16 Nov 2015
Does it mean [Christ] no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?… I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away… Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
We read about God’s love, but sometimes it’s hard to feel it. Bad stuff happens. Families fall apart. We get so overwhelmed by fear and pain, plus the difficulty of our own situation, that we begin to doubt that God’s love exists. We ask: Where is God? Has He abandoned us like so many others have in our lives? Does it mean He no longer loves us when tough things happen?
Remember the night some of you got busted and the madness of county jail? Or the shame we felt after walking up in someone else’s bedroom? Maybe we did drugs to take the pain of shame away. Do these things make it impossible for God to love us? The apostle Paul asked that same question. We should memorize his response because Paul declares that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Nothing. Our sins can’t. Our past can’t. Our being in jail can’t. Our estranged relationships can’t. Nothing can separate us from God’s love.
Think about it. If Jesus didn’t come down off that cross, if He didn’t leave us hanging when He was suffering the most, why would He abandon us now? Jesus’ love is solid. We can count on it.
04 Apr 2015
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
As we contemplate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, most of us take comfort in the fact that someday…after we are dead…that we, too, will be resurrected like Jesus and spend eternity in His presence. This is true…BUT…we do not have to die to experience the Resurrection…it’s available to us right now…TODAY
Webster’s dictionary defines resurrection this way, “the act of causing something that had ended or been forgotten or lost to exist again, to be used again, etc.”
At Doing HIS Time Prison Ministry we see resurrection almost every day. When an ex-offender comes into DHT 72 Hour Fund and tries on new cloths, receives a hug from our ex-offender staff or walks out with luggage filled with new shoes, a winter coat, almost new shirts or blouses, dresses and a purse, they are transformed…”resurrected” into a new life of purpose, hope and love. We know this because less than 20% of every man or woman who feels God’s love through DHT 72 Hour Fund, goes back to prison after three years. The power that changes these hearts is Jesus. The delivery system that brings Jesus to these souls is the Holy Spirit working through DHT 72 Hour Fund.
Pastor Rick Warren writes:
“Can a butterfly go back into a cocoon after it’s come out as a caterpillar? Of course not. It can’t happen. Once the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, it is what it is — a butterfly. When you become a believer, you’re like that butterfly — you come out of your cocoon. It may take you some time to fly spiritually, but once you become a new creation in Christ, you are what you are. You are a new creation. So what does it mean to become a new creation in Christ? The moment you believe in Christ, there’s a spiritual metamorphosis — everything changes! This is a matter of faith and not sight. The greatest step of faith we can take in our lives is to believe what God says about who Jesus is and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.”
Can’t say it better than Pastor Rick…