Abiding In Love by Andrew Murray
Father, open to our hearts the secret chamber of THY LOVE, that our souls may enter in, and find there their everlasting dwelling-place. How else shall we know anything of a love that passes knowledge?
Love is not an attribute of God, but His very being. Love is the very essence of His nature, the center round which all His glorious attributes gather. It was because He was love that He was the Father, and that there was a Son. Love needs an object to whom it can give itself away, in whom it can lose itself, with whom it can make itself one.
As one of His redeemed ones, you are His delight, and all His desire is to you, with the longing of a love which is stronger than death, His heart yearns after you, seeking your fellowship and your love. Were it needed, He could die again to possess you. As the Father loved the Son, and could not live without Him, could not be God the blessed without Him - so Jesus loves you. His life is bound up in yours; you are to Him inexpressibly more indispensable and precious than you ever can know. You are one with Himself. "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you." What a love!
It is a perfect love. It gives all, and holds nothing back. "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand." And just so Jesus loves His own: all He has is theirs. When it was needed, He sacrificed His throne and crown for you: He did not count His own life and blood too dear to give for you. His righteousness, His Spirit, His glory, even His throne, all are yours. This love holds nothing, nothing back, but, in a manner which no human mind can fathom, makes you one with itself. O wondrous love! to love us even as the Father loved Him, and to offer us this love as our everyday dwelling!
It is a gentle and most tender love. As we think of the love of the Father to the Son, we see in the Son everything so infinitely worthy of that love. When we think of Christ's love to us, there is nothing but sin and unworthiness to meet the eye. And the question comes: How can that love within the bosom of the divine life and its perfections be compared to the love that rests on sinners? Can it indeed be the same love? Blessed be God, we know it is so. The nature of love is always one, however different the objects. Christ knows of no other law of love but that with which His Father loves Him. Our wretchedness only serves to call out more distinctly the beauty of love, such as could not be seen even in heaven. With the tenderest compassion He bends over us in our weakness, with patience inconceivable He bears with our slowness, with the gentlest loving-kindness He meets our fears and our follies. It is the love of the Father to the Son, beautified, glorified, in its exquisite adaptation to our needs.
And it is an unchangeable love. "Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to the end." "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from thee." The promise with which it begins its work in the soul is this: "I shall not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of." Our wretchedness was what drew Him to us; and the sin with which His love is so often grieved, and which causes us to fear and doubt, is but a new motive for love to hold to us all the more.
And now, this love even supplies the motive, the means, and the measure of that consent by which we yield ourselves wholly to abide in His love! From itself springs forth the very motive for abiding in it. O gaze on the tender pleading gentleness of the crucified love, as it stretches out its pierced hands and says, Wilt thou not come and abide in me?" It points you to the Cross, and all it has borne to prove the reality of its affection, and to win you for itself. It reminds you of all it has promised to do for you, if you will but throw yourself unreservedly into its arms. It asks you whether, so far as you have come to dwell with it and taste its blessedness, it has not done well by you. And with a divine authority, mingled with such an inexpressible tenderness it says, "Soul, as the Father hath loved me, so I have loved you: abide in My love." Surely there can be but one answer to such pleading: Lord Jesus Christ! Here I am. Henceforth Thy love shall be the only home of my soul: in Thy love alone will I abide.
From this love springs forth the measure and completeness of our surrender to it. Love gives all, but asks all. It does so, not because it grudges us anything, but because without this it cannot get possession of us to fill us with itself. In the love of the Father and the Son, it was so. In the love of Jesus to us, it was so. In our entering into His love to abide there, it must be so too; our surrender to it must have no other measure than its surrender to us. O that we understood how the love that calls us has infinite riches and fullness of joy for us, and that what we give up for its sake will be rewarded a hundredfold in this life! Or rather, would that we understood that it is A LOVE with a height and a depth and a length and a breadth that passes knowledge! How all thought of sacrifice or surrender would pass away, and our souls be filled with wonder at the unspeakable privilege of being loved with such a love, of being allowed to come and abide in it forever.
And from this love itself springs forth the only means for abiding in it: the trust that I can depend on it to keep me and to hold me fast. All my unworthiness and feebleness can be no hindrance, for it is stronger than my weakness; and that with its almighty arms it will clasp me to its bosom, and suffer me to go out no more.
And this divine love, treating me as a reasonable being, endowed with the wondrous power of willing and choosing, cannot force all this blessedness on me, but waits till I give the willing consent of the heart. And the TOKEN of this CONSENT is that "letting" faith by which utter weakness and inability casts itself into the arms of love to be kept safe, and utter sinfulness to be saved. O Infinite Love! Love with which the Father loved the Son! Love with which the Son loves us! I can trust Thee. I do trust Thee, O KEEP me abiding in Thyself.
Condensed and adapted from Abide in Christ.
Posted on Sun, April 12, 2020
by Ken Hart