Day 335 (Only 30 days left!)
Saturday, December, 2012
Welcome to Day 335 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
8 “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
20 “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” [In regards to the Law making sin increase…]
Romans 6:1, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means!”
18 “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”
23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 7:9, “Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.”
21 “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.”
24 “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
6 “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
31 “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
38 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul continues his argument regarding the Law (flesh/death) vs. the Spirit (life).
If the sin of one man condemned us to death, how much more shall the love and grace of God save us through the death of one man, Jesus, God’s only son!
One could write several SOAPs out of each chapter in Romans. I could write 5 or 6 just out of Romans 8!
I think I’ll focus on this one…
“If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Is that a question or a statement? It does have a question mark at the end, but I think it’s more of a statement. It’s a statement that God has our back. That no matter what life throws at us, God is bigger than what is being thrown at us.
It makes me want to say, “Ha! Is that all you got!”
In the midst of difficulty, tragedy, hardship, pain, suffering… God is for us. He will never leave us or forsake us. He makes all things work together for our good.
That verse doesn’t say all things are good. All things are NOT good. But he makes something beautiful out of the ashes of our lives.
That does not mean he removes the pain, or even prevents painful situations.
Case in point, the loss of a loved one. Some deaths are more tragic, more unexpected than others, right? Car accidents, cancer, suicide, all claim lives too soon.
It’s God’s heart and desire to help us through those.
One might ask, “If he is such a loving God, why doesn’t he do something?”
That’s just not how life works.
Paul knew this better than anyone. He had his own internal struggle with sin (“What I want to do is not what I do… what I don’t want to do is what I end up doing!”)
And he knew difficulty and hardship… be was beaten, shipwrecked, in danger, cold, hungry… he experienced all of it.
So did Jesus…
Remember John the Baptist? He was Jesus’ cousin… and John was beheaded at the request of Herod’s own daughter and wife.
Where is the justice in that?
I’m sure Jesus had a few talks with his Father over that one!
And Paul knew what it was to experience the miraculous… the earthquake while he and Silas where in prison… raising people from the dead… yet he was shipwrecked? Imprisoned multiple times, but only “rescued” from prison once.
It’s easy to take one situation, one passage from the Bible and make it “one-size-fits-all.”
If you just look at those who were imprisoned throughout the Bible the final results were all across the spectrum. Peter was rescued by an angel. Joseph was imprisoned under false charges yet he ran the prison as a prisoner and was left in there for years. And John the Baptist was beheaded…
Definitely not one-size-fits-all…
One could also ask why Jesus didn’t heal everybody… There were times he did. And there were times when he was limited by people’s unbelief. Even then, he didn’t use a formula for every healing…
I realized a long time ago, I don’t have to defend God. He is quite capable of showing up in a person’s life and revealing himself to them. Healing them or speaking to them.
My job is to love people.
The Holy Spirit’s job is to change people.
People aren’t rejecting me… they are rejecting him. I may get rejected because of him, and I often feel that, but ultimately it’s him that is being rejected.
Romans 8 is the perfect chapter for just about any situation in life.
There is some bad teaching out there that if a Christian is going through difficulty that it must be because of sin in their life.
I say it’s because of sin in the world.
Yes, my own sin can cause me great trouble and pain, but there is plenty of pain in the world just floating around.
Ever been laid off or experienced a broken relationship? Neither of those necessarily require me to sin for them to happen.
It’s like getting caught in the cross fire.
Jesus said “it rains on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
The Scott translation?
“We all get rained on.”
Lord I thank you for your umbrella of protection and grace over my life. When I am getting rained on, I will trust in you!