|Book One, Lesson Twelve
"And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three;
but the greatest of these is love."
I Corinthians 13:13 [RV]
Our Father, through the love that Thou has manifested in the world through Thy Son, the Christ, make us more aware of "God is love." 262-43
[Based on Edgar Cayce readings 262-43 through 262-48]
Love is God. The whole law is fulfilled in these three words. Humanity is urged to observe and to cultivate this attribute, for it is through love that physical life is perfected and the continuity of life realized. Life is Creative Force in action and is the expression of love.
Love, divine love, is universal. It is found in the smile of a babe, which indeed is love undefiled, in the beauty of a song, and in a soul raised in praise to the Giver of Light. There is love manifested in the performance of duty when there is no thought of personal gain, in speaking encouraging words to those seeking an understanding, and in the activities of those doing their best with the talents entrusted to them. Love may be found in a contented heart that is willing to wait until the time is fulfilled when the ideal may be realized. Love that passes understanding is found in His Consciousness.
It is the privilege of every soul to find joy in communing with God in nature; for each creation is a complete unit of expression of the Creative Power.
Christ perfectly manifested the love of the Maker. His life and teachings are the inspiration for the regeneration of all humanity. As children of God we can manifest God's love if we allow Him to have His way in our lives. Joy comes through service even in toil and pain. Pure undefiled love is so powerful that all may lay down their lives for others. Self is forgotten.
Then, come ye, my children! Harken unto that which thou hast attained in thine self, that ye may put on the whole armor and be fruitful in the love of Him [who] calls that everyone should hear, should know, should understand, that God is in His heavens and that His love endureth even to those who harden their hearts-and wills that no one should perish rather that in the love as may be manifested in the daily walks, the daily activities of every soul, each may show through that manifested the love which impels the giving of everything within self as a manifestation of He, the Master having spoken with thee! 262-44
The Power of Love
Love is the force that uplifts and inspires humankind. Children starve without it. Men and women wither and decay when it is lacking. It costs nothing, yet its value cannot be measured by material standards. It can lift wretched human beings from the miry clay of despair and set their feet upon the solid rock of respectability and service.
Love is that inexplicable force which brought Jesus to earth so that through Him the way back to the Father might be made plain to the children of men. It caused the Father to give His Son that whosoever believes might have eternal life. Love is that dynamic force which brings into manifestation all things. It is the healing force, the cleansing force, and the force that blesses all things we touch. With our hearts filled with love we will see only goodness and purity in everybody and in everything. In the beginning love looked upon the earth and saw that it was good and blessed it.
As love is God, it is, therefore, our abundant supply. Do we lack? Do we love? Do we allow conditions to keep us from the realization of the presence of God? If so, how can we expect the flow of abundance, when we are keeping the channel blocked by our thoughts and attitudes? We are standing in the way of our own success. When conditions arise which seem hard to endure, if we would realize that we are workers together with God and that each condition is perhaps some problem in our lives that must be met and overcome, we might stop and count our blessings instead of counting our hardships. Only with our hearts filled with love-love for conditions, love for people, love for God-can we fully realize this. Life is growth. We never can grow in knowledge and understanding and really be channels of blessings until we have endured and conquered in ourselves just the things that we would help others to overcome. Love allows no place for hate and recognizes no evil, but sees all things working together for good. The power of love is unlimited. We alone may set the metes and bounds. We may use it constructively or selfishly. We may uplift our fellow humans or crush ideals, instigate revolts, and wreck civilization. It all depends upon whether we are in love with ourselves or are willing to lay down our lives for others.
The Test of Love
"Love suffereth long, and is kind . . . beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." Can we truthfully say, "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord?" The Master said, "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you." "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." "Love your enemies . . . that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." They that do not love their worst enemy have not even begun to develop. The Father's love is the golden thread, that is woven throughout the Scriptures, which enlarges and spreads until the whole law is fulfilled in "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." To fulfill the law of love is more than simply to love those who love us, for by so doing we have not reached the faintest conception of divine love.
Love is giving out the best that is within us. Then, where slights, slurs, or even suspicions have been allowed to affect us, love cannot mean all that it should in our experience. The Master asks of us that we love Him, that we keep His commandments that He may abide with us, even as He abides with the Father. All of us believe, all know, and all understand that those things that hinder are caused by selfishness. This prevents even the dawn of the concept of what love should mean to us. Few of us have found the love that makes us free indeed, that keeps us from making unkind rem arks, and prevents us from being disappointed in things, in people, and in conditions. How much are we willing to bear, to do, and to suffer that others may become aware of the love of the Father?
Love Is Giving
The law of love does not do away with other laws, but makes the law of recompense, the law of faith, the law of earth forces of effect-not defective but effective. Love is that attribute of the soul that enables us to give, asking nothing in return. Christ exemplified this in His life, in His death, and in His parting promise after His resurrection, "Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the age." If humanity could get the vision of what it means to love as He loves, what peace would come on earth!
