Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:1-21
Observation: Paul focuses on how we will live eternally in heaven after this life is over. He addresses how putting our faith in Jesus allows us to enter into new life with him. He finishes by reminding us what a gift it is that Jesus died for our sins as reconciliation.
Application: Any other control freaks out there? Raise your virtual hands (in a controlled and orderly manner)! I’m with you.
Control is intoxicating. It helps us feel safe, powerful, and comfortable. It helps quell our worries about what will happen next. Control provides certainty…until the moment that it doesn’t.
Despite our focused efforts, our nimble manipulation to ensure things go our way, our disciplined approach towards planning, we can’t control every aspect of our lives. The instant we believe we can, something happens that quickly reminds us that we truly can’t – our kid catches a nasty cold (despite our best attempts to bathe them in hand sanitzer), somebody rear ends us on the way to work, a friendship ends unexpectedly – and all of the control we’ve tried to have, all of the certainty we’ve rested in, is gone.
However, there is one thing that can control us and provide certainty today and every day: Christ’s love for us.
“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. He died so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” (verses 14-15)
When we let the love of Jesus control us, everything changes.
We can be certain that this life isn’t all there is, that we’re living for more than what’s temporary. We can be certain we’re made new, that our old ways and desires to sin can be overcome because of Christ living in us. We find certainty in Christ alone.
Guys, there’s so much truth packed into this little passage!
We were separated from God. As Paul says, God “brought us back to himself through Christ.” (verse 18) He reconciled us, no longer counting our sins against us. He looked at lovingly and said, “I’ll no longer let your sin control you. I’ll let the Spirit of the Lord control you.”
Let’s allow the love of Jesus in, let it permeate every part of our lives, inform every action, fill us with unworldly, gracious, generous love.
Prayer: God, I want your love to control me. I pray I’ll make decisions based on your love that fills me. Help me live with you as my certainty today. Amen.