January 4, 2015
By Sarah Prince, Missionary in South Africa, Former Grace Pastor
2 Corinthians 5:11-19
My husband, Casey, and I are often asked what motivates us to leave the US, to live with our children in the impoverished Oceanview community in Capetown, South Africa. And this could lead to the broader question of what actually movitates all of us daily.
In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul teaches us that “Christ’s love compels us” (verse 14) and sends us forth as “Christ’s ambassadors”(verse 20). The Greek word for “compel” means a powerful urge along a line of conduct. We all need to be propelled by His love to bring (reconcile) others to the love of God (2 Corinthians 5:18,19).
We would in fact become someone we would not normally be without Christ. Paul is talking about a radical, transformed group of people where God shows up with real help and miracles in our midst.
What makes us stuck, not transforming & sharing our lives in Christ?
1. We pretend that everything is OK.
For transformation to happen, we need to be willing to be real, vulnerable, transparent about sharing our own lives with others. By sharing how Christ shows up to help us in our own desperation and pain, we demonstrate to others the Good News that God is alive, able, and willing to rescue/save us in the midst of daily life, by truly hearing our cries and even working miracles.
2. We get stuck in comparison, the thief of joy.
Either we want what someone else has, or never fully received what God has given us. We have been given a unique life where God’s glory can only be shown in a unique way through each person. God is telling a miracle story through each of our lives!
3. We get stuck in the ordinary, day to day living.
The love of Christ compels us to live radically as He shows up in our lives in miraculous ways.
4. We sometimes get stuck in silence.
We get awkward, quiet, silent about what God is doing in our lives. The best preacher our world has is us, telling our own story about how a real God has transformed our broken lives. As a Christian, my life, my conversation, is the Gospel. Just as Paul did, we need to declare, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
We need to be unstuck and compelled by the real life of the Gospel shared with others because there are desperate people who need to hear it. As our own “cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5) with God’s love and goodness into our lives, our family, and the world around us, we are compelled to speak out to all around us about our God who rescues and transforms.
Prayer: God, give us the courage, the words, and the opportunity to share the glory of who you are in our lives and who you can be in others’ lives.