One day, I visited Uncle Quan after supper. When the weather forecast was over at about 7:35 p.m., Uncle Quan walked to the television. I thought that he was to serve me some tea, but against my expectations, he turned off the television! Thinking that my favorite TV play was beginning, I couldn’t help complaining in my heart: Why do you turn off the TV at the moment? I want to watch the new episode of the TV play I saw last night. Right when I was feeling disappointed, Uncle Quan took out two books of God’s word from the cabinet. I thought : Does Uncle Quan want to seize the chance to fellowship to me, for I haven’t believed in God for a long time? As I was still thinking about the TV play, I wanted to excuse myself. But seeing that Uncle Quan seemed to have something to say, I truly felt embarrassed to leave then.
Uncle Quan looked calm and solemn. He wore his hat straight, sat upright, and then spoke to Auntie Quan in a gentle voice, “Are you OK?”
Auntie Quan, sitting bolt upright, said, “Yes.”
And then Uncle Quan turned to me and said, “Let’s begin.”
At this moment, I just came to myself and realized that we were going to have a meeting and then replied, “OK.” Meanwhile, I grumbled in the heart: It’s not the meeting time tonight. And I was also not told to have a meeting in advance.
Not knowing what I was thinking, Uncle Quan sang a hymn of God’s word. He memorized all the lyrics and sang it with heart, and his singing was very emotional.
When I was still indulging in all kinds of fantasies about the plots of the TV play, Auntie Quan said with a kind smile, “Xiaotian, sing us a hymn, OK?”
Her words interrupted my thoughts. I reluctantly picked up the hymnbook and sang a hymn out of tune.
“Let’s pray,” said Uncle Quan calmly. And then he took the lead to pray. As I hadn’t drawn my heart back from the TV play, I didn’t pay much attention to their prayers, just feeling that their prayers were true words within their hearts. I also prayed a few words without devotion after they prayed.
After that, Uncle Quan picked up the book of God’s words and read a passage, “young people … should not be without ideals, aspirations, or a temperament of enthusiastic advancement; they should not be disheartened about their prospects nor should they lose hope in life or lose confidence in the future; they should have the perseverance to continue along the way of truth that they have now chosen to realize their wish to expend their entire lives for Me; they should not be without the truth, nor should they harbor hypocrisy and unrighteousness, but they should stand firm in the proper stance. They should not just drift along, but they should have a spirit of daring to sacrifice and struggle for justice and the truth. Young people should have the bravery to not succumb to the oppression of the forces of darkness and to transform the significance of their existence. … Of course these are My requirements of everyone as well as My advice to everyone. Even more, they are My soothing words to all the young people. You should practice according to My words. Particularly young people should not be without the resolve for discernment in issues, and for seeking justice and the truth. What you should pursue is all things beautiful and good, and you should obtain the reality of all positive things as well as be responsible toward your life—you must not take it lightly. People come to the earth and it is rare to encounter Me, and it is also rare to have the opportunity to seek and to gain the truth. Why would you not prize this beautiful time as the right path of pursuit in this life?”
After reading God’s words, Uncle Quan fellowshiped, “God really has great expectations for the young. This evil world ruled by Satan is full of various temptations, such as all kinds of violent and pornographic online games, movies, and TV plays, topics about celebrities, actors, and singers, and all sorts of luxury and stylish goods, and so on. Satan lures us, especially the young, by the evil social trends, making us unconsciously spend our time and energy enjoying sinful pleasures and thus get further and further from God. Now, if it were not for God being personally incarnated, expressing the truth, and doing His work to save us and bring us before Him, and if He hadn’t bestowed us the truth to help us differentiate between that which is positive and negative and see through Satan’s evil purpose of corrupting and devouring us, we would have long been swept away by the evil trends. Then we would completely indulge ourselves in eating, drinking, and merry-making, spending our time in vanity, and then completely ruin ourselves. Xiaotian, we should cherish God’s salvation! See, you are chosen by God and come before God at such a young age. It is a good opportunity for you to read more God’s word, equip yourself with more truth, and pursue to know God in the prime of your youth. So, we should cherish every day, try our best to pursue the truth, and live out a meaningful life. Only thus can we live up to God’s salvation for us.” Uncle Quan looked at me hopefully after fellowshiping.
Auntie Quan also said sincerely, “Thank God! God reminds and exhorts us thoughtfully and earnestly so as to arouse our heart and make us pursue the truth without delay. Honestly, I really envy you, the young, from the bottom of my heart. For I want to perform more duty in the church, but I’m too old and not well-educated. But God loves everyone and He doesn’t discriminate against me. I’m willing to perform my duty of hosting the brothers and sisters properly to repay God’s love.”
“Xiaotian, please share as well,” said Uncle Quan with a smile.
