How to Be Someone Who Loves God
What Is the Love of God, and How Can the True Love of God Be Achieved?
God’s words say that, “‘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 distance and nothing impure” (from “Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). What is meant by the words “‘love,’ as it is called, refers to an emotion that is pure and without blemish, where you use your heart to love”? Truly loving God is something that happens in your heart, it is your heart’s true love for God; which is to say, in your heart, you are capable of loving God. What does the love of God mean? It means you do not love a certain part of God, but everything of God, including God’s words, the Spirit of God, what God has and is, God’s disposition, and God incarnate, including the truth, and including the Holy Spirit Himself; you truly love God and the entirety of God. When there is true love for God in your heart, this love is “an emotion that is pure and without blemish”; in your heart, you have a profound love of God, which includes the love of God’s disposition, the words of God, and the truths expressed by God. In particular, you love the substance of God’s life, and God incarnate. Thus, if you really do possess this true love, then—in the words of man—others will see just how kind you are to God, just how close your relationship with God is, that you are of one heart with God, and mindful of God’s will in all things, and can love what God loves, hate what God hates, share in God’s thoughts, and worry for what concerns God, for you are of one heart with God. And how is the manifestation of such love produced? At root, it is produced because of your adoration and veneration toward the life disposition of God, and adoration and esteem toward what God has and is; in particular, you especially venerate and covet the substance of God’s life, God’s beauty and kindness, and God’s wisdom and omnipotence, and wish that your life, too, could have such substance and being, and that you could live out true humanness. All this is the true love of God. When people truly love God, then they unquestionably revere God, they are unquestionably filled with limitless adoration and esteem for God; in their hearts, they unquestionably magnify God, and sanctify God, they are happy to submit to the arrangements and orchestrations of God, they are unquestionably capable of being of one heart with God in all things, and they have no doubt or disobedience no matter what God does; they trust in God 100%, and they do all they can to comply, they obey with all their hearts. Such people truly love God, and those who truly love God obey God utterly, and are loyal unto death, for their love is true. Whatever a person is capable of when they truly love another person, they are even more capable of when they truly love God, for God is inherently the truth. And it is this that is the manifestation of true love for God. Now you know what the love of God is, yes? So what would you say is manifested when a person truly loves another person? Firstly, they are capable of opening their heart to the other person; they hide nothing from them in their heart, they share everything they have in their heart with them, and are willing to tell them whatever words are in their heart. Secondly, they have great trust in the other person, they trust them whatever they do, and they trust and accept all that they say. Thirdly, they are willing to satisfy them in all things, and would never hurt them, or bring them pain and suffering. And so what is manifested when people love God is even better than when they have such love for another person, for God is the truth, God is almighty, and—mostly importantly—God’s loveliness is so much greater than the loveliness of man; God’s loveliness is beyond description, and man’s loveliness is so paltry. When, in one person’s love for another, they are capable of paying such a price, and are capable of such true manifestation, then if they truly loved God, what would be manifested would be even better—of this there is no doubt. Today, we experience the work of God, and we understand what love is. Besides, because we more or less know the substance of the nature of corrupt mankind and the true facts of our corruption, we are able to sense that love between one person and another is not true love. And why is it not? Because a person’s loveliness is limited and lacking, and even when people wish to truly love another person, they cannot; it’s already pretty well to have a little love for others. Is this not the case? We have seen through to the substance and true facts of mankind’s corruption. People are not fit to be loved by others. But as a result of understanding the truth, you have some knowledge of God, you can sense that only God is fit for man’s love and praise. The more you understand the truth, the more you know God; the more you know God, the more of God’s loveliness you behold, and in this way your love of God grows ever truer and more pure, and ultimately there is born the true love for God, which is the effect of God’s work, and an inevitable effect of knowing God, for if you truly know God, then it is impossible not to love God. God is so lovely, there is so much about Him that is lovable, and so, without realizing it, people’s hearts turn to God ever more, and, at the same time, because their knowledge of God grows ever deeper, their love for Him becomes ever purer—and when they truly love God, they naturally live out the manifestation