L. On How to Pursue Loving God

570. God’s substance is not just for man to believe in; it is, moreover, for man to love. But many of those who believe in God are incapable of discovering this “secret.” People do not dare to love God, nor do they try to love Him. They have never discovered that there is so much that is lovable about God; they have never discovered that God is the God who loves man, and that He is the God who is for man to love. The loveliness of God is expressed in His work: Only when they experience His work can people discover His loveliness; only in their actual experiences can they appreciate the loveliness of God; and without observing it in real life, no one can discover God’s loveliness. There is so much to love about God, but without actually engaging with Him people are incapable of discovering it. Which is to say, if God did not become flesh, people would be incapable of actually engaging with Him, and if they were unable to actually engage with Him, they also would not be able to experience His work—and so their love of God would be tainted with much falsehood and imagination. The love of the God in heaven is not as real as the love of the God on earth, for people’s knowledge of God in heaven is built upon their imaginings, rather than upon what they have seen with their own eyes and what they have personally experienced. When God comes to earth, people are able to behold His actual deeds and His loveliness, and they can see everything of His practical and normal disposition, all of which is thousands of times more real than the knowledge of the God in heaven. Regardless of how much people love the God in heaven, there is nothing real about this love, and it is full of human ideas. No matter how little their love for the God on earth, this love is real; even if there is only a little of it, it is still real. God causes people to know Him through real work, and through this knowledge He gains their love. It’s like Peter: If he had not lived with Jesus, it would have been impossible for him to adore Jesus. So, too, was his loyalty toward Jesus built upon his engagement with Jesus. To make man love Him, God has come among man and lives together with man, and all that He makes man see and experience is the reality of God.

Excerpted from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

571. No lesson is more profound than the lesson of loving God, and it can be said that the lesson people learn from a lifetime of belief is how to love God. Which is to say, if you believe in God you must love God. If you only believe in God but do not love Him and have not attained the knowledge of God, and have never loved God with a true love that comes from within your heart, then your belief in God is futile; if, in your belief in God, you do not love God, then you live in vain, and your entire life is the most lowly of all lives. If, throughout your whole life, you have never loved or satisfied God, then what is the point of you living? And what is the point of your belief in God? Is that not a waste of effort? This is to say, if people are to believe in and love God, then they must pay a price. Rather than trying to act in a certain way externally, they should seek true insight in the depths of their hearts. If you are enthusiastic about singing and dancing, but incapable of putting the truth into practice, can you be said to love God? Loving God requires seeking God’s will in all things, and that you probe deep within when anything happens to you, trying to grasp God’s will, and trying to see what God’s will is in the matter, what He asks you to achieve, and how you should be mindful of His will. For example: Something happens that requires you to endure hardship, at which time you should understand what God’s will is and how you should be mindful of His will. You must not satisfy yourself: First put yourself to one side. Nothing is more abject than the flesh. You must seek to satisfy God, and you must fulfill your duty. With such thoughts, God will bring especial enlightenment to you in this matter, and your heart will also find comfort.

Excerpted from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

572. “Love,” as it is called, refers to an emotion that is pure and without blemish, where you use your heart to love, to feel, and to be thoughtful. In love there are no conditions, no barriers, and no distance. In love there is no suspicion, no deceit, and no cunning. In love there is no trade and nothing impure. If you love, then you will not deceive, complain, betray, rebel, exact, or seek to gain something or to gain a certain amount. If you love, then you will gladly dedicate yourself, will gladly suffer hardship, you will be compatible with Me, you will forsake all that you have for Me, you will give up your family, your future, your youth, and your marriage. If not, your love would not be love at all, but deceit and betrayal! What kind of love is yours? Is it a true love? Or false? How much have you forsaken? How much have you offered up? How much love have I received from you? Do you know? Your hearts are filled with evil, betrayal, and deceit—and that being so, how much of your love is impure? You think that you have already given up enough for Me; you think that your love for Me is already enough. But then why are your words and actions always rebellious and deceitful? You follow Me, yet you do not acknowledge My word. Is this considered love? You follow Me, yet then cast Me aside. Is this considered love? You follow Me, yet you are mistrustful of Me. Is this considered love? You follow Me, yet you cannot accept My existence. Is this considered love? You follow Me, yet you do not treat Me as befits who I am, and you make things difficult for Me at every turn. Is this considered love? You follow Me, yet you try to fool Me and deceive Me in every matter. Is this considered love? You serve Me, yet you do not fear Me. Is this considered love? You oppose Me in all respects and all things. Is this all considered love? You have dedicated much, it is true, yet you have never practiced what I require of you. Can this be considered love? Careful reckoning shows that there is not the slightest hint of love for Me within you. After so many years of work and all the many words I have supplied, how much have you actually gained? Does this not merit a careful look back?

