Never has a mortal body been so full and driven by the love of God. A murderer and persecutor of the new sect of Christianity, he was full of hatred against Christians and their God. And yet, while on his way for further persecution of the Church, the greatest Light of Love knocked him to the ground and, arguably, the greatest love story between God and His creature began.
~For the love of Christ~; ~for the love of Christ constraineth us~! Up and down the land and by sea his wearied body could hardly contain the love of God that swelled within him. From that day, onward his whole life was full of and for the One Who so constrained him; held, as with a vice, by the love he once tried to destroy.
What is it that has kept millions of Christians faithful to the G0d-Man Who walked this earth two thousand years ago? The love of Christ is the great underlying motive. We must consider, however, it is not just love. It is the love of God. It is the love of God to us. As one continues the Christian journey, questions abound when sorrow and pain come. We would turn from this God if we could, at times. Our hearts might harden to Him as we wear down through this difficult life.
But the more difficult the circumstance, the more this love abounds to and keeps us. Tender is the gentle whispers to the heart that is grieving. Faithful is the right hand that mightily holds us in its grasp. Persistent is the seeking heart of the good Shepherd as He goes after the lamb that would wander away.
No matter how we would run from Him, attempting to flee the pain He allows, the more the Divine impulses of love hold our heart as He pours out His infinite wisdom and goodness upon us as only an all-wise God can do. The deeper the valley, the more of His love our heart can contain. Until…we are finally able to say, even though the difficulty might not be over, ~the love of Christ~ constrains me.
Oh, what a firm foundation that we stand upon! What irresistible pleasure we continue to have in our God even when we cannot see the end of the difficulty. We press on, upwards towards the ultimate goal of seeing our Saviour’s face clearly…and the Divine Eyes that gaze on us now and forever in perfect love.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 31-35, 37-39