Part 2 of 5
by Carson Richards
Here we see that the Father loves especially those who listen to His Son. God, being love, and being infinite, surely has different channels to show for His love. This channel is different from that we saw toward the world or even us when we were in the world and unbelieving. This is one of family relationship. Eph. 3:14-15, “For I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom; the whole family in heaven and earth is named.”
Again we say that God is very family conscious, and His basic attitude toward them is love. It is real. It is deep. It is lasting. Yet He wants it to be two ways. He is not a God of stone: He likes to have affection returned. I Cor. 8:3 – “But if any man love God, the same is known of Him.” He responds to our affection. It is a part of our saving experience, or the life we receive at salvation.
However, this love has a rival, and applies to us because of the old creation life. I John 2:15-16. “Love not the world, neither the things of the world, if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” This is the instruction that there is a world spirit that is contrary to the divine love in the Christ life in us.
As specified here, it permeates all three parts of men: body, soul, and spirit. It is a different affection than the Father gives us. We don’t get ridiculous as some would have us to do, and enter into a complete state of self-abnegation. We are not rid of all natural feeling; much of our training for heaven passes through natural affection, kept within bounds and uses the materials of this world God places in our hands. So disregarding the devil’s taunts, we view this thing as strong affection, love is a strong word, and a matter of spirits, that of the new creation, which uses all things toward God; and the old creation which is a strong affection away from God.
For example, in 2 Pet. 1:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that my these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Here the Father is presented as much greater than the ambition of the world spirit, and much better as an object of our affection.
Jesus in His great intercessory prayer, John 17:15, says “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” He surely, facing the reality of this world, placed a blanket about us, Amen! Who of us would ever figure out the varying course of this world? Jesus in the foreknowledge, prayed for this enclosure of His righteousness to protect us from the evil of an evil world. It surely takes skill to guide a sheep among the cruel fangs of many wolves.
This is a love of concern, too. I Peter 5:7 says: “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” We may often apply this fine truth to the extremities of opposition, but it seems to cover the basic cares of our sojourn here in this earth. One of the over-throwing features of the recipients of the sower in the gospels was “”cares of this life.” So they have no right to do this; the Lord assumes this responsibility, too. When this care is evident (natural things are going well), it is easy to say this. Other times it is under test, and we shrink from it, but it is just as true one time as another. Praise the Lord!
In John 15:7, we see that a constancy toward the Lord gets results in all phases of our life. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” How simple these things sound! How tried we get concerning them! How true they always are! Also, I Corinthians 16:2 makes it pretty plain. We note especially the phrase: “As God has prospered him.” I would take it from that verse that God has a plan for the natural needs of every child of His, and that should eliminate all eye-slants at what the other fellow has. What God in His love decides should be decisive, amen!
Now good old Romans 8 comes up. It is the overcomers’ chapter. It speaks of a surmounting love. One that mounts over the obstacles with the power of God in our spirit. Verses 38 and 39 say: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angles, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, or height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” So obstacles there are in the pathway of the Fathers’ love for His children, but they are not insurmountable. Love fins a way. We are so glad it is that way. How can that be? It is the love of the Father for His Son, Number One, transmitted to the believer in Him, or it is “in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”
One of the salient points of this personal love of God for us, His children, is its lasting quality. We have lived long enough to see the fickleness of human love (apart from God, for we are not demeaning Christ-given human love, either): nevertheless, our Lord expressed divine love as recorded in John 13:1. “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” He left this life loving His disciples. That is beautiful, but it didn’t stop. On the resurrection morn, he shouted, “O Joy.” Surely this personal love continued through the grave. It also reaches the ascension life, for He said: “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (age).” What an extensive love! For whom? For each one of us who believe in Him.