Good morning my friends. I pray you are looking forward to an excellent day, filled with blessings and good, hard work. It is good to work. That is how God created us so it always feels best when we are doing what we were designed to do. We are continuing with 2 Corinthians 5.
There is a reason why we need to be spedning time with Jesus every day. There is a reason we need to meet together a few times in the week to talk about the Word and to testify to each other and to pray. We need to keep our relationship and experience fresh and alive. Without it we lose sight of what is important:
Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. v. 11
It is the most natural thing for us to do when we are alive in Jesus. Don't you tell your friends about the latest movie you saw. If it was really good don't you try to persuade them to go and see it? You may even offer to go see it again with them. It is natural for us to want our friends and family to experience the same good things we do. What better thing is there to share with them than the love of Jesus? But it is even more than that:
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 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. vs. 14-15
Jesus' love for us compels us to love others. When we look up the word compel we discover it means when something has a powerful and irresistible effect on you. Can we better describe the effect of Jesus' love on us? So when we remain in this love we are compelled to persuade others of this love. But are we compelled? Are we so convinced of Jesus' love that it is a powerful and irresistable force in our lives?
The thing we want to avoid the most is to fall into the trap of going through all the motions with no motivation of love behind it. We drag ourselves to church. We drag ourselves to prayer meeting. We drag ourselves out of bed in the morning. We don't talk to him. We don't consider him in our actions throughout the day. We can talk about him but not to him. We don't really care about the condition of the people around us except to criticize them. You know I am describing a lot of Christians, the question is, am I describing you?
It is a dangerous place to be, to bear the name of Christ without the love of Christ. It is what leads to double-mindedness and the state of being lukewarm. We find many warnings in the Word about this condition but one of the strongest ones is found here:
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 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. (Revelation 3:14-15)
Recognize the symptoms and don't ignore them. Recognize them in others and persuade them to remain passionate for Jesus. We need to always keep to heart the first of the two greatest commandments, the two that sum up everything:
He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27)
You see it is not good enough to go through the motions. With all your heart! With all your soul! With all your strength! With all your mind! That is passion. This love is the motivation of everything because it compels us in all spiritual things. It also compels our flesh to submit. Without this passion we begin to diminish, we slip back into old ways, we become a shell and we go through the motions. Look for the symptoms. One way to tell is to ask yourself how important the salvation of others is to you. Is it important enough for you to look like a fool in the eyes of others?
If you have lost this passion then you need to be desperate to get it back. The starting place is always prayer, spending time with the one you confess to loving. If you start at this place and you are persistent in seeking his face, the flame will be lit again. Do not accept your condition as being natural after so many years. It is not natural. Push yourself. Be persistent. Don't give up until you reconnect in your passion for Jesus. Then everything that feels dull and grey will come alive with vibrancy again. Pay attention. This is vital to your eternity.