With This Love

 

Romans 8: 31-39
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered 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 convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
With This Love….
I am old enough to have seen the US presidency switch between the Democratic and Republican parties more than once. What amazes me is that almost every time voters and members of the losing side go through a fairly intense malaise and anxiety. This recent transfer of power in January 2017 has once again pressed many Americans into a state of angst. I must confess that recent political, economic, and social events actually makes angst seem reasonable to me. Americans literally hate each other. Americans are currently more friendly to past enemies than we are to each other. Acceptance of very dangerous lies by both conservative and liberal operatives has become the new normal.
Then I read Romans 8 again. As I spent several days reflecting on it, a thought occurred to me. Regardless of our external and internal turmoil, we are all sincerely and intensely loved. Moreover, we are not loved to be cute, cuddly pets. Indeed, verse 31: “If God be for us, who can be against us” is empowering and verse 37 is clear that we are loved to be more than conquerors.
It’s very easy to misconstrue these powerful scriptures as free license to pursue our own dreams and passions. However, that would be wrong. Romans 8 was written to remind us that we are loved and freely given the gift of God’s salvation. With this love, we need not fear the circumstances of our lives. With this love, we can overcome the sins that so easily beset us. With this love, we can combat any evil that assails us. With this love, we can have peace in our minds and joy in our hearts.
This is no ordinary kind of love. This love took at least forty and two generation to prepare. This love was proven with bloodshed and death. This love covers our sins and ransoms our souls. This love is alive and wants to live within us. This is JESUS!
Jesus is the answer to our political divide, our economic woes and our social disparities. Jesus is Love. With his love, we can save ourselves, our nation, and our world.
Cecil Lettsome

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