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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Either way, Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.”— 2 Corinthians 5:14 (NLT)
Have you ever been compelled to do something? I have! A few years ago, I was watching an infomercial for the Masterbuilt Butterball Indoor Turkey Deep Fryer. It looked so amazing—easy to use, safe, and the turkey looked delicious. I was compelled to buy the fryer. Best. Decision. Ever!
But I have also been compelled to do other things, like stopping to help a family involved in a car accident, donating money for kids in crisis, ordering a pizza after seeing an ad, and buying the latest iPhone because I needed to have a bigger screen.
What’s my point? I am susceptible to compelling ads! Sometimes I feel like a puppet controlled by the strings of advertisers.
The apostle Paul wrote that the love of Christ Jesus controlled (or compelled) Him to be a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). The Greek word for control is synechei, which means “to hold together, to hold fast, to be seized by; to be urged to; to excite.”
Theologian Albert Barnes commented, “Here it means that the impelling, or exciting motive in the labors and self-denials of Paul, was the love of Christ . . . Christ so loved the world as to give himself for it . . . And we, being urged by the same love, are prompted to like acts of zeal and self-denial to save the world from ruin.”
The love of God had so taken hold of Paul that He became like a puppet in the hands of the ultimate puppet master. He moved where Christ led and lived as Christ lived. He became an ambassador in the truest sense—a representative—authorized to speak as Christ’s emissary, imitating our Savior and mirroring His love, grace, and truth to us.
The love of God compelled him to extraordinary zeal. He was so impacted by the love Christ demonstrated in dying for all people that he did whatever it took to preach the message of Christ. He was compelled to go the extra mile. And just like it did for Paul, we too, should be compelled to be controlled by Christ, to live as He lived, love as He loves, serve as He served, and walk as He walked . . . which means always going the extra mile for people.
DIG: Read 2 Corinthians 5.
DISCOVER: Is your life being controlled by Christ? Are you being compelled to move where He directs? Are you saying the things He wants you to say and doing the things He wants you to do? If you’re not sure, compare how you’re living to the way Jesus lived, the way Paul lived. Is your life in line with the Bible?
DISPLAY: Ask the Lord to help you be more like Him. Pray that you will be able to hear from Him more clearly and feel the movement of His Spirit, that you may experience the compulsion of Christ to carry out His will and live in accordance with His Word.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.