Do you believe that God is for you? Do you truly live like God is for you? In the eighth week of Dying to Live, Harrison Ross walks through Romans 8:31-39 to show us the simple truth of the gospel that God so greatly loves us and has favor on us.
God is for You | Romans 8:31-39
Future Glory Over Present Suffering | Romans 8:18-30
Changed by God | Romans 8:1-17
Acceptance Over Performance | Romans 7:7-25
The Law and Spirit | Romans 7:1–7
Our Identity in Christ | Romans 6:15-23
Dead to Sin, Alive to Christ | Romans 6:1-14
Obedience of Faith
Do you believe that God is for you? Do you truly live like God is for you? In the eighth week of Dying to Live, Harrison Ross walks through Romans 8:31-39 to show us the simple truth of the gospel that God so greatly loves us and has favor on us.
Good morning, Watermark. My name is Harrison Ross. I have had the privilege to be a part of this body for 10 years, on staff here for 10 years. I got a chance to love many of your kids, if you have kids, and am excited now to be a part of what God is doing out in Rockwall and be the campus pastor out there. I'm excited to be with you this morning.
Something my family is in the middle of is we are moving. Yeah. Everyone kind of knows that and has this feeling in their heart and in their gut. There's a small percentage, the 2 percent of people who go, "Oh, how exciting!" but most people look at me and go, "Ugh," because there's nothing good about moving. I mean, supposedly there's the house and all that, but there is no good about moving. You have to deal with all your stuff, and you have to take all your junk and put it in boxes. I feel like we're just shuffling our stuff around.
My wife and I moved into this house eight years ago. It was just her and I, and now we have four kids, so we have four extra humans and their stuff that we add to it. So, we're just packing up junk. We've been doing this for the last couple of weeks. We move this next week. We have probably 50 or 60 boxes already in our house, and I still walk through, and it looks like we have done absolutely nothing. We have a whole house left to go.
I heard somebody say that hell will be waking up every day and moving. You don't want that. But my dad always told me growing up, "No, no, no. Hell will be waking up every day and helping your friends move." Not only that. It gets worse. It will be waking up every day and showing up at 8:00 a.m. ready to go, and they're not, because they haven't started packing yet, so you have to wait until 11:30, eating bad doughnuts and cheap coffee. "Good thing I don't have anything planned for the rest of the day, buddy." Because you have that spiritual gift of a pickup truck, so you're roped into the move.
My friends this week will get a chance to experience that and move, and hopefully we'll be ready. But some of you guys here this morning are not just packing up junk and joking about hell. You're going through actual junk in your life and walking through what feels like hell. Maybe it's your circumstances. Maybe it's choices you've made and the consequences that can come from that. Maybe you're in the midst of a trial. It's just hard. You don't know why, and it has gone on and on and on.
If you're like me, in those times when it doesn't make sense and you don't understand and it's just hard and it doesn't feel right, it's easy to look up to God and go, "Are you even there? Do you care about me? Have you forgotten me? Where are you?" What I want to remind you of this morning, what this whole series has reminded us of is he's not far off. He has not forgotten you. He's with you. He is moving toward you, and he thinks far greater of you than you could ever think or imagine. Regardless of how we feel, regardless of what we're going through, he's God and we're not.
This whole series, Dying to Live, we've been studying Romans 6-8. To remind you of what we've been going through, Romans 6 told us we are dead to sin. It is no longer the ruler and master over us. We are slaves to righteousness. Not only that, but we're dead to the law. We're dead to religious practice. That doesn't have a hold on us anymore. The beauty of Romans 8 reminds us that we can live life by the Spirit of God and walk by the Spirit, that we have an inheritance. We are heirs to the throne. The Spirit of God is interceding for us, and we can have hope in the midst of suffering.
At the end of these beautiful chapters… Some would say Romans 8 is maybe the greatest chapter in the Bible. At the end of it, Paul says this in verse 31: "What shall we say to these things?" What do we say? "Woo! Yes! Holy moly! That's so good! Hallelujah! Praise God!" What else is there to say? But that's not what we say most times. We go, "Nah. Surely that's too good to be true."
