My second favorite Sirius/XM station is channel 17: Love songs. (My first favorite is Alt-nation. Which totally fits. Or not.)
I am also the target market for books by Nicholas Sparks, and any movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Because LOVE STORIES MAKE ME HAPPY. They just do.
There’s something innately heart-pulling about being pursued with undying love. It just gets me every time. And on particularly hormonal days, a sappy love song can produce tears on demand. (Most recently this happened to Kenny Rogers’ Through the Years.) (I know. Let’s just not ever mention that in public, okay?)
But let me tell you, Kenny Rogers doesn’t have anything on Jesus. (Which is a wonderful thing when you really stop to consider that.) But moving on…we’ve been talking on Tuesdays about our identity in Christ. So here’s something about you that you really need to know:
Truth About You: You are LOVED. Wholly. Unreservedly. Truly. Madly. And deeply. (Thank you, 1997.)
Scriptural Evidence: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers; nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NASB)
What does it mean?
For I am convinced: Paul has been imprisoned, tortured, and beaten. He has faced hardship of the sort that you and I may never face. And still, still He says, I am convinced, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that nothing will ever separate me from the love of Christ.
Definitely puts my Tuesday morning in perspective.
that neither death: death represents the misery of the soul born from our sin, as well as the ultimate physical death of the body. Paul declares that even death cannot detangle us from Christ’s love for even a moment.
Because the bond we have with Christ is only made greater by the grave.
nor life: I love Paul for including this. Because life…it’s just hard sometimes. We get all wrought up in its daily tangles: Mountains. Molehills. Twists. Surprises. Last minute stresses. Deadlines. Mortgages. Sickness. Overwhelming trials. Children. Big troubles. Miscommunication and other ugly stuff with our spouse. Rush hour traffic. Missed appointments. Children again. Deals that don’t close. Issues with the boss. Not one of these things can put a wedge between us and God’s amazing love.
nor angels: Matthew Henry said it like this, “The good angels are engaged friends, the bad are restrained enemies.”*
nor principalities: We know from Ephesians 1:21 that there is a realm of unseen forces in the heavenly places. There are good forces, and evil; but neither have the power to separate us from God’s love in Christ.
nor things present: The events and circumstances we face right this moment cannot, for one second, remove us from the power of His mind-boggling love.
nor things to come: Nothing we face tomorrow – or any day after that – can move us out of God’s umbrella-like love. His love encompasses our future days, just as much as it covers our heads in this second. Settle into the peace of that truth.
nor powers: This evidently refers to the works of Satan and the evil, unseen forces in the heavenly realms. We cannot hide from the fact that there is spiritual warfare all around us. But at the end of the day, God is the Ruler over all of it. Period.
nor height: whether it be an emotional high, or the lofty peak of a long-traveled struggle, no height is too steep to block us from the floodwater love of God.
nor depth: The deep places: adversity, disgrace, high winds of loss, stormy days, monsoon size calamities. There is no malady or disaster that can detach you, or me, from God’s unsurmountable love.
nor any created thing: that pretty much sums it up, right? Paul wants to make sure we get his point, so he covers everything that exists. Any, All, and Every Situation is covered under “any created thing”.
shall be able to separate: The Greek word used here, choris, means to cause to separate or divide, to put apart putting a space between.
From the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“They did not speak of Christ’s love as though it were a myth to be respected, a tradition to be reverenced; they viewed it as a blessed reality, and they cast their whole confidence upon it, being persuaded that it would bear them up as upon eagles’ wings, and carry them all their days; resting assured that it would be to them a foundation of rock, against which the waves might beat, and the winds blow, but their soul’s habitation would stand securely if founded upon it.” – Charles Spurgeon
Living it out: Today, instead of groaning, or complaining, or pleading with God to make me more comfortable, I will thank Him for all His love affords.
I will thank Him with my whole heart for the one thing I can never lose: His love.
*Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible
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