A Separated Love
35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36. As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A Separated Love
Like many other things in our lives, we sometimes prioritize our love. We make some things in our lives more important than others things are. Most of the time we cater to ourselves, if is it something that we like, then that is what we will do, if it is something that we don’t like, we refused to have anything to do with it. We are self pleasing creatures.
Its strange to me that we are the only creatures that God created that He breathed the breathe of life into, yet we fail to praise Him as He deserves to be praised. That what make us different from any other animal or creature, God breathe life into us, meaning that our spirits will never die.
We will live forever somewhere. But yet the canary sings about God’s goodness. The peacock spreads its wings in praises to God. The Hyenas laughs about His goodness. I need to tell you that God deserves our worship. There is nothing or no one that has done as much for you as God has.
You should be loyal and faithful to Him. Yet when things are not going our way, we separate ourselves from our true love. We separate ourselves from the one that loves us the most. (Make it live) When the choir is not singing like it use to sing, the music doesn’t sound like it use to sound, the people doesn’t lead that use to lead, we separate ourselves from going with the choir.
The very thing that we get in our mind is that it’s not like it use to be. Well, we are here to praise God, and certainly God is the same as He use to be. Paul said in His letter to Timothy, “God is the same yesterday, as He is today, and tomorrow He remains the same”. God is still blessing you, so He still deserves your praise.
When your job or responsibility in the church changes from what it use to be, you stop being as supportive as you once were. Nothing has really changed, but you just love something else more than you do your present responsibility, so therefore you separate yourself from being there as much or even supporting as much as you use too.
I need to tell you this morning that when you quit doing things around the church, when you quit going like you use to go, when you quit coming to church trying to hurt the ministry, what you are actually doing is hurting yourself. You ain’t quitting on me, you are quitting on God.
I wasn’t the one that gave the command to “forsake not to assemble yourselves together”. It was not I who gave the great commission in Matt. 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”.
I wasn’t the one that said, “work while it is day, for the night cometh when no man can work”.
I need you to know that when you do not follow as God has so ordered you to follow, you are hurting yourself. You are cutting off your own blessings. You are separating yourself from the commands of God. Yet you have the audacity to sit here in the church and talk about how much you love Him. I know it is the title of my sermon this morning, but I’ve never seen a separated love. Husband and wives who separate themselves from one another have lost the love that they once had.
Either you love God, or you don’t. God said Himself, “If you love me, keep my commandments”. If you are not keeping His commandments, then we must come to the conclusion that you don’t love Him.
I come by Johnson Creek this morning to show you how we as a church family have shut down on God. You don’t GO like you use to go. Use to, when we step up in the church, other folks would know that Johnson Creek was in the house. Now it has got down to the faithful few. Many times I be wondering if we got enough people to sing.
Believe me, I’m not just saying this this morning so that you can follow me, I know a lot of you quit going because of me, but you’ve got to wonder “what does God think about you”. It’s not about me. I know how many of you feel about me, but what about your relationship with God. How can you keep your fellowship with God by doing what you are doing? You have gotten where you won’t come back to evening programs. Really, it shouldn’t be about the preacher that is coming, it should be about your relationship with the God who is blessing you.
Some of y’all spreading rumors, and telling lies, you really don’t know what the truth is. What you are really doing is tearing down the kingdom of God. But you are the same one that is running around talking about, “I know I am a child of God”. It makes me wonder if you really are what you say you are. I’m confident this morning that no matter what you do, it will never stop me from loving God.
Even though many of us chose not to be consistent with our love, God’s love for us will never change. He loves us in spite of our shortcomings. He loves us even though He knows that we have separated ourselves from Him. He sees some of us caring more about material things than we do Him. He sees some of us scattering the flock instead of drawing them. He sees some of us washing car, and watching TV on Sunday morning instead of worshipping Him.
This exhortation really began in verse 26, you will see the works of the trinity in all of our lives. In verse 26, First he talks about God the Spirit. Paul says that the Spirit of God helps our weaknesses. When we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit of God goes to God for us, and says to Him what really needs to be said with word that cannot be uttered.
The Spirit helps us when we are weak. For the bible do tell us that when we are weak, He is strong. The bible teaches us that we are to pray according to God’s will. But many of us don’t know what God’s will is, so the Holy Spirit makes intercessions for us. He makes it right. That’s just how much God loves us.
I’m trying to get to the lesson but these verses just won’t allow me to skip over them. Verse 28, a well know verse. “But we know that all things work together for good for them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose”.
