The upright love Thee” —Song of Solomon 1:4

Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength. That pretty much covers everything, the seat of our affections and the spring of all our actions is our heart. But doesn’t the Bible teach that our hearts are desperately wicked? How can anyone obey this first and greatest of all commandments? This is exactly where grace comes in. The influence of God’s grace on our lives is to love things we used to be apathetic about; namely the Lord. The first evidence of true conversion is an attraction and love for the Lord. Once our hearts are consumed with love for Him our mind and our strength follow after him. Our whole being becomes inflamed with a passion for the Lord. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes this.

“Believers love Jesus with a deeper affection then they dare to give to any other being. They would sooner lose father and mother then part with Christ. They hold all earthly comforts with a loose hand, but they carry Him fast locked in their bosoms. They voluntarily deny themselves for His sake, but they are not to be driven to deny Him. It is scant love which the fire of persecution can dry up; the true believer’s love is a deeper stream than this….. This is no every-day attachment which the world’s power may at length dissolve….It is written, and nothing can blot out the sentence, “The upright love Thee.” The intensity of the love of the upright, however, is not so much to be judged by what it appears as by what the upright long for. It is our daily lament that we cannot love enough. Would that our hearts were capable of holding more, and reaching further. Like Samuel Rutherford, we sigh and cry, “Oh, for as much love as would go round about the earth, and over heaven—yea, the heaven of heavens, and ten thousand worlds—that I might let all out upon fair, fair, only fair Christ.”

I knew something radical and authentic happened to me when I first accepted Christ. How did I know? I loved Him. That was unexplainable and so far from where I had been before. I loved Jesus then and I love Him now. He started this life of love in me many years ago (46 years ago at this writing) and it burns even stronger now than it did at the beginning. He is altogether lovely.


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