“3. Let us love our Father; love God in Christ, and love the place for his sake, where his residence is.
[1.] Love God in Christ: Ps. lxxiii. 25, ‘Whom have I in heaven but thee?’ When God has been so gracious to you! Christians, if I had no other argument to press you to love God but that he which is in heaven offereth to be your father in Christ Jesus, it might suffice; because it is a great condescension that the God of heaven will look upon poor broken-hearted creatures—that he whose throne is in heaven would look upon him that is of a trembling spirit: Isa. lxvi. 2. ‘That the high and lofty One, that dwelleth in the high and holy place, will look to him that is of a contrite heart:’ Isa. lvii. 15. That he that is the Lord of heaven and earth will be our Father, and own us and bless us! A great condescension on God’s part, and a great dignity also is put upon us; and how should our hearts be affected with it! Therefore, though there be a great distance between heaven and earth, it should not lessen our affections to God. He is mindful of us, visits us at every turn; we are dear and tender to him; therefore let the Lord be dear to you. The butler, when he was exalted, forgot Joseph; but Christ is not grown stately with his advancement—he doth not forget us. Oh, let us not forget God. Let us manifest our love, by being often with him at the throne of grace, with our Father which is in heaven. A child is never well but when in the mother’s lap or under the father’s wing: so should it be with us, with a humble affection coming into the presence of God, and getting into the bosom of our heavenly Father. Never delight in anything so much as conversing with him, and serious addresses to him in prayer. Again:--
[2.] Love the place for his sake; God is there, and Christ is there. We have cause to love the place for our own sakes; and in a short time, if you continue to be patient in well-doing, you will be with God. It is not only God’s throne, but it is your house: 2 Cor. v. 1, ‘We look for an house in heaven, not made with hands.’ It is a place appointed for our everlasting abode; therefore all our hopes, desires, and delights should run that way. But chiefly I would press you to love it for his sake, the place where your heavenly Father dwells. God hath not taken his denomination from earth, which is the place of corruption; but from heaven, which is the place of glory and happiness. Oh, let us not forget our Father’s house. We are too apt to say, It is good to be here. Christians let us draw home apace; let us grow more heavenly-minded every day; seek the things which are above; prize it rather upon this occasion, because if we were more heavenly in the frame of our hearts, we would be more heavenly in our solemn approaches to God. What is the reason a man is haunted with the world, and things which are of a worldly interest and concern, when he comes to prayer? It is because his heart is taken with these things.”
-From The Works of Thomas Manton (1620-1677); Volume One, (The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh & Pennsylvania); Page 65.