Some lists are amazingly long and truly fascinating. You begin to read them and find yourself thinking, “Wow, that’s a L-O-N-G list.” The list keeps going and you’re getting more and more impressed.
Before I share a couple of jaw-dropping lists with you this morning, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — where the list of people who join us each day is getting pretty amazing, too. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend! So grab your cup, lift it up, and let’s begin.
When your list of personal accomplishments includes the lifetime achievement award from your industry, you can be pretty sure that the list that went before it is long and distinguished. My friend Bryan Hickox is a motion picture and television producer. He produced a television special for CBS that received CBS-TV’s highest rating in the network’s history. Bryan produced the highest rated movies of the week on ALL of network television for FOUR years … in a row! He’s produced 71 movies, 24 movies for television, 5 network series; over a dozen pilots; over one hundred and sixty hours of syndicated programming and close to a hundred episodes of a nationally syndicated talk show. Seven Emmy awards lead the list of over 200 others, including the prestigious Florida Motion Picture and Television Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Now THAT’S a long list.
Well, sometimes the scriptures hit you with a list like that. And they can be just as mind-boggling.
Today’s verse says NOTHING WILL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD
Your first thought might be, “That’s not even a list!” but I have a confession to make. That’s just the title, sort of the subject summary. But the actual full verse is staggering when you stop and consider it. When God says NOTHING WILL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD, He means “NOTHING” !!! And He starts listing things to demonstrate precisely what He intends.
He starts with the biggie, the 800-pound-gorilla-in-the-room issue we all face — DEATH. Death will not be able to separate us from the love of God. When you’re walking with Jesus and following Him, death is no big deal. I know that sounds strange to many of you, but it’s absolutely true. If fear wells up in your heart when you think of death, there’s a reason for that! When Christ rules in your heart, death is the reward you’ve been waiting for. It means the battle is over and the best days have just begun. Hee Hah!!! I finally died! Hip-hip hooray.
Nope, death isn’t enough to separate us from the love of God. But then neither is LIFE !!! Now life can hit you in the gut with a sucker punch sometimes. Financial ruin or the threat of it. Good health swirling in the drain and disappearing fast. One situation after another from morning to night trying to drag you into despair, crush your faith and quench your hope. Life can be hard, but NOT hard enough to separate us from the love of God. He said so, and He ought to know.
But at least the crashes and fights of life can be seen. The next things on God’s list of stuff that can’t get us away from His love are invisible! Bad angels; I mean REALLY bad angels. Think “lead a rebellion in heaven against God Himself and think you can beat Him” bad. And principalities, which is a term for spiritual beings who are fighting for control in a specific geographic region. And powers, which is the term for the spiritual forces by which they battle for that control. It’s a rank in a diabolic army, not just a description. But NONE of these are strong enough to separate us from the love of God.
And if you’re thinking “I’m holding it together TODAY, but I feel like I’m losing my grip and who knows what tomorrow will bring” – the answer is God. He knows what tomorrow will bring. And it WON’T bring anything strong enough to separate you from His love. No mountain fortress or attack from space will rip you away. No canyon is too deep to hide you from it.
And, because the list is getting so long, God wraps up with the”lifetime achievement award” of the list. The last all-encompassing, cherry-on-top item. God says, NO OTHER CREATED THING will be able to separate you from His love. Period. Full stop.
The list is done, and the Creator of everything (including this list) says if you’re looking for something that is big enough, bad enough or something that will be strong enough long enough to separate you and His love — THAT list won’t be a long one because nothing He created can separate you from His love. NOTHING !!
So here it is – the full verse we’ve been discussing this morning in all its glory:
I AM PERSUADED THAT NEITHER DEATH NOR LIFE, NOR ANGELS NOR PRINCIPALITIES NOR POWERS, NOR THINGS PRESENT NOR THINGS TO COME, NOR HEIGHT NOR DEPTH, NOR ANY OTHER CREATED THING, SHALL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.
The first three words say, “I AM PERSUADED,” and I am. The good news is that you can be persuaded, too. And when you’ve allowed God to persuade your heart that nothing can separate you from His love, you’ll find an incredible amount of peace and strength in that knowledge. What you’re facing may be tough, but it’s NOT ENOUGH. Because nothing is tough enough.
Talk about “tough love” — His love tops the list.