“38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, 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.”
Romans 8:38-39 NIV
‘Nor’ is used 6 times in this 2 verse scripture.
Why is that significant?
The number 6 does not mean that there are only 6 scenarios that God’s love will never depart from you.
The repetition of nor emphasises Paul’s conviction that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God. And this is coming from a man who before he encountered the person of Jesus Christ, was in charge of imprisoning and killing Christians. (Acts 22:4)
The verse covers all the things that keep us awake at night pondering whether we have lost God’s protection or His love because of the weight of our sins.
nor things present nor things to come
His love supersedes not only the sins of our past but the present slip-ups as well and the ones that we continue to repeat in the future.
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you”
Jeremiah 31: 3 NKJV
When God speaks, His words are invaluable but they serve a greater purpose and that purpose centers around you. It is for you to respond and put your faith on what God has reiterated through speech especially for you.
Here, God’s declaration of an everlasting love does not translate to ‘your life is now going be a breeze’.
Everything will not be easy nor will your life be picture perfect.
So what is the point of believing in God then?
Well for me, His promise of an everlasting love.
People, who may or may not have experienced the love of a parent or both parents, may appreciate the promise of an unconditional love from the creator of all things.
And yet God’s love is greater than the love we may have experienced or fantasise about experiencing.
God is defined as Love.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:8 NIV
Every believer’s reason or reasons for truly believing in God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit will be different to the next.
Every unbeliever’s reason or reasons for truly turning to God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit will also be different to the next.
But what is constant and eternal is God’s love for both groups. In Christ, there is no segregation of faith but we are all united in God’s love for us.
But what about our love for Him?
God shows no partiality – you are either righteous or unrighteous based on your faith that Jesus died for you.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9 NIV
You will be saved by God because of your belief in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary.
God shows no partiality to who can receive salvation rather it is His desire that everyone be saved. (By following Romans 10:9)
…God our Saviour who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1st Timothy 2: 3-4 NKJV
So why would God start demonstrating favouritism towards certain believers over other believers.
Comparing your condition to someone else is like tying the laces of your shoes into one big knot and deciding to take a stroll – you are bound to fall.
Someone may have the attributes you want, the type of blessings you need right now or the faith you desire. After chewing on the differences between their life and yours, you might think, ‘God must love them more than me’ or ‘He must like them more than me’.
The solution is to focus your energies on cultivating a personal relationship with God. Your resources may seem limited but all you need to do this is a human body (preferably yours), The Holy Spirit, faith and God’s Word (which you can find in a Bible).
When you start to cultivate and seek a unique relationship with God, the need to compare yourself will weaken as you come into the truth that God also has good things prepared just for you.
When you believe in this, you do not need to worry about what others have or what He has done for so and so.
Because you have your own personal relationship with God which is better than anything. But as an added bonus God has you covered in that He has brought to life your own personalised blessings.
There Are No Gaps in God’s Love
I thought of this title because it calls me to remember that because of His everlasting love for me, God will not allow me (or you) to slip through the cracks.
We always have His attention.
But He does not always have ours.
God will never let us go.
But we let Him go.
He promises to never forsake or abandon us. But we exercise the free will He has given us to decide to either turn to him or let Him go. And this is not a one-time decision for us…it can happen multiple times in our walk with God. But because of the sovereignty of God and that He will never break go back on His Word, He is locked in this promise for ever to never forsake you and I.
God places His Word above who all that He is – God.
I will worship toward Your holy temple,
And praise Your name
For Your loving kindness and Your truth;
For You have magnified Your word above all Your name
Psalms 138: 2 NKJV
We distance ourselves from God. We become complacent with the knowledge that His love is boundless and put Him in a box only to seek Him when it is convenient for us i.e. a death or the threat of death.
Try to remember that God has not forgotten you.
There are times that I think that God does not think I am ready to progress and receive a blessing.
This may be true because often times when we are blessed we forget about God. i.e. New job = waking up earlier for work = not enough time to read my Bible or pray.
Sometimes I accept the stagnation that seems to be my life at the moment as God’s accurate measure of what I deserve.
But another way to look at this waiting period is as the optimum time for me to get closer to Him. A time that God carved out before I was even born to teach, guide and strengthen me for the battles that may come once I receive the blessings I have prayed to Him for.
During this period, things may seem quiet on God’s end because you have not been magically transported to the time where you can enjoy your blessing.
I always complain say that I cannot hear God.
I pray (like I just did 5 seconds ago) that He will speak to me in a way that I will be able to understand. I even ask Him to speak audibly to me instead worrying whether my sub-conscious is the one talking to me.
In your time of waiting feelings of resentment towards God may rise.
But try to remember this; no matter how you are feeling or how justified you think your feelings are…
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29: 11 NIV
God’s plans for you are simply to give, give, give…
It is all about you.
His love is all about you.
In celebrating in His love for you, you celebrate His nature because God is love. In celebrating Him for what He gives to you freely, you glorify Him.
Confusing, maybe this might simplify things – God get His kicks from blessing you.
God thinks and puts you in such a high and an untouchable position that neither His Angels nor your failures can separate you from the reach of His love. Meaning your failures does not make up or weigh in God’s description of who you are.
Also, this means that you can still come to God and ask Him for forgiveness for whatever you are currently struggling with.
It also means that you can and should accept His Grace that is birthed from His ABUNDANT & UNBREAKABLE love for you and I.
However, God’s promise of an unbreakable love bond between Him and ourselves is not permission for us to do things that will not please Him.
For the LORD disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.”
Hebrews 12: 6 NLT
God disciplines those that He Loves.
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?
Hebrews 12: 7 NLT
There are habits that we repeat time and time again even after accepting Jesus as our Saviour and knowing that He died just for us to have eternal life in Heaven.
We definitely need discipline with these habits.
And yet, to be disciplined by God sounds scary.
You might have a mental image of God ready and waiting for you armed with a leather belt.
So what does discipline from God looks like?
I cannot pretend to know exactly what discipline from God looks like. But an example for me is removing me from a seemingly great relationship but it was not spiritually fulfilling because it brought me further and further away from God. It was painful at the time and for a long time, but looking back now I say “Thank You, God and all glory to You!” (I’m hoping the bold font really empathises my gratitude 😅)
God regards us in such a high position that neither His angels nor our failures can separate us from the reach of His love.
Some of us who have been in love cannot say that we even know how God’s love operates. But we have seen that His love involves
- Forgiveness of our sins
- Sending His Only Son to die a shameful and horrible death so that every person can receive salvation
- Blessing us despite of our hang ups
- Allowing us to experience a Heavenly Father’s love
- and much more….