The Savior's Assurance
The tenderness of Jesus, and his concern for the happiness of his dear people, appears on almost every page of his history. His gentle nature, his lamb-like character, his unfailing love, are always being presented to our view. As he revealed his Father, his aim seems constantly to be to produce love to his Father, and to lead his beloved ones, to exercise strong confidence in him. How sweetly he informs them that it was not absolutely necessary for him to pray to the Father for them, to induce him to give good things to them, assuring them, "The Father himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came from God." John 16:27.
Notice how he describes THE BELOVED ONES. "You have loved Me." All who love Jesus--are beloved of his Father. If we love Jesus--we love him as the Savior of sinners, the Savior of our souls; as the Son of God, given to deliver us from the wrath to come. We love him for what he has done--in laying down his life for us. We love him for what He has given--his Holy Spirit and his word. We love him for what he has promised yet to do--even to come and receive us unto himself, that where he is, there we maybe also. We love him so as to confess his name, and profess our faith in him so as to obey him--and if need be, to suffer in his cause. We love him so as to imitate him--and make his example the rule of our life.
"You have believed that I came from God." All who believe in Jesus, are beloved of his Father. We believe in his pre-existence, that he was God before he was man; and was with God before he was with us. We believe in his voluntary undertaking for us, and in his covenant engagements on our behalf. We believe in his divine mission, that he came forth from God, to do his Father's will, speak his Father's words, and testify to his Father's love. We believe in his love to us--and therefore we love him in return. Wherever there is faith in Christ, however weak; or love to Christ, however feeble--there is a proof of the Father's love.
Think the, of THE LOVE IN WHICH THEY ARE INTERESTED. "The Father himself loves you."
It is paternal love. Such love as the Father feels toward his only begotten Son, who is emphatically called, "The Son of his love."
It is invincible love. It cannot be conquered or overcome, however resisted. It is not only as strong as death--but stronger than death. Nor would it be too much to say that it is omnipotent love.
It is ever active love. It never rests, nor will it, while it can in any way benefit or bless its beloved objects.
It is condescending love. It stoops to anything and everything, even to wash poor sinners' feet--to wash their feet! It stooped to death for them, even the death of the cross.
It is forgiving love. O how much it has forgiven! How often it has forgiven! How ready it is to forgive! How precious is that testimony, "God for Christ's sake, has forgiven you."
It is freely-giving love. Anything that the loved ones need--all that the loved ones need--this love is prepared to give, and to give all freely.
It is never-ending love. God himself calls it "everlasting love." We cannot trace out its beginning, we cannot discover any interruption in it, nor will it be possible to find an end to it.
Man' s greatest dignity--is to be loved of God. O how wonderful that God should love us--and love us with a love that is paternal, invincible, ever active, condescending, forgiving, bounteous, and everlasting! The clearest evidences of our interest in this love--are faith in, and love to Jesus. Our faith is the gift of God--a gift of his love. Our love is produced by God--and is the effect of his own love to us. So that if we confide in Jesus--it is because God has given us faith; if we love Jesus--it is because God has shed abroad his love in our hearts. Faith and love are the gifts and proofs of God's love to us. The kindness of Jesus is great in giving us this assurance. What could he have said so calculated to make us happy, as to inform us, "The Father himself loves you!"
Holy Spirit, place this kindness of Jesus before us in the clearest and most striking light, that so we may be deeply and permanently affected by it. Increase our faith in Jesus, and our love to Jesus--that our evidences of interest in the Father's love may be plain and satisfactory. Help, O help us, to value the dignity conferred upon us, that we should be constituted the objects of God's infinite and eternal love!
Father of Heaven, almighty King,
How wondrous is your love,
That worms of dust, your praise should sing,
And you their songs approve!
Since by a new and living way,
Access to you is given,
Poor sinners may with boldness pray,
And earth converse with Heaven!