Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 22 April 2022:
Listen to this message by Dr. James White on how we still sacrifice to Molech: https://www.blueletterbible.org/audio_video/popPlayer.cfm?type=sa&id=8215153589&rel=SermonAudio/White,%20James
Romans 8:5 – “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
Living by the Spirit causes a completely different way of thinking an acting. It is impossible to think and act the same after genuine salvation.
Romans 8:12, 13 – So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Mature Christians no longer live by the flesh. Mature Christians obey God, not just because they have to or are afraid not to but because they really want to.
Romans 8:16-18 – The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
“It is impossible to perceive all that became ours when we were born again. There is no way we can understand all that heaven is like. How could we ever comprehend all that is ours as fellow heirs with Christ? The knowledge that we will share Christ’s inheritance with Him absolutely astounds us! Left to our own, we could not begin to understand all that we received once we became children of the King. The Holy Spirit convinces us that we are indeed children of God and helps us understand the riches of our inheritance.
Perhaps you did not have a loving father. The Spirit’s role is to teach you how to respond to a Father who relates to you only in perfect love and how to live like a child of the King. Perhaps you grew up in poverty. The Spirit will show you the inexhaustible riches available to you as a child of God.
If you were simply declared an heir and then left on your own, you could not begin to use your inheritance. But the Father has given you His Spirit to serve as your Guide and Teacher. The Holy Spirit will lead you to the magnificent promises and resources that became available when God adopted you into His family. Take time to meditate on the wonderful promises of God that are available to you. Let the Holy Spirit convince you of the reality that you are, indeed, a child of God and a fellow heir of Christ.” (Henry T. Blackaby)
Romans 8:26, 27 – Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Pray continuously and remember that the Spirit is helping you with your prayers.
Romans 8:28, 29 – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
All things don’t work together for good for everyone, just for those who those who truly love God and are called according to His purpose. See Romans 29 and John 17 to understand His purpose for you.
Romans 8:29-30 – For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
“Your life is a part of God’s grand design. God has known about you and had a plan for your life since before time began. He knew everything about you before you were even born (Jer. 1:5). God predetermined that you would become like His Son. Your life, therefore, has a destiny. Christ is the model upon which the Father is developing your life. You are meant to have a relationship with the Father that is as intimate as the relationship between Jesus and the Father (John 17:21). Every event He allows into your life is designed to make you more like Christ.
God’s call came when He invited you to join Him in the process! His call was extremely personal, designed specifically for your response. How wonderful to realize that at a particular moment in history, almighty God spoke personally to you and invited you to become His child!
Because of your sin, you could never live blamelessly. But God forgave your sin and justified you, declaring you righteous. All the spiritual debt you carried with Him was forgiven, and you were freed to enjoy God and to serve Him for the rest of eternity. In Biblical times, the glory of God’s people was His presence. You, too, are glorified because the fullness of God now dwells within you, and you will one day be with Him (Col. 1:27; 2:9). He invites you to join Him in working out His will in your life–conforming you to His image (Phil. 2:12).” (Henry T. Blackaby)
Romans 8:31-35 — No matter what anyone says or how you might feel during times of failure, nothing can hinder God’s love for you as a Christian.
Romans 8:32 – 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?
“If you ever feel that you are so insignificant that God does not care about you or that He does not want to listen to your prayers, you will be encouraged by Romans 8:32. There, you are assured that your heavenly Father loves you unconditionally. There was nothing so precious to Him that He would not give it up in order to provide for your salvation. When the Father gave His precious Son to save you, He proved once for all that His love is boundless.
The apostle Paul concluded that if God would not spare His own Son in order to provide for our salvation, how would He not willingly give anything else at His disposal in order to care for us? He sacrificed so much to give us eternal life that we can rest secure in the knowledge that He also wants to give us abundant life (John 10:10).
In light of what God did for us at the cross, should we not approach the throne of grace with confidence? God’s response to our prayers is not based upon our worthiness but upon His love and grace. Our confidence in prayer comes not from who we are but from who He is. Nothing we could ask of Him could ever compare with the price He paid for us at the cross.
How wonderful to know that God loves us so much! We can live with confidence and anticipation knowing that almighty God is willing not only to give us eternal life, but also to help us experience it fully!” (Henry T. Blackaby)
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?
“Nothing you could ever experience, no matter how terrible or frightening, could ever separate you from the love of God. No tribulation and distress you might ever suffer could be so intense that God’s love for you is not even more fervent. No persecution could be so painful that God’s love cannot bring comfort. Famine might starve you of food, but you will never hunger for the Father’s love. Poverty cannot strip you of God’s compassion, just as even death itself is incapable of robbing you of your heavenly Father’s infinite love.
If you base your view of God’s love on your circumstances, you will become confused. There may be times when you will ask, “How could a loving God allow this to happen to me?” You may begin to question what you find clearly stated in the Word of God. God promised that you would never be separated from His love; He did not say that you would never face hardship, persecution, poverty, or danger. If you doubt that God could love you and still allow you to experience difficult experiences, consider the life of Jesus.
If you allow the death of Jesus on the cross to forever settle any questions you might have about God’s love, you will approach difficult circumstances with confidence. Knowing that there will never be anything that could separate you from God’s perfect love, you will watch to see how God expresses His love in each circumstance. Don’t ever judge God’s love based on your circumstances. Instead, evaluate your circumstances from the perspective of God’s love.” (Henry T. Blackaby)
Romans 8:39 – …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.
When the Bible says nothing can separate you from the love of God, it doesn’t mean few things can separate you; it means NOTHING. “Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 22 April 22: Today and from now on, don’t judge God’s love for you by your apparent circumstances; rather, judge your circumstances from the reality of God’s sovereignty and perfect love for you. Perspective is everything. Understanding God’s love for you and His plan for your life, to conform you to the character of Jesus, should change how you see everything and should result in your continual love, joy, peace, and contentment.