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Controlled by Love

“The love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died.” 2 Corinthians 5:14

“The desire to change isn’t exclusively Christian. Everyone, Christina and non-Christian alike, wants to change. That’s why bookstores are filled with self-help books and meeting halls are filled with people trying to overcome addictions to everything from gambling to pornography to shopping. Everyone wants to get better, to approve of herself, to have the respect of others, to be mentally “healthy,” to keep her family together, to learn to be productive. Christians don’t usually say, “I want to approve of my record.” Instead they say things like “I want to feel good about myself,” or “I know that this weakness of mine doesn’t please God, and I’m so embarrassed.” But there’s a problem here for us: self-improvement isn’t a Christian construct; death and resurrection are.”

“God isn’t interested in self-improvement regiments. He isn’t impressed by our resolutions to do better, to get those devotions in, pass out tracts, cut down on our online time by fifteen minutes every day, or fast from shopping channels during Lent. In fact, he isn’t impressed with us at all. He’s impressed by his Son. He’s impressed with the perfect life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus the Christ, his beloved Son. He’s impressed with his love… Here’s the crux of the matter: you shouldn’t hope to be impressed with yourself…”

“We who live in Christ are no longer to live for ourselves, not even for our good record, our family’s approval, or our clean conscience. We are to live for him who for our “sake died and was raised” (2 Cor. 5:15).

Lenten devotion from Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Day 27.

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