But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you.
I. In suggesting various MARKS by which you may ascertain whether you love God or not, I would mention —
1. The general bent and turn of your thoughts when not under the immediate control of circumstances. These afford clear indications of the general temper and disposition. It is impossible that such a Being should be absent long from your thoughts unless you are decidedly indifferent to Divine things; the charge against the ungodly is that "God is not in all their thoughts." Consider this, ye that forget God.
2. How you stand disposed to the exercises of religion: if God is the Object of your love you will gladly avail yourselves of the opportunities for cultivating a closer friendship with Him.
3. How you stand affected towards His Word. We can derive no just thoughts of God but from that. All, therefore, who sincerely love Him study that. "How I love Thy law; it is my meditation all the day." A neglected Bible is an unambiguous sign of an unsanctified heart.
4. With what sentiments do you regard the people of God? If you do not love the image which you see, how can you love the unseen original?
5. Consider the disposition you entertain toward the Son of God. "If ye had loved the Father, ye would have loved Me also."
6. Examine how you are affected by His benefits. These are so numerous and distinguished that they ought to excite our gratitude; and yet are they the only benefits we receive without thankfulness.
7. In what manner are you impressed with a sense of your sins?
8. How are you affected towards this world?
II. Supposing a conviction to be produced that you bare not God's love in you, let me make the proper IMPROVEMENT.
1. It should be accompanied by deep humiliation.
2. Let this humiliation be accompanied with concern and alarm.
3. This is an awful, but not a helpless state. Jesus is the way to the Father's heart.
Parallel VersesKJV: But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.