[Daily Devotion] January 5th, 2016

[Daily Devotion] January 5th, 2016

 Life in Spirit (2): Romans 8: 18 – 38

18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
    we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 42

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
    so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
    the face of God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while people say to me continually,
    “Where is your God?”

These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
    and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
    a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows
    have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
    and at night his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God, my rock,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
    because the enemy oppresses me?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my body,
    my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
    “Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

Note: According to our reading schedule, we are suppose to read the entire chapter. However, this chapter contains a lot to process. So I am finishing up chapter 8, along with Psalm 42.

What does it say?

V18 – 25: Paul talks about how our soul desires for justice and the reign of God rule over the world. Even with this salvation, we see so much pain in this world, that we fall into this discrepancy or a void, in between. This creates a yearning in our hearts to see the kingdom, and ask for the kingdom to come. Eugene Peterson describes this as “the joyful anticipation deepens.”

This is the reason why we need the Spirit. As we live in this world of , in between, we will with the guidance and the power provided by the Spirit. “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 sure that every detail in our lives of love for God worked into something good.” Romans 8: 26-28 The Message

This communion with Spirit makes us Conquers. It reminds us that God is with us, and gives us the power to overcome all difficulties in lives. Prayer is not to ask God remove obstacles in our lives, it is rather asking God to be more present in our lives, so we can overcome all troubles that the world throws at us. But all in all, it is to remind us that nothing can separate us from God’s love. (v. 39)

What does it means to us (me)?

Do we really desire God? As the Psalmist says, “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1), do we really long for God’s kingdom and presence?
I recently returned back from leading our college students back from Passion 2016. This is a gathering of young adults meeting God to help them follow the Passion of God. I tried my best to explain how great this gathering was, but I don’t know how successfully done it. When we first met with the students, they didn’t really know what to expect. Even though I told them how big this gathering was, their minds couldn’t comprehend how big this gathering was. I’ll just summarize what happened. This experience blew their mind away. Not only how big this gathering was, but the way God touched their lives. 

That’s where I got to learn that even though we talk about how great God is and how awesome God’s presence is, we might not be able to comprehend the depth and height of God’s awesomeness. Would that be a reason why we don’t desire God? or Would that be a reason we are content of how we live? If we truly understand the greatness of God holiness, wouldn’t it lead us to desire more of our God?

That is why we need the Spirit. The Spirit gives us the guidance and power to taste the greatness of our Lord, so we will continue to desire God and be cultivated in God’s own image.

How does this passage speak to you?

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