Love is the Queen of the Christian graces. It is a holy disposition given to us when we are born again by God. It is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. True spiritual love is characterized by meekness and gentleness, yet it is vastly superior to the courtesies and kindnesses of the flesh.
We must be careful not to confuse human sentimentality, carnal pleasantries, human amiability and affability with true spiritual love. The love God commands, first to Himself and then to others, is not human love. It is not the indulgent, self-seeking love which is in us by nature. If we indulgently allow our children to grow up with little or, no Scriptural discipline, Proverbs plainly says we do not love them, regardless of the human sentimentality and affection we may feel for them. Love is not a sentimental pampering of one another with a loose indifference as to our walk and obedience before the Lord. Glossing over one another’s faults to ingratiate ourselves in their esteem is not spiritual love.
The true nature of Christian love is a righteous principle which seeks the highest good of others. It is a powerful desire to promote their welfare. The exercise of love is to be in strict conformity to the revealed will of God. We must love in the truth. Love among the brethren is far more than an agreeable society where views are the same. It is loving them for what we see of Christ in them, loving them for Christ’s sake.
The Lord Jesus Himself is our example. He was not only thoughtful, gentle, self-sacrificing and patient, but He also corrected His mother, used a whip in the Temple, Severely scolded His doubting disciples, and denounced hypocrites. True spiritual love is above all faithful to God and uncompromising towards all that is evil. We cannot declare, ‘Peace and Safety’ when in reality there is spiritual decay and ruin!
True spiritual love is very difficult to exercise because it is not our natural love. By nature we would rather love sentimentally and engender good feelings. Also many times true spiritual love is not received in love, but is hated as the Pharisees hated it. We must pray that God will fill us with His love and enable us to exercise it without dissimulation toward all.
Arthur W. Pink (1886 – 1952)
Every Monday ws harbor likes to dedicate a post to Matthew Henry. Henry (10/18/1662 – 06/22/1714) was a commentator on the Bible and Presbyterian minister of the Gospel. We recommend his works for devotional purposes.
I must pray for faith.
Lord, give me so to be crucified with Christ, as that the life I may now live in the flesh, I may live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me; Galatians 2:20 (ESV) and so to carry in me continually the death of Jesus, as that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in my mortal body. 2 Corinthians 4:10 (ESV)
As I have received Christ Jesus the Lord, enable me so also to walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as I was taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7 (ESV)
I beg you, work in me that faith which is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen, Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) by which I may look above the things that are seen, that are transient, and may look at the things that are unseen, that are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18 (ESV)
Enable me by faith to set the LORD always before me, Psalm 16:8 (ESV) and to have my eyes ever towards him, Psalm 25:15 (ESV) that I may act in everything, as seeing him who is invisible, and may look to the reward. Hebrews 11:26-27 (ESV)
Let my heart be cleansed by faith, Acts 15:9 (ESV) and let it be my victory to overcome the world; 1 John 5:4 (ESV) and let me be kept from fainting by believing that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13 (ESV)
Matthew Henry, Method for Prayer
…brought to you by Arthur Walkington (A.W.) Pink:
A spiritual and saving knowledge of God is the greatest need of every human creature. The foundation of all true knowledge of God must be a clear mental apprehension of His perfections as revealed in Holy Scripture. An unknown God can neither be trusted, served nor worshipped. Something more than a theoretical knowledge of God is needed by us. God is only truly known in the soul as we yield ourselves to Him, submit to His authority, and regulate all the details of our lives by His holy precepts and commandments.
A.W. Pink The Attributes of God pg. 7-8
Well, it’s Monday! – and normally that would mean a little something from Matthew Henry. However, I have decided to share with you a classic essay from another one of my favorites – Charles Spurgeon.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him. John 6:44
“Coming to Christ” is a very common phrase in Holy Scripture. It is used to express those acts of the soul wherein, leaving at once our self-righteousness, and our sins, we fly unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive his righteousness to be our covering, and his blood to be our atonement. Coming to Christ, then, embraces in it repentance, self-negation, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and it sums within itself all those things which are the necessary attendants of these great states of heart, such as the belief of the truth, earnestness of prayer to God, the submission of the soul to the precepts of God’s gospel, and all those things which accompany the dawn of salvation in the soul. Coming to Christ is just the one essential thing for a sinner’s salvation. He that cometh not to Christ, do what he may, or think what he may, is yet in “the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity.” Coming to Christ is the very first effect of regeneration. No sooner is the soul quickened than it at once discovers its lost estate, is horrified thereat, looks out for a refuge, and believing Christ to be a suitable one, flies to him and reposes in him. Where there is not this coming to Christ, it is certain that there is as yet no quickening; where there is no quickening, the soul is dead in trespasses and sins, and being dead it cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. We have before us now an announcement very startling, some say very obnoxious. Coming to Christ, though described by some people as being the very easiest thing in all the world, is in our text declared to be a thing utterly and entirely impossible to any man, unless the Father shall draw him to Christ. It shall be our business, then, to enlarge upon this declaration. We doubt not that it will always be offensive to carnal nature, but, nevertheless, the offending of human nature is sometimes the first step towards bringing it to bow itself before God. And if this be the effect of a painful process, we can forget the pain and rejoice in the glorious consequences. continue reading
Charles Spurgeon, Human Inability, 1858