“To be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son— it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”
Tag Archives: Love
“You have never yet had half an idea, or the tithe of an idea, of how precious you are to Christ” by Charles Spurgeon
“It is in our Lord’s prayer, when He is in the inner sanctuary speaking with the Father, that we have these words, ‘All mine are thine, and thine are mine.’ (John 17:10)
Here is the Son speaking to the Father, not about thrones and royalties, nor cherubim and seraphim, but about poor men and women, in those days mostly fishermen and peasant folk, who believed on Him.
They are talking about these people, and the Son is taking His own solace with the Father in their secret privacy by talking about these precious jewels, these dear ones that are their peculiar treasure.
You have not any notion how much God loves you.
Dear brother, dear sister, you have never yet had half an idea, or the tithe of an idea, of how precious you are to Christ.
You think, because you are so imperfect, and you fall so much below your own ideal, that, therefore, He does not love you much; you think that He cannot do so.
Have you ever measured the depth of Christ’s agony in Gethsemane, and of His death on Calvary? If you have tried to do so, you will be quite sure that, apart from anything in you or about you, He loves you with a love that passeth knowledge.
Believe it. ‘But I do not love Him as I should,’ I think, I hear you say. No, and you never will unless you first know His love to you.
Believe it; believe it to the highest degree, that He so loves you that, when there is no one who can commune with Him but the Father, even then their converse is about their mutual estimate of you, how much they love you: ‘All mine are thine, and thine are mine.'”
–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Christ’s Pastoral Prayer for His People,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 39 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1893), 39: 507–508. Spurgeon preached this sermon on John 17:9-10 on the Lord’s Day evening of September 1, 1889 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.
“There is a principle of self, which disposes us to despise those who differ from us; and we are often under its influence, when we think we are only shewing a becoming zeal in the cause of God.
I readily believe that the leading points of Arminianism spring from, and are nourished by, the pride of the human heart; but I should be glad if the reverse was always true; and that to embrace what are called the Calvinistic doctrines was an infallible token of a humble mind.
I think I have known some Arminians—that is, persons who, for want of clearer light, have been afraid of receiving the doctrines of free grace—who yet have given evidence that their hearts were in a degree humbled before the Lord.
And I am afraid there are Calvinists, who, while they account it a proof of their humility that they are willing in words to debase the creature, and to give all the glory of salvation to the Lord, yet know not what manner of spirit they are of.
Whatever it be that makes us trust in ourselves that we are comparatively wise or good, so as to treat those with contempt who do not subscribe to our doctrines, or follow our party, is a proof and fruit of a self-righteous spirit.
Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines, as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature and the riches of free grace.
Yea, I would add, the best of men are not wholly free from this leaven; and therefore are too apt to be pleased with such representations as hold up our adversaries to ridicule, and by consequence flatter our own superior judgments.
Controversies, for the most part, are so managed as to indulge rather than to repress this wrong disposition; and therefore, generally speaking, they are productive of little good. They provoke those whom they should convince, and puff up those whom they should edify.
I hope your performance will savour of a spirit of true humility, and be a means of promoting it in others.”
“Whether Christ acknowledges a person to be His or not and confesses Him before His Father, who is in heaven, determines everyone’s lot (Matt. 10:32-33). Our acquittal and salvation depend upon His public confession.
Christ was not ashamed of us at His incarnation. To be sure, He had many reasons to be. He Himself was the firstborn of the Father, the radiance of the Father’s glory and the exact image of His being– who thought it not robbery to be equal with God (John 3:16; 10:30; 17:5; Heb. 1:3; Col. 1:15; Phil. 2:6).
We were laden with guilt, unclean from head to toe, and subject to decay (Ps. 38:4; Rom. 8:20-21), yet He was not ashamed to call us His brothers (Heb. 2:11). He was not ashamed of us before God or before the holy angels (Mark 8:38).
He took on our flesh and blood, assumed our nature, and became like us in everything apart from sin. In Christ, even God was not ashamed to be called our God (Heb. 11:16).
Therefore, He will likewise not be ashamed of us in the day of His future. To be sure, at that time He will come again not as a servant but as Lord, not to suffer but to be glorified, not to a cross but with a crown (Rev. 6:2; 19:16).
Nevertheless, He will not be ashamed of us, for the One who ascended far above the heavens is the same One who descended to the lowest parts of the earth. The One who judges is the Son of Man who once came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
Our Judge is our Savior; He never forgets nor forsakes His people (Deut. 31:6; Isa. 33:22). ‘So everyone who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father who is in heaven’ (Matt. 10:32).
In full view of the whole world so that all of creation may hear it, He will publicly stand up for His faithful confessors. However despised they may have been in this world, Christ will take their name upon His lips and proclaim it to every ear that they are His– the ones whom He has bought with His own blood and of whom no power in the world or in Hell will be able to rob Him (Rom. 8:38-39).
As Christ says, so it will be. His judgment will apply to the whole of creation. His confession will concern all creation. No one will be able to criticize it. No one will dare to oppose it. His judgment will be exalted above all criticism and will stand high above the judgment of all men and devils. The heavens and the earth and Hell and all creation will eternally submit to it.
Of greater importance than all of this is that the Father will rest in this work of His Son (Heb. 4:9-10). Just as after creation God saw all that He had made and, behold, it was very good, in that way at the end of days He will look down with divine pleasure upon the great work of redemption that Christ accomplished (Gen. 1:31).
When the church without spot or wrinkle is set before Him, and the perfected kingdom has been given to Him, then the Father will adopt all of the redeemed of the Son as His children, inviting them to participate in His communion and enjoy His presence (Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 21:2, 7).
The public confession on behalf of believers by Christ before His Father, who is in heaven, will be the guarantee of their eternal salvation and glory (Matt. 10:32).”
–Herman Bavinck, The Sacrifice of Praise: Meditations Before and After Admission to the Lord’s Supper, Trans. and Ed. Cameron Clausing and Gregory Parker Jr (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2019), 80-81.
“It is a true mark of spiritual life when our heart yearns after and longs for the Word. It is completely natural, just as one who is hungry longs for bread, the thirsty for water, and the sick for medicine.
Just as naturally, the one who is spiritual with a holy longing reaches for the Word of God and for Christ, who is offered in that Word. Those who are spiritual never grow beyond that Word.
Unlike the mystic’s dreams, the Word is not used as a ladder to ascend to a certain height, and then to spread one’s own wings and support oneself.
Anyone who tries to do so will soon fall to earth broken.
Anyone who refuses food will soon starve.
Anyone who does not heed the word of Christ does not love Him (1 John 5:3).
Anyone who rejects medicine has no need of a physician.
But the spiritual person, as long as one lives and with all one’s soul, feels bound to that Word as the means of communion and fellowship with God, because God has bound Himself to that Word.
It is only in the proportion one is planted in that Word that one grows and becomes stronger.
As ivy to a wall, the spiritual person holds fast to the Word.
As one leans upon a rod or a staff on a pilgrimage, so one leans on the Word. One becomes increasingly attached to it, and increasingly devoted to it.
The spiritual person’s love for the Word becomes stronger, considers it ever-increasing in value, and always finds in it a rich treasure for both heart and life.
For the one who is spiritual, it becomes increasingly God’s Word, a Word that comes to that person from God, a letter from one’s Father sent from heaven, to be a guide to the Father’s house.
‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’ (Ps. 119:105). ‘Oh how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day’ (Ps. 119:97).”
–Herman Bavinck, The Sacrifice of Praise: Meditations Before and After Admission to the Lord’s Supper, Trans. and Ed. Cameron Clausing and Gregory Parker Jr (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2019), 24-25.