Moved By You

“For the love of Christ compels us…” II Corinthians 5:14

The word mercy used in the Old Testament is a word that is describing a love that is felt deeply. It is used to describe the depth of love that a parent has for their child. The King James Version translated this word, racham, as mercy, but also as “bowels.” In the Jewish culture, the bowels were used to illustrate the spirit of a person, like we use the word “heart” for spirit. Jewish authors also used the Greek word for bowels to describe this deep love, also translated as tender affections, mercy and compassion. It is referring to the innermost part of a person, where we feel things deeply. It is the yearning of a deep heartfelt love.

A similar Greek word, splanchnizomai, was used to describe the compassion that motivated Christ to minister the supernatural power of God. The root of this word, splanchna, means “inwards” or “bowels.” The definition, “to be moved as to one’s inwards, to yearn with compassion.” It is used in Matthew 9:36 Jesus yearned for people because they had no shepherd. In Matthew 14:14 this love moved Him to heal the sick. In Matthew 15:32 compassion moved Christ to feed a hungry multitude. In Matthew 18:27 Jesus used the word in a parable to forgive an impossible debt. In Matthew 20:24 it described the motivation for healing two blind mean. In Mark 1:41 it caused Him to heal a leper. In Mark 9:22 this love inspired Jesus to deliver a boy from a demon. In Luke 7:13 this deep emotion motivated Christ to raise the dead to give a widow back her son. In Luke 10:33 Jesus used the word in another parable about helping the hurting in the story of the Good Samaritan. The Holy Spirit not only provides an anointing to minister, but He also provides the motivation to serve others (Romans 5:5).

In II Corinthians 5:14, Paul said that it was the love of Christ that compelled them. The word for compel is sunecho, literally “to hold together” or “to grip tightly.” It describes a constraint, a tight grip that prevents escape. The love of Christ leaves us no other option than to act on someone else’s behalf. This is the love that God has placed in our hearts, a compelling, deep-hearted love that causes us to go into action.

Application: In the King James Version, I John 3:17 talks about a person shutting up his bowels of compassion. Make sure you are not holding back your love from any person, instead let love move you to action.

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