For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 GNTD https://bible.com/bible/69/2co.4.16.GNTD
Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 AMPC https://bible.com/bible/8/2co.4.16.AMPC
Wherever you were, you probably didn’t stay there—at least, not forever. The boy is not still in church on Christmas.
We don’t just set up camp at the place we decide to follow Jesus, because following Jesus is more of a hike than a campsite. Say that again. Following Jesus is more of a hike than a campsite. One more time,
Following Jesus is more of a hike than a campsite.
You don’t decide to give up your life to follow Jesus and then put up your feet, because you need your feet to walk to the places Jesus would.
You don’t raise your hand to follow Him and then fold your hands to relax, because you need them to do the things He would do in your church, your city, your friendships, and your family.
You following? Pun intended.
Jesus never looked at His followers and said, “You have arrived.”
He said things like,
“Get out of the boat; Pick up your mat and walk;
Go and make disciples;
Love one another; Hunger and thirst for righteousness;
Come to Me;
Learn from Me;” and of course, “Follow Me.”
But we don’t follow Jesus out of convenience, obligation, or to end up in Heaven one day. We fix our eyes on Jesus with one foot in front of the next and hands ready, BECAUSE we love and trust Him.
Pray: Jesus, show me how to follow You more closely. Where are we going next?
I finished the “Things Jesus Never Said” Bible reading plan from @YouVersion! Over the past few days I’ve posted about it. It you wanna check it out too here is the link: http://bible.com/r/3oi
One final, personal mote from me: Living In Christ, we will hear Him say, on our final day, “Well Done.“
Following Jesus is more of a hike than a campsite.
LATER ON there was a Jewish festival (feast) for which Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem a pool near the Sheep Gate. This pool in the Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches (alcoves, colonnades, doorways). In these lay a great number of sick folk–some blind, some crippled, and some paralyzed (shriveled up)– waiting for the bubbling up of the water. For an angel of the Lord went down at appointed seasons into the pool and moved and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was cured of whatever disease with which he was afflicted. There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years. When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him,
“Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?]”
The invalid answered,
“Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me.”
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed and made appointment with them. And when they saw Him, they fell down and worshiped Him; but some doubted. Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them,
“All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be). Matthew 28:16-20 AMPC
And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:38 AMPC
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessedquiet) for your souls. [Jer. 6:16.] For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good–not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne. Matthew 11:28-30 AMPC
Blessed and fortunate and happy and spirituallyprosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied! [Isa. 55:1, 2.] Matthew 5:6 AMPC
“Salvation is God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.” -Eugene Peterson
Life is full of transactions. We go to work and we get paid. We hand over some of that pay to get our favorite coffee, lunch, or a ride to work.
A farmer plants and gets a harvest. A child disobeys and gets a time out. A student works hard, or doesn’t, and gets a fair grade.
It’s no wonder we easily come to believe that we all get what we deserve. But there are just too many holes in this thinking.
You’ve probably already wondered yourself, Did a hungry infant deserve to be born into a food-insecure region of the world? No, they didn’t earn that. And there’s so much more at stake in the “you get what’s coming to you” way of thinking than socioeconomic status.
Now think for a moment
Does anyone deserve Jesus?
We might say an “amen” when we read a quote like,
“Salvation is God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves,”
but do our stress levels, grinding self-talks, and our latest attempts at spiritual improvement believe it?
Of all the good in your life, is any of it worthy of a blameless, perfect, human (let alone Son ofGod) dying a painful death so that you can live a full and free life here and in eternity?
If you produced perfect behavior, incredible generosity, and incessant kindness starting today—for the rest of your life—would you have earned what Jesus did for you? You can breathe a sigh of relief. Jesus never said, “You get what you deserve.”
Jesus said things like, “Your sins are forgiven; Go and leave your life of sin; Forgive them for they know not what they do,”
He spoke with His actionsas He hung on the cross, He told a remorseful criminal,
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The criminal realizedwho Jesus was and what Jesus was doing for him as they were both dying, The Christ experiencing the same thing -being nailed to a cross.
The criminal had no chance to climb down and start reading his Bible every day, get involved in a church, serve his community, or show up on time for recovery meetings. Nope, he had no chance to earn what he was asking Jesus for—what Jesus freely gave him.
Like the criminal, we have no chance to earn grace or acceptance from God, but we have every chance to show Him our love, generosity, and obedience.
Actions speak louder than words and as Children of God HE expects and desires different behavior from each of us as individuals as well as a whole united, one body.
As said above,
We have every chance to show Him our love, generosity, and obedience.
It is up to us to act on the opportunities, especially when we face opposition.
