““Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light.””
Recently, I just finished a book titled, Gentle and Lowly, by Dane Ortlund. It was written to cultivate an acceptance of and enjoyment in the love of God for His people.
At one point while I was reading I remembered a phrase from another author that was commenting on this passage above. The author is Thomas Boston, and he wrote the following in reference to Christ’s gladness as He began His public ministry:
“Christ invites sinners with an enlarged heart. Joy enlarges it. His heart is open to you, His arms stretched wide. You often see Him with sorrow and anger in His face, and this works with you that you will not come. Behold Him smiling and inviting you now to Himself, sending love looks to lost sinners, from a joyful heart within!” (Thomas Boston. Come Unto Me, All Ye that Labor. Page 4.)
We all typically receive and consider Christ’s love for us depending upon what context of church we grew up in (or didn’t grow up in at all), and depending upon how you received love from those who you loved you most in your life. How you received love is not necessarily a guarantee as to how you will receive love from God, but it nevertheless had an influence.
As a result, some of us are still trying to “prove” ourselves and our worth in order to be loved by God.
- This is the person who builds their life around their “good works.” Their emotions fluctuate as it relates to God’s love, and they often are discouraged when things don’t go their way in life, and they take too much credit when they do.
- There is an unbiblical over-emphasis placed on doing the right thing, with the aim of becoming lovable.
There are others of us believe that we are “too far gone” to be loved by God.
- This is the person who has fallen into sin or at some point gave himself/herself over to a lifestyle that is contrary to God’s way.
- There is an unbiblical over-emphasis placed on not doing the right thing, with a false belief that one cannot be loved.
While yet there are still others who live on the “roller coaster” of believing God’s love toward them.
- This is the person whose basis of God’s love for them is placed on how they “feel” God’s love.
- There is an unbiblical emphasis placed on emotions as it relates to God’s love for them, which leads to a fickle view of God.
What’s the Way Forward?
- God’s love is not based upon our understanding of His love.
- In other words, our understanding of God’s love doesn’t dictate how much He loves us. It is there no matter what I think.
- God’s love is based upon His sovereign grace.
- In other words, God’s love is based upon His character, which means when He loves, He loves infinitely.
- It is a pity when I don’t embrace God’s love, because I am in so many words “…playing in the sands of a slum instead of the sands of a glorious sea shore.”
- It is an opportunity to live in the love of God, which leads to the giving of the love of God to others. Hurt people hurt people. On the other hand, love-embraced people love people.
Walk in the freshness, the crispness, the inexorable love of God for and toward you. As His child in the faith, He only has love looks toward you…always and forever…always and forever…always and forever. Amen.
Denton Bible Church.