"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
(1 John 4:11)
Love cannot help loving, any more than water can help flowing. It is pure joy just to love. The love of God follows us wherever we go and whatever we are doing. That we know nothing of it does not matter. That we are wholly occupied in our work does not matter.
"I am my Beloved's, and His desire is toward me." (Song of Solomon 7:10)
"Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love." (Jeremiah 31:3)
"He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will
joy over thee with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)
Is it not utterly wonderful? He finds pleasure in loving us. To love is the joy of God. And this love, this very love, is the love He sheds abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit He has given us. (Romans 5:5)
Is there one of us who would wish to hurt or to ignore love like that?
(Amy Carmichael - Whispers of His Power)
N.J. Hiebert # 3373
". . . Esau came from the field, and he was faint: and Esau said to Jacob, feed me, I pray thee . . . for I am faint . . . and Jacob said, sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me . . . Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink . . . Esau despised his birthright." (Genesis 25:29-34)
Note the conduct of Esau in reference to the birthright, and all which it involved. The natural heart places no value on the things of God. To it, God's promise is a vague, valueless, powerless thing, simply because God is not known. Hence it is that present things carry such weight and influence in man's estimation. Anything that man can see, he values, because he is governed by sight and not by faith. To him, the present is everything; the future is a mere uninfluential thing - a matter of the merest uncertainty. Thus it was with Esau. "I am at the point to die; and what profit shall this birthright do to me?" What strange reasoning! - the present is slipping from beneath my feet, I will therefore despise and entirely let go the future! - Time is fading from my view, I will therefore abandon all interest in eternity! "Thus Esau despised his birthright."
Man has no heart for the things of God. The present is everything to him. Food is better than a title to Canaan. Hence, the very reason why Esau made light of the birthright was the very reason why he ought to have grasped it with the greater intensity. The more clearly I see the vanity of man's present, the more I shall cleave to God's future. (C.H. Macintosh - Notes on Genesis)
N.J. Hiebert # 3374
"Yet a little while, and the world seeth, me no more." (John 14:19)
We must be broken off from the world. He gives us everything needed in the way, but never presents that as our end. This world is neither Canaan nor Egypt, but a wilderness. By clinging to it we are not in the wilderness but in Egypt, and that is why we need chastening; for if we make a Canaan of this world, then it becomes Egypt to us. The moment we make it our home, and settle down in it, it is our Egypt.
The Lord must break our will. He says, "A little while and the world seeth me no more." It is all done with. He puts a distinction between Himself and the world; therefore if we take Him we cannot have the world, and if we take the world we cannot have the enjoyment of Him - we cannot have both. "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world." (2 Timothy 4:10) (J.N. Darby - Lectures on the First Epistle of John)
N.J. Hiebert # 3375
"No man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it,
even as the Lord the church." (Ephesians 5:29)
There is the special entrance of His mind, His careful interest in those that belong to Him. It is a great comfort that we know this to be true in the present state of the Church, when we think of the ruin of all around. Does Christ ever cease to nourish that which belongs to Him? Impossible. Spite of all the ruin, He has the same care for His people. We never can pray too much for the Church; but it is another thing to be troubling our minds as if the Lord forgot her, and were not taking adequate care of the saints in their need and sorrow. The Lord has never failed; and what He here tells us to do in our earthly relationships is no more than what He perfectly does towards His Church. He loves the Church; He nourishes and cherishes it, and He does this because ". . . we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones." (Ephesians 5:30) Just as Eve was a part of Adam, so the Church is of Christ. The Lord took out of Adam's side that which He built into his wife. So we stand in this nearness of relationship to Christ." (William Kelly - Lectures on Ephesians)
N.J. Hiebert # 3376