Do we want the best for another before our own wants and desires are satisfied? Can we see some good in all whom we meet? This is the Christ way of showing love. Where we are weak, He is ready to sympathize, comfort, and supply strength. In His name there is power. If we call on His name, if we abide in His teachings, we will radiate such a glow of righteousness (right thinking and acting) that those who sit in darkness will see great light.
Let us take hold on things of the spirit, for they alone are eternal. The children of Light are called even now into service that His day may be hastened, lest many faint." Do we not remember our years and years of service for our families and for our friends, in which every act was so prompted by love that there was never a thought of being weary? When our best years have been spent for them and we are no longer needed or seemingly appreciated, does sadness fill our hearts? Let us not forget that such service is never lost, for with love it has been woven into the souls of those for whom we worked. It will shine forth again and again in the lives of many yet unborn. Love never dies; it is eternal.
Divine Love Passes Understanding
Undoubtedly, the reason that humankind does not totally accept the way back to the Father, made perfect through the Christ, is that so great a love as the Father showed forth for His children passes understanding. God, the Father, the First Cause, in the manifestations of Self brought the world, as we observe it about us, into being through love. He gave to us, His creation, the ability to become one with Him. This way was shown through the Christ, the Mediator with the Father. Hence we realize that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that we through Him might have life-God more abundant.
... "Ye that have known me knoweth my Father also, for I am in Him, and ye in me"-may know that love that make th the life burn as an ember in a darkened and unregenerated world. "For unto me must come all that would find the way. I am the Way. Ye are my brethren. Ye have been begotten in the flesh through the love made manifest in the earth." Then, in the spirit and in the mind that hast brought thee to that understanding and consciousness of His love made manifest, abide ye day by day. 262-44
"I was seeking to know and experience that love that passes understanding. I soon found that if I would love I must know Him who is the Author of Love. The way was pointed out to me: Commune the more often in the inner shrine, in the Holy of Holies. Meet the presence of the Father there; know the love of the Christ in action; experience and see the power of the Holy Spirit."
"In meditation I found the peace that I had been seeking for months. It was not far away, but very near, even within my heart. I came to know that my Redeemer lives, that His presence may be experienced, and that my body, mind, and soul may be one with Him."
"In a trying experience I sought divine love. I realized more and more the consciousness of the presence of the Father and the consolation that I was being watched over by guardian angels. Peace filled my soul. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.'"
"I have found that in sending out thoughts of love to any person or thing the whole environment may be changed. My child was very cross one night. She did not want to study or obey any of my requests. I began to look at her and send her thoughts of love. She seemed to get them very quickly, for in a short while her face was wreathed in smiles, and without further trouble she came to the table and began to study. Instantly, her whole attitude changed to one of obedience. Not a word was said; love alone conquered."
"The law that brought worlds into existence is the same law that makes us friends with all of God's creatures. My children were great lovers of pets and were ready to adopt any they found homeless or friendless. My experience deals with a homeless cat which made frequent visits to our back yard. She was so wild that she would run if she saw or heard anyone approach. We would leave food for her, but she was so filled with fear that she did not dare let us see her eat it.
"By our constant kindness in caring for her and showing our love, for we had come to love and pity her, she finally dropped her fear and would let us pet her, and if permitted would even come into the house. It took two years to accomplish this, but we succeeded. Truly, Tx>ve casteth out fear.'"
The power of love may work in the lives of individuals in material ways as well as spiritual, as indicated in the following experience:
"Someone that I dearly loved was in need of financial help. One morning when it seemed I had on me all I could bear, from a material standpoint, he came to me and asked for a loan of a hundred dollars. I felt that he was asking for my all, as I had only a little more in the bank from which I could draw and did not know when I would be able to get more. It seemed as if I were a child and someone had asked for my last penny, which I wanted very much.
"In my dilemma, the thought came to me that I could not reject my friend, but should go to the bank and let him have it, for his mental distress outweighed my desire for self-preservation. There followed many constructive as well as conflicting thoughts. Should I take almost all I had and give to another? Was I called on to make such a sacrifice? Finally, there came to me a realization of the great sacrifice made for me, and the love of the Heavenly Father for His children. My conflicting thoughts vanished and I had peace. For had He not promised, 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee'?
"The power of love is slowly molding the lives of us all. I know this because of its influence in helping me day by day to show forth His love and to live in the way that He may be glorified through my service to others."
Come ye, my children, in that ye have all been called unto that way which would show forth to thy neighbor, thy brethren, that the Father loved His children. Who are His children? They that keep His commandments day by day. For unto him that is faithful and true is given the crown of life. The harvest is ripe, the laborers are few. Be not weary because there has been that which has seemed to trouble thee, for the ways are being opened to those that show themselves faithful and true. Faint not, for the day of the Lord is near at hand. 262-47
Our Father, through the love that Thou hast manifested in the world through Thy Son, the Christ, make us more aware of "God is love." 262-43
GOD IS LOVE
"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away, whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part: but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I have been known. But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love."
I Corinthians 13 [RV]