Saturday, July 25, 2015

Memory Verse 14 and the Love of Christ

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, or hardship, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?" Romans 8:35, NIV84

This verse is part of my memory work in Romans 8. It is one of my favorites! No matter what we are going through, we can endure because Jesus Christ loves us and is at the right hand of God interceding for us. We are never all alone. Depending on this love Jesus has for me encourages me to pray more about my problems and relationships, to just cast all of my anxieties on Him and surrender to His will for my life.

By turning to God and His Word and trusting Him to work all things for my good, I can let go of how I think things should be, and I can then concentrate on living for Jesus, who lives in me. My focus and priorities change when I release control of my life to Him. My circumstances may still be hard, a relationship or two may still be unresolved, but I can yield to God's way of thinking in these situations and trust Him with the outcome.

Because nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, I believe Christ doesn't want us to let anything separate us from our love for Him. Jesus tells us in John 15 to abide in His love. I can abide or live in the love of Jesus three ways.  First, by keeping His love for me and His presence in me at the forefront of my mind. I can do that through Scripture reading, meditating on His Word, memorizing His Word,  praying about everything and watching for His answers, and by worshiping Him and praising Him for who He is and all He has done.

Another way I can stay in His love is to confess my sins as soon as I'm made aware of them and to repent and turn away from those sins. 1 John 1:9 tells us if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Forgiveness brings restoration. There may be consequences I have to deal with because of my sins, but I will have Jesus to help me. He will be at my side.

The last way I can stay in His love is by obeying His commands. In John 15 He tells us His command--to love as He has loved us. Love is the command. Putting others before ourselves. Not easy to do. In fact, we can't do it without Jesus. He is the Vine, we are the branches. We must remain in Him if we are to have the ability to love as he loves.

Staying in this love of Christ brings a humility, a simplicity, and a release from everything dead and false in our lives. It brings the kingdom of God into our spheres of influence where it is desperately needed. It brings joy, order, deep-seated peace, and countless blessings. It transforms our minds, it revives our hearts, it restores our souls. 

Oh love that wilt not let me go.
I rest my weary soul in Thee.
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.  

(George Matheson)

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