Divine Love At The Cross
Your relationship with each other is to be based on that wonderful relationship that God has had with you. Divine love. Start at the cross, beloved. And then God will enable you to love other people.
And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing all right today? Oh, I’m fine, thank you. Woke up just happy and glad to be alive. [chuckle] It’s great. Praise the Lord. I tell you, I’m asking Him that my last years will be the best, the juiciest. [chuckle] Anointed, blessed, wonderful, fruitful years. That’s what I’m asking. I want the Lord just to use me up. You and I are looking at John chapter 15, and we’re talking about what does it mean to abide in Christ. The Greek verb, ‘meno,’ stay put. What does it mean? Well, it means fruit bearing. Some fruit, more fruit, much fruit, verses 4 and 8. It means answered prayer, verse 7 and 16. And it means to live in the constant atmosphere of divine Calvary love, verses 9, 12 and 17. And the last time we got together, we just had been walking around in verse 9. “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you. Continue ye in my love.”
Before I go on from there, I talked about how to stay in love with Jesus. Before I go on from there, I want you to realize that your relationship with Christ is of the very same kind. Now, it is not as eternally broad in its extent, because you and I are finite and God is eternal and infinite. You understand that. But it is of the same kind, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you. Continue in my love.” So your relationship with the Lord Jesus is of the same kind, and of the same duration, and has the same possibilities as the relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Father. In other words, you, believer, are part of what goes on in the godhead. See, the Bible proves that in so many different ways, “Christ liveth in me,” says Paul in Galatians 2:20. The secret, the open secret, the now revealed secret that we preach among the nations is, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Paul says, “I labor according to the working of His Spirit who works in me mightily.” The Holy Spirit working in you. Christ living in you, you see?
It is God, in Philippians 2:13, “It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” So you have God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit all working in your life if you’re a born again believer. A great truth, isn’t it? And so, Jesus said, “The love that is forever resident in the Trinity is the love in which you relate yourself to me, your Savior.” Same thing, same kind, same power, same beauty, same sweetness. Yes, we’re finite, God is infinite. So the extent of it, the depth of it, and the breadth of it, it goes way beyond anything we shall ever experience. You understand me? But it’s the same thing. You see? All right. You come with a glass to a spring of pure sparkling water, and you fill the glass and you drink from it; it holds, let us say, perhaps, six or eight ounces. Somebody else comes with a five gallon can and fills it up with that same, pure, sparkling spring water. Now, there’s more of the water in the five gallon container than there was in the eight ounce glass, but it’s the same pure water. You understand?
And so, you can rejoice today, and I hope you will, you can rejoice today in that fact that your relationship with Jesus is part of what goes on in the very heart of God. The relationship between God the Father and God the Son is the same relationship between you and your Savior. And that then is why we read Paul saying, “God has sent forth the Spirit of His son into our hearts crying, Abba Father,” papa God. You’re not afraid of God the Father any longer. But you come boldly, as the writer to the Hebrews says, “Come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Papa God. Have you ever looked up and said, “Oh, God, I love you.” Have you ever rejoiced in the knowledge that He is indeed your Father? Oh, let that come into your own heart. I wanted just to stop on that for a moment before we passed along from verse 9. As and so, one of the booklets that I offered a while back was based upon that same phrasing. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.”
The faith that saved you is the same faith that will keep you and make you fruitful. And the love in the godhead, between Father, Son and Spirit is the same love that sustains and transforms your life and mine, as we walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s so great. Now, you go down to verse 12, “This is my commandment that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” Now, how did He love them? He said, “The kind of love I loved you with cost me my life. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He said, “I’m not asking you to die for me. I’m just asking you to obey me. You’re my friends if you do whatsoever I command you.” Love. He says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another.” Have you stopped to think of the fact that your relationship with other believers is not a matter for you to decide? It’s not an option. It’s not an option for you to decide. It is rather a command. It’s rather a command. “This is my commandment that you love each other, even as I have loved you.”
