Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Word Choices by Susan L.

  The affirmation for today reads, "I am controlled by the love of Christ." 2 Corinthians 5:14
  "For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died." NKJ
  "Either way, Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe we have all died to our old life." JCB
 
  I baulk a bit at the use of the word "control" in the newer Bible translation. Control negates free will, something God, the Father, gave us right from the get go. Control isn't love. It's subjugation and is entirely against His nature.
  Being compelled to do something on the other hand means we are urged to make the best choice about what we are being asked to do. That same compulsion also shapes how we choose to do it. Being compelled by love is the insistent drive to act in and out of love. Even though it's the best way to live, it's still our choice whether or not we follow the compulsion.
  Without the ability to choose, there would be no need for grace and forgiveness. Both are different facets of God's love. Knowing God's grace means we are compelled to offer the same grace to others.  
  At least, when we are ready.
  Sometimes it takes a while. Wanting to forgive another is often all that is needed because it sets our feet on the right path. It's a conscious choice to walk the Love path of Jesus.
  Choosing to forgive others isn't about them, it's about us, our heart, our walk, and our freedom.
  The Love path is having a relationship with Him. That, too, is about choice and our willingness to embrace change.
  Still, knowing what true Love is and being able to live accordingly are often miles apart. That's where the light of Jesus shines like a beacon, leading us out of the darkness into paths of righteousness, of holiness and love.
  We aren't alone either. Jesus gave us a Helper, the Holy Spirit. He is the indwelling source of compulsion and guidance.
  Even though I embraced Jesus as my Lord, change wasn't instantaneous. It takes His tender tutelage to carefully strip away the layers of the old self that shapes my world view. More than anything, I want it to be a Godly view. This has compelled me to travel the Black River time and again as the profound impact of life events has been explored and truth has been uncovered.
  Because Christ died for me, I can also make the choice to die for Him. My soul hungers to be better than I am, to love better than I could ever do on my own.
  I had taken a mental health break from work to collect my thoughts. Being truly happy and anxiety free for the first time in my life, it was a challenging to be there. I knew I was being selfish, wanting to hang on to the joy like a miser holds onto gold. There's some fear in there, too, that something would happen to steal it from me. Yet, over the past week, I've come to realize that my Joy is my strength. So, feeling refreshed, I can go back and allow it to overflow because I will be filled.
  My joy also has the deepest Foundation. The love of Christ.
  "And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." Eph 4:24

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