The one that loves God with all his heart, mind, soul, and strength would rather die than continue, even for a little while, in senseless or unprofitable thought. He would rather be silent than bring dishonor to God’s name through words and works of no value… Love like this brings about what God wants done, and makes faith alive. The one that puts it to practice is born of God.
Love is like a fire. If one puts too much wood on it right away, it goes out. But after it gets going, the more one puts on, the higher it burns – spreading easily to burn houses and surrounding woods. Only where there is no wood does the fire die and get cold.
That is how love works. When it begins to burn within us, any little trouble or anxiety may put it out. But when it burns in great eagerness for God, the more temptations and troubles that come upon it, the louder and higher it roars, until it devours all injustice and wickedness around it. Only if we do not practice love, and if we grow lazy or careless, does it flicker out again, and our hearts grow cold. Then faith dies out and good works come to an end. Then we stand like withered trees fit for the fire, like Jesus says.
The spark of love is faith. Without faith there can be no love. The two belong so closely together that one cannot please God without the other.
– Peter Rideman (16th century, southern Germany, Moravia)