Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love – Romans 8:35-37 Devotional

The end of the semester is quickly approaching. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by everything that’s due over the next two weeks – studying for exams, finishing projects, preparing for presentations, etc.

But the good news is that we’re never alone. God goes with us, wherever we go. 

It’s hard leaving friends behind in the summer, especially for those who are graduating. But we can be sure that God will be at the mission field, at home, at a full-time job, or at summer classes with us.

Romans 8:35-37 (NLT) says, 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? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

Honestly, human love is very circumstantial. It’s easy to love those who love us and treat us well. It’s harder to love those who constantly let us down or ignore us. Sometimes we feel unloved by those closest to us.

But no matter what we’ve done in the past or what we will do is the future, God’s love for us is unchanging. Whether we have a six-figure salary or are struggling to make ends meet, God loves us. Whether we stay close to home or move to a foreign country, God loves us. Despite any mistakes we’ve made, God loves us.

My favorite part of this verse is the phrase “overwhelming victory is ours through Christ”. God not only loves us, but he also gives us victory. Victory over failures, victory over fear, victory over circumstances — overwhelming victory!

I hope that everyone has a great rest of the semester here at Cedarville and a fantastic summer break. I’m excited to see how God will work through each and every one of us this summer. And no matter where He leads, His love and overwhelming victory go with us!

I Could Never Count That High

Song Credits: “Count That High” by Jordan Feliz

Sometimes life gets crazy. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by upcoming exams and assignments. Honestly, when I’m feeling stressed by everything going on, I tend to put my relationship with God on the back-burner.

But the truth is that God never leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He also provides us with the strength we need to make it through the day and gives us so many blessings.

Have you ever had a time where you knew God was there? Maybe it was an impossible situation and he made a way out of it. Maybe you’ve witnessed a health miracle or a grade miracle.

I’m so grateful that God works in many ways, and the other week, I know he protected me.

I work mornings at McDonald’s as a prep person. Part of my job involves getting condiments and other ingredients ready for lunch. I do most of my work at a counter with two shelves above it.

One day, as I was pulling out the counter to sweep under it, the top shelf came crashing down. There were heavy boxes with receipt paper that came tumbling as well. It made the loudest bang and four or five coworkers came running over. Thankfully, that heavy shelf landed on the counter.

I was shocked by the whole experience, but extremely grateful. I know God was there. That shelf could have severely injured anyone underneath it. But thankfully it didn’t.

This experience helped me truly understand the lyrics of Jordan Feliz’s song “Count That High”.

‘Cause I, know You never left my side
I try to count the blessings
I, I could never count that high
And every time that I try to add it up
And I’m not even close
The more that I try, the more that it chokes me up
‘Cause I’m not even close

What blessings has God provided in your life? Please comment below and let me know.

 

 

It’s OK to Mess Up – Romans 7 Devotional

Are you a perfectionist?

There’s nothing wrong with aiming for a 4.0 GPA or perfect attendance or any other accomplishment. But sometimes aiming for perfection can leave us feeling miserable if we don’t quite reach the bar we set.

It’s discouraging to give 120% on an assignment only to receive a lower-than-expected grade. Then I end up with a “Why bother trying?” mentality which is definitely not good.

When it comes to faith, I think every Christian desires to honor God. But once we become a Christian, our sinful nature doesn’t automatically disappear. There’s a daily struggle between choosing to live for our sinful nature or for the Spirit.

I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect Christian life, at least in the sense that we will never sin. God doesn’t love us based on our perfection or goodness. He loves us regardless of what we do, but is right there to help us stay on the right path. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with sin.

I absolutely love Paul’s honesty in Romans 7:15-25 (NLT):

I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart.23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”

This passage doesn’t mean that sin is inevitable. For our human nature, it is.

But since Jesus has freed us from sin and death, sin loses its power over us.

In Romans 8, Paul explains that when we live in the Spirit and focus on what God desires, we don’t have to be bound to sin. Through the Holy Spirit, we are free.

That doesn’t mean we’ll be perfect, but we no longer have to be enslaved to our sinful natures. When our full focus is on living for Christ, that frees our mind from sinful thoughts. Through Jesus, we have forgiveness from chance and peace in life.

It’s freeing to not have to strive for perfection.

It’s freeing to let the Holy Spirit control our lives.

It’s freeing to know that God still loves us when we mess up.

It’s freeing to live fully for God.