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. — Romans 8:38
I was reading through a comment left on my last column and thinking over it. As I pondered these things and mulled over them, the Lord used my pastor to bring revelation through his sermon last Sunday.
Our church read through Ephesians 1:4-14 and we were reminded that God’s intentions and position towards us is Love. It has always been love and will always be love. There is no shifting shadow in him. God makes all His plans and accomplishes them in and through love. However, we affect our relationship with God by having sin in our lives. Sin creates distance between us and God. Isn’t that what repentance is truly about? Turning totally away from the things that displease Him and turning wholeheartedly towards Him.
I am convinced that really nothing can separate believers from the love of God and that His only attitude towards us is love. The word says that He is love. This leads me, as a born again believer, a new creation, to regard no one with a worldly point of view (2 Corinthians 5:16-19). It also means that I submit to Jesus being the only judge. However, I have been given a ministry of reconciliation to see others come into right relationship with God.
We who have accepted Christ as our Saviour and are truly in relationship with Him, are forever changed and He faithfully completes the work He started in us. I firmly believe that it really isn’t our place to judge, but rather to shine Christ’s light in situations and to proclaim the good news to those who are in darkness.
We were instructed to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!”(Matthew 10:8). These actions are all about releasing people from bondage and seeing the Kingdom of God come upon people’s lives. Sin is a reality though but Paul advises us on how to deal with it:
“Brothers if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. ..Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load” (Galatians 6:1-5)
I think ultimately, what I am discovering in this journey of ‘renewing the mind’, is that the focus should be on my vertical relationship with God. I believe that my relationship to those around me, Christian or not, should be about encouraging their vertical relationship with the Father and nothing more. His posture towards us is love, and people need to hear that and be re-entered into His story for mankind.
Ultimately, there is punishment for sin, but it’s not me who decides that. Only One is worthy to open the seals and read its contents. Only One is Judge. Right now I am blessed to be a part of His story and to be in relationship with Him. It’s closer sometimes more than others, but through Christ, He has made it possible for me to return to Him and come closer to Him than I ever could in my unsaved state. His posture towards us is ALWAYS love. He can’t be anything other than who He is. Praise God for that!