Excerpted from “Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

573. What is it that man has gained since he first began believing in God? What have you come to know about God? How much have you changed because of your belief in God? Today, you all know that man’s belief in God is not solely for the salvation of the soul and the well-being of the flesh, nor is it to enrich his life through loving God, and so on. As it stands, if you love God for the sake of the well-being of the flesh or momentary pleasure, then even if, in the end, your love for God reaches its peak and you ask for nothing more, this love that you seek is still an adulterated love and not pleasing to God. Those who use love for God to enrich their dull existence and fill a void in their hearts are the kind of people who are greedy for a life of ease, not those who truly seek to love God. Love of this kind is forced, it is the pursuit of mental gratification, and God has no need of it. What kind of love, then, is yours? For what do you love God? How much true love for God is there within you right now? The love of the great majority of you is of the aforementioned kind. Such love can only maintain the status quo; it cannot achieve immutability, nor can it take root in man. This kind of love is only like a flower that blooms and withers without bearing fruit. In other words, after you have loved God once in such a way, if there is no one to lead you on the path ahead, then you will collapse. If you can only love God in the time of loving God but afterward your life disposition remains unchanged, then you will remain unable to escape from beneath the shroud of the influence of darkness, you will remain unable to break free from Satan’s bonds and its trickery. No one such as this can be fully gained by God; in the end, their spirit, soul, and body will still belong to Satan. There can be no doubt about this. All those who cannot be fully gained by God will return to their original place, that is, back to Satan, and they will go down to the lake of fire and brimstone to accept the next step of punishment from God. Those gained by God are those who forsake Satan and escape from its domain. They are officially numbered among the people of the kingdom. This is how the people of the kingdom come to be. Are you willing to become this kind of person? Are you willing to be gained by God? Are you willing to escape from the domain of Satan and return to God? Do you now belong to Satan or are you numbered among the people of the kingdom?

Excerpted from “What Viewpoint Believers Ought to Hold” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

574. Man has ever lived beneath the shroud of the influence of darkness, held in bondage to the influence of Satan, unable to escape, and his disposition, having been processed by Satan, becomes increasingly corrupt. It can be said that man has always lived amid his corrupt satanic disposition and is incapable of truly loving God. This being so, if man wishes to love God, he must be stripped of his self-righteousness, self-importance, arrogance, conceit, and the like—everything that is of Satan’s disposition. If not, his love is an impure love, a satanic love, and one which absolutely cannot receive the approval of God. Without being directly perfected, dealt with, broken, pruned, disciplined, chastened, and refined by the Holy Spirit, no one is able truly to love God.

Excerpted from “Corrupt Man Is Incapable of Representing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

