Summary: Be motivated by the Love of Christ, and nothing else. Pray that we will apprehend the greatness of His love.
Following last week’s passage, where we see how a sinful woman expressed great affection for Jesus - Luke 7:36ff.
The sinful woman came into Simon’s house, wet Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped with her hair. Kissed His feet and poured perfumed on His feet. All these actions were expression of her love. Realised something - she was so filled with love for Jesus that she did not really bother about the criticisms thrown at her. Wasn’t it shameful to do something like this in public, in a Pharisee’s home? Can she not do it quietly, when Jesus was alone?
She wasn’t thinking about herself. She was only thinking of Jesus. She was too overwhelmed by love for Christ to be bothered by the words of man. Be more concern with how God sees than how man sees.
Paul says in 2 Cor 5:14-15
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
(1) BE MOTIVATED BY HIS LOVE
Not anything else. What drives us today is not our love for Him but His love for us. Whatever you do today, our driving force is really not because of your love for Him…. (That won’t last…)
We are driven by His love. Today we live and serve and worship Him because of His love for us. Nothing else. That’s why we see Christians willing to great length, make great sacrifices, even to the point of offering up their lives… because God loves them.
Our confidence is this – God’s love for me.
We don’t serve for our own glory, for status symbol, to chart our career path. You’re going to stop very soon. And in all that we do, we are motivated by His love.
That’s why my REALISATION OF HIS LOVE is crucial!
A man had the duty to raise a drawbridge to allow the steamers to pass on the river below and to lower it again for trains to cross over on land. One day, this man’s son visited him, desiring to watch his father at work. Quite curious, as most boys are, he peeked into a trapdoor that was always left open so his father could keep an eye on the great machinery that raised and lowered the bridge. Suddenly, the boy lost his footing and tumbled into the gears. As the father tried to reach down and pull him out, he heard the whistle of an approaching train. He knew the train would be full of people and that it would be impossible to stop the fast-moving locomotive, therefore, the bridge must be lowered! A terrible dilemma confronted him: if he saved the people, his son would be crushed in the cogs. Frantically, he tried to free the boy, but to no avail.
Finally, the father put his hand to the lever that would start the machinery. He paused and then, with tears he pulled it. The giant gears began to work and the bridge clamped down just in time to save the train. The passengers, not knowing what the father had done, were laughing and making merry; yet the bridgekeeper had chosen to save their lives at the cost of his son’s.
... James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 38.
Ignorance of His love will bring about indifference. When we fully understand the extent of His love (like the woman, the extent of His forgiveness), then we will be MOTIVATED TO GIVE MORE. And it will last.
Why would so many of the early disciples die for their faith? They knew His love PERSONALLY.
In John 21:19-23, Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loves Him, and then challenged him, "Feed My sheep." At the end, Jesus said, "Follow me!"
20Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. 21When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" 22 Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."
It’s an individual thing, a very personal thing. God is going to deal with us individually on the judgement day. Are you motivated by His love?
But before that happens, we need something…
(2) APPREHEND HIS LOVE
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.