Wednesday, June 06, 2012

“A Love Response”

Second Quarter 2012 Adult Sabbath School Lessons
A Love Response"
For the week of June 9, 2012

A Love Response

        Many don't realize that the famous physicist, Albert Einstein, was an accomplished violinist. It was one of his great passions. Oftentimes when he was stymied with a problem he was working on, he would set down his pencil, pick up his violin, and start playing. He would do this for a few minutes, then all of a sudden set the violin down and resume working on the problem.

        Einstein didn't always love the violin, however. As a young boy he never wanted to play or practice. No matter how much coaxing his teacher of mother would do, nothing could motivate young Albert to play. Until one day it happened. He was walking through a room and he heard the sounds - the melodious tones of a Mozart sonata. He instantly fell in love with the violin and then found it hard not to play it.  Later, reflecting on that experience, Einstein made this insightful observation: "I believe that love is a better teacher than a sense of duty" (Walter Isaacson, Einstein, p. 14).

        The Bible and Ellen White agree when it comes to the Christian life in general, and witnessing in particular. Writing to the Corinthian believers, Paul announced his great motivator when it came to his ministry: "The love of Christ compels us," he wrote, "because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died" (2 Corinthians 5:14).

        Paul, in a very acute way, looked at the cross and there saw the agape love of Christ. But it wasn't simply the agape love of Christ that struck him so forcibly; it was the reality that Christ not only died forus but as us. This was the particular ingredient of Christ's love that Paul found so compelling. When Christ died, we all died, in Him.  Such a truth motivated Paul—and motivates us as well, when fully understood—to live for Him.

        Thus, there is no "should" when it comes to witnessing and evangelism. There simply is. When one is rooted and grounded in Christ's love; when one comprehends the "width and length and depth and height" (Ephesians 3:18) of this agape; when Christ dwells in the heart "through faith," a person willnaturally want to (and will) actually evangelize.

        One of Ellen White's favorite words is "spontaneous." Over and over again she speaks of how when Christ is living in the heart "love springs forth spontaneously" (Christ's Object Lessons, p. 384, for example). This love neither has to be forced nor coaxed, as Einstein's mother tried to do to get Albert to play the violin. Love, witnessing, evangelism, good works—all these things spontaneously and continuously flow out of the heart that has been captivated and compelled by the love of Christ.

        Christ Himself put it this way: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37, 38).

        So let us all, with great fervency, not seek to conjure up ways to get people to "do" witnessing/evangelism. Let us instead point them to Christ and His love. When one spends time at Jesus' feet and beholds Him, love will pour forth spontaneously and naturally.  
        "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." ~ John 12:32.
-Shawn Brace

Raul Diaz