July 20, 2009

Love is NOT a choice (Conclusion)

Today, we conclude this series. I began the series by stating, "I get so tired of hearing modern Christian leaders saying, "Love is not a feeling, it's a choice". Love is no more a choice then faith is a choice! One cannot choose to love any more than one can choose to believe. Love is the most misunderstood word in the English language and the most misrepresented human emotion on the face of this earth." Love is not a "feeling" nor a "choice"--it is a fruit of the Spirit. When we are born-again, it is planted in our souls and the only way that it will grow, is if it is: 1) Watered by the Word of God; 2) Fertilized by Communion with God in prayer; and, 3) Warmed by the the illuminating light of the Spirit of God. So let us continue now to see if we can find these fruits, so foreign to our natures, growing in our souls.

12. He who loves God will endeavour to make Him appear glorious in the eyes of others. Such as are in love will be commending and setting forth the amiableness of those persons whom they love. If we love God, we shall spread abroad His excellencies, that so we may raise His fame and esteem, and may induce others to fall in love with Him. Love cannot be silent; we shall be as so many trumpets, sounding forth the freeness of God’s grace, the transcendency of His love, and the glory of His kingdom. Love is like fire : where it burns in the heart, it will break forth at the lips. It will be elegant in setting forth God’s praise: love must have vent.

13. Another fruit of love is to long for Christ’s appearing. "Henceforth there is a crown of righteousness laid up for me, and not for me only, but for them which love Christ’s appearing" (2 Tim. iv. 8). Love desires union; Aristotle gives the reason, because joy flows upon union. When our union with Christ is perfect in glory, then our joy will be full. He that loves Christ loves His appearing. Christ’s appearing will be a happy appearing to the saints. His appearing now is very comforting, when He appears for us as an Advocate (Heb. ix. 24). But the other appearing will be infinitely more so, when He shall appear for us as our Husband. He will at that day bestow two jewels upon us. His love; a love so great and astonishing, that it is better felt than expressed. And His likeness. "When he shall appear, we shall be like him" (1 John iii. 2). And from both these, love and likeness, infinite joy will flow into the soul. No wonder then that he who loves Christ longs for His appearance. "The Spirit and the bride say come; even so come, Lord Jesus" (Rev. xxii. 17, 20). By this let us test our love to Christ. A wicked man who is self-condemned, is afraid of Christ’s appearing, and wishes He would never appear; but such as love Christ, are joyful to think of His coming in the clouds. They shall then be delivered from all their sins and fears, they shall be acquitted before men and angels, and shall be for ever translated into the paradise of God.

14. Love will make us stoop to the meanest offices. Love is a humble grace, it does not walk abroad in state, it will creep upon its hands, it will stoop and submit to anything whereby it may be serviceable to Christ. As we see in Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, both of them honourable persons, yet one takes down Christ’s body with his own hands, and the other embalms it with sweet odours. It might seem much for persons of their rank to be employed in that service, but love made them do it. If we love God, we shall not think any work too mean for us, by which we may be helpful to Christ’s members. Love is not squeamish; it will visit the sick, relieve the poor, wash the saints? wounds. The mother that loves her child is not coy and nice; she will do those things for her child which others would scorn to do. He who loves God will humble himself to the meanest office of love to Christ and His members.

These are the fruits of love to God. Happy are they who can find these fruits so foreign to their natures, growing in their souls.

No comments: