More Than Conquerors: Part Two
- 2003 13 Aug
In part one of "More Than Conquerors" we looked at the first of Paul's five questions found in Romans 8, beginning with verse 31:
1. If God is for us, who can be against us?
2. How would [God] not graciously give us all things?
3. Who will bring charges against those whom God has chosen?
4. Who is he that condemns?
5. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? How would [God] not graciously give us all things?
The first question was the subject of our focus last week: if God is for us, who can be against us? Remembering the story of David's anointing to be king, which led to his flight from Saul and nearly losing his life on several occasions, we also read that God sustained David through the years of hiding and unfair accusations. David was the intended king of Israel, the "father" of the forthcoming Messiah. Nothing would stand in God's way of seeing His plan fulfilled for David, Israel, and all of mankind. Neither will God allow anything to come between you and His plan for your life, if you yield it perfectly to Him.
So the answer to question one is: absolutely no one.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
In Part One of this series I wrote about a time when I felt I had already lost the battle and was definitely losing the war. Everything I held dear was falling apart at the seams. A wise older man listened to my moaning and complaining, making no comment along the way as my tale of woes grew increasingly pathetic. When I was done, he said to me, "God gave His Son to die for you. The most precious thing He could have sent. Do you really think that with all that invested, He's going to let you down now?"
Of course the answer was no, but far more exciting is the rest of this story.
Years later, as one of my own was crying over the injustices of life (and I will admit she was really going through some really dark days), I had the opportunity to repeat those very words to her. The cloud shadowing her pretty face was suddenly lifted and her eyes became bright. "Oh, yeeeeeeah..." she said. Over the next few days, literal miracles occurred in her life, bringing about renewed faith and vitality for the Lord.
To Give Him Up
Back in the '70s I was a nursing student (not one of my finer life memories, but if I go into that, I'll digress) among several hundred other students who were-ahem-privileged to watch the dissecting of a cadaver (corpse) for the purpose of medical study. Lucky me, I was among those chosen to stand shoulder to shoulder with the doctor performing the procedure.
I don't remember a lot about that day, but I do remember the doctor showing us the collection of bones around the wrist and pointing to the spot where Roman nails would have been driven into the condemned man of the crucifixion. "A perfect place," the doctor called it, then looked me square in the eye. "Do you know what this means?" he asked.
I was young. I didn't know anything about anything, so I shook my head. Besides, even if I had known what it meant, I wouldn't have wanted to make a fool of myself in front of this brilliant man and my fellow students. "No, sir," I answered.
"It means," he began, "that when God created man, He knew one day His Son would be held to a cross by a nail, and so fashioned a place for it. Even creating man, Father God knew what it could cost Him."
(Take a moment to place the thumb of one hand at the base of the underside of the other hand with the index finger at the upper side base. Do you feel the little circle there? This is where the Roman nails would have been driven. Contrary to works of art depicting a different scenario, the bones of the actual hand cannot hold a man's weight and would have therefore ripped the flesh, defeating the purpose.)
This year, as in years past, many American mothers and fathers have sent their offspring off to war, to fight for the rights found in freedom, which we have so enjoyed in this country but often times take for granted. As goodbyes are said, the parents are keenly aware these may be the last words spoken, though some will see one another-alive and well-soon. While many of these parents will tell you it is a privilege and honor to our country, still it is difficult to let go...to say goodbye...to not know for certain....
But Father God and His Son knew for certain.
Would you do the same? Could you?
For those who have paid the price of a child's life for the continued rights of freedom, let be begin by thanking you from the bottom of my heart. Freedom is a precious thing. There is, for Christians, another costly freedom outside the boundaries of political rights. There is the liberty of being called a Child of God, to approach Him in prayer, to live on earth knowing that eternity, for us, has already begun. As Calvin Miller penned, "Eternity is now."1 Not because of anything noble that we have done, but because of the sacrifice of God.
With All That Invested...
Ever notice how much more valuable something becomes when you have to spend big bucks on it? I'd be more apt to take care of a brand new Lincoln than a yard sale bicycle and I've noted that most people are more careful with the homes they purchase than the ones they rent. Then, of course, there are those things one can't put a price tag on, for example the ring I wear with my wedding ring. This cluster of diamonds-though valued high in dollars and cents-is more prized to me because it belonged originally to my grandmother, then my mother and now me. One day it will belong to my daughter...and her daughter...and so on and so forth.
As Christians we are a strange blend of Lincoln and heirloom. A high price was paid for us, yet because of that price we have become brides to the Bridegroom, children of the Creator, brothers and sisters of Messiah, heirlooms. Our value to God is beyond our comprehension, quite frankly.
So then, what would He be willing to give to you? And not just give? The scripture says He will freely give. Charizomai, it is written in Greek. To give graciously and freely.
Tie Them Together
What then shall you say to this?
If God be for you, who can be against you? (No one)
But what about those days when it seems the whole world is? Remember, God has invested His Son into your life. You are precious. You are valuable. He is not about to let you down now.
Award-winning national speaker, Eva Marie Everson is the author of Shadow of Dreams, Summon the Shadows and the recently released and highly anticipated Shadows of Light. She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.EvaMarieEverson.com