The Great Commandment
(by Thomas Watson)
"You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart."
God will have the whole heart. We must not divide our love between Him and sin.
The true mother would not have the child divided, nor will God have the heart divided; it must be the whole heart. We must love God for Himself, for His own intrinsic excellencies. We must love Him for His loveliness. It is a harlot's love to love the pay more than the person. Hypocrites love God because He gives them food and wine: we must love God for Himself; for those shining perfections which are in Him.
Love to God must be active in its sphere. Love is an industrious affection; it sets the head studying for God, hands working, and feet running in the ways of His commandments.
It is called the labor of love. 1 Thess. 1:1-3
Mary Magdalene loved Christ, and poured her ointments on Him. We think we never do enough for the person whom we love. If we love God, our desire will be after Him. He who loves God, breathes after communion with Him. "My soul thirsts for the living God."
People in love desire to be often together. He who loves God, desires to be much in His presence. He who loves God cannot find contentment in any thing without Him. Lovers faint away if they have not a sight of the object loved.
A gracious soul can do without health, but cannot do without God. If God should say to a soul that entirely loves Him, "Take your ease, swim in pleasure, solace yourself in the delights of the world; but you shall not enjoy My presence:" this would not content him.
No, if God should say, "I will let you be taken up to heaven, but I will retire into another room, and you shall not see my face;" it would not content the soul.
It is hell to be without God! There can be no golden joy in the soul without God's sweet presence and influence. He who loves God, weeps bitterly for His absence. Mary comes weeping, "They have taken away my Lord." One cries, "My health is gone" another, "My estate is gone" but he who is a lover of God, cries out, "My God is gone! I cannot enjoy Him whom I love." If Rachel mourned greatly for the loss of her children, what can shadow out the sorrow of that Christian who has lost God's sweets presence? Let us be persuaded to love God with all our heart and might. O let us take our love off from other things, and place it upon God!
Love is the heart of Christianity, the fat of the offering; it is the grace which Christ inquires most after. "Simon do you love me?" John 21:15.
"For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt" (Deut. 7:6-8).
Love’s Legacy - Christ’s Discourse and Prayer in John 13-17
By Robert Jones
The apostle of love herein gives a much fuller account than is found in the other gospels of the Saviour’s words to His chosen apostles that fateful night in which He was to be betrayed.