Ми хочемо, щоб ви знали, що Бог піклується про вас.
Biblical love does not rely on behavior. A helpful example is the love of a parent for a child. It doesn’t matter what the child does, the loving parent still loves.
God is a loving Father.
This was perfectly illustrated by Jesus in the well know parable of the Prodigal (lost) Son. When he finally came home, broken and penniless, his father received him gladly. After being forsaken, he still loves that son.
Think of the many stories about men who are incarcerated and forsaken by society. There is one person who never gives up, the mom. She loves him. No matter what.
At the end of chapter 8 of Romans, Paul says.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 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.” (Rom. 8:35-39 ESV)
On the way home from church we talked about this with the grandsons. In their respective groups, the limitless love of Christ was the theme. When asked how big is the love of God, the 6 year old said “bigger than the whole universe!”
That just about does it.
All of the things Paul lists are within the created universe.
Nothing in this whole universe can take us away from God.
We are safe.
Rejoice in this friend.
You are loved.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psalm 103:1-5 ESV
“With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.”
Psalm 71:16 ESV
Pause and think of all that God has done. Your last breath, your beating heart, these and many other things about which we may all be thankful.
Be reminder, dear reader, of God’s greatness and his love for YOU!
It has been noted that Paul’s prayers are more about spiritual development than about one’s circumstances. (If you think this assessment incorrect, read all of his letters and Acts, make a list, and get back to me.) [edited]
One of my favorite prayers to pray for people is this one (it’s written on a 3×5 card and kept with my list of people):
Ok, ok, so, you can’t read my scribble. Here you go: “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11 ESV)
This is a great prayer for your loved ones and your hated ones alike.
When distraught, when the feeling of oppression overwhelms us, it is normal to focus our attention on all that assails us. Be it financial pressures, a wayward child, or sickness, it is natural to become focused on our troubles.
Don’t give in.
In the Psalms we read a great series of complaints brought to the Lord.
“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!” (Psalm 40:16-17 ESV)
When the woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, he told her that her faith had healed her.
She turned to Jesus, went to where he was, reached out to him.
Don’t give in to struggle, turn to God who is our true source of strength.
In this planning retreat I am investing time in 1 Peter as I prepare to give four teachings on it in Hungary this summer.
As I’ve been meditating on the text and studying the sections I’ll be teaching, I’ve observed a theme:
Walking hopefully in Christ can bring glory to God in many ways.