(f) Fervent Love
Finally, we have Laodicea. What is the word which sums up Laodicea? It is mediocrity, neither one thing nor the other, nothing outstanding, nothing positive. You cannot say they are not Christians, but yet again you cannot say very much that is good about them as Christians. They are very ordinary. There is no such thing as an ordinary first love. In first love you are a most extraordinary person. What then is first love? It is, as over against Laodicea, fervent love, which means red-hot love, white-hot love, fervent love.
This is the sum of first love - suffering love, discerning, uncompromising, distinguishing, steadfast, fervent. Have we the key to the messages, have we the key to the end time} There may be another, but I have not found it yet. This is the last one I have found. I think we are right this time, and it amounts to this, that the Lord is going to speak to the Church, to His people, to us at the end, and that the thing He will speak about is the matter of love. He will place more emphasis upon that than upon anything else. All other aspects of truth are important, and they will b the directions in which love will work itself out; but the foundation, the spring of all, that which is to impregnate all - whether it be the service of the Lord, the very truth of the Church's eternal calling and vocation, the greatness of the work of the Cross, whatever it may be as a matter of aspects of the whole truth - beneath and through all must be this Divine love. Have the things in themselves - the truths, if you like to call them that - have them all without love, and they are nothing. May the Lord write this in our hearts.
The Issues of Love
In our previous meditation, we arrived at the consummation in the Book of the Revelation, and we were taking note of the wonderful truth that is in the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation, the whole question is the question of love, love relating to many thing, but all a matter of love.
We now go on to the issues of that love. Here we do really come up against the vita point that, while the Lord is seeking in His people that love - love like His own - there are tremendous things hanging upon it. It is not just an optional matter: everything hangs upon it. That is what arises here when the Lord says, "To Him that overcometh." You know that is said to each of the seven churches. Even where the Lord has not to point out any serious delinquency, He still says, "I see big issues bound up with this love, and everything hangs upon it." So we will spend this little time in looking at these great issues found in that final word to each, to all, to us - "He that overcometh"; or "to him that overcometh."
~ T. Austin-Sparks~
(continued with # 1 - "Life In Fullness")