To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only twenty-five readings. Today we start a few “free days” . We encourage you to catch up on any readings you may have missed this month.
If you have finished the month’s readings, you can use these final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.
Persuaded by the Love of God
“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 creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 KJV
In this portion of scripture, Paul is making an exclamation. He’s been persuaded by the love of God! God chose him, transformed him. I personally believe that God may have seen a very pure dedication in Paul (as Saul) to do the right thing. As far as Paul was concerned, persecuting Christians was the right thing.
God knew that if he showed himself to Saul, Saul would believe, and Saul would serve him as Paul dying to self, and moving in the direction of persuading others. Paul’s life is just fascinating to me. I think I mentioned in a previous devotion that I love his writings and his dedication. If only I could be a Paul. Well, guess what? We all can.
If there’s one thing I am absolutely sure of it’s this: if I received not one more affirming word from God, through the preaching, or through others speaking into my life, I would still have so much more than I ever need to finish this race. I personally am persuaded by the love of God, and because of that, I understand through my hardships, my experiences and God moving in absolutely miraculous ways in my life, that the one, and only word that encapsulates everything that we are to be is love. Love is the single most important action we should take in every situation. If you love yourself, you’ll pray for yourself. If you love others, you will pray for others. When we are hurt by others, we still need to love. When others don’t see our point, we still need to love. When we are hated, persecuted, struck down, we still need to love. When everything is falling apart and we cannot seem to get a grip on our life, turn back to the one and only lover of our soul.
When troubles come, they get bigger, because we look on them with our own fleshly eyes. However, if we could look on the situation (the person wronging us, the in-law, the spouse, the co-worker) with an attitude of love, God is able to help us work through these situations, turning a big old mountain back into a tiny little mole hill.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has reasons why they are the way they are but love overcomes all of that. It levels the playing field. It takes our eyes off of how we feel and allows us to have empathy and compassion for others. Love also helps us love ourselves.
There is a reason why it is so important to love others through the situations we face together. This past week I was reminded that no matter how many times I mess things up, God doesn’t change the direction He’s taking me. In fact, He further confirmed my direction. I gained ground. The next time you find yourself in a situation where your heart rate is elevated and your mind is racing with frustration about a situation, stop. Remember God’s promises. Also, not only do we get mercy and grace but we are also able to give it.
I hope I have encouraged at least one person and if not, I know I’ve encouraged myself. I pray the love of God wash over you, renewing you and strengthening you so that you are motivated to keep moving and walking in peace.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34 KJV
“Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace, and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14 KJV