Believers Love to Christ Jesus
Matthew 10:37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
We do love Christ better than husband or wife, or brother or sister. Sometimes we think we could say with St. Jerome, If Christ should bid me go this way, and my mother did hang about my neck to draw me another, and my father were in my way, bowing at my knees with tears entreating me not to go; and my children plucking at my skirts should seek to pull me the other way, I must unclasp my mother, I must push to the very ground my father, and put aside my children, for I must follow Christ.
We cannot tell which we love the most till they have come into collision. But when we come to see that the love of mortals requires us to do this, and the love of Christ to do the reverse, then shall we see which we love best. Oh, those were hard times with the martyrs; with that good man for instance, Mr. Nicholas Ferrar, who was the father of some twelve Children, all of them but little ones. On the road to the stake his enemies had contrived that his wife should meet him with all the little ones, and she had set them in a row kneeling down by the roadside. His enemies expected that surely now he would recant, and for the sake of those dear babes would certainly seek to save his life. But no! no! He had given them all up to God, and he could trust them with his heavenly Father; but he could not do a wrong thing even for the felicity of covering these little birds with his wings and cherishing them beneath his feathers. He took them one by one to his bosom, and looked, and looked again; and it pleased God to put into the mouth of his wife and of his children words which encouraged him instead of discouraging him, and ere he went from them his very babes had bidden the father play the man and die boldly for Christ Jesus. Ay, soul, we must have a love like this which cannot be rivaled, which cannot be shared; which is like a flood tide — other tides may come up very high upon the shore, but this cometh up to the very rocks and beats there, filling our soul to the very brim. I pray God we may know what such a love to Christ as this may mean.