"He says to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He says unto him, Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." John 21:16.
"God is love," and the expression of that love is the sending His own Son into the world, to achieve what the law, in its weakness, could not do. Was ever love like this? "God so loved." And was Jesus willing to engage in the embassy? Did He voluntarily clothe Himself in our rags, stoop to our poverty, consent to be arrested and thrown into prison for us? Was He made a curse that He might deliver us from the curse? Did judgment pass upon Him, that we might be saved from the wrath to come? Oh here is infinite, boundless love! Then let Him have in return our love; it is the least that He can ask, or we can make. Let it be a hearty, cordial, obedient, increasing love. Alas! it is but a drop, when it should be an ocean. It is but a faint spark, when it should be a vehement flame.
How should our best affection flow out toward Him who assumed, and stills wears, our nature! What an attractive, winning object is the Incarnate God, the God-man Mediator! Fairer than the children of men, the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely, He is the wonder and admiration, the beloved and the song, of all heaven. Why should He not be equally so of all earth? Did the Son of God take up our rude and suffering nature, and shall we be loth to take up His lowly and despised cross, and follow hard after Him? Forbid it, Lord! Forbid it, you precious Savior! What humiliation, what abasement, can be too much for us, the sinful sons of men, when You, the sinless Son of God, did so abase and humble Yourself! Let Your love constrain us to stand firm to You, to Your truth, and to Your cause, when the world despises, when friends forsake, when relatives look cold, and all seem to leave and forsake us. And as You did condescend to be made in the likeness of our human and sinful nature, oh conform us to the likeness of Your Divine and holy nature. As You were a partaker with us, make us partakers with You. As You were made like unto us, in what was proper to man, make us like You, in what is proper to God. And as You did come down to our sinful and dim earth, lift us to Your pure and bright heaven!
What a privilege is nearness to Christ! Yet, dear and precious as it is, how sadly is it overlooked! We may trace this, in some degree, to the believer's oversight of his oneness with Christ. Yet to forget this truth is to forget that He lives. As the branch has one life with the vine, the graft one life with the tree, so he that is united to Christ, and grafted into Christ, has one life with Christ. Go where he may, he is one with Christ. Be his circumstances what they may, he is one with Christ. And as he is in Christ, so Christ is in him. And if Christ be in him, dwelling in him, living in him, walking in him, so also is Christ in every event, and incident, and circumstance of his history. He cannot look upon the darkest cloud that overhangs his path, but he may say, "Christ is in my cloud; Christ is in my sorrow; Christ is in my conflict; Christ is in my need; Christ is all to me, and Christ is in all with me."