“It is impossible to do what God’s standards demand because of the weakness our human nature has. But God sent his Son to have a human nature as sinners have and to pay for sin. That way God condemned sin in our corrupt nature.” Romans 8:3 (GWT)
When I was a child we attended a local Calvary Chapel church, the pastor there was a very unique. He was a drummer back in the 70’s (if I remember right). My family left that church in 2003 for a number of reasons I won’t get into but to this day, he’s one of the few people I would look to and consider my pastor – he is the personification of the concept of being forgiven much and therefore loving much. There was a time we went through the book of Romans (at the time my favorite book of the bible) and during that period of time, it wouldn’t be uncommon for the pastor to tear up on stage talking about the grace of God given to us. I remember looking through the passage we were going to read for two specific and simple words that would lead to him crying, and unbeknownst to me leave such an impression on me that twenty years later, I would be writing about them in a daily devotion…
These two words, I would argue aside from “I Am” as used in John, are two of the most powerful words in all of scripture when put together. Whenever you see these two words together they are typically placed after a description of impossibilities or dispair. But God is a phrase that denotes a moment in time where the creator of the universe chose to step into time and space to stop the natural order of things and personally intervene in the affairs of men.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 (NIV)
“They refused to obey and did not remember the miracles you had done for them. Instead, they became stubborn and appointed a leader to take them back to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them…” Nehemiah 9:17 (NLT)
“But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.” Psalms 49:15 (NIV)
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 (NIV)
“I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisoned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O LORD my God, snatched me from the jaws of death!” Jonah 2:6 (NLT)
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NLT)
“But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.” Acts 2:24 (NLT)
“You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead.” Acts 3:15a (NIV)
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1st Corinthians 1:27 (NIV)
“It is impossible to do what God’s standards demand because of the weakness our human nature has. But God sent his Son to have a human nature as sinners have and to pay for sin.” Romans 8:3a (GWT)
Your past is completed. Your sins have been committed but the future isn’t set. God still breaks through the realms of time and space to disrupt the natural order of death and life, the schemes of angel and demons, our own sabotaging of our lives through fears and worry, and the entirety of the powers of the kingdom of Hell so he can finish the good work he started in you, the role that he has for you in his plan, and to accomplish Jesus’s prayer of ‘as in heaven so on earth’.
(Edited to correct a misstatement about my former pastor being from California – turns out he’s a Georgia boy.)