Compelling Love

September 27, 2023

Compelling Love

In the song “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast, Lumiere expresses his joy in serving. He says, “we only live to serve,” and “life is so unnerving for a servant whose not serving.” What a great attitude! Lumiere the candlestick and the rest recognized that they were servants and if they were not serving others using their abilities, life was less than full. To the world that may sound a little crazy, but to the Christian this is the only way to live; for Jesus’ love compels us to do so.

As Paul is being challenged in his ministry from the Corinthian church, he explains to them what compels him—Jesus’ love. Paul says (2 Cor. 5:14–15 (ESV)), “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Jesus’ love in death compelled Paul to live for Him.

When people love you it is touching and even motivating to want to reciprocate. But when Jesus loved you on the cross, it was more than touching and motivating; it was compelling and controlling of our entire lives. He took responsibility for your sins on the cross. He took the blame, the punishment, the pain, and died in your place. How could we not be controlled by such love!

After coming to know and believe in Jesus’ love we are never the same. Jesus’ love doesn’t just warm our hearts, it changes them. And it changes them into His servants. This is not a burden, but our joy and delight. Jesus’ love in death changes everything. It changes our guilt. It changes what controls us. It changes our lives as we live now to serve Him and not ourselves. It is natural for the Christian to join Lumiere and say, “we only to live to serve,” yet direct that saying to Jesus, to the glory of God the Father.

Think about Jesus’ love for you in His death this week. Let that be what compels and controls you to serve Him and others. Let us not live for ourselves, but for Jesus who died and rose again.