May 29: Controlled by Love

Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-21

“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men . . . For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died” (vv. 11a, 14).

Confidence in death and service in life.

Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians 5 points out that incredible contrast. On the one hand, he was very much aware of exactly how transient his physical body was. The day would come when he would exchange his temporary tent for something lasting, glorious, and eternal. For every follower of Jesus, there need be no doubt of that future heavenly home.

But what about now? While still in this life, Paul was passionate about serving . . . especially about pointing people to the Savior. He wanted to capitalize on every moment and on every opportunity. But did you notice the two things that motivated him? The one was fear; the other was love.

Paul’s “fear” centered on the reality that he along with all other believers would one day appear before the judgment seat of Christ. This is not a judgment in which our eternal destiny is in question. This judgment does not determine heaven or hell. No, this is a judgment for all believers in which our thoughts, motives, words, and actions will come under the scrutiny of Jesus, and we will experience heavenly reward or the lack thereof. The fear of giving account before Christ Himself caused Paul to zealously serve Him. On that day, all of us want to hear words of affirmation and certainly not words of disappointment.

But “love” was the other driving force in his ministry. Having been on the receiving end of the incomparable, unconditional love of Christ, he was compelled to serve, constrained to share that love with others. You see, the love of Christ does not only create a warm feeling within us because we know we are accepted. His love obligates and moves us to share boldly with others. We can do nothing less than share. And we should not be content unless it can be said that we can do nothing more.


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