‘I will love them freely’ (Hosea 14:4)
The Lord loves His people naturally, as parents love their children; freely, without any cause whatever in them. He looks for nothing in them to move Him to love; nor will He allow anything in them to prevent His love.
He loves them as vessels of mercy, disciples of Jesus, as bearing His image, His name, and His nature. His love to them is infinite, fruitful, and unchangeable. He will love them, though they deserve hatred and merit wrath.
Dear friends, let us never look into ourselves to find out the cause of God’s love; it is in Him, not in us; but let us believe Him when He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
Let us plead with Him, encouraged by the words of Jesus, “The Father Himself loves you.” Let us rejoice before Him, and praise Him for distinguishing grace. If He will love, who shall forbid Him? If He will love us, who shall dispute with Him? If He love us, as His word testifies He does, who shall estimate the honour, the advantage, or the happiness, which will eternally flow from His love? All glory to free grace!
O Jesus, full of truth and grace,
More full of grace than I of sin;
Yet once again I seek Thy face;
Open the ark and take me in:
And freely my backsliding heal,
And love the faithless sinner still.
THE DAILY REMEMBRANCER by James Smith (1802-1862)
‘An anonymous letter has just been received, laying to my charge what is not true. It grieved me, but I think it did me good. It led me to self-examination. It made me pray. I felt that I could pray for the writer, as well as for myself. It made me thankful, for I might have been all that he said I was; yes, I certainly should have been but for the grace of God. I have been in a much more prayerful frame of mind since.’