Even though there are many of us that quotes this verse, it doesn’t bring us the peace of mind that it should. This verse is letting us know, that whatever is happening in our lives, God is working it out for our good. The devil meant it for evil, but God will use it for your good.
Now, it says “all things”. If you believe God, you’ve got to believe that those things that He is allowing you to go through are for your good. I know it seems bad, I know that you are going through some dark days, I know that you are wondering what your next move should be, but while you are trying to figure it out, God already got it worked out. He is working it out for your good. He loves you just that much.
Then it talks about God the Father. He predestinated us to become like His Son. The scripture says, “God predestinate us to be confirmed to the image of His son”. But it means that God is making it possible for us to become (not “BE” but “BECOME”) like His begotten Son. Many of us today trying to BE like Jesus and we will never be like Him on this earth, we should look forward to the day that we BECOME like Him.
It means that if you have allowed God to save you, then God is going to see you through. No matter what come up, God will see you through it. He has done it before, and you ought to know that He will do it again. He will lead you through all things good or bad right us to the time when He carries you home. Now since we know this, that God will see us through, if God be for us, who can be against us?
When Paul gets to verse 35 he simply asks the question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ”? A great many people have gotten this verse confused. They think that it is talking about our love, and that we won’t let anything separate us.
We ought to know by now that the very slightest headache will separate us.
A phone call before church will separate us.
One strand of our hair can be in the wrong place and we won’t come to church.
One little run in the stocking will separate us.
One button off the coat, or you can’t find the right color tie, will separate us.
Paul is letting us know that there is absolutely nothing that will stop God’s love for us. He loves us un-conditionally.
His love is in-separable.
His love is deeper than the deepest sea.
He loves us in spite of the things that we do.
Paul looks at the problem
“Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Paul mentions everything imaginable here. Is it possible that tribulation or trouble can separate us from Christ’s love?
No, I hear Him say, “IN times of trouble I’ll hide you in my pavilion”. Christ cares for me even when I’m in trouble. When my very own foolishness has cause me to get into a situation that I can’t handle, Christ cares for me.
Is it possible for distress or anguish to keep Christ from loving me? Because of my inconsistency Christ has to be disappointed in me sometimes, but He still loves me. Is it possible for persecution? Here Paul is talking about legal persecution. For there are some people who will carry on a campaign to get you! There are folks who will come to church early and leave late just to find out something on you. But even with other folks looking for something bad on you, it won’t stop God from loving you.
Famine, nakednesses, peril or even the sword won’t stop God from loving me. Then Paul say a quote from Psalms 44:22, “For thy sakes, we are counted as sheep for the slaughter”.
This simply means that when you are working for the Lord, you can look for trouble to come. Someone said, “We’ve been picked out to be picked on”. It will cost you something to do what is right, it may even cost you your life. It is frightening to see what some of the saints of God are having to go through these days, but even that won’t separate us from the love of Christ.
Paul looks at the Prophecy
He says in verse 37, “Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loves us”. How can a sheep for the slaughter be more than a conqueror? This is another great paradox in the gospel of faith.
Let’s look at this a little closer. What does it mean to be more than a conqueror? It means to have the assistance from someone else who can get the victory for us. He is one that will never let us be defeated. I don’t have to worry about Him being there, because He promised never to leave me nor forsake me.
Even though I’m in despair.
Even though I’m in distress.
Even though it seems like I’m at the end of my road.
Even though it looks like my worst days are yet to come.
I don’t have to worry because my faith is resting in someone one who knows how to handle all of my problems.
My faith is in a man who can pick me up when I fall down.
My faith is in a man who can wipe all the tears from my eyes.
My faith is in the lily of the valley.
My faith is in the bright and morning star.
See, I’m more than a conqueror THROUGH HIM. It not about me, but I’m finding peace and rest in Christ. He said, “Come unto me all ye that are burden and heavy laden and I will give you rest”. It’s not me, and it’s not my life but when I learn to surrender my life to Him, then I become more than a conqueror through Him. Why, because He loves me.
Paul looks at the promise
He says, “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
Nothing will keep God from loving you.
And I come by here to tell you,
You owe it all to the Lord.
All of your time,
Belongs to the Lord.
All of your talent,
You owe it all to the Lord.
All of your works,
You owe it all to the Lord.
I don’t know about you,
But I was sinking
Deep in sin,
Far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within,
Sinking to rise no more,
But the master of the sea
Hear my despairing cry,
From the waters
He lifted me,
Now safe am I.
Love, lifted me.
His love lifted me.
When nothing else would help,
God’s love lifted me.
That same love,
Took a nine month train from glory,
Came down here to the city of Bethlehem.