People often want to look at a scripture and offer their feelings or thoughts as to what the writer is expressing. This is all well and good so long as it’s accurate to the scripture’s meaning.
In today’s lesson of “The love of Christ Compels Us,” found in 2 Corinthians 5: 14, Paul is saying that it is not his love for Christ that compels him, although of course Paul loves Jesus dearly. However, Paul is saying it is the Lord’s love for him that moves him and compels him. In the New King James version, the word “constraineth” is used, meaning “it has taken hold of me, as one being wrapped around by it, or even filled with it. So I want to share with you the amazing, immeasurable Love that the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit has for us.
I could at this time express how I see Jesus’ love for us, but I would rather listen to the passion, the heart of Jesus when he speaks to our Father in John chapter 17, in particular verses 20-26. This is where Jesus appeals to the Father that we, we here today in this fellowship, be one with Jesus and the Father, and that we may see Jesus in all His Glory. Jesus prays this to the Father just before he goes the Garden to pray, knowing full well of his suffering to come and that he would be slain as the Lamb of God. At this time, what was foremost on his mind was you and me.
The entire Bible, from the Old Testament through the New Testament, cries out to us of God’s love. At this point in time Jesus is going to prove through his death that he loves us, for our Lord said ” Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” And then he says “…I have called you friends…” Is that not “compelling?” Is that love not so pure, faithful and true?
My hope is that, today, in our sharing of this great love, we too are so compelled by this love that we recognize both the passion of God’s love for us and the ministry we’ve all been given to live our lives as Jesus.