19 May 2009

More Love to Thee II – 5.19.09

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

According to Webster's 1828, to be constrained is to be:

  • urged irresistibly or powerfully
  • compelled; forced
  • restrained; confined; bound; imprisoned
  • necessitated

Here's a question to think on for a minute. What is it that causes you do what's right? What keeps you living right? What's behind your commitment to the Savior?

  • Character – doing right because it's right
  • Good sense – understanding the principle of sowing and reaping
  • Process of elimination – nothing else you've tried seems to work
  • Love – He's worth everything I can possibly give
Obviously, there's some merit in each of these, but we'd have to agree that the best and most enduring motivation is that of love (Song of Solomon 8:7).

To me, the constraining love of the 2 Corinthians 5 passage is not my love for Christ but rather the love of Christ for me. Yes, a love for Christ is what is needed to overcome temptation (James 1:12). But any love I have for Him has to spring from the unfathomable love He continues to shed abroad in my heart (Romans 5:5).

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

So as we seek to increase our level of love for our wonderful Savior, let's remember to have the proper perspective of:

  • Our sin and its rightful penalty…we are forgiven much
  • The amazing love God showed in bringing us forgiveness and deliverance…the love of Christ constrains us

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