Scripture: "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us."—EPH. v. 2.
Is it not strange that love, which is the source of the greatest happiness, should also be the cause of the most intense suffering? Our life on earth is such that suffering always follows, when love seeks to save the object of its love. Yes, it is only by means of suffering that love can gain its end, and so attain the highest happiness.
What a wonderful thought! Even the almighty power of God's love could not achieve its purpose without suffering that passes understanding. By means of His sufferings, Christ bore and overcame the sins of the whole world, and the hard heart of man was softened and drawn to God. So love in the midst of suffering manifested the greatest glory, and attained its end perfectly.
Let no one, with such an Example before him, imagine that love is self-sufficient. No; love worthy of the name, manifests itself in a life of continual self-sacrifice. Love's strength lies in renunciation. Just think what a mother suffers when a beloved child is ill, or when a son falls into evil ways. Love gives her strength to endure, whatever the circumstances may be. Think, too, what one must undergo who has yielded himself whole¬heartedly to work and to pray for others. It may mean tears and heartache, and much wrestling in prayer. But love overcomes all obstacles.
O Christian, do you really long to know the love of Christ in all its fulness ? Then yield yourself wholly to Him and His blessed service. Regard yourself as a channel through which the Highest Love can attain its aim. Take the souls around you into a sympathizing, loving heart, and begin to suffer with them and intercede for them. Let it be your chief delight to live and to suffer for others, in the love and fellowship of the Lord Jesus. Then at length you will realize what this life of love is, as a servant of God, and even as God Himself, and as Christ, to live wholly for the welfare and happiness of others.
O soul, dwell on this wondrous truth, that there can be no real fellowship in the love of Christ, save in unreserved surrender, to seek always the glory of God in the salvation of your fellow-men. "He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him."