of this love. Today, there are those who do have love for God, but this love is tainted. Some are motivated by blessings, some love God for the sake of their own prospects and fate, and in some there has been no great change in their life disposition, and there are times when they cherish status and reputation, and thus express corruption, and become rebellious, negative, oppose God, and are subject to various restraints, and as a result, too little of their love is able to satisfy God. This is their true state. For example, there are those who do not feel that they have any great love for God, but as soon as they see they have done something that hurts God, and does not satisfy God, and makes God angry, and causes God to suffer, they loathe and curse themselves. Because there has been no change in their life disposition, even when they try to love God, such people are incapable of bringing satisfaction to God—this is true. Some people do have simple love of God, but because there has been no change in their life disposition, they are incapable of satisfying God. In fact, they themselves know that they are incapable of satisfying God, but despite their best intentions it remains beyond them, and they cannot achieve what God asks. How are such problems solved? Merely loving God with a simple heart of love is too superficial, your love of God is not deep enough, and this is because your understanding of the truth and knowledge of God are too shallow, as a result of which your love of God is not deep enough, and not true enough. What should you do to attain the true love of God? You must rely on pursuing the truth to resolve this issue. You must pursue the truth and pursue the knowledge of God. Only by pursuing the knowledge of God will our knowledge of God gradually deepen; when we truly know God, the next time we encounter something that is at odds with our conceptions it will be easy to resolve, as will the next time we are faced with the disobedience and defiance of the flesh, or find ourselves unable to obey. In particular, during times when we are careless and perfunctory in performing our duty, or are not loyal to God, we need but return before God to pray, and then eat and drink a couple of passages of God’s words, and the problem will be solved. Thus, it is not hard to achieve the true love of God. As long as we pursue the truth, then day-by-day, our feelings toward God and relationship with God will deepen—this is absolute. For example, you’ve believed in God for seven or eight years, and someone might ask you, “Have you gained a little knowledge of God during the years that you’ve believed in Him?” You think about it, and reply, “I truly have. Now I see that God’s work saves people, and makes them perfect. And why does He save people and make them perfect? Because God is love. I see this clearly now.” And because you have this knowledge of God, when you suffer certain failures or setbacks, and others say, “Stop believing in God,” are you liable to leave God? You will say, “I could never leave God. Whatever happens, I must believe in God. If I didn’t believe in God, my life would have no meaning, no value, it would be so painful. I couldn’t live without God. If I didn’t believe in God, I’d probably want to die.” And what do you discover in such situations? You truly do have some love for God, and could never leave God, you could never live without God; without God, you’d want to die. So what do you say, have you not gained something from these years you’ve believed in God? You can never leave God. In addition, suppose you committed certain transgressions, and seriously opposed God, and were incapable of satisfying God, but at the time you did not realize, nor felt any great pain. Then a day comes when you are dealt with and pruned by those who have some understanding of the truth, and they point things out to you. As soon as you see this you will say to yourself, “This is serious! Oh, I have rebelled against God so much! I’ve opposed God so much, how could I not have realized this?” And what do you feel then? There is the utmost pain in your heart. You say to yourself, “I am so rebellious, so beastly, I am not fit to live before God.” You’re chafing to curse yourself to death. Because of your rebellion, disobedience, and transgression, there is produced this pain and self-recrimination; you even want to die, you even curse yourself, you wish a terrible death upon yourself—and what is this because of? Because you have some love for God. And if you had no sense of God’s loveliness, could you have such feelings? Why did you not feel this when you hurt the world’s demons and devils? You feel pain when you rebel against God, you feel that you are beastly, and in this is some of the effect of loving God. And so, when we understand a little of the truth, and see a little of the loveliness of God, there is yearning and longing in our hearts.
What Principles Should Those Who Practice the Love of God Have, and What Is Manifested in Those Who Truly Love God?