575. When people contact God with their hearts, when their hearts are able to turn to Him entirely, this is the first step in man’s love for God. If you want to love God, you must first be able to turn your heart to Him. What is turning your heart to God? It is when everything that you pursue in your heart is for the sake of loving and gaining God. This shows that you have completely turned your heart to God. Aside from God and His words, there is almost nothing else in your heart (family, wealth, husband, wife, children, etc.). Even if there is, such things cannot occupy your heart, and you do not think of your future prospects but only pursue loving God. At such time you will have completely turned your heart to God. Suppose you are still making plans for yourself in your heart and are always pursuing personal profit, always thinking: “When can I make a small request of God? When will my family become wealthy? How can I get some nice clothing? …” If you are living in that state it shows that your heart has not fully turned to God. If you only have God’s words in your heart and you are able to pray to God and become close to Him at all times—as if He is very close to you, as if God is within you and you are within Him—if you are in that kind of state, it means that your heart is in the presence of God. If you pray to God and eat and drink of His words every day, are always thinking of the work of the church, and if you show consideration for God’s will, use your heart to love Him genuinely and satisfy His heart, then your heart will belong to God. If your heart is occupied by a number of other things, then it is still occupied by Satan and it has not truly turned to God. When someone’s heart has truly turned toward God, they will have genuine, spontaneous love for Him and will be able to consider God’s work. Although they may still have moments of foolishness and unreasonableness, they show concern for the interests of the house of God, His work, and their own change in disposition, and their heart is in the right place.

Excerpted from “Genuine Love for God Is Spontaneous” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

576. In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men and the interference of men. Behind every step of work that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … Everything people do requires them to pay a certain price in their efforts. Without actual hardship, they cannot satisfy God; they do not even come close to satisfying God, and they are just spouting empty slogans! Can these empty slogans satisfy God? When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony. Though they may seem unimportant from the outside, when these things happen they show whether or not you love God. If you do, you will be able to stand firm in your testimony to Him, and if you have not put the love of Him into practice, this shows you are not someone who puts the truth into practice, that you are without the truth, and without life, that you are chaff! Everything that happens to people happens when God needs them to stand firm in their testimony to Him. Though nothing major is happening to you at the moment and you do not bear great testimony, every detail of your daily life is a matter of testimony to God. If you can win the admiration of your brothers and sisters, your family members, and everyone around you; if, one day, the unbelievers come, and admire all that you do, and see that all that God does is wonderful, then you will have borne testimony. Although you have no insight and your caliber is poor, through God’s perfection of you, you are able to satisfy Him and be mindful of His will, showing others what great work He has done in people of the poorest caliber. When people come to know God and become overcomers before Satan, loyal to God to a great extent, then none has more backbone than this group of people, and this is the greatest testimony. Although you are incapable of doing great work, you are able to satisfy God. Others cannot put aside their notions, but you can; others cannot bear testimony to God during their actual experiences, but you can use your actual stature and actions to repay God’s love and bear resounding testimony to Him. Only this counts as actually loving God.

Excerpted from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

577. The more you put the truth into practice, the more you are possessed of the truth; the more you put the truth into practice, the more you possess God’s love; and the more you put the truth into practice, the more you are blessed by God. If you always practice in this way, God’s love for you will gradually enable you to see, just as Peter came to know God: Peter said that God not only has the wisdom to create the heavens and earth and all things, but, moreover, that He also has the wisdom to do real work in people. Peter said that He is not only worthy of people’s love because of His creation of the heavens and earth and all things, but, moreover, because of His ability to create man, to save man, to make man perfect, and to bequeath His love to man. So, too, did Peter say that there is much in Him that is worthy of man’s love. Peter said to Jesus: “Is creating the heavens and earth and all things the only reason You deserve people’s love? There is more in You that is lovable. You act and move in real life, Your Spirit touches me inside, You discipline me, You reproach me—these things are even more worthy of people’s love.” If you wish to see and experience God’s love, then you must explore and seek in real life and must be willing to put aside your own flesh. You must make this resolution. You must be someone with resolve who is able to satisfy God in all things, without being lazy or coveting the enjoyments of the flesh, not living for the flesh but living for God. There may be times when you do not satisfy God. That is because you do not understand God’s will; the next time, even though it will take more effort, you must satisfy Him and must not satisfy the flesh. When you experience in this way, you will have come to know God. You will see that God can create the heavens and earth and all things, that He has become flesh so that people can actually see Him and actually engage with Him; you will see that He is able to walk among man, and that His Spirit can make people perfect in real life, allowing them to see His loveliness and experience His discipline, His chastening, and His blessings. If you always experience in this way, in real life you will be inseparable from God, and if one day your relationship with God ceases to be normal, you will be able to suffer reproach and to feel remorse. When you have a normal relationship with God, you will never wish to leave God, and if one day God says He will leave you, you will be afraid, and will say that you would rather die than be left by God. As soon as you have these emotions, you will feel that you are incapable of leaving God, and in this way, you will have a foundation, and will truly enjoy God’s love.

