On Sunday Delton talked about how Jesus enters our uncleanness and makes us clean and whole, just as He did with the synagogue leader’s daughter and the bleeding woman. We don't know what happened to these individuals after they walked away from Jesus' presence, but I have to believe that their lives were forever changed. I think that today’s reading from Romans has Paul giving a practical view of what it looks like to live life after we have been pulled out of our uncleanness and cleaned and made whole through Christ. Take a look:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)
Lord, what do you want me to learn today?
The first thing about this reading that caught my attention is that Paul describes us as “More Than Conquerors.” I believe that Paul is saying that is our new state of being after Jesus enters our lives and makes us clean and whole.
What, exactly, is a conqueror? By definition alone, a conqueror is “one who is victorious, a champion, a hero, a winner.” To me, these words seem to aptly describe one’s status at the end of a battle or event -- simply a moment in time. History has many examples of conquerors that were overthrown or lost their next battle, and of empires that were decimated after ruling for hundreds of years.
As "More Than Conquerors", I think Paul is telling us that our victory through Christ goes beyond the momentary and is unchangeable. But I also think that it means that we are called to more than just relishing in the victory - more than just calling ourselves saved and stopping there. We are to LIVE a "More Than Conquerors" life.
Lord, what does it mean to live a "More Than Conquerors" life?
As I read Paul’s words, I also realized that he’s given us a full picture of what we no longer need to fear as we live a "More Than Conquerors" life.
We no longer need to fear:
- challenges in our physical and emotional needs or comforts [trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness]
- entering into any battle in His name (either as the offense or defense) [danger, sword]
- issues concerning our health or even the onset of death [death, life]
- any threats that come our way from the spiritual realm [angels, demons]
- what is happening or what will happen in the future [the present, the future]
- the actions of any governing authority [any powers]
- our location and the challenges it presents (be it drought or flood or fire) [height, depth]
- or any of His creatures - other people, animals, this world and even ourselves [anything else in all creation]
Wow! I don’t think Paul left anything out! NOTHING can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. What challenges are you currently facing? As they come to mind, see if each one is included in the above list. I bet you will find the list all-inclusive. I did when I tried it.
So if we live a "More Than Conquerors" life -- we aren’t just outwardly, fleetingly victorious -- Christ's victory is in the very essence of our being!
I recently read a description of early Christians that caught my attention - could this be what it looks like to live a “More Than Conquerors” life?
The love which they felt towards the Lord Jesus was not a quiet emotion which they hid within themselves in the secret chamber of their souls, and which they only spoke of in their private assemblies when they met on the first day of the week and sung hymns in honor of Christ Jesus the Crucified. It was a passion with them of such a vehement and all-consuming energy that it permeated all their lives, became visible in all their actions, spoke in their common talk, and looked out of their eyes -- even in their most common glances.
Love to Jesus was a flame which fed upon the very marrow of their bones, the core and heart of their being, and therefore, from its own force burned its way into the outer man and shone there.
-- Charles Spurgeon
Does it describe you? Me?
Lord, what do you want me to do with what you have shown me in Your Word today?
(Artwork: 'More Than Conquerors' by Mark Lawrence)