1. What true love is for God and what the significance is of love for God

Relevant Words of God:

God’s essence 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

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

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?

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

“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

Today, to believe in the practical God, you must set foot on the right track. If you believe in God, you should not only seek blessings, but to love God and know God. Through His enlightenment, through your own individual seeking, you can eat and drink His word, develop a real understanding of God, and have a real love of God that comes from your inmost heart. In other words, when your love for God is most genuine, and no one can destroy or stand in the way of your love for Him, at this time you are on the right track in your belief in God. This proves that you belong to God, for your heart is already in God’s possession and nothing else can then take possession of you. Through your experience, through the price you have paid, and through the work of God, you are able to develop an unbidden love for God—and when you do, you will become free from the influence of Satan and will come to live in the light of God’s word. Only when you have broken free from the influence of darkness can you be said to have gained God. In your belief in God, you must try to seek this goal. This is the duty of each of you. None of you should be satisfied with the current state of affairs. You cannot be of two minds toward the work of God, nor can you regard it lightly. You should think of God in all respects and at all times, and do all things for His sake. And whenever you speak or act, you should place the interests of the house of God first. Only thus can you be after God’s heart.

Excerpted from “You Ought to Live for the Truth Since You Believe in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Those who serve God should be God’s intimates, they should be pleasing to God, and capable of the utmost loyalty to God. Whether you act in private or in public, you are able to gain the joy of God before God, you are able to stand firm before God, and regardless of how other people treat you, you always walk the path you should walk, and give every care to God’s burden. Only people like this are intimates of God. That God’s intimates are able to serve Him directly is because they have been given God’s great commission and God’s burden, they are able to make God’s heart their own, and take God’s burden as their own, and they give no consideration to their future prospects: Even when they have no prospects, and they stand to gain nothing, they will always believe in God with a loving heart. And so, this kind of person is God’s intimate. God’s intimates are also His confidants; only God’s confidants could share His restlessness, and His thoughts, and although their flesh is painful and weak, they are able to endure pain and forsake that which they love to satisfy God. God gives more burdens to such people, and that which God desires to do is borne out in such people’s testimony. Thus, these people are pleasing to God, they are servants of God who are after His own heart, and only people such as this can rule together with God. When you have truly become God’s intimate is precisely when you will rule together with God.

Excerpted from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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

No matter how God works, and no matter your environment, you are able to pursue life and seek the truth, and seek knowledge of God’s work, and have an understanding of His actions, and you are able to act according to the truth. Doing so is what it is to have true faith, and doing so shows that you have not lost faith in God. You can only have true faith in God if you are able to persist in pursuing the truth through refinement, if you are able to truly love God and do not develop doubts about Him, if no matter what He does you still practice the truth to satisfy Him, and if you are able to seek in the depths for His will and be considerate of His will. In the past, when God said that you would reign as a king, you loved Him, and when He openly showed Himself to you, you pursued Him. But now God is hidden, you cannot see Him, and troubles have come upon you—do you then now lose hope in God? So, you must at all times pursue life and seek to satisfy God’s will. This is called genuine faith, and this is the truest and most beautiful kind of love.

Excerpted from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

People often speak of letting God be their life, but their experience has not yet come to that point. You are merely saying that God is your life, that He guides you every day, that you eat and drink His words each day, and that you pray to Him each day, so He has become your life. The knowledge of those who say this is quite superficial. In many people there is no foundation; God’s words have been planted within them, but they have yet to sprout, much less have they borne any fruit. Today, to what extent have you experienced? Only now, after God has forced you to come this far, do you feel that you cannot leave God. One day, when your experience has reached a certain point, if God were to make you leave, you would not be able to. You will always feel that you cannot be without God inside you; you can be without a husband, wife, or children, without a family, without a mother or father, without the enjoyments of the flesh, but you cannot be without God. Being without God would be like losing your life; you would not be able to live without God. When you have experienced to this point, you will have hit the mark in your faith in God, and in this way, God will have become your life, He will have become the foundation of your existence. You will never again be able to leave God. When you have experienced to this extent, you will have truly enjoyed God’s love, and when you have a close enough relationship with God, He will be your life, your love, and at that time you will pray to God and say: “O God! I cannot leave You. You are my life. I can go without everything else—but without You, I cannot go on living.” This is people’s true stature; it is the real life. Some people have been forced to come as far as they have today: They have to go on whether they want to or not, and they always feel as if they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You must experience such that God is your life, such that if God were taken away from your heart, it would be like losing your life; God must be your life, and you must be incapable of leaving Him. In this way, you will have actually experienced God, and at this time, when you love God, you will truly love God, and it will be a singular, pure love. One day, when your experiences are such that your life has reached a certain point, when you pray to God, and eat and drink the words of God, you will be unable to leave God inside, nor will you be able to forget Him even if you wanted to. God will have become your life; you can forget the world, you can forget your wife, husband, or children, but you will have trouble forgetting God—to do so would be impossible, this is your true life and your true love for God. When people’s love of God has reached a certain point, their love for nothing else is equal to their love of God; their love for God comes first. In this way you are able to give up everything else, and are willing to accept all dealing and pruning from God. When you have achieved a love of God that surpasses all else, you will live in reality and in God’s love.