Excerpted from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

578. Just how much do you love God today? And just how much do you know of all that God has done in you? These are the things you should learn. When God arrives on earth, all that He has done in man and allowed man to see is so that man will love Him and truly know Him. That man is able to suffer for God and has been able to come this far is, in one regard, because of God’s love, and in another regard, because of God’s salvation; moreover, it is because of the judgment and the work of chastisement that God has carried out in man. If you are without the judgment, chastisement, and trials of God, and if God has not made you suffer, then, in all honesty you do not truly love God. The greater God’s work in man, and the greater man’s suffering, the more apparent it is just how meaningful God’s work is, and the more that man’s heart is able to truly love God. How do you learn how to love God? Without torment and refinement, without painful trials—and if, furthermore, all that God gave man were grace, love, and mercy—would you be able to reach a point of truly loving God? On one hand, during God’s trials man comes to know his deficiencies and to see that he is insignificant, contemptible, and lowly, that he has nothing and is nothing; on the other hand, during His trials God creates different environments for man that make man more able to experience the loveliness of God. Although the pain is great, and sometimes insurmountable—even reaching the level of crushing grief—having experienced it, man sees how lovely God’s work in him is, and only upon this foundation is there born in man true love for God. Today man sees that with the grace, love, and mercy of God alone, he is incapable of truly knowing himself, and much less is he able to know the essence of man. Only through both the refinement and judgment of God, and during the process of refinement itself, can man know his deficiencies, and know that he has nothing. Thus, man’s love of God is built upon the foundation of the refinement and judgment of God.

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

579. Today, most people do not have that knowledge. They believe that suffering is without value, they are renounced by the world, their home life is troubled, they are not beloved of God, and their prospects are bleak. The suffering of some people reaches an extreme, and their thoughts turn to death. This is not true love for God; such people are cowards, they have no perseverance, they are weak and powerless! God is eager for man to love Him, but the more man loves Him, the greater man’s suffering, and the more man loves Him, the greater man’s trials. If you love Him, then every kind of suffering will befall you—and if you do not, then perhaps everything will go smoothly for you and all will be peaceful around you. When you love God, you will feel that much around you is insurmountable, and because your stature is too small you will be refined; moreover, you will be incapable of satisfying God, and you will always feel that God’s will is too lofty, that it is beyond the reach of man. Because of all this you will be refined—because there is much weakness within you, and much that is incapable of satisfying the will of God, you will be refined internally. Yet you must clearly see that purification is only achieved through refinement. Thus, during these last days you must bear testimony to God. No matter how great your suffering, you should walk until the very end, and even at your last breath, still you must be faithful to God and at the mercy of God; only this is truly loving God, and only this is the strong and resounding testimony. When you are tempted by Satan, you should say: “My heart belongs to God, and God has already gained me. I cannot satisfy you—I must devote my all to satisfying God.” The more you satisfy God, the more God blesses you and the greater the strength of your love for God; so, too, will you have faith and resolve, and will feel that nothing is more worthy or significant than a life spent loving God. It can be said that man has but to love God to be without sorrow. Although there are times when your flesh is weak and you are beset by many real troubles, during these times you will truly rely on God, and within your spirit you will be consoled, and you will feel certainty, and that you have something to depend upon. In this way, you will be able to overcome many environments, and so you will not complain about God because of the anguish that you suffer. Instead, you will want to sing, dance, and pray, to assemble and commune, to give thought to God, and you will feel that all the people, matters, and things around you that are organized by God are fitting. If you do not love God, all that you look upon will be irksome to you and nothing will be pleasing to your eyes; in your spirit you will not be free but downtrodden, your heart will always complain about God, and you will always feel that you suffer so much torment, and that it is so unjust. If you do not pursue for the sake of happiness, but in order to satisfy God and to not be accused by Satan, then such pursuit will give you great strength to love God. Man is able to carry out all that is spoken by God, and all that he does is able to satisfy God—this is what it means to be possessed of reality. Pursuing the satisfaction of God is using your love for God to put His words into practice; regardless of the time—even when others are without strength—inside of you there is still a heart which loves God, which profoundly yearns for and misses God. This is real stature.

