Monday, May 27, 2013

Romans 8 and my take...

Romans 8:32 KJV
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Romans 8:32 literal Greek translation
Which too of-the-one of-private-belonged of-a-son not it-spared, other over of-us of-all it-gave-beside to-it, unto-whither unto-not and together unto-it to-the-ones to-all unto-us it-shall-grant-to?

God is not to be put in a box as to what He will or won’t give us as is evident to me in verses like these when He says that He would freely give us “all” things.  Some would say that I should not take this verse out of context, that I should take into consideration the whole chapter, even the whole book.  I agree and would even go a bit further and say why not take it in the context of the whole bible?  

First, I would like to point out that in this chapter, along with Paul’s call to:
* be lead by the Spirit *to not live in fear, but to persevere in hard times
*and to know that we are not condemned (those of us in Christ)
*and that He foreknew us, predestined us, called us, justified and glorified us,
*that He is FOR us and cannot be separated from us by any created thing,
*that we are more than conquerors,

Paul also tells us that we are HEIRS with Christ, children of the most high God!  God gave us His son and according to Paul, will also give us all things – which I  would like to point out, does not specify need from want, dreams from desires, basic from extravagant.  It also doesn’t say that we should get it on our own by buying everything in site that we want because God wants us to have it – no.  It says He GIVES.  When you look at the context of the WHOLE bible, there is so much about the generosity of our God!

The following are just a few examples that came to mind.

When Ruth needed a husband/provider, God didn’t find for her an adequate husband who could take care of all her basic needs which would have been plenty in and of itself considering the times, no. He gave her Boaz, a wealthy, generous, healthy, honorable, loving man of good report who not only took care of Ruth, but took care of Naomi too.  Ruth asked for leftovers, Boaz (who represents Jesus) gave her extra by commanding his reapers to purposely let extra grain fall for her to glean, commanded his young men to not reproach her (guaranteeing her safety) and gave her food from his table!  Then he redeemed her and her mother in law by taking Ruth as his wife!  God went even further by ensuring Ruth and her family would be included in Jesus' family tree.  This is not basic needs that were met, this was abundance!

When Solomon asked God for wisdom, God was so pleased that He made Solomon the richest man who ever lived!  Solomon asked for a basic need, God gave him abundance!

When Esther was in preparation to meet the king, God didn’t just give her the wisdom to choose the right things to wear as He could have done, He gave her favor with the head eunuch who then made sure she had the very best of everything in addition to telling her what to wear to gain favor with the king.

Even when it comes to our enemies, God didn’t just give enough of a victory to the Israelites to keep their enemies at bay, He ANNIHILATED them, wiped them out!  And then told them to go and gather all the goods, treasures, cattle, etc. from the enemy!

Jesus said “I came that you might have life and life in abundance”.  If Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then don’t you think we should think like a King or a Lord? What does a king or a lord consider necessity? What does a king or a lord consider abundance?  What would a king give to his children?  Think of it this way, in the bible, anytime a wife or child comes to ask the king for something, how many times does that king say “ask for anything, even up to half the kingdom will be yours if you ask it”.  That is a human king, what about a God king?  It doesn’t take a genius or years of study or much theology to know that God’s ways are much higher, bigger and better than our ways.  If we are made in God’s image and God’s image says “even half the kingdom will be yours if you ask” how much more does God want to give?  Not that we should desire things, but that we should not limit Him or rebuke others who believe Him and His word when He says “I want to give you more”.  

People twist things all the time – well I’m a child of God, so I’m going to act rich, live like I’m rich and just wait for God to pay me back.  No, we have faith that God will give and we wait until the Spirit tells us when to go, when to stay, when to lay at the feet of our savior, uncover His feet and ask that He may GIVE.  We walk by the Spirit, we walk by faith and we listen for the voice of God.  When we do that, things fall into place and we are given the very best – whatever that looks like in that moment.  It has been my experience that we get in our own way.  When I’m not seeing provision, it’s because I am in my way – sometimes there are other blockages, but most of the time my impatience, frustration, need for control etc. get in the way of what God is trying to give me.   

There are a million possible reasons why you or I or someone you know is not experiencing the abundance promised in the bible.  Our job is not to judge them or abandon them in their frustration and questioning, but rather to encourage them and challenge them to seek God!  He knows what’s in the way!  He knows their heart!  If we don’t have SOLID discernment about their situation or solution (and even if we do), then we should be pointing them back to the Father, who wants to give them ALL things and life in ABUNDANCE.  It doesn’t matter what we think that “all” and “abundance” looks like!  What matters is that we as a community, come around and encourage and challenge those who are struggling in any way.  If we do these things, and they still turn away, we must still be careful not to judge and not to condemn.  Whether we have knowledge in the situation or not, our pride should not get in the way of loving people like Christ did.  (as shown in Luke 22:61,62 and John 21:15-19).

As always,  I am preaching to me too! ♡♥♡

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