Count on it

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. Romans 8:35,37 NLT  Nope! If just means we live in a fallen world, capable of and actively engaged in all manner of sinful activities. Since we are in this world, we run the chance of being exposed to disease, getting in a car wreck, or having our roof torn away by high winds of a summer storm. It isn't because God's love for us has faltered - it is just that we live in an imperfect world. In case you didn't realize what God says about this world system we live in, you need to understand it is the domain of Satan and his brood of demons. Remember: At one time you were dead because of your sins. You followed the sinful ways of the world and obeyed the leader of the power of darkness. He is the devil who is now working in the people who do not obey God. At one time all of us lived to please our old selves. We gave in to what our bodies and minds wanted. We were sinful from birth like all other people and would suffer from the anger of God. (Ephesians 2:1-2) At one time, we all lived so as to please self and we listened to the god of this age - Satan. Now, we listen to a clearer, purer voice - God himself.

Can anything separate those who follow hard after Christ from the love and protection of Christ? The good news is that NOTHING - no thing - can separate us from his love. We might have calamity and trouble, but that doesn't mean he loves us any less, or that he is angry with us. In fact, God's nature is to forgive even before we ask. When we have said "yes" to Jesus, accepting the finished work of the Cross in our lives, his blood made what is called 'atonement' for our sins (past, present, and future). We might "do" wrong at some point, but it doesn't mean God loves us less - it just means we aren't perfect in our decisions and actions yet! So, don't be too hard on yourself - Satan would like nothing more than to have us believe the lie that we CAN be separated from the love of God!

We are imperfect in our actions because we listen to influences that lead us into imperfect decision points. Those decision points are sometimes referred to as 'temptation' - the little carrots that are dangled to get us to do or say something we know better than to, but that seem to exert a huge influence over our lives. It isn't that Satan made us do it, but I think he probably lines up, cheering us on whenever he sees we are even considering the action! It is as though he is saying to Jesus at that moment, "See, she doesn't mean what she says - her promise to be obedient was meaningless." But...what Jesus hears instead is, "Jesus, I did it again! I must ask your forgiveness and I seek your help." And...his response in turn: "Yup, you got it, can count on it, and it will always be there for you!"

We don't get it right all the time. We don't always rise above those influences. We sometimes reap the outcome of a fallen world. We might not want to deal with the torn apart roof, but in his love, he provides a means for the repair, sees that we are well cared for until it is completed, and bolsters our faith by his constant inflow of love into our lives. We didn't avoid the temptation moment with great success, but his constant inflow of grace into our lives is there each time we don't. We might not recognize his love when it comes, nor do we always understand his grace when it is given, but we can count on it! Nothing separates us from that love! Just sayin!


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