Nothing Can Separate You From the Love of God
Daily emails to my church (sent out the night before):
As I shared with you on Sunday, this week we will look at five Scriptures that reveal the heart of the Father and His love for us. Since many struggle with their guilt and shame over sin and often have a difficult time believing God truly loves them, these truths from His Word should help our faith grow as we strive to live like Him.
The first of these five truths is this: There is nothing you can do, or have done, or will do, that will separate you from the love of God. Or, to put it another way, God wants you to know you are secure in His love. Period.
Let that sink in for a moment. All your past sins and failures, all your current disappointments and broken vows, and all the promises you made to Him today that you won’t keep tomorrow, everything you’ve ever done, or are doing, or will do to break His heart— God still loves you.
Consider the following for tomorrow:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us – Romans 8:35-38.
When you ask the Lord to make this passage real to you, to allow you to truly experience it in a life-changing way (which is His intention, I believe), look at it as a question and then a detailed answer that covers just about everything we can think of, and even some things we would probably never think of. First, the question: Who (or, what) shall, or can, or has the power or ability to separate (to sever, pull apart, divide) us from the love (agápē) of Christ? Or, what can make God stop loving me? What circumstances could prompt God to sever His love for me and cast me aside? Is there anything I could do to make Him so mad or ashamed or disappointed or disgusted with me that He would stop loving me?
Fair question. One that many of us have probably struggled with in the past. But note, this verse is not dealing with our love for Christ. It specifically speaks of His love for us. We are often fickle and non-committed. And He is steadfast, true, and faithful to the point of death. So who or what can separate us from the love of Christ? And in Greek, there is an implied answer in the construction of this phrase, which turns it into a statement. It is an assumed negative and could be written something like this: You know, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ.
But just to make sure we understand the nothing part of this, we are given a list of some pretty horrible things, most of which we have never experienced. Famine, peril, nakedness, sword, etc. Yet, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom. 8:38). Notice the two key phrases in this verse. First, “all these things,” which also includes the lesser things not listed. And “more than conquerors” which means to “utterly defeat or overcome beyond the norm.” This is a relative term showing something greater or more grand than just being a conqueror. And that’s who you are promised to become because of Him.
I know this is long for a Monday morning, but when you pray about this passage, focus on the promises. One, nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. Two, and nothing means even the really bad stuff, like being homeless or refugees in your own country. And even if the bad stuff does come your way, three, you will be far more than just victorious in your trial. You will be “more than” whatever you can imagine. Not in yourself, but in or through the One who loved us, Christ Jesus our Lord. These are promises that should put a smile on your face.
One last thought, the key to living in this victory is found in the space between your ears. That’s right. It has to do with what you think or believe or reckon within yourself. Let’s look at the rest of the passage.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord – Romans 8:38-39.
Today, when you pray, don’t get caught up in the “angels nor principalities nor powers” part of this verse. There is a time to study what all that means, but not for today. Instead, focus on what you can do. Look at the word, persuaded. “For I am persuaded that… something.” The word is peíthō and means “to be fully convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be confident and assured.” That is what you are asking the Lord to grant you, the measure of faith necessary to be fully convinced without wavering that nothing is “able to separate us (you) from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:39), who, by the way, lives in you in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Remember, victory comes when you finally settle in your mind what He says about His love for you is true. And only then, will you be more than conquerors when trials and tough times come to test your faith regarding His love.
I hope you have a wonderful day with the Lord and, if you are so inclined, tell someone what the Lord shows you today about His love. Be an encouragement to others who may be suffering from self-doubt.
Until He comes,