Are there principles to practicing the love of God? What are the principles of loving God? First, you must love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Second, your love of God must be true and pure, free from adulteration or your own interpretations. Third, your love of God must be undivided; you should not worship any man or idol, much less should you worship angels, evil spirits, aliens, or any advanced lifeform. Fourth, your love of God must be above all else, and your love of what God loves must be built upon the foundation of loving God. These are the four main principles of loving God, and if you have these four principles, you are someone who truly loves God. The first—that you must love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength—means that your love of God must be wholehearted. “With all your heart” means wholeheartedly; your love may not be diffuse, it must have your undivided attention, and you must not apply it to other areas. “With all your soul” means that all of the predilections of your disposition are directed toward the love of God; “with all your mind” means that all your thoughts are directed toward the love of God; and “with all your strength” means that all the strength within your heart is directed toward the love of God. When you practice the love of God in this way, you will be someone who truly loves God and completely fulfills God’s will. The second principle—that your love of God must be true and pure, without adulteration, or deals and demands—is also pretty crucial. When you always try to make deals with God, or always make demands of Him, or always do things for the sake of being blessed, then such love is not welcomed or blessed by God, and so God will subject you to judgment and chastisement, trials and refinement, dealing and pruning, that your love might be purified. The third principle—that you should not worship any man or idol, much less should you worship angels or aliens—means loving only God. Some people forever have idols in their hearts; they’re particularly worshipful of one person or leader, or especially influenced by a certain individual. Such people’s love for God is too impure—and might even be said to be a little blasphemous toward God. There are those who believe in both God and idols, or in evil spirits, or who worship angels and aliens—which is a problem. Their love is too divided, and God is a jealous God. The fourth principle is that your love of God must be above all else, and you must love what God loves. Your love for God’s chosen ones , your brothers and sisters, must not be above your love for God, and thus, in addition to your love of God, there must be principles to your love of other positive things: You must not allow them to take over your heart, or let them have a place in your heart, or allow them to influence you; whatever it is, your love for it must not transcend your love of God, the love of God must be above all else, and in this way your love will be normal, and true, and welcomed by God. These are the four principles of loving God. And if you pursue and work hard in accordance with these four principles, and a day comes when you fully meet these standards, you will be someone who truly loves God. Is it easy to become someone who loves God? Is this something you will be able to achieve in the future? You must pursue, and God will help you to achieve it. So remember: There are things that are beyond you, but God is capable for all things, and as long as your intentions are right, as long as you are willing to pay price, as long as you are capable of suffering the hardship of some judgment and chastisement, trials and refinement, pruning and dealing, and are able to satisfy God, and can obey God, then the love of God will surely be produced in you. This is how I pursued before: In 1992, when I was being judged and chastised quite severely, my soul was always in pain, and so I began to pray. I asked for nothing else but to be someone who loved and knew God. All I wanted was to bear testimony to God; I never asked to be blessed, or for any kind of destination, or to not die. I said, “I want only to be someone who loves God, and then I’ll be satisfied.” At the time I prayed for this at least a dozen times. I didn’t do this every day, or a certain number of times a day, but prayed when I thought of it and was moved—after which I gradually came to love God. Now you’re clear about the principles of practicing the love of God, yes? So let us look at what is manifested in those who have no love for God. First, God has no place in their hearts. They have never cared about the work of God; their belief in God is only for the sake of being blessed. Second, they have no fear of God. In all things, they follow their own inclinations, and are even reckless and foolhardy, doing whatever they wish. At best, they follow their own rules and conceptions. Third, they are incapable of truly obeying the work of God. Whether faced with judgment and chastisement, or dealing and pruning, they feel shame, and their refusal, resistance, and opposition is absolute; they can only believe in God in accordance with their own conceptions and imaginings, and they always make demands of God. Fourth, they only look out for their own interests when performing their duty. If something is of no benefit to them, when it involves the slightest difficulty, then they give up, or they are careless and perfunctory, and just go through the motions. They are utterly incapable of loyalty unto God, and they perform their duty only to receive blessings. Fifth, nothing they do is connected to the truth. They are far from God, independent, acting on their own, doing as they please, acting according to their own conceptions and imaginings, and they never pray. Sixth, they have not the slightest love for the truth, they do not love positive things, and as a result, they do not pursue the truth. Seventh, they always have conceptions about God, and always