Called To Tell The World of God’s Love
By Andrew Murray (1828 – 1917)
“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
To thousands, the word “whosoever” has given the courage to say, “That includes me – the love, and the Son, and the life – they are all for me.” And many an earnest worker has, in pleading with or for the most helpless case, found his strength in the confidence that whosoever cannot mean anything but everyone. There is not a person excluded; to each one I dare to say that the love, and the Son, and the life are for you.
In the revelation of God’s love, there is the partnership into which Christ has taken His people – His having made Himself dependent upon them for the continuation and completion of His work. Over twenty centuries have elapsed since He spoke the glorious word combining precept and privilege: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Yet, multitudes of the human race have never heard of Him.
From God’s heaven that “whosoever,” like the sun in its unlimited and unstinted glory, shines down on every soul dying in darkness. To us is given the honor – as those to whom the love has been committed, who live in the enjoyment of its power and blessing – of having fellowship with Him who spoke the great “whosoever,” and, like Him, of living and dying to make it known.
Just pause and ask God earnestly, perseveringly, believingly, to open your eyes and give you a vision of the perishing world, and then set yourself, in the light of God and eternity, to seek a right impression of its state. Our text says “that whosoever believeth might not perish”! Without Christ they will perish.
God’s Saving Love
In a love that passes knowledge, a love of which our conception is so utterly inadequate, His heart flows out in unceasing compassion and yearning to save and bless. On every one of these perishing millions the love of God is resting. The mind cannot take it in, but the Holy Spirit could enable the heart to know if we would only give ourselves to wait on God for this love to fill us.
The love of God has proved itself in the gift of the Son. In sending Christ to become man, God proved that He longed to have man one with Himself, that all His life and love as God was for man that he might be made partaker of the divine nature. And the wonderful, the blessed “whosoever” of our text says that love is for every creature. The lowest, the most degraded and rejected and utterly hopeless – the love is for him, the love longs for him and is able to save him.
Jesus Christ came into the world for the one sole purpose of revealing this love. He spoke of it, He lived for it, He died to bring it to us. It was His one aim, His one glory, the passion and strength of His life. It was His very life; it possessed Him, and He knew no other joy. And when He prayed that “the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them” (John 17:26), He meant His disciples just as much as Himself. He wanted them to have it in them, to live for it, to find their glory and blessedness in carrying it and making it known.
Entrusted with the Gospel
And now think of this life-giving Christ. God gave Him that “whosoever believeth in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life.” The “whosoever” and “believeth” are inseparably connected. But “how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” (Rom. 10:14). Did Christ fail here? After revealing the love and winning the life, did He make no provision for the message being made known?
Verily, no. He made provision. He arranged that every believer, every member of His body, should share with Him the glory and the blessedness of communicating the divine life and love. The self-propagating power, which is the mark of all life and all love, was to find its highest manifestation in His church. The life of each believer was to be a seed bringing forth fruit after its kind.
Alas, how little the church understands or teaches this – that every believer, just like every branch on a tree, exists only to bring fruit and blessing for the glory of the husbandman and the life of men. Christ gave God’s love in charge to His people, entrusted Himself and the eternal life to them, that everyone whom the great “whosoever” includes might hear and live.
And Christians profess to believe that the hundreds of millions are committed to their care, and must, as the most urgent and important work in the world, have the Gospel preached to them, and yet rest content in giving, out of their abundance, a few pounds a year. And their mind and heart and strength they give to the interests of time. They have no conception of the true Christian life, of the calling and the glory and the blessedness of, like Christ, living as the channels of God’s love to a perishing world.
We Need a Mighty Revival!
We do indeed need a great, a mighty revival. Let us plead with God that it may begin with ourselves in secret. It will reveal to us the force of the three great words: the perishing world, God’s saving love, and the Christ who through His members carries life to that world.
However ignorant we may be of what we ought to do, or impotent to do what we see of this great work, let us offer ourselves unceasingly to God, to live for nothing less than what He lives for. He will inspire and guide and make us bold.
When the great revival begins in our own heart, it has begun and it will spread. We shall have new confidence in prayer and new power in work. And our work will have a new joy as we realize how it is the devotion to a great cause, which has its beginning in the love of God, its law in the life of Christ, and its strength in the power of that Holy Spirit who makes us one with Him in the work of reaching the world for God.
– Adapted from Revival by Andrew Murray.