These lovers of Jesus are charmed with His character and delighted with His mission; they are carried away by the loving-kindness that He has manifested, and therefore they cannot help trusting Him because they so much admire, revere, and love Him.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Struggling joyously with this fact…
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can bet against us?32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.t35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure 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.
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can bet against us?32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.t35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
36 As it is written,
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure 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.
Lord, help me with my unbelief… I can kind of believe that you love me the way that the world plays with the word love (yeah, I love them, i don’t like them though…I love them, but I’m not trying to deal with them)… It’s extremely hard to believe that you Love and Delight in me…right now. I’m struggling with the fact that right now, you care and love me…that you care about me. Right now. Please encourage me. Please allow me to walk in the renewal of my eyes to best see the light of your Gospel that I may live and enjoy you fully.
This has been on my heart for a while…I have to get it off my chest. And this is horribly transparent. Read at your own will. I’ve been reading this verse more and more, and it’s been hitting me hard…
Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
In this verse, the author (Paul) makes a tough statement. The initial question is rhetorical “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man?”. Paul spent the first 3 verses explaining his position and servitude to Jesus Christ, so he isn’t seeking an answer, he’s proving a point. The question is “what is the point?” Well it’s right here:
“ If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
So, this is where it got tough for me, because as a man seeking to marry a young woman of God, I’ve been taking my own merit and behavior as justification and reason to earn her father’s blessing. It is true that I have worked hard, graduated in 2.5 years, worked 4 jobs, served in ministry and preached at various locations to honor Christ and edify His Church, but I’d be a liar if I said I did not do all of those things with a hope that her parents (who are by all external appearances Christians) would see my works and say “well done, good and faithful boyfriend. We now approve of your life, of YOU, and you are now good enough to be with our daughter.”
God did something funny though, because in spite of all of these things not only do her parents not approve of me, but they told me I’m not welcome in their home or in their family when it was made clear that I wished to marry their daughter. In fact, the reasons for their disapproval of me where neither Biblical, or factual. So here I am distraught and broken because here are two people who I have
highkey been looking to please, and they choose to find ultimate displeasure in me. And I’m broken…and again, I peep this verse and I’m too convicted.
Paul says here that if he were still looking to man’s approval as ultimate, he wouldn’t be a Christian… pow. So I had to genuinely repent, because while having backing from her parents would be great, and make things much easier, is me getting married something to please man?
If my aim was to please man I would just secretly do whatever I want to do…I’d have her spending the night, I’d go to New Orleans, Austin, South Padre, Mexico on various trips, I’d basically just be married without any commitment. That would get the approval of nearly everyone outside of the community of Christians I know. However, the ultimate purpose of marriage is honoring Christ…it’s an act of service, love and sacrifice to Christ, then to the woman, and then to the church (that’s another tumblr post though).
It’s difficult though, because this is a situation where the Bible is extremely real, and it frustrated the hell out of me to accept that I wasn’t serving the Christ that saved me who approved of me in spite of my sin and in light of my sinfulness because of what He did on the Cross, paying my debt and giving me his riches, but instead was serving the worldly un-Biblical ideals of two people who actively chose to illumine a works based Gospel where I work and earn a vague approval. It convicted me that I’m not as strong and mature in Christ as I consider myself to be, and it pushed me back to the Cross and depending on Christ and Christ’s completed work on that Cross alone for my identity, approval, and “success”…it checked me because for a minute I really looked at the mess that is my life and said in the words of Drake “I’m having a good time, they just trying to ruin it, shout out to the fact that I’m the youngest nigga doing it” because I have some jobs, an education, the “humility” to talk to some mentors, create a budget, get some investments and have a few dollars that the Cross of Christ is cool, but not a core need for me anymore
‘cause I got it all together now. .
Why does this matter to you?
While you may not be in the exact same situation as me, I doubt I am purely alone in this. Many of us every day do things, go places, pursue careers, spend money, save money, buy things, sell things, etc. in the same of getting folks approval. The Bad News is that on your own merit, God does not approve of you. He hates you. The Good News however is that through His own merit and His work on the Cross, paying the cost that your life of sin racked up through His perfect life and then giving you his perfection, He does approve of you. That means you can live a life of freedom and joy, not working FOR His approval, but living IN His approval. It’s a simple message, but it isn’t simplistic, so if you’d like to talk to me about it, email me at email@example.com and I’d love to talk to you more about the freedom that Christ offers to all who change their minds about their lives and trust in Him. Hit me up and pray for me as I pray for you.
I’m going to ride out on this…you can too:
1 Corinthians 1:30-31
30 And because of himt you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”