I know this sounds like a strange topic for the New Year, but stay with me and I think you’ll understand why it’s important to consider this as we get ready for serving God in 2011.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. It is filled with hope and encouragement. Why? Because Paul told the Truth about everything. The Apostle wrote his letter to Roman Christians in the middle of the 1st Century A.D. They were facing increasing opposition and persecution that would eventually lead to the torture and murders of hundreds of thousands of believers in the Roman Empire. According to Christian tradition, Paul was martyred in Rome within a decade of writing his letter to the Romans.
What is your worst nightmare? Death? Cancer? Getting older? Not having enough food to eat? Rejection? Heights? Depths? Tight enclosures? Gangs? Demons? The past? The future? What frightens you most? What Paul does in Romans 8 is hold up our worst fears and ask a simple question: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Why is that important? Because the love of God for us which is in Christ Jesus our Lord is the Truth – the Absolute Truth. Life is not about living in this body. It is not about being safe, comfy and warm. It is not about having a growing bank account – a big 401K plan – a bright future. It is not about being loved and admired by others. A Christian’s life is about being loved eternally by Jesus Christ.
The greatest fear any of us should have as Christians is being separated from the love of Christ. That’s our worst nightmare. And what does Paul tell us? “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Nothing on this planet or in this universe can ever separate us from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord! Doesn’t that thrill your heart to know that nothing you will ever face in this life can separate you from the Love of Christ?
Our worst human nightmare is no match for God’s love for us in Jesus Christ. Nothing can separate us from spending eternity with Him. No matter what you face this year – remember – God Loves you and nothing can separate you from Him – or Him from you.
Happy New Year!
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”