2 Corinthians 5:11-17

            “We are ruled by Christ’s love for us.  We are certain that if one person died for everyone else, then all of us have died.  And Christ did die for all of us.  He died so we would no longer live for ourselves, but for the one who died and was raised to life for us.  We are careful not to judge people by what they seem to be, though we once judged Christ in that way.  Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person.  The past is forgotten, and everything is new” (CEV).
 
            Simple observation:  The Christian’s rule of life is to be love.  Love is the distinguishing mark of the believer in Jesus Christ.  A person filled and ruled by Christ’s love for him/her sees all of life in a new and different way.  Positive confidence and optimism replace negative skepticism and pessimism; grace takes over and trumps the old judgmental spirit; living in the present state and being attentive and mindful of others negates living in the past and holding onto old hurts and animosities.
 
            The person who does not change, refuses transformation of heart, and eschews the renovation of the mind is not being ruled by Christ’s love.  But the person who allows the love of God in Christ through the cross to thaw his/her cold heart into a new white hot passionate life in the Spirit is experiencing the resurrected existence to which we have been called.
 
            Try this today:  monitor your words and actions.  At the end of the day, ask yourself:  Were my words and actions done in love?  What percentage of those words and actions were loving and unloving?  Was I compelled by Christ’s love, or by the love of self?  How can I bring the value of love to be more operative in my behavior and speech?  Who will I share my plan with?
 

 

            Loving God, you demonstrated your love for us through the cross of Jesus.  May my life be so filled with grace that what comes out of my mouth and what is done in my behavior is consistently characterized by love.  Amen.

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