The Youth’s Instructor



January 6, 1898

Love to Men the Proof of Love to God


“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” The nature and character of the love that is here urged upon all by John, the beloved disciple, is explained in the following words: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” YI January 6, 1898, par. 1

If Jesus is abiding in the heart, his character will be revealed in the life of the believer; for the follower of Christ will love the purchase of the blood of Christ. Christ has said, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” The same spirit of love that dwelt in the bosom of Jesus Christ will dwell in the hearts of those in whom Christ is enshrined. Those who profess to love Christ, and yet have no love for those for whom Christ died, make it manifest that Christ does not abide in their hearts. Those who love Jesus will be willing to deny themselves, to make sacrifices, and, if need be, to suffer temporal loss, that by earnest effort, by fervent prayer, by the use of every ability, they may win souls to the truth. This is the character of the love that should be brought into our experiences, which will work to overcome the selfishness characteristic of the natural heart. If we were indeed partakers of the divine nature, much more of the love of Christ would be revealed, and we would exert a softening, subduing, refining influence upon those around us. We should pity the sinner, and sympathize with those who are out of Christ, not uniting with them in their sins, but uniting with the strength and righteousness of Christ to save from sin and deliver from the power of the evil one. YI January 6, 1898, par. 2

“God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He showed compassion upon us; and should we not have compassion on our fellow servants, even as he has pitied us? “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” The confession of which John here speaks, is not the result of a nominal faith, but is the result of an abiding faith in the living Saviour,—the result of believing that the blessings of salvation are brought within our reach through the sufferings and death of Christ, who was raised from the dead, and ever liveth to make intercession for us. We should feel assured that Jesus is our Saviour, and that life would not be enjoyable, nor afford us peace or hope, if he had not loved us and given himself for us. If we rightly estimate the spiritual life, we shall choose the fellowship of Christ's sufferings; we shall love our brethren, realizing that they are those for whom Christ died. YI January 6, 1898, par. 3

We cannot love Jesus and not love our brethren. “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” The truth as it is in Jesus, the way to heaven through faith in Christ and obedience to his commandment, is unchanged. Jesus gave to men a perfect example of what they should do and be. He was meek and lowly of heart. He made himself of no reputation, but came into close sympathy with the sorrows and griefs and woes of the people. Those who follow Christ in his humiliation and suffering are partakers of the divine nature. They make no claims to goodness, they accept self-denial and the cross as their portion from the Lord. “As he is, so are we in this world.” O what love, what self-sacrificing love, has been manifested by the Son of God in giving such exalted privileges to those whom he came to save! The tender mercies of God are unmeasured, and those who appreciate the love of Christ will be renewed in true holiness, and brought unto Christ, their living Head. They will be followers of God as dear children. They will love their brethren, and feel a tender anxiety for those who are perishing out of Christ. They will not selfishly retain the precious knowledge of the truth, but will labor to convert sinners from the error of their ways. This labor of love will bring them into close sympathy with Jesus, and will be the inspiration of their prayers, and will give them boldness in the day of judgment. There are many who seem to have a busy interest in many things that pertain to the service of God, who yet have not the love of Christ abiding in the heart. They do not bring the excellence of Christ into their character, nor manifest his love, meekness, and humility. YI January 6, 1898, par. 4

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” This is an important statement; for there are many who desire to love and serve God, and yet when affliction comes upon them, they do not discern the love of God in it, but the hand of the enemy. They mourn and murmur and complain; but this is not the fruit of love to God in the soul. If we have perfect love, we shall know that God is not seeking to injure us, but that in the midst of trials, and griefs, and pains, he is seeking to make us perfect, and to test the quality of our faith. When we cease to worry about the future, and begin to believe that God loves us, and means to do us good, we shall trust him as a child trusts a loving parent. Then our troubles and torments will disappear, and our will will be swallowed up in the will of God. YI January 6, 1898, par. 5

Mrs. E. G. White