Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nothing Can Separate Us (Re-Post)

Romans 8 - The Message

The Solution Is Life on God's Terms

1-2. With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.



3-4. God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn't deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.



5-8. Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them — living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.



9-11. But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!



12-14. So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!



15-17. This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we're certainly going to go through the good times with him!



18-21. That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.



22-25. All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.



26-28. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.



29-30. God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.



31-39. So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.



None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.





SELAH

14 comments:

Son of Zadok said...

ILBITN!

Romans 8 spoken and seen in a way that the whole world could understand. He could have even translated "the law" to "the rules" to give it an even more understandable approach, but we get it. What is even better and an amazing continuation of this truth, is that Holy Spirit is present in everyone already, loving and working in all humanity, they only have to turn their minds to see it. When they hear the good news of that; that the perfect loving Fatherhood of God is already and forever theirs, they see it and accept it with great joy!

The Good News really is Good News people.

Catching up on yesterday’s blog and it was so very good.

Avatar,
I'm in large agreement on Gospels In The Now! God is so already all over blessing it isn't He? I sometimes shutter at the actual unseen magnitude of it.

Erik,
In reference to just stepping out and breaking the jar. That to me is the most fun, no permission asked or any explanation given, just doing it because it is what is to be done. Of course, Jesus understood. There's a radical spiritual truth to that statement. Spirit steps out of the mundane. In Spirit, we'll find ourselves doing the same.

Mystic,
The "greater works still
is in Spirits return. Wow.

Joy,
The leper and the breaking of the sweet smelling sacrifice. Was Jesus in the leper's home at that glorious and precious mystical moment to identify and share it with the once most unwanted? At such a moment of beauty, and truth, and life, it must have great meaning. Someday, in glories sparkling shores, I'm sure we'll be told many more details of many of these stories and all. Thanks for sharing some of yours.

Anon in north GA,

I bet Jesus had the most beautiful emotions and human experiences there ever were. I bet if all those pains, doubts, and sorrows came at Him at once, He might even just call it all Satan and tell it to get the hell out!

Still going to finish my story from the other day, but I'm saving it for another time. Love everyone. Great talk last night Bishop. The love in relationships and community is what will draw us all in together around the world. It starts on every level.
The deeper God is working in you, the farther He is multiplying you.

Pastor Dennis,
I feel like your underground stirring up magical blessings in Christ. When they all appear it will be for all our benefits. Big Love to you.

el ojo y la luz said...

Hey everybody,

Just wanted to quickly say that I love the idea of giving our old lives and mindsets a decent burial and allowing our God to rule and reign in our lives. Well said and great advice.

Later.

SCRIBE said...

AMEN! How very comforting and encouraging, especially in times such as these. It is one thing when we have head knowledge of who GOD is and who HE IS Supposed to be to us and in us, yet it is an entirely different matter to EMBRACE GOD as He has embraced us from the very beginning.

Indeed, GOD is Love and the hope of our calling; yet we must be absolutely certain in our faith through GOD that He is a rewarder of the faithful and those who diligently seek Him. Greater is God Almighty that dwells within us than any and all other things and forces that be in and of the World. God is real, God is present, God is NOW, GOD IS LOVE. Still, in all these things, there is our "other nature" that has the tendency to rise up in attempts to choke us with the appearances and perceptions of circumstances and situations. We are to choose whose report we shall believe and what master we shall serve.

Of course, the road was not promised to be easy, for if it were, everyone would readily and willingly walk the high road of the greater good, as opposed to wallowing in common good and self-induced bondages. The power is in our choosing, whether we choose to live and walk in freedom, or to die little by little in captivity. The battles are for the mind, and as we get the mind, heart,and spirit on one accord in sync with the Holy Spirit, we are able to break through into greater dimensions of Grace and Glory. As our Love for God is perfected and rightly perceived in and through us, then what freedom and liberties await us.

Let us not be taken over nor taken under by fear, for that which we fear the most and dwell upon shall create the reality in which we live. God is Gracious, Loving, Kind, Merciful, and HOLY... GOD is LOVE, our ever present help in times of trouble. How much greater and deeper love God has for us and bestowed upon us than we have been willing to administer to others. Let us embrace GOD with all of our being, accepting HIS LOVE, knowing that He will never leave us nor forsake us; even in the times when we feel completely alone in our struggles and sufferings, GOD is only a whisper away. As we call upon Him in the midst of all things and put all of our confidence in the truth that He sees, He hears, He Knows, and Most of All, HE SHALL ANSWER US, we must be open to Receive HIM more than we desire a solution to remedy our issues and quagmires. The Power and Love of God shall work WITHIN US and THROUGH US, perfecting all things concerning us. It does not mean that God will do things a "certain way", yet we can have faith and be certain that He will reveal and manifest things in the Best Way according to His Divine Plan and unto the measure of Our Faith in Him.

