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.
– 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NASB
Everything on earth is temporary. Look around you; verify it for yourself. Even our lives are temporary. Upon what fixed point, therefore, can we stabilize our existence? Upon the love of Christ.
In this his second letter to the believers in the city of Corinth, Paul names “the love of Christ” as the controlling factor in their lives. It’s what bound them together.
Paul is reminding these believers that the love of Christ is seen first in Christ laying down His life for the sinners of the world – present company included. Why didn’t He lay down His life for righteous people? There weren’t any. And there still aren’t. Most people today who think themselves righteous arrive at that opinion by comparing themselves to someone they deem less righteous than themselves. Pretty clever, eh? It won’t work with God. He doesn’t judge us like that. He compares us to Himself, and in that comparison, He’s the only one who comes out looking righteous.
As Paul said in one of his other letters:
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
– Romans 5:8 NASB
This then is the love of Christ. He loved us enough to die on the cross for our sins.
Being loved by Him, it is only natural that we should believe in His love…and return it. As the apostle John wrote:
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
– 1 John 4:11 NASB
This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
– 1 John 3:23 NASB
And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
– 1 John 4:21 NASB
Thus does “the love of Christ control us.” Is there any other force by which you would prefer to be controlled?
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, I know that you do not expect me to like or enjoy every person I encounter in life, but You do expect me to love every person. Please open my eyes and show me when I’m being controlled by forces other than Your love…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.