Beloved—Love Lesson #1
January 29, 2019
Someone once asked Dr. McGee to name his favorite song. “Too many to mention,” he answered. But in his list he said the Song of Solomon, the Old Testament book, was one of history’s most profound and beautiful songs. “In the Song of Solomon we learn if we turn from the world and set our affections on Jesus, we cannot fathom the infinite preciousness of His love.”
This month we’ll explore one lesson from Song of Solomon. You will find more in the free download of the booklet, “Beloved: Love Lessons from Solomon.”
Dr. McGee on the love of God for us:
When you and I look at ourselves and others in the church, we often see only our faults. But do you know when our Lord looks at us today He sees us as altogether lovely? He sees His church, purchased with His own blood. He sees us, the people He loves, draped in His robe of righteousness.
Let me draw your attention to something wonderful written by the apostle Paul:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. -Ephesians 5:25-27
You and I have no notion of how much God loves His church. Like husbands need to be careful about criticizing their wives, we also need to be careful of criticizing the church. We are collectively our Lord’s bride-to-be, and He says the church is without spot and wrinkle.
Immediately we object to that, thinking, “He must not know me, then, and He certainly must not know you.” But He does know us! My friend, He doesn’t see you as you are. When you came to Him and trusted Him as Savior, He not only forgave you for your sins, but He also draped over you His spotless robe of righteousness. He invites you to stand in His presence!
Let me introduce you to a lesson we can learn from the Song of Solomon about God’s love for His bride. He says,
You have ravished my heart …. How fair is your love …. -Song of Solomon 4:9, 10
This little book is a beautiful metaphor of God’s love. One of the pictures is of Jesus’ love for His church. He is the bridegroom here, speaking of the church and of each believer, including you and me. Because He cleanses us by His blood, we have the forgiveness of sins. “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle....” He now can look at the church and say, “Thou art all fair, my love. There is no spot in thee.” Why? Because He has cleansed us, because He loves us.
Paul found out how much God loves us, and it broke his heart. Before Paul was Jesus’ apostle, he hated Jesus and persecuted the early church. Paul called himself the chiefest of sinners. In my imagination, I see him standing with the chief priests at the cross on the day Jesus died, ridiculing Him saying, “If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Matthew 27:40).
But then came the day on the road to Damascus when Paul met Jesus in a supernatural way. Paul discovered then how much Jesus Christ loved him. Listen to him as he relived again the Crucifixion:
- “[He] loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Can you ask Him to do anything more for you to show His love? “He loved me.”
- John says, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
- And Peter said, “Whom having not seen you love” (1 Peter 1:8).
God pity the man who is married to a cold and indifferent wife. But what about Jesus, our Savior, who pours out His love and affection on His beloved, but is received by only a bunch of cold and indifferent saints, unresponsive to His love?
My friend, let’s learn a lesson from the beloved bridegroom. Let’s speak of our love. Tell Jesus how much you love Him. Stir up each other’s affections for Christ by telling each other of God’s love.
He isn’t concerned how busy you are in the church, how many committees you’re on, or whether you are a member of the board. He doesn’t care today how active you may be in Christian service. He doesn’t even care whether you are a preacher. But He would love to know whether you love Him or not.
The real test of your Christian life is not faith—that’s the way you got saved. Nor is it your service, your sacrifice, nor your gifts. The real test of your Christian life is your love for Jesus.
Do you love Him? Why don’t you tell Him so right now.
- “The Best Love”: God’s promises for a lasting, happy marriage.
- “God So Loved”: A study of John 3:16—shows the infinite height, depth, and demonstration of God’s love.
God loved the world so much that He gave His only son, so that everyone who believes in Him shall not be lost, but have eternal life.1
God loves you like a groom loves his bride2, like a father loves his child3, like an artist loves his masterpiece.4
No one knows you better—all your secrets, all your faults, all the peculiarities that only a Lover knows.5 Yet His love doesn’t depend on how beautiful you are, but on how beautiful He is. It’s not at risk when you fail at your job or your marriage or your life—because His love never depended on you in the first place. He loves you because that’s what He is.6
1John 3:16 2Song of Solomon 4:10 3Psalm 103:13 4Ephesians 2:10 5Psalm 139:3 61 John 4:6, 7
- Look up the verses in the footnotes. Underline them in your Bible. Which one speaks to you the most?
- Memorize Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 3:17-19, or John 3:16-17.
- Love lesson #1 from Song of Solomon: Tell the Lord how much you love Him today.