Or we personalize it even more and go, "No, bro. You don't know me. You don't know my life. You don't know what I've done. You don't know what I'm going through. You don't know my past hurt. You don't know what my dad did to me. You don't know what my pastor did to me." I don't, but God does. That doesn't make any of these things less true.
The beauty of this passage we're going to sit in is it tells us the why, and not only the why but what God thinks of you. I'll give it all away. What God thinks of you is that God is for you, and he loves you. The God of the universe sees you and knows you. He is for you, and he loves you. I promise. I can prove it. I know it, and you can too. God is for you. Paul starts this beautiful passage in verse 31:
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 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? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 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."
God is for us, and if God is for us, who can be against us? But most of us look at that, and we read it backward. We don't believe that truth about ourselves. Do you believe God is for you? Most of us go, "No. It feels like God is against me. If God is against me, who's going to be for me?" No. Paul explicitly says God is for you. It literally means God has favor on you. You are his favored one. His favor is poured out on you, and the proof is Jesus. Verse 32: "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all…"
One of my boys, Neal, turned 3 this week. When you're 3, you have the whole world ahead of you, and everything is exciting, and you have no idea what you want. "Neal, what kind of party do you want?" "I don't know…a green one." Of course you do, buddy. This week, we just got to celebrate him and have fun with him. "Hey, man. What do you want to eat?"
So we went to Chick-fil-A for breakfast and for lunch and for dinner. We just partied with him, because we love him. We had a great time hanging with him, watching him turn 3. I knew I was getting a chance to come and tell you guys of the goodness of God and his grace and how much he cares for you. So, you know what? I'm going to sacrifice my son for you. I'll allow him to be sacrificed so you could know him. Who would do that? That brings tears to me just thinking about it. I love my son. I don't care about you enough. But God does.
God didn't kill his Son, but he didn't stop it, because he cares for you. The Greek that says he didn't spare his own Son literally means he did not save his Son. God the Father did not save Jesus so that you could be saved. There's no way I could do that, and I don't have to. I'm not God. It's not on me. It is his to do, and he willingly did that. If he would not spare his own Son, when you're his son and when you're his daughter, how much more would he graciously give to you, his child? The proof is Jesus.
Jesus willingly did it in submission and love to the Father because of the resurrection. The death was not the final end. It was because of the life that now is imparted to you and his righteousness. Praise be to God. The proof is Jesus. Paul gives it here. In verse 32, it says he gave us his own Son. Verse 33: "Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies." God is the righteous Judge. "Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died…"
Who has any ownership of you? Who can say you're not good enough? Nobody. Jesus owns you because of his blood, because he gave his life for you. Not only that…who raised to newness of life, who is now your life. He has given his life so that you can have life. He is our life and is seated at the right hand of God, interceding for us. He is our advocate.
You have the favor of God on you. God is for you. He's not your enemy…unless you don't know him. If you do not know Jesus, if you do not have faith in Jesus Christ, then you are separated from him. You're an enemy of him. You don't have to be. He loves you. He has poured himself out for you, and you can know him and experience his goodness and grace through Jesus Christ.
But if you know him, God is not your enemy. He's not trying to cosmically discipline you. He has not forgotten you. He is for you. And if God is for us, who could be against us? Why? Why would he do this? Why would he willingly give of his Son in that way? Why? Because he loves you. God loves you.
Romans 8:35: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, 'For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." God loves you.
Whenever I go get a haircut, I always like to go to somebody different. It's just kind of a little haircut roulette. I get a chance to sit in their chair and hear about their story for an hour, or probably more like it, they're stuck with me for an hour, and I get a chance to hear about their life and what makes them tick. We make some small talk, and we go here and there.
Really, I get into this chair, and I have no idea what's going to be the end of it. I've never met this guy or girl. I am literally risking my life for the sake of the gospel…at least my haircut. At the end of the day, maybe it's a botched haircut, and I can go, "Hey, let me tell you how your life is not botched through the grace of God through Jesus Christ."
JP, if you've ever heard him, always starts with, "Hey, do you have a faith?" "A what? A faith? What?" So, I usually get in the chair, and we make some small talk, and I say, "Hey, what do you think of God?" "I'll tell you what I think of him!" Bzzz! Usually people have something they go to and some thought in the sky, and it's usually theologically inaccurate, but it's a starting place to just go, "Where are you at? What do you think?"
