For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that One has died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. (II Corinthians 5:14-15)

We all have something that is the primary control factor of our lives.  The question is — what is that control factor?  My primary control factor is very much dependent upon my current spiritual condition.  As a believer when I am experiencing a deep, intimate relationship with Christ, a major change occurs on the seat of the affections of my heart.  Christ takes His rightful place there.  When this is the case, I have a new primary control factor — the love of Christ.  As I fellowship with Him, I begin to realize the extent of His love for me.  Not only do I realize it intellectually, but I begin to experience His love emotionally.  His love for me takes over and controls me.

When the love of Christ controls me, I am then enabled to have a different perspective.  I see and experience life through His eyes.  I have  the ability to love others with His unconditional, sacrificial and unending love.  His love motivates me to desire to obey and to please Him.  His love also motivates me to serve Him and to serve others.

We must also realize that all of us are living for someone or something.  When self love is the primary control factor, we live for self as we saw in the last post.  I have selfish motives, ambitions and desires.  I do what seems most pleasurable for me regardless how it affects others.  I develop a pragmatic approach to life — if it works for me, do it.  Right or wrong is not an issue.  What matters is — does it work and produce the results I desire?

But these things are not true for me when Jesus’ love controls me because I begin to live for someone greater than self.  Now it is no longer I living for myself, but rather I live for Him who for my sake died and was raised.  It is not primarily about me; it is about Him.  Now I have new motives, ambitions and desires that are centered in Jesus and not me.  I treat others as Jesus would treat them.  I now operate with principles that please Jesus and not those that work regardless of what is good and right and pleasing to Him.  Now I can truly enjoy God and seek to glorify Him in all that I think, do and feel.  What freedom this gives me!  No longer do I live for self, but I live for Him!

NOTE:  I will be out of the country for the next week and thus unable to continue with the blog until I return.  The next post will deal with true, godly repentance.  Thanks for your prayers while I am away.

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