They do not love Christ who love anything more than Christ.
The Lord Jesus loves us with all His heart. He desires that we love Him with all our heart; and until we do, we will never know the sweetness of His love for us. We will have some faint concept but that is all. With how many people do we share the secrets of our heart and with whom do we share them? We will be intimate with the person we know loves us, the person we know is committed to us, the person who has given himself or herself to us, and with none besides. It is so with our Lord. There must be response of love to love.
Love to Jesus is maintained and continued in its warmth and fervor – by frequent meditation on His adorable person, His dying love, and His infinite excellence and preciousness. If we lose sight of Him as the spring of all our happiness, and of His ineffable glories, the fervency of our love for Him will be abated.
Mary’s bottle contained perfumed oil- pure nard imported from India’s Himalayan Mountains. It was of highest quality and therefore very expensive. She had probably kept it as a family treasure, her most precious possession. Its value approximately the annual wages of a common laborer- a lifetime’s savings! But when it came to Jesus, Mary never even counted the cost. Her love was as pure as her precious ointment. Love like this gives everything and only regrets it has not more to give.
Jesus clearly connects our appreciation of the forgiveness of God with our love for Him. When we realize Christ died on the cross for each of our sins, we will love Him much. When we understand that Jesus experienced the wrath of God in our place, we will love Him much. When we realize that we have been credited with the righteousness of Christ when nothing in us is worthy, we will love Him much. And when we consider that God will accept us into heaven for eternity because of the finished work of Jesus Christ, we will love Him much.
It is inconceivable that a person could fall in love with the Redeemer in the biblical sense and not long to be conformed to the object of that affection.
It’s not really our sins that make us weep; they have a part in it… It is when we see the kind of Savior we have sinned against that really makes us weep.
The Danger of Spiritual Overconfidence. The sermon originally appeared at: www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/42-275/the-danger-of-spiritual-overconfidence at www.gty.org. © 1969-2008. Grace to You. All rights reserved. Used by Permission.
It is only those who truly love Christ that are fitted to minister to His flock! The work is so laborious, the appreciation is often so small, the response so discouraging, the criticisms so harsh, the attacks of Satan so fierce, that only the “love of Christ” – His for us and ours for Him – can “constrain” to such work. “Hirelings” will feed the goats, but only those who love Christ can feed His sheep.
The true Christian is one whose religion is in his heart and life. It is felt by himself in his heart. It is seen by others in his conduct and life. He feels his sinfulness, guilt and badness, and repents. He sees Jesus Christ to be that Divine Savior whom his soul needs, and commits himself to Him. He puts off the old man with his corrupt and carnal habits and puts on the new man. He lives a new and holy life, fighting habitually against the world, the flesh and the devil. Christ Himself is the cornerstone of his Christianity. Ask him in what he trusts for the forgiveness of his many sins, and he will tell you in the death of Christ. Ask him in what righteousness he hopes to stand innocent at the judgment day, and he will tell you it is the righteousness of Christ. Ask him by what pattern he tries to frame his life, and he will tell you that it is the example of Christ. But, beside all this, there is one thing in a true Christian which is eminently peculiar to him. That thing is love to Christ.
Knowledge, faith, hope, reverence, obedience, are all marked features in a true Christian’s character. But his picture would be very imperfect if you omitted his “love” to his Divine Master. He not only knows, trusts, and obeys. He goes further than this – he loves.
A true Christian loves Christ for all He has done for him. He has suffered in his stead and died for him on the cross. He has redeemed him from the guilt, the power, and the consequences of sin, by His blood. He has called him by His Spirit to self-knowledge, repentance, faith, hope, and holiness. He has forgiven all his many sins and blotted them out. He has freed him from the captivity of the world, the flesh, and the devil. He has taken him from the brink of hell, placed him in the narrow way, and set his face toward heaven. He has given him light instead of darkness, peace of conscience instead of uneasiness, hope instead of uncertainty, life instead of death. Can you wonder that the true Christian loves Christ? And he [also] loves Him besides, for all that He is still doing.
A faith of devils, a mere intellectual faith, a man may have without love, but not that faith which saves. Love cannot usurp the office of faith. It cannot justify. It does not join the soul to Christ. It cannot bring peace to the conscience. But where there is real justifying faith in Christ, there will always be heart-love to Christ. He that is really forgiven is the man who will really love (Luke 7:47). If a man has no love to Christ, you may be sure he has no faith.
There are myriads of Christians who know every article of the Athanasian, Nicene, and Apostolic Creeds, and yet know less of real Christianity than a little child who only knows that he loves Christ.
Affection is the real secret of a good memory in religion. No worldly man can think much about Christ, unless Christ is pressed upon his notice, because he has no affection for Him. The true Christian has thoughts about Christ every day that he lives, for this one simple reason, that he loves Him.
Let it never be said that we cannot find out whether a Christian really loves Christ. It can be known; it may be discovered; the proofs are already to your hand. You have heard them this very day. Love to the Lord Jesus Christ is no hidden, secret, impalpable thing. It is like the light – it will be seen. It is like sound – it will be heard. It is like heat – it will be felt. Where it exists, it cannot be hid. Where it cannot be seen you may be sure there is none.
He that dies without love to Christ could never be happy in that heaven where Christ is all, and in all.
“For the love of Christ controls us.” The motivation here in 2 Corinthians 5:14 to live for Christ is clearly the love of Christ. With every thought, decision or action we make, we remember the One who loves us dearly. And that love He has for us is the motivation for us to love Him in return. And why do we love Him? 1 John 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us.” And how do we love Him in return? John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” It becomes the law of love. We find ourselves serving the Lord out of devotion and not out of duty.
Christ’s people must have bold, unflinching lion-like hearts, loving Christ first, and His truth next, and Christ and His truth beyond all the world.
The man who is all aglow with love to Jesus finds little need for amusement. He has no time for trifling. He is in dead earnest to save souls, and establish the truth, and enlarge the kingdom of his Lord.
Love to Jesus is the basis of all true piety, and the intensity of this love will ever be the measure of our zeal for His glory. Let us love Him with all our hearts, and then diligent labor, and consistent living will be sure to follow.
[Are we] so much in love with Jesus, so utterly enthralled with the transcendent beauties of [our] Savior, so swallowed up in the adequacy of the Son of God in all things that nothing appear[s] so sweet to [us] as obedience to His commands?
Our Lord told His disciples that love and obedience were organically united. The final test of love is obedience.
I will not love a world that crucified Him, neither cherish nor endure the sin that put Him to grief, nor suffer Him to be wounded by others.
The local church is espoused to Christ, but there is always the danger of that love growing cold. Like Martha, we can be so busy working for Christ that we have no time to love Him. Christ is more concerned about what we do with Him than for Him. Labor is no substitute for love. To the public, the Ephesian church was successful; to Christ, it had fallen.