Sunday Considerations: Impelled by Love

Impelled by Love, Follow Jesus

The followers of Plato, Aristotle, or Bacon, are not supposed to be influenced by any personal attachment to those philosophers. But the followers of Jesus are not merely admirers of His teaching, but lovers of Himself. Christianity is not a creed, but a devotion; not a mere approval of a theology, but intense affection for Christ. The assent of the intellect may suffice for the adoption of an intellectual system; but much more is required to secure a persevering course of sacrifice and toil. There must be heart impulses, as well as logical convictions.

The gospel may be theoretically understood, defended, applauded, and yet fail of curbing our unholy propensities. The path by which Jesus leads may evidently be that of wisdom, yet without love to the Guide we shall be unwilling to encounter its toils. It was to secure this attachment that the Son of God became incarnate. His life among men, His toils, sufferings, and death, are calculated to secure that love which is the only adequate counteraction to the power of sin. He still exists. He still, in spirit, is among us. He is still what He was, and equally deserves our warmest affection. Unless in answer to the vital question, “Do you love Me?” we can reply, “You know all things, You know that I love You,” we shall be satisfied with viewing through the eyeglass of the intellect the road by which His people travel but we shall ourselves refuse to walk in it farther than we can go without inconvenience. Love alone will prompt us to climb its rugged precipices, and wade its deep torrents; to surmount its toils, endure its privations, and conquer the many foes by whom its whole course is infested.

Multitudes turn back because, though admiring Christianity, they do not love Christ, and therefore have not a sufficient motive for following Him in rough and dangerous places. The motto on the banner of these pilgrims who do press forward, is, “The love of Christ constrains us.” This is the motive of all true obedience: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Among the English troops embarking for the East, a soldier’s wife was detected clothed in military uniform. It was love that urged her to accompany her husband in all the perils and privations of the war. So the soul, wedded to Christ in holy affection, is prepared to follow Him “wherever He goes.”
~Newman Hall (1816-1902), excerpt from the sermon “Follow Jesus.”

tagged as , in Christianity,Gospel,Worship

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