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How Much Do You Love Jesus?

Good Evening. A Puritan’s Mind brings you the old time radio program The Wild Boar News Podcast from Sunny South Florida. Welcome, I’m Dr. Matthew McMahon.

How do you know you love Jesus much? Anyone who loves God desires his presence. Lovers cannot be long apart; they soon have their fits of desire to be together because they, even on a base level, cannot see, feel or touch their lover. What of the soul? A soul deeply in love with God desires the enjoyment of Him in His worship, in His Word, in prayer, and in His instituted sacraments. David was ready to faint away and die when he did not have a sight of God. "My soul fainteth for God" (Psalm 84:2). When people say, “When will the Lord’s Day be over?" plainly reveal their lack of love to God.

Those who love God do not love sin. "You that love the Lord, hate evil" (Psalm 97:10). The love of God, and the love of sin, can no more mix together than iron and clay. Every sin that is loved strikes at the being of God; but he who loves God, has a hatred of sin. The one who would break up two true lovers is a hateful person. God and the believing soul are two lovers; sin parts between them, therefore the soul is unmovably set against it. By this test your love to God. How could Delilah say she loved Samson, when she entertained correspondence with the Philistines, who were his mortal enemy?

He who loves God is not in love with anything else very much. His love is very cold to worldly things. His love to God moves swiftly, as the sun in the sky; to the world it moves slowly, as time passes slowly on watch. If one loves the world, such a love rips out the heart of religion; it chokes good affections, as earth puts out fire. The world was a dead thing to Paul. "I am crucified to the world, and the world is crucified to me" (Gal. 6:14). In Paul we may see both the picture and pattern of a mortified man. The one that loves God uses the world but chooses God. The world engages him, but God delights and satisfies him. He says as David, "God my exceeding joy," the gladness or cream of my joy (Psalm 43:4).

The one who loves God cannot live without Christ. Things we love we cannot be without. A man can do without music or flowers, but not food; so a soul deeply in love with God looks upon himself as being totally undone without Him. "Hide not thy face from me, lest I be like them that go down into the pit" (Psalm 143:7). I want the Sun of Righteousness; I enjoy the sweet presence of my God. Is God our chief good? If He is then we cannot live without Him. Those who have no love to God can do well enough without Him! Let them have their beer and movies, and you will never hear them complain that they lack God.

The one who loves God will do anything to get Him. What great pain the store owner takes, what hazards he must face, to have a rich return from all his labor overseas in buying and selling! Jacob loved Rachel, and he could endure the heat by day, and the frost by night, that he might enjoy her. A soul that loves God will take any pains for the fruition of Him. "My soul follows hard after God" (Psalm 63:8). Love is the weight which sets the clock going. It is much in prayer, weeping for sin, fasting; it strives as in agony that he may obtain Christ whom his soul loves. Plutarch reports of the Gauls, an ancient people of France, that after they had tasted the sweet wine of Italy, they never rested till they had arrived at that country.

The one who is in love with Jesus, never rests till he has a part in Him. "I sought him whom my soul loveth" (Song of Sol. 3:2). How can they say they love God, who are not industrious in the use of means to obtain Him? "A slothful man hides his hand in his bosom" (Pro. 19:24). He is not in agony, but lethargy. If Christ and salvation would drop like a ripe fig into his mouth, he would be content to have it; but he is lazy and slothful to put himself to too much trouble to do it on his own. Does he love his friend, who will not go on a journey to see him?

He who loves God prefers him before all his worldly good, and even his life. Before estate—"For whom I have suffered the loss of all things" (Phil. 3:8). Who that loves a rich jewel would not part with a flower for it? Galeacius, marcus of Vico, parted with a fair estate to enjoy God in His pure ordinances. When a Jesuit persuaded him to return to his popish religion in Italy, promising him a large sum of money, he said: "Let their money perish with them who esteem all the gold in the world worth one day's communion with Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit." And what about desiring God before your own life?—"They loved not their lives to the death" (Rev. 12:11). Love to God carries the soul above the love of life and the fear of death.

He who loves God loves the saints (1 John 5:1). To love a man for his grace and the more we see of God in him, the more we love him, that is an infallible sign of love to God. The wicked pretend to love God, but hate and persecute His image, who are the saints of God. Does he love his prince who abuses his statue, or tears down his picture? They seem indeed to show great reverence to saints departed; they have great reverence for Saint Paul, and Saint Stephen, and Saint Luke; they canonize dead saints, but persecute living saints; and do they love God? Can you imagine that a person loves God who hates God’s children because they are like God? If Christ were alive again, He would not escape a second persecution.

If we love God we cannot but be fearful of dishonoring him, just as the great love a child has for his father the more he is afraid to displease him, and they weep and mourn when they have offended him. "Peter went out and wept bitterly" (Matt. 26:75). Peter might as well have thought that Christ dearly loved him when He took him up to the mount where He was transfigured, and showed him the glory of heaven in a vision. It is unthinkable then, that Peter should deny Christ after he had received such wonderful tokens of Christ’s love, and so, all this broke Peter’s heart with grief. "He wept bitterly." Are our eyes dropping tears of grief for sin against God? It is a wonderful evidence of our love to God if we do, and we shall find mercy in such acts. "He shows mercy to thousands of them that love Him."

With all that said, let us be lovers of God. We love our food, and should we not love Him that gives it? All the joy we hope for in heaven is in God; and shall not He who shall be our joy then, be our love now? It is a saying of Augustine, “Is it not punishment enough Lord, not to love thee?” And again Augustine says, “I would hate my own soul if I did not find it loving God.” And so, how much love do you have for King Jesus?

This is Dr. Matthew McMahon signing off.

Keep checking back at A Puritan’s Mind – currently in the works is an MP3 series on the Covenant of Grace, and another MP3 series on Election and Predestination. Puritan Publications is almost ready to release its latest book, “A Heart for Reformation” which covers how every Christian should desire true biblical reformation. For more on Reformed and Puritan Theology, visit www.apuritansmind.com.


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