Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Romans 8:28-30 (Part 3) - Loving God

Romans 8:28-30:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

I commented on "those who love him" in part two briefly, but I want to talk about it again. We need to love God. If we are his people (Christians) then he loves us, he loves us so much that He sent his one and only son to die for us (John 3:16), he loves us so much that he adopted us as his children even though we are wicked sinners and we reject him. His love for us reaches to the heavens (Psalm 56:5). It is bigger then we can imagine. He not only loves us, but he is also faithful: he does not change, he will always love us if we are his people and we can trust him that he will. Do we love him? Do you love him? Do I love him? This has been a question which has come out a lot in the last week - do I love God? Do I love him more then the world? More than my friends? More than my family? More than myself? The answer so often is No. But yet I need to - we need to. He gave up his one and only son for us so that we can live. He adopted us as his children, making us co-heirs with Christ (discussed earlier in Romans 8). He loves us. We need to love him. The question then is: How do we love God more? To that, I don't really know. At the moment I'm just praying about it daily and spending time in the bible and trying to remember all Christ/God has done for me more often. Do you love God? Is he the centre of your life? Is he your King? Your Lord? Your saviour? If he is, then do you treat him like it? Jesus himself said the greatest commandment is to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ (Luke 10:27) - Do you? Do I? I think the answer is no. But are we working at it?

To clarify: God doesn't need our love. He doesn't need us - he created us, and if he wanted he could create more people and have them love him. But he calls us to love him and his mercy and grace allows us to. God doesn't need us, we need him. But he is glorified through us and in saving us.

"Who have been called according to his purposes" - If we love God, then we have been called according to his purposes. All Christians are those who have been chosen by God before creation and therefore we are all called according to his purpose. So what is God's purpose? What is God's plan? We don't know entirely, but we know that he has saved us and that will never change if we are truly Christians (shown by our love for him) and that in all things he works for his glory. Therefore we need to be working in everything to glorify him - 1 Corinthians 10:31: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." In Everything - eating, drinking, walking, sleeping, everything, work for God's glory! Do we do this? Do I do this? Another problem of mine is pride, and it's definitely one which gets in the way of this. We need to constantly be seeking God's glory, constantly be looking to serve him and to honour him in absolutely everything we do. How can we do this? Well one question we can ask is how am I portraying Christ in what I do? Am I taking his name in vain by not living like a Christian when I call myself one? Or even less then that, do my actions and words show explicitly that I am a christian? Am I sharing the gospel at any and every opportunity? (Thats a challenge and a half!).

I hope they were some helpful thoughts! v28 is done - onto v29-30 next!

God Bless.

Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out! 
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.

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