"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" (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, ESV).
This morning, on the 12th Day of our dedication, I want to ask you a focusing question: What is controlling you? To help you understand what is controlling you, I want to ask a series of other questions. What is guiding your emotions? What is informing your worldview? What is telling you how you should feel? What is telling you how you should act or react? If our answers are anything other than the love of Christ, then we need to ask the Lord for His help to have His love control us.
Why is this so important? Not simply because Christians are the light of the world. Not only because we need to set a good example for those around us. Those are good reasons. But the reason it is so important for the love of Christ to control us is because we are made in God's image. We are made in His likeness. Meaning, we are supposed to be like Him. We are at our best when we are like Him! Let us never forget that God is love (1 John 4:8). This is why it is so important for us to let the love of Christ control us! We are not to be controlled by the enemy, this world, our feelings or our failures; we are to be controlled by His love alone.
When we read the passage carefully, we see that if we are controlled by His love, we have proof we no longer live for ourselves but for Him! As we take part in this dedication and recalibrate our thoughts and hearts toward Him, let's allow the love of Christ to control us. Let's ask the Holy Spirit to rewire our brains and hearts to be naturally geared to the love of Christ. There is no better way to start 2021! As we dedicate ourselves to Him fully in prayer, Bible reading, worship, fasting, fellowship, etc., let's do so in faith, believing that we will be controlled, constrained and compelled by the love of Christ alone.
-Pastor Tim Escamilla