A couple days ago, I was looking through Romans, and came across this verse from Romans 8:35…
“who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
As I was thinking about this verse and what Paul was saying in it, I began to think of all the ways in which the devil would love to fill people with lies about them not being good enough to receive the love of Christ. The truth is, nothing can separate us from His love for me, for you.
I found this a hard thing to believe in my pre-Christian days, living the student lifestyle in Edinburgh, believing myself to be far too gone for me to receive anything from Jesus, let alone His love. It wasn’t until I heard a minister talking about the very reason Jesus came to the world was for people like us, He came to call the sinners out, not to hang out with the religious nuts in the synagogues.
That changed everything within me. No longer could I use my past sins and experiences as excuses or reasons why Jesus couldn’t reach out to me with His unending love.
This verse from Romans really puts things into perspective. Nothing can separate us from receiving this love. In the garden of Eden, way back in Genesis, after Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree, it says that they ran and hid and covered themselves with fig leaves. God came looking for them and when He found them, He asked them what they were doing. Adam replied saying that they were afraid to see God because of their nakedness. To which God asked them “Who told you that you were naked?” (Genesis 3:11)
When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our imperfections or mistakes from past experiences. He looks within. He looks to the heart (See 1 Samuel 16:7). When Adam and Eve realized they had sinned against God, they tried to cover it up and shame and guilt entered their lives over what they had done.
The devil would love for us to believe lies that bring separation between us and God, that’s just what he does. He is after all, the father of lies, lying is his native language (John 8:44). God doesn’t see us as sinners, we don’t have to get our lives completely turned around for Him to come into our lives. All we need to do is recognize the truth, and the truth will set us free from the lies, free from the guilt and free from the shame. We can literally leave it all with Jesus, since that is, after all, what He came here to do. (Matthew 11:28,29).
God doesn’t define you by your past experiences, good or bad. He loves you because He knows your heart, and there really is nothing that can separate you from receiving the love He has for you.