A Love That Cost, And Lasts.
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. – Romans 8:39 NLT
How great is God’s love for you? This seems to be the gist of Paul’s point in the closing section of chapter eight. He reminds us, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Romans 8:31b NLT). God is on our side. He has chosen us, sent His Son to die for us and, as a result of Christ’s substitionary death of the cross, restored us to a right relationship with Himself. All as an expression of His great love for us. So if God loved us that much, what could ever stand in His way when it comes to Him finishing what He has begun in our lives? “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32 NLT). In other words, won’t God complete His ongoing act of transformation in our lives? Peter assures us that the answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes!”
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT). God loves us too much to leave us like we are. He loves us too much to allow us to try and live the Christian life in our own power and at the mercy of a host of enemies who would love nothing better than to destroy and defeat us. They can accuse and condemn us all they want, but their efforts are in vain. Because God loves us and His Son sits at His right hand interceding and pleading with God for us.
Nothing and no one can ever separate us from the love of our Father and our Savior. But the problem is that we tend to view God’s love based on what is going on around us. We judge His love according to how well things are going for us. If life is going well, we assume that God must be pleased with us. But let something go wrong in our lives, and we automatically assume that God is upset with us – in other words, He has fallen out of love with us. But Paul would argue against such a conclusion. “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?” (Romans 8:35 NLT). Paul answers his own question: “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Romans 8:36 NLT). Paul was convinced that absolutely NOTHING could ever separate God’s children from His love. God’s love for us is unlimited. It transcends time and space. He loves us just as much in life as He will love us after death. His love for us is as great today as it will be in eternity. Our location can’t diminish or influence God’s love. Our circumstances can’t determine God’s love for us. The presence of opposition or the reality of difficulties are not determiners of God’s love for us. Paul reminds us, “not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38 NLT). And here’s the really amazing thing. We can’t separate ourselves from God’s love either! You cannot cause God to fall out of love for you. His love is not fickle and fleeting like ours. He doesn’t love you one day and not the next. His love is constant and unchanging.
As we live out our lives on this earth, we must constantly remind ourselves of God’s unwavering love for us. Even as we progress toward Christ-likeness, we will fail and at times, fall away. We will continue to struggle with sin and sometimes give in to the desires of our sin nature. But at no point will God fall out of love for us. The degree of His love was reflected in the death of His Son. He loved us so much that He sent His own Son to die for us. But He raised His Son back to life as a vivid reminder of the kind of power He has at His disposal to finish His complete transformation of our lives. God’s love encompasses our salvation as well as our ultimate glorification. But is also includes our current sanctification. He is loving us even as we live out our lives in this fallen world. We may not always recognize it or feel it, but His love is there nonetheless. And nothing we encounter in this life has the capacity to ever separate us from that love. God will complete what He began. He will love us all the way to the end. “Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us” (Romans 8:37 NLT).
Father, it is so hard to imagine the kind of love Paul is talking about. I tend to judge Your love based on human standards. I fall in and out of love with people all the time. My love is fickle and fleeting. But Yours is constant and unwavering. You love me in spite of me. You love me consistently and constantly. You love me all the time and my circumstances are not an indicator or barometer of that love. Give me the capacity to recognize and appreciate Your love regardless of what is going on around me. Help me to rest in Your love, even when I have done something that I believe might cause You to “un-love” me. I want to live in Your love. I want to rest in Your love. I want to rejoice in Your love – every day of my life. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men