(Friends: during this series, the messages may frequently be longer than usual due to the subject matter. Thanks for your patience, and I think you will find the considerations interesting, and hopefully, helpful in our walk with the Lord. Glen)
Part 12 – “Thou Only!”
The most distinctive quality of God’s love, as opposed to all other supposed loves, involves His attitude toward those who do not love Him.
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:7-10).
Few passages of Scripture more unveil the wondrous heart of the Lord who loves enemies to the degree He gave His beloved Son to die for them. Rather than perish in rightly deserved Divine wrath, God desires that sinners might be “saved from wrath” through the Lord Jesus Christ. Conversely, deluded notions of supposed human love fail and fall at the slightest offence, revealing not a wondrous, but a woeful heart of self-centered narcissism. Of God’s love, Scripture declares that it “seeketh not her own” (I Corinthians 13:5). Of human “love,” however, the Bible pronounces the indictment of our delusion: “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
We shall never get far in the matter of love until we bow before the truth that God alone is love, and that God alone loves in the only sense that truly matters. Regardless of how or how much we may feel for others, any supposed love that originates with us is not actually love at all. Boil it down to the essence, and selfishness will be found at the heart of the imposter. Could we boil God down to His essence, however, perfect unselfishness would shine forth in winsome beauty and glory. Thus, He is able to love friend and foe to the degree of a self-sacrifice beyond imagining.
No less amazingly, our Lord can lead and enable human beings to love as He loves, that is, to fulfill His command to “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44).
“The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5).
The love of God inhabits born again believers in the Lord Jesus through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Though Him, we also love friend and foe as we trust and submit unto the Spirit’s leading and enabling. However, never do we mistake such love as originating with us, nor do we fail to give all glory to the God who alone dwells in the essence of seeking not His own. He only “is love” (I John 4:8). Thus, when we see or experience the genuine article, we are seeing and experiencing Him. No greater reason for enraptured worship and devotion exists, and it may well be that no other reason exists. Indeed, all that our Lord does proceeds from this quality of character eternally existing as God and God alone, although revealed in those in whom He lives. As the prophet declared, “Thou art the Lord, even Thou only!” (Isaiah 37:20). Or, in terms of our present consideration, He is the love, He only!
“His love is perfected in us.”
(I John 4:12)