📝📝📝Personal note: Doing things with what I call a love obligation.
Not as payment, but as worship. And doesn’t following Jesus as worship make so much more sense than adding it in as one more transaction in our day?
Consider: Which part of life and faith are each of us still striving for and doing as a failing attempt to repay Jesus?
What would it look like to live as a worshipful response to priceless grace I could never earn?
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him,
“Simon, I have something to say to you.”
And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.”
And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Personal note: Christ points out the difference for this Pharisee, the contrast between him and her. Note the You vs. She coming up.
Then turning toward the woman he (Jesus) said to Simon,
“Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.
You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her,
“Your sins are forgiven.”
Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman,
Here is Another documentation of what Jesus said in a different situation.
but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midstthey said to him,
“Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”
This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them,
“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him (Simon of Cyrene) the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said,
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said,
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying,
“He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying,
“If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other rebuked him, saying,
“Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
And he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10 ESV
Jesus never said,”Go your way and do what makes you happy.”
Just as we sometimes confuse following Jesus as some self-salvation plan that will one day make our lives more perfect and trouble-free, other times we confuse the way of Jesus with the pursuit of happiness.
Jesus never said, “Go your way and do what makes you happy.”
“He is the way, the truth, and the life.
“No one comes to the Father except through Him.”
Jesus is enough.
Jesus never said you can’t be happy.
He did, however, imply you can’t find real joy, deep happiness, true restoration, or realize the forever-saving love of our heavenly Father without going through Him as if He alone is enough. Because,
Jesus is enough.
Thankfully, Jesus loves you so much He gets in the way of our pursuit of happiness.
He enters your world and gives upHis life so you can finally give up on trying to figure out what makes you happy.
To quote Dr. Tripp, “He is rescuing you from thinking that you can live the life you were meant to live while relying on the inadequate resources of your wisdom, experience, righteousness, and strength.”
That’s not natural. That’s supernatural. That’s who Jesus is—
Jesus is enough.
Jesus went on to say, ‘I am telling you what is true. A shepherd keeps his sheep in a safe place with a wall round it. There is a gate into that safe place. Anyone else who gets into that place by another way, not through the gate, is not the shepherd. That person is a robber. He comes to take away the sheep that are not his. The shepherd goes in through the gate. The person who watches the gate opens it for the shepherd. The sheep recognize the shepherd’s voice. He calls each of his own sheep by their name and he leads them out. When he has brought out all his own sheep, he goes in front of them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger. They will run away from a stranger because they do not recognize his voice.’
Jesus told them this story like a picture to teach them. But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So Jesus spoke again. He said, ‘I am telling you what is true. I am like the gate for the sheep. All other men who ever came to the sheep before me were like robbers. But the sheep did not listen to them. I am like the gate. Everyone who comes in through me will be safe. They will be free to come in and to go out. And they will find plenty of food. The robber only wants to take away my sheep. He wants to kill them. He comes only to destroy them. But I have come so that they can have true life. And so that they can have everything that they need. I am the good shepherd . The good shepherd would die so that he can save his sheep. Another man may work with sheep so that he gets money. But the sheep are not his own. A man like that is not the shepherd. If a wolf comes, a man like that runs away. When he sees the wolf, he leaves the sheep and he runs away. Then the wolf attacks the sheep. It causes them to run away in all directions. That man runs away because the sheep are not his own. The sheep do not really matter to him. I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep, and they know me. I know them in the same way that my Father knows me. And they know me in the same way that I know the Father. I will die so that I can save my sheep. I also have other sheep, and I must bring them too. They do not belong to this group of sheep. But they also will listen to my voice. So, all the sheep will become one group, and they will have one shepherd. The Father loves me because I choose to die for my sheep. But after I give my life like that, I will become alive again. Nobody can take my life from me. Instead, I myself choose to die. I have authority to do that. I also have authority so that I can become alive again. My Father has said that I must do that.’ John 10:1-18 EASY
Please keep me safe, God, because I come to you for help. I have said to the Lord , ‘You are my Lord . All the good things that I have in my life are gifts from you.’ When I think about your own people who live in this land, it makes me happy! They are truly great people! But many troubles will come to people who choose to worship other gods. I will not join with them to offer gifts of blood to their gods. I will never use the names of their gods to make promises. You, Lord , are all that I need. What you give to me is enough, for me and for my descendants. Yes, you have given to me a good way of life. Your gifts are better than good fields or valuable land. I will praise the Lord , who is my guide through life. In the dark nights, you help me to learn what is right. I will always trust the Lord to be with me. He is close beside me, so I will not be upset . I am truly happy and I thank God. I know that my life is safe with God. You, Lord, will not leave me in the deep hole of death. As one who belongs to you, you will not leave my body to spoil in the grave. You will lead me along the path of life. Because you are with me, I am very happy. I know that I will be with you for ever, and that makes me very happy! Psalms 16:1-11 EASY
A normally rowdy eight-year-old boy came home from school in tears and marched straight to bed.