Then I bring it a little deeper, and I go, "Hey, what do you think God thinks about you?" Most of the time they go, "I think he's disappointed in me. I think he's angry at me. I think he looks at me and thinks I'm not good enough. He's disappointed in my abortion. He's angry at my divorce. He looks at me and just goes, 'You've been hanging around church this whole time. What's going on? Could you not be better?'" I get to look at them and go, "You're wrong. He loves you. God loves you."
Who can separate us from the love of Christ? What Paul is saying here is this is inferred. This is something you have. It's not something you attain. It's not something you rise to. It's not something you earn or perform for. If you know Jesus, the love of God is yours. Who can separate us from that? "Shall tribulation…" Or it could be translated trouble. "…or distress [hardship], or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?"
It's interesting here that Paul starts with a who. "Who can separate us? Satan? Your wife? Who?" Then he goes to this list of whats, because most of the time, our minds aren't just thinking about a who but that stuff we've done or has been done to us that gets in the way. So, what's your list of whats? What is it that you think makes you separated from God or could separate you from God or that thing that you're like, "Yeah, but…"?
Is it your circumstances, your "What ifs," your theological wrestlings, your sin? Most of us feel like our sin, our choices that we have made, where we've run far from God or things that have been done to us that have hurt us… "Why wouldn't God stop that?" We think those things make us unworthy of God, but especially unworthy of his love.
What's interesting here is sin is nowhere in this list. Of all of the things that could separate us from the love of Christ, nothing is here about sin. Why? Why is it not there? Because it's dead. Because it no longer has power on you because of Jesus Christ. It can't separate you because it has no hold on you. It is not your master. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Praise God. But that's not how I feel. That's not what I often think.
So, if sin can't, if now I have freedom from my sin, then what else could? He goes through this list of things we could walk through in the Christian life. What's interesting is most of us in America will probably experience the first two. We'll probably experience trouble or hardship, but very few of us will go through real persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or your head getting chopped off…yet. You may not have gone through that, but, guys, it's coming. Will you be ready?
This list is all things Paul has gone through or knew he could go through or did eventually go through. This list of things is not something he's saying you won't go through as a believer, but the promise is that if you do and even when you walk through suffering, God is with you. He is for you, and he loves you. So, whatever you're going through, whatever you're in the middle of, whatever it is you're feeling, whatever you're knee deep in… Our what does not define our who.
What's going on in my life does not define who loves me and whose I am and who tells me what's most true in my life. Our current circumstances don't define us. In pain, in persecution, or in perishing, God is for you, and he loves you. Do you believe that? Do you believe God loves you? It's one thing to academically acknowledge it. It's one thing to cognitively know it, but it is a whole different thing to receive it, to believe it, and to walk in light of it.
The God of the universe loves you. He knows everything about you…everything…every dark crevice, every twisted thought, every wayward night, every lingering scroll, every desire, every diagnosis, every broken relationship, every action, and he loves you. God loves you so much he sent his Son Jesus to die for you. That's John 3:16. He so loved the world… And not just the whole world, and not just this whole people group and whole globe. He loves you so much he sent Jesus to die for you.
All of us can take this idea of God, our heavenly Father, and we can project our experiences and our upbringing and what we think of fathers and our father and men in general… We can project that onto God, but God is not this foreboding character who is just above us and looking down on us and disappointed in us. He is our loving Father who comes down to us, who sent his Son Jesus to be like us even though he's nothing like us, not only to just come touch earth a little bit, but then to come be with us. He comes around us, and he grabs us, and he shows us his love.
As a dad of three boys and a little girl, I'll often love to grab my kids in the backyard, and I'll sit down in the tree fort, and I'll just grab one of them and hold them. I'll stroke their hair, and I'll just tell them, "I love you. I'm proud of you. Nothing will change that." That's what God does for me. He holds me, and he strokes my hair, and he tells me, "I love you. I'm proud of you. Nothing will change my love for you."
