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2 Corinthians 5: 14 – 15      (CSB)

For the love of Christ compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If one died for all, then all died. And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.

There are two pieces of this scripture, as I see it. Dying with Christ and living for him. Jesus died for us all, we know that, and our sinful selves were crucified with him. Thank God! Then, there is life after death, this life we now live in our mortal bodies is a life after our crucifixion and burial with Christ. Paul believed that the love of Christ compels this conclusion and compels us. Do you agree? Paul writes that because Jesus died for us, we no longer live for ourselves, but for him. Are we compelled by our conclusions and beliefs to live our lives for Christ?

Frankly, it is a privilege to live for Christ. I praise God that we can live our lives in and through Christ, but I believe this verse raises some large and rather personal questions. Do I actually feel compelled by his sacrifice to live for him rather than for myself? And if this compulsion is present in my thoughts and heart, have I followed through on it? What does it even mean to live no longer for myself but for the one who died for me and who was raised?

It is only in Christ that we have life at all. We were raised with him, sanctified and redeemed. Life without Christ is no life at all but as I ponder my life and the lives of other Christians, I find myself wondering if we do much justice to his sacrifice. Do I honor his sacrifice by truly living my life in and through him? Or is he an afterthought at the end of my day? What does life look like between morning devotions and evening prayers? Is the life I give him what he bargained for at the cross?

As I pose these questions, the answers are all too obvious and I fear I fall far short of the goal. I give him and those he died for so little when he gave me his all. I also find myself lamenting the lack of zeal in my generation. We seem to have fallen asleep at the wheel. I wonder what legacy we will have to give to the next generation of believers. Will they be even more apathetic than we? What can we do, no what can I do, to awaken an entire generation to the glorious life we could have in Christ? How can we stir up the gift inside of us, as Paul counseled Timothy, so that our passion is ignited?

I pray, in the name of the anointed one, that as we bask in the Christmas Spirit, something will happen within each of us so that every soul will be touched and renewed. I pray that we will share in Jesus this season and that his Spirit will kindle something within us so that we burn for him as never before. May your heart and spirit be blessed with the grace and love of the Lord Jesus, and may his life and light burn within you as an unquenchable fire. Bless the Lord, oh my soul. Bless the Lord, all you saints. Amen.

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