Yeah, it’s a pretty big order when you figure how hard it is for some of us to get along with some of the rest of us. Actually, you know, there are some people in life that aren’t just difficult, they put thought into being impossible, isn’t that true? [chuckle] How do you face this matter? Normally, our hearts are so full of hurt feelings, and resentments, and disappointments, and fears that have to do with the performance of other people, that it seems a little ridiculous, doesn’t it, for somebody to tell us, “You better love each other.” Well, “Love,” the Bible says, “Covereth a multitude of sins.” Actually, you don’t start with your feeling toward the other person. You start with God. Romans 5:5, “The love of God is shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost who is given unto us.” I have found that the beginning of love for people is at Cavalry between you and your Savior. You don’t start by saying, “Oh, God, here is Joe Doakes, and he is such a pill, but you’ve told me to love him. Help me love him.” You don’t start there. You start by getting so close to the cross that you forget about people, and you are aware then of your own unworthiness and need.
And you can side with Paul the Apostle, who in spite of his shining record, was compelled to say, “Christ Jesus came into the word to save sinners of whom I,” Saul of Tarsus, now Paul the Apostle, “Am chief.” See, when you’re close enough to the cross, you can’t see anybody else’s sins but your own. You can’t see anybody else’s failures and shortcomings but your own if you get close enough to the cross. And that’s where you start, beloved. And you allow the Holy Spirit of God to pour out God’s love upon you. Charles G. Finney tells of his experience when on a Sunday night, he went to his law office after having gone to a church service. And he began to pray and seek God, and he began to confess his shortcomings and failings and sins. And then he said he became aware of the flow of God’s love into his soul. He said it seemed like it was wave upon wave of liquid love that simply flowed over his soul. He said he doesn’t know how long it was that he prayed, but when he arose from his knees in prayer, the fire had long since gone out in the hearth, and the coals were black and cold, and the room had taken on a little chill in the winter’s time.
He had prayed, but he himself was warm, and suffused with the glow of divine joy, because God had poured His love out upon him. Now, when you come from a time of meeting God that way, I can guarantee you that your relationship with people, even the most difficult of folk, will be changed. You’ll find that people are much easier to get along with if your own heart has been made tender, and your tears have fallen before God, and you yourself have realized that there’s a great deal more that, you personally, need to have done in your life as God continues to operate in your life and character. Then you come out and you’re much more tender with people. You’re much more tolerant with their shortcomings and mistakes. You’re much more patient with their infirmities. Oh, yes. “Love,” He says, “This is my commandment that ye love one another, as I have loved you.” There is the key, it seems to me, “As I have loved you.” I loved you enough to die for you. “And the proof of your love is whether you obey me.”
But the essence of it is, your relationship with each other is to be based on that wonderful relationship that I’ve had with you. Divine love. See, so you start at the cross, beloved. And then God will enable you to love other people. Bill Bright told me this years ago. Whenever I meet him I ask him to teach me something. And he smiles and he’ll give me something fresh from the Word of God, or from his own dealings with the Savior. And on this occasion we were in a hotel in Washington in connection with some conference or other, and I met him in the lobby and I said, “Hey, I need a little time with you. Teach me something.” And so, we were together there in the hotel just for a few moments and he said, “I’ve learned that I can take love for another person by faith, just as I can take other things by faith from the Lord. And he told how he was complaining to God about someone who seemed to be critical and undermining in the work many years ago. And then as he prayed, the Spirit of God whispered to him, “Why don’t you let him be my problem, and why don’t you just take love for him by faith?”
And he stopped, and he said, “All right, Lord, I will. As from right now, he’s your problem.” And just as I took salvation from the Lord Jesus, even so now, by faith, I just receive love for that person. He said his whole attitude changed, and then he smiled, he said, “Today we’re the best of friends.” You can take love by faith from Jesus and thus fulfill His commands. It’s a great truth, isn’t it?
Jesus, we love Thee. May your love fill our lives with love for each other, as well as for Thee. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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