Living abroad, we are quite busy with our work and with things at home and sometimes we don’t have time to read God’s words or attend meetings. I feel that this is not putting God first, however, and I feel in my heart that I owe God. I’d like to ask how we can find a better balance between our work, our families and seeking the truth?
Bible Verses for Reference:
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mak 8:36-37).
And he said to his disciples, Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment (Luk 12:22-23).
Relevant Words of God:
Awaken, brothers! Awaken, sisters! My day will not be delayed; time is life, and to seize time is to save life! The time is not far off! If you take exams for entrance into college and you do not pass, you can try again and cram for the test. However, My day will have no such delay. Remember! Remember! I urge you with these good words. The end of the world unfolds before your very eyes, great disasters rapidly draw near; is your life important or is your sleeping, eating, and clothing important? The time has come for you to weigh these things.
from Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning
On this road, many men can speak of much knowledge, but at their time of death, their eyes brim with tears, and they hate themselves for having wasted a lifetime and lived for naught to old age. They had only understanding but never the opportunity to glorify God. They spent their entire lives fighting and journeying to and fro, yet upon their hour of death, there is regret in their hearts. Only in their dying hour do many come to their senses and realize the meaning of life. Is this then not too late? Why do you not seize the day and seek the truth that you love? Why wait until tomorrow? If in life you do not suffer for the truth or seek to gain it, could it be that you wish to feel regret in your dying hour? If so, then why believe in God? In truth, there are many matters in which man, if he devotes just the slightest effort, can put the truth into practice and thereby satisfy God. The heart of man is constantly possessed by demons and so he cannot act for the sake of God. Rather, he constantly journeys to and fro for the flesh, and profits nothing in the end. It is for these reasons that man has constant troubles and afflictions. Are these not the torments of Satan? Is this not corruption of the flesh? You should not fool God by only paying lip service. Rather, you must take tangible action. Do not fool yourself; what is the meaning in that? What can you gain by living for the sake of your flesh and toiling for fame and fortune?
from “You Ought to Live for the Truth Since You Believe in God”
People always tend toward the world, harboring too many hopes, wanting too much for their future, and having too many extravagant demands. They are always thinking about and planning for their flesh and never interested in seeking the way of belief in God. Their hearts have been captured by Satan, they have lost their reverence for God, and they are devoting their heart to Satan. But man was created by God. Thus, man has lost the testimony, meaning he has lost the glory of God. The purpose of conquering mankind is to seize back the glory of man’s reverence for God. … You do not feel the preciousness of light when you are living in it, but you will be cognizant of its preciousness once you are living in the dark night. You will be sorry then. You feel fine now, but the day will come when you will be sorry. When that day comes and darkness descends and light is nevermore, your regrets will be too late. It is because you still do not understand the present work that you fail to cherish your time now. Once the work of the entire universe begins, meaning when everything I am saying today has come true, many people will be holding their heads in bitter crying. Is that not falling into the darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth?
from “The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (1)”
God laments the future of mankind, and grieves the fall of mankind. He feels sorrow for mankind’s slow march toward decline and the path of no return. Mankind has broken the heart of God and renounced Him to seek the evil one. None have ever given thought to the direction in which a mankind such as this will move. It is precisely for this reason that none sense the anger of God. None seek a way to please God or try to become closer to God. Moreover, none seek to comprehend the sorrow and pain of God. Even after hearing the, man continues on his path away from God, evading the grace and care of God, and shunning the truth of God, and he would rather sell himself to Satan, the enemy of God. And who has given any thought as to how God will act toward an unrepentant man who has dismissed Him? None know that the repeated reminders and exhortations of God are because He holds in His hands an unprecedented disaster that He has prepared, one that will be unbearable for the flesh and soul of man. This disaster is not merely a punishment of the flesh but of the soul as well. You must know this: When the plan of God is made void and when His reminders and exhortations beget no response, what anger will He unleash? This will be like nothing that has heretofore been experienced or heard by any creation. And so I say, this disaster is unprecedented and will never be repeated. This is because only one creation and one salvation are within the plan of God. This is the first time and also the last. Therefore, none can comprehend the kind intention and fervent anticipation of God for mankind’s salvation.
