Rev. John Love, D.D.
An edited extract from Memorials of the Rev. John Love, DD.
Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out, John 6:37
YOUR fears that Christ may not receive you may arise from your own folly in inventing and marking out God’s way to bring you home to Jesus Christ. Some souls that are coming to Jesus Christ are great tormentors of themselves on this account. They conclude that if their coming to Christ be right, they must needs be brought home in this way or that. They think, for instance: “If God be bringing me home to Jesus Christ, He will load me with the guilt of sin, till He make me roar again;” or, “I must be assaulted with dreadful temptations of the devil;” or, “When I come near to Him, I shall have wonderful revelations of Him.” This is the way which some sinners appoint for God; but perhaps He will not walk therein. And yet He will bring them to Jesus Christ.
But, because they come not in the way of their own marking out, they are at a loss. They look for a heavy load and burden of sin; but perhaps God gives them a sight of their lost condition, and does not add that heavy weight and burden. They look for fearful temptations of Satan; but God sees that they are not yet fit for them, or that if they were in such a condition they would not much honour Him. They look for great and glorious revelations of Christ’s grace and mercy; but perhaps God only takes the yoke off their jaws, and lays meat before them (Hosea 11:4).
God has more ways than you know of to bring a sinner to Jesus Christ: but He will not give you an account beforehand, by which of them He will bring you to Christ. “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord? or, being his counsellor, hath taught him?” Isaiah 40:13. “Why dost thou strive against Him? for He giveth not account of any of his matters,” Job 33:13. Sometimes He has His way in the whirlwind; and sometimes He is not there (1 Kings 19:11).
If God will deal more gently with you than with others of His children, murmur not at this. Refuse not “the waters that go softly” (Isaiah 8:6), lest He bring up upon you “the waters of the river, strong and many” (Isaiah 8:7), and also “these smoking firebrands” (Isaiah 7:4), the devil and the guilt of sin. Christ simply said to Peter, “Follow me,” Matthew 4:19. What thunder and lightning did Zacchaeus hear and see? “Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down,” said Christ (Luke 19:5), and he came down, and received Him joyfully. But, had Peter or Zacchaeus made the objections which you have made, and directed the Spirit of the Lord as you have done, they might have looked long, before they found themselves coming to Jesus Christ.