Love for Christ
If we love a person, we like to think about him. We do not need to be reminded of him. We do not forget his name or his appearance or his character or his opinions or his tastes or his position or his occupation. He comes before our mindís eye many a time in the day. Though perhaps far distant, he is often present in our thoughts. Well, it is just the same between the true Christian and his Lord. Christ dwells in his heart, and he cannot go long without thinking about Him. The true Christian does not need to be reminded that he has a crucified Master. He often thinks of Him. He never forgets that He has a day, a cause and a people, and that he is one of those people. Affection is the real secret of a good memory in Christianity. No worldly man can think much about Christ, unless Christ is pressed upon his notice, because he has no affection for Him. The true Christian has thoughts about Christ every day that he lives, for the simple reason that he loves Him.
If we love a person, we like to hear about him. We find a pleasure in listening to those who speak of him. We feel an interest in any report which others make of him. We become attentive when others talk about him, and describe his ways, his sayings, his doings, and his plans. Some may hear him mentioned with utter indifference, but our own hearts bound within us at the very sound of his name. Well, it is just so between the true Christian and Christ! The true Christian delights to hear something about his Master. He likes best those sermons which are full of Christ. He enjoys that company most in which people talk of the things which are Christís. Why? Because he loves Him.
If we love a person, we like to read about him. What intense pleasure a letter from an absent husband gives to a wife, or a letter from an absent son to his mother. Others may see little worth in the letter. They can scarcely take the trouble to read it through. But those who love the writer can see something in the letter which no one else can. They carry it about with them as a treasure. They read it over and over again. Well, is this not so between the true Christian and Christ? The true Christian delights to read the Scriptures, because they tell him about his beloved Saviour. It is no wearisome task with him to read them. He rarely needs reminding to take his Bible with him when he goes on a journey. He cannot be happy without it! And why is all this? It is because the Scriptures testify of the one he loves.
If we love a person, we like to please him. We are glad to consult his taste and opinions, to act upon his advice and do the things which he approves. We even deny ourselves to meet his wishes, abstain from things which we know he dislikes, and learn things to which we are not naturally inclined, because we know it will give him pleasure. It is exactly the same between the true Christian and Christ. The true Christian studies to please Him, by being holy in both body and spirit. Show him anything in his daily practice that Christ hates, and he will give it up. Show him anything that Christ delights in, and he will follow after it. He does not murmur at Christís requirements as being too strict and severe, as the children of the world do. To him Christís commandments are not grievous, and Christís burden is light. And why is all this? It is simply because he loves Him.
If we love a person, we like his friends. We are favourably inclined to them, even before we know them. We are drawn to them by the common tie of common love to one and the same person. When we meet them we do not feel that we are altogether strangers. There is a bond of union between us. They love the person that we love, and that alone is an introduction. Well, it is just the same between the true Christian and Christ. The true Christian regards all Christís friends as his friends, members of the same body, children of the same family, soldiers in the same army, travellers to the same home. When he meets them, he feels as if he had long known them. He is more at home with them in a few minutes, than he is with many worldly people after an acquaintance of several years. What is the secret of all this? It is simply affection to the same Saviour, and love to the same Lord.
If we love a person, we are jealous about his name and honour. We do not like to hear him spoken against, without speaking up for him and defending him. We feel bound to maintain his interests and his reputation. We regard the person who treats him badly with almost as much disfavour as if he had ill-treated us. Is it not the same between the true Christian and Christ? He regards with a godly jealousy all efforts to disparage his Masterís word, or name, or church, or day. He is sensitive to the least dishonour put upon Him. He will not be silent, and suffer His Masterís cause to be put to shame, without testifying against it. Why? Simply because he loves Him.
If we love a person, we like to talk to him. We tell him all our thoughts and pour out all our heart to him. We find no difficulty in discovering subjects of conversation. However silent and reserved we may be to others, we find it easy to talk to a much-loved friend. However often we may meet, we are never at a loss for things to talk about. We have always much to say, much to ask about, much to describe, much to communicate. It is just the same between the true Christian and Christ. The true Christian finds no difficulty in speaking to his Saviour. Every day he has something to tell Him, and he is not happy unless he tells it. He speaks to Him in prayer every morning and night. He tells Him his wants and desires, his feelings and his fears. He asks counsel of Him in difficulty. He asks comfort of Him in trouble. He cannot help it. He must converse with his Lord continually, or he would faint by the way. Why is this? It is because he loves Him.
Finally, if we love a person, we like to be always with him. Thinking and hearing, reading and talking are all well in their way, but when we really love people we want something more. We long to be in their company. Well, it is just so between the true Christian and Christ. What he enjoys of Christ now is wonderful, but he longs for that blessed day when he will see his Master face to face, and go out no more.
He has found it pleasant to hear of Christ, and talk of Christ, and read of Christ. How much more pleasant will it be to see Christ with his own eyes! Why? BECAUSE HE LOVES HIM!