Welcome to the new West End Church devotional blog, which will be posted each week to help encourage and keep us connected during this time when we are unable to physically meet. After this weekend's introductory blog, look for a new post each Wednesday!
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. For God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory." Romans 8:28-30, NLT
During this worldwide health crisis, we are all being encouraged to stay healthy through good self-care. To help achieve that goal, many of us are taking extra vitamins! But even more important than the care of our physical bodies is the care of our souls. A closer look at Romans 8:28-30 reveals a fool-proof formula for faith, packed full of spiritual “Vitamin C”! In order for it to be effective, however, we need to digest it through the understanding and application of these truths:
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God…”
God is sovereign. There is nothing that happens, or can happen to us outside of the sovereignty of His plan or His allowed purposes. He is the Divine Hand that fits all the pieces of the puzzle together in order to make the picture complete. Every cause has an outcome, and God’s ultimate outcome for those of us who are His children is our good and His glory.
“…and are called according to His purposes for them.”
God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. We are the “called-out ones,” set apart for His service. The ultimate fulfillment in this life comes from hearing that call and living out our lives in response to it.
“For God knew his people in advance…”
God knows His children. He understands us, and He cares about us. Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd; I know My own sheep, and they know Me.” (John 10:14)
John Flavel, a 17th c. clergyman, wrote "The love of God to believers is a bountiful love...all you have received in this world is but the beginning of His mercy, the firstfruits of God's love to you! The love of God daily loads you with blessings."
“…and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him.”
God chose each of us to be His children before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). His ultimate purpose in choosing us is that we would be transformed into the image of His Son, Jesus; and the goal of that transformation is relationship. As we take on the nature of Christ, we are then able to draw near to God—and He is continually calling for us to come to Him.
“And having called them, He gave them right standing with Himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory.”
Through our acceptance of the sacrifice of Christ for our sins, the Creator of the universe has cleansed us and given us right standing—justification—with Him. We can come to Him directly, boldly and with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). Though we are filled with awe and reverent fear in His presence, the fear of judgment and condemnation has been eradicated through the cleansing power of His blood. Hallelujah!
Take a daily dose of “Vitamin C” in the coming week by meditating on these truths, and you will find new strength!