In the 15th and 16th centuries explorers took ships from Europe to look for an ocean route west to the markets of the Far East. When they found a continent in their way, they began to look for gold in the New World. One of them, Ponce de Leon, was also looking for another treasure: a spring of water that would make a person stay young forever.
This legendary "fountain of youth" provides us with a model that can help us understand our motive for witnessing to the unbelieving world around us.
Let us imagine that we are wandering in a deserted place and we come to a spring bubbling out of the ground. It is not water, and when we taste it, we discover it is pure love.
The fact that it is love will affect us in two ways. First, we will never want to leave it. But the second effect will be that we will want to tell everyone where it is. If it were oil or even the fountain of youth, we might want to keep it to ourselves, but because it is love, we will have the strong desire to share it.
This is the imagery that Paul uses in these verses. One translation of verse 14 says, "the love of Christ leaves us no choice." We have tasted the pure love of God. We will never want to leave it, but we will also now love everyone so much that we must tell them where they too can drink of this love.
- 6 AUGUST -