Section Two: The Personal Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Three: Being Extremely Valued.
Our reading for today: Romans 8: 31-35, 37-39 (MsgB)
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
As the story goes, one of the great theologians of the 20th century, Karl Barth, was at Rockefeller Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago during a lecture tour of the United States in 1962. After his lecture, during the Q & A time, a student asked Barth if he could summarize his whole life’s work in theology with one sentence. Barth thought for a moment and then replied, “Yes, I can. In the words of a song I learned at my mother’s knee: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
The truth of the matter is this.
The love of Christ for you and me is the strongest element found in our universe. Oh yeah, I know that agape love is not found on any periodic table chart, nor is it valued like gold, silver or uranium. But trust me when I say that God’s agape love is stronger than titanium and weightier than the heaviest element (ununoctium 118) found in any science lab. In truth, the agape love of God, as demonstrated through Jesus of Nazareth, is simply beyond our human understanding or scientific reasoning.
Paul tried his very best to describe it and did one bang-up job in today’s passage from Romans 8…
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Yet, earthly words will always fail us in trying to comprehend the unshakeable, unstoppable power of love that bonds us to God, through the work of Christ.
So, the fact of the matter is this.
If we are loved and valued to that degree by God, our loving Father, why is it that you and I can’t love ourselves (and others) to the same degree?
You see, if we would simply stop long enough in our trek through this life to allow God’s agape love to breakthrough all of our defenses, I dare say that we Christ-followers could become a different breed of human kind. In fact, Kindness would become our calling card. Mercy our closest friend, and Forgiveness and Grace our marching orders for the day.
So, this week, let’s you and I delve just a bit deeper into this amazing power of God’s agape love, an element so strong that no trouble, hard times, hatred, hunger, homelessness, bullying threats, backstabbing, or even the worst sins listed in Scripture, can stop it from penetrating our human existence.
Yup, I’d give it at least a 200 in atomic weight on the periodic chart!
My prayer: Jesus, the power of Your agape love is limited-less. And while my words fall far short in describing it, I do choose this day to be filled to the brim with it. I receive Your agape love for both myself and for others. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: A power this weighty has got to make a huge difference in the lives of those who receive it. Am I truly open to all God’s agape love can do in me and through me? Am I willing to make it my highest priority in my life today?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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