By Bill Martin
For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. Christ died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from the dead so that they would live for Him. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV/NCV)
The story has often been repeated. The year was 1910. Blood transfusions and other medical technology that we take for granted today were still relatively new back then. Little Jimmy, age ten, was devoted to his younger sister, age six. Then one day Jimmy's sister fell while playing and cut a large artery in her leg. The bleeding was profuse. By the time the doctor arrived, she was failing rapidly.
Quickly the doctor managed to clamp the severed ends of the artery, but her heart was failing. In desperation the doctor asked Jimmy, "Will you give your blood to help save your sister's life?" Jimmy swallowed hard, and then nodded his head. The doctor put him on the kitchen table, and with needles and tubing he began to take blood from Jimmy's arm and transfuse it into his sister's body. For the next half-hour the family watched and prayed. The doctor kept his stethoscope over the girl's heart, listening to each beat. At last the crisis had passed. Only then did he notice that Jimmy was still stretched out on the kitchen table, tense and trembling. "What's the matter, Jimmy?" asked the doctor. "W-w-when do I die?" Jimmy asked softly. And that's when the doctor realized that Jimmy had misunderstood what the request for his blood had really meant. Jimmy had thought his sister was going to need all of his blood! This meant that Jimmy, though swallowing hard, had silently, fully expected to die in order to save his little sister. The doctor had tears in his own eyes when he reassured Jimmy that he had taken only a little of his blood and that by drinking some orange juice and milk he would be just fine.
In reality, little Jimmy's willingness to die so that his sister could live is a pale example of our
Saviour's dying on the cross to save sinners like you and me, isn't it?
In his second letter to the Christians at Corinth the Apostle Paul wrote, "For Christ's love
compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. Christ died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from the dead so that they would live for him.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 - NIV, NCV).
"Christ's love compels us." to live our everyday ordinary lives for Jesus - this is what we should be doing. “Christ’s love compels” us to examine the attitudes we have toward others, and our concerns for them. “Christ’s love compels us” to take an active part in the work of the Lord's kingdom by serving others. Paul says, “Serve one another in love.” This is an important key to building relationships: 1 Corinthians 13:3 records, “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.” Christ’s love never gives up. Christ’s love cares more for others than for self. Christ’s love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Christ’s love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Christ’s love never dies. (1Cor 13:4-8)
Chris’t compelling love is the stuff that empowers you to live life selflessly, unconditionally in this world. His compelling love enables you to forgive one another, to respect one another, and to serve one another, day in and day out. Christ’s compelling love should motivate us to serve those in our world unconditionally.
What is preventing you from sharing Christ’s compelling love with others?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to be a better servant than I am now…in my home,
workplace, on the playing field, with my neighbour, every place I do business. Teach me to be more like You, and less like the world around me. Help me to put aside my selfish desires and vain ambition. Teach me to be a true servant so I can be free to unconditionally love people in my world in both word and deed. Give me a servant’s heart, just like Jesus. Amen
Bill Martin, compelled by Christ's love, served as a Paramedic in Peterborough for 40 years. Today, still compelled by Christ's love, Bill volunteers as a pastor at Calvary Church in Peterborough, Ontario. Bill and his wife, Ester, have been married 46 years and are blessed with 2 children and 6 grandchildren - enjoying every opportunity spent with them!