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  • Wayne Hoag

For & Of...There is a Difference

Though I have served the Lord Jesus for the past 49 years, 44 of those years as a pastor in His Church, I am ever amazed how God reveals Himself in fresh and new ways through very familiar portions of His Word. This morning, it was the revelation of the difference between the words for and of.

No matter how long one has walked with Christ there is a tendency in the human heart to try and earn things for which Christ has made the payment in full. There are times that I have tried to obey Christ’s commands out of the love for Him that fills my heart. But, alas, I have found myself failing because my love for Him, no matter how great is not strong enough.

In II Corinthians 5:14, the Apostle Paul says, “For the love of Christ controls us…” Notice, he did not say that he was controlled by his love for Christ. Of this verse, Oswald Chambers wrote, “Paul says that he is overruled, overmastered, held as in a vise by the love of Christ.” J.B. Phillips, in his translation of the New Testament, put it this way, “…for the very spring of my actions is the love of Christ.”

I do not find the power to live victoriously in my love for Christ but in His love for me. No one can consistently stand for Jesus who is not controlled by the majesty of His personal power.

When the wonder and awe of what Jesus has personally done for the believer breaks on one’s heart, they will know that His redemptive power makes all things possible, our salvation, our sanctification, our righteousness, as well as our ability to faithfully follow Him. It is all Him! When we allow the Spirit of God to make these things real to our hearts everything changes! It is not about my personal efforts; they get me nowhere. It is about believing what He has done for me and what He says about the completeness of that work. I can add nothing to what Christ has done, except to fall at His feet in humble submission and there be empowered by His love for me.

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