Motivated by Love

“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.”

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV

After nearly 30 years of marriage, when my wife and I go to leave the house and get into the car it is pure instinct that I walk to the driver’s side and she walks to the passenger side. I make this simple observation as an example of my own desire to drive, not because I think I’m a better driver or that my wife is a dangerous driver, but because I generally want to be in control. I want to drive the car because I want to be in control. In fact, whenever my wife does drive I have sometimes had to fight back the tendency to tell her how she should be driving, again not because she’s a bad driver, but because I have control issues. 

2 Corinthians 5:14 informs us that there is a new driver behind the wheel of our lives after we put our faith in Jesus. Faith is being convinced (you see that word in verse 14) that Jesus is a better driver, with a better destination, and a better way (the only way) of getting us to that place. Believing the good news that Jesus died for sin and was raised from the dead means that we who believe have also died with him and have been raised spiritually to walk in a new life.

Faith in Jesus has unseated self from the drivers seat of our lives. When the old me was in the driver’s seat my life was crashing and burning at almost every turn. I thought I knew where I was going and how to get there, but it turns out I was on a dead end road leading to a major multiple car pile up. Now that Jesus has unseated me his love now drives (motivates) my life. The verse says, “The love of Christ compels us…” The love of Jesus that caused him to lay down the glories of heaven and put on human flesh…the same love that drove him to live a sinless life and die a sinner’s death…the same love that he demonstrated in being scourged and crucified for his enemies…that same love is now moving me (and you, if you have turned from your sin and put on Christ) to live a life toward others that demonstrates the sacrificial, self-denying, Christ-exalting, others-focused love that Jesus lived. 

This is the love that now instinctively walks to the driver’s seat when I put my feet on the floor every morning. The question is this: how often do I (do you) cut him off at the pass and try to insert myself back behind the wheel? My answer? Too often! How about you? Would we pray each morning as we begin our day that we would wake up with humility and yield control of our hearts and our day to the One who not only knows the way, but IS the way?

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