Friday, April 16, 2010

Romans 8:28 is a verse that most Christians can quote without much thought. My fear is however that we quote it so well and with such little effort that we are not truly getting the message, the beauty and truth from this verse.

1. ALL things work together for good!!

Not just 50% or even 99% but 100% of whatever comes our way will work out for good...but for who?

2. To them who love God.

Do you love God today? No, I mean TRULY love God. Not for what He has blessed you with or what He has done in your life but do you TRULY love Him just for WHO HE IS?! A God Who will answer prayer and bless His children but more than that Who gave His ONLY SON to die on a cross for millions who will never deserve it. Do you love Him for that? Do you love Him for the opportunity that we have to spend our lives in eternity with Him?

I love God, but I'm not sure that I love Him as He is worthy of. But I know that ours is a God of mercy and grace that He looks down on our feeble imperfect earthly love and it pleases Him, and He blesses us in return.

Just yesterday my children came running into the house saying, "Mommy we found hundreds of beautiful flowers for you and they are your favorite color!" The excitement in their voices caused me to quickly turn around to investigate this wonderful treasure they had brought to me. But what they had unknowingly done was pull up and pick some pretty yellow weeds from our backyard. Yes, they look like flowers but they are not! The satisfaction on their faces allowed me to do nothing else but to praise their beautiful find and help them find an empty jar to place them in. The jar of weeds is now sitting here on my desk staring at me in the face...and they are all dead. Their beauty didn't last long but I could not turn my little children away because they brought me what they thought to be a treasure out of pure love for their Mommy. Yes, God too will accept our feeble attempt at showing Him our flawed earthly love...but doesn't He deserve the best of the the love that we have to give Him?

So we know that all things in our lives will work out for good if we love God but what else does this verse say?

3. To them who are the called according to his purpose.

You know if the things that we are pursuing are those that God desires for us then THOSE things will turn out for good. You see we can't be living down here "chasing rabbits" so to speak and expect our God to bless everything we are doing. If we have removed ourselves from the path that He has planned for us then a great majority...if not all...of those things that we are chasing after will receive no blessing from Him. He is merciful and in His own discretion He may shower down a few sprinkles of blessings but not the down pour that He had planned for us had we stayed on His path.

You see, we tend to use this verse to vainly comfort ourselves when we are in trials and tribulations. We tend to say, "Oh, I know this is tough right now but God knows that I love Him and so this will work out good somehow." Yet we fail to realize that the last few words of that verse are probably the most important words of the entire verse. We need to be walking in the direction that God is leading!

How will we know this? By prayer and supplication! By daily reading of His word. It takes effort to know the will of God. But it doesn't take as much effort to seek, find and follow the will of God as it does to seek, find and follow your own way and then realize you've been wrong and turn around and seek, find and follow God's will. (Pilgrim's Progress anyone?)

Yes, all things will work together for good to those that love the Lord and are following His will. What are you doing today? Are you living your life for Christ or are you living it for self? The choice is ours to make.

**Today's challenge**
Prayerfully think about a trial that you are experiencing right now. Pray and ask the Lord to show you if you have been following your own will or His. If you find that He shows you that you are on your own path, repent and ask Him to graciously show you the way back to His path. Then you may begin claiming the promises of this verse. If you find that He comforts you with the truth that this trial is part of His will then claim the promise that this trial will also come out for your good because HE has willed it for you!

*But above all else praise Him for being an Almighty God today!*

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