John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
God’s love is exemplary. John tells us in the next phrase “than this”. He is sharing with us the example of God’s love in Jesus Christ. He is telling us that it is exemplary. That means that it is worthy of imitation and it is an illustration for us to follow.
Look at what Paul tells us in II Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:” The love of God is our example and it compels us to do things.
What has love motivated you or I to do? It might do us well to take an inventory and see if we have lost our love for what God has given us love for.
So, how are you doing?
The southern gospel group The Isaacs sing a song titled “Heroes”. You can watch the video here. It is a powerful song about being a parent. It starts out by calling parents of special needs children “Heroes”. As I shared the other day the life of raising a child with special needs is not easy. I don’t see us as heroes. I see us as a family that made a vow to God and we are doing everything we possibly can to keep that vow. That is serious business with God for sure.
There was a story on the news just a few days ago about a couple that had a child with Downs Syndrome. The mother left. So, this father has decided that he will take the child and raise it himself. My hat is off to this man. He is a hero. Maybe, he is not a Bible kind of hero; but, he is to be applauded for his courage and his commitment to care for his child no matter.
What would motivate people to do what we do each day? There are many reasons; but, I would like to think that you could find the answer in the first phrase of II Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:”. That is what we have been talking about this month. Love. Not just some “feeling”. Take some medicine and that will pass. What I am talking about is a love that binds us, commits us to someone or something. That is real Christlike love. The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance tells us that “constraineth” means “to hold together, i.e. to compress (the ears, with a crowd or siege) or arrest (a prisoner); figuratively, to compel, perplex, afflict, preoccupy”. You see that is a very powerful commitment.
Do you love the LORD so much that you have been arrested and made a prisoner of His? What has He compelled you to do? You see, as we look at “A Gift From God” it just might be that you are God’s gift to someone. Even more important is the fact that they might be counting on you not even knowing that you are God’s answer to their prayer. You might be “A Gift From God”. That is humbling.
So, how are you doing?
Recently I had the pleasure of preaching at the mission as I do each fourth Friday of each month. This month I was able to take my wife with me to play the piano and sing a couple of songs. The men love to hear her play the piano and sing. They are not alone on that one, for sure.
The chapel service was again unusual in a good way. We did not see anyone trust Christ as their Saviour. Most of the men came by and shook my hand after the service and thanked me for coming and for the message. I heard in the distance as one man questioned my wife. He asked, “Did your son help make the peanut butter cookies?” My wife told him that our son had helped her make the cookies and had made the hash marks on the tops of them with a fork. He told her to tell our son “thank you”. That does something for a proud daddy like me.
I have assured these men that the only difference between them and me is that somewhere along the way they got caught and now they are living with the consequences of their decisions. I do too.
After the service my wife asked if I had seen a post on social media that said the mission needed eggs. I had not. She looked at me as serious as she could and told me, “We have to do something.” I told her that I did not know what we could do just us. Well, you know what we did. A close friend of ours gave us some money and we put some with it and we bought twenty-five (25) dozen eggs the next morning. Instead of sleeping in we went shopping. We took the eggs to the mission. When we arrived I told the man in charge of the kitchen that we had twenty-five (25) dozen eggs he ran to our van with two other men with him to help us unload them.
As we left the mission that morning the tears of joy ran down my face like a river. It felt good to help those men. By the way, it takes twenty (20) dozen eggs for one breakfast there. Even more than the warm feeling of helping these dear men was the feeling of pride that filled my heart and soul that my wife had such a burden to help those men and she made sure that it was done. I thought about II Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:” We tell these men each month that we love them. This time we proved it.
So, how are you doing?
Well, the second month of the year 2014 has nearly slipped by us. Tomorrow will be March 1st. I don’t know where time has gone, truthfully. For a lot of the month of February I have been focused on love. Real love is what I have tried to focus on really.
I have counseled people on this thing of love. In the husband and wife relationship I have tried to stress and express that love has work clothes on. I tell the husband that if he loves his wife, “Take out the trash.” This may sound funny to you; but, it is the truth.
This should not be a foreign concept to us. Look to Jesus who is Love. The most quoted verse of the Scriptures is John 3:26, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This is the most supreme form of love every demonstrated. This is the love that Jesus requires of you and I my dear reader. You might say it is impossible. I say never. If you cannot love then you need an attitude adjustment. I would suggest you take a walk through the local children’s hospital. Notice the parents. See how they interact with their sick children. Get a good dose of love. On the other hand; turn to Jesus Christ and trust Him as your Saviour. This is the greatest dose of love that you can ever receive. Then you will be motivated to properly love. Look at II Corinthians 5:14, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:” . The word “constraineth” means to hold together, to compress or to arrest. This is a powerful grip that love has on us. I hope you have been gripped by love like this.
So, how are you doing?