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Today’s 333 Devotional: “The Constraining Love of Christ”
“For the love of Christ constrains us.” (2 Corinthians 5:14a)
Some texts use the word, “control,” while other use the word, “compel.” And as you can see, they are completely different. But let me make this observation, and both are equally correct when it comes to our response to Christ’s love for us, that then causes us to love Christ.
Now, the definition to constrain, can mean to control, which literally means to hold together and to restrain and restrict. In the 3rd century BC, was used for someone that was obliged to stay somewhere longer than he or she wanted to. In other words, they were detained.
And so, from this definition, the love of Christ for us controls and restricts our speech and actions where we want nothing more than to glorify God in all that we do.
The other definition means to compel, that is, to urge onward, to compel by force, to drive forward, to press on, and even to excite to action.
It is this second definition that fits the grammar Paul used. We see this idea from what Paul said in Romans 1:15-16. “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.”
And so, why was the Love of Christ constraining him, it was as he concluded this thought saying, “That if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14b-15 NKJV)
What constrained him, and what should be constraining us is the knowledge that Jesus Christ loved us so much that He died the death that we deserve, so that we can then die to ourselves and live for Him.
Wednesday Evening Bible Study