So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13, RSV.
We have an abundance of sermonizing. What is most needed … is love for perishing souls, that love which comes in rich currents from the throne of God. True Christianity diffuses love through the whole being. It touches every vital part, the brain, the heart, the helping hands, the feet, enabling men to stand firmly where God requires them to stand, so that they will not make crooked paths for their feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way. The burning, consuming love of Christ for perishing souls is the life of the whole system of Christianity.
What is the Bible interpretation of God? “God is love.” By giving Christ to our world, God manifested His love for mankind. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Yes, “everlasting life.” This is the love which is the fulfilling of the law. Only he whose heart is filled with compassion for fallen man, who loves to a purpose, showing his love by the performance of Christlike deeds, will be able to endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. He only who loves his fellowmen to a purpose can know God. He who loves not those for whom the Father has done so much know not God. This is the reason there is so little genuine vitality in our churches. Theology is valueless unless it is saturated with the love of Christ.
God is supreme. His love in the human heart will lead to the doing of work that will bear fruit after the similitude of the character of God….
“Charity [love] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” O blessed leaves of the tree of life! “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name,” because our Guidebook is so very plain and definite. Others may not follow the plain “It is written,” which Christ used on every occasion to meet the fallen foe, but let us follow the Saviour’s example. The less we give expression to our own human opinions, the purer and more marked with grace will be our conversation. The Lord calls for sanctified speech, because it is a savor of life unto life (Letter 156, 1900).