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Monday, March 20, 2006

Compelling Love

What is the driving force in your life? What is it that lifts you out of your seat compelling you to get involved? What compels you to take action? What gets your spiritual adrenaline flowing? Is there a single motivator or are there as many different motivators as there are people?

There have been workshops, seminars, and conferences galore attempting to answer the question; how do we motivate people to get involved in ministry? But is this a valid question? Should we have to discover tools and methods to motivate God’s people to action? The Apostle Paul answer to this comes through loud and clear as he proclaims, "Christ's love compels us..." (2 Corinthians 5:14a)

For us - new creatures in Christ Jesus, those who have been reconciled to God through Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-21) - Christ's love is the compelling force. All other motivators are inferior and fall by the wayside. We cannot get away from the straight forward succinct truth; Christ's love is the compelling driving force in our lives.

This verse is more powerful than a cursory reading reveals. The word used for "compels" denotes: "to be claimed, totally controlled, held in custody, fully occupies." One Bible scholar translates this verse, "The love of Christ completely dominates me." Christ’s love fills us and drives us. It will not allow us to remain inactive, or sit on the sidelines.

Wait! There is more. It is not grammatically clear whether the clause "Christ's love" is subjective, objective, and possessive. There is not need to attempt and decipher which one is the correct one, for they are all correct. It is as if Paul deliberately wrote it to denote all three possibilities. Christ's love for me, my love for Christ, and Christ's love in me are all involved in catapulting us into action.

When face to face with the wondrous reality of Christ's love for us, how can anything less than a full and complete commitment to Him and His way be considered. Isaac Watts penned it well in his hymn:

When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My Riches gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all!

Christ's love for me compels me to nothing less than total commit to Him and holy living in everything I am and do!

Made new in Christ give us a new perspective. We do not look at things from a "worldly point of view" any longer. (2 Corinthians 5:16) In response to His perfect love that He has lavished upon us, we love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. Only complete consecration to Him will do. We must serve Him and live as He directs. Anything and everything we do, we want to glorify Him and direct people's attention to Him. It is not about us - It is about Him, is the theme of our daily walk. Our love for Him demands nothing less!

His love in us compels us to live as He lived, to serve as He served and to give as He gave. We no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who died and rose again for us. Compassionate service is instinctive, flowing naturally to those in need. Christ's love is poured out into our hearts as we in faith consecrate ourselves wholly to Him. His "perfect love" purifies our hearts that we will one will with Him. His love having taken up residence in our hearts, the seat of our very being, establishes itself as the compel-er of our lives. As His love compel Him to "count His equality with God as something not to be grasp, but emptied Himself, taking on the form of a servant and became obedient even unto death," so His love in us compels us to pour out our lives, lay down our lives, be a servant, and obey God in all things.

His love for me, my love for Him, and His love in me is the driving, compelling, motivating, force in our lives. The question that confronts us is not;
how do we motivate God’s people to be involved in ministry? The question is; why are the not motivated? The only answer for not being compelled is we are resisting, squelching, hindering or suppressing Christ’s love. Beloved, let us yield to Christ and His love. Let us nurture and nourish God's gift that is ours in Christ Jesus, so that our hearts will burn with holy passion, compelling us in every way and every thing to live and ministry for Him. "For the Christ's love compels us!"

Keep Close to Jesus
Pastor Gerry

A Pause To Ponder God's Word is written and distributed by Gerald Whetstone, Ordained Elder and teacher in the Church of the Nazarene. These devotionals may be transmitted, duplicated, used in part or in entirety without permission for nonprofit purposes only. Responses welcome.


  • I still remember Reben Welch explaing why he was motivated to do what he did. He said "I just haven't gotten over being saved."

    I still remember the early zeal and ferver from the days immediately following my salvation (and susequent sanctification). You ask a great question about how and if we need to motivate God's people to action.

    All I know is that it seemed like just yesterday when I was saved at Children's Camp. And the next thing I knew I was preparing to send my youngest child off to Southern Nazarene University this Fall.


    By Blogger KJKEB, At 2:00 PM  

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