Five Things That Concern Love To God. T. Watson (Pt. 5 of 9)
In the Great Ejection, church leaders forced 2,000 faithful pastors from their positions. Thomas Watson was one of those that had his ministry, home, and reputation taken from him. But, even in the midst of his losses piling up, he still looked to care for his church family through writing a book on Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
In the passage, God says that all things work for good. As we have seen in earlier posts, that includes all the best and all the worst things. What a benefit, a blessing, and a healing balm. This promise is an overcoming avalanche of grace from above!
Concerning Love To God
The natural question to ask next is, to whom do all things work to good? The answer is direct. It is to them that love God. This strongly implies that to those who are against God, there is no part in this blessing. So, we must ask ourselves, am I growing in my love to God? In chapter four of his book, Watson gives five things that concern love to God.
- The nature of love to God. The nature of love is the inflaming and expansion of the soul and its affections breathing after God as the ultimate good. It is there and it is expanding.
- The ground of love to God. The ground of love is knowledge. Watson points out that we cannot love that which we do not know. First, we desperately need to know the fulness, sufficiency, and enablement of grace to us (Col. 1:19). Second, we need to know the freedom of our access. Whosoever will, let him take of the water and live freely.” (Rev. 22:17). Third, we need to know that this fulness in God is ours (Ps. 48:14). So, we must know that it is our need, it is accessible, and it is ours.
- The kinds of love to God. We need to know the love of appreciation, delight and sacrifice for Him. With this love, you will want Him and what will honor Him.
- The properties of love to God. First, our love for God must be with our all. He should be our first love and our whole love (Mk. 12:30). Second, it must be a sincere love. It needs to be primarily for Him, not for self-interest. Watson says, “We must love God more for what He is, than for what He bestows.” Watson gives the example of how a mother does not need to be hired to love her child. In the same manner, a soul deeply in love with God is not a hireling that is only there for the rewards. Third, it must be a fervent love burning like a fire. Fourth, it must be an active love, never static. Our love will never be as He deserves, but may we try! He is worth it. Fifth, it must be liberally kind. Sixth, it must be particular. True love is always particular. Our love should be given nowhere else. It should be a love joined with adoration that He alone has the key to. Finally, it should be a permanent love. It should persevere through anything. It is a heart that does not stop beating for Him.
- The degree of love to God. Our love for Him must be in and above all our relationships and things that we have and seek.
In the midst of his own personal losses, Watson gives a clear comforting glimpse into love for God. But Watson’s aim is to not only comfort the godly, but to disturb the ungodly. Out of that same love, he sharply reproves those who do not love God. He does this when he warns, “He is blind whom beauty does not tempt… When the body is cold and has no heat in it, it is a sign of death: that man is dead who has no heat of love in his soul to God.” As 1 Cor. 16:22 declares, “If any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema-maranatha.”
For those that do not love Him, may you repent of your sins and turn to Christ in faith that He alone saves, lest you perish for eternity. Beg Him for a heart that truly loves and grows in Him. As Watson reminds, “God, who is the chief of our happiness, must have the chief of our affections.”
How can you know you love God? In the next post, we will look at tests and identifiable fruit of this love.
Q What is it about God that stirs your love to Him? Share that with Him and another person.