Saturday, August 29, 2015

trusting...move forward

artwork by Cherry Ashen Fargo

This beautiful work of art, Move Forward, by Cherry Ashen Fargo reminded me of an old chorus by songwriter Oscar C. Eliason who wrote, "Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? Got any mountains you can't tunnel through? He responded to these questions by saying, God specializes in things thought impossible. He does the things others cannot do." As followers of Christ, we face obstacles in our lives, and walking in God's will doesn't guarantee that our way will be easy. It helps me to remember that no matter how difficult our trials and tribulations may be, we can trust God and move forward in faith. I often think of this when leaving a gated community. There is an automatic gate designed to open when a car activates a hidden sensor near the entrance. When I drive toward the gate, it remains closed, blocking the entrance. But as I get closer, the gate opens, allowing me to proceed. If I stop my car a few feet from the entrance, the gate would stay closed. Only when I move forward does it open. It's the first step into the unseen that proves we have faith. Abraham, for example, "went out, not knowing where he was going." He obeyed God and relied on Him to clear the path. When we walk in obedience to the Lord and come upon a closed gate, we can confidently take the next step of faith. As we move forward, we will see God make a way where there seems to be no way.

As we move forward in this series of posts on Romans 8, I felt led to do a word study of the word, written, from Romans 8:34-36

NASB:
Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Amplified:  Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.

NLT: Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)

Phillips: Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us! Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, pain or persecution? Can lack of clothes and food, danger to life and limb, the threat of force of arms? Indeed some of us know the truth of the ancient text: ‘For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter’.

Wuest:  Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus, the One who died, yes, rather, who has been raised, who is on the right hand of God, who also is constantly interceding on our behalf?  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword?  Even as it stands written, For your sake we are being put to death all the day long. We were accounted as sheep destined for slaughter.

Young's Literal: Who [is] he that is condemning? Christ [is] He that died, yea, rather also, was raised up; who is also on the right hand of God -- who also doth intercede for us. Who shall separate us from the love of the Christ? tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (according as it hath been written -- `For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long, we were reckoned as sheep of slaughter,')

In Greek, the word, written, is grapho which means to engrave or inscribe with a pen or stylus characters or letters on a surface which can be wood, wax, metal, leather, stone, parchment, dirt, paper, etc. The verb grapho is in the perfect tense (gegraphtai) signifying that God's Word has been written down at a point of time in the past and remains on record as the eternal, unchanging Word of God. The perfect tense signifies the permanence of the written word of God. The phrase it is written (in perfect tense) always refers directly or indirectly to an Old Testament quotation and thus it carries great authority for the believer. The idea is that this divine revelation was written down at a specific time in the past and stands written and effective. As Jesus declared, Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away. (Matt. 24:35)

Warren W. Wiersbe commenting on the significance of the phrase it is written reminds us that "Our Lord used the Word of God to defeat Satan, and so may we. But the Word of God is not only a sword for battle; it is also a light to guide us in this dark world, food that strengthens us, and water that washes us. The Word of God has a sanctifying ministry in the lives of dedicated believers. Those who delight in God’s Word, meditate on it, and seek to obey it will experience God’s direction and blessing in their lives. The Word reveals God’s mind, so we should learn it; God’s heart, so we should love it; God’s will, so we should live it. We do not study the Bible just to get to know the Bible. We study the Bible that we might get to know God better. Too many earnest Bible students are content with outlines and explanations, and do not really get to know God. It is good to know the Word of God, but this should help us better know the God of the Word."

Lord Jesus, without You, I can do nothing. May Your Holy Spirit so flood my soul--the seat of my emotions, and my body--my fleshly desires and appetites, that only You remain and I remain in You...my determined purpose is that I may know You, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, recognizing, perceiving, and understanding the wonders of Your Person more clearly and more strongly...resting in who You say I am... blessed, accepted, adopted, chosen, redeemed, forgiven and loved with an everlasting love and underneath are Your everlasting Arms. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Previous word studies from Romans Chapter Eight…

Romans 8:1-3

Romans 8:10-11

Romans 8:14-15

Romans 8:24-25

Romans 8:26-27

Romans 8:28

Romans 8:31-33


12 word studies from Ephesians Chapter One…

Weekly LinkUps…


26 comments:

  1. Beth, I agree with all my heart that we should quote what is written when dealing with the enemy...as we copy what Jesus did when tempted.
    I love these words: "Our Lord used the Word of God to defeat Satan, and so may we. But the Word of God is not only a sword for battle; it is also a light to guide us in this dark world, food that strengthens us, and water that washes us

    When praying I like to pray the WORD as God is watching over His Word, faithfully to perform it, and His Word does not return to Him void, but accomplishes the purpose for which it was sent forth..

