Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pentecost Sunday

It hit me this morning, sitting in church, how much I just love Romans 8. There are so many of my favourite Bible verses packed into this Chapter... I didn't even realise until today! I don't want this blog post to get too long, but I'm afraid it might if I find too many verses to comment on!  So, here goes... 
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (verses 1-4)
It is so reassuring to know that we are not condemned, but we have been set free from the law of sin and death.  What Christ did on the cross allows us to live freely with Him.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God." (verses 26-27)
So often I call on this verse when I find it hard to find the words to pray.  Before Little Spring came into our lives, we struggled for a long time with infertility.  I couldn't tell you how many times I would lie in bed, crying without words, talking to God.  I couldn't finds words to actually form a prayer, but in my groans and sobs, I knew God heard me and that the Spirit was interceding for me.

I've also recalled this verse when I know I've needed to pray for a friend.  I was on my way to help her, but didn't actually know what was wrong and what I was specifically driving into.  All the way there, I was praying for her, but not knowing what I was actually praying for, but knew God would hear my prayers.  After picking her up and finding out what had happened for her to need me, I kept praying all the way home for Him to give me the words to speak to her while we drove.  It was a calming feeling being able to pray and know that the words I needed would be there, even if I didn't know what those words were going to be until the exact moment I needed them.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (verse 28)
Through this verse we have the confidence to know that if we are doing God's Will... I've blogged about this before in Q is for Qualified  - qualified even though I'm unqualified.  If you can't remember what I wrote, or haven't read it before, click on the link and have a read - it's a verse for you as well, especially if you ever feel inadequate for the work God has set out for you!
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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." (verses 38-39)
Another very reassuring verse!  Romans 8:31b also puts it in a nutshell: "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

I remember many years ago when I was attending an Easter Camp, we were all having some wonderfully quiet time of prayer in a large group/circle.  Suddenly one of the girls got up, screaming and shouting and horrible profanities came out of her mouth as she ran out the door, slamming it open as she went.  A minute or so later, a blood curdling scream could be heard further down the camp site.  This all came from a gentle, quiet girl and those left in the room were naturally quite upset and unsure of what had happened.  To this day, I still don't actually know what happened to her that night.  Anyway, I was very upset by it and when I got home, I was talking to my parents and was scared that if someone like this girl could get possessed (what I thought she was, but like I said, I don't actually know), what's stopping me?  The best thing my mum said to me was that if I had Jesus in me, nothing else could get in.  The verse above reminds me of that it it's comforting to know!

Of course, there is so much more to Romans 8 than what I've written above, but those few verses are the ones that I always remember and often come to mind in certain circumstances.  If you haven't already done so today, I encourage you to read Romans 8 and absorb all that God has to say to you and may He bless you as you read His Word and open your ears and hearts to hear His message for you!

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