Thomas Watson on Loving God

Reading Watson’s The Godly Man’s Picture has been a powerful and painful read. The bulk of the book is spent describing the various characteristics of being godly. One such characteristic is that the godly man is “fired with love to God.” In the quotation below, Watson presses this trait home, forcing us to consider whether we truly do love God.

Read it slowly and ask yourself honestly: do you love God?

Let us test our godliness by this touch-stone: Do we love God? Is he our treasure and centre? Can we, with David, call God our ‘joy’, yes, our ‘exceeding joy’ (Psa. 43:4)? Do we delight in drawing near to him, and ‘come before his presence with singing’ (Psa. 100:2)? Do we love him for his beauty more than his jewels? Do we love him, when he seems not to love us?

If this be the sign of a godly man, how few will be found in the number! Where is the man whose heart is dilated in love to God? Many court him, but few love him. People are for the most part eaten up with self-love; they love their ease; their worldly profit, their lusts, but they do not have a drop of love to God. If they loved God, would they be so willing to be rid of him? ‘They say unto God, Depart from us’ (Job 21:14). If they loved God, would they tear his name by their oaths? Does he who shoots his father in the heart love him? Though they worship God, they do not love him; they are more like soldiers who bowed the knee to Christ, and mocked him (Matt. 27:29). He whose heart is a grave in which the love of God is buried, deserves to have that curse written upon his tombstone, ‘Let him be Anathema Maranatha’ (1 Cor. 16:22). A soul devoid of divine love is a temper that best suits damned spirits.

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