Romans 8 Devotion

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Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free,

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

My chains fell off, my heart was free,

I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

And can it be that I should gain, by Charles Wesley

This is one of my all time favorite hymns! Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. I turn to its truth often. I continually need it because how I feel and what is true about me NOW are not always the same. I had a hard time understanding my continued need of the gospel. The way it’s talked about sometimes sounds like it is something you accept and then are done with. That sounds even silly for me to say now but I didn’t understand.

Now, I find myself preaching the gospel to myself. I pray the gospel over my family even when I’m thanking the Lord for the food He has provided. I never want to get over the gospel. And I can honestly say that sometimes I do. My mind is consumed with too many other things. Prayer is an all-out-battle. I have to begin quickly or my mind begins to wander. The enemy must be threatened when God’s people pray. Battle in prayer, brothers and sisters!

Chapter 8 begins with one of the most assuring declarations a former enemy of God, now adopted child, can hear. Let me throw out a rough translation to drive home the beauty of this truth. The Greek begins with an emphatic NO…8:1 “NO then now penalty to those in Christ Jesus.” (Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.) English is bound by a certain word order and we often miss the astounding but simple statements that we would otherwise be blown away with!

They are sweet words to the one who in chapter 7 is battling against the flesh and wondering who will save this wretched man that I am! Please hear those words, struggling child of God! Cling to them in the dark! Fight to believe them when you doubt! Give them to other struggling brothers and sisters in Christ! Cherish them even on the days that aren’t so hard. Sing that song I quoted in the beginning. Tell yourself what is true. Inform your heart how to feel! Demand it!

Why is this important? Because our daily failings and struggles will get the better of us. The enemy will whisper the most eloquent of lies to us. The lie is not that we haven’t failed but rather that God no longer loves you because of your failings. And the latter would be true if our relationship were dependent on our performance. But it’s not. Our salvation fully rests on the perfect work of Jesus. Our salvation is sure because Jesus is constant and sure.

We have no penalty or condemnation coming to us because Jesus has already taken the penalty for us on the cross. The resurrection declared that the payment was sufficient! We deserve the penalty but God loved us by sending His only Son that whoever believes (or is believing) will have eternal life. You will never conceive of any greater love than this. In fact, that’s why Christianity is so compelling to me. No one would have cooked up this way of salvation with a higher deity. But God did have mercy on us!

If you have never experienced the quickening ray and the chains falling off and your heart being set free, I would encourage you to reach out to me. I will walk you through what it means to follow Jesus or I’ll try to get you connected to someone who can. But you really don’t need me or anyone else. Just start confessing to God, He can hear you. Plead with Him to have mercy on you and He most certainly will. If the Lord is at work in your life, the Holy Spirit will carry you along! This song below might give you words to express to God.

About Jason and Kimberly

Jason is the former pastor at First Baptist Church in Greensboro, Florida. Kimberly homeschools our three awesome kids. We enjoy being together as a family in wherever so long as we are together! Grace and peace to you in the Lord Jesus Christ! View all posts by Jason and Kimberly

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