from “God Is the Source of Man’s Life”
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 spineless 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; and 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, and how, since you love God, you should love Him in a way that is more pure, more beautiful, and more good.
from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment”
As someone who is normal, and who pursues the love of God, entry into the kingdom to become one of the people of God is your true future, and a life that is of the utmost value and significance. No one is more blessed than you—and why do I say this? Because those who do not believe in God live for the flesh, and they live for Satan, but today you live for God, and live to carry out the will of God. That is why I say your lives are of the utmost significance. Only this group of people, who have been selected by God, are able to live out a life of the utmost significance: No one else on earth is able to live out a life of such value and meaning.
from “Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God”
How can one maintain their relationship with God? By what means can they maintain it? By means of imploring, praying and having the communion with God in their heart. This kind of relationship will allow you to live always before God, and so you will be a very peaceful person. Some people are always doing external things and they busy themselves with external affairs. After a day or two without engaging in the spiritual life, their heart has no perception, and after three days, or five days, it still has no perception, or it still has no perception after one or two months. This means that they do not pray or implore for anything, and they don’t engage in spiritual communion. Imploring is when you encounter issues, you ask God to help you, to guide you, to provide for you, to enlighten you, to allow you to understand, to allow you to know God’s will and to know what the truth is. Praying has rather a broad scope. Sometimes it is saying the words in your heart, speaking with God when you encounter difficulties and saying the words that are in your heart to God when you become negative and weak. You may alsowhen you are rebellious, or you talk with God about the issues you encounter every day, both about the ones you can see through and the ones you can’t see through. This is praying. The scope of praying is basically having a chat with God, sometimes at fixed times and sometimes at unscheduled times, and it can be done at any time and in any place. Spiritual communion does not really hold to a certain format. Maybe there is an issue, maybe there isn’t; sometimes there will be something to say, and sometimes there won’t. This is spiritual communion. When there is a specific issue to talk with God about, then you can pray. When there is no issue, you just think about God, “How does God love man? How does God care for man? How does God reproach man?” “Oh God, I feel I have done this thing wrong. If I really have done it wrong, then reproach me and make me aware of it.” This is spiritual communion, and it can be done at any time and in any place. Sometimes you’re on the road and you think of something that makes your heart feel really sad. You don’t need to kneel or close your eyes, but instead you just immediately say to God in your heart: “Oh God, I pray that You guide me with this issue. I am weak and I can’t overcome it.” Your heart is stirred, and with these few simple words God knows all about it.
from “Those Who Cannot Live Always Before God Are Unbelievers” in Records of Christ’s Talks
First begin with the matter of prayer. Be single-minded, and pray at a fixed time. No matter how pressed for time, or how busy, or what comes upon you, pray every day as normal, and eat and drink God’s words as normal. As long as you eat and drink God’s words, no matter what your surroundings are, your spirit is especially pleased, nor are you bothered by the people, events, or things around you. When you normally contemplate God in your heart, what goes on outside cannot bother you. This is what it means to have stature. Begin from prayer first: Praying at peace before God is most fruitful. After that, eat and drink the words of God, and ponder God’s words and try to obtain the light, find the path to practice, know what the aims of God’s utterances are, and understand without deviation. Ordinarily, draw close to God normally in your heart, contemplate God’s love, and ponder the words of God, without being disturbed by external things. When your heart is at peace to a degree that you are able to muse, so that, within yourself, you contemplate God’s love and truly draw near to God regardless of what environment you are in, and you have ultimately reached the point where you give praise in your heart, and it is even better than praying, then in this you will be possessed of a certain stature. If you are able to achieve the states described above, then this will prove that your heart is truly at peace before God. This is the first step; it is a basic exercise. Only after they are able to be at peace before God can people be touched by the Holy Spirit, and enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit, only then are they able to truly commune with God, and able to grasp God’s will and the guidance of the Holy Spirit—and in this, they will have entered onto the right track in their spiritual lives.