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

580. It is during bitter refinement that man can most easily fall under the influence of Satan, so how should you love God during such refinement? You should summon your will, laying your heart before God and devoting the last of your time to Him. No matter how God refines you, you should be able to put the truth into practice to satisfy God’s will and you should take it upon yourself to seek God and seek communion. At times like these, the more passive you are, the more negative you will become and the easier it will be for you to regress. When it is necessary for you to serve your function, although you do not serve it well, you do all you can, and do so using nothing more than your love of God; regardless of what others say—whether they say you have done well, or that you have done badly—your intentions are correct, and you are not self-righteous, for you are acting in behalf of God. When others misinterpret you, you are able to pray to God and say: “O God! I do not ask that others tolerate me or treat me well, nor that they understand or approve of me. I only ask that I may be able to love You in my heart, that I may be at ease in my heart, and that my conscience may be clear. I do not ask that others commend me, or hold me in high regard; I only seek to satisfy You from my heart; I serve my role by doing all that I can, and although I am foolish, stupid, of poor caliber and blind, I know that You are lovely, and I am willing to devote all I have to You.” As soon as you pray in this way, your love for God emerges, and you feel much more relieved in your heart. This is what is meant by practicing the love of God.

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Possess True Love” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

581. How should man love God during refinement? By using the resolve to love God to accept His refinement: During refinement you are tormented inside, as if a knife were being twisted in your heart, yet you are willing to satisfy God using your heart, which loves Him, and you are unwilling to care for the flesh. This is what is meant by practicing the love of God. You hurt inside, and your suffering has reached a certain point, yet you are still willing to come before God and pray, saying: “O God! I cannot leave You. Although there is darkness within me, I wish to satisfy You; You know my heart, and I would that You invest more of Your love within me.” This is practice during refinement. If you use the love of God as the foundation, refinement can bring you closer to God and make you more intimate with God. Since you believe in God, you must hand over your heart before God. If you offer up and lay your heart before God, then during refinement it will be impossible for you to deny God, or leave God. In this way your relationship with God will become ever closer and ever more normal, and your communion with God will become ever more frequent. If you always practice in this way, then you will spend more time in God’s light and more time under the guidance of His words. There will also be more and more changes in your disposition, and your knowledge will increase day by day. When the day comes that God’s trials suddenly befall you, you will not only be able to stand by God’s side, but will also be able to bear testimony to God. At that time, you will be like Job, and like Peter. Having borne testimony to God you will truly love Him, and will gladly lay down your life for Him; you will be God’s witness, and one who is beloved by God. Love that has experienced refinement is strong, not weak. Regardless of when or how God subjects you to His trials, you are able to lay down your concerns about whether you live or die, to gladly cast aside everything for God, and to happily endure anything for God—thus your love will be pure and your faith real. Only then will you be someone who is truly loved by God, and who has truly been made perfect by God.

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Possess True Love” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

