For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all,that they who live should no longer live for them-selves,but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:13-15
Control. Most of us bristle at the thought of being controlled. Our country was established to escape unwanted control. Wars are fought to prevent unwanted control in our lives. Many from our communities gave their lives to ensure that their children and grandchildren would not live under unwelcome control and we thank and applaud them. Yet, some control is acceptable to the majority of the population. Laws are established as a reflection of this desire. They are there to maintain this type of control.
Some people passionately embrace control in their personal lives. For example, serious athletes must control their lifestyle in order to accomplish their goals. Our community has had many superb runners who have excelled in their events. This did not happen because they just thought about running. Championships are not won by merely dreaming of crossing the finish line first, they are won by controlling your activities in such a way that you can pour countless hours of your life into training. This type of sacrifice produces extraordinary results in ordinary individuals and we have enjoyed watching the successes that the dedication of these young men and women have brought upon themselves. Our culture admires such zeal.
As Christians we should live as a people controlled, allowing His love for us to so completely overwhelm us that our purpose is found only in Him for in Him is Life. Our love for Christ controlling us to such an extent that we live for Him, for His desires to be accomplished in us and through us, instead of being led by our own impulses and cravings. Living for eternity in love with the Eternal One.
He died expecting us to live for HimHe Himself controlling us- not we controlling ourselves. Of course, our human nature bristles at that thought, yet it is His control of us that propels us into maturity and useful service. Jesus died, not only to provide forgiveness for sin, but also to live through many sons and daughters controlling their very existence that His will would be done in our lives on earth as He rules from His throne in the heavenlies.
People who live in this manner are generally thought of as fanatics or worse. To the person who is not born-again it seems like such a waste of life. To the one born-again it is difficult to live any other way. Loving Him is what it's all about! Life is to live for Jesus. Not saying Yes or agreeing with Him, but loving Him so fully, so completely, that when He asks some- thing of us we say, Of course, Lord. It is our love for Jesus that controls our response. It is a response that springs forth because of the Love that He so freely poured out for you and I when He gave his life on the cross!