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

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.” It is just like that which was experienced by Peter: When he was at his weakest, he prayed to God and said, “O God! Regardless of the time or place, You know that I always remember You. No matter the time or place, You know that I want to love You, but my stature is too small, I am too weak and powerless, my love is too limited, and my sincerity toward You is too meager. Compared to Your love, I am simply unfit to live. I wish only that my life is not in vain, and that I can not only repay Your love, but, moreover, that I can devote all I have to You. If I can satisfy You, then as a creature, I shall have peace of mind, and will ask for nothing more. Although I am weak and powerless now, I will not forget Your exhortations, and I will not forget Your love. Now I am doing nothing more than repaying Your love. O God, I feel awful! How can I give back the love in my heart to You, how can I do all I can, and be able to fulfill Your wishes, and be able to offer all that I have to You? You know the weakness of man; how can I be worthy of Your love? O God! You know I am of small stature, that my love is too meager. How can I do the best that I can in this kind of environment? I know I should repay Your love, I know that I should give all that I have to You, but today my stature is too small. I ask that You give me strength and confidence, so that I will be more able to possess a pure love to devote to You, and more able to devote all that I have to You; not only will I be able to repay Your love, but I will be more able to experience Your chastisement, judgment and trials, and even more severe curses. You have allowed me to behold Your love, and I am incapable of not loving You, and though I am weak and powerless today, how could I forget You? Your love, chastisement and judgment have all caused me to know You, yet I also feel incapable of fulfilling Your love, for You are so great. How can I devote all that I have to the Creator?”

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

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

If people do not pursue any goal when they believe in God, then their lives are for nothing, and when the time comes for them to die, they will see only the blue sky and dusty earth. Is that a meaningful life? If you are able to fulfill God’s requirements while you are living, is this not a beautiful thing? Why do you always bring such trouble upon yourself and why are you always so despondent? Have you gained anything from God, acting like that? And can God gain anything from you? In My oath to God, there was only the promise of My heart; I was not trying to fool Him with words. I would never do such a thing—I wish only to comfort the God that I love with My heart, so that His Spirit in heaven may be brought comfort. The heart may be valuable, but love is more precious. I would give the most precious love in My heart to God so that He may enjoy the most beautiful thing I have, and so that He may be fulfilled by the love I offer up to Him. Are you willing to give your love to God for Him to enjoy? Are you willing to make this the capital of your existence? In My experiences, I have seen that the more love I give to God, the more joy I find in living; furthermore, there is no limit to My strength, and I gladly offer all of My body and mind, and I have the constant feeling that I cannot possibly love God enough. So is your love a negligible love, or is it infinite, immeasurable? If you truly wish to love God, you will always have more love to give back to Him—and if that is the case, what person or thing could possibly stand in the way of your love for God?

God cherishes the love of every man. Toward all who love Him, His blessings are redoubled, for man’s love is so hard to come by, and there is so little of it, it is almost imperceptible. Throughout the universe, God has tried asking people to love Him back, but throughout the ages until now, only a few—a handful—have ever given Him true love back. As far as I remember, Peter was one, but he was personally guided by Jesus and it was only at the time of his death that he gave his full love to God, and then his life ended. And so, under these heinous conditions, God narrowed the scope of His work in the universe, and used the country of the great red dragon as a demonstration zone, focusing all of His energy and His efforts in one place, so as to make His work more effective, and of greater benefit to His testimony. It was under these two provisions that God transferred His work of the entire universe to these people in mainland China, who had the lowest caliber of all, and began His loving work of conquest. And after He has made them all love Him, He will carry out the next step of His work, which is God’s plan. Thus does His work achieve the greatest effect. The scope of His work has both a core and limitations. It is clear how great a price God has paid and how much effort He has expended when carrying out His work in us, in order for our day to come. This is our blessing.

Excerpted from “The Path … (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

You should seek to do your best to love God in this peaceful environment. In the future you will have no more opportunities to love God, for people only have the opportunity to love God in the flesh; when they live in another world, no one will talk of loving God. Is this not the responsibility of a created being? And so how should you love God during the days of your lives? Have you ever thought of this? Are you waiting until after you die to love God? Is this not empty talk? Today, why do you not pursue loving God? Can loving God while remaining busy be true love for God? The reason why it is said that this step of God’s work shall soon come to an end is because God already has testimony before Satan. Thus, there is no need for man to do anything; man is merely asked to pursue loving God in the years he is alive—this is the key. Because God’s requirements are not high, and, furthermore, because there is a burning anxiety in His heart, He has revealed a summary of the next step of work before this step of work has finished, which clearly shows how much time there is; if God were not anxious in His heart, would He speak these words so early? It is because time is short that God works in this way. It is hoped that you can love God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength, just as you cherish your own life. Is this not a life of the utmost meaning? Where else could you find the meaning of life? Are you not being so blind? Are you willing to love God? Is God worthy of man’s love? Are people worthy of man’s adoration? So, what should you do? Love God boldly, without reservations, and see what God will do to you. See if He will slay you. In sum, the task of loving God is more important than copying and writing things down for God. You should give first place to what is most important, so that your life may have more value and be full of happiness, and then you should wait for God’s “sentence” for you. I wonder if your plan will include loving God. I wish for everyone’s plans to become that which is completed by God, and that they all become reality.

Excerpted from “Chapter 42” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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