LIFE, SEED, LIGHT
And Oh! the groans and cries in secret that were raised in me, that I might be visited of the Lord, and come to the knowledge of … (God’s) way;…. Many times, when alone, did I reason… ‘Why should I not know the way of life? For if the Lord would give me all in this world, it would not satisfy Me.’…‘I care not for a portion in this life… It is acceptance with thee (God) (that) I desire, and that alone can satisfy me.’
How often did this run through my mind: ‘Ye will not come to me, that ye may have life.’ ‘It is true I am undone if I come not to thee,’ but I cannot come, unless I leave that which cleaves close to me, and I cannot part with it.
Oh! the joy that filled my soul in the first meeting ever held in our house at Chalfont. To this day I have a fresh remembrance of it. It was then the Lord enabled me to worship… God in that which was undoubtedly… God’s own, and I give up my whole strength to swim in the life which overcame me that day… long had I desired to worship God with acceptation, and lift up my hands without doubting, which I witnessed that day in that assembly. I acknowledged… God’s great mercy and wonderful kindness; for I could say, ‘This is it which I have longed and waited for, and feared I never should have experienced.
You have shown me the paths that lead to life, and your presence will fill me with joy. Acts 2:28
I have come in order that you might have life, life in its fullness. John 10:10
Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires… the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6
- How is the Holy Spirit being expressed in me?
- How do I describe my life with God now?
- What are recent experiences of living in God’s life and power?
- Do I have particular yearnings/desires for this coming year?
- Do I have a vision or sense of new life coming?
Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some of it fell on rocky ground where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants; and because the roots had not grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up. Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants. But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain…. Matthew 13:3-8
In the good ground which yields its whole nourishment to the good seed, and will not yield nourishment to any bad… the good seed not only springs up, but brings forth fruit to perfection. The thorns, the cares, the worldliness, the fear of persecution, that spring up from another root, and are of another nature, choke the good which the seed brings forth in the thorny ground, and stifle and choke the seed itself also.
“…I can truly say that my mind has been more and more concerned for the working down everything which would get above the good Seed. I think we are never safe unless we feel the plough of God’s power and the hammer thereof so operating in us as to break us into tenderness…”
Susanna Morris, Traveling Friend, 1744
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Galations 5:22
- How am I already cooperating with the Inward Work of God?
- What will provide an open and receptive place in me for the Seed of God to grow this year?
- How can I help to prepare the soil, and open up my heart, mind, and soul to be receptive to God’s presence in my life and be more centered on that Presence?
- What plowing needs to be done to make way for the seed to grow? What are the weeds or thorns, competing with, or choking out the growth of the Seed?
- What needs to die for new life?
- What fruits am I being called to bring forth?
- How do we help each other this year to allow the Seed to grow?
Let us walk in the light which God gives us. Isaiah 2:5
To all my dear Brethren and Sisters, who are in the Light, Children of the Light, who are obedient to the Light… be faithful and obedient to this which is Eternal, and leads into the unity and oneness… be of one mind and live in peace… And as the Lord hath loved you with his Everlasting Love, and visited you, and hath made manifest his Eternal Light in you, so let that love constrain you to love one another and to be serviceable to one another.
And we, being turned to the Spirit of Grace and Light of Christ do believe in the Light, and are become Children of the Light… and by the Spirit of Grace we are come into Favour with God, and into the Order of the Gospel, and are God’s Daughters, servants, and handmaids; and we have a Heavenly propriety in the Light, Power and Spirit of Grace… so by Grace we are called into the Work and Service of God and Jesus Christ… and he hath enlightened our Spirits, which is the Candle of the Lord, which is the heavenly Light, which is the Life that is in Christ… that we might all see and know the Will of God, and do it, and know our several Works and Services… we are not to put our Candles under a bushel, nor to hide our talents in a napkin… our Lamps are to burn, and our Lights are to shine, that we may all see clearly our Work and Service… To relieve the afflicted, and to bring up children in the awe of God: and to be Teachers of good things, and be Instructors of the Younger….
London Women’s Meeting, 1685
The Word was the source of Life, and this life brought light to all.
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out. John 1:4
You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid, No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead he puts it on the lampstand, where it gives Light for everyone. In the same way, your light must shine before people so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father/Mother in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
- How is the Light illumining my life and the life of my Meeting?
- What is the Light revealing about me? What am I led to become in my life?
- How can we help one another discern and carry out what we are led to do?