Guys, he loves you. The God of the universe loves you. Nothing can separate you from his love. You are held in his embrace. He has wrapped his arms around you. Even if you cannot wrap your head around that, his arms are tightly wrapped around you. Nothing is going to change that. That's forever true of you and me. The porn addiction in my past doesn't change that. My miscarriage doesn't separate me from that. My fear, my want for control, the tone I use with my kids or my wife, my sin, my circumstances…nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So, whatever you're in the middle of, whatever has happened in your past, whatever is coming toward you in the future, nothing can separate you from the love of God. He is faithful even when we are faithless. Paul says, "No, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." That word conquerors means continually victorious. Even when it doesn't seem like it, even especially when it doesn't feel like it… Paul has written these letters to churches across all of Asia while he's sitting in jail, sitting in chains, facing a death sentence, and he just says, "God wins!"
Even when the scoreboard looks like zero for Christians, God wins. He's for you, and he loves you, and he's sovereign over you. There is a sweetness we have in Jesus, a confidence we have in Jesus, and a confidence we have in the sovereignty of God. No matter what we are going through, he is with us, he is for us, and he loves us. What do we do with that? What then shall we say to these things? What you do with it is you rest in it. You enjoy it. You soak in it, and you allow your mind and body and soul and spirit to believe it, because it's true of you in Christ.
Mister Rogers, our beloved neighbor, would often end his show with a moment of silence, where he wanted to give his friends just a moment to reflect on their life and who had impacted their life. Even at his Life Achievement Award at the Emmys, when he could thank anybody and say whatever he wanted, he just said, "I want to give you a moment to think about who has impacted your life and helped you become who you are." If Mister Rogers can do it on a TV show, we sure can do it in church.
So, I want to give you a moment to sit in the presence of God, to reflect on that truth that either you need to be reminded of after 40 years of walking with him or you walked in here and you never knew it could be possible to be loved that way by the God of the universe. I want you, wherever you are, to imagine you are sitting somewhere held in his arms…sitting on the tree fort, sitting on the couch, with his arms wrapped around you as he strokes your hair and reminds you "I love you, I'm proud of you, and nothing will change that." Take 60 seconds to be with your Father.
We enjoy it. We delight in it, because he delights in you. So, not only do we rest in it and enjoy it. What we do with it is we share it. When you go and get some amazing new dessert at some new dessert place, you don't just go, "Oh, I'm not telling anybody about that. That place is mine." You go, "Have you tried this? Have you had a doughnut that's shoved with ice cream in the middle? It's amazing!" You tell everybody about it.
Or you go to this new restaurant where you have this unbelievable meal. You're going to shout it from the rooftops and say, "You've got to go there. Go get a reservation three or six months from now. It's unbelievable." If we're going to do that with food, why would we not do that with the love of God? Second Corinthians 5:14: "For the love of Christ compels us…" It sends us. It moves us to go. The ESV says it controls us. The NIV says it has power over us and compels us to others.
God loved you so much he sent his Son Jesus to die for you, and he loves the world so much he's sending you to love them like Jesus. Jesus loves you. That's not some childish song that we're supposed to be like, "Oh yeah. That's cute. I guess God loves me. Yeah." That is what is most fundamental to our faith and overwhelmingly true of us, of how God thinks of us through his Son Jesus. He loves you.
I have a friend who makes a practice and a discipline of engaging people with that simple truth anywhere he goes. So, as he's at the grocery store, as he's at his kid's school… Wherever he is, he engages people. "Hey, can I tell you something real quick?"
"Hey, Jesus loves you."
"Hey, look me in the eyes. Look me in the eyes right here. I want you to look at me. Jesus loves you." I'm like, "Oh my goodness. This is so awkward."
"No, no, no. Look me in the face. He loves you."
He loves you, and he loves you, and he loves you, and he loves every single person that way. A lot of times, we're pointing out what people don't have so much we miss reminding them of what is most true about them, that Jesus loves them. So, this week, I've just made it a discipline to go try it wherever I'm at, to move through the awkwardness. And it is awkward every time. Just to look through and go, "Jesus loves you."
I looked at a lady, and she goes, "Oh, he loves you too, baby." I was like, "Oh, wow. Thank you. Praise God. See you later." But it opens up conversation. People are like, "I don't know where to start. I don't know what to say." How about you just say what is true, "Jesus loves you," and let God do the rest. You'll be amazed at what he opens up and who opens up.
