Category Archives: Love one another

“The terrible and tender God of love” by G.K. Chesterton

“Happiness is not to be found by dancing after any heathen god of love. Happiness is found by looking up to where a more terrible but a more tender God of love hangs, not on Olympus but on Calvary.”

–G.K. Chesterton, “Chaucer: The Garden of Romance,” in The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton (San Francisco: St. Ignatius Press, 1991), 18: 264.

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“Heaven is a world of love” by Jonathan Edwards

“The God of love dwells in heaven. Heaven is the palace, or presence-chamber, of the Supreme Being who is both the cause and source of all holy love.

God, indeed, with respect to His essence is everywhere. He fills heaven and earth. But yet He is said on some accounts more especially to be in some places rather than others.

He was said of old to dwell in the land of Israel above all other lands, and in Jerusalem above all other cities in that land, and in the temple above all other houses in that city, and in the holy of holies above all other apartments in that temple, and on the mercy seat over the ark above all other places in the holy of holies.

But heaven is His dwelling place above all other places in the universe.

Those places in which He was said to dwell of old were all but types of this. Heaven is a part of the creation which God has built for this end, to be the place of His glorious presence.

And it is His abode forever. Here He will dwell and gloriously manifest Himself to eternity.

And this renders heaven a world of love; for God is the fountain of love, as the sun is the fountain of light.

And therefore the glorious presence of God in heaven fills heaven with love, as the sun placed in the midst of the hemisphere in a clear day fills the world with light.

The Apostle tells us that God is love, 1 John 4:8. And therefore seeing He is an infinite Being, it follows that He is an infinite fountain of love.

Seeing He is an all-sufficient Being, it follows that He is a full and overflowing and an inexhaustible fountain of love.

Seeing He is an unchangeable and eternal Being, He is an unchangeable and eternal source of love.

There even in heaven dwells that God from whom every stream of holy love, yea, every drop that is or ever was proceeds.

There dwells God the Father, and so the Son, who are united in infinitely dear and incomprehensible mutual love.

There dwells God the Father, who is the Father of mercies, and so the Father of love, who so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life [John 3:16].

There dwells Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the Prince of peace and love, who so loved the world that He shed His blood, and poured out His soul unto death for it.

There dwells the Mediator, by whom all God’s love is expressed to the saints, by whom the fruits of it have been purchased, and through whom they are communicated, and through whom love is imparted to the hearts of all the church.

There Christ dwells in both His natures, His human and divine, sitting with the Father in the same throne.

There is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of divine love, in whom the very essence of God, as it were, all flows out or is breathed forth in love, and by whose immediate influence all holy love is shed abroad in the hearts of all the church [cf. Romans 5:5].

There in heaven this fountain of love, this eternal three in one, is set open without any obstacle to hinder access to it.

There this glorious God is manifested and shines forth in full glory, in beams of love.

There the fountain overflows in streams and rivers of love and delight, enough for all to drink at, and to swim in, yea, so as to overflow the world as it were with a deluge of love.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 369-370.

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“The main business of the Christian life” by Jonathan Edwards

“Our subject exhorts us to seek a spirit of love, to grow in it more and more, and very much to abound in the works of love.

If love is so great a thing in Christianity, so essential and distinguishing, yea, the very sum of all Christian virtue, then surely those that profess themselves Christians should live in love, and abound in the works of love. For no works are so becoming as those of love.

If you call yourself a Christian, where are your works of love?

Have you abounded, and do you abound in them?

If this divine and holy principle is in you, and reigns in you, will it not appear in your life, in works of love?

Consider what deeds of love have you done?

Do you love God?

What have you done for Him, for His glory, for the advancement of His kingdom in the world?

And how much have you denied yourself to promote the Redeemer’s interest among men?

Do you love your fellowmen?

What have you done for them?

Consider your former defects in these respects, and how becoming it is in you as a Christian hereafter to abound more in deeds of love.

Do not make excuse that you have not opportunities to do anything for the glory of the God, for the interest of the Redeemer’s kingdom, and for the spiritual benefit of your neighbors.

If your heart is full of love, it will find vent and then you will find or make ways enough to express your love in deeds. When a fountain abounds in water, it will send forth streams.

Consider that as a principle of love is the main principle in the heart of a real Christian, so the labor of love is the main business of the Christian life. Let every Christian consider these things.

