The Weekly Epistle 2/8/23

Hi Living Hope,
Someone put it this way, “Love at first sight is easy to understand.  It’s when 2 people have been looking at each other for years that it becomes a miracle.”
Well, my wife and I have been looking at each other for 40 years (and add five more years of dating prior to that).  Yeah, that’s a long time. 
Know what?  God has been looking at you for years.  He knows the good, the bad, and the ugly. You see, there is nothing you can do to make God love you more.  There is nothing you can do to make God love you less.  He has never stopped loving you.  He never will.  
What are some matters you might feel are powerful enough to drive a wedge between you and God?  Paul gives a sample list of things that might be thought to come between us and Christ’s love in Romans 8.  Paul asks the question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ” (8:35).  Then he looks around for an answer.  He mentions seven possibilities.  Seven things he thought of that could come between us and Christ’s love- Trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword.  
What might you come up with that you feel can separate you from His love?  Whatever you come up with, believer, the answer is nothing! Not failures, problems, conflicts, regrets, losses.  Nothing!  Not even my own inability to love Him as I should.  Our confidence is not in our love for Him, which is so fickle and faltering, but in His love for us.  It is the perseverance of God with the saints.  If our certainty in our walk with the Lord rests in our love for Him, we are all in trouble.  As C.S. Lewis put it, “On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him.” 
We desperately need to hear these words today.  We are not promised that suffering will never touch us, but that it will never separate us from His love.  There are those times when we are in such pain; times when we are miserable and empty of all energy and desire that all we can do is let God love us. 
So, as you begin your day, you can start out with this promise, “God loves me.”  As you go through the day, you can stand on this truth, “God loves me.”  And whatever may come up against me tomorrow or this week, it does not have the power, no matter how powerful it may seem, to cut me off from His love or even interfere with His love in any way.  And not only will I make it through this trial, challenge, misery, nastiness of someone else, God will even turn it into a triumph. 
If that is true, then why don’t I more often risk it all for Him?  Why do I hold back?  Why would I?  Why not risk speaking up for Him?  Why not risk complete obedience to Him?  Why not radically live for Him?  Why not go all out in my love for others?  Why not?  I am secure in His love.  
Church, nothing can separate you from His love!
With love, Pastor Brian