CONTROLLED BY THE SPIRIT
2 Cor. 5:14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;
The love of God is real, it can be felt, you could say, it is tangible. Can you remember when God’s love became more than just a trite saying, it actually became a reality in your life? I remember, how could I ever forget, the day that I was sitting at my kitchen table in Slidell, Louisiana, looking at the lone picture on the wall. It was a scene overlooking the old city of Jerusalem. In the foreground was the Savior, He was hanging on the cross. His blood was pouring down on the ground. For the first time it struck me, it was God’s love for me that kept Jesus on that cross. If you had asked me before, I would have given the correct answer. I would have said that Jesus had died for my sins but, in actuality, that truth was not real to me. Most people know that Jesus died for their sins. But now everything was different, it was my sins He died for, His death had become personal. He had died for me because He had loved me. Now I was beginning to get it, I was being captured by the love of God. Adam Clarke spoke about the effect His love has upon our lives, listen to his powerful words.
“For the love of Christ controls us – We have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, and this causes us to love God intensely, and to love and labor for the salvation of men. And it is the effect produced by this love which bears us away with itself, which causes us to love after the similitude of that love by which we are influenced; and as God so loved the world as to give his Son for it, and as Christ so loved the world as to pour out his life for it, so we, influenced by the very same love, desire to spend and be spent for the glory of God, and the salvation of immortal souls. By the fear of God the apostles endeavored to persuade and convince men, and the love of Christ constrained them so to act.”
I love what Clarke says about God’s love, it causes us to love God intensely. This is what praise and worship is all about. Worship is not a style of music, it is the unleashing of the pent up love of God in our souls. I love Him, literally, because He first loved me. Secondly Clarke said that we love Him after the “similitude” of the love that influences us. What he meant was this, God’s love produces in us a love for lost souls, the very same love that is in Christ, the love that took Him to the cross. That love controls us and causes us to do all we can to win people to Christ. Yep, the love of Jesus is tangible. It has effected me for these last thirty eight years in a tangible way. It produces in all of us an intense love for God that has to spill over, it spills over in worship and it spills over in evangelism. Have you spilled over lately?