MAY 16

2 Corinthians 5:1-15
Memorise 2 Corinthians 5:14
"For the love of Christ constraineth us..."

It is not always easy to remain faithful in service. The little Sunday School kids might appear cute the first few times you see them, but when they start crying and screaming non-stop, you might start to have second thoughts. It might be exciting to start the year as a leader in your fellowship group, full of ideas and initiatives, but somewhere along the line you may be discouraged when you see no one responding well. It is in times like these that we consider what our motives for service are, and whether these are pure enough to endure and to keep us going.

To the Apostle Paul, he was always clear about his own reasons for service. The Corinthians were not an easy congregation to care for – there were some troublemakers in their midst who accused Paul of many things falsely. They accused him of being, among other things, untrustworthy, fickle-minded, proud and dishonest. They even accused him of being mentally unstable (2 Corinthians 5:13)! Any other person with less-than-pure motives would surely have taken the accusations personally, and would have turned his back on them. Yet, Paul remained loving and caring, taking the time to rebuke them for their sins and to bring them back to God. What was his secret? Simply this – that “the love of Christ constraineth us”. Because of the great love which Christ showed in dying on the cross for our sins, Paul was able to show the same unconditional love to others, even to those who had wronged him. No matter how difficult the circumstances were, his zeal and earnestness for the Lord’s work remained. At the same time, this also meant that he was not worried about what others thought about him. He was not there to impress others or to show off his own abilities. He served out of love for Christ.

Dear teen, are you motivated to serve by this same love? Would you be willing to serve in any area, no matter how tough? Or are you only motivated by ulterior motives? May you examine yourself, and consider whether or not you can truly say that you, too, are constrained by the love of Christ.

Thought: Does the love of Christ constrain me?
Prayer: Lord, I confess, Your will is all I need, I'll follow where You lead, compelled by love.