197 Understand the Truth and Be Free

1 During many years of belief in the Lord, I only spoke words and doctrines, clung to rules, and performed religious ceremony. My every prayer was an empty boast, never did I speak the words in my heart to God. Nor did I seek the truth when I read the words of God; I was incapable of pondering God’s will. I thought that memorizing the famous verses and sayings of the Bible meant I possessed the reality of the truth. I focused only on stopping myself from lying, and thus I thought myself honest. I toiled tirelessly and gladly for years that I might enter the kingdom of heaven and be rewarded. How lucky that the words of Almighty God called to me; I heard the voice of God and returned to God. I have understood many truths from God’s words, I have beheld the appearance and work of God.

2 The judgment of God’s words suddenly awoke me; to pursue the truth is after God’s own heart. If I believe in God but do not experience God’s chastisement and judgment, my corrupt disposition cannot change. If I do not know God, and have no fear of God, then my good behavior is but a sham. God’s righteous disposition is inviolable by man, deceitful man’s wish to enter the kingdom is but a dream. I resolve to practice and experience God’s words, to gain the truth and shed my corruption. In all things, I seek the truth and practice the truth; in my heart, I feel grounded and at peace. I loyally perform my duty, and happily render service to God; I do not ask for blessings, but only that I may love God. Now that I understand the truth, I no longer cling to rules; living before God, I am set free.

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