make demands of God. Whenever they have a problem, the first thing they think of is to ask from God; but when they gain comfort, they never thank God, not believing it to have been bestowed upon them by God—they have not the slightest conscience. When they encounter tribulations, hardship and suffering, they misunderstand God and often complain. They are liable to oppose and betray God at any time. All who have any one of these seven manifestations have no love for God. So what do you think, can those who have no love for God be saved? Such people are unbelievers. They believe in God in name only and harbor evil intentions, and they have no chance of being saved. So what is manifested in those who truly love God? Would you say that if someone truly pursues the truth, they ought to spend time pondering these things? If we never give them any thought, then we are not someone who pursues the truth. We must always spend time considering matters regarding the spirit and the life, matters of the belief in God, and of the experiencing of God’s work; such things are what’s most important in our hearts—nothing else is important. It’s enough to have an awareness of what point the world has reached now, there’s no need to know it in detail. How you’ll make a living in the future doesn’t matter, it is in God’s hands; it’s enough to take care of what’s in front of you, so don’t think too far ahead. Your son or daughter’s prospects when they grow up, what they’ll become—you need not concern yourself with these things, they are in the hands of God. What you can do now is to talk more about matters of the belief in God, make them acknowledge that there is a God, and plant this root in their young hearts, so that in the future they will believe in God, they will be well disposed toward God, and will know what God is. You need only complete your own duty; do not trouble yourself over what your husband or wife and family will be like in the future—always thinking about such things is even more futile. So what’s most important now? Whether you are able to gain the truth in your belief in God, whether, in the future, you are able to perform your duty, whether you can become someone who loves God and be made perfect, and whether you can become someone who bears testimony to God. This is what God asks. When God works in us, what does He ultimately wish to achieve? He wishes to make us testify to Him, to make us love Him, to make us utterly obey and worship Him. If we can do this, God is satisfied. God does not ask much of man; He is satisfied with what your caliber is capable of achieving or accomplishing. And if you can’t do it, God does not ask anything higher of you. For example, if you are of ordinary caliber, what God asks of you shall be ordinary, too, and not excessively high. If your caliber is truly good, then what God asks of you will be a little higher, to allow you to understand the truth and know God, to make you become someone who can testify to God, to make you able to accept God’s commission, and be used by God. God is objective, realistic, and practical in what He asks of people. Everything He asks is what they are able to achieve; He never makes excessive demands of them. What should be the most important thing in your hearts today? Pursuing the truth and achieving the knowledge of God, and ultimately becoming someone who loves God—these are what’s most important. What do you say, are those who love God not the most kindhearted of all people? Do they not have the best humanity? And have they not entered the highest realm of human behavior? If you truly become someone who loves God, everything you live out will be love, and you will fully enter into the light and live in the light. Thus, there is such meaning to pursuing the love of God! Some people say, “I am of ordinary caliber, and not capable of being made perfect. Am I not aiming too high if I pursue that goal? I should just pursue the truth to achieve salvation.” Are these words right? What is asked of you must be a little higher, you must aim a little higher, for in that case you will surely be able to achieve lower standards; when you strive to love God, then if you are truly unable to love God, at the very least you can be saved and gain the truth. In addition, do you dare say that you definitely are incapable of this? If the Holy Spirit works in you to make you perfect, what do you think, can this be accomplished? There are some things about you that you can’t foresee. Do you dare conclude that “I’ll never be able to do this my whole life”? You do not. When you were young did you know you’d grow up to believe in God? When you were in your twenties and had just found a job, could you have imagined that you would give up this job in the future? Matters led by God are unfathomable to people; is this not so? You’re incapable of conceiving them, and so today, do not delimit yourself and say, “Oh! I am of ordinary caliber, I’m probably incapable of becoming someone who loves God. There’s no way I can be used by God.” Dare you say this? What is manifested in those who truly love God? First, they are able to give their hearts to God, and they truly turn to God. To truly turn to God is to give your heart to God. What is manifested when you give your heart to God? In all things, you open up your heart to God, and pray to God, and magnify God, and do not try to take matters into your own hands. This is for important matters; you need not take the trouble with trifling things—if people pray