Is it because you want to escape Hell? Or is it something deeper? What if you experienced the LOVE of Christ… more than ever before. Now THAT is something that could power you through the long cycles of challenge and despair. Paul said it was Christ’s mercy (Romans 12:1) and love (2 Corinthians 5:14-15) that compelled him to give his whole life as if it were a living sacrifice. John Piper puts it this way:

(Thanks for pointing me to this article by Piper recently, Justin Long.) So how do we experience Christ’s love in such a way that it becomes our inner motive? One first step is reading His Word. Did you ever have a pen pal? Then you know it’s possible to begin to care deeply for someone just by reading their words. Reading Jesus’ Word is a terrific way to grow in our care for Him. But isn’t it a shame that missionaries and pastors alike, even though they serve Jesus professionally, can become cavalier about reading Jesus’ Word? If you are really serious about rediscovering the love of Christ and letting that love compel you forward, then take the first step and dive into His Word again today PERSONALLY, not just professionally. Start just by reawakening a daily habit to read a chapter of His Word daily — for FUN, not for lesson planning. Then reflect and pray, asking him to speak to you personally. Whatever He says, share it with someone else today. (What about Jesus best captures YOUR heart and compels you forward? Just click “Comment” following the web version of this item. Share what you’re experiencing.)