Tests of Love to God (Part 2)

September 3, 2008

4. Another fruit of love is magnanimity. Love is valorous, it turns cowardice into courage. Love will make one venture upon the greatest difficulties and hazards. The fearful hen will fly upon a dog or serpent to defend her young ones. Love infuses a spirit of gallantry and fortitude into a Christian. He that loves God will stand up in His cause, and be an advocate for Him. ‘We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4.20).He who is afraid to own Christ has but little love to Him. Nicodemus came sneaking to christ by night (John 3.2). He was fearful of being seen with Him is the day-time. Love casts out fear. As the sun expels fogs and vapours, so divine love in a great measure expels carnal fear. Does he love God that can hear His blessed truths spoken against and be silent? He who loves his friend will stand up for him, and vindicate him when he is reproached. Does Christ appear for us in heaven, nd are we afraid to appear for Him on earth? Love animates a Christian; it fires his heart with zeal, and steels it with courage.

5. The fifth fruit of love is sensitiveness. If we love God, our hearts ache for the dishonour done to God by wicked men. To see, not only the banks of religion, but morality, broken down, and a flood of wickedness coming in; to see God’s sabbaths profaned, His oaths violated, His name dishonored; if there be any love to God in us, we shall lay these things to heart. Lot’s righteous soul was ‘vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked‘ (2 Pet. 2.7). The sins of Sodom were as so many spears to pierce his soull. How far are they from loving God, who are not at all affected with his dishonour? If they have but peace and trading, they lay nothing to heart. A man who is dead drunk, never minds nor is affected by it, though another be bleeding to death by him; so, many, being drunk with the wine of prosperity, when the honour of God is wounded and His truths lie a bleeding, are not affected by it. did men love God, they would grieve to see His glory suffer, and religion itself become a martyr.

6. The sixth fruit of love is hatred against sin. Fire purges the dross from the metal. The fire of love purges out sin. ‘Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols?‘ (Hos. 14.8). He that loves God will have nothing to do with sin, unless to give battle to it. Sin strikes not only at God’s honor, but His being. Does he love his prince that harbours him who is a traitor to the crown? Is he a friend to God who loves that which God hates? The love of God and the love of sin cannot dwell together. The affections cannot be carried to two contrarieteis at the same time. A man cannot love health and love poison too; so onew cannot love God and sin too. He who has any secret sin in his heart allowed, is as far from loving God as heaven and earth are distant from the other.

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