Seeing the book of God’s word before my eyes and thinking of God’s word and their fellowships, I felt so bad in my heart, thinking: I’m chosen by God when I’m so young, but I don’t have a heart of fearing God. Except reading God’s word in the meetings, I seldom quiet my heart before God to pray, sing hymns, or read God’s word at usual times. All I think about was the attractive TV plays and fashionable clothes that have nothing to do with the truth, and I almost spend all my leisure time in having fun, idling about all day long. Do I have the likeness that a believer in God should have? At that moment, I was touched and felt so guilty in my heart.
Seeing that I didn’t say a word for a long time, they seemed to have read my mind. Uncle Quan kindly said, “Xiaotian, it doesn’t matter. If you have problems and difficulties, speak them out freely. We can fellowship together.” Seeing the smiles on their faces, I could tell that they lived a pretty rich and happy life. I asked, “Uncle and Auntie, you two look so happy every day. I was wondering what you do every day except the farm work.”
Uncle Quan said with a smile, “In the daytime, we go to the field to do farm work; while at night, we have a brief break after supper and then we lead the church life after watching the weather forecast. We pray to God to tell Him the words in our heart, sing hymns to praise God, and read God’s word together, seeking the paths of practice in God’s word according to our real problems and difficulties and using God’s word to resolve our own corrupt dispositions. Thank God! We have been practicing in this way, feeling that the relationship between God and us becomes closer and closer. We are no longer flustered when things occur, for we have not only God’s word to show us the directions and paths but also the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit’s work. Feeling that God is by our side, watching over us and keeping us safe, we feel extremely grounded in our heart.”
Uncle Quan’ words made me feel ashamed, and I didn’t know what to say for a good while.
Walking on my way home after the meeting, I thought a lot: Though in their seventies now, the old couple do not entertain and relax themselves after a whole day’s laborious work, but choose to quiet their hearts before God to lead the church life, singing hymns to praise God, praying, and reading God’s word. They are devout to God and they thirst for and seek the truth. Because of this, they obtain God’s blessings. Their fellowships about God’s word as well as their knowledge of God and themselves benefit others a lot, which is obviously the effect of the Holy Spirit’s work. From this we can see God’s righteous disposition: No matter how old or educated we are, as long as we actively pursue the truth, God will bless and lead all of us. I, who am in the best years of my life, really cannot compare with them. I live in blessing, but I don’t know it. I didn’t treasure the truth but wasted a lot of time which should have been used to pursue the truth in greedily enjoying the fleshly joy. I was attracted by the deception and lovesickness among people shown on TV and indulged myself in the virtual and evil world, spending my life in vanity. At ordinary times, I just read God’s word in the meetings without devotion, and I neither focused on practicing and experiencing God’s word in my daily life nor actively sought the truth to resolve my corrupt dispositions when I revealed them. Then what is the difference between my faith and that of those religious people who haven’t kept pace with God’s work in the last days but only go to the church to conduct religious rituals on Sundays? Now, I am chosen by God and have returned before Him, catching the chance thatof the last days personally does His work to completely purify and save us. I should cherish the rare and unique opportunity to pursue the truth and attain salvation. If I regard my believing in God as a religious ritual, I will be no better than the religious people and will be eliminated in the end. Isn’t that too pathetic and pitiful? At this thought, I felt it was so timely that God orchestrated the old couple to give me such a lesson. Thank God! I indeed have strayed too far from God. If it were not for such a timely reminding, I would really fall into Satan’s scheme and ruin myself.
Later, I often sang the hymn “The Pursuit Young People Should Have”: “They should not be without ideals, aspirations, or a temperament of enthusiastic advancement; they should not be disheartened about their prospects nor should they lose hope in life or lose confidence in the future; they should have the perseverance to continue along the way of truth that they have now chosen…. Young people should not be without the resolve for discernment in issues, and for seeking justice and the truth. What you should pursue is all things beautiful and good, and you should obtain the reality of all positive things.”
From every sentence of God’s words, I truly felt that God has great expectations for us young people. God hopes that we can pursue the truth wholeheartedly and conduct ourselves in a proper manner. Thus, after having the meeting in Uncle Quan’s house that night, I made a resolution: I cannot be idle and waste my life anymore and I should live up to God’s salvation. In the following days, as long as I had time, I would gather together with my brothers and sisters. We did not rigidly adhere to the form of meetings, but read and fellowshiped God’s word with our heart. I have truly experienced that as long as we want to seek the truth in God’s word, to live according to God’s word, and to use the truth to solve our own difficulties and problems, God will show mercy and grace to us and protect our hearts from the clamor and leisure activities of the world as well as all kinds of satanic temptations, so that we can quiet ourselves before God to enjoy the supply of life of His word. Now, I have found the direction and path to transform my corrupt dispositions, and I can’t say how joyful and peaceful I am in my heart!
Time slips by, and now I still remember that warm night and that meeting which began at 7:35 p.m. That meeting, like a never-fading picture, has imprinted on my memory. It records the moment that God’s word awoke me and allowed me to make a fresh new start.