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Week 19:

Branded by the Love of Jesus Christ

Paul was branded by love. When Paul experienced becoming a "man in Christ," he developed the capacity for love. Only maturity knows love. How Paul loved!

First and supremely, Paul loved his Lord. Then he loved men, his enemies, hardship, and soul-pain. And he must have loved this latter particularly, else he would have shirked prayer. Paul's love carried him to the lost, the last, the least. What scope of love! Mars Hill with its intellectuals, the synagogues with their religious traditionalists, the market places with their prodigals -- all these he yearned over and sought for his Lord. Like a mighty dynamo, love pushed him on to attempt great things for God.

Not many have prayed as this man prayed. Maybe McCheyne, John Fletcher, mighty Brainerd, and a few others have known something of the soul-and-body mastering work of intercession motivated by love.

I remember standing by the Marechale once as we sang her great hymn:
"There is a love constraining me
To go and seek the lost;
I yield, O Lord, my all to Thee
To save at any cost!"

That was not just a lovely sentiment. It cost her prison, privation, pain, and poverty.

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