over trifling things and have no prayers for important things, do not give them over to God, then they are being deceitful and fake. Some people ask me about the most insignificant things: “How should I practice in this to obey and satisfy God?” And I reply, “However you practice, you are not obeying God. Only when you search how to practice obedience to God in something important are you obeying God. You’re concentrating on small things so it looks like you’re even more obedient to God in big things. This is being fake and deceitful; it disgusts me when I see it.” The second manifestation is that they are mindful of God’s will. When they perform their duty, they are capable of satisfying God, they know what to do to satisfy God, how to achieve the optimal effect, how to do it so that it is of benefit to the church work and God’s chosen ones. In your conscience, are you clear about these requirements? You are. And if these things are beyond you, what is the problem? You do not love God, and are not mindful of God’s will. You’re like the child of a family: You know what to do makes your parents satisfied and happy, but you do not do it. Are such children not thoughtless? Is this not the conclusion? Third, in all things they focus on practicing the truth to obey God. If, in matters concerning the truth, they are capable of practicing the truth to obey God, then they are someone who loves God. If they do not practice the truth, and do not obey God, then they rebel against God, they oppose God, and the consequence is that they sadden God and bring God pain. In their hearts, those who truly love God would not want this, they would not want to sadden God, they would not want to bring God pain; thus, the best way is to practice the truth and satisfy God, for this is the love of God. Fourth, they endeavor to pursue the truth, to pursue changes in their disposition, so as to achieve compatibility with God, which means they have a heart that loves God. They want to pursue the truth, to pursue changes in disposition, and to pursue being made perfect, they direct their efforts to this, and such is the effect achieved by the love of God. Fifth, they love what God loves, hate what God hates, and have true love for God’s chosen ones. There are several things contained within the true love for God’s chosen ones. First, you make every effort to water and provide for those who truly believe in God and pursue the truth. You help solve their problems, help fulfill their needs, you give them the sense that you truly love them, and you give everything for their entry into the life. Second, you are capable of forgiveness and tolerance toward those who truly believe in God and pursue the truth. You don’t do anything that is detrimental to them, regardless of what misinterpretations they have about you, what assertions they make about you, or what hurtful things they do to you. What’s more, in addition to being forgiving, tolerant, and patient, you don’t give anyone preferential treatment, and you provide people with the truth, and guide them in taking the right path. If those who truly believe in God and pursue the truth make assertions about you, and criticize you, or talk about you behind your back, or subject you to verbal attacks, you do nothing to get your own back on them. When you are capable of this, is this not true love? If you are not—if all you’re capable of is “toward those who truly believe in God and pursue the truth, I shall only water you, provide for you, and guide you with love if you do not hurt me, or make assertions about me, or oppose me; as soon as you oppose me, and set yourself against me, then I’ll punish you, I’ll expel you, I’ll bring you down,” does this count as the true love of God’s chosen ones? It does not. You are only capable of acting according to your own conceptions, of following the predilections of your own flesh. Such love is not true. Today, many of God’s chosen ones are under the influence of the church’s leaders or workers, and say: “Oh! We can’t say anything about them. If we really were to prune and deal with them, or reproach them and criticize them, then they’d make assertions about us, they’d undoubtedly condemn us, and might even expel us. These people are imperious when they have status, we dare not provoke them.” If this really is the impression you give them, what can be said of your leadership? Is it fair to people? Is it just? Does the truth wield power? It seems like Satan holds power, which is a trouble; in their hearts, people will not obey, and they will accuse you. If you are a leader or worker, and do many things that lead to accusations from others and the accusations of Satan, and God’s chosen ones do not follow you, do you bear testimony to God? Are you someone who loves God? You leave God incapable of facing Satan, unable to face the accusations of Satan, for you really do act like that. If you truly have a heart that loves God, then when Satan accuses you and causes injustice to you, God has nothing to fear, and says: “Satan, I leave him under your domain; you can test him, and expose him, and if he really is as you say, then I can exterminate him—and if he is not, you deserve to be punished!” God has the confidence to say this, yes? How did the trials of Job come about? Were they not caused by Satan’s accusations? But God knew that Job could stand firm, and so permitted Satan to test him—with the result that these trials came upon Job, disasters befalling him. So if you truly have a heart