Saturday, May 2, 2015

When Negatives are Good

The day before yesterday, I finished my study of Psalm 18 (along with 2 Samuel 21-22).  What a blessing those chapters have been to me!  So full of God's eternal goodness, love, and care for His people - whether those people be Jews or Christians!  As April drew to a close, I began thinking about and asking the Lord where I should go next for my "Chapter of the Month" study.  He directed me to Romans 8.  Earlier in April, while I was still studying Psalm 18, the Lord showed me how Romans 8 (especially the last 5 verses) connected with Psalm 18.
I began counting the days until May 1st.  Yesterday morning, I read Romans 8.  It is not an unfamiliar chapter to me, but God gave me "new eyes" as I read the 39 verses that make up Chapter 8.  My eyes (and thoughts) were arrested at the fifth word of verse 1 - "no."  I made a list of all the "negatives" (no, not, none, etc.) I could find.  Did you know there are more than 30 negatives listed in those 39 verses?
I began thinking about how "negatives" are so unacceptable in today's culture.  No one likes the word "No."  No one wants to be "negative."  Society frowns on correction.  "Negatives" are bad - according to our human thinking.  Yes, I know.....there are things in life that must be negative.  Sometimes (okay, many times) we must tell our children, "No."  We consider "negatives" to be bad things. But here in Romans 8, we have a whole list of "negatives" that really are good things.
Let me give you an example:  Romans 1:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."  NO condemnation - that's a good thing - a very good thing!  Isn't a blessing to rest in the fact that no matter what our past has been, when we are saved, we are NOT condemned?!  I don't know about you, but that makes me want to grin like crazy!
My favorite part of the chapter is the list Pual gives at the end of all the things that cannot conquer us or separate us from the love of Christ.  I sure am thankful for that list of negatives - aren't you?

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