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Are you persuaded?

Recently in our blogs, we have been looking at Paul’s amazing writings in Romans 8. We continue our thoughts in verse 35 where we read, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conqueror through Him who loved us,” (Rom.8:35-37 NASB). I want us to briefly look today at the first phrase of that paragraph which reads again, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”, then we’ll look at the remaining verses in more detail in the future (Lord willing). Some of my readers will remember the first time you fell in love. Maybe, in fact, you’re married to the person that you fell in love with the first time, I would suggest to you that when you were falling in love you thought very much and very exclusively about the person that was in your heart. Think with me about the reality of falling in love with Jesus.

In this verse Paul refers to “the love of Christ”, but what is that love? Is Paul referring to our love for Christ or our sense of Christ’s love for us or is he referring to Jesus’s genuine love for us, not to our sense of Christ’s love for us or our love for Him? I believe Paul is referring to the amazing and genuine love of the Lord Jesus Christ for each of His children. Having shown us that God’s love is so great that no one can accuse us or harm us the apostle now asserts the permanence of that love under all adverse circumstances. Earlier Paul had described Jesus as our judge, but now he describes Him as the lover of our souls. And he demonstrates that by Christ’s love for us we have obtained victory over all adversaries. As we seek to live out day-to-day world our Christian witness for the Lord Jesus Christ, remember it is God’s desire to shape us and mold us into the likeness and image of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

But you may ask, “is it possible for us to fail?” As a result of the trials and temptations of this life, we may fall away from following the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament doesn’t promise believers in Jesus a life of ease and comfort, in fact just the opposite is true. Yes, all our love for Jesus may fail or we may fall into a backslidden state, but Jesus’s love is never going to fail and that is the basis of our security. We may think as we go through struggles or difficulties that God has forsaken us and has stopped loving us, but God allows difficulties and trials into our lives so that we may grow in faith and trust in Him. God is also very interested in using the trials we go through to minister to other people in the future (2 Cor.1:2-5), nothing is to be wasted in God’s grand scheme of things. But in the face of afflictions, we may think God has withdrawn His affections for us, certainly, that was Job’s experience. But God is never more affectionate towards us than when we are going through a painful life issue. God’s love reaches beyond our trials and is not limited or confined to even our present life circumstances. This is an important note to make because God is the one who can honor us beyond anything that we can imagine on the other side of glory. In fact, Paul highlights that when he writes, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” (Rom.8:18 NASB). Understand for certain that this life is not all there is and that God has a great future for those who wait upon the Lord and serve Him even in the face of difficulties and challenges. The thought of God loving us this much is an amazing thought to consider, I hope you will take some time to meditate on the fact that the God of the universe loves you beyond anything that you can even imagine. What an amazing and gracious God we serve.

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Rich

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