Friday, May 22, 2009

Devotions: The Power of Love

Good morning folks. We are still working on Romans 8. After much difficult foundation laying Paul is now giving us some incredible truths to encourage us in our walk. He had to take us through the dark valley in order that we would appreciate the significance of the truth:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. v. 28

Notice here that God's love for us is truly transforming but they key to unlocking teh transformation is our love for him. He can love a sinner with all his might but until that sinner chooses to love God nothing changes. But how awesome is it for those who do love him? Look at this, he uses all things, not just some things, but all things for the good of those who love him.

Look at the significance of what he has done for us:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. vv. 29-30

Do not get lost in the word predestined. In this sense it means that he predetermined our salvation. Who did he predetermine this for? For those he foreknew. Who did he foreknow? Everyone. Remember that it is the "whosoever" believes will be saved. So he has called us all to salvation. Those who respond he then justifies. What does this mean? A simplified version is that he makes everything right between him and that sinner. Sins are forgiven, strength is provided, he declares them righteous, they are given new "clothes" to wear, he gives them the ability to see, hear and understand. Those he justified will also receive his glory which simply dumbfounds me. How can we go fom trash ti being lorified by God?

The next few verses are great and significant but in the interest in time I just want to touch on one major point:

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? v. 31

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? v. 33

Who is he that condemns? v. 34

The sad fact is that there are a lot of people who will come against us in our walk. There will lots of people who will charge us with things that God has forgiven and forgotten. There are a lot of people who will condemn us. Paul is not saying this will not happen. He is saying that they are of no significance because our relationship with the Father is what matters. The forgiveness provided us through Jesus Christ is what matters. With God for us it really doesn't matter who is against us, so stop allowing them to effect your walk. Paul is strong on this point:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? v. 35

Now that we found him are we really going to allow such trivial things to try to separate us from him? Some people lose their salvation over such insignificant things and yet others find themselves strengthening this relationship in face face of terrible adversity. How much do you love Jesus Christ? How much do you love the Spirit? Are you in love with the Father? There is no other way it is going to work. You must be obedient to the greatest commandment. It is then that you begin to understand the determination behind these words:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 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. vv. 37-39

I want you to remember this today. No matter what your day contains there is nothing greater or more significant than the fact that the Father loves you. It is through this love that you will be able to overcome every obstacle in your day.

God bless.

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