A verse that we turned to yesterday in church was 2 Corinthians 5:14, "For the love of Christ controls us..." and my heart immediately yearned for those words to be living and active in my own life. That in all that I say and do, His love would be what compels me. A love that is patient and kind. A love that is not rude, self-seeking, or easily angered. A love that lays down it's life for others and considers others more important then myself.
There are many times that, though I may be doing the right thing, it is not out of love. My motivation can fall far short of realizing the great love with which I have been loved and then living my life in such a way that proclaims that great love! Selfishness, ease, man-pleasing, among other things, can be at the root of some of the "right things" I do and it's far from God's desire or plan. In fact, He says in 1 Corinthians 13 that it's little more than a banging gong or clanging cymbal. Speaking on 1 Corinthians 13, Jerry Bridges says the following:
"Write down, either in your imagination or on a sheet of paper, a row of zeros. Keep adding zeros until you have filled a whole line on the page. What do they add up to? Exactly nothing! Even if you were to write a thousand of them, they would still be nothing. But put a positive number in front of them and immediately they have value. This is the way it is with our gifts and faith and zeal. They are the zeros on the page. Without love, they count for nothing. But put love in front of them and immediately they have value. And just as the number two gives more value to a row of zeros than the number one does, so more and more love can add exponentially greater value to our gifts."
May God give us hearts that are utterly controlled by his love!!!