In the Love of God

[Jude 21]---'Keep yourselves in the love of God.'

'The love of God' ; What wonderful words these are and how little we can do to fathom their meaning. We read that 'God is love.' but we find that verse one of the hardest in the whole bible to understand and to speak about. Its greatness its wonderfulness baffle us. We shall be able to understand this New Testament description of the Divine nature better if we put alongside of it the Old Testament description. St. John tells us that 'God is love' ; now compare with this what the old Psalmist said when he wrote, 'The Lord God is a sun.' Now God is love in the same way as the sun is radiance. What radiance is to the sun, that love is to God. Love is the expression of the Divine nature. As the radiance of the sun flows forth unbidden, boundless, unchanging, to brighten and gladden the world, so the love of God flows forth unbidden, illimitable, unchanging, eternal, to serve and bless all His creatures. And so what living in the sunshine is to the natural life, living in the love of God is to the spiritual life. Now, what are the characteristics of life in the sunlight? What are the marks of a sunshiny life?

Perhaps the most obvious, and the first one notices is joy. Sorrow and darkness, light and joy, are almost interchangeable terms. When we awake on a bright sunny morning we involuntarily rejoice. A sudden burst of sunshine on a gloomy day will make the whole creation burst into song. Now one of the most obvious blessings of living in the love of God is joy. The heritage of joy that our Lord has given to us is immeasurable and inexhaustible. But it does not become ours unless we are living in the love of God. It is when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And so the amount of joy that we have will be a kind of measure of the extent to which we are living in the love of God.

Another characteristic of life in the sunlight is growth. Growth occurs wherever there is life. But healthy vigorous life occurs only where there is plenty of light and heat. If we take the vegetable creation we find that the amount of growth is proportional to the amount of sunlight. The vegetation of the tropics is gigantic. 0f the poles dwarfed and stunted. And the same is true of the spiritual creation. What the sunlight does for the plant, the love of God does for the soul. It forms within us the graces of the Christian character. and one of the chief blessedness of living in the love of God is that it secures for us constant, uninterrupted growth in likeness to Jesus Christ.

Another blessing that comes from living in the sunshine is the blessing of freedom from stumbling. Jesus says, 'If any man walk in the night he stumbleth because there is no light in him.' Now if the light of God's sun can do that for a man in his literal walking, surely the love of God can do that for a man in his spiritual walking. Surely we may boldly paraphrase the word of our Lord and say, 'If any man walk in the love of God he stumbleth not.' The blessing of being kept from stumbling, and living a life in which all our ways are established, is reserved for those who keep themselves in the love of God.

But the highest, the most supreme blessing of all, is the blessing of fellowship with God. The analogy of the sunlight will again help us a little here. We have fellowship with our friends not in the darkness but in the light. 'If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.' The supreme blessing of living in the love of God is this, that it means living in constant, unbroken, uninterrupted fellowship with God Himself. Life in the love of God is heaven begun on earth.

In Christ, timothy.