The Love Which is Ours
On the Cotswold Hills a gentleman took me into his garden and showed me seven little springs. I said, “It is remarkable to see seven springs so near each other;” but imagine my surprise when he said, “You are looking at the source of the Thames. Those springs join in that field, and go on and on, until they become the river, crossed by all those mighty bridges, which empties itself out into the North Sea.”
If you started at its mouth to trace it upwards, beyond Gravesend, Greenwich, London, Windsor, then back beyond Reading, Oxford, and farther back still, up and up and up amongst the Cotswold Hill, through that field, and into that gentleman’s garden, you would find in those seven bubbling springs the source of the River Thames.
Did you ever trace the river of God’s love to its source, past the foot of Calvary, past Gethsemane’s garden, past the guest-chamber in Jerusalem, past Bethany, the gate of Nain, the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth; farther back, past the cowshed and the manger; farther back still, up and up and up, past angels and archangel, principalities and powers, might and dominion, up and up to the very bosom of God? Instead of seven little springs you will reach a mighty ocean of everlasting love flowing out in a river, full of blessing to man.
The Egyptians have been drinking for centuries of the waters of the River Nile, but none ever troubled to trace it to its source. The world may be indifferent to the source of all good, but we Christians should explore until we reach the fountain-head of all our blessings—the heart of God.
If you met Paul in heaven and asked, “How did you, the chief of sinners, come here?” he would answer, “Because God so loved me.” If you met the thief who died at Calvary and asked, “How did you come here?” he would reply, “Because God so loved me,” a thief! The first man to enter Paradise was a condemned criminal. Up from the lowest depths of degradation, guilt, and sin, right away to the heights of glory, my Saviour carried one of the devil’s castaways. What can He not do after that?
Let me quote you four scriptures as to God’s love. The first shall be, “The Father loveth the Son” (John 3:35).
“The Father loveth the Son.” Now let me ask, how much do you think the Father loves Jesus? What is the extent of His love? What the measure of the love of the Father to Jesus? You say, “Who could measure that? It is immeasurable, infinite! The love the Father bears for Jesus knows no bound; it is absolutely impossible for anybody to measure the Father’s love for Jesus.” Then you accept it as an actual fact that the Father loves the Son with a love you cannot possibly measure?
Now turn to John 17:23, “Thou hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.”
Here is the Father’s love resting on you. You see that love descending from its source—what is its measure? “As thou hast loved Me.” And what is the measure of that? “Well,” you say, “you cannot measure that.”
Then if you cannot measure the love of God to His Son you cannot measure the love of the Father to you. Why? Because the same love that rests upon His Son, as Man, rests on you. If you cannot measure one you cannot measure the other. But you can open your heart widely to take it in. Only think of it; we are loved with the same love with which the Father loves Jesus. Do you think you will be loved better in heaven than you are now? Do you think the Lord Jesus will be loved better when you get to heaven than He is loved today? “No,” you say, “He has all the love of His Father resting on Him, He cannot be loved more perfectly.” Then if He is loved perfectly you are loved perfectly, because the measure of the Father’s love to Jesus is the measure of the Father’s love to you.
You say, “I wish I could realize that.” Realize it? You believe the truth of the Father’s love to the Son without realization; one is as much a fact as the other. Fact number one is “the Father loves the Son;” although you cannot realize it, yet you believe it. Fact number two is that the measure of the love that the Father bears to the Son is the precise measure of the love He bears to you. Why demur at believing this because you do not realize it?
Is Jesus loved today? So are we. Is Jesus free from death and judgment? So are we. Is Jesus the Beloved of His bosom? So are we; it is in the Beloved we are accepted. You could not mention a single thing of the Lord Jesus Christ (apart from His Deity) but what is true of the believer in Christ whilst in this world.
Perhaps you say, “I do not think God loves me like that, because I am in very trying circumstances.” Please do not measure the love of God by your circumstances, but measure your circumstances by His love. If His love is perfect (and it is), He will never do anything less for you than the best possible. You may not see through His ways now, but He loves you, and He will never love you more in heaven than now, and He makes all things work together for good.
Now let us turn to John 15:9, Jesus is speaking.
“As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you.”
“As the Father hath loved Me.” That which is the measure of My Father’s love to Me is the measure of My love to you. “As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you.” Think of that when times are hard, circumstances difficult, business worrying, those dear to you suffering; look up and say, “Here I am, an object of the immeasurable, infinite, everlasting love of two divine Persons, the Father and the Son. How much does the Son love me? As much as the Father loves the Son!” Do you know why you are going to heaven? Because you are necessary to the Father and the Son. You are enshrined in their affections, the Father loves you just as He loves Jesus, and Jesus loves you with the same intense affection that the Father has for you. That will make heaven heaven. When you get there you will find the Father’s love flowing out in all its fullness to the Son, and the Son’s love flowing back in blessed response to the Father, and the Father’s and the Son’s love beating down upon you with their warm, genial rays, and your love going back to the Father and the Son in full response. Heaven is the place where divine affections flow without let or hindrance; all will be perfectly realized there, when from Father to Son, and from Son back to the Father, and from Father and Son down to the redeemed, all the affections of the Bride to the Bridegroom, the children to the Father, will be responsive.
Now look at John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that ye love one another.” How much? “As I have loved you.” How much is that? “As the Father hath loved Me.” You say, “That is the line I break down on.” Why? Because you are not in the enjoyment of the Father’s love to you, and in the enjoyment of the love of Jesus to you; and the consequence is your heart chills in your affections towards those loved of the Father and the Son. If you find your affections getting cold and chilly towards God’s people, it is a proof you are not in the sensible enjoyment of divine love. Search what needs judging in your ways, bask in the sunshine, keep yourselves in the love of God until divine affections are awakened, for every one that loveth Him that begat loveth them also that are begotten of Him. See that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently, after the manner and measure of the love shown to you.
Our Calling 1910