I got a chance this week to tell it to a man who has been battling cancer for five years, and he's angry at God. "Hey, man. Jesus loves you." A pastor whose wife left him because of his sin and choices he made. "Hey, man. He loves you. He's not done with you." My neighbor who I've gotten to love and walk alongside for eight years who's going through some hardship and some struggle in his marriage, who does not love God or even want God and doesn't want religion. "Hey, man. Whatever you think, Jesus loves you."
Who have you walked by this last week who needs to hear that truth? If you know it, if it's something you have and it's true for you, why would you not share that with a hurting and broken world that doesn't know it? Another friend of mine was going and getting her eyebrows done. She's lying there, and this lady is just ripping her face apart, telling her about how ripped apart her life is. "Yeah, my boyfriend, and my life is this…"
She's just sitting there going, "What do I do?" She's in a mask. She was like, "All I wanted to do was look her in the face and say, 'Jesus loves you.'" I said, "Why didn't you?" "I don't know. It was awkward. There were people, and I had to be still. I didn't know what to do." Do you know what's awkward? Jesus hanging naked on a cross for you so you could have life in him. Do you know what's amazing? The cross of Jesus Christ, which led to his resurrection, so you could have life and this whole world could experience life in him.
He's sending you to proclaim the beautiful truth of Jesus to a hurting and broken world. Why wouldn't we? What's stopping us? What's keeping us from proclaiming that beautiful truth to them? Let's push through the awkwardness. Let's push through the persecution, because nothing can separate us, not even moving, as terrible as it is.
I told you my family is moving. We're moving to Rockwall to plant a church. We are excited, and it is beautiful, and that community out there is incredible, but what we're literally doing… I told you I've been here for 10 years. I've been in my Community Group for 10 years. I've lived in this city. I've made relationships here. I've loved people in this body. I have deep relationships here, and I'm literally taking everything about my life and ripping it out because of the goodness of God.
As we do that, my wife and I have had conversations, and we're just going, "What are we doing? What if this fails? What if we move all the way out here and no one else shows up, it's just us? Like, 'I don't know. God is good.' What if none of this works out? What about our kids? What are they going to think? What if…? What if…?" What we come down to is "What do we have to lose?" If God is for us, who can be against us? Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Literally nothing.
So, why wouldn't we risk it all? Those people out there in Rockwall are worth it. They're beautiful. They're amazing. They are disciples of Jesus, making disciples in their community. Jesus loves them, and they are worth giving my life for. My kids are worth it. I want them to see Mom and Dad willing to risk their lives for the gospel, having no idea what's going to come next. Success is not succeeding. Success is Jesus and walking in obedience with him, because God is worth it.
He gave his Son. Jesus went and gave everything, every part of his own life, so I could have life in him. If he did it, why wouldn't I give him everything in return? I'm no martyr. I just believe that walking in obedience to what God calls me to is going to bring life to me and life to those around me, so I'm just taking God at his word and I'm trusting in Jesus.
If Jesus could leave the comfort of relationship with his Father in heaven and come down to give everything for me, why wouldn't I leave my own comfort so others could know him? God may not be calling you to move to another city and plant a church. If he is, come to Rockwall. We meet on Sundays at 4:00. We'd love to have you hop in with us. He may not be calling you to move across the world to go be a missionary and to give your life in that way, but he might be, and if he is, go.
But what is he moving in you and calling you to give your life for? What is he moving in you to that next step of obedience and just saying, "Hey, go do this"? What conversation? What person do you need to pick up the phone and call? What relationship do you need to go seek restoration? What ministry do you need to start? Who do you need to go down the street and just knock on their door and learn their name to show them the love of Jesus?
Whatever he's moving in you to do, walk in obedience, and it will give you life regardless of the outcome and the circumstances. How will you respond? What do you have to lose? Literally nothing, because you're dead to it already. Christ has died, and he took your old life with it, so you are raised to new life with him.
Paul says, "For I am sure, I am certain, I am positive, I am 100 percent that neither death nor life, nor angels nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation can ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." What are we afraid of, and what do we have to lose? Nothing, because of Jesus. He is for us, and he loves us, and his love compels us to go.
