Ro 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. I received this from biblegateway.com today as the “verse of the day”. At first I thought it was a good reminder. Then I thought it’s also important that we not be separated in the other direction. You know – Jesus will always love us, but sometimes we lose our feeling of love for Him. Then – I noticed there’s a verse missing in the middle. Question – what’s that missing verse? Well – here it is – and you can guess why it was left out – Ro 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. This, of course, begs the question – what is the entire passage? […]
This seems like a conversation that would really happen – someone praying that doesn’t normally pray, or maybe even for the first time. So – I had to look up this scenario, to find something on official “church” doctrine for when people pray for either the first time or maybe only rarely. I was disappointed. Even surprised. Very disappointed.
Free will means there’s responsibility attached to our choices. If there’s a price to pay for a given choice, the bill comes to us. Free will means that when we mess up, we are at least partly at fault. It’s hard to blame someone else for choices that we made. It’s much “nicer” to be able to say, “I was made that way”, or “It’s so-and-so’s” fault. We can absolve ourselves of all responsibility.
It’s easy to get mad at God because of Hell. But we have to remember – no, we have to know that Hell wasn’t made for us. We also have to realize that we don’t go their without plenty of warnings from God – and from our own choice. Some go so far as to “condemn” God – without realizing what’s even going on.
That’s hard for some people to accept. It can seem too “convenient”. Too simple. It’s not enough.
For many people, with the lives we’ve had, it’s hard to “believe”, just because a list of things was done.
This is for you – the people who have a hard time. Because it’s not just a list of things that could be checked off as “accomplished”. It’s also about things that weren’t done. Things that couldn’t be done.
It’s a difficult topic – partly because of the scenario in the book – but also because it so accurately describes us. But the fact that it does teach us so much about ourselves is exactly why it needs to be discussed. If we refuse to look in the mirror – how else can we recognize ourselves, other than by studying someone else who is essentially us?
Ge 37:9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
Cool. Maybe. Depends on what it means. Why would the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bow down to someone – even if it was possible?
Maybe it would be good to put some context around this. It’s from Genesis – chapter 37. It was said by Joseph – you know – the kid with the coat of many colors. Why are we looking at this? Because of a question that came up in a class – about what the sun and moon represent. Were they about Joseph’s father and mother? Or did they represent something else entirely? And, if it’s not about Joseph’s parents, then doesn’t that even put the eleven stars into doubt – were they really about his brothers? Let’s find out.