from “On Quieting Your Heart Before God”
The Man’s Fellowship:
Life in a democratic country is busy! If you don’t make money, there are taxes you can’t pay, and you have to pay your rent, maintain your car, and pay your electric and water bills, that all takes money, so of course you have to work, don’t you? That presents a problem. It’s as if believing in God presents an extra burden, especially performing your duties. But would you be free of burdens if you didn’t believe in God? You would be just as burdened, if not more so. Some people ask, can there be a burden more tiring? I guarantee there is, because you’ll be suffering. Your days will be a struggle to feed yourself, a fight for survival, and there will be many difficulties and troubles, because the world is unfair and people are wicked, there will be many interruptions and hardships, and nothing will go smoothly. But through your belief in God and your growing understanding of the truth, you will gain wisdom and see paths, you will no longer contaminate yourself with devils, and you will be more sensible toward them, which will spare you much of your suffering, … You spare yourself so much suffering because you believe in God, you eat and drink, and you pursue the truth, which gives you spiritual comfort, and you enjoy the peace and happiness granted by God. Consider that one day, the great disaster will strike, and you will be calm. The unbelievers will lose their minds in panic and fear for the days ahead, feeling that this is the end of the world. But when the same disaster falls upon us, we believers in God will feel differently than the unbelievers. God is with us, and we have shares in the kingdom of Christ. What great comfort that knowledge affords us! Is this comfort not a happiness of the spirit? This is the truest happiness. We gain it because we, while believing in God, have understood the truth, known God, and become qualified to receive God’s promises. This spiritual happiness, comfort, and yearning is humanity’s most genuine happiness, and it cannot be gained without believing in God! So, when you say, “Believing in God is so busy, I have to make money and take care of my family, and on top of that I have to believe in God, read God’s word, and live the church life and go to meetings. It’s so much of a burden!” That’s not wrong, but how many blessings have you gained, and how many disasters and how much suffering have you averted?! … What is true happiness? This is true happiness! Only those who believe in God and pursue the truth find happiness, only they have that peace, that joy, that yearning, that enjoyment, that comfort, only those who gain the truth can experience these pleasures.
from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, B8 Volume 130
No one, in all of corrupt mankind now throughout the entire world, can say for sure what happiness is. Only those who have genuinely gained the truth know what happiness is, and what the true way is. Aren’t all the advantages of the world and of the flesh gone in the blink of an eye? Wealth is gone in the blink of an eye; to have too much becomes a burden and is useless. Aren’t fame and gain empty? Nowadays, some people live for their husbands, some live for their children, and some people live for a house or for a car—is there any meaning to living like this? There is no meaning. Some people ask me: ‘Then do we really want to keep living? What would you have me base my life on?’ Does what you base your life on have anything to do with what I say? Aren’t these two entirely different things? Just because I say you shouldn’t live for those things, it doesn’t mean that I stop you from going to work. Do I say that you cannot make a living? This is entirely different from the problems I talk about. Some people consider problems in an illogical way, always asking questions irrelevantly, and not understanding the meaning of what I say. This kind of person severely lacks the ability to understand. What job you should look for or what job you should do poses no obstacle, as this is so you can survive; we cannot live for the sake of wealth, however. Are these two problems one and the same? The intentions are different here. Some people work a job, and why do they do this? They do it to live. Why do they believe in God? To find a genuine human life. These words are good and real: ‘I need to find a job to live, to survive.’ So the purpose of working a job is to earn a little money to maintain your life. ‘Why do I need to live? How should I live? How should I get to the end of the path of human life? Where are the mysteries of human life to be found? I must seek the truth. Even after eating my meal and feeling full, I must still seek the truth.’ If you lived for the sake of living a better physical life, would someone like that have a human life? What would the difference be between that person and an animal? One aspect of living is to maintain your own life and resolve the problem of survival; another is that you also need to resolve the problem of human life. Man is the spirit of all things, the master of all things, and they must resolve their problem of human life. Exactly what manner of person should man live out? What image should they live out? What path should they walk? Man first needs to understand these questions—they are fundamental. … Why does man live? That is, what exactly is a genuine human life, and how can one live a life of meaning and value? This is the first problem. The nature of this problem is to do with principles, it comes down to God’s will, and if you can solve this problem, you will then know why God wanted to create man, the meaning of human life and how man should live in conformity with God’s will. When you can solve this problem, then the path, the truth and the meaning of human life will all be solved. Those who can solve this problem will, in the end, be praised by God and will be left over, therefore herein lies the significance of God’s work.
from “Only Entering the Reality of the Truth is Genuinely Understanding and Gaining the Truth” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VIII)