July 11, 2018

Love So Deep It's Inescapable—And That's a Good Thing!

Romans 8:35–39

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35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

  “For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 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.

Love So Deep It's Inescapable—And That's a Good Thing!

Bio | Brandt Coffey

Well, look at that—y'all have just gotten your daily cup of Coffey! Don't worry, it only costs two cents (a joke about giving advice, if you need that clarification). Hey, everybody! My name is Brandt Coffey, and I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to pour into others' lives via today's devotional. I've been at Watermark for more than four years, and it has become an extension of my home. My sisters (Maggie and Carylea), my mom and dad, and my small group have been my rocks, and I absolutely love them all.

Central Truth

God is very clear about the saving power and eternal security found in the blood of Jesus Christ—there's no ambiguity. He who "first loved us" has said that those who have faith in Him will never be taken away from Him, and He will not be taken from them.

Devotional | Romans 8:35–39

Now, I've never steered a ship or worked in a true "job" environment, but I've done my share of school projects, and I assume that the latter is a glimpse into the former. In all of them,...

Now, I've never steered a ship or worked in a true "job" environment, but I've done my share of school projects, and I assume that the latter is a glimpse into the former. In all of them, there's a community of people working toward a shared goal. There is also a leader—one who guides the others by example—who helps everyone else know the value of the part they play, whatever that might be. 

I start off with this because community, the leader, and our shared value are key points in the conversation that God is having with us through this passage. He is the leader of our lives, and when we accept this and trust in Him, there is no more ambiguity about where we should go or what we should be doing because He knows exactly where we need to be to prosper. When we accept Jesus as Lord and gather in community with fellow believers, God's promises become more evident in our lives because we are constantly reminded of them by the physical presence of those in community with us. As we give God more control of our lives, we realize our value is clearly in the saving power of Jesus' blood. And His blood is the evidence that God loves us unconditionally, even when we don't deserve it. God gives us hope through His Son Jesus' resurrection because if He can defeat death, then what power has "distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger" (verse 35) over Him who gives us life, and life abundantly? 

The writer of this passage, the apostle Paul, has a clear stance for anyone who questions God's promise to "not leave [us] or forsake [us]" (Deuteronomy 31:6). I like the NIV translation of Romans 8:38 because it says Paul was "convinced" nothing could separate us from God's love. We likewise should be convinced that the God Paul is describing in Romans has the same love for us now. For in light of the truth of Romans 8:38-39, what can possibly "separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord"? 

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Discussion Questions

1. Take some time away from your daily schedule to be introspective. What's the root cause (a hurt, a belief, an insecurity, etc.) holding you back from fully believing that God is true to His Word when He says that He loves you and that no matter what you do, you can never add or take away from His love for you?

2. Get in the habit of reading your Bible, not with the intention or hope that you'll have a great revelation (or "I-get-it-now" moment) every time you open it, but instead with the idea that you're having a conversation with God, and this is your time and opportunity to listen to Him. What does God want to do in and with your life for your growth and His glory as you allow the Holy Spirit to take control of your life? 

3. Connect with other believers who will guide and encourage you as you learn more about God's love for you. Ask them questions; be vulnerable with them. You will find that it's much easier to remember His Word and stand firm in the fact that God truly loves you, and that nothing can take away His love for you when you are surrounded by others who are continually reminding one another of the truth of the gospel.

9 Comments available

craig callewart 7 months ago

Q1: past difficulties in life that left me feeling alone. I knew of God, but did not about Him. Q2: interdependence Q3: this is happening in community group

Rita Satagaj 7 months ago

Thank you Brandt! Love that we are changed by God’s love, constantly changing as we learn but God’s love never changes. He is always there for us! How comforting! Great community point! “Surrounded by others who are continually reminding one another of the truth of the gospel.” Love it!

greg jones 7 months ago

Q2 is great in its wording and the direction it attempts to take our thinking. I’ve heard many people tell stories about their aha Bible reading moments. Then, they tell you a personal story related to the life changing revelation they just came to understand. Unfortunately, “You know, I’ve just aleays” can paraphrase the beginning, middle, and end of that story.

The suggested way of reading helps me “see” and understand a statement like, “all I know is, I was blind before, but now I can see.”

Want to get molded by this world? Have all your stories begin and end with, well, I’ve just always”. Want to not be molded by this world? Have these stories to tell, “There was a time when, but then, and now”. The details can be about, seeing, what it means to not be separated from the love of God.

Michael Scaman 7 months ago

The love is inescapable. In Psalm 44 we are led like sheep to the slaughter. In Psalm 45 there is wedding of the King to a gentile bride.

The sufferings of this life are followed by the marriage supper of the lamb

Suffering is swallowed up in joy.

Michael Scaman 7 months ago

Romans 8:36 is quoting Psalm 44 In Psalm 23 God leads in paths of righteousness for His names sake and here in Psalm 44 God leads to persecution and suffering also for his name sake

But it’s not apart from his love

Sue Bohlin 7 months ago

Super devo, Brandt, thank you!

Today’s verses belong in the “Best of the Bible” series. Instead of being printed in red, like Jesus’ words in some editions, these verses ought to be printed in GOLD!

Hugging to myself the glorious truth that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love, I was reminded of a long-ago Vacation Bible School lesson where the teacher brought a pitcher of water and added a packet of cherry Kool-Aid to it. Stirring up the mixture, she asked, “What can we do to pull the Kool-Aid crystals out of the water to get us back to just a pitcher of plain water again?” The answer, of course, is NOTHING. The water’s been permanently changed. Just like God’s love permanently changes us, and nothing can separate us from it. Praise God!

Hope Harris 7 months ago

GM One of the things I believe Pauls writings reveal is his own inner wrestling with the truth of Gods word. This passage shows me the conclusion of his struggle.

He confidently abides in the fact that nothing or no one can put a wedge between himself and the love of God.

I want that kind of confidence, but fall short of it often

Lindsey Driscoll 7 months ago

Brandt, great reminder how surrounding ourself with fellow believers reminds of of God’s inescapable love for us. 8:39 reads “neither height nor depth”. It is impossible to be hidden from God’s love physically and emotionally.

Hugh Stephenson 7 months ago

GM Brandt! Love your emphasis on community. Without Biblical community I would drown in my struggles.

What a powerful way to end Romans 8!

Dr C - “Paul’s paean (hymn) of praise concludes this section of the epistle that expounds God’s present work of salvation in, and for, those He has redeemed (chs. 6-8).”

I compare this to our memory verse Romans 7:24. From “wretched man” & “totally depraved” to “more than conquerors” that can never be separated from the love of God in Jesus.

In re gen I learned to think of the Bible as an 800,000-word love letter.

Many, many days I feel verse 7:24 is my reality and this passage is a just a dream.

Today I pray in thanks for God’s Word, God’s Spirit and God’s people who constantly remind me who I am and whose I am.

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