1. What are good deeds? How are good deeds made manifest?
Relevant Words of God:
If you possess the truth, you can follow God. If you have living out, you can be a manifestation of God’s word. If you have life, you can enjoy God’s blessing. Those who possess the truth can enjoy God’s blessing. God ensures redress for those who love Him wholeheartedly and who endure hardships and sufferings, but not for those who only love themselves and who have fallen prey to Satan’s deceptions. How can there be goodness in those who do not love the truth? How can there be righteousness in those who only love the flesh? Are not righteousness and goodness both spoken of only in reference to the truth? Are they not reserved for those who wholeheartedly love God?
Excerpted from “Only the Perfected Can Live a Meaningful Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In the church, stand firm in your testimony to Me, uphold the truth; right is right and wrong is wrong. Do not confuse black and white. You shall be at war with Satan and must completely vanquish it so that it never rises again. You must give everything you have to protect My testimony. This shall be the goal of your actions—do not forget this. But now, you are lacking in faith and the ability to differentiate things and you are always unable to understand My words and My intentions. Nonetheless, do not be anxious; everything proceeds according to My steps and anxiety only begets trouble. Spend more time before Me and do not attach importance to food and clothing, which are for the physical body. Seek My intentions often, and I will clearly show you what they are. Gradually you will find My intentions in everything, so that for every human being, I will have a way in without obstruction. This will satisfy My heart, and you shall receive blessings with Me forever and ever!
Excerpted from “Chapter 41” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You should each do your own duty to the best of your ability, with open and honest hearts, and be willing to pay whatever price is necessary. As you have said, when the day comes, God will not be remiss toward anyone who has suffered or paid a price for Him. This kind of conviction is worth holding on to, and it is right that you should never forget it. Only in this way can I put My mind at ease about you. Otherwise, you will forever be people about whom I cannot put My mind at ease, and you will forever be the objects of My distaste. If all of you can follow your conscience and give your all for Me, sparing no effort for My work, and devoting the energy of a lifetime to My gospel work, then will My heart not often leap for joy on your account? This way, I will be able to put My mind entirely at ease regarding you, won’t I?
Excerpted from “On Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you can devote your heart, body, and all of your genuine love to God, place them before Him, be completely obedient toward Him, and be absolutely considerate of His will—not for the flesh, not for family, and not for your own personal desires, but for the interests of God’s household, taking God’s word as the principle and foundation in everything—then by doing so, your intentions and your perspectives will all be in the right place, and you will then be a person before God who receives His praise.
Excerpted from “Those Who Truly Love God Are Those Who Can Submit Absolutely to His Practicality” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
As church leaders, you should learn how to discover and cultivate talent, and not be jealous of talented people. In this way, your duty will be performed satisfactorily, and you will have fulfilled your responsibility; you will also have done your utmost to be loyal. Some people are always afraid that others will steal their limelight and surpass them, obtaining recognition while they themselves are neglected. This leads them to attack and exclude others. Is this not a case of being jealous of people more capable than themselves? Is such behavior not selfish and contemptible? What kind of disposition is this? It is malicious! Thinking only of oneself, satisfying only one’s own desires, showing no consideration for the duties of others, and thinking only about one’s own interests and not the interests of God’s house—people like this have a bad disposition, and God has no love for them. If you are truly capable of being considerate of God’s will, then you will be able to treat other people fairly. If you give someone your recommendation, and that person is cultivated into someone of talent, thereby bringing one more talented person into God’s house, will you not then have done your work well? Will you not then have been loyal in performing your duty? This is a good deed before God, and it is the sort of conscience and reason people should possess. Those who are capable of putting the truth into practice can accept God’s scrutiny when doing things. When you accept God’s scrutiny, your heart is set straight. If you only ever do things for others to see, and do not accept God’s scrutiny, then is God still in your heart? People like this have no reverence for God. Do not always do things for your own sake and do not constantly consider your own interests; give no thought to your own status, prestige, or reputation. Also do not consider the interests of man. You must first give thought to the interests of God’s house, and make them your first priority. You should be considerate of God’s will and begin by contemplating whether or not you have been impure in the fulfillment of your duty, whether you have done your utmost to be loyal, done your best to fulfill your responsibilities, and given your all, as well as whether or not you have wholeheartedly given thought to your duty and the work of God’s house. You must give consideration to these things. Think about them frequently, and it will be easier for you to perform your duty well. If you are of poor caliber, your experience is shallow, or you are not proficient in your professional work, then there may be some mistakes or deficiencies in your work, and the results may not be very good—but you will have put forth your best effort. When you are not thinking of your own selfish desires or considering your own interests in the things you do, and are instead giving constant consideration to the work of God’s house, bearing its interests in mind, and performing your duty well, then you will be accumulating good deeds before God. People who perform these good deeds are the ones who possess truth reality; as such, they have borne testimony.
