For Christ's love compels us

For Christ’s love compels us...
— 2 Corinthians 5:14, NIV

Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul had deep insight into the nature of love. Two of the biblical highpoints that bring revelation about the nature of God’s love can be found in John 13:34-35 & 1 Corinthians 13.  

In the former, Jesus told his disciples that love must be the distinguishing mark of their lives. The ‘new command’ He gave them used the command of Moses, which teaches we are to love God with all our strength and our neighbour as ourself, as a springboard to deepen these commands. Jesus even taught we are to love our enemies…

The command to love one’s neighbour was not new; the newness was found in loving one another just as Jesus had loved His disciples, even if it meant giving one’s life for another! [John 15:13]

In the later, Paul teaches that love is a doing thing, something that is expressed in actions. However, he also teaches in an earlier passage in the same epistle that love cannot be measured by actions alone; motives must also be assessed to determine what is loving. In doing so, he points to the fact that Jesus will disclose the purposes of the heart when He returns to judge the living and the dead. [1 Corinthians 4:5]

When we do a kindness for someone, why we are doing it is as important, perhaps more so, as what we do. Of course, our motivation is helped when we truly live with a deep appreciation of the love God blesses us with. As Paul discovered, God’s love can compel us to do far more than we ever imagine. 

Peter Thompson