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Let The Love of God Constrain You – Benny Shobo

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Many times we have been tried, and our love for God have been tested, but we choose to allow the love of God in our hearts, guide us into doing the right things rather than us acting out how we are feeling. Doing the right thing every time, takes the divine grace and love of God in us, to act in love and in accordance to the commands of God’s word. Hence the reason the bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died”. On our own, we would not be consistent in doing good deeds, but the love of God in us, helps and propels us to act like Jesus would, with our words and more importantly in our actions.

When the love of God is shared abroad bountifully in our hearts, we will find ourselves working according to the leading of the Holy Spirit in demonstrating the love of God through us to others. This involves us putting our feelings aside, to give love to others just like Jesus gave His love to us unconditionally. The love of God in us, will enable us to be selfless, more considerate and very compassionate when it come to our dealings with other people. This love, which is Agape love, allows us to see others through the eyes of God; which are the eyes of love. 1 John 4:7, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God”.

The love of God compels us to forgive others, overlook errors and remain non-judgemental. Every time we walk and act in the love of God in all that we do, it portrays our maturity in Christ. When we are moved to act because of the love of God, we literally are choosing to comply with Jesus’s commands which clearly states in John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”. We allow the love of God to constrain us to do good because we have been affected by God through His love for us, which He demonstrated to us by sending His only begotten and dearly beloved Son Jesus, to come into the world and give His life for us on the Cross of Calvary. When we choose to act in love regardless of our hurts and pains, we are not only healed from those pains , but we are elevated and edified in our hearts and spirit by the Holy Spirit of God.

A very good example of how the love of God constrains a person to do good, was the widow of Zarephath. This woman had only a small amount of oil and flour left, and her plan was to use it to prepare a final meal for herself and her son to eat and die; but her love for God in her, compelled her to use all the oil and flour to make bread for Elijah. She consciously chose not to be moved by her feelings and challenging circumstance, but only by Agape love of God in her. We later see in the bible how she was greatly rewarded by God through Elijah. Due to the love of God Constraining her to do good despite her dire circumstances, her life and the life of her son were spared from starvation.

1 Kings 17:7-16, Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So, he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread. “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”  Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land”. She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So, there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah”.

Another great example of one whom the love of God compelled to do good in the bible, was Esther. The bible records that when Esther became queen to King Ahasuerus a Persian King, Mordecai approached Esther to go before King Ahasuerus to intercede for the lives of her people, who were severely persecuted by Haman. We see how Esther was compelled to go before King Ahasuerus, at the detriment of her own life. However, Esther’s love for God and her people compelled her to appear before the King uninvited. Esther’s great love for her people enabled her to take the drastic decision that she took. The love of God in her for her people, gave her the courage to fight to save her people, even if it meant she might die. Esther 5:2-3, “When the King saw Queen Esther standing in the courtyard, she won his favour, and the King extended to Esther the gold sceptre that he was holding. Esther approached and touched the top of the sceptre. The king asked her, “What do you want, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even if it’s half of the kingdom, it will be given to you”.

Doing the right thing because of the love of God, is not an easy thing to do, and we see that in the life of Jesus. When Jesus lived in the earth, before His arrest and crucifixion on the Cross, He found it a challenge sacrificing His life for us. However, His love for God the Father and us, compelled Him to willingly sacrifice His life for us to be reconciled back to God. The love of God constrained Jesus to obey the will of God the Father, even unto death. Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth”. Praise God, today Jesus is highly esteemed by God the Father, for His complete obedience and utter compliance to the will of God for His life. Philippians 2:9-10, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth”.

7 Reasons why the love of God compels us to do good.

1.   God commands us to live, move and have our beings in Love. Acts 17:28, “For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring”.

2.   It demonstrates how much God’s word has affected us. Hebrews 4:12, ” For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”.

3.   We understand that love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins”.

4.   We are obedient and abiding children of God. John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commands”.

5.   We are Christ-like. 1 John 4:17, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world”.

6.   We are eternally rewarded by God. Revelation 22:12, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done”.

7.   We know that all vengeance is the Lord’s. Deuteronomy 32:35, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them”. 

Praise God!

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