Today is the end of an amazing journey. We capped off the semester here at the USF BCM with a series on Romans 8. To me, this chapter of the Bible is one of the most encouraging sections of text that you can read. The 4 weeks we spent on the 39 verses, along with the printed devotional (thanks to Sojourn for allowing us to use their materials for the devotional), helped me to understand what it means to be a child of God and all the benefits that come along with it.
However, the ending to this devotional/series blew me away. Look at the last two verses:
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Wow! NOTHING can ever separate us from God’s love! That is huge!
Do you really believe that statement? Many times in my life it is tough to believe that statement because of the junk in my life. Sometimes, I feel as if God wants no part of me because of my sin. But, that doesn’t keep me from His love. The reason Paul was able to say this to the Christians at Rome is because he truly lived it. So did a guy named John Chrysostom who lived from 347-407 AD. This early church father had no fear of what people would do to him because of God’s love. Check out what Kenneth Boa wrote about how Chrysostom replied to the emperor of Rome after being threatened with banishment for being a Christian:
You can’t banish me because this world is my father’s house. But I will kill you, said the emperor No, you cannot, said the noble champion of the faith, for my life is hid with Christ in God. I will take away your treasures. No, you cannot for my treasure is in heaven along with my heart. I will drive you away from men and you will have no friends left! No, you cannot, for I have a friend in heaven from whom I cannot be separated. I defy you, for there is nothing that you can do to hurt me.
Talk about the ultimate Jesus juke. Do you have this same testimony? Have you been persuaded of the truths of Romans 8 like Paul and Chrysostom? I pray everyday for my story to be this secure.