And may the Lord give you understanding in all things, and make you sensible what spirit it becomes you to be of, and dispose you to such an excellent, amiable, and benevolent life, as is answerable to such a spirit, that you may not love only in word and tongue, but in deed and truth.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 147-148.

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“Marital love in action” by Paul David Tripp

1. Love is being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of your husband or wife without impatience or anger.

2. Love is actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward your spouse, while looking for ways to encourage and praise.

3. Love is the daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.

4. Love is being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding, and being more committed to unity and love than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.

5. Love is a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.

6. Love means being willing, when confronted by your spouse, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.

7. Love is a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to your husband or wife is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.

8. Love is being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged but to look for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.

9. Love is being a good student of your spouse, looking for his physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support him as he carries it, or encourage him along the way.

10. Love means being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the problems that you face as a couple, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.

11. Love is always being willing to ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grand forgiveness when it is requested.

12. Love is recognizing the high value of trust in a marriage and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.

13. Love is speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack your spouse’s character or assault his or her intelligence.

14. Love is being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to co-opt your spouse into giving you what you want or doing something your way.

15. Loving is being unwilling to ask your spouse to be the source of your identity, meaning and purpose, or inner sense of well-being, while refusing to be the source of his or hers.

16. Love is the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a husband or a wife.

17. Love is a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your marriage.

18. Love is staying faithful to your commitment to treat your spouse with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when he or she doesn’t seem to deserve it or is unwilling to reciprocate.

19. Love is the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of your marriage without asking anything in return or using your sacrifices to place your spouse in your debt.

20. Love is being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm your marriage, hurt your husband or wife, or weaken the bond of trust between you.

21. Love is refusing to be self-focused or demanding instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.

22. Love is a daily admitting to yourself, your spouse, and God that you are not able to love this way without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.

23. Love is a specific commitment of the heart to a specific person that causes you to give yourself to a specific lifestyle of care that requires you to be willing to make sacrifices that have that person’s good in view.”

–Paul David Tripp, What Did You Expect? (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 191-201.

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“In God, not in themselves” by John Calvin

“We ought to embrace the whole human race without exception in a single feeling of love; here there is no distinction between barbarian and Greek, worthy and unworthy, friend and enemy, since all should be contemplated in God, not in themselves. When we turn aside from such contemplation, it is no wonder we become entangled in many errors.

Therefore, if we rightly direct our love, we must first turn our eyes not to man, the sight of whom would more often engender hate than love, but to God, who bids us extend to all men the love we bear to Him, that this may be an unchanging principle: Whatever the character of the man, we must yet love him because we love God.”

–John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, John T. McNeill, ed, Ford Lewis Battles, trans, Library of Christian Classics (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960 [1559]), 2.8.55.

[HT: Reinke]

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“What Christians are to wear” by Francis Schaeffer

“First, Christians are called upon to love all men as neighbors, loving them as ourselves. Second, we are to love all true Christian brothers in a way that the world may observe.

This means showing love to our brothers in the midst of our differences– great or small– loving our brothers when it costs us something, loving them even under times of tremendous emotional tension, loving them in a way the world can see.

In short, we are to practice and exhibit the holiness of God and the love of God, for without this we grieve the Holy Spirit.

Love– and the unity it attests to– is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians and that Jesus was sent by the Father.” (John 13:34-35; 17:21)

–Francis Schaeffer, The Mark of the Christian in The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, Volume Four, A Christian View of the Church (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1982), 204.

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“Lament” by Evangeline Paterson

“Lament”
By Evangeline Paterson

Weep, weep for those
Who do the work of the Lord
With a high look
And a proud heart.
Their voice is lifted up
In the streets, and their cry is heard.
The bruised reed they break
By their great strength, and the smoking flax
They trample.

Weep not for the quenched
(For their God will hear their cry
And the Lord will come to save them)
But weep, weep for the quenchers

For when the Day of the Lord
Is come, and the vales sing
And the hills clap their hands
And the light shines

Then their eyes shall be opened
On a waste place,
Smouldering,
The smoke of the flax bitter
In their nostrils,
Their feet pierced
By broken reed-stems…
Wood, hay, and stubble,
And no grass springing.
And all the birds flown.

Weep, weep for those
Who have made a desert
In the name of the Lord.

–Evangeline Paterson, “Lament,” Deep Is the Rock (Elms Court: Arthur H. Stockwell Limited, 1966). As quoted in Francis Schaeffer, The Mark of the Christian in The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, Volume Four, A Christian View of the Church (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1982), 205.

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