Love is the best possible defense against errors such as Legalism, Egotism, Self-righteousness.
Anything that is done outside of Love is done outside of the Truth and the Way. Any Testimony to the Truth requires Love. And what Love requires in Truth will be our Living Testimony.
I had a dream in which I was kneeling in prayer and suddenly felt my own death growing within me, overtaking me, and I saw my life as I had only just come to know it slipping away, stolen it seemed to me, with no hope of retrieval or repair. I wailed in distress and despair to God, "Now that I have learned to love this life, I must leave it?"
Then God put his hand ever so gently and sturdily on the back of my neck and replied, "I know. I am sorry. It will be all right." I then wept all the more, and woke up weeping, for I knew that I had now to abandon my ideas about what "all right" is and find a way to accept the "all right" that God was about to require of me. It was clear that pain and grief were a part of God's idea of what is "all right," and so his words were to me at that time but a cold comfort. Despite my fear and anxiety and doubt, God's all right proved to be a greater all right than I could ever have imagined for myself. It is a strange truth that such unlovely feelings (pain, grief, loss, despair) opened my heart and taught me to give and receive a Love greater than any I could have imagined. I now know how entirely good and gracious is the loving-kindness of God.
Any Testimony to the Truth requires Love. And what Love requires in Truth will be our Living Testimony.
Why Love is important.
Teresa de JesusThe important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight, but desire to please God in everything.
Deuteronomy 10:19Love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Matthew 22:37-39Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Luke 7:14Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
John 13:34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
John 13:35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Romans 13:10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
What Love is and what Love is not.It is good to remind oneself about what Love is what it is not. Observe the activities of thy own life, see if these activities open thy heart to Love or if they close thy heart.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy.
Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;
It is not self-seeking, nor easily angered.
It keeps no record of wrongdoing.
It does not delight in evil,
But rejoices in the truth.
It always protects, trusts, hopes, and preserves.
There is nothing love cannot face;
There is no limit to its faith, hope, and endurance.
In a word, there are three things that last forever:
Faith, hope, and love;
But the greatest of them all is love.
1 Corinthians 13:6-8 (NIV)Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:7-8Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Julian of NorwichGod did not say: You will not be troubled, you will not be be-labored, you will not be disquieted; but he said: You will not be overcome. God wants us to pay attention to these words, and always to be strong in faithful trust, in well and woe, for he loves and delights in us, and so he wishes us to love him and delight in him and trust greatly in him, and all will be well.
1 John 3:18Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Isaac PeningtonFor this is the true ground of love and unity, not that such a man walks and does just as I do, but because I feel the same Spirit and life in him... walking sweetly and harmoniously together in the midst of different practices.
James Nayler (1660)There is a Spirit which I feel that delights to do no evil nor to revenge any wrong, but delights to endure all things, in hopes to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, and to weary out all exaltation and cruelty, or whatever is of a nature contrary to itself. It sees to the end of all temptations. As it bears no evil in itself, it conceives none in the thoughts of any other. If it is betrayed, it bears it, for its ground and spring is the mercies and forgiveness of God. Its crown is meekness, its life is everlasting love unfeigned, and it takes its kingdom with entreaty and not with contention, and keeps it by lowliness of mind.
Unlovely words or deeds as Love in action.Whatever gets between you and loving God, for you this thing is sin. And the only loving response to sin is to name it: condemning the sin, confessing the sin, and seeking forgiveness for the sin.
Matthew 10:37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 8:22But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Luke 9:60Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
John 3:19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Isaac PeningtonGive over thine own willing, give over thine own running, give over thine own desiring to know or be anything, and sink down into the Seed which God sows in thy heart, and let that be in thee, and grow in thee, and breathe in thee, and thou shalt find by sweet experience that the Lord knows that and loves and owns that, and will lead it to the inheritance of life, which is his portion...
Hal Wright (2000)Every man and woman has within themselves the faculties to grow closer to God: a soul yearning for God, a heart that can be filled with love, a conscience to guide us on our spiritual journey and a free will endowed to choose good over evil.
Tools for Daily Guidance in the Truth and the Way
TO all the Elect, Chosen and Faithful, who . . . are the Gold tried in the Fire. Who have been tried by Goods spoiling, by Bonds, by Whippings, by Mockings and Reproaches . . . and some have been tried unto Death; and ye have proved to be the pure Gold, that hath come out brighter and brighter. Who have not feared the Waves of the Sea, nor the Winds; who fears not the Storms nor the Weather; whose Anchor holds, which is the Hope, the Mystery, which anchors the Soul which is Immortal, to the Immortal God. . . ...