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New Openings of Preaching in Ghana

Address at Annual Conference in UK in July 1986

Guide Posts LOVE FOR GOD (Bashir Ahmad Orchard) “Thee Alone do we worship and Thee Alone do we look to for help.” (Quran 1:4, 5). God exhorts us to love Him more than any human or earthly object. This may seem a tall order; but not so when it is realised that love for God creates a blessed state which spills and bubbles over with joyous living which may be likened to paradise on earth. All revealed religions have exhorted people to love and serve God. It is no new teaching. Abraham’s love for God surpassed his love for kith-and-kin so much so that he was ready to sacrifice his own son in order to comply with God’s directions. The second of the commandments revealed to Moses states: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength.” (Deut. 6:5). The Prophet David declared: “I delight to do Thy will, O my God.” (Psalms 40:8). The New Testament tells us: “Direct your hearts into the love of God.” (2Thess. 3,5). God says in the Holy Quran: “I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship me.” (51:57). The above verse does not mean that God should be worshipped only during times of formal prayer. Worship involves every thought, word and action GUIDE POSTS 3 executed in obedience to the Will of God. Habitual worship is the way of life of a lover of God who is wholly committed to Him and strives to walk every moment in unreserved and holy obedience to Him. This should be our aim and aspiration in life. Then will the light of God surround and enfold us. We should constantly beseech God to enable us to love Him more dearly and to follow Him more nearly. It has been said that an hour spent in the presence of God brings the purest joy known to man. Let us endeavour to spend all our time in the presence of God and so experience perpetual joy. The more we love God the more do we experience the presence of God; and the more we experience the presence of God the more do we become drawn towards God; and the more we become drawn towards God the more do we manifest the attributes of God; and the more we manifest the attributes of God the more do we attract others to God. Cultivation of love for God is as essential for the spiritual wayfarer as is the cultivation of physical fitness essential for the athlete. Without love no strong relationship can bind two people together; likewise without love we cannot form a strong relationship with God in Whom we can never find a more loving and faithful friend. The Holy Quran states: “Allah is the friend of those who believe. He brings them out of all kinds of darkness into light.” (2:258). The believers referred to in the above verse are those devotees dedicated whole-heartedly to the Will of God. The Holy Quran describes them: “They only are the true believers whose hearts tremble when the name of Allah is mentioned, and when His Signs are recited to them they increase their faith, and who put their trust in the Lord, who observe Prayer and spend out of that which We have provided for them. These it is who are true believers.” (8:3-5). A true believer is ever alert and anxious not to displease God. He yearns for the love of God and devotes himself to holy living; and, in response, God graces him with a measure of His love which far exceeds that tendered by him to God. Human relationships have their short-comings and no doubt it is true that love never runs smooth. Disappointment, jealousy and friction creep in to a lesser or greater degree from time to time; and often to such an extent that it leads to the parting of the ways. No such feelings mar our relationship with 4 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS God. What a friend we have in Him! No one understands us better than God Who is fully aware of our innermost thoughts and feelings and to Whom we can confide the secrets of our hearts with unabashed confidence. We may talk to Him as openly and as freely as we like. What a friend we have in Him! God never tires of listening to us whatever prayer we offer or for however long we call upon Him during the day or night. Can we find anyone in this world who is always ready to give us his full and sympathetic attention? Even loving parents become impatient at times with their chattering children and friends sometimes bore one another with their conversation. Not so with God Who is the best of listeners. What a friend we have in Him! Human relationships often generate jealousy whereas between us and God there exist no feelings of rancour but only peace and contentment. What a friend we have in Him! Sometimes our friends let us down but on God we can completely depend. What a friend we have in Him! All Praise is due to Allah the Lord of all the worlds. Strength in Adversity Do not weaken under adversity. Resolve to remain as strong, as determined and as highly enthused during the darkest night of adversity as you are during the sunniest day of prosperity. Do not feel disappointed when things seem disappointing. Keep the eye single upon the same brilliant future regardless of circumstances, conditions or events. Do not lose heart when things go wrong. Continue undisturbed in your original resolve to make all things go right. To be overcome by adversity and threatening failure is to lose strength. Continue undisturbed in your original resolve to make all things go right. The man who never weakens when things are against him will grow stronger and stronger until all things will delight to be for him. He will finally have all the strength he may desire or need. Be always strong and you will always be stronger. (C. D. Larson.)