Steven Garofalo
Politics • Spirituality/Belief • Preparedness
By Steven Garofalo, July 8, 2024 (Copyright 2024)
July 08, 2024

In an article by PSYCHOLOGY TODAY titled, "Why Are We So Divided and What Can We Do About It?" By Beverly B. Palmer, Ph.D, Posted January 10, 2020 and reviewed by Libi Ma writes:

“Our nation is becoming increasingly divided into opposing groups. And these divisions are becoming more and more entrenched. Why is this occurring? Similarity Brings Comfort

Psychologists say it is easiest to stick with people whom we see as similar to ourselves. It requires more effort to step outside our bubble. We tend to associate with people who look or think like ourselves”.

We then take the similarity even one step further by assuming that  people who are similar on one characteristic are similar to us on many other characteristics. For example, if a person belongs to the same political party or religion that we do, we might think they also like the same activities that we do. Thus, we have a strong tendency to categorize people with a broad brush.”

To be honest, this make a great deal of sense and explains things on the surface-as psychology often does. But per-usual, human psychology is always limited in getting underneath the real reason and solution to any problem, never the less solving the problem of human division. For this-we need God and His Word. That being said, let’s change gears and see what Jesus said about human division as He is God and the Creator of the human race to begin with.


Most of us think of and see Jesus coming to earth as the “Ultimate Great Uniting”, but nothing can be further from the truth. Within the body of believing Christians-yes, Jesus came to unite. But Jesus did not come to unite mankind on earth, but to divide us. The bottom line is that Jesus’ FIRST coming brought judgement on those who refuse to accept Him and DIVIDE the believers from the faithless.

While Jesus came to DIVIDE people on earth the first time, He is coming a second time to unite. We often confuse these two events. For today, I want to focus on dispelling the fact that Jesus came to unite in His First Coming. That being said, lets’ read and expound on Luke 12:49-53 which says the following:

Not Peace, but Division (Jesus speaking)

49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law”-Jesus Christ (Luke 12:49-53 ESV).


In the opening verse (49), Jesus says, “I CAME TO CAST FIRE ON THE EARTH, AND WOULD THAT IT WERE ALREADY KINDLED”. What does Jesus by he came to “CAST FIRE” as that seems pretty harsh and scary. I mean, these are some pretty direct, judgmental and to many, mean words. Well yes, for today’s overly soft students and sadly many adults, they are. But these words are the truth as spoken by God through His Son, our Lord and Savior. And this is the truth despite our sinfully politically soft minds mired in a false sense of secular humanism.


When said: “I CAME TO SEND FIRE” He was speaking of God’s judgement. Fire here is an image associated with God’s judgement (Jeremiah 5:14; 23:29). Jesus’ coming brought judgement on those who refuse to accept Him and DIVIDES the believers from the faithless. That’s the point of today’s passage. Though Jesus was ready for the judgment of humankind, other things had to happen first (v.50). It’s as simple as that.


In verse 50, Jesus said, “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!” Jesus is not speaking literally about his water baptism by John the Baptist but about his “Baptism with fire”, meaning his suffering on the Cross. Baptism here in this verse is referring to the overflowing waters of DIVINE JUDGMENT (Psalm 18:4; Isaiah 8:7). In other words, Jesus’ human response here is in response to what He recognized as His ultimate, necessary death on the Cross.

Jesus came to tie both events (Casting fire and Baptism) together because the latter, baptism, speaking of his suffering on the cross, are the only way for men and women to escaping the former (1 THESS. 5:9) speaking of judgment re: casting fire.

You see, Jesus’ commitment to God’s will was total and so should ours. He was completely government by the desire to complete His baptism to the point of suffering on the cross to the point of death in Jerusalem (Luke 13:32-33). So should we.


The disciples needed to know the DIVISION that serving Jesus would bring (12:51-53). Jesus arrival upon earth ushered in a period in history of disjointedness and crisis for people and between people. This division has and will continue to intensively reach the most intimate levels-even among families. This was made abundantly clear during the virus outbreak.


Jesus’ disciples needed to be DISCERNING about the nature of the times they were living in (12:54-56). And so should you and I and all believers. The time for repentance was running out the issue boiled down to the ability to discern the physical weather but not the coming of Jesus as God-Lord and Savior. How said that one can determine the literal “weather” but fail to discern the truth as to Jesus Christ as God, Son of God, Lord and Savior.

54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (Luke 12:54-56).


Lastly, Jesus made clear to His dispels that they needed to SETTLE (temporal) accounts quickly (12:57-59). The point here is that the disciples ought not be found FUSSING over temporal matters when the Lord returns. And for you and I and all believers today, this is more true than ever before. Disciples should do whatever it takes to avoid spending their last dime or last hour before the Lord returns dealing with merely temporal concerns. We have work to do.