I want you to imagine with me. You're standing in a canyon, the Grand Canyon, a beautiful canyon, and you're standing on this cliff face that goes straight down to your death. You can see the other side. So, you're on one side, and then imagine that God is on the other side of the Grand Canyon. There's this amazing chasm in between that separates you because of sin.
Even if you're incredibly athletic, you can't get enough running head start to jump to the other side. No amount of good works… You are not good enough. You cannot be good enough. You cannot do enough. You cannot earn enough. Nothing will get you to relationship with God except for Jesus Christ, what he did on the cross for you to pay the penalty of your sin, to take that upon himself, and more than that, to raise to new life so you could have life. Jesus is the bridge.
A lot of you have seen that and know that, but I think what happens in the Christian life is we get in this pattern that we assume we are not just secure, but we're kind of on this rickety rope bridge. "Okay! I'm stepping out by faith, and, whoa! I have to cling to the cables of moralism. I just have to kind of teeter my way through life. One bad move and my foot is going to slip through this thing that's old and rickety. I'm going to plummet to my death, but hopefully, if I just get by enough, I'll then go unscathed to the other side."
Guys, that's not the gospel. The gospel is that because of Jesus Christ, God is for you, and he loves you, and you are secure in him. Jesus is the bridge that reconciles us to God, and as we stand on that bridge overlooking life and what he's calling us to, we can stand there not in fear…not in fear of failure, not in fear of falling, not in fear of whatever is coming our way. We are engulfed in the love of God, wrapped by him, bound by his grace, bound by his love, in a way that we are secure, not just for forever, not just eternal security, but we are secure and fastened by the love of God as his children.
So, we can stand on the edge of that, and what do we have to lose? What do we have to fear? Nothing. Jesus just goes, "Jump!" Like a bungee jump, go enjoy life. Give it fully. This guy who's standing on the edge… When you're about to bungee jump, you're probably having all of these things go through your head, like, "Ah! Aah! Aaaah!" But he finally gives into it, knowing that he's bound and knowing he's secure, not by his chains, not by his sin, not by his fear, but in the love of God. Then he fully gives himself to that. What's natural to come out is "God loves me! And he loves you!" And you fully live life in Christ.
If God is for us, who can be against us? Come, dive into his goodness and grace. Take the plunge into the depth of relationship with him. You are wrapped in his love. Come experience fullness of life in him, far greater than you could ever ask for or imagine. It is good. It is rich. All of us stand on the edge. We want to teeter, and we want to shrink back in fear, but what if we just fully gave in? What if all of the believers in Jesus Christ just said, "Okay, God. I'm in. Whatever is coming, whatever it takes, I'm going to walk by your Spirit. I'm going to trust you. I'm going to trust that you're for me and you love me, and I'm going to plunge into that, whatever it is you have. I'm in."
Guys, that's what it looks like to live on mission. What if this week every single person in this room…? Anybody you engage with, you know it is God sending you to remind them, "Jesus loves you," and you just trust God with whatever is next, even if it winds you up in chains. What would it look like if everywhere we went we just looked for people's eyes and told them, "Hey, man, look me in the eyes for a second. I just want to remind you: Jesus loves you"?
What would it look like if we actually loved our neighbors? Not just gave them a little wave, but we leaned in and invited them in. When we live the way Jesus calls us to live by loving one another because of the love he has for us, this world will be a different place. We don't have to be afraid of death. We don't have to be afraid of anything. We have nothing to lose. He has died so we can have life.
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 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? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 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. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written, 'For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 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."
Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for your love for us Ephesians says you have lavished upon us. We do not deserve that. We cannot earn it. We cannot attain. We do not have to perform for it. It is just true of us, for those who believe and surrender to you and trust their life in Jesus Christ. Lord, would we rest in it? Will you give us the grace to believe it, to not just know it but to drink deeply of it?
Lord, will your love, will your Spirit transform us, and, Lord, would you send us boldly by faith, having no idea what's going to come next, to go love others, to tell them of the goodness of God, the grace of God, the love of God in Jesus Christ? Lord, help us live life, walking by the Spirit, because if God is for us, who can be against us? We love you. We now respond in worship to you. It's in Jesus' name we pray, amen.