Psalms: 95* & 102 & 107:1-32
OT: Jer. 23:1-8
NT: Rom. 8:28-39
Gospel: John 6:52-59
I will never forget the first time I had to truly discipline Ethan. It was so hard. I cried. He cried. It was awful. Awful. When I say the first time, I mean the first time he could really understand that he was in trouble and that Dad was mad because of his actions. I think he was five or six. He was being ungrateful and so we took away his gaming system. He was able to grasp that this was something different.
The thing is though, I love him. I love him with every fiber of my being. Even though I was mad. Even though I had to punish his bad actions, there was nothing that was going to stop him from being my son and me his dad. I forgave him before he could even say he was sorry. I wanted our relationship to be made whole as quickly as possible. My love for him didn’t allow me to break our relationship, even though I had to discipline him.
God’s love for us is even bigger. Check out this passage from Romans,
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39, ESV)
What do we make of this? In a nutshell, we need to grasp the reality that when we trust Christ there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. You see, our reconciliation with God is not based on us or our works. Our reconciliation is based completely in the work of Jesus.
You can’t be condemned because God has justified you through the death of Christ. What a remarkable truth! Beyond that, Jesus who was raised, not intercedes for us. He is at the Father’s right hand interceding on our behalf. Therefore, nothing can separate us from God’s love.
Can you even wrap your mind around this? I can’t. I try. I try all the time. Yet, this truth is something that leaves me in awe. It shocks me every time I ponder it. I know how broken I am. I know my own depth of sin, yet in that there is such grace because Jesus is interceding for me. He has died for us. He is holding all things together in love.
Therefore, we conquer. Why? Because Jesus loves us. It really is that simple.