The Sun is all Mine
A characteristic of God’s love for His people is that it’s both collective and personal. He loves them all equally and He loves them all personally. It embraces ‘a great multitude which no man can number.’ These are out of every race and belong to every generation. And He loves each as He loves all.
Modern Science, to use a Biblical illustration, has in these days given us an awe-inspiring insight into the immensities of space and the incalculable number of stars which form the known universe. But man’s mind is utterly incapable of expressing, even in mathematical form, the number of stars which come under our limited observation.
And we have touched only the fringe of this vast unknown. It is all too big for our feeble comprehension. Only God knows the number of the stars. We have named but a few of these heavenly bodies; but, as the Psalmist tells us, He has a name for each and all of them – ‘He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names.’
In the Book of Genesis we read of how, on a quiet and cloudless night, God made Abraham look toward the sky with its vast host of stars. ‘So’, the Lord said, ‘shall thy seed be.’ That night God gave him a promise that not only would his natural seed be as numerous as the sand which is by the seashore, hut that his spiritual seed - the children of light - would be numberless as the stars of heaven.
For within that great utterance, ‘In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,’ there was also the promise that all these would derive their life and glory from Christ Who is ‘the bright and morning star.’ For, as the stars receive their beauty and light from the sun, so the great multitude whom God loved shall forever derive their life and glory from Christ, the ‘Sun of Righteousness.
In heaven there is only one Sun – ‘The Lamb is the light thereof.’ In that heavenly world those whom God loved in Christ shall shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars forever and ever. Christ’s Bride, then, in all her members, is not made up of a small company, but in their number passes far beyond the reckoning of angels and men.
Although God’s love rests equally and permanently on such an inconceivable number it is not a mere general love lacking in those intimate and personal qualities which belong to the closer and more tender ties of life. God’s love is, in fact, intensely personal. ‘God,’ says Augustine, ‘loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love.’ And this is how it is apprehended by all true Christians in their experience and in their enjoyment of it.
This is how it is spoken of everywhere in the Bible; and the Christian consciousness bears witness to its personal quality. His love is personal, for He is a personal God. For example, God speaks of Abraham as His friend. Between Abraham and God there was a deep heart-to-heart communion. That communion was not wrapped in silence: they talked together as friends.
David also was constantly aware of God’s presence and of His personal love in his life – ‘The Lord is my shepherd.’ In his dying hour the pillow on which he rested his soul was God’s personal relationship with him in Christ – ‘He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.’ And within this unbreakable tie his soul and body were everlastingly bound to God.
Paul too could say in the light of God’s promise and at the bar of his own wonderful experience – ‘The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me.’ The Christian woman who once exclaimed, ‘I have Christ in my heart; I have Christ in His promise, and I have Christ in Heaven,’ gave voice to what we know of this personal nature of God’s love.
A man sat one day in a garden. It was a warm day in summer, and the flowers, which were in full bloom, danced in a gentle wind. Resting quietly in his chair he remarked: ‘How wonderful to be here! And the sun is all mine!’ He did not mean, of course, that he had exclusive possession of all the natural blessings which streamed from the great day star.
He knew that many millions of others could quite properly say the same. And yet his words were correct and appropriate, for the whole sun with its life, warmth and light was truly his. So might every Christian also say of Christ, the ‘Sun of Righteousness’ – ‘He is all mine: His love is in my heart: His life is in my soul: His light is in my mind. He Who is the Light of the heavenly world dwells also in my heart by faith.’
The story is told of a young Christian man who once crossed one of those bays which are such an attractive feature of our Scottish West Coast. He was alone. The bay was broad, but a kindly wind filled his sail so that he arrived at the other side without mishap. On being asked by a friend how it fared with him across the stretch of sea he quietly answered, ‘The wind favoured me, and the Lord was with me.’ ‘I know,’ replied his friend, that the wind favoured you, but how can you tell that God was with you?’ The impressive answer was: ‘No one ever had Him but found Him warm in his heart.’ Christ in other words, had become the sun of his soul. He had the presence and love of a personal Redeemer in his heart - and he knew it.
A golden-haired little girl once lived in a Ross-shire parish. This little girl had a problem which she could not solve: ‘How can Jesus be in our heart and also in Heaven?’ An older friend tried to solve her difficulty by pointing to the sun in the sky. If we turn our eyes to the sun, a little sun may be seen in our own eyes too. So when by faith we look to Jesus, the ‘bright and morning Star,’ a perfect image of Him is begotten in our hearts.
There is only one sun in the sky; but a true image of it may be seen in millions of eyes at the same time - if they but look toward it. And the little sun which is in the eye of the beholder is as real as the big sun which is up there in the sky! The Christ, in other words, Who is in Heaven is the Christ Who dwells in our hearts by faith.
These are but figures that may help us to see that, while God and His love belong to all His people, He is, entirely and forever, and in a very real sense, the personal possession of each one. He is married to each one within the tie of a personal covenant. ‘My Beloved is mine, and I am His.’ This is the universal testimony of Christian experience.