    For this reason, I went right through the New Testament and wrote out all the prayers [ except the Gospels and Revelation]. I have shared this prayer with MANY over many years as of course it is very effective !

    I am sad that many in churches do not have an understanding about the power of the Word when praying and they pray their own words...... which may be ok, but we cannot have the certainty of prayers being answered unless we can declare that which is written !!

    Can you hear how passionate I am about this topic you have written about so eloquently today ? !!

    Thanks dear Beth, xxx

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    1. Oh, sweet Mary! Amen! You have shared with me some of the Scripture prayers you wrote for your children...I so agree with you about the power of praying God's Word. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  2. Hi Beth, thank God nothing can separate us from God's love. We have been redeemed, cleansed and brought into His fold. I am glad no one can condemn us.
    God Bless Beth

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    1. Thank you for stopping by again, Ifeoma! I so appreciate your encouraging words. Many blessings to you and your sweet family ❤️

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  3. Another beautiful post featuring the Word of God. Thankful for your heart, Beth.

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    1. Michele, I so appreciate your kind words...it is a joy and a privilege to share insights from God's Word with sweet sisters in Christ like you...many blessings to you ❤️

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  4. Timely and encouraging post for me today. Thank you, Beth! So thankful to visit your site. Press on!

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    1. Stephanie, I'm so glad you stopped by and were encouraged! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  5. Oh Beth, what a wonderful post! So encouraging! Thanks so much for sharing! Peace and many blessings to you, Love! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Tai! Many blessings to you, too ❤️

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  6. Love your analogy about the automatic gates. So true in our walk with God, it's only when we step forward that He opens the next step and equips us for the place He's taking us.

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    1. Amen, Kathryn! Thanks for stopping by and leaving such an affirming comment. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  7. I've just lived the words you so eloquently communicate here, moving my family to London without knowing the outcome. Abraham is my mentor and hero. Nice to visit from Jennifer's #TellHisStory link up.

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    1. WOW, Shelly! You're my hero! That's an amazing walk of faith...I'd love to hear more! Many blessings to you and your sweet family ❤️

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  8. Ah! I lost my last comment! Oh well! I just want to say - Phil 3:!0 - the AMP version - has been transformational in my life and I am so grateful for the power of the spoken and written Word of God. I have watched and experienced the power of it in my life and the lives of others. So thankful for how you have brought our attention to it once again.

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    1. Jen, thanks so much for sending your comment again! I feel the same way about Phil. 3:10 amplified...so powerful...just like every other God-breathed word in Scripture. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  9. That moving forward bit is so important yet can be the most daunting thing at the same time. Thankfully He's with us as we do move forward.

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    1. Amen, Sandra! I so agree with you...sometimes it's just "baby steps" but Jesus walks with us every step of the way until we see Him face to Face. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  10. Beth,
    Your in depth studies make me want to enthusiastically jump into what is written. God's word defeats Satan; it lights our path; it washes us clean, etc. What's not to love? Thanks for the invitation to jump into what is written!
    Blessings,
    Bev

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    1. Thank you, Bev, your affirmation means so much to me! I so enjoy your posts also...all our words pointing our hearts to Jesus...truly, all is grace...many blessings to you!

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  11. Hi Beth, thanks for your encouragement on MOVING FORWARD! It requires trust, doesn't it? I love Romans 8, and the verses you've chosen are such good anchors for our lives. Thank you for being such a diligent student of God's Word and for sharing with us. #WeekendWhispers

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    1. Thank you, Betsy! It is a joy to join the wonderful encouragers at #WeekendWhispers each week. Many blessings to you!

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  12. I love these words "As we move forward, we will see God make a way where there seems to be no way." They remind us that faith is always moving toward God in all we do. Thank you for these words to carry with me this morning. Blessings upon your week.

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    1. Love that, Mary! Yes, the Lord has been revealing to me lately that the Holy Spirit is like a river...peace like a river...constantly moving...we just have to jump in! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  13. I love the visual: If I stop my car a few feet from the entrance, the gate would stay closed. Only when I move forward does it open. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Sheryl, thanks for stopping by! Many blessings to you ❤️

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