How To Love God?
A daily devotion for September 30th
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 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.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Romans 8:35a
How do you love God? You love him by answering this question. Who or what is going to separate us from the love of Christ? Is there any force, anywhere, that can come between you and Jesus? Who can remove us from Christ, once we fully come to him? Paul's answer is,
Let's take a look at the possibilities.
First, can all the troubles and dangers of life separate us from his love:
Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Romans 8:35b) That is life at its worst. Will that do it? Will hardship do it? That means the tight, narrow places we have to go through sometimes. Will persecution do it? That is hurt deliberately inflicted on us because we are Christians. Will famine, lack of food and money do it? Will nakedness, or lack of clothes? Will danger, or threat to our lives? Will the sword (war, riot, uprising) do it?
No, Paul says,
In these we are superconquerors. Why? Because rather than dividing us from Christ, they draw us closer to him. They make us cling harder. They scare us and make us run to him. When we are independent and think we can make it on our own, these things strike, and we start whimpering and running for home, and we cling all the closer. We can never be defeated then, so we are more than conquerors.
What about supernatural forces? What about people and power and demons and strange forces?
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. (Romans 8:38-39) There is nothing left out of that list, is there? Everything is there — demons and dark powers, black magic and angels, truth and error, death and life — whether in this creation or any other creation. Paul takes everything in and says that nothing, no being or force, is capable of separating us from the love of Jesus Christ our Lord.
So we love God when we say,
If God be for us, who can be against us? We love God because of what he himself has done for us, and the nature of that commitment is that he loves us. Nothing can separate us from that. This is the highest point of the letter. Obviously, Paul cannot go beyond this, and neither can we. What can you say? What can you do but love when you are confronted by a God like that?
Father, thank you for the security you give in your great love. Let your love be the thing that fuels my own love for you through the challenges of life.
Life Application: Is it fair or accurate to assess God's Love by comparing it with our fragile, conditional human love? Do we respond to His unrelenting Love by loving Him with all our hearts, souls, minds? Do we in gratitude extend His Love to others?
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