Loving God, Part 4: Inflaming Our Love through Prayer © 2004 by R W Glenn
The love that the Lord demands from us must be emotional; it must be warm; itmust be affectionate; it must be delightful. Henry Scougal’s definition of love is drippingwith Bible. Listen:
The love of God is a delightful and affectionate sense of the Divineperfections, which makes the soul resign and sacrifice itself wholly unto him,desiring above all things to please him, and delighting in nothing so much as infellowship and communion with him, and being ready to do or suffer any thing forhis sake, or at his pleasure.
Notice that Scougal is careful to bring together our acts of obedience and ouraffection for God in his definition of love. Our delightful and affectionate sense of thedivine perfections works in us the desire to please him in every way. Both the affectionsand the resignation to sacrifice oneself are essential components of love for God. If oneor the other is missing, love is not present. If you delight in God without obeying him,then you also are failing to love him.
if you obey God without delighting in God,then you are failing to love him.Perhaps the best example from Scripture of truly biblical love is found in 2Corinthians 8-9. First, let’s read
Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God whichhas been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of afflictiontheir abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of theirliberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, theygave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor ofparticipation in the support of the saints...I am not speaking this as a command,but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.
Look with me closely at verse 8. Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to imitatethe Macedonian Christians:
I am not speaking this as a command, but as provingthrough the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also
. Perhaps themost important word in this verse for our purposes is the word
. If the
of the Macedonians is being used to prove
the sincerity of
,then it means that what the Macedonians had done itself was a powerful example of
. If Paul did not see what they had done as a loving deed, then he would not betelling the Corinthians to manifest
the sincerity of
.So, then, what did the Macedonian churches do that exemplified biblical lovesuch that the Apostle Paul holds them up as worthy of the Corinthians’ imitation? Afterall, he wrote the chapter on love to the Corinthians in an earlier piece ofcorrespondence. So we ought to expect that Paul knows what he is talking about whenit comes to love.Verses 1-4 tell us that the Macedonians had given their possessions to feed the poor—the very thing that Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 13:3. The only difference is that in 1
The Life of God in the Soul of Man
(Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2001reprint), 53.