Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom. 8:35)
READ: Romans 8:35-39
When you look at believers who renounced their faith in Christ for flimsy reasons—“My leader is not a good example of a Christian”, “A fellow believer hurt me in a way I never thought possible”, “My friend is on suspension for a particular act and I am leaving the church in sympathy;” you will wonder if they really loved Christ in the first place. Genuine love does not look at who you are, your size, height or status. Many who claim to love the Lord find it difficult or out of place to say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ or to preach in public for fear of being ridiculed.
The love of Christ is so strong that if you are connected to it, you cannot easily be separated from it. In today’s reading, Paul stated from experience that nothing – persecution, hunger, nakedness, joblessness, childlessness, sickness, sword or war etc. can separate us from God’s unfailing love. In other words, those who backslide in the midst of difficulties do not go back because of the difficulties but because they choose to. They are only yielding to their flesh having taken their eyes from the One who is with them in the fire. His grace is ever sufficient for you in the midst of trials. He is a present help in times of trouble. Are you going through hard times? Stick with Him. As long as you do so, you cannot sink. You are coming out victorious.
There are some churches which after losing one or two churches to religious crises in the North would call it quits. Just a little persecution puts them on the run. Some people will say, ‘If I do not have my husband or promotion within the next six months, I am out’. A child of destiny is not a quitter! During the heat of communism, some Christians were holding a meeting in a secret place. Somebody discovered and went to report to the authorities. Soldiers were sent to arrest them. One of them was a sister in her wedding gown. They asked if she was about to wed and also if she is a Christian. She said ‘Yes’. They offered to release her to proceed with her wedding plans if only she could deny her faith. She refused. They handcuffed her to lead her to her place of death. She kissed the handcuffs, looked to heaven and said, ‘My darling Jesus, I should have known you loved me so much that you wouldn’t share me with any man’. Then she admired the handcuffs: ‘How beautiful is your wedding ring!’ Let nothing separate you from the love of Christ!
God’s grace is more than sufficient for you to go through all the tough times in this heavenly race. Go ahead and ask for it.
Bible in One year: Isa. 31-33