II Corinthians 5:8-21 “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Text I John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us.”
Writing to the saints at Corinth, Paul said, “For the love of Christ constraineth us.” “Constraineth” means to arrest, compel, to keep in. From the definition, we discover that “the love of Christ” can not only convert us, but it can control us! When we love Him it controls our work. In verses 8-10, we’re reminded of the judgment seat of Christ; a day when each one will give an account of our deeds. Love causes us to want to do our very best because we want to please the one who gave His life for us. Love controls our witness. In verses 18-21, Paul reminds us that we have been given the gospel and as His ambassadors we are to tell all men that Christ loved them, died for them, and will save them if they will put their faith in Him. Love has arrested our heart, compelled us to conform to His will, and keeps us in the way. When we really love Him, love takes control. Having called the disciples to come and dine, Jesus asked Peter, “lovest thou me?” (John 21:15-17). Peter answered, “Yea Lord” and Jesus said “feed”; Peter was given a task to perform, a command to be obeyed, and a work to do. Jesus wanted Peter to understand that love is not a word that passes through our lips, but a truth exhibited in our life! If you really love the Lord; love will take control of your life and not just your lips. Love; it’s not just an announcement, it’s an action!