Excerpted from “Give Your True Heart to God, and You Can Obtain the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Most people who believe in God are glad to expend and devote themselves for Him. However, only those who are capable of genuine devotion and sacrifice possess the true reality. Most people happily pursue the truth, but relatively few are able to put it into practice or pay a price to gain it. When the crucial moment comes, and you are asked to sacrifice and forsake, you cannot bear to; this is unacceptable, and shows that you are not sincere toward God. If the more crucial a moment it is, the more able people are to submit and let go of their self-interests, vanity, and pride, and perform their duties properly, only then will they be remembered by God. Those are all good deeds! Regardless of what people do, which is more important—their vanity and pride, or God’s glory? (God’s glory.) Which are more important—your responsibilities, or your own interests? Fulfilling your responsibilities is what is most important, and you are duty-bound to them. This is not some slogan; if that is deep down what you think, and you try to practice that way, then will you not have entered a little of reality? At the very least, it means you possess that aspect of reality. When faced with certain things, your own ephemeral subjective desires and your vanity and pride will stop standing in your way, and you will give first priority to your own duty, to the will of God, to bearing testimony for Him, and to your own responsibilities. This is such a great way of bearing testimony, and it brings shame upon Satan! What does Satan think, after seeing all this? If you actually do this, using real actions to truly bear testimony to God and turn your back on Satan, and you are doing more than just chanting slogans, then there is no better way to shame Satan and testify to God. How wonderful it is to use various methods to bear witness for God and to make Satan see your determination to forsake and reject Satan!
Excerpted from “Gaining God and the Truth Is the Happiest of Things” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Whether you are fulfilling your duty or learning professional knowledge, you must adhere to principles in everything you do. You must treat everything you do in accordance with the truth, and practice in accordance with the truth. You must use the truth to resolve problems, to resolve the corrupt dispositions that have been revealed in you, and to resolve your erroneous ways and thoughts. You must continuously surmount these. For one thing, you must examine yourself. Once you have done so, if you discover a corrupt disposition, you must resolve it, subdue it, and forsake it. Once you have resolved these problems, when you no longer do things based on your corrupt dispositions, and when you can let go of your motives and interests and practice according to the truth principle, only then will you be doing what one who truly follows God is supposed to do. Does God find this particular behavior, way of acting, and conduct acceptable? He finds this acceptable; this is a good deed! Why is your acting that way considered to be a good deed? You do it to benefit others, for the sake of the work of God’s house, or for the interests of God’s house, and at the same time you are practicing the truth, and so God approves of it, and it is a good deed. If this is what you have lived out, it means you are bearing testimony for God.
Excerpted from “Only by Seeking the Truth in Everything Can One Enter Truth Reality” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Sometimes, after finishing a job, you feel a little uneasy in your heart. On closer inspection, you find that there is indeed a problem. It must be amended, after which you will feel at ease. Your unease proves there is a problem on which you need to spend extra time and to which you must pay closer attention. This is a serious, responsible attitude toward performing one’s duty. When one can be serious, responsible, dedicated, and hard-working, the work will be done properly. Sometimes, you do not have such a heart, and you cannot find or discover a mistake that is clear as day. Were one to have such a heart, then, with the prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit, they would be able to identify the issue. But if the Holy Spirit guided you and gave you such awareness, allowing you to sense that something is wrong, yet you did not have such a heart, you would still be incapable of identifying the problem. So, what does this show? It shows that it is very important that people cooperate; their hearts are very important, and where they direct their thoughts and intentions is very important. God scrutinizes and can see what people hold in their hearts as they perform their duty, and how much energy they exert. It is crucial that people put all their heart and strength into what they do. Cooperation, too, is a crucial component. Only if people strive to have no regrets about the duties they have completed and the things they have done, and not to be in debt to God, will they be acting with all their heart and strength. If, today, you do not give all your heart and strength, then, when something goes wrong later, and there are consequences, will it not be too late for regrets? You will be forever indebted; it will be a stain on you! A stain in the performance of one’s duty is a transgression. You must therefore strive to do properly the share of things you must and ought to do, with all your heart and strength. Those things must not be done carelessly or perfunctorily; you must not have any regrets. In this way, the duties you perform at this time shall be remembered by God. Those things remembered by God are good deeds. What, then, are the things that are not remembered? They are transgressions. People might not accept that they are evil deeds if they were described thus presently, but, if a day comes when there are serious consequences to these things, and they become a negative influence, then you will sense that these things are not mere behavioral transgressions, but evil deeds. When you realize this, you will be regretful, and think to yourself: I should have chosen an ounce of prevention! With a little more thought and effort, I wouldn’t have this problem. Nothing will wipe this eternal stain from your heart, and it would cause trouble if it should leave you in permanent debt. So, today, every time you perform your duty, or accept a commission, you must strive to do it with all your strength and all your heart. You must do it such that you are free of guilt and regret, so that it is remembered by God, and is a good deed. Do not act carelessly and perfunctorily, with one eye open and the other closed; you will regret it, and unable to make amends. It will constitute transgression, and ultimately, in your heart, there will always be guilt, indebtedness, and accusation. Which of these two paths is best? Which path is the right way? Performing your duty with all your heart and strength, and preparing and accumulating good deeds, without any regrets. Do not let your transgressions accumulate, regret them, and fall into debt. What happens when a person has committed too many transgressions? They are accruing God’s anger at them in His presence! If you transgress ever more, and God’s wrath toward you grows ever greater, then, ultimately, you shall be punished.
Excerpted from “How to Solve the Problem of Being Careless and Perfunctory When Performing Your Duty” in Records of Christ’s Talks