“ For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:”  2 Corinthians 5:14-18.

We live with a real family that has real problems and real conflict. But why should we care if they are not our problems? Why should we put our own self-interests aside and forgive the other person? Why should I reconcile with somebody who is to blame for the conflict? The answer is found in the passage above: “For Christ’s love compels us…”

What would be different if love compelled your life?  What would our life be like if Christ’s love compelled us? What if the love of Christ requires, drives, obliges, urges, surrounds, and resides in us. It would be like we didn’t have a choice. “I love you so I have to forgive and reconcile with you. I had to speak to you. I had to find a way to share your burden. I had to put the past in the past.” It’s not just any love in us. It’s Christ’s love.

It was love that made Jesus perfectly obedient to the Father. Love was how Jesus summed up all of the law of the Old Testament. Matthew 22:37-40 says, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Love caused Jesus to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free. (Luke 4:18)  Love caused Jesus to heal many who had various diseases. (Mark 1:34)  Love caused Jesus to give sight to the blind. (Matthew 9:27-31)  Love caused Jesus to weep for Lazarus. (John 11:35)  Love caused Jesus to wash his disciples’ feet. (John 13:1-17)  And love caused Jesus to humble himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)

What would my life look like if love had the first and last word in everything I did? What if every word, every thought, every act was compelled by the love of Christ? I find that my actions are compelled by a variety of motives: fear, duty, pride, ignorance, apathy…I could go on. But what if the love of Christ was my primary motivation? What would my life and my family life look like? Would there be any conflict in the family> 

Discussion Questions:

  1. How much you love and obey God depends on how much you believe He loves you. Agree or disagree?
  2. How does Christ’s love compel you?
  3. Do you think that the phrase “Christ’s love compels us” is for all followers of Jesus, or just some?
  4. Pray and ask God to help you grow in love.