Romans 8:38-39; “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Colossians 3:12-13 describe some of the Christian attributes including, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing and forgiving each other in love.
What a wonderful life Christians have, knowing and living in God’s perfect, unobstructed compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing and forgiving each other! Since nothing can separate us from these things, Christians should be the happiest, most joyous people in the world. Why aren’t they?
It is because we as Christians do not focus on God, but on our circumstances. We choose to react to how others treat us rather than God’s blessings for us. Why would we focus on the broken people that surround us instead of the perfect love and peace that comes from above? No good reason. When we focus on people and their brokenness, we perpetuate that brokenness through our negative reaction to them.
Today let us focus on the blessings God has promised, not the world’s miserable distractions!
Who could possibly be big enough to thwart God and His love toward us? People, demons, the devil himself? Not a chance.
But, do we really believe we are continual recipients of God’s love? Here is how we can tell. When we act unloving to anybody (even our enemies), it is because we feel unloved.
If we cannot be separated from God’s love, why do so many people feel unloved? It is because people have trouble, hardships, persecution, money problems, feel they are in danger, and even threatened (see Romans 8:36). Having these things in our lives certainly distracts us from experiencing God’s love. But Paul wrote, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39. Paul was convinced because he believed the Word of God rather than his circumstances. If we are not walking in love to all of the people around us, we are showing that we do not have faith that God’s Word is true and His love is never failing.
Today, let’s sweep fear, anger, doubt, and anxiety away. Let’s meditate on God’s unfailing love until our hearts burst forth with love and compassion for the weak and frustrated souls that God puts in our path.
God is so good that He protects us in the face of attack. Romans 8:33 “Who can bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.” God is perfect in judgment and he declares us guilt-free! Who could go to God and say, “Even though you have declared someone righteous, I find fault with them and therefore you must find fault?” It cannot be done. We cannot be charged guilty by anyone after God passes a not-guilty verdict.
Romans 8:34 goes on to state, “Who can condemn?” Jesus was the one who was condemned for us. In fact, Jesus is sitting at God’s right hand interceding for us! What better position can we be in? We cannot be accused or condemned by anyone after the Great Judge pronounces us free!
The strangest part of this is, if we cannot be accused or condemned, why do we do it to others? We rejoice in God’s wide-open arms toward us, shouldn’t we do the same for those God forgives and welcomes? Think about that. What if the church forgave and welcomed into their heart everyone that God forgave and welcomed? That church would be transformational.
Romans 8:29 states that God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. God has a lofty goal for us. Do we walk like, talk like, act like Jesus? It would be glorious to walk in that power of God. We need to be conformed to that image.
How is clay formed into an image? The clay has to be pressed into all the of the details of the mold. If the clay is stiff, there is a lot more work to get the clay to form into the pattern. If the clay is soft, the process is much easier.
The question for us is, how stiff are we? It seems to me, the more stiff we are, the harder the Master has to push on us to get us to conform to the image of Jesus. We need to be workable in the Kingdom. The harder we are to be shaped, the more painful the shaping.
So, whenever we are being pushed, we need to allow ourselves to be sensitive to the Spirit’s nudging. Unfortunately, sensitivity is not easy to come by. We can be self-willed, and stubborn, demanding our rights.
I do not like the pain in the pushing. Today I commit to being soft in the Master’s hand!
One of our favorite verses is Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” NASB. (emphasis mine)
Paul must be speaking in faith in this verse where he says, “we know”. Because we do not “know”. At least we sure do not act like we “know” it. If we knew God is using all things in our lives for good, there would not be anything in our lives “bad”. Yet we complain about a multitude of things in our lives that are worrisome, frustrating, aggravating. We complain about people’s attitudes and actions. We whine about our lack of finances. We worry about the future of our jobs, family, society, etc.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we “knew” that God was working everything that happens in our lives for our good? We could wake everyday with joy and great anticipation the good things we will learn and grow into. In fact, if everything is working for my good, it would be impossible for me to fail. That is a reason to be joyful today!
Who do you know that is a great person? We can name people in the past like Abraham Lincoln, the Apostle Paul, Sir Isaac Newton. Who do we know personally to be a great person? I have a pastor friend that I consider a great person. I admire this man and his wife greatly. Their kindness, sensitivity, spiritual insight, zeal, are all inspirational to me. I want to be like them. I think about my decisions in light of what they may think or say. Almost daily great people like them steer my life.
What does this do to me? It makes me better. Knowing these kinds of people motivate me work harder, pray more, and follow my Savior more closely. They have an amazing amount of influence on my life. I can’t tell them the depth of my admiration. But they seem to know.
My final question is, How can we be great people? Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”