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Love-Inspired Obedience

By Hugh Black


      "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God" (Acts 16:25).

      What can turn the statutes into songs, take the sting out of the commandments, make the will of God a delight? When it is all transfigured by the glory of love. Love inspires obedience to law, and makes it easy. If we see law not as something external, an obligation imposed on us from without, a despotism against which we cannot rebel, and to which we can only sullenly submit; if we see law as the law of our own life, the fruit of the tenderest and highest love, the commandments are seen not to be grievous, and obedience becomes sweet and natural. We know the difference between obedience dictated by fear and obedience dictated by love. When we are brought into a personal relation to God and enter into fellowship with Him, we realise that even in the making of our own moral life, in the creating of our own character, we are fellow-workers with God. We desire the same end as He does, and it is the best end.

      The love of Christ is the great instrument of sanctification; for it breeds in us a passion to do God's will and keep His commandments. 'Ye are complete in Him,' says St. Paul. He fills out our incompleteness, and for the first time we feel that we are truly ourselves, and for the first time really possess our souls, and are in harmony with the great end of our existence. When our heart is enlarged we can run in the way of God's commandments. Life breaks out into music and light.

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