“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
Three Love Themes by Spurgeon.
Plus, a question worth asking!
“We love him because he first loved us.”—1 John 4:19.
God’s love is evidently prior to ours: “He first loved us.” It is also clear enough from the text that God’s love is the cause of ours, for “We love him because he first loved us.” Therefore, going back to old time, or rather before all time, when we find God loving us with an everlasting love, we gather that the reason of his choice is not because we loved him, but because he willed to love us. His reasons, and he had reasons (for we read of the counsel of his will), are known to himself, but they are not to be found in any inherent goodness in us, or which was foreseen to be in us. We were chosen simply because he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy. He loved us because he would love us.
The gift of his dear Son, which was a close consequent upon his choice of his people, was too great a sacrifice on God’s part to have been drawn from him by any goodness in the creature. It was not possible for the highest piety to have deserved so vast a boon as the gift of the Only-begotten; it was not possible for any thing in man to have merited the incarnation and the passion of the Redeemer. Our redemption, like our election, springs from the spontaneous self-originating love of God. And our regeneration, in which we are made actual partakers of the divine blessings in Jesus Christ, was not of us, nor by us.
We were not converted because we were already inclined that way, neither were we regenerated because some good thing was in us by nature; but we owe our new birth entirely to his potent love, which dealt with us effectually turning us from death to life, from darkness to light and from the alienation of our mind and the enmity of our spirit into that delightful path of love, in which we are now travelling to the skies. Read all of this sermon here.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us.”–Romans 5:8.
I shall have nothing new to tell you; it will be as old as the everlasting hills, and so simple that a child may understand it. Love’s commendation. “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s commendation of himself and of his love is not in words, but in deeds. When the Almighty God would commend his love to poor man, it is not written, “God commendeth his love towards us in an eloquent oration”; it is not written that he commendeth his love by winning professions; but he commendeth his love toward us by an act, by a deed; a surprising deed, the unutterable grace of which eternity itself shall scarce discover. He “commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Let us learn, then upon the threshold of our text, that if we would commend ourselves it must be by deeds, and not by words. Men may talk fairly, and think that thus they shall win esteem; they may order their words aright, and think that so they shall command respect; but let them remember, it is not the wordy oratory of the tongue, but the more powerful eloquence of the hand which wins the affection of “the world’s great heart.” Read all of this sermon here.
“O Daniel, a man greatly beloved.”–Daniel 10:11.
It did not do Daniel any harm to know that he was greatly beloved of God; or else he would not have received that information from heaven. Some people are always afraid that, if Christian people obtain full assurance, and receive a sweet sense of divine love, they will grow proud, and be carried away with conceit. Do not you have any such fear for other people, and especially do not be afraid of it for yourselves. I know of no greater blessing that can happen to any man and woman here, than to be assured by the Spirit of God that they are greatly beloved of the Lord. Such knowledge might do some of us, who are Christians, the greatest conceivable good. Daniel was not injured by knowing that he was greatly beloved. It has often been said that Daniel is the John of the Old Testament, and John is the Daniel of the New Testament. Those two men, Daniel and John, were choice saints. They rose to the greatest height of spiritual obedience, and then to the greatest height of spiritual enjoyment.
The knowledge that they were greatly beloved of God, instead of doing us harm, will be a means of blessings in many ways. If you know, my dear brother, of a surety, that you are a man greatly beloved of God, you will become very humble. You will say, “How could God ever love me? Read all of this sermon here.
Last but not least, don’t let this special day end without asking, “How do you know that I love you?” Read more about this special idea at A Multitude of Mercies.
I find it sweet to retire and be alone with my
best Friend. What a privilege to open our whole
heart, and lean, like John, upon the Savior’s
tender, sympathizing bosom!
(Mary Winslow’s, “Heaven Opened”)
Thank you for reading! May your day be filled with love!