Thursday, November 09 2006
"On the whole, God's love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. Nobody can always have devout feelings and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian Love, either towards God or towards man is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do His will we are obeying the commandment, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.' He will give us feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him." Mere Christianity
The Apostle Paul said, "For Christ's love compels us . . ." (2 Corinthians 5:14). It is not our love for Christ which is the drive-shaft of the Christian life. Nor is it our love for others which is the motivation for ministry. The fact that God loved us so much that he gave his only begotten Son to live for us, die for us, and rise again for us--this love of God in Christ is what should compel us.
But compel us to do what? Paul goes on to tell us that the compelling love of Christ convinces us that Christ died for all. Therefore we need to die to ourselves and live for him who died for us and was raised again. And if we truly live for Christ we will have a fresh outlook on humanity. We will realize how much Christ loves all people if he has so loved us. This love will motivate us to become his ambassadors, carrying his message of reconciliation to alienated people whom he loves. We have a wonderful message of good news to share and to live out, a message which Paul sums up in this way:
Father, I am struck with awe by your love for me--that you would give your Son to become sin for me--so that I might become righteous in your sight. I cannot fathom the depths of such a love. But as I come to realize more and more of your love in my life, I realize too that you love every single person on this planet just as much as you love me. Lord, I see so many people from day to day, people who are hurting, broken, downcast. Help me by your Holy Spirit to bring healing to the hurting, mending to broken lives, the lift of love to those who are downcast. May the love of Christ flow through me this day, and every day, to your glory. Amen.