8/9 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

If you were sentenced to death, and someone tried to befriend you whom you had ignored in the past, even rebuffed at times, and then voluntarily stepped into the execution chamber in your place, how indebted would you be to that person? Could you go on as if it didn't happen? But what if you discovered that person was God in the flesh, your Creator? For Paul there was even a greater sense of grace and love, for he had been persecuting the followers of Jesus.

Such love and mercy showered on Paul caused a great sense of gratitude to surge in his heart. His love for the One who could be so gracious to him now controlled his every action. All that he did was for the love of Christ. He died with Christ and no longer lived for himself, but for the One who died and was raised.

It wasn't only for Paul that Christ died, but for all. We've all been shown great mercy, for we are all by nature rebels against God with a death sentence on our heads. We were living for ourselves. Christ came to set us free from that bondage so that we might discover why we were created. It is to live for Christ, for His glory, in response to His great love. Have you died with Him? Does the love of Christ control you?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help my heart to grasp the greatness of Your love. Let my every action be a response to that great love that You have showered on me.