Instead of his sneakers tearing through the house, something horrid was tearing through him.
He’d gotten in trouble again for talking in class. He was crying as if he’d lost the family dog and forfeited his chance to ever eat ice cream again in a future life as a monk who would only ever do chores and take naps whilst sitting silent at under-sized desks.
Joking aside, it was really bad. He was heartbroken. After peeling him off his pillow and then prying into his little life, Dad dug up a painful root.
“I don’t think I was ready to be baptized,”
the big-hearted boy said through streaming tears.
“I thought if I followed Jesus, I wouldn’t make so many mistakes.”
We all think that way from time to time, each of our struggles, troubles, and mucked up situations just as bad or worse than the next.
That’s not a cute, made-up story about an imaginary boy. He’s as real as you. He was broken for the same reason anyone’s broken: He misunderstood who Jesus is and what Jesus says.
Jesus never said, “Follow Me and you’ll be trouble free.”
He said things like,
“Follow Me and: I’ll make you fishers of men; Let not your hearts be troubled; You will experience troubles, but I have overcome the world; Deny yourself; I’ll give you real rest; Lose your life for My sake and you’ll find it.”
(Bible ref. at end)
That’s a paraphrased list, but you can read Jesus’ words for yourself in today’s Scripture reading below.
So, Dad looked the little boy in the eye and said, “Following Jesus doesn’t mean you never get in trouble—it means you’re already forgiven. It means He’s with you now and next time you need help doing the right thing. It means He loves you even when you make a mistake bigger than talking in class.”
Jesus didn’t invite us to some kind of trouble-free, easy life. He invites us to give everything yet receive more than we could ever want or earn.
My prayer: Jesus, will You show me how I’ve misunderstood You? Forgive me for trying to pursueease instead of Yourpresence and for trying to secure my perfection instead of accepting Your grace. Thank You for not only forgiving me, but for being with me today. Amen.
What Jesus did say:
Jesus said to them, ‘Come with me and be my disciples . Then I will teach you how to catch people, instead of fish.’ Matthew 4:19 EASY
In John 14:1-6 EASY we see Jesus said to his disciples , ‘Do not be sad or afraid. Believe in God, and also believe in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I will go now so that I can prepare a place for you there. If it was not true, I would not have told you this.After I have prepared a place for you, I will return. Then I will take you so that you will be with me.You will be where I am. You know the way to the place where I will go.’ Thomas said to him, ‘ Lord , wedo not know where you will go. So how can we know the way to get there?’ Jesus answered,
‘I am the way. I am the truth . I am the life. Nobody comes to the Father except by me.
I have told you these things so that you will have peace. You will be like that because you are united with me. In this world, you will have trouble. But be brave! I have destroyed the power of this world.’ John 16:33 EASY
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘A person who wants to come with me must not think about himself. He must decide that his own life is not important. He must be like someone who carrieshis own cross to go and die. Then he may come with me as my disciple. Whoever wants to keep his life safe will lose it. But whoever gives his life to serve me will have true life. Matthew 16:24-25 EASY
Come to me all of you who are tired. You are like people who have worked for a long time. You are like people who have carried heavy things. Come to me. If you do that, you will find a place to rest. Matthew 11:28 EASY
I was challenged to ask myself, “What things am I doing or saying on Jesus’ behalf that perhaps He never even did or said?”
For me it’s all about digging into what Jesus did do andsay so that I do not confuse it with things said by the world, philosophy, and even those who claim to be godly publicly but don’t know Christ personally.
Let’s be real, unless we know what HE really said we won’t recognize what people claim Christ says in the reality of His Word.
I’m searching for words, minds, hearts, and lives that look and sound more like Him and I’m personally asking God, one on one, to make me more like Jesus Christ in my mind, body, and spirit; for HIM to be alive in my every thought word and deed.
One last thought, one of the signs of being in the sunshine is burnt skin. Just like there are tell tale signs of being in the sun there are also signs of being in The Son of God that we should be glad to tell tales about. When others were around those who followed Christ closely they could tell that they had been around Him. I want that same unforced, rhythm, walk, relationship.
To help me along “The Way” I’ve got God’s word and other tools to help me dig deeper.
