God’s Saving Word: Spiritual Renewal
Romans 8:18-39: The apostle Paul says that all creation longs to be set free from its slavery to decay and that our current suffering can’t compare to the glory that will one day be revealed. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, and we are assured that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
The Future Glory
18 I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. 20 For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope 21 that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 For we know that up to the present time all of creation groans with pain, like the pain of childbirth. 23 But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God’s gifts also groan within ourselves as we wait for God to make us his children and[a] set our whole being free. 24 For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For who of us hopes for something we see? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. 27 And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.
28 We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him,[b] those whom he has called according to his purpose. 29 Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the first among many believers. 30 And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them.
God’s Love in Christ Jesus
31 In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son—will he not also freely give us all things? 33 Who will accuse God’s chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! 34 Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us! 35 Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? 36 As the scripture says,
“For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;
we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38 For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, 39 neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Today’s Key Verse: Romans 8:39b
There is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
What is the hope that Paul talks about in verses 18-25? Have you ever found it hard to pray? If so, how does the Holy Spirit help in such times? Reread verses 31-39. What questions does Paul ask? How does he answer them? What verses in today’s reading do you find especially meaningful?
Lord God, you know my weaknesses and my inmost thoughts. Thank you for your Holy Spirit that pleads on my behalf when I find it hard to pray. With a humble heart I thank you for assuring me that, through Christ Jesus, I can never be separated from your love. Amen.
And now, join us in praying that God’s Word will continue to reveal God’s love and grace to all the people in Central America. Loving God, we stand in prayer for those in Central America who are living in poverty and desperate situations. We pray that those in the next generation who are at risk from violence, drugs, and gangs, may find hope in you. Lord God, may believers in Central America continue to find strength in the Bible amid poverty, violence, and other painful circumstances, and may children and youth be kept safe from harm. Thank you, Lord, that the generous support of Bible-A-Month Partners is helping to provide Bibles for the people in Central America, and that they are finding emotional and spiritual healing through your Word. Amen.
Romans 12:1-21: The apostle Paul describes life in God’s service.