The Love Of Christ Constraineth Us
By W. C. Moore (1890 – 1980)
Let us make room for the love of God to be constantly shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit! If we permit anger, malice, evil imaginings, hatred, strife, envying, lustfulness, covetousness, unbelief to harbor in our souls the Lord will not force His love upon us, nor shed abroad in our hearts His own deep compassion for the souls of men.
The Dove of God’s Spirit will not brood in our hearts if we permit the unclean vultures of wrath and evil speaking and unkindness – and a host of other wicked, vile things to dwell there! Doves do not roost with buzzards!
Am I My Brother’s Keeper?
We see sinners all around us. Does the compassion of the Son of God well up in our hearts as we look on them? Do we recall that once we, too, were sinners, blind to God’s love? Do we manifest the love of Christ to the lost around us? Even if they cheat us in business, do we still search more to win them to Christ than to “get even” with them?
When we see a brother or a sister in the Lord slipping away, getting lukewarm, drifting into sin, do we point the finger at them, and think how much better we are than they? (Isa. 58:9; 65:5; Luke 18:9-14). Or do we earnestly pray for them and avoid gossiping at all about them? Are we alert for a chance to speak the truth, in love, to them? (Acts 20:31; Eph. 4:15).
And furthermore, do we realize that if we had prayed for them as we should have prayed, they might never have fallen into sin? We ARE our brother’s keeper. We cannot possibly love our neighbor as our self (Matt. 22:36-40) and not be deeply concerned about his spiritual state!
Take the case – as alas, does happen from time to time – where some outstanding Christian leader has failed God. Are we at heart grieved about it? Or do we begin to malign him behind his back, and just make his real or supposed failures and faults a matter of idle, vain – even hateful gossip? God help us!
We should always remember that the devil shoots at shining marks. Therefore, we ought to pray especially for anyone who is being mightily used of God in any way. If one member of the body of Christ suffers – all suffer (1 Cor. 12:12-27).
Do we not often mistreat other Christians, other children of God in a way that even sinners would not mistreat their own? Shame, oh, shame on us!
Now if you had failed God, slipped into sin, would you not far rather that anyone who knew you should begin at once to pray very earnestly for you than that such a one should begin to gossip about your real or supposed failure? Then, let us do to others as we would that they should do to us! (Matt. 7:12).
We are responsible to do all we can to help others by prayer, real travailing prayer, and by admonition, and by example, and by manifesting the love of God to others – both by our manner, our life before them, and by our words, speaking the truth in love.
Oh, may the love of Christ constrain us to love the unlovely for His sake, to forbear one another in love, to remember that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! (Col. 3:13; Heb. 10:31). May we remember that we do not have long to love people into the kingdom of God, we do not have long to manifest the dying love of Jesus to sinner and saint – to those around us who really need to see God’s love in manifestation in the outpoured lives and outpoured words and outpoured compassion of those who profess to be followers of the lowly Nazarene!