Jesus saw that crowds of people were following him. So he went up a hill and he sat down there to teach them. His disciples came near to listen to him. He began to teach them. This is what he said:
‘Happy are the people who know that they need God very much. The kingdom of heaven belongs to people like that. Happy are the people who are sadnow. God will come near to help them. Happy are the people who are kind. The whole earth will belong to them. Happy are the people who wantto obey God, as much as they want to eat food. God will give to them everything that they need. Happy are the people who help other people and who forgive them. God will forgive people like that. Happy are the people who haveonly good thoughts. They will come near to God and see him. Happy are the people who bring people together to be friends. God will call them his children. Happy are the people who do what is right but other people hurt them because of it. The kingdom of heaven belongs to people like that. Yes, happy are you when people say bad things against you because you believe in me. Or they may hurt you. Or they may say things about you that are not true.
God is preparing many good things for you in heaven.
So you should
be very happy when people do these bad things to any of you.
People did these same things to God’s prophets who lived long ago.’
Jesus said, ‘You are like salt for all people to taste and use. Salt is good. But if it is not salty any more, you cannot make it salty again. People can no longer use it for anything. They just throw it away and they walk on it.
You are like a light for everybody in this world. If people build a city on a hill, then other people can see it easily. Nobody lights a lamp and then puts it under a pot. He will put the lamp in a high place. Everybody who is in the house can then see the light from the lamp. You must be sure that your light shines well. Then you will give light to other people. They will see all the good things that you do. Then they will praise God, who is your Father in heaven .’ Matthew 5:1-16 EASY
When I wake I usually put on a playlist I made called, “Morning is Breaking” (posted link below). It helps as I start out my day with great pain and slowly make it to three of the most important accomplishments of my day:
Get to the bathroom
Get to the coffee
Get to God’s Word
Today as I woke up I played what I was listening to yesterday and, although it’s much heavier musically, it woke me up in more ways than one.
A few days ago an old high school friend, oh from 30 some yr.s ago, sent me another song that my mind is tying in with this.
First, the song, then what he wrote in messenger to me.
“I remember the first time you played this song for me. I am still blown away by this album. Takes me back to when God was so real. As I get older, I long for those days.”
We continue to long, stay awake, alive because God’s Holy Spirit is real.
I hope He is real or still real to you too.
Thanks Paul 😉
Go with God and keep going on.
Never miss a beat, beetle
Check out my playlist on Amazon Music, Tom’s Morning is breaking:
Jesus doesn’t say, I’ll forgive you, even if you don’t forgive others.
Something you should know about Jesus’ words is that He spent a lot of them telling stories (not, “tellin’ stories”, as in lies but rather parables, examples, stories of realistic situations that we can apply to our lives).
Jesus chose to share stories for many reasons, but one of those may have been because He knew stories are full of characters we might see ourselves in—characters who might invite us into the story God is telling through our lives.
Questions are another thing Jesus spent a lot of words on.
Here’s a story (at the bottom is the story Jesus told on this subject). Imagine, you spend 10 days with someone you really care about. Maybe you’re visiting family. Maybe it’s just any 10 days of your marriage. The first nine days are great, but on the tenth day, someone wrongs you deeply and you simply just lose it. You “lose a coin.”
Here is the question: Have you already planned a loving celebration for the very moment they make it right? Or are you rehearsing the ways you’ll hold them to their mistakes?
Jesus never said, “I’ll forgive you, even if you don’t forgive others.” He did say,
“Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Forgive seventy times seven (as many times as it takes).
Forgive whenever you have anything, against anyone.”
As you read Jesus’ words today, ask Him to give you the strength and courage to deal with any unforgiveness you might be holding onto.
Also, take a moment to celebrate. You are the coin He found (see God’s Word below).
My prayer is, Lord, Help me to extend the same grace You’ve shown me.
“‘For here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to take you out of these countries, gather you from all over, and bring you back to your own land. I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!
Ezekiel 36:24-28 MSG https://bible.com/bible/97/ezk.36.24-28.MSG
Some people do what their weak human thoughts want them to do. They think about the things that will make themselves happy. But people who live with God’s Spirit as their guide think about what will make God’s Spirit happy.
People who let their human thoughts rule them will die. But people who think about what God’s Spirit wants will have life with God. They will have peace inside themselves. If our weak human thoughts rule us, we become God’s enemies. People like that do not want to obey God’s laws . They are not even able to obey them. People who let their human thoughts rule them cannot make God happy.
