Love compels us.
That’s what Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians. But what does it compel us to do? Well, it compels us to love God and to love neighbor. And the best way to do both of them is to tell people about Jesus.
And Paul actually shows us the way one of his other letters.
Remember who Paul was. He was captivated by Christ’s love. He was blown away that he, a persecutor of the church, would be loved by God, that he would be saved. And he was so amazed by that that he did unbelievable things for the Gospel.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:8, he writes: “We loved you so much.” Don’t miss that. He loves these people he had never met who he went to go find, but he loved them so much. The sentence continues: “…that we were delighted to share with you…” Notice that it’s a delight to do this.
“We were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but our very lives as well because you had become so dear to us.”
Paul was so in love with God that he was delighted to go to people who he had not met, and to share his life with them, to walk with them until they came to the spot where they accepted the Gospel.
But if you think that’s easy, I want you to think again for just a minute. Do you know how much Paul endured to share the Gospel with people? There’s this summary of it in 1 Corinthians. Here’s what it says:
“I’ve worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the 40 lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was pelted with stones. Three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea. I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers and danger from bandits and danger from my fellow Jews, and danger from Gentiles and danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea, and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and I have often gone without sleep. I have known thirst and have often gone without food. I have been cold and naked besides everything else I face daily. …”
Was he motivated? I mean, think about all that he endured there!
He was motivated.
How motivated are you?
The love of the Lord should compel you!
Adapted from Pastor Jon’s sermon, “Christ’s Love Compels Us.”