Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spurgeon--We Love Because He First Loved Us

In this morning's Spurgeon, the text used is 1 John 4:19: "We love because He first loved us." First of all this is a statement of fact regarding SUPERNATURAL consequences.

It is not mere emotionalism that causes us or compels us to love Christ and His kingdom. The love of God grants us new hearts as well as the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit, working in the New Nature, creates a love for God. This is just as supernatural as Day One of Creation when the universe was formless and void and God simply spoke, "Let there be!" and there was! We love because He first loved us! As Spurgeon writes, this is no mere admiration that bubbles up from naturalistic causes. Cry out to the Father for such a love to be spread abroad in your heart right now!!

This is also a statement of fact regarding NECESSARY consequences.

It is not possible that anyone born again by the Spirit of God lacks a love for God in return. Sometimes that love may be dull and passion may wane and there may be seasons where the relationship seems cool from our side...but don't let that hide the truth: if anyone is truly born again by the supernatural grace of God, love for God and His Kingdom is a NECESSARY consequence of God's love. If you have lost your first love, cry out for grace that would rekindle that love in the furnace of your soul right now!

We love because He first loved us is, thirdly, a statement of fact regarding ORDERLY consequences.

It is not that God loves us BECAUSE we love Him. God loves us unconditionally. He loves us first. We don't take the first step, He does. Then we take the second step...and as we grow in grace, we even begin to realize that it is God's love that enables us to take that second step and all the other steps to love God and His creation. Don't give in to the temptation to put the cart before the horse. It is Christ and His grace that creates a love for God; it is NOT your goodness and effort and love for God that creates any love in Him toward you.

This is, fourthly, a statement of fact regarding UNDESERVED consequences.

Spurgeon is clear that we don't deserve to be first loved by God. And even AFTER we have been loved by God, our response is so cool so often, that we deserve to have that love removed...and yet He will never leave us nor forsake us.

And then, finally, "We love because He first loved us" is a statement of fact regarding CONTINUOUS consequences.

As Spurgeon writes, this seed of love implanted in our souls by Divine Grace must be divinely nourished continually. This love must be watered. This love must be weeded. This love must receive nutrients. This love must receive Son-light! As Francis Schaeffer says over and over...we are not lifeless sticks floating down a current, doing nothing; we are human beings. As human beings, God has given us the dignity of being co-laborers with Him in creating a New Cosmos. We do play a role even in seeing that the Seed of Divine Love within our own souls is nourished by Divine Grace.

How do we do this? The simple answer is through the Means of Grace. We Read, Memorize and Meditate upon the Word of God on a daily basis. We learn to WALTZ through the Word, by Repenting of sin exposed as we read; by believing promises that grip us as we read; by choosing to go into the world fighting to obey the commands we read. We Pray through the Scripture that we read. We engage regularly in Worship and Fellowship. Engaging in these means of grace will not cause God to love us any more than He already does...but without them our awareness of His love for us will wane and grow dim...and unless we are feeding on God's love for us, our love for Him will also wane and grow dim.

We water the seed of Love supernaturally implanted in our souls most, however, by BELIEVING IN and RESTING IN His love for us!! As we believe and hope in His unconditional love for us, supernatural power rains upon us from on high, and increases our love response toward Him. The single most important work of God is this...that we believe (John 6:29!). God fills us with His Spirit and works the miracle of love for Him in us as we BELIEVE what we have heard in the Gospel (Galatians 3:5!).

We love because He first loved us...Is there a love for God in your soul today? Do you love what He loves because He loved you first? Are you taking your dignity as a human being seriously by engaging faithfully in the Means of Grace which are the conduit of even deeper measures of His love being poured into your soul so that supernaturally, you will LOVE HIM more?

No comments: