“Peace has in it confidence in the Lord: that He directs all things, provides all things, and that He leads to a good end.” - Arcana Caelestia §8455
Kempton New Church

Week 1
Day 3

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Uses in General

And there shall be no night there, and they have no need of a lamp and the light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. —Revelation 22:5
With those who are in the delight of uses from genuine love towards the neighbor, their natural light is also rational light, within which there is spiritual light from the Lord. The glory with them is from the brightness of the inflowing light from heaven, where all things are splendid and harmonious, for all uses in heaven are resplendent. —Apocalypse Revealed 940e

Loving the Lord is performing uses.

John 14:21. He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.

AC 7038. That they may serve Me. That this signifies elevation into heaven in order to perform uses from there, is evident from the signification of “serving Jehovah” or the Lord, as being to perform uses….

That “to serve the Lord” is to perform uses, is because true worship consists in the performance of uses, thus in the exercises of charity. He who believes that serving the Lord consists solely in frequenting a place of worship, in hearing preaching there, and in praying, and that this is sufficient, is much mistaken. The very worship of the Lord consists in performing uses; and during man’s life in the world, uses consist in everyone’s properly fulfilling his duty in his position, thus from the heart being of service to his country, to societies, and to the neighbor, in dealing sincerely with his fellow, and in performing kind offices with prudence in accordance with each person’s character. These uses are chiefly the works of charity, and are those by which the Lord is chiefly worshiped. Frequenting a place of worship, hearing sermons, and saying prayers, are also necessary; but without the above uses they have no value, because they are not matters of life, but teach what the life must be. The angels in heaven have all happiness from uses, and according to uses, so that to them uses are heaven.

Doctrine of Life 1. All religion is of the life, and the life of religion is to do that which is good.

Divine Love 13. So far as man is in the love of use, so far he is in the Lord, so far he loves the Lord and loves the neighbor, and so far he is a human being.

From the love of uses we are taught what is meant by loving the Lord and loving the neighbor, also what is meant by being in the Lord and being a human being. To love the Lord means to do uses from Him and for His sake. To love the neighbor means to do uses to the church, to one’s country, to human society, and to the fellow-citizen. To be in the Lord means to be a use. And to be a human being means to perform uses to the neighbor from the Lord for the Lord’s sake.

To love the Lord means to do uses from Him and for His sake, for the reason that all the good uses that man does are from the Lord. Good uses are goods, and it is well known that goods are from the Lord. Loving these is doing them, for what a man loves he does. No one can love the Lord in any other way, for uses, which are goods, are from the Lord, and consequently are Divine; indeed, they are the Lord Himself with man.

These [uses] are the things that the Lord can love. The Lord cannot be conjoined by love to any man, and consequently cannot enable man to love Him, except through His own Divine things. For man from himself cannot love the Lord; the Lord Himself must draw him and conjoin him to Himself. And therefore, loving the Lord as a Person, and not loving uses, is loving the Lord from oneself, which is not loving. He who performs uses or goods from the Lord performs them also for the Lord’s sake.

D. Love 19. In the Word, to love means to perform uses.

D. Love 19:2. Since the will and the act are a one, and will is the endeavor of love, it follows that in the Word “to love” has no other meaning than to do; thus that “to love the Lord and to love the neighbor” means to perform uses to the neighbor from love which is from the Lord.

Questions and Comments
  1. Have you sometimes felt loved by the Lord, and that the Lord was manifesting Himself to you (in subtle ways), when you were engaged in a use?
  2. How does AC 7038 expand our definition of “church uses”? How cool is it that all of our daily work, even very mundane necessities, can be done in service to the Lord?
  3. If most Americans were New Church people, how would that help our understanding and application of the First Amendment, which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”?
  4. Does Divine Love 13 help you feel closer to the Lord by explaining how you can love Him? Is it saying that we should not love Him as a Person?
  5. Is it true also of love toward the neighbor that truly loving the neighbor is performing uses, and not just loving someone’s personality?
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