I have been burdened with a thought today that won’t seem to let go. Infact, I started writing my regular, ‘what if’ post that I normally add to the blog this time of the week and had to walk away. You see, I really don’t want to make the mistake of writing.. just to write. I want to say something that will touch a heart, bend an ear, and make you think… at least stop and reflect upon the words that are shared here. So, I while I want to be both thorough and regular, I want more than anything to be true to the heart of the real purpose that I write. TO GLORIFY GOD!
I want to ask you this… If God is for us WHO can be against us? If we go to the book of Romans chapter 8 we are hit with a great many truths that, quite frankly, as Christ-followers should be ingrained in the very depth of our character.
- Vs. 1 and 2 remind us that there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, and that living our life in the spirit is freedom and liberty.
- Vs. 5 and 6 encourage us to seek after the things of the spirit, which are life and peace.
- Vs. 11 pronounces that the power of God that resurrected Christ is also within those whose heart He calls home.
- Vs. 17 says that we are not only his children, but joint-heirs with Christ. taking part in both the suffering and the glorifying.
They all deserve a big Yes and Amen! But friends, I wonder if we are really living by the spirit or just walking through the motions sometimes.
The chapter goes on to talk of sufferings and future glories, deliverance from bondage and intercession. It reveals here that God is both searching our hearts and providing a way for us to be drawn near to His heart.
Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to His purposes.
I have never once questioned the goodness of God, that is a solid absolute in my mind and my heart. I know that I know that I know…. HE IS GOOD!
But sometimes I wonder where is the good working itself out, and I am reminded of vs 18, “…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which will be revealed.” We can’t see as He does, we can’t measure or reckon the value of one second of our life in the scope of eternity. So, it is unfounded to ask that question… or is it?
You see I am not questioning God, I am questioning the body of broken believers who find it much easier to revel in the suffering of one another rather than do as Ecclesiasties 4:9-10 says and lift each other up when we fall.
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falls; for he has not another to help him up.”
As a body we are not picking one another up, we are tearing each other down. I can look into the eyes of one who has fallen and see his heart bare for all the world to see and as a believer it is my job to remind him that nothing can separate Him from the Love of God. Instead, that plank.. no the tree… gets itself right up into my view and I am ready to point out all that he has done wrong.
Believe me… he already knows. We don’t need to be the announcer dominating the loudspeaker in life.
What are the scenes which permeate our day?
- I can feel the trembling hands of one whose heart has been shattered by disillusionment and lies, and make a choice to embrace and love with all that is within me, or make a list… pick up a stone… cross the line that is drawn in the sand, if I am REALLY without sin.
- I can watch the tears fall as a life is extinguished and either build up with hope, or begin to label all the faults or reasons for the failure.
- I can listen to the broken repentence that moves me to seek forgiveness of my own sin, or I can harden my heart and pretend that I have nothing to expose.
- I can watch as the faithful give and pour out in obedience, yet are struggling to see the fruit, and continue to pray that God’s blessing would rain fully upon the harvest field, or I can gossip about what must be going on becasue otherwise God would bring the blessing.
Let me remind you of a man named Job and an answer which was given to him as he cried out. In Job 38:4, the Lord answered Job in a whirlwind, it is recorded that He replied, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” It would be worth it to just spend time reading this chapter to contemplate the response of the Lord.
Sometimes in our humanity we just forget that we all are in need of forgiveness, grace and mercy and if we just extend a little bit more then perhaps we could follow through with the walking together a little better. Maybe revival would sweep our towns, cities, and nation if we purposed to pray each other through the hurdles rather than burn one more bridge or break one more hope.
I want to give you something to really ponder today. First I encourage you to read through the 8th chapter of Romans and tarry there for a time. Then go to the last verses and consider what it really means, in Romans 8:37-39 we are reminded why it is so good that we are not qualified to judge or condemn.
“Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things impending and threating, nor things to come, nor powers, No height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Friends, I am writing as a challenge both to myself and to you.. reach out a hand not just to the lost but to the broken in the body who need a hand up and need to know that they have not fallen so fast, far, and deep that God’s love can’t reach down and save them. Let your hearts be softened to the reality that, quite possibly, tomorrow it could be you in that position.
I had the privilege to teach a class of preschoolers today about the importance of manners. We spent most of the morning talking about the reason we need to say, “Please and Thank You.”. One of the sweet kids said this, “Teacher, I know why we need to do it. Because Jesus said we are supposed to treat people like we want to be treated.”
The Golden Rule:
Treat others as you want to be treated.
So, I ask you.. If God is for me, then who can be against me? If that is true, then why, oh why, are we so bound and determined to see one another fall rather than recognize the opportunity to extend grace? I have been convicted in my own heart as I have watched friends and family wading through the storms of life to be one who offers a real embrace, a smile in grace, and words of peace.
What do you think? Have we lost the ability to extend grace and mercy as we ought?
Those who have been shown mercy can find it easy to extend mercy.
Those whose lives have been touched by grace can pour grace out.
Those whose hearts have been mended by love can love deeply.
Those who know forgiveness find it necessary to also forgive.
Nothing separates us from His love,
if that is true……
then how will that change you?Praying for the grace to walk into the world, and especially the body of Christ, with the armour of God as our shield and His banner of love as a standard for each of us.
~Blessings and Prayer