On the Romans Road – September
Our excursion through the book of Romans continued in chapter 8 in September. This was made all the more wonderful by the fact we were able to study this while meeting together again at last!
God’s Stunning Love
When was the last time you paused to consider the depth of God’s love for you? As Stuart Townend penned for us:
How deep the Father’s love for us! How vast beyond all measure;
That He should give His Only Son, to make a wretch His treasure.
Paul is pondering in his spirit this same love, asking “what then shall we say to these things?” What could we possibly fear? What could stumble us? In v35 he lists seven things that we would all wish to avoid. But Paul’s point is that when we weigh these things next to God stunning love for us, they are trivial.
What are the things that are on your mind this morning, or whenever you’re reading this? I know things are challenging right now. Things are difficult for virtually everybody, and more difficult for some than for others. Some people experience greater tribulation than others; some greater distress. I want to urge you — and myself! — to ponder afresh the stunning love of God.
- God did not spare His only Son. Why? Because of His love for YOU. He wanted to save you.
- God has given the most valuable thing He could: His Son. How on earth could we think, therefore, that He would withhold anything else that would be good for us?
- Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. His resurrection is a foreshadowing of that which is promised us. You and I will rise from the dead, never to die again. What then is there to fear? Who could be against us?
- Jesus Christ is praying for you and for me, right now. When we feel weak, Jesus intercedes. He knows and has experienced the same weaknesses we have; His compassion is perfect, just as is His power. What greater prayer warrior could we desire?
The love of God is IMMENSE, and it is directed towards you.
More Than Conquerors
Paul uses this phrase in the ESV translation to describe our relationship to the world, and the worst that it can throw at us. It’s fascinating to see how other translation teams have tried to express the language Paul used here. One said: “we are winning a most glorious victory.” Another “we are triumphantly victorious.”
How many times a day do you feel like you are winning a most glorious victory? Maybe don’t answer that. Does that mean the Word of God is failing? Of course not. How often do you think that the Romans under Emperor Nero felt like they were triumphantly victorious?
This word becomes fulfilled when the trials we experience cause us to run towards our God. When the enemy brings hardship, and those hardships drive us to prayer and worship, rather than despair and turmoil, we are more than conquerors.
This isn’t easy! We saw that even the psalmists struggled. What they needed to learn, and what we need to learn, is that we can choose how we respond to hardship. Making the right choice begins with the choice to turn to God, in prayer and through the Word, remembering His stunning love for us.
As far as Paul is concerned, nothing can separate us from God’s loving plans for our good. He is convinced of it. He would pray that we have the same heart and spirit. And, of course, this is the same as Christ Jesus prays on our behalf, even now as you read this.