“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?” (Rom 8:32, MSG)
Too often, unawaringly, we prefer to be short-changed!
How, you ask? No one wants to be short-changed!
Too often we forsake establishing a relationship with our Heavenly Father. We miss getting to know Him. We miss His willingness to help us. However, we hardly ever ask for His help. We are in “control”, but when adversity hits, we are left wanting.
If we take the time to get to know Him, this verse (Rom 8:32) will become our reality. After all, Jesus gave His all to save us, showing us His genuine love. No strings attached. Jesus became one of us, leaving heaven to give us the opportunity to discover who our Heavenly Father is.
Jesus’ disciples followed Him. They were attracted to Him. However, they were so focused on themselves that they completely missed why He came here in the first place. They often fought with one another, and many times they even doubted.
Once Jesus was arrested, they all fled and hid themselves from the Romans. Even though Jesus had told them many times what His role was in the matter, they had no clue who Jesus was: “Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, ‘Impossible, Master! That can never be!'” (Matt 16:21-22, MSG)
They kept on doubting until they met the Risen One face to face. All doubt evaporated. They had seen Him dead, pierced in the heart, and now they were seeing Him alive, with pierced hands. Those disciples who were cowering in a hidden place when Jesus was arrested, became truly bold (See the book of Acts). Nothing could stop them. They had experienced the Risen One: “Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you. Then he showed them his hands and side. The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant.” (John 20: 19-20, MSG)
All of them, except John, died as martyrs, with smiles on their faces, because they knew where they were heading: “You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:4, NIV)
If we doubt, I recommend that we all work on experiencing the Risen One. It will change our lives radically. How can we do this? Quite simple: We ask Jesus to reveal Himself through prayer. We show our hunger to know Him, and He will reveal Himself: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt 7:7, NIV2) After all, He loves us and proved it through His supreme sacrifice.
Too often, we worry over nothing. At times, we forget to rely solely on our Father, and that’s when worries spring up.
Last year we visited Germany and Poland. We flew with our national airline. However, at the end of our trip, my wife and I had to fly with Luftansa to Barcelona where we would take our plane home. My oldest son had to leave earlier, and he, too, had to fly with Luftansa to Portugal, to get his plane heading for home.
When we booked our tickets, Luftansa was having strikes on and off. We thought it would be over once we were there. After all, we had booked our planes 8 months in advance. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. Every day we were in Germany, there were talks about more strikes.
I immediately made plans about how to get my son to Portugal and plans for me and my wife how to reach Barcelona. It would be brutal but feasible. Every day I checked the news. It wasn’t too good!
Interestingly enough, when I gave my worries to Jesus, peace invaded my heart. We would be okay. I wished I had made that decision months before! My son left as planned and reached home without a hitch. The same was true for my wife and I.
Are you worried? Put these worries away, even if strikes are looming. Come to Jesus and experience His peace in our heart. Meet the Risen One and all doubt will evaporate into nothingness. “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.” (Matt 11:28, MSG)
By the way, would you be interested in some Luftansa tickets?
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)