*Love in the Heart
The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:5 NKJV
A third scriptural mark of those who are born of God, and the greatest mark of all, is love. It is the love of God, which is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit when we are born again of the Spirit of God.“Because you are sons, “St. Paul wrote to the Galatians, “God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out ‘Abba Father!’” (Galatians 4:6 NKJV).By this Spirit, continually looking up to God as their reconciled and loving Father, they cry to Him for their daily bread, for all things needful, whether for soul or body.They continually pour out their hearts before Him, knowing they have those petitions they ask of Him (see 1 John 5:14-15).Their delight is in Him; He is the joy of their hearts.The desire of their soul is toward Him; it is their great satisfaction to do his will.
They love God as their Savior. They love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. They are so joined unto the Lord as to be one spirit. Their souls hang upon the Lord Jesus and count Him the chief among ten thousand. They know what it means of which the psalmist wrote: “You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever” (Psalm 45:2 NKJV).
*From How to Pray: The Best of John Wesley on Prayer, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.
In this twenty-seventh lesson on prayer, Wesley talks about the reciprocal effect the Holy Spirit produces in our hearts when we are born again. As the Holy Spirit pours forth the love of God toward us in our hearts, we are then able to love God; a love impossible before the new birth.
The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:1-15, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” 9However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh– 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (NASB).
Because we have received the love of the Father by the Spirit of Christ in us, we are able to love Him back as His beloved children. This is why Wesley can say, “Their delight is in Him; He is the joy of their hearts.The desire of their soul is toward Him; it is their great satisfaction to do his will.They love God as their Savior. They love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. They are so joined unto the Lord as to be one spirit.”