WHY? BECAUSE OF THE ARRIVAL OF GOD’S KINGDOM (12:53-56), it was time to get one’s life in order and be reconciled to God (12:58). In short, they (Jesus’ disciples) were to get things settled with the earthly judges so they could prepare to face the heavenly one. And so should you and I.

SO DID JESUS REALLY COME TO DIVIDE AND NOT TO UNITE? YES-here are the words of Jesus Himself.

Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” (Luke 12:51). In truth, part of Jesus’ mission was to create a DIVISION within humankind”.


The PSYCHOLOGY TODAY article titled, “Why Are We So Divided and What Can We Do About It?” was accurate in raising the fact that “Our nation is becoming increasingly divided into opposing groups. And these divisions are becoming more and more entrenched. And the article was correct to ask the question “Why is this occurring? and conclude that it is easiest to stick with people whom we see as similar to ourselves. Yes, we can be UNITED as a person who belongs to the same political party or religion that we do but divided by a person who belongs to the opposing political party. But the real divider boils down to JESUS. WHO Jesus is. WHY He came to earth a bit over 2000 years ago. And WHY He came in the first place. And the answer is that He came to DIVIDE!

While most of us think of and see Jesus as the Ultimate United-but nothing can be further from the truth. The truth is that Jesus offers peace to those who respond to Him-those who accept Him as Lord and Savior. But, for the rest of human kind, those who reject Him, He came to divide believers from non-believers. Those who authentically choose Jesus are for sure divided from those who reject Jesus (or who try to partially accept Him). And this does lead each one to one political party from another.  

The FIRST COMING of Jesus’ was to bring judgement upon those who refuse to accept Him and DIVIDE those who believe and trust in Christ from the faithless who don’t. Yes, Jesus came to DIVIDE and not to UNITE. But, while Jesus came to DIVIDE the first time, He is coming a second time to unite. And it’s that desire to UNITE that will unite us once again, albeit here on earth or in the presence of the Lord. Either way, it’s our job to lead people to the true, exclusive free gift of eternal salvation. For once saved-true unity will abound.

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By Steven Garofalo, July 15, 2024 (Copyright 2024)

I was recently asked by an old friend, "Do you still keep in touch with David Berkowitz?" David is known as "Son of Sam", famous serial killer. I replied, yes, of course I do. He is saved in Jesus Christ. This gentleman said he is crazy and dangerous-why would you keep in touch with him? I explained that David was saved decades ago and has a wonderful ministry behind bars in prison. This gentleman could not accept that answer because in my opinion, he has not accepted God's grace as sufficient means for salvation in his own life. It occurred to me that this gentleman was most likely not saved, so it's not as much as that he woudn't accept the fact that God can redeem such a sinner, but that God "COULD" redeem such a sinner.

This made me think of the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Luke 15. 


The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7)

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

1) Notice that Jesus came to hang out with sinners who "were all drawing near to him" (v.1). Jesus has a way about Him that draws sinners (which includes all of us by the way). The greater the sinner the greater the draw. Everyone wants to know God which is to know true Goodness. Jesus is that exclusive conduit to God's goodness.

2) Many people today, including many Christians cannot believe that God could or would save a serial killer. But He does and always has. God goes after the "the one that is lost, until he finds it" (v.4).

3) When God finally connects with the lost, just as He did with you and I, he "ay's us on His shoulders, rejoining" (v.6).

4) In heaven, I think that we will be surprised by some of the people that made it into the kingdom of God. "There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no reptence" (v.7). In truth the 99 who need no repentance are those of us who THINK we need no repentance. We ALL need repentence and to repent daily.

IN CONCLUSION: David Berkowitz, AKA Son of Sam or now "Son of God" authentically reptended and is a new creation in Christ-just as you and I are in Christ. The truth about God's grace it shatters it's real and it's dispensed at God's pleasure to those who would receive it; even to a serial killer. I hope and pray you will think and pray on that as we work  through out day.


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By Steven Garofalo, July 12, 2024 (Copyright 2024)

There are many lessons God provides us regarding how we are to think in life, how we are to live out our life, and how we are to act in response of God’s commands as outlined in His Word. Today, I am going to provide you with SIX-RAW TRUTHS THAT LEAD TO A SUCCESSFUL LIFE.

