October 25 – It’s Unbreakable

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”  “–  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.” –  Romans 8:35,37 (NASB)

Paul asks another rhetorical question, to say “no one will ever be able to separate us from the love Christ has for us.”  This is not our love for Christ but Christ’s love for us. In  verse 37 Paul emphasizes that we have the victory, because we have conquered each of the threats “through Him who loved us.” The word translated ‘tribulation’ in the version we use here is also translated ‘affliction.’ In fact this Greek word means ‘persecution, affliction, and distress. Friends, each of these threats are real matters in the lives of those who believe in and profess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This is not simply Paul spouting philosophical concepts. No, for if we read 2 Corinthians 11:23-29 we find Paul had already suffered the first of these seven hardships before he took to writing this letter* to Christians in Rome who were facing them as well. The apostle was speaking not only by inspiration but also from experience, therefore, when he stated that none of these things can bring about separation between believers and their Lord. He knew what he was saying!* Nothing exists that can separate us from God’s love. It is unbreakable!

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*William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, New Testament Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 12-13:291.

 November 18 – Fully Sufficient

“For You have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall.” Isaiah 25:4 (NASB)

Life is not a bed of roses they say. If it was we’d all be pricked by the thorns too much. Yet there are thorns that stick it to us anyway. The prophet Isaiah knew the wonder of God and what He did for His own who were in need. This verse gives us four ways that God promised to provide for those in need in Isaiah’s day. For those oppressed God is our defense against oppressors. Our Lord God also is our defense when we are in need. He is a refuge and we can look to Him when we feel threatened and when we wonder how things will work out for us. When our life is beset by stormy weather we find shelter with our Lord. And if our situation creates a lot of heat like the desert we can find relief from the heat. Sometimes we face people who have us up against a wall – we can trust and know God is with us to help us.  So, let’s allow the words of our verse to remind us today how full sufficient our God is to be there and meet our every need.

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