Wednesday, July 22, 2020

July 22 – Wednesday prior to Pentecost 8 – Proper 12

Romans 8: 28-39 - Some of you are engineers. While some of you are draftsmen and accountants and bookkeepers. Many of you are farmers. While some of you are machinists or work in the medical field. Some of you may be students studying the sciences. In your world mathematical formulas are extremely important. Facts and figures make sense to you!

There is symmetry to the Scriptures…

The heart of Psalm 23 is the phrase, "For Thou art with me." There are exactly 26 Hebrew words before that phrase. And 26 words after it.

What's more, the numerical value of the letters in the divine name, “Yahweh,” equals 26. His name is the first Hebrew word in the psalm, and He is the "Thou" who is "with me."

The abiding presence of the Good Shepherd with us--when we're in the valley of the shadow of death, or surrounded by enemies--is the beating heart of psalm 23.[1]

We have now come to the crown jewel of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. By these words you know the Father’s continual goodness.

The Father’s love will not let you go.  …no powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” V. 39 Nothing in the universe can separate us from the love of God. It is impossible. Because on the cross Christ defeated all evil powers. In Christ you conquer. What does it mean to be separated from the love of God? Sin is separation from God. To be apart from God is to be deprived of God’s light, life, and love. Separation is the worst possible experience. This, then, constitutes good news. No suffering or evil power can separate you from the love of God.

Satan lacks the power to steal your eternal destiny. He cannot separate you from the love of God. Nothing you face worries God in the least. If you are His children through faith in His Son, then you have His pledge of love and protection.

Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand." - John 10:27–29

You are loved. “This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. And love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” - 1 John 4:8-10

You are forever in Christ’s care. In baptism, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own forever. In baptism, the Father claims you as His own children. And tells you that you are loved.  You are joined with the family of faith, the Church, the Body of Christ. As you are incorporated into the life and the mission of Christ’s work in the world

Almighty and everlasting God, give us an increase of faith, hope and love, that, receiving what You have promised, we may love what You have commanded; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.” Amen[2]

[1] Blog post from Chad Bird posted July 26, 2017
[2] Collect for Proper 12, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis.
Luther's Seal copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

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