"Walk By Faith, Not By Sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7
Owl City: “In Christ Alone”
I have always found power in this song. How amazing is it that we can stand confidently in Christ, knowing that no height nor depth, angels or demons can take us away from His love and care for us? Romans 8:31-39 says:
God’s Everlasting Love
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What this song makes me think of in relation to Romans 8 is:
1. We as Christians are going to be persecuted, whether physically, emotionally, or verbally. There will be those who will not support us in our beliefs. We will lose friends and loved ones. We will be hated against, just as Jesus was. In Bible times, Jesus and his disciples took a lot of grief. Jesus was wrongly crucified! He died on the cross because people did not have faith that he was the messiah. What’s cool, though, is that God’s love for us does not change because we may not have humans that love us. It is not a popularity contest with God. Nothing can separate His love from us. Nothing.
2. In this particular hymn, there is a verse that says, “For I am His, and He is mine.” Take a minute to read over that and really let it sink in. This goes back to the popularity contest. His love for you is unchanging. And we belong to him because we are His children and made in His own likeness. Genesis 1: 27 says:
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
This reminds me of something that I always knew, growing up in a Christian environment, but never really let set in until a couple of weeks ago. How many of you have heard fellow Christians call each other brother or sister? Or have read about Jesus calling his disciples brother? Because Jesus is the Son of God and we are children of God, are we not also brothers and sisters to Jesus? Now, let me make it very clear, we are not equal to Jesus. That is not what I am getting at here. I am, however, making a point to show the personal relationship we have in Christ. We often hear God called the Father. When I think of paternal relationships, I often think of reprimands, and rules. We should or shouldn’t do this to anger our parents. Though we should follow the rules that the Lord has set out for us, our love is not based on following those rules. Again, unconditional.
But think about your siblings (or close friends you consider siblings if you are an only child). What makes that relationship so special to you? My siblings are really my best friends. Sure, I may get angry at them. But, they always have my back. They love me for me, not for someone I could become. I can talk to them literally about anything. They will give me guidance out of love and support. Jesus is the same way. Being a brother, he is here to encourage and love on each and every one of us. There is a phrase I love to think about that says, “There is love in the red letters.” If you have ever picked up a bible, you may have noticed than any direct quotes from Jesus are written in red. Those red words are from love. The bible is a giant love letter to God’s people. How cool is that? There are rules and commandments in the bible, such as love thy neighbor as thyself, but they aren’t there to guilt you into submission, though sometimes it comes to that point because we are human. Guilt comes from knowing better. But, as siblings, and even as parents, they always want the best for you because they love you. That is the grace of God too. That is why He sent His son to die on the cross; to save us from our sins because He loves us!
What are your favorite verses about God’s love? What reminds you that you are loved?