Summary: Satan tries to diminish the influence of God’s love by distracting orintimidating us.
“The Love Of God”
By D. Helbling
Rom. 8:35-39, I John 3:1NIV
April 1, 2001
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 John 3:1 NIV
1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
The CHALLENGE of God’s Love - “Who shall separate us...?” vs. 35
In 18th century, a godly woman was nearing death, but real worry was about her little boy. She’d taught him all about God but didn’t know whether she was getting through. When she died, the son was only 7. As he
grew older, he steadily rejected his mother’s teachings, and ignored God.
He went to sea & eventually became capt. of a slave-trading ship. He lived such a dirty & depraved life that his own crew was disgusted with him. One day he was in such a drunken stupor that he fell overboard. To rescue him, his men threw a harpoon! It stuck in his leg, leaving it permanently damaged. But they pulled him back to the ship, alive. From then on, he walked with a limp.
The man was John Newton! Later in life, he turned from wickedness & surrendered to the Lord. And he considered that limp to be a permanent reminder of God’s matchless grace. In Newton’s case, God’s “Amazing
Newton had operated as a free moral agent all those earlier years. But nothing could separate him from his mother’s prayers - or from the love of God.
The CONFLICT of God’s Love - “we are accounted as sheep for the “slaughter” vs. 36
Satan tries to diminish the influence of God’s love by distracting orintimidating us.
Hitler In Nazi Germany there lived a courageous minister named Martin Neimoller. He was personally threatened by Adolf Hitler (most people don’t
seem to realize that it was Christians as well as Jews who were persecuted by the Nazis). Niemoller didn’t flinch, but told Mr. Hitler that his work
was entrusted to him by God and “neither you nor anyone in this world has the power to take it from us.” The Fuhrer angrily walked away. That PM,
Neimoller’s rectory was ransacked, and was later damaged by a bomb. But Neimoller continued to preach the Gospel, simply telling his people that the church was in a time of testing.
In 1937, Neimoller was seized by the Gestapo, held in solitary confinement for 8 months. The indictment against him ran 14 type-written pages. On morning of his trial, he was led from his cell by an official in a green uniform, through eerie passageways, a long walk to the court. Neimoller began to feel terror, thinking of his family, his church, the death camps.
But all he heard was the echoes of his footsteps - and those of his guard. Then he heard a voice whispering to him: “The name of the Lord is a strong tower - the righteous run to it and are safe.” [Prov. 18:10]
The statement was repeated. It was the guard! He was barely audible, a secret Christian, messenger of a loving God. Neimoller felt his terror replaced by an overwhelming peace, a realization that nothing can separate us from God’s love; not even conflict. He spent the next 7 years at Dachau - yet the peace acquired that day never left him. The CONQUEST of God’s Love - “In all these things, we are more than
conquerors.” vs. 37
Milton Grannum (Philadelphia) had a life-changing experience when he visited a leper colony in South America. He would visit the people, pray with them, sing with them, read scripture to patients. Met a
woman named Rose. Her eyes had rotted away, leaving her blind. Her hands & feet were only stumps. There was blood on her face from mosquitoes biting her, because she couldn’t swat them away. Yet, when Grannum was getting ready to pray for her, & he asked what she would like, she askedhim to pray that God would help her show the doctors that Christ was alive