George Whitefield pleaded: “O ye believers, my heart is enlarged towards you. Look to, and live much on the blessed Jesus, and then you will live to, and act for Him more and more. Be thankful for what you have received, but be looking out continually for fresh discoveries of His love, and fresh incomes of heavenly grace, till you are called to behold this Lamb of God in glory.” (The Sermons of George Whitefield, Vol.2, p.421)
The transformative power of the gospel not only informs the mind, but also moves the heart. Oftentimes, our motivation falls far behind our knowledge so that we find it difficult to keep pace or walk according to the commands we known. But the gospel works upon the heart, draws out our affections for God, and moves us to obedience. The more we comprehend of God’s redemptive work on our behalf the more kindled our passion and the more likely our devotion will burst into flame. The great saints of church history were not of any better stock than the rest of us for all believers are born with the same moral corruption and all are renewed by the same Spirit. The great distance between their exceptional devotion and ours is simply a greater knowledge of the cross—of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The more we know Christ, what He has done, and what He has accomplished on our behalf, the more we will be both motivated and transformed. The Apostle Paul affirms this in II Corinthians 5:14-15:
“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
It was the love of Christ revealed through the gospel that made the Apostle Paul a most eminent servant of God. This truth has been affirmed over and over throughout the history of church.
John Calvin: “The more extraordinary the discoveries which have reached us of the Redeemer’s kindness, the more strongly are we bound to His service.” (Calvin’s Commentaries, Vol.21, p.304)
George Whitefield: “The death of Jesus Christ has turned our whole lives into one continued sacrifice. And whether we eat or drink, whether we pray to God, or do anything to man, it must all be done out of a love for and knowledge of Him who died and rose again, to render all, even our most ordinary deeds, acceptable in the sight of God.” (The Sermons of George Whitefield, Vol.2, p.237)
Paul is the founder of HeartCry Missionary Society and currently serves as its missions director. He also ministered as a missionary in Peru for ten years. He has preached hundreds of sermons and has authored a dozen published works. Paul lives in Radford, Virginia, with his wife Charo and their four children: Ian, Evan, Rowan, and Bronwyn.More By Paul David Washer