that loves God, God can see it. When Satan accuses you, God shall say, “You test him, and try and expose him, and let’s see if he is as you say.” This is what it means to bear resounding testimony to God. And so, leaders and workers at all levels, you should reflect on whether your actions could be accused by Satan. Can you reach the point where God’s chosen ones are all in favor of you and follow you, and say that you are righteous and fair to people, that everything you do could be brought before God? Do you dare speak from your conscience and say, “I did what I had to; if they misinterpret me, then that’s their business. I’m not afraid of holding up what I do for all to see, I dare to swear by God, I have principles, and this is not the slightest bit wrong”? In some places, people have written letters of accusation about various levels of leadership. I sent these messages to their pastoral administrators to check up on, to see whether these accusations were true or not. If the leaders and workers of certain districts or churches really do have a problem, then they’re dealt with; if they’ve only revealed temporary corruption, and are willing to repent, then they should make apology to God’s chosen ones and deal with the problem. So is it right that these letters of accusation are sent to the pastoral administrators? It is, completely. These things must be handled fairly. Before, there were those who misunderstood, and said, “Why doesn’t the above believe me? Who made the accusation? You believe everyone who writes these letters but me.” Why does this sound wrong to me? Have they misinterpreted it? Can I not ask that you reflect on this? So what if you’re an administrator? Is everything that the leaders and workers lower down do right? Do you never make mistakes? Am I not justified in asking you to reflect upon this, to check whether there really is anything wrong? And is it wrong to let you know that some of God’s chosen ones object to the leaders and workers doing this? Some people are incapable of understanding this; if so, then how do you pursue the truth? Are you afraid of trouble? Do you dare not face the facts? When you pursue to be a lover of God, ought these issues not to be resolved? Regardless of what kinds of letters of accusation God’s chosen ones send, it is a good thing that they are not afraid to say such things. Is it right to overrule, to remove, everyone who writes these letters? What kind of leader is this? This is what the great red dragon does; do you wish to kill people to keep your secrets quiet? Are people not permitted to speak? Do you wish to seal shut the mouths of God’s chosen ones? Are you a good leader if you do not let people talk? Outright lies are not permitted; but why stop them from saying things that are reasonable, from giving their opinions, and reporting the actions of others? This is the responsibility of God’s chosen ones. They have the right to speak, they have the right to ask questions. It is entirely normal that they raise the issues with you—even when they make suggestions to me, I still give them consideration. Someone will say, “Can the above fellowship about this problem during the next assembly?” And I’ll reply, “Yes, I accept.” Are they not allowed to propose these things to you? The letters of accusations from God’s chosen ones, or when people dare to say outright, or when they prune and deal with you—this must all be accepted, and approached in the right way, which will ultimately cause God’s chosen ones to acquiesce, and they will say, “This is someone who truly accepts the truth; it doesn’t matter how we deal with them or what we say, they never take these things the wrong way. We are sincerely and utterly convinced—we’ve never seen someone so good.” In itself, this is testimony, yes? Will you do this from now on? For those people with a sense of righteousness, whose pruning, dealing and accusations toward the leaders and workers are relatively accurate, though their dispositions may not be very good—though they may be arrogant, and lacking in reason—they are capable of saying what is true, they have a sense of righteousness. If they have values for cultivation, could you promote such people to the position of leader or worker? For those whom you find a little disagreeable, yet are people who really do pursue the truth, and are of good caliber, who often reveal corruption, yet can be made perfect after pruning and dealing, and have potential, too—could you promote such people? You must be able to do this! People who suppress those who have different opinions to them, who suppress dissidents, all have the disposition of the great red dragon. What do I do in such matters? Some people are arrogant, they always have conceptions, and are unwilling to submit; yet if they are truly someone who pursues the truth, then I will promote them. I’m not afraid of them disagreeing with me. If there are those who toady up to me, who try to curry favor, but secretly commit evil, then I will remove them. If someone has something to say about each leader, and is not happy with them, but they really are someone who pursues the truth, then I’ll still promote them and give them important things to do. In the way we treat others, we must be mindful of God’s will, and must be fair and just. And what does it show if you can do this? That you are just, and have a heart that loves God. When people have a sense of justice, they are capable of ignoring their own emotions; this is what must be achieved.