Our Miracles and Breakthroughs are Received as we RECEIVE GOD in Wholeness without limitations... not according to what we desire for ourselves and our livelihoods, but according to that which HE has purposed for us in the ways of acceptance, meshing, and conjoining our will and desires where they are in perfect alignment and agreement to HIS Divine Will and Desires in our lives. Perhaps, at times it may not necessarily "feel good", yet it shall all be worked out for His Goodness, Grace, and Glory to shine through us that others may receive of Him and be greatly blessed in the interim.

Izumi/JOY said...

God morning beloved Universe,

I appreciate the contrast in the illustration (pic) between the natural, atmospheric conditions, and (frequent) admonitions to see things circumspectly.

Thank you, SOZ.

Anonymous said...

Great version of Romans 8. This particular writing in its complete context along with the preceding chapter seven is the most excellent guide to life that I am aware of. It shows the futility of our self actuated efforts to live up to the standards of goodness according to the understanding of those who came before us. It declares what was established for all mankind before the creation of this present dimension. Most importantly it declares that there is nothing anyone or anything can do to change the mind of our Creator from loving creation with unimaginable, unqualified and unlimited agape. The playing field is truly leveled in the eyes of our loving Daddy, Momma, Spouse or Holy Mentor.

I saw the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still not long ago. When a child, the storey intrigued me so that I went to the movies three times to see it. The concept is the same. There are many voices throughout our human experience that proclaim the same truth.

God is. We are here to grow in our understanding of that. When we choose to establish rules about that understanding, it simply sends us on an unending quest to form even more rules about the rules and when no one can live up to them then some of us hide behind religious pretentiousness and declare ourselves to be the voice of God. The greater majority of us accept that office, not so much because we believe it but ore because it is easier to let someone else be holy and offer excuses to us for our own behavior. This has created a snowball rolling downhill in such a magnitude that it has frozen the souls of humanity in a self destructive hell. The whole of creation that is groaning under the load of of our collective energy that has been misdirected to be destructive and is looking for the day when we will acknowledge what we were originally created to be and fully work from the paradigm of being like minded with the Creator.

There are several examples in the Bible like the one presented in the T.D.T.E.S.S. movie where the observing powers greater than ourselves have decided that we are hopeless and initiated a process for our destruction but was decided not to because of someone acting in a way that shows promise of humanity as a whole being capable of progress toward the greater good. This has been a sad case of repetitive behavior even to this day. There is much more hope now in view though.

With the combined understanding of those who truly love and act in Godly benevolence toward others regardless of religious or lack of religious views by either party and the current age of information at the hands of everyone, those who have been suppressing the light of the human soul from behind the cloak of religious pretense are rapidly losing their grip of death and destruction.

When we wake into the knowledge that it is our destiny and purpose walk in the total Light of the Creator and express unconditional care for everything we come in contact with then we will truly hear the earth rejoice and the heavens declare the glory of God as it has been doing from the beginning.

There is not anything that can separate us from knowing this truth in its fullness and operating in it on a level beyond the dimness our present willingness to let the Son Shine in.

karl cobos said...

Loved it, and needed it.
Thanks Bishop!

word ver: fyireig
"for your information, God reigns!"

karl cobos said...

Hi, just looking for agreement right now on a call I'm making to an imaging center in the next few minutes, for a ctscan for Natasha. Checking on prices and info.

Need favor and provision, no insurance right now. I know it will work out somehow as we move forward... thanks!

Enjoying all your posts!

Anonymous said...

DrKluane Spake said...

Amen...

Anonymous said...

Felicia Ramirez Hoffman said...

thank you for sharing this - i just love the photos you select with each message.

Anonymous said...

Leslie Hancock said...

awesome...

Anonymous said...

George Sandler said...

Just what I needed today. Peace, love and light to you Bishop.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks, everyone!!

Avatar said...

Nothing! NOthing is able to separate us...I love it!

I remember these pictures from the first post very well and with pleasure am planning to re-read the previous responses...wondering what stood out to all of us then. Do I remember correctly that Iris loved the pregnant world?

I still like the ferris wheel in the storm. "Clouds, what clouds? I'm having fun at the amusement park!"

But this time? The "What's next, Papa" is speakin' to me!

D-I-T-T-O, Soz!

Agreed Felicia, this post is like a revealing music video...

tracy said...

My favorite Repost. Karl try Amscan on Sigman Road, that should be your cheapest self pay price and if her PCP ordered it, Amscan will usuall bill you for a portion after collecting a portion up front. Throwing favor your way.