Monday, November 4, 2013

WEAPONS FOR REVIVAL SERIES: More Than Conquerors (2)

Let’s read verse 28, “And we know that in
all things God works for the good of those
who love him, who have been called
according to his purpose.” The second way
that we are more than conquerors is by
accepting that God does all things in our
life for our good. Because we are the
children of God, God works all things for
our good. What are
these “all things”? All
things means in all our sufferings,
hardships and trials. It means in all the
people we meet. In all things means in
every and in any situation. This is because
God has sovereign ownership of our lives.
Nothing happens in our life without his
purpose behind it. God has a good purpose
for everything that comes in our life. So
there is no failure and there is no fatalism
in God’s children in their lives if they accept
that God is working his good purpose for
them. Do you know this?
A good example of this is the life of Joseph.
When he was seventeen years old, his
jealous older brothers sold him to some
Midianite traders who then took him to
Egypt and sold him as a slave. In Egypt,
Joseph suffered from separation anxiety
and culture shock. He worked hard and
God was with him and he prospered.
However he must have struggled hard to
understand what was going on when
Potiphar’s wife accused him of trying to
rape her and when Potiphar had him
thrown in prison. For thirteen years he was
a slave then a slave in prison. All that
happened did not happen because Joseph
deserved punishment. He did not do
anything wrong. So he could question,
Why did all of this happen to him? All of it
happened because God had a plan for
Joseph’s life. God was working out his good
for Joseph’s life. In prison he was forgotten
for two more years. But then he was
brought to Pharaoh to interpret Pharaoh’s
dream. After he interpreted Pharaoh’s
dreams and impressed Pharaoh’s officials
with his wisdom, Pharaoh made him Prime
minister. Later when he met his brothers
he realized that God had used all his
sufferings to help redeem his brothers. He
finally understood that in all things God
was working for his good to make him a
source of blessing and an instrument of
salvation for his brothers. He told this to
his brothers in Genesis chapter 45, “And
now, do not be distressed and do not be
angry with yourselves for selling me here,
because it was to save lives that God sent
me ahead of you. For two years now there
has been famine in the land, and for the
next five years there will not be plowing
and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you
to preserve for you a remnant on earth and
to save your lives by a great deliverance.”
There is also a story of a young woman who
at the age of seventeen had a serious
swimming accident. When she and her
friends were diving and swimming, she dived in too close to
some rocks and she hit her head and
became paralyzed from her neck down.
While in the hospital she could not
understand why this happened to her. If
she could she wanted to commit suicide.
But God sent some friends who were
committed Christians. They told her about
Jesus and the gospel. When she believed, a
new desire to live flowed within her body.
In her wheel chair she would go and tell
other parapalegics like herself the good
news of Jesus and his great love for them.
She overcame her paralysis that was not a
physical one, but a spiritual one, through
believing the absolute love of God that in
all things God works for the good of those
who love him, who have been called
according to his purpose. Soon she began
to learn how to draw and paint by putting
the paint brush and pen in her mouth. She
became a great encouragement to other
Christians. In her book she said
that she is happier now than she
was before she was paralyzed because
know she is doing the will of God. The
woman I am talking about is Joni Earikson.
In the moment of our troubles and trials,
we cannot see the end from the beginning.
But we need to accept that God loves us
and has a greater purpose and plan for our
lives in our moment of sufferings. Verses
29-30 show us what they are.
Let’s read
verses 29-30, “For those God foreknew he
also predestined to be conformed to the
likeness of his Son, that he might be the
firstborn among many brothers. And those
he predestined, he also called; those he
called, he also justified; those he justified,
he also glorified.”
They are happening because God wants to
transform us into the likeness of Jesus
Christ. The more we are like Jesus Christ,
the more we become a conqueror in this
life. Therefore we should not complain
when we go through life’s difficulties and
trials. Instead we should praise God and
thank God and say, “Thank you Lord for
you want to conform me to be more than a
conqueror like Jesus.”
It is really a sign of God’s love that he in all
things is working out his purpose in our life
through good times and bad times. When
God called us, he justified us. He forgave
all our sins and declared us to be just and
right in his sight. Then before glorified, he
sanctifies us through his word. Jesus
prayed in John 17 for his disciples, “Father
sanctify them by the truth, your word is
Now as we hear his word, he wants to
sanctify us. He wants us to believe that he
has justified us by faith and glorified us
with the same faith. He wants us to hope in
his love and his eternal glory that
according to God has happened already
because glorified here is in the past tense.
Let’s read verses 31-32, “What then shall
we say in response to this? If God be for
us, who can be against us? He who did not
spare his own Son, but gave him up for us
all---how will he not also, along with him,
graciously give us all things?” As we know,
Paul suffered many times because he was a
servant God. However, he never doubted
the love of God. The love of God is the great
theme of the whole Bible. God who created
the heavens and the earth and who created
man in his image and who gave him his
Only Son is the God of love.
In the Garden of Eden, the devil tempted
man to doubt God’s great love. The devil
