Monday, January 30, 2012

Comfort Food

I think most of us have heard the term “comfort food” you know the food we eat not because we need it but just because it makes us feel good. We don't really care what the food does for us internally, we just want that good feeling. Sometimes I think we look at scripture the same way. We read a verse and get this warm fuzzy feeling then go our way with out really thinking about what that scripture can do for us internally. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy feeling good as much as the next person. Nothing wrong with feeling good but many times we walk away with the temporary good feeling and never see the eternal depths of what the scripture says. The funny thing is that a lot of the time those depths are not hidden in some profound theological mystery but the words are right there as plain as day. This happened to me today. A friend posted a verse on Facebook, I stopped to read it and there it was that good feeling. Okay, feeling good, time to move on to the next thing on Facebook. Not sure what stopped me, maybe it was this verse that I had read many times before in a different version that I usually read. Could be my over active mind that likes to analyze everything. Most likely God saying slow down and listen for a minute. It was interesting that I didn't stop and meditate on the verse for a long period of time. I didn't beg God to open my eyes to see what it said. I simply stopped for a couple of minutes maybe three and I looked at what the words right there in front of me said. Here's the verse in the NIV.:

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. Romans 8:38-39

My first thought as I was about to walk on with this good feeling was, did I hear what these words say? Not what is the deeper meaning here but what do the words right here say.

These are the things that I took a few minutes to consider.

  1. Am I convinced? Not much profound or deep about that, just a simple question.
  2. Nothing in death and nothing in life. Pretty much includes everything.
  3. Neither angels nor demons. No holy and good spiritual being or evil ones.
  4. Neither the present nor the future. My present and my future, already taken care of. Nothing that is happening and nothing that will happen.
  5. Neither height nor depth. Nothing that can be measured.
  6. Nor anything else in all creation. And if all the rest didn't cover it then it says nothing in creation which is everything besides God.
  7. Will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. What was that? Did it just say that after all these things that it named, which covered everything in the spiritual and physical worlds. None of them can separate us from the love of God. And God is love so it's saying that from the moment I was in Christ nothing could separate me from God because He can not be separate from His love.

I don't know about you but those thoughts give me much more than a good feeling. If I'm “convinced” then they bring peace on the inside deep in my soul. Even if I'm not “convinced” they still bring great hope in the midst of my doubt because my believing or doubting does not change the truth of the scripture. These verses do not cease to be true if I don't believe them.

It doesn't take a great mind or a “dizzying intellect” to see what these words say, only a few minutes and a listening ear.

Johnny

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