Thursday, April 21, 2011

Glory and Love in the Storm

Romans 8:34 Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for He is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us

When I first read this verse, my thought was "Wow...this verse really makes it seem all about me" He died for me, was raised to life for me and is sitting next to God, pleading for me. But then I asked WHY?

Why did Christ die for me? To give God ultimate glory.

Why was Christ raised to life for me? To give God ultimate glory.

Why is He sitting next to God pleading for me (Romans 8:26)? To give God ultimate glory.

God is the one who all of this is for. Him and Him alone. When I start turning the gospel onto myself, self righteousness sets in. I somehow think that I am worthy of being saved. That is so far from the truth. God's glory and mercy is revealed BECAUSE he saved me when I wasn't worthy.
"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:7-8) That verse struck a cord with me. I'm not righteous, I'm not even GOOD. But while I was still filthy with my own sin God sent his son to die for me.
Since God did that I'm no longer under condemnation for my sins. According to God they are wiped clean. Do they still exist? Yes. I'm not going around pretending I'm sinless. But I have confidence that my sins are forgiven, past, present and future. This doesn't give me a free ride to go and sin more and not care about consequences. My love of God spurs my desire to obey his laws. Even this should not be. I'm still working on my feelings dictating whether or not I will obey God. I want to obey him EVEN when I feel he's not there.

Romans 8:35 Can anything ever seperate us from Christ's love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity or are persecuted or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?

Welcome, dear friends, to a snapshot of the Christian life. It's not easy. Thankfully God loves us through ALL circumstances. My thought is that when Paul wrote this to the Roman church, he had a story for every situation mentioned above. He went through it all for the Gospel.
Nothing this life throws at us can make God love us any less. Thank. You. GOD.
This also brings to the surface our (and when I say our I mean mine) habit of comparing ourselves to others. Seeing the blessings poured out upon close friends and aquaintances and wonder what we did for God not to bless us with that. Just because God loves you and that you've been adopted into His family doesn't mean you will be rich and healthy the rest of your days. If anything you are MORE susceptible to the storms of this life. Satan and his compatriots will try even harder to tear you away from the Father. That is why God gives us His armor (Ephesians 6:10-20) to battle everyday life.
Jesus doesn't promise the absence of sin, suffering and persecution but rather he promises us his love and presence to overcome these things.

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