Many pastors preach sermons about the love of Christ. Often, we hear that Jesus loves us. This is most definitely true. However, when did you last feel the love of Christ compel you? The feeling that you must do something just because of your love for Jesus. He’s prompting you to action.
Are we head over heels in love with Jesus? Does His love compel us always? Is there a desire to pray or have we become complacent? Our desire should be to love Jesus with all our heart, mind and soul. (Matthew 22:37)
“For the love of Christ compels us…” (2 Corinthians 5:14a) Paul knew what it was like. He lived in a way that the love of Christ was the most important. Love would compel Paul to do the things he did. No one could restrain him from preaching the Gospel. He had to let others know about Jesus.
Paul also says, “and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” This statement is very powerful. We are no longer to live as we wish. We should live our lives for the Glory of God.
Is this possible? Can Christ’s love compel us to do things we may not want to do? We always want to be in control. Most people don’t do things they don’t want to do. They want to hear that it’s ok to do what you feel. Some believe that you can do it if it feels good. This is not what Paul, nor Jesus, taught.
Compel – What Does It Mean?
What does to be compelled mean? How do I know when I feel it? The Webster’s dictionary definition is this:
1 : to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly (Hunger compelled him to eat. The general was compelled to surrender).
2 : to cause to do or occur by overwhelming pressure (Public opinion compelled her to sign the bill).
3 archaic : to drive together
You can’t control it! It’s a driving force! You can be so in love with Jesus that it drives you beyond what you’ve ever done before. We have all had times that we have felt that we are to share Jesus with someone or pray for them. Maybe you’ve felt you were supposed to give or do something for someone.
We can have these feelings, but unless we are in love with Jesus we’ll do nothing about it. God’s love needs to compel you. For His love to do that you must put Him first. He needs to be above your feelings.
Paul felt compelled. It was his duty to preach the Gospel, for he cried out: For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:16). His words help us to see how important preaching the gospel was to him. This is something lacking in so many Christians today.
Will You Let Christ’s Love Compel You?
This means that you must stop living for yourself. God’s love needs to be overflowing in your life. Will you allow yourself to be filled with Jesus’ love or do you think you’re fine the way you are? I don’t know about you, but I want to be even more in love with Jesus everyday.
Paul felt an urgency. He knew that he couldn’t stop. The love of Jesus had to be made known to everyone. We too, can have this compelling feeling if we want it. Once we have it, it’s important to act upon it.
I believe that God wants us all to have this compelling nature. This urgency on the inside of us to bring the Good news to all people. May we stop thinking that ‘witnessing’ is something we do on programmed times. Can we live our lives as a witness to who Christ is?
Are we willing to allow God to control us, have us stop to talk to someone even if we’re ‘too busy’? I believe God’s wanting to raise up such an army. He desires people that are wholly devoted to Him.
Start today! Show someone how much Jesus loves them!
FOUNDER OF HOUSE OF REFUGE STREET MINISTRIES (www.houseofrefuge.ca)
Author of “Trusting God’s Timing” (www.stevenstoffelsen.com)