He who is in love, his thoughts are ever upon the object. He who loves God is ravished and transported with the contemplation of God.
The next fruit of love is desire of communion. Love desires familiarity and intercourse.
Where there is love to God, there is a grieving for our sins of unkindness against Him.
Love is valorous, it turns cowardice into courage. Love will make one venture upon the greatest difficulties and hazards.
Let us further ponder what "Love" is and whether we have, at least, the seed of it germinating in our soul:
5. The fifth fruit of love is sensitiveness. If we love God, our hearts ache for the dishonour done to God by wicked men.
To see, not only the banks of religion, but morality, broken down, and a flood of wickedness coming in; to see God’s sabbaths profaned, His oaths violated, His name dishonoured; if there be any love to God in us, we shall lay these things to heart. Lot’s righteous soul was "vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked" (2 Pet. ii. 7). The sins of Sodom were as so many spears to pierce his soul. How far are they from loving God, who are not at all affected with His dishonour? If they have but peace and trading, they lay nothing to heart. A man who is dead drunk, never minds nor is affected by it, though another be bleeding to death by him; so, many, being drunk with the wine of prosperity, when the honour of God is wounded and His truths lie a bleeding, are not affected by it. Did men love God, they would grieve to see His glory suffer, and religion itself become a martyr.
6. The sixth fruit of love is hatred against sin. Fire purges the dross from the metal. The fire of love purges out sin. "Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols!" (Hos. xiv. 8). He that loves God will have nothing to do with sin, unless to give battle to it. Sin strikes not only at God’s honour, but His being. Does he love his prince that harbours him who is a traitor to the crown? Is he a friend to God who loves that which God hates? The love of God and the love of sin cannot dwell together. The affections cannot be carried to two contrarieties at the same time. A man cannot love health and love poison too; so one cannot love God and sin too. He who has any secret sin in his heart allowed, is as far from loving God as heaven and earth are distant one from the other.
7. Another fruit of love is crucifixion. He who is a lover of God is dead to the world. "I am crucified to the world" (Gal. vi. 14). I am dead to the honours and pleasures of it. He who is in love with God is not much in love with anything else. The love of God, and ardent love of the world, are inconsistent. "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John ii. 15).
Love to God swallows up all other love, as Moses’ rod swallowed up the Egyptian rods. If a man could live in the sun, what a small point would all the earth be; so when a man’s heart is raised above the world in the admiring and loving of God, how poor and slender are these things below! They seem as nothing in his eye. It was a sign the early Christians loved God, because their property did not lie near their hearts; but they "laid down their money at the apostles’ feet" (Acts iv. 35).
Test your love to God by this. What shall we think of such as have never enough of the world? They have the dropsy of covetousness, thirsting insatiably after riches: "That pant after the dust of the earth" (Amos ii. 7). Never talk of your love to Christ, says Ignatius, when you prefer the world before the Pearl of price; and are there not many such, who prize their gold above God? If they have a south-land, they care not for the water of life. They will sell Christ and a good conscience for money. Will God ever bestow heaven upon them who so basely undervalue Him, preferring glittering dust before the glorious Deity? What is there in the earth that we should so set our hearts upon it! Only the devil makes us look upon it through a magnifying glass. The world has no real intrinsic worth, it is but paint and deception.