our sins out of true love for God comes from God’s grace. Because we are so stubborn, we simply won’t open up our souls enough to receive that fantastic grace all at once to do such a thing. If we did becoming a saint would be easy. However, if we are to get to that point in our faith, to really wholeheartedly leave sin out of true love for God, for most of us, because our sinful nature is to love ourselves over God, it takes much time to receive enough grace let go of the world and embrace God’s will out of love for God. Since we, still lack much grace, and need an incentive we can relate to, we need fear of punishment to really get us to act.
Many will convert to the faith or enter the religious life out of answering a call from God, out of love for Him or to make a better life for our selves and that is wonderful and a step forward, but that isn’t what is necessary for salvation. To truly seek to amend ones life, the way God commands us–to embrace sanctifying (saving) grace–someone must obtain enough grace to remove all desire for sin (we must learn to hate all sin by working hard to remove them) and desire nothing other than to know, serve and love God. We must choose to become saints. We are “called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2). That is obedience to God, not just to take a greater embrace of the faith. To leave this world and all of its pleasures behind and peruse God and His will mostly out of love for Him, instead of fear of suffering, takes great grace for our efforts to be sincere.
Desiring to remain as a sinner is a deadly desire. Sanctity must be our goal if we are seeking to wholeheartedly love and obey God and want Eternal Life. To sincerely do this, to wholly live the faith, takes great conviction since we love and do so much that simply isn’t holy, nor for the honor and glory of God, nor for serving Him as we waste countless hours in self-love with the tv, internet, entertaining, sports, dining out…oh, the things we do and seek that are opposed to holiness are great. We desire so much that isn’t holy because our attachments to the world are so strong. Sadly, we love so much over God (commit idolatry). Yet, only those with a strong fire motivating us, can abolish all of our distractions from God and truly seek to love Him with all of our heart. I do want to mention, we don’t need to succeed in becoming saints to embrace God’s free gift of Eternal Life but we do need to sincerely put forth our daily best effort and be truly sorry when we fail. That is a faith that accepts God’s forgiving mercy.
“But what is my [Jesus’] will, except that you should want to love Me above all things and not desire anything but Me” (Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden).
This conviction–this true conversion–one needs to do, for most of us, starts out coming from “fear of the Lord” and the eternal suffering we will choose if we don’t amend our ways.
This servile fear is so fantastic, if one is blessed to obtain a good portion of it along with knowing God’s incredible mercy that is waiting for the truly contrite–sorrowful–heart (those who truly want to change), someone can be drowned in great sin and completely turn away. From their “fear of the Lord” they can be brought into great sanctity from their cry’s to God for mercy to help them end their sinful ways–just like St. Augustine did. Fear of the Lord can give someone the desire to truly seek to “sin no more” as God expects of us.
Eventually if one opens up their soul, if one learns how to submit to God’s will and adore God’s mercy, they can grow into true love for God and a true hatred for all their sins. From God’s grace, their fear can and should transform into filial fear, which is also known as “Fear of the Lord” but its a fear of offending or losing the one we now truly Love. It has no selfish self-seeking motive. This is the fear that is needed for salvation, and for most to obtain it, it is derived from servile fear.
All of the saints had servile fear since only someone suffering from much blindness or someone who has reached perfect love of God (can’t choose sin any more) doesn’t have servile fear, since “fear has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18). Until we become “full of grace” (Acts 6:8) and can’t choose sin like St. Steven, we will still choose sin, and as long as we choose sin there will be punishment. All sin, unless it is atoned for before we die, we will receive our due punishment for each offence against God. Therefore, the wise always have some fear, until they reach perfection.
“We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Many saints began their transformation towards seeking Heaven and to live for God alone because of servile fear. It takes a “special grace” from God to be moved to change, to truly leave the pleasures of this world and wholeheartedly peruse Heaven, purely out of love for God. Since sin rejects grace, without much grace, fear of punishment or some other selfish reason can only be our greatest concern because of our still dominate sin of self-love. We must first remove much sin, out of fear of punishment, then we will be able to allow more of God’s grace to dwell within us, and then a true love for God can develop. We need to make obtaining servile fear, and a good understanding of the consequences of sin, our goal, so we can obey God and bring His children towards the path of Life like the saints have successfully found. Or we will be deceived into thinking we love God when our love is far from a true love.
“I began to fear that, if I had died of my illness, I should have gone to hell [since I lived a lukewarm life which rejects saving grace]; and though, even then, I could not incline my will to being a nun, I saw that this was the best and safest state [to obtain Heaven], and so, little by little, I determined to force myself to embrace it…this decision then to enter the religious life seems to have been inspired by servile fear more than by love.” St. Theresa of Avila
See rest of the banners
Give God’s children the truth with a reason to change. Without knowing a reason to change, sadly we simply won’t. Then preach and live the Word of salvation to allow God to use you to save souls.
“How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14).
God Wants YOU in Heaven
Learn how to reject the world and live for Heaven.