The Love of God
James Smith, 1860
What subject can be compared to the love of God? What subject is so sweet, so profitable, so full of wonders!
God, loving his people.
The infinite, loving the finite.
The Creator, loving his creature.
The Most High God, loving a worm.
The Holy One, loving the unholy.
The Sovereign, loving his rebellious subject.
The Eternal God, loving poor sinners in his Son. For God puts us into Christ, and there he blesses us, saves us, and loves us with an infinite love.
I want to think over, to meditate for a little while, on the love of God this morning. Holy Spirit, it is yours to enlighten the mind, and to direct the heart into the love of God. O direct my heart into this glorious subject, and shed abroad the love of God in my heart, that tasting its sweetness, and feeling its power--I may write from experience on this delightful theme!
God loved his people first. No one ever loved God, or wished to love him--but as the effect of his own love. We love him--because he first loved us. He loved all of his people before time began, as he says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love."
God's love was fixed upon, and flowed out to his people freely. That God loves his people is clearly revealed, and powerfully proved; but WHY did he love them? How did he come to fix his love upon them? How did he come to reveal and communicate that love to them? This he has not told us. He has assured us that it was not for anything in them, or done by them. He loves freely. He loves--just because he will love, or because it pleases him to love.
His love is great beyond expression or conception. No one can possibly conceive the greatness of God's love, and if it cannot be conceived, then it cannot be expressed. It is as vast as eternity, and as infinite as his own divine nature. How wonderful, that God should love one like me--and love me with such a love!
His love is fraught with every blessing, and is the fountain from which flows every good. Yes, in the love of God is comprised and comprehended, every blessing that can be conferred on sinners in time, or be enjoyed by believers in eternity.
The love of God is as unchangeable as his nature. He is without variableness--and so is his love. His works may change, do change, must change; but he is the same, and as he is, so is his love. It ever was, what it is; it is, what it ever was; and what it is, it ever will be.
His love is eternal in its duration. Once fixed, it is fixed forever. Having loved his own--he loves them unto the end. No object of his love is ever lost. No one cared for by him, will ever perish. He is able to keep us from falling, and we are kept by his power, through faith unto salvation.
God's love is sweet and powerful, and it wins over all its objects to itself. God is loved--because he loves. The sweet power of his love, as displayed in the gift of his Son, and as shed abroad in the heart by his Spirit--wins us over to himself, and we love him--but never feel as if we loved him enough.
Oh, that I could enter into the love of God more fully! Oh, that I felt the love of God more powerfully! Oh, that I could love God more heartily and constantly, in return for his love to me! Oh, to illustrate and commend the love of God in my temper, conduct, and conversation with my fellow-men!
Nothing will make me happy--but this love.
Nothing will make me holy--but this love.
Nothing will give me strength and energy for duty--but this love.
If I realize that God loves me, loves me infinitely, loves me eternally--then I can do anything for God, I can suffer anything from the hand of God.
God's love to me, is like . . .
light in darkness,
manna in the wilderness, and
a sweet song in the night.
God's love to me, is . . .
my joy in sorrow,
my solace in suffering, and
my life in the midst of death.
God's love to me, will make me happy anywhere, satisfied with anything, and raise me above the most trying circumstances of time. O may this love comfort me in my lonely hours, in seasons of sickness and sorrow; and may it inspire me with courage, in every conflict with the foe.
Father of mercies, God of love, may I know and believe the love you have to me! Precious Lord Jesus, you are the proof and exposition of the Father's love! May I study you more, know you better, that so I may rejoice in your Father's love! Heavenly Comforter, it is yours to reveal, unfold, and impart the love of God to poor sinners; do more clearly reveal, more fully unfold, and more plentifully impart--the love of God to me, that I may be filled with all the fullness of God!