582. God chastises and judges man because it is required by His work, and, moreover, because it is needed by man. Man needs to be chastised and judged, and only then can he achieve the love of God. Today, you have been utterly convinced, but when you encounter the slightest setback, you are in trouble; your stature is still too small, and you still need to experience more of such chastisement and judgment in order to achieve a deeper knowledge. Today, you have some reverence for God, and you fear God, and you know He is the true God, but you do not have a great love of Him, much less have you achieved a pure love; your knowledge is too superficial, and your stature is still insufficient. When you truly encounter an environment, you still have not borne witness, too little of your entry is proactive, and you have no idea how to practice. Most people are passive and inactive; they only secretly love God in their hearts, but have no way of practice, nor are they clear about what their goals are. Those who have been made perfect not only possess normal humanity, but are possessed of truths that exceed the measures of conscience, that are higher than the standards of conscience; they not only use their conscience to pay back God’s love, but, more than that, they have known God, and have seen that God is lovely, and worthy of man’s love, and that there is so much to love in God; man cannot help but love Him! The love for God of those who have been made perfect is in order to fulfill their own personal aspirations. Theirs is a spontaneous love, a love that asks for nothing in return, and which is not a transaction. They love God because of nothing other than their knowledge of Him. Such people care not whether God bestows graces upon them, and are content with nothing more than to satisfy God. They do not strike bargains with God, nor do they measure their love of God by conscience: “You have given to me, thus I love You in return; if You do not give to me, then I have nothing for You in return.” Those who have been made perfect always believe that: “God is the Creator, and He carries out His work upon us. Since I have this opportunity, condition, and qualification to be made perfect, my pursuit should be to live out a life of meaning, and I should satisfy Him.”

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

583. During his lifetime, Peter experienced refinement hundreds of times and underwent many painful ordeals. This refinement became the foundation of his supreme love of God, and the most significant experience of his entire life. That he was able to possess a supreme love of God was, in one sense, because of his resolve to love God; more importantly, however, it was because of the refinement and suffering that he underwent. This suffering became his guide on the path of loving God, and the thing that was most memorable to him. If people do not undergo the pain of refinement when loving God, then their love is full of impurities and their own preferences; love such as this is full of the ideas of Satan, and fundamentally incapable of satisfying God’s will. Having the resolve to love God is not the same as truly loving God. Even though all that they think of in their hearts is for the sake of loving and satisfying God, and even though their thoughts seem to be entirely devoted to God and devoid of any human ideas, yet when their thoughts are brought before God, He does not commend or bless such thoughts. Even when people have fully understood all truths—when they have come to know them all—this cannot be said to be a sign of loving God, it cannot be said that these people actually love God. Despite having understood many truths without undergoing refinement, people are incapable of putting these truths into practice; only during refinement can people understand the real meaning of these truths, only then can people genuinely appreciate their inner meaning. At that time, when they try again, they are able to put the truths into practice properly, and in accordance with God’s will; at that time, their human ideas are lessened, their human corruption is reduced, and their human emotions are diminished; only at that time is their practice a true manifestation of the love of God. The effect of the truth of the love of God is not achieved through spoken knowledge or mental willingness, and nor can it be achieved simply by understanding that truth. It requires that people pay a price, that they undergo much bitterness during refinement, and only then will their love become pure and after God’s own heart.

Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Possess True Love” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

584. Near the end of his life, after he had been made perfect, Peter said, “O God! If I were to live a few more years, I would wish to achieve a purer and deeper love of You.” When he was about to be nailed to the cross, in his heart he prayed, “O God! Your time has now arrived; the time You prepared for me has arrived. I must be crucified for You, I must bear this testimony to You, and I hope that my love can satisfy Your requirements, and that it can become purer. Today, to be able to die for You, and be nailed to the cross for You, is comforting and reassuring to me, for nothing is more gratifying to me than to be able to be crucified for You and satisfy Your wishes, and to be able to give myself to You, to offer up my life to You. O God! You are so lovely! Were You to allow me to live, I would be even more willing to love You. As long as I am alive, I will love You. I wish to love You more deeply. You judge me, and chastise me, and try me because I am not righteous, because I have sinned. And Your righteous disposition becomes more apparent to me. This is a blessing to me, for I am able to love You more deeply, and I am willing to love You in this way even if You do not love me. I am willing to behold Your righteous disposition, for this makes me more able to live out a life of meaning. I feel that my life now is more meaningful, for I am crucified for Your sake, and it is meaningful to die for You. Yet still I do not feel satisfied, for I know too little of You, I know that I cannot completely fulfill Your wishes, and have repaid You too little. In my life, I have been incapable of returning my entirety to You; I am far from that. As I look back at this moment, I feel so indebted to You, and I have but this moment to make up for all of my mistakes and all the love that I have not repaid You.”

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

585. Man must pursue to live out a life of meaning, and should not be satisfied with his current circumstances. To live out the image of Peter, he must possess the knowledge and experiences of Peter. Man must pursue things that are higher and more profound. He must pursue a deeper, purer love of God, and a life that has value and meaning. Only this is life; only then will man be the same as Peter. You must focus on being proactive toward your entry on the positive side, and must not submissively allow yourself to backslide for the sake of momentary ease while ignoring more profound, more specific, and more practical truths. Your love must be practical, and you must find ways to free yourself from this depraved, carefree life that is no different from an animal’s. You must live out a life of meaning, a life of value, and you must not fool yourself or treat your life like a toy to be played with. For everyone who aspires to love God, there are no unobtainable truths and no justice for which they cannot stand firm. How should you live your life? How should you love God, and use this love to satisfy His desire? There is no greater matter in your life. Above all, you must have such aspirations and perseverance, and should not be like those who are spineless, those who are weaklings. You must learn how to experience a meaningful life and experience meaningful truths, and should not treat yourself perfunctorily in that way. Without you realizing it, your life will pass you by; after that, will you have another opportunity to love God? Can man love God after he is dead? You must have the same aspirations and conscience as Peter; your life must be meaningful, and you must not play games with yourself. As a human being, and as a person who pursues God, you must be able to carefully consider how you treat your life, how you should offer yourself to God, how you should have a more meaningful faith in God, and how, since you love God, you should love Him in a way that is more pure, more beautiful, and more good.

Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

586. If people wish to love God, they must taste God’s loveliness and see God’s loveliness; only then can there be roused in them a heart that loves God, a heart that inspires people to give of themselves loyally for God. God does not make people love Him through words and expressions or through their imagination, and He does not force people to love Him. Instead, He lets them love Him of their own volition, and He lets them see His loveliness in His work and utterances, after which there is borne in them the love of God. Only in this way can people truly bear testimony to God. People do not love God because they have been urged to do so by others, nor is it a momentary emotional impulse. They love God because they have seen His loveliness, they have seen that there is so much of Him that is worthy of people’s love, because they have seen God’s salvation, wisdom, and wondrous deeds—and as a result, they truly praise God and truly yearn for Him, and there is roused in them such a passion that they could not survive without gaining God. The reason why those who truly testify of God are able to give a resounding testimony to Him is because their testimony rests upon the foundation of the true knowledge and true yearning for God. Such testimony is not offered according to an emotional impulse, but according to their knowledge of God and His disposition. Because they have come to know God, they feel that they must surely testify of God and make all those who yearn for God know God, and be aware of God’s loveliness and His realness. Like people’s love for God, their testimony is spontaneous; it is real and has real significance and worth. It is not passive or hollow and meaningless. The reason only those who truly love God have the most value and meaning in their lives, the reason only they truly believe in God, is that these people are able to live in God’s light and are able to live for God’s work and management. It is because they do not live in darkness, but live in the light; they do not live meaningless lives, but lives that have been blessed by God. Only those who love God are able to testify of God, only they are God’s witnesses, only they are blessed by God, and only they are able to receive God’s promises. Those who love God are God’s intimates; they are the people beloved by God, and they can enjoy blessings together with God. Only people such as this will live to eternity, and only they will forever live under God’s care and protection. God is for people to love, and He is worthy of all people’s love, but not all people are capable of loving God, and not all people can testify of God and hold power with God. Because they are able to testify of God and devote all their efforts to God’s work, those who truly love God can walk anywhere beneath the heavens without anyone daring to oppose them, and they can wield power on earth and rule all the people of God. These people have come together from across the world. They speak different languages and have different skin colors, but their existence has the same meaning; they all have a heart that loves God, they all bear the same testimony, and have the same resolve, and the same wish. Those who love God can walk freely throughout the world, and those who testify of God can travel across the universe. These people are beloved by God, they are blessed by God, and they will forever live within His light.

Excerpted from “Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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