January 4, 2024 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Romans 8:37-38 (NET)
No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Whatever the plan is by this time a year from now, I am convinced that neither success nor failure, promotion or sending away, new friends or departure, health or sickness, graduation or ordinary mundane repetition can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In part 1 of Next Year’s Outlook, we saw that no condemnation for your life’s outlook means that we have complete victory in Christ Jesus. The second reason that no condemnation impacts your life’s outlook is that God’s love is incomprehensible.
A fallen world has immeasurable amounts of flaws. The curse is found everywhere in every way. One only has to get up in the morning to realize this. And for some sleeping—or the lack thereof—is a reminder also. Brokenness abounds and we are the culprits.
What would happen to your yearly outlook if there were only perpetual brokenness, and no common grace; if you know even before you carry out your plan that it’s already broken, because you are broken, so your plan is broken. Paul’s letter does not leave us in the state of “no one righteous” in Romans 3. He turns the corner in chapter 5 and reminds us that because we have been justified there is hope (Romans 5:5). There is brokenness inside us, in systems, perceptions, experience, work, and as far as the eye can see. But for those who trust in Jesus Christ, there is a hopeful expectation that compels a better outlook on life regardless of the present circumstances. This is because God’s love is incomprehensible.
Paul is convinced that not just apostles or Jewish converts who had the law, but all who trust in Jesus Christ, can be certain that God’s love is enough. He provides perspective to the scale of God’s love in relationship to success or failure. And just in case the original recipient—or us today—had or have any doubt about the strength of God’s love, he provides some examples of how far his love reaches. Neither life nor death are impermeable to God’s love. If we go to the depths of the spirit realm, we’ll find God’s love there for us. If we traveled across all of time, we would find God’s love is undergirding it. If we traveled through all of creation, we’d find God’s love there also. His love for his son is so incomparable and massive that it flows out toward us.
It extends to every field of human endeavor. Family may love, but not as much as the love of God. If your job decides you’re not needed, when you pack and head out the door God’s love walks out with you. When you make plans for the year, God’s love is in the steps for you and everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. His love does not neglect a single saint, regardless of the circumstances.
If you knew that no matter what may happen everything is going to be all right what would your outlook on life be? What would your plans for the year look like? Whatever the plan is by this time a year from now, I am convinced that neither success nor failure, promotion or sending away, new friends or departure, health or sickness, graduation or ordinary mundane repetition can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Make your plans trusting Jesus, but let the love of God drive the perspective of the circumstances.
What experiences do you think contributed to Paul’s being convinced about God’s love, in addition to his writing scripture by inspiration?
What does the implication of “us” mean for what Paul says in verse 38?
Create your own list of things that you are also convinced cannot separate us from the love of God. Write out the implications of what that means in that area of your life.
Thank you for making us a recipient of the overflowing love you have for your son. And remind us of that love appropriated for all, to the Jew first and also the Greek. Amen.
Banner image by Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Bring Solutions.
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DeLano J. Sheffield is the Business Resource Specialist for Goodwill of MoKan where he connects to people on the fringes, training them to reach their full potential through learning and the power of work; he also is on the frontlines of the advances of the fourth industrial revolution and coaches leaders on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. He began his career as an architectural engineer then went on to attend seminary. In every part of his life he finds ways to infuse theology into vocation, and strengthen practical connections of faith and daily activity. DeLano lives in Kansas City, Missouri.