Daily D – Romans 8:34
Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. ROMANS 8:34 (NLT)
Good questions get people talking.
I coach a leader of a national ministry which is growing in influence and effectiveness. Over the last couple of years, this leader has navigated moving from a successful startup to broad expansion to dealing with all the growing pains of refocused clarity. What got the ministry here will not get it where it is destined. The adjustments are bumpy but necessary.
In our most recent coaching session, I asked four questions in nearly an hour. This leader spoke deeply passionate personal truths. He wrestled with challenges. He emerged victorious and resolute. The relief was evidenced in his body language and his tone of voice. The determination in his eyes was both gentle and strong. It only took four questions to get there.
In the second half of Rom. 8, Paul asks several questions. Theologians write voluminous studies on these questions. These are some of the most important theological matters in the Bible. The answers are telegraphed and targeted. The answers, as built-in as they are, provide us with relief, encouragement, and confidence. They declare the essence of our eternal hope.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
The second question in this pair carries the power of “Since God is for us, . . .” When we belong to Jesus, when we live on mission with him, there will be all kinds of opposition. None will prevail. God’s truth is marching on. Get on the side of truth and life.
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?
Again, the answers are easy: No and No. The truths tower above all argument, over every adversary. Nobody and nothing can separate us from our Father’s love. Keep reading for a potent list of failed foes. But what if we find ourselves in deep weeds, in bad trouble, in hopeless spots? Does that mean we are out of God’s care and keeping. Again, No. God’s grip never gets tired or loose. Bad things happen. Evil is alive and well on Planet Earth. However, evil is time-limited, and its time is nearly up. No threat of hell can remove us from God’s safekeeping.
The temptation to say more is strong. It is better by far to ask a few questions:
- Who would you be, what would you attempt, if you knew God was for you? What would you do if you knew his answer was yes and every resource of heaven was at your disposal?
- How would you live in the face of the giant challenges of our day if you knew your actions drew the applause of heaven even when you are shouted down by entrenched adversaries? How far would you go if you knew for sure you were on the winning team and that ultimate victory is assured even though there will be casualties along the way?
- What would you attempt if you knew not only that God was for you, but Jesus was praying for you?
These are questions worth pondering. More importantly, the answers and assurances make it worth the risk of sticking our necks out.
What the world needs now is God’s deep and abiding love. What the world needs now is Christians of courage and confidence. God is for you. Jesus is praying for you. Nothing can stop you. Nothing can separate you from God’s love. What more could you ask for?
I will allow the settled peace of these truths to guide my every thought and action.
Our Father, these truths long pondered drive us to our knees in gratitude. They stand us to our feet in resolution. They spark our imagination. They drive us into purposeful action. They give us courage and confidence. They lead us into thanksgiving. Amen.
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John 9:8, 9 His neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit begging?” Some said, “He’s the one.” Others were saying, “No, but he looks like him.” He kept saying, “I’m the one.” (CSB)
Luke 6:43-45 “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” (CSB)
John 8:31, 32 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (CSB)