The Love of God Triumphant Over Evil
What I am trying to say is that God's love is a mighty, triumphant love that has triumphed over something immense. The love of God which now comes to us from Christ comes from Him as crucified. It flows to us from the Cross, from His wounds, from His risen side. That love came up against the most awful things in this universe which withstood it, and overcame them. It was not just a nice disposition that looked benignly upon everything wrong and excused it. Oh no! It came up against the fierceness of anti-love, anti- love of God in this universe, and overcame it. Calvary was the mighty triumph of God's love over everything contrary to it, and it is that kind of love we are to have, an overcoming love, a triumphant love.
It is, in a sense, an awful love. Come up against that, and it breaks and shatters; things have to go down before it. Things will not go down before our human niceness, things of the devil, things that are positively evil and antagonistic to God; but they will go down before tested, proved, enduring, patient, longsuffering love. You may have to wait a long time, suffer a lot, put up with a lot, have your loved ignored, even resisted. Give it time, and all may go right down before Divine love. It is the longsuffering love of God that has won us. Is not that the deepest thing in your heart? - it is in mine - the infinite patience of Divine love, the bearing and forbearing of that love. It is a tremendous love. It is a power, it is a conquering love - something so much more than this (may I use the word?) sloppy kind of "love" which is always smoothing things over. Oh no, that is not God's love. God's love is overcoming love.
No True Ministry without Love
There is challenge in this love of God to us. "We also ought..." It is a challenge. Nothing can be except as the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
Let us come back to where we started. If you have ever had exercise with God on any matter, do so on this matter. If you are concerned about being of any use to the Lord at all, in any capacity, - as a preacher, a teacher, a personal witness, as a life lived here without any public place at all - let me tell you (and it is the ripening knowledge of a life that has not much further to go but has for forty years been concerned with this matter of being useful to the Lord) let me tell you that nothing of usefulness to the lord is possible except on the basis of God's love shed abroad in our hearts. It must be this Holy Spirit love for the people to whom we would minister: love for them even to the laying down of our lives for them, suffering unto death for their sakes; love to the point of being brokenhearted - I use that word quite deliberately - over people for whom you have spiritual concern and in whom you have spiritual interest; love like that. No ministry will be ministry to the Lord that is not born of that; no testimony, no life, except as rooted and grounded in the love of God. You can have all the rest, a mass of Bible knowledge, a wealth of Biblical instruction and doctrinal information and all that, but it is all without any value unless its exercise is in a love, a passion, a heart beating with the heart of God for His great love wherewith He loved us.
(continued with # 1 - "God's Everlasting, Unchanging Love")