Constrained By Love
2 Corinthians 5:11: Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. 13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. 14a For the love of Christ constraineth us; . . .
I love some of the definitions of that word constraineth: to hold together, to compress, to arrest, to compel, to preoccupy, to hold, to keep in, to lie sick of, to be in a strait and to be taken with. Being constrained by His love is a manifold blessing. To me, these definitions do not indicate something that we are forced into. We must be willing to be constrained by Christ*s love. When we truly love Him, we will be willing. When we are constrained by His love, we will understand the horrible destiny of those who are not constrained by His love and we will persuade them to trust Him, sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully. When we fully know and believe that He loves us, that He knows best and that He is all-powerful, we will have no problem seeking His will and obeying it. When we are constrained by His love we will love other believers and our neighbors.
John 13:34: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Galatians 5:14: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
When we are constrained by the love of Christ, we will have no problem loving God.
Luke 10:27: And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
When Christian leaders are constrained by the love of Christ, other believers who are also constrained by the love of Christ will have no problem obeying them.
Hebrews 13:17: Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
When husbands are constrained by the love of Christ, wives who are also constrained by the love of Christ will have no problem submitting themselves to their husbands.
When I first became saved I learned some important things. Jesus really does love me, He really does have my best interests at heart and when I obey Him (when I am constrained by His love) everything is better.
Deuteronomy 5:33: Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.
It is our duty to obey the Lord. We owe it to Him, but it is far better when our motivation is His love for us and our love for Him.