made Eve to think that God was restricting
her and her husband, Adam. Man’s
problem comes when he listens to the devil
and doubts the love of God. This happens
especially when we go through some
difficulties and hardships; even small ones.
Satan talks and talks loud and louder at us
saying to us that God does not love us.
So what must we remember when we go
through the ups and downs of life? What is
the most important thing? It is to
remember that God loves us
unconditionally and absolutely with no
strings attached. The best expression of his
love is that he did not spare his own Son,
but graciously gave him up for us all. This
is God’s sign to us. He gave his own on for
us. He bled for our sins and was crucified
for our sins. On the cross, Jesus prayed,
“Father forgive them for they do not know
what they are doing.”
When we are faithfully serving God and we
lack something, God who gave his one and
only Son will graciously give us all things.
His love for us continues through our
whole life. He never stops loving us.
Let’s read verses 33-34, “Who will bring any
charge against those whom God has
chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he
that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died---
more than that, who was raised to life---is
at the right hand of God and is also
interceding for us.” Sometimes we feel
lonely in doing the work of God and
following the way of Jesus. When students become nasty to
us and say “No”, even before we can open
our mouths we can feel most unloved. God loves us! No
one can say what we are doing is wrong.
No one can condemn us because Jesus was
condemned for us. Especially, through
Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can go to
the throne of God and express all our
troubles and problems in prayer.
Jesus we know that we are in the right and
those who do not believe are in the wrong.
Through Jesus we know that there will be a
day of judgment and a day of wrath and
anger on those who do not repent accept
the gospel. They will be condemned. While
we who have believed and have been
faithful will be honored with the crown of
Let’s read verses 35-36, “Who shall
separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
trouble or hardship or persecution or
famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
As it is written: ‘For your sake we face
death all day long; we are considered as
sheep to be slaughtered.”
Paul believed that Christ’s love for him was
like a vine and branch relationship. He
believed that no matter where he was or
what happened to him that God loved him
through Christ. We can see what Paul
thought mostly about. He did not think
about all his sufferings and his poor life.
He did not think about those who left the
church to follow their own way. He had no
bitter thoughts or vengeful thoughts. He
did not become angry at those who tried to
kill him. He did not think about what his
life might be like if he retired and just
spoke lectures at Jerusalem University.
No, Paul only thought about the love of
Christ. Paul thought how great was the love
of Christ. When he thought more and more
about the love of Christ, he became more
and more stronger.
Let’s read verse 37,
“No, in all these things we are more than
conquerors through him who loved us.”
Paul could only conclude that he and all
who believed the love of God were more
than conquerors in this life. This was
because he knew that God was working out
all things for his good. He believed that
God was sovereign and the owner of his
life. He never doubted God’s love.
At the time of this writing, the world was
ruled by the powerful Roman Empire. The
Roman Empire looked invincible and its
powers looked so great that the rest of the
world trembled. By human appearance,
Paul was a middle aged Jewish man of
small stature and with a big nose. He often
went around with worn clothes and without
food. He had no permanent place he could
call home. He was in constant danger.
read 2 Cor.11:23-28. He hardly looked like
a powerful man. However, in God’s sight
and in his sight he was more than a
conqueror. God was actually using him to
bring the gospel to the Gentile world
through Rome. Paul actually conquered the
Roman world with the gospel. But more
than that, he conquered the world with the
love of God.
We can learn here that there are no losers
in the Christian life. We are not losers, but
we are more than conquerors. We don’t
have to be physically strong to be more
than a conqueror or to be a black belt in
karate to be more than a conqueror. We
don’t have to get straight A’s to be more
than a conqueror or have a job with a six
figure income. All we need to do is to
accept God’s unfailing love for us
personally. All we need to do is have a
deep personal faith that God loves us. Then
we believe this, then nothing can separate
us from his love.
Let’s read verses 38-39, “For I am
convinced that neither death, nor life,
neither angels nor demons, neither the
present nor the future, nor any powers,
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.” There are many things that try to
separate us from the love of God.
35-36 mentioned some bad things. These
verses mention some good things.
In our life school studies, jobs and children
can try to separate us from the love of God
if we don’t accept God’s sovereign love, we
can lose our heart to these things.
As long as we have faith that Jesus loves us,
nothing will be able to separate us from
the love of Christ. Nothing in all creation. I
pray that God may give us a thankful heart
that he loves us through Christ on a
moment by moment basis. This Fall
semester we will face many difficulties and
hardships if we chose to follow Jesus.
However, let us remember that we are
more than conquerors through him who
loved us. Let us remember that God is
working in our lives for our good because
he called us. This is his love. May God help
you to understand how he is working in
your life. May God strengthen you to know
his love so that you may be more than a conqueror.

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