  1. LIGHT IS SWEET AND PLEASANT AND DARKNESS THE OPPOSITE. “Light” signifies LIFE in this world and “Darkness” signifies DEATH.
  2. IF GOD GIVES YOU THE YEARS-ENJOY THEM. God’s gift of life on earth should be enjoyed, since it eventually terminates.
  3. BUT, REMEMBER-LIFE IS SHORT: The days of your life are a gift and short lived in the spectrum of eternity. Yes, as stated in number two, life eventually terminates-so enjoy each day as a gift of God.
  4. LIVE LIFE KNOWING THAT THE DAYS OF LIVING WITH ENJOYMENT ARE VANITY. Notice that all of your past vacations are behind you? The excitement of new home or automobile purchases grow faint and material things get old-just as we do. Only the things of God and unto God last forever. This boils down to the WHY and PURPOSE of your living. To live to self is a miserable existence because it’s al temporal vanity. To live for God and eternity is "Spirit led" and such a life can be filled with joy if we embrace the nice things of this earth in their proper context and perspective (namely using them for God's glory and others first).
  5. YOUNG PEOPLE SHOULD REJOICE IN THEIR YOUTH: For youth also is fleeting, so enjoy that season of life, but do so carefully and rightly. ALL of us over the age of 50 can relate to this in that you enjoy life while you are young, but must be careful in the reckless tendencies of your younger years. Also, let's make sure to enjoy our older years as a crown of life, uplifting the next generation as opposed to profiting from them. This is a major problem in today’s selfish, Western culture.
  6. LASTLY, WALK IN THE WAYS OF YOUR HEART AND SIGHT OF YOUR EYES, BUT KNOW THAT GOD WILL HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE FOR HOW YOU USED THE YEARS OF YOUTH. This pertains to how we act, the moral or immoral actions we take, and the things we prioritize in our youth as well as in our older years. Are we currently in our latter years, or in our youth-chasing the things of this world? Are we chasing wealth over the things of God? Or are we successful in our job, carrers, family, business, community-but staying grounded in ways of God at the same time?
  7. Let me pause here to point out that for most of us in America, it is very easy to justify a sinful (missing the mark life) in light of having checked the God box with what WE think of as being a good person and how (or how much) we GIVE of of ourselves; our time, money and expertise. It’s important for us to be honest with ourselves in that acting rightly in life. And living "RIGHTLY" boils down to a matter of sacrifice. This means giving of ourselves and our riches out of discipline, not out of our excess. God sees all things for what they are, not how we would like, want, or mean to them to be to God and others. King Solomon put it this way.

“7 Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun. 8 So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity. 9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgement.” (Ecclesiastes 11:7-9)

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By Steven Garofalo, July 5, 2024 (Copyright 2024)

In LUKE 12: 33, Jesus literally says this: 

“Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys”.

Is Jesus commanding us to sell everything we have follow Him in missionary form, or does this mean something different?

THE ANSWER is BOTH in that for some, they are called to become full time missionaries to serve the Lord. But, for most followers of Jesus Christ, we must zoom out to understand this verse more widely in that to “SELL WHAT YOU HAVE” - in contrast to the worlds hoarding of possessions, the disciple must be generous with what God gives. Jesus says to only “PROVIDE YOURSELVES WITH MONEYBAGS THAT DO NOT GROW OLD”. What did He mean by this? 

THE ANSWER regarding what Jesus meant by “money bags that do not grow old” is that By serving God and others, you can invest in your eternal future. You cannot take possessions with you in the next life, but you can store up an eternal treasure by giving to others. 

The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:17: “NOT THAT I SEEK THE GIFT, BUT I SEEK THE FRUIT THAT INCREASES TO YOUR CREDIT”. In other words, Paul has in mind in this verse the material GIFT that the Philippians sent to him. And when we give, like the Philippians church did, it is added to their CREDIT or their “ACCOUNT”. Paul here uses business terminology because the Philippians would understand that context in light of their being a center oof commerce. The bottom line is that the Philippians’ gift was producing spiritual profit just as money deposited in a bank account God will SUPPLY ALL their needs. The Philippians in turn, will be full because of the gifts God will give then, “ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES”: Out of His abundant wealth, God will more than amply take care of the Philippians.

SO TO ANSWER THE QUESTION AS TO: Is Jesus commanding us to sell everything we have follow Him in missionary form, or does this mean something different?  That depends on God’s specific calling upon your life-but generally speaking, THE ANSWER is no. For some, they are called to become full time missionaries to serve the Lord. But, for most followers of Jesus Christ, we must be generous to give rightly in the name of Jesus Christ. Giving for humanitarian reasons is nice, but if void of giving directly in the name of Jesus Christ-is eternally fruitless in adding anything to the giver’s “ACCOUNT”. We as Christians must be careful NOT to attempt to build up riches for reasons of ego or some kind of false security because those riches that are here today will be gone tomorrow. You and I are to: “PROVIDE YOURSELVES WITH MONEYBAGS THAT DO NOT GROW OLD”.

This is neither a conviction to sell everything and live in the jungles of the Amazon nor a license to amass unnecessary wealth. It’s a command and conviction to look at these direct words of Jesus and ACT on them in your life and in mine in a way that acts as the most important eternal investment we can ever make. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

This can be a very difficult passage for American’s in-particular. I get that as I as well live in America. But let’s do so with an open heart. I promise you that taking the passage into account will change your life. Blessings in abundance and God’s provision to you in-mass. -Steve 

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