The Constraint of Love
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
"The love of Christ constraineth us" (v. 14). The context of this statement is that "we are ambassadors for Christ" (v. 20) and that "we persuade men" (v. 11). This love is the love Christ has for us. Contemplating His great love should make one a good ambassador, beseeching men to be 'reconciled to God" (v.20).
Christ tells the Ephesian church that they have left their first love (Rev. 2:4) and they are to "repent, and do the first works" (v. 5). Too many Christians are "lukewarm" and have left that heart-felt devotion that comes when Christ is first received.
This "first love" always brings the "first works" which, to say the least, includes witnessing to this wonderful Savior and His great salvation. That which is dearest in our hearts will be most upon our lips. The
Ephesians were busy--"I know thy works" (2:2)--but not about the right things.
As "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16), we should love the world of men enough to give them the Lord Jesus as well. It is not always easy top hate the sin and love the sinners, but it is essential. A little boy came across town to go to D. L. Moody's Sunday school. When asked why he passed up others to come to Mr. Moody's Sunday school, he replied, "Because they love a fellow over there."
The mother-in-law of one of the deacons was in our church service for the first time. Our people had been praying for her. That night I preached my heart out for just one person. After the service I met the woman for the first time. So constrained was I that I began to witness to her. She was seemingly the most faithless person I ever talked to. She said that after the kind of life she had lived there couldn't be a God. All over the church Christians had gathered in little groups and were praying as I talked to her. They were weeping, and so was I, for one dear lady. She was amazed when she saw the people praying for her but still she did not believe. On the way home she asked her son-in-law why the people were crying so. He said because they loved her.
It broke her heart and he led her to Christ that very night. May our song be, "Love this world through me, Lord this world of broken men..."