Devotional: July 23rd
We have here not two commandments, but one. Faith is naught without love; and love without faith is not the love that is here commanded. "Love believeth all things;" and faith " worketh by love," exhibits itself in love. Selfishness is the grand impediment-of love; but faith is that which gets the victory over selfishness, by showing a man his utter unworthiness and the perfect folly of living unto himself Faith makes us acquainted with the love of Christ, and in fact introduces it into the soul; and this love begets love. Faith enables us to contemplate the truth that Christ and his people are one, and that in loving them we are responding to his love. Faith shows us what there is of Christ in them, and what they are to be hereafter. We have seen the crowns, the royal robes, the celestial dwelling-places now in course of preparation for them. The Holy Spirit in us is the author of faith; and he will not tarry with us unless we love. If they have sins, faith teaches us so to pray for them as to obtain their deliverance there from. And faith also teaches us how to do good - not to be always saying smooth things; not to leave their faults unheeded; not to aim that they may be always comfortable in mind. But as it teaches us that the leaving of God's will undone, or the doing of what he willeth not, is the greatest calamity for ourselves, so it teaches us that this is their greatest calamity; and it keeps us more intent upon their growth in grace than upon their momentary pleasure, though even this we cannot overlook unless there be a necessity. Christ did not take it as a kindness when Peter said, " Far be it from thee, Lord, to go up to Jerusalem, the city of thine enemies!" Any one that attempts to love without faith will be sure to make wretched work of it. For there will be no tendency in his love to draw the object of it near to him who is the only fountain of happiness, but rather to draw it more and more away. A great deal that is called love is fatal and withering toward the loved one. Pour the light of God's truth on what are called romances, and what melancholy ghastly things do they become.
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