Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Inseparable

As I read and listen to the news, I see a world fraught with danger. Murders, rapes, household robberies and so many other horrific things going on in the world. We all wish things were different, but we cower in our homes. We try to pull blankets over our heads in order to keep the bad news from seeping into our lives. We feel alone. There is no one to turn to in this time of trouble. The trouble doesn’t even need to be any of the items I mentioned earlier. The trouble could also be physical, financial or spiritual. We face the dangers that are not only outside our homes but also inside our homes. It seems like there is danger and trouble all around us and nothing can stop it. We feel separated from everything.

But, we need to ask ourselves a couple of questions. Are we truly alone as Christians? Have we been separated from God and our savior, Jesus, by these trials and troubles? The answer is easy. No, we are not alone and nothing can separate us from God and Jesus. The answer is truly easy, but it is difficult to remember while things are falling apart all around us. In my own life, I face a tremendous number of problems. I have issues that I must try to deal with and there are times when I do feel alone. I am not going to lie to you and tell you that my life is a rose garden. I, too, have things that are going on right now that test my faith in God. But, I come back to my faith and also think about the life of Paul.

If you recall from your scripture reading, you know that Paul, after he repented of his sins and accepted Jesus as his personal Savior and Lord, faced a lot of problems. He was arrested, beaten and ultimately died for his faith. While writing letters to the churches, Paul reminded them of what he and other Christians faced daily for their faith. Even today, there are Christians around the world who are jailed, murdered, tortured and persecuted for their faith. In the United States, some are harassed and ridiculed for their faith.

However, we need to remember the words of Paul as he wrote to the church in Rome. Let us look at Romans 8 verses 35-39 as I read from the New Living Translation. “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we face really big problems in our lives, it is very easy for us to slip into the trap of thinking that we have been abandoned and that God has forsaken us. There have been times in my own life when I truly felt alone; however, I was never alone. God never left my side and Jesus never gave up on me. It is difficult to remember that when you are up to your eyeballs in trouble. You just want to give up or have God just rescue you. I have prayed those prayers as well. “God, just get me out of this. Amen.” This short and to the point prayer is all of the faith we can muster at the moment.

But, what does Paul tell us in Romans 8? He reminds us of what the scripture tells us. Despite everything that is going on in our lives, we have victory in Jesus as our Savior and Lord and that there is nothing in heaven or earth that can separate us from our Heavenly Father. Paul uses the phrase “nothing in all creation”. He is absolutely right. There is nothing on this planet or in this universe that can get between God and ourselves. Not even the powers of hell can even come close to separating us. We truly are His children and He is truly our Father. 

There is one other thought that comes to mind when I begin to feel alone. I remember the last stanza of the poem, “Footprints”. We all know the poem, but sometimes we forget the lesson of the last few words. Let me give them to you and I ask that you let the words minister to you. “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you. Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.”

Isn’t that comforting to know? I know when I read or say those words, I feel the love of Jesus all around me and through me. I know that he is there with his hand out to take my hand. He will lead you through the fires in your life and see you to safety. We have the victory of salvation in our lives and there is nothing that can take that away from us. What a comforting thought! What a truly wonderful promise from our Heavenly Father through His son, Christ Jesus.

If you do not have that wonderful promise and relationship with the Lord in your life, you face defeat every day. You face everything alone. You do not have anyone to turn to. Try as you may, all of your actions and plans do not get you to a peace in your heart and soul. If you want that peace and you want victory in your life, there is just one thing to do. You need to ask Jesus to come into your life and be your guide and the way to the Father. Once you do that, you begin your daily walk. Life doesn’t get easier. Christians still have problems, but the way you face life does get easier. You can go to the Father in prayer. Jesus died so that you could have that direct line to God. Through Jesus, we have that way to the throne of God. God loves you so very much and loved you from the beginning of time.

Once you have Jesus in your life, he will lead you from your sinful ways and into God’s loving arms. God will never leave nor forsake you. When you have that victory, you can rest assured that you can stand firm in His grace.

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