But you are not like that. You no longer obey your weak human thoughts. Instead, you obey God’s Spirit as your guide. That is true if God’s Spirit is really living in you. But if anyone does not have Christ’s Spirit in them, that person does not belong to Christ. But, if Christ lives in you, you have a new lifebecause of his Spirit . Your body will die one day because of the power of sin. But your spirit livesbecause Christ has made you right with God.
God raised Jesus, to make him alive again after his death. Now God’s Spirit lives in you. So God, who raised Christ from death, will also cause your human bodies to live again. He will do that by his Spirit who lives in you.
So, my Christian friends, we must not obey what our weak human thoughts tell us to do. We no longer have to live like that. If you agree to live in that way, you will die. Instead, you should let God’s Spirit help you with his power. Then you can stop doing the wrong things that your bodies want to do.
As a result,
you will have life with God. All those people who live with God’s Spirit as their guide are God’s children. The Spirit that you have received from God does not make you serve him like slaves. That would make you afraid again. No.
The Spirit that God has given to you causes you to become God’s children.
Now HE takes care of you. God’s Spirit makes us call God: ‘Abba (Daddy), our Father.’ God’s Spirit himself causes us to know that we are God’s children.
God’s Spirit and our own spirits agree that this is true. Because we are God’s children, we also know that we will receive good things from him. Those are the things that he has promised to give to his children.
Together with Christ, we will receive the things that God has kept for him. That is true if we agree to have troubles like Christ did. Then we will also enjoy life in heaven like Christ does.
During this time now, we have troubles and pain. But I am sure that these troubles are not really very great.
One day God will show us all the great things he has prepared for us. That will make the troubles that we have now seem very small.
The whole universe that God has made now waits for something great to happen. Everything is waiting with hope to find out who God’s children really are. God has caused everything in the universe to lose its purpose. It did not choose to be like that. It was God who decided that it should be like that.
Then it could hope for something better in a future time. At that time, the universe will not continue to become worse and worse, as it does now. It will becomefree from that power. It will be free to enjoy great things from God, as God’s children are also free. We know that everything in the universe is still in great pain now. Everything cries together in pain, like a woman who is ready to have a baby. It is the same for us who are believers. We have received God’s Spirit as the first of his gifts to us, but we also cry inside ourselves. We are waiting for the time when God will finish his great work. Then we will belong to him completely as his children.
Our bodies will be free from the power of sin.
Ever since God saved us, we have continued to wait for this to happen. One day, we will receive what we have hoped for. Then we will not need to hope for it any more.
Nobody continues to hope for something that he has already.
But we continue to hope for what we do not yet see.
And so, we wait for it patiently. God’s Spirit also helps us to do this. Because we are weak, we do not know how we ought to pray. But God’s Spirit himself prays for us.
He cries to God on our behalf in a way that nobody could say with words. God sees deep inside us, and he knows our thoughts.
He understands what is in the mind of his Spirit . When the Holy Spirit prays on behalf of God’s people, he prays as God wants him to pray. We know that God works,
to help those people who love him.
He uses everything that happens to them to bring something good.
He does this for those people that he has chosen to serve him. God already had those people in his thoughts from the beginning.
He decided that they should become like his Son.
So then, his Son would have many younger brothers and sisters. God had already chosen those people to be his children. Because of that, he called them to come to him.
He accepted those people as right with himself. And those that he accepted, he also caused them to become great.
So, because of all the things that God does for us, we can say this:
If God is working on our behalf, nobody can really do anything against us. God did not even keep his own Son safe. Instead, he gave his Son to die on behalf of all of us. So certainly, God will continue to be kind to us. As well as his Son, he will give to us all things that we need. Nobody can say that God’s people are guilty . God himself has accepted us as right with him. So, nobody can say that God should still punish us. Nobody can say that, because Christ Jesus himself died on our behalf. And God raised him so that he became alive again after his death. Now Christ is sitting at God’s right side in heaven. He himself is praying to God on our behalf. Christ will alwayscontinue to love us.
Nothing can stop that!
We may have troubles. Things may make us sad or afraid. People may do bad things to us. We may have no food or no clothes. There may be great danger. People may even try to kill us. But
none of these things can stop Christ from loving us.
As it says in the Bible: ‘Because we are your people, God, people try to kill us all the time. They think that we are like sheep, and we are ready to be killed.’ Because God loves us, none of these troubles can ever beat us.
He makes us win against them. I am sure of this.
Nothing can stop God from loving us.
Death cannot do that.
Life cannot do that.
Angels cannot do that,
nor can demons do that.
Nothing that happens to us now, or
that will happen in a future time can do that.
No powerful spirits can do that.
Nothing that is high above the world can do that,
nor anything that is deep down below the ground.
Nothing else in the whole universe can stop God from loving us.