2 CORINTHIANS 5:14–15 – For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
THEME OF THE DAY: CONTROLLED BY CHRIST’S LOVE. Today’s scripture defines the goal every Christian is to pursue in living the Christian life – to be under the control of Christ’s love. It is His love that rules and directs our lives that enables us to live no longer for ourselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. The scriptural evidence we are living under the control of Christ’s love is plentiful but let’s identify three from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church.
First, Christians living under the control of Christ’s love will speak the truth in love – Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ (Ephesians 4:15). A Christian who speaks truth but not in love uses the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, in a hurtful, cutting way. And no amount of service for the Lord will be acceptable without love – If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
A second affirmation from the book of Ephesians that we are living life controlled by Christ’s love is in the quality of our speech – Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29). When Jesus entered His public ministry, reading the scroll from the prophet Isaiah, it was said, “The people marveled because He spoke gracious words” (Luke 4:22). All speech, even speech used to address sin or provide correction to someone is to be firm, truthful, in love, and for building up. The speech coming forth from a person living under the control of Christ’s love is not impulsive, given to anger, and wants to be a blessing not causing harm.
Finally living under the control of God’s love makes a person kind, gentle, and quick to forgive any offenses – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32). To be controlled by Christ’s love is to become like Christ. Our Lord was kind, gentle, tenderhearted, and quick to forgive. People who know us will witness these traits in and from us. And they will be seeing an accurate representation of the Lord Jesus, the God who is love.
PRAYER: “Father, teach me to walk under the control of Your Son’s love.”
QUOTE: “The Christian life is summarized by pursuing Christ to be controlled by Christ.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,