by Christ’s Love that is…

Dear Friends,

What do you care deeply about? What do you enjoy doing the most? What motivates you, drives you, compels you to do what you do with a passion? What wills you on? Have you ever done any soul searching to know, really know why you do what you do? I have.

In one of the classes I was required to take to become a Stephen Minister, we were asked what motivated us to be in the class. Students gave several different answers. Some replies given were “to help others”, “ to be obedient to God”, “to understand other faith beliefs”, “because I was asked to take the course”, “because it makes me feel good or get pleasure out of helping others” or “to exercise my spiritual gifts.” There were no right or wrong answers. I agreed with all.

Some reactions I observed caused me to begin doubting the reason I was in the class. Was mine a pat answer to satisfy the instructor? I didn’t think so. I felt there was another reason, something more… something deeper. I had to know that I know that I know what motivated me (and still does). I struggled with self-doubts all of the next day and most of the night. (Satan’s like that isn’t he, planting seeds of doubt in our lives?) Praying and searching the scripture, I had to know that I was in God’s will to become a Stephen Minister.

In 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (NIV) I read,14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.16 so from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

I was awakened about two in the morning with the answer…compelled by Christ’s love.

Compel – to have a powerful or irresistible effect, influence, etc.

That was it! The powerful, irresistible effect and influence of Christ’s love in my life. The doubt had been removed.

The Apostle Paul was surely compelled by Christ’s love when he and John were standing before the Sanhedrin for healing the lame beggar. Paul is quoted in Acts 4:19-20, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question—we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.” (MSG)

Like Paul, I can’t keep quiet. I am compelled to tell, to help and encourage others if possible. If by my sharing how God’s grace affects me causes only one other person’s life to be changed by God’s love, then my step of faith into the world of blogging and today’s letter will not have been for naught.

Again I ask … what compels you?

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving examples of men and women in the Bible, who lived ordinary lives just like us, who were compelled to share the Gospel with those whom they lived and worked among and with those in foreign lands. Because of their boldness to share, we have the opportunity to receive your love in our lives today. Father God, help me and others to live our lives daily for you, compelled to share your love by our words and deeds. Lord, I pray that others will see you in me and if they haven’t come to a saving faith in you yet, then my life will help guide them to know you also. Father I lift up that one who is struggling with a special decision about their health at this moment. Give your peace and comfort. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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