Why do I seek Jesus? Because He first sought me. I want to pursue Him with the same passion that compelled Him to pursue me. He was relentless in His passion for me. I want to be relentless in my passion for Him. He left the riches of heaven. He endured temptation same as me yet without sin. He suffered rejection and humiliation for me, enduring the punishment I deserved due to my own sin. He gave His own life in exchanged for mine. That is how much He loved me! Why would I not simply believe that and receive it? That is what compels me to love God. He first loved me...
14 For the love of Christ compels us (holds us together, urges and empowers), because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know [Him thus] no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone [is] in Christ, [he is] a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 NASB
My personal belief is that I can overcome or go through anything in this life as long as I believe God loves me. His love never fails. His love wants nothing but my best. His love brings deep and true healing to my soul-ish wounds. His love cannot be defeated. His love champions me. His love conquers all. It is as simple as that. Think about what the love of God means to your life and allow what the Spirit reveals to you to carry you through whatever life brings your way. One way to do this is to apply the Word of God to your now life…personalize it…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as applied to my life…
Love is patient…even when I walked in willful rebellion, Jesus still pursued me. He loved me right where I was but loved me enough to not leave me there. He waited for as long as my repentance took!
Love is kind…even when I was cruel and hurtful and lashed out in anger, Jesus responded with nothing but kindness toward me. Hurt people hurt people…except for Jesus. My utter self-focus and confusion over who I was and what I was worth to others kept me roiling around in a whirlpool of lies and self-reliance that I could never have gotten free of had that whirlpool not been closed by the love of God in my life.
Love is not jealous…even when I gave my love to others He was faithful to reserve His love for me. Even when I allowed envy to lead me to desire the hurt of others to make me feel better about myself, He kept loving me in spite of the filth of my envious heart.
Love does not brag…even when I bragged about myself to make myself more presentable to others, trying to earn their acceptance and affirmation and approval, Jesus loved me boasting to all of heaven that one day I would open my eyes to the truth of His love for me.
“I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Jesus
Love is not arrogant…even when I walked in pride and made ungodly choices that led me further and further away from His love, Jesus humbled Himself and kept pursuing my prideful heart. He humbled Himself to such a degree as to allow Himself to be tempted just as I would be yet not choose to sin. The love expressed in His desire to understand my temptations in such a deep way helped me get to the place of humility and repentance in my own life.
Love does not act unbecomingly…even when I walked in depravity of thinking; even when I walked in an identity that was in direct opposition to His intended will for me. Even when I sought to bring attention to myself, He bore my shame.
Love does not seek its own…even when I willfully sought my own way, He sought the will of the Father for me, choosing the will of the Father. He was tempted as I would be. He endured the pain I could not have borne. He took the punishment I could never have taken. He paid the debt I could never have afforded. He chose me over His own pleasure and peace. He endured hell that I might gain heaven.
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB
Love is not provoked…even when I allowed the smallest of lies of the enemy to provoke me to anger and malice and paranoia and fear and self-focus, Jesus never wavered or took His eyes off of me. He was even there in the midst of my sin - not taking part in that sin - but calling out to me to follow Him as the Way of escape.
Love does not take into account a wrong suffered…even when I allowed the enemy to remind me how much of a failure, how much of a loser, how much of a worthless man I was, Jesus forgot my failure as far as the east is from the west. Such love caused me to be relentless in my own efforts to do the same!
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth…even when I secretly - or not so secretly - rejoiced in the failure of others to make myself feel better about myself, Jesus spoke only truth-based love to me, choosing to see me as the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, choosing to see me through the blood shed on the cross for me.
Love bears all things…even when I was overwhelmed by the weight of sin, Jesus took that weight upon Himself and carries it for me to this day, seeing me as clean before Him.
Love believes all things…even when I believed the worst about myself, He saw me as a pure, clean, spotless bride.
Love hopes all things…even when I believed the lies of the enemy and walked in utter despair; even when I gave up on myself, Jesus never lost sight of who I would be.
Love endures all things…even when I felt I could not endure, He took the weight of who I thought I was and carried me through until I could see what He sees in me.
Love never fails…even when I walked in complete failure, His love was still there through it all.
How can I not face life without hope when He loves me like that? My hope is not in human love. Human love is enhanced by God-love. My hope is in the One who demonstrated His love toward me in that while I was still a sinner knowing I would reject Him, He still chose to die for me. It was that love that compelled me to seek Jesus…and it is that love that compels me to this day. Why would I ever not follow such love?