II. THE MEANING OF CHERISHING AND NOURISHING PEOPLE
To cherish people is to make them happy and to make them feel pleasant and comfortable. We must have a pleasant countenance when we contact people. We should be happy and rejoicing. We should not contact anyone with a cheerless countenance. We must give people the impression that we are genuinely happy and pleasant. Otherwise, we will not be able to cherish them, to make them happy.
Then we should go on to nourish them. We do not nourish people when we speak to them about marriage, courtship, politics, the world situation, or education. To nourish people is to feed them with the all-inclusive Christ in His full ministry in three stages. When we speak to people about Christ, we should not speak to them in an incomprehensible way in a kind of language which they do not understand. We have to find a way to present the all-inclusive Christ to everyone. If a person wants people to eat beef, he must find a way to cook it to make them desire to eat it. Similarly, we have to "cook" the all-inclusive Christ. There are many different ways to cook the same thing. I have been cooking Christ in this country for over thirty-three years with about three thousand messages.
In order to nourish people with Christ, we first have to seek Christ, experience Christ, gain Christ, enjoy Christ, and participate in Christ. In Philippians, especially in chapters two and three, Paul used different expressions and utterances to portray how he was seeking and pursuing Christ in order to gain Christ. He told us that we should do all things without murmurings and reasonings. The sisters who are seeking Christ should learn not to murmur, and the brothers should learn not to reason. If you murmur and reason, you will offend the indwelling Christ, who is the embodiment of the Triune God, because this God is working in you that you may work out your salvation (2:12-14). Our salvation is our gaining and experiencing Christ. To gain Christ is to work out our own daily organic salvation.
III. BY THE DIVINE AND MYSTICAL LIFE IN RESURRECTION
Both cherishing people and nourishing people should be by the divine and mystical life in resurrection, not by the natural life in the old creation. When something divine is operating in a human being, this human being becomes very mystical. When I was a young man, I worked for more than seven and a half years in a big corporation. Suddenly, I resigned from my job so that I could preach Christ with all of my time. They asked me how I could make a living. My answer was that the Lord Jesus would provide for me. I became mystical to my classmates and friends and also to my relatives. They could not understand why I would give up my job to serve the Lord with all of my time. I was a mystery to them.
We should cherish people by the divine and mystical life in resurrection. In resurrection means that there is nothing natural in our care for people. Anything that is of our natural life should not be used. Our life must be in resurrection. In other words, our natural life must be crucified and resurrected to become a human life in resurrection. The young people have to learn how to labor in the gospel on the college campuses not by their natural life but by God within them as their life. This is the divine life, and this divine life makes us a mystery. Someone whom you contact may ask you where you have graduated from and what kind of degree you have. You may say that you have a degree from Harvard in biochemistry. They may ask, "What are you doing here?" When you say that you are learning to preach Christ, they will not be able to understand what kind of person you are. They would consider, "This person has graduated from a top university with an excellent degree. The whole world needs him. He could get an excellent job. Why would he come here to preach Christ?" This makes you a mystical person. You have been educated highly, but you are now doing a job which seemingly is not that high but very mystical. You have become a divine, mystical person in resurrection.
We must realize that the sevenfold intensified life-giving Spirit only honors things in resurrection. If you do any work which is not in resurrection, the life-giving Spirit will never honor it. Thus, your labor will be in vain, with no result. Most of the work in today’s Christianity is not in resurrection. Most Christians work in their natural life, not by the divine and mystical life in resurrection. Anything that is natural belongs to the old creation. Our contact with people should not be in the old creation but in resurrection. It is only in this way that we can cherish and nourish people with Christ, the all-inclusive One.
(The Vital Groups, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)