1. Love is the touchstone by which the reality of truth is perceived, and by it shall all men know that ye are My disciples (John xiii.35). I also make use of the sword of justice, so that at first sight some are inclined to think that, like Solomon, I intend to finish My work without mercy (1 Kings iii.16-28), but My object, like his, is to apply the touchstone of love which will bring out the truth, and show that you are the children of that God of Love who gave His life to save yours. You ought therefore to abide in that love and serve one another, and even give your lives to serve others, as I also gave My life for you. Then as I live ye shall live also (John xiv.19).
2. If ye are My disciples indeed your service of love will bear much fruit (John xv.8). And if men speak evil of you and pelt you with reproaches, pray for them, and instead of reproaching them let them taste the sweet fruit of your love.
Mischievous boys, when they catch sight of sweet fruit on a tree, pelt it with stones, and the tree without a murmur drops upon them, instead of stones, its charming fruit. For the tree has no stones to throw, but what God has given it, it gives without complaining. Be not cast down by ill treatment, for the fact that men fling abuse at you is full proof that yours is a fruitful life. Though they treat you thus from envy and spite, yet by that means the glory of your heavenly Father is made manifest. Do not suppose that God hungers after glory, or that there is anything lacking in His glory that man can supply. By no means! The object of His love is to lift that mean creature man out of the sinful state into which he has fallen and bear him upwards to His heaven of glory. Thus He gives not glory to Himself but to man by cleansing and purifying him, and in this the wonder and majesty of His love is made manifest.
3. To those who by their labours have enabled many to turn from sin and find righteousness in Me, I will grant such glory that they shall first of all shine like the stars, and then being made perfect shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The stars fade and disappear at the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, but the wish of My Father is that His sons should be made perfect like Himself and shine with Him in everlasting glory, rejoicing for ever in His boundless and eternal love.
4. There are little creatures far inferior to man, like the firefly, with its flickering light, and certain small plants among the vegetation in the Himalayas, which by their faint phosphorescent radiance illuminate as far as they can the dark jungle where they live. Tiny fish also that swim in the deep waters of the ocean give forth a glimmering light which guides other fish and helps them to elude their enemies. How much more ought My children to be lights in the world (Matt. v.14) and be eager in self-sacrifice to bring into the way of truth, by means of their God-given light, those who by reason of darkness are liable to become the prey of Satan.
5. If they do not use these heaven-sent powers in the service of God and His creatures they are in danger of losing for ever those heavenly gifts. This is what has happened to certain fish that live in the deep waters of dark caves, also to some hermits in Tibet, for both have lived so long in darkness that they have entirely lost their sight. In like manner the ostrich, through not using its wings, has lost altogether the power of flight. Take heed, therefore, not to neglect whatever gifts or talents have been entrusted to you, but make use of them that you may share in the bliss and glory of your Master (Matt. xxv.14-30).
6. Sometimes when there is some great act of service to be done, I choose for My purpose those who are little esteemed in the eyes of the world, for they make no boast of their own power or wisdom, but putting their entire trust in Me, and accounting what little ability they possess as of no great value, they devote all they have and are to My work for men (1 Cor. i.26-30). For instance, when I fed in the wilderness five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, you will remember that I did not perform this miracle by the agency of My disciples, for they were full of doubt and perplexity and wished to send the multitude away hungry (John vi.9). My servant on that occasion was a little lad whom I had cured of the palsy. Filled with a desire to hear My words he determined to follow Me. His poor mother wrapped up in his clothes some barley cakes and dried fish, enough for two or three days journey, so when inquiry was made for food for the multitude this faithful little lad at once brought all that he had and laid it at the disciples feet. Though there were wealthy people there who had with them much better food, such as wheaten cakes, they were not prepared to give them up; so it was from the barley cakes of this boy, My namesake, that by My blessing the multitude was fed with the choicest food.
7. There are many who are so wanting in gratitude that whatever blessings are bestowed upon them, even to the extent of miracles being performed for their benefit, they still remain dissatisfied and ungrateful. Such people can never be used for the service and blessing of others, but are like the man whom I healed after he had suffered for thirty-eight years from an incurable disease, for instead of being grateful and believing on Me he did not even trouble to remember My name (John v.12-13). From such people the world can hope for no blessing; it comes only from those who, like the poor widow, are ready to give up all they have, even all their living (Luke xxi.2-4).
8. For true service and the performance of duty My servants must be ready to offer even life itself -- like that faithful soldier who remained at his post in the bitter cold and falling snow till he froze to death, and like a statue still kept his place, though the others of the watch went off to warm themselves at the fire. When the king came and saw him standing fixed and faithful still in death, he took off his crown and placed it for a space upon his head, saying: |Such a faithful soldier and servant is worthy of the honour and glory of my diadem. Would that he had lived, for then I would have made him the head of my kingdom!| Such must my faithful servants be in the service to which I have appointed them, and to those who finish their work with like faith and courage I will grant a fadeless crown of eternal kingship (2 Tim. iv.4, 5-8).
9. Many there are who have wasted the precious time given to them for My service, but even now there is an opportunity for them to rouse themselves and make the best use of the time that remains to them. They are like a hunter who, while wandering in the jungle, picked up some pretty stones on the bank of a stream. Unaware of their value he used them one by one in his sling to shoot at the birds seated on the trees near the river, and so one by one they fell into the water and were lost. With one still in his hand he returned to the city, and as he passed along the bazaar a jeweller caught sight of it, and told the silly fellow that it was a valuable diamond for which he could get thousands of rupees. When he heard this he began to bewail himself and say, |Woe is me! I didn't know their value, and have been using many of these diamonds to shoot at birds by the riverside, and they have fallen into the river and are lost, otherwise I should have been a millionaire. Still I have saved this one, and that is something gained.| Every day is like a precious diamond, and though many priceless days have been wasted in the pursuit of fleeting pleasures, and are for ever sunk in the depths of the past, you should awake to the value of what remains, and bringing it into the best possible use gather for yourself spiritual riches. Use it in My service, who have given to you life and all its priceless blessings, and by using them to save others from sin and death you will obtain an everlasting and heavenly reward.