“How fair is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine and the fragrance of your oils than all manner of spices!” vs10
The Lord delights in the love of His people. He’s put this love in us, but He marvels all the same with rejoicing. He told the Centurion, “I tell you, I have not found so great a faith even in Israel.” He told the demon possessed girl’s mother, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” In both cases, He was pleased with what He saw inside, and He’s pleased with our love. He said, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a good work to Me… I assure you: Wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told in memory of her (Mark 14).”
The Lord delights that we love others, and what an encouragement this is: He sees our love, and He finds pleasure. Therefore, He says, “And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of My name, since you belong to the Messiah–I assure you: He will never lose his reward (Mark 9:41).” He knows how hard it is for us to suffer, but it’s enough that He’s delighted. Let this cheer your heart when the world turns against you: Christ is pleased.
1 Let us love the Son because He delights in it. People may hate you for preaching Christ, and the isolation may be unbearable. Yet, He is WITH YOU, looking upon your love with the utmost joy & affection in all that you suffer. It is like seeing someone defend you in hostile territory, and being so appreciative. I remember, when many turned against me, a couple of sisters stood by. I was kept by them through prayer, and their compassion was appreciated (Phil 1:19). At my lowest, their love shined the brightest, and I’ll never forget. Likewise, in this world of sin & shame, where blasphemy is common, and men will not suffer for Christ, your sufferings are pleasing because they are love motivated. It’s not done for merit, but because you’ve obtained sovereign mercy, you willingly defend His name. You want His honor above all things, even life itself, so you are faithful. He says, “Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, & you will have affliction for 10 days. Be faithful until death, & I will give you the crown of life (Rev 2:10).” He sees you, dear one, so when others are frowning, look up to your smile from Heaven.
2 Christ loves that we love each other. This represents the gospel perfectly, that we’d lay down our lives for the brethren. He says, “This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers (1 John 3:16).” Bless His holy Name! He enables us to lay our lives down, tangibly. Brothers, we must be about our brethren, and let the world handle it’s own. We are not called to care for all widows, but those who’ve been faithful… not every orphan, but those whose believing parents are gone. “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world (James 1:27).” We don’t give to every cause, but we do supply the needs of poor saints, evangelists, and pastors. “For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem (Rom 15:26).” We give to Christ’s people because He’s instructed us, never demanding a penny go elsewhere. If we do this, then the church will shine, and people will want in, because they’ll see our love. He says, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35). “
It is loving to give to temporal needs, not to support the lazy and unqualified, but to help the saints. “Each person should do as he has decided in his heart–not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).” It is good to sacrifice ourselves, so that others may eat. This is the mind of giving: “Lord, I love you so much that I will give unto Your people. You don’t need my money, but they do, and you’ve chosen me to play my part.” Brothers, be a giving people and delight the heart of your Master.
3 He loves our love, so let it abound more and more! Let your graces grow, dear brethren. He says, “How much better is your love than wine and the fragrance of your oils than all manner of spices!”
It is not possible to stay the same: We are either getting closer or drifting away… either growing or becoming stagnant & forgetful… either coming out from the world and being purged for Christ, or the world is clogging our minds, like arteries, until a heart attack! Brethren, be sure to get your gospel feast daily, and walk in it. You have millions of corruptions, all designed to make you love God, as they are healed. Confess your infirmities, take time to draw near, and grow in your love to Christ.
Love Him by faithfulness, suffering, and good works. Love Him by doing more & stretching yourself. Love Him by improving what you do already, asking how He can be glorified. Love Him by setting aside petty faults & sticking to Christ crucified. Love Him by patience towards the weak, and doing WHAT YOU CAN. He says, “And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are disorderly, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone (1 Thess 5:14).” Love Him, my dear brethren, and you’ll feel His love. Do good, and you’ll know that you are good, more assuredly, as His Spirit bears record that you are His. He says, “The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us (1 John 3:24).” Love Him because love is beautiful; it is God’s gift to make you like Christ.
Oh, brethren, it is true: God makes you love, and then He loves the love within you!