Posts Tagged ‘Romans 8:37-39’

Love never fails

February 12, 2017

1 Corinthians 13--4-7

In the Verse of the Day for February 12, 2017 we find two more verses from 1 Corinthians 13 further describing “charity” in the King James Version or agape or the love of God:

1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (NKJV):

Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Here are two variations of these verses from two other Bibles:

New Living Translation:

It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Amplified Bible:

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

As we think about these verses from 1 Corinthians 13, a passage from Romans 8 also comes to mind, relating to the constancy of the love of God which never fails. No matter the circumstances of our lives, whether on the pinnacles of success and dreams come true or in the pits of disappointment and failure, we are assured that God loves us and that His love endures. The late Dr. Adrian Rodgers once stated, “God cannot love us any more than He does, and He will not love us any less.” The chapter concludes with this assuring reminder expressed in the Amplified Bible:

Romans 8:37-39

37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,

39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

To know God is to love Him, and how do we know Him? 1 John 2:3 reminds us:

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

This verse brings to mind the following lyrics:

We know that we know that we know that we know.

We know that we know You still love us.

We know that we know that we know that we know.

We know that we  know You still love us.

 

No matter how many times we go astray

And leave Your side and choose to disobey.

When we’re overwhelmed and can’t even pray,

No matter what we do or do not say.

 

We know that we know that we know that we know.

We know that we know You still love us.

We know that we know that we know that we know.

We know that we know You still love us.

 

No one else knows our heart: You are the one

To call us home when we have no place to run.

When we look all around at all that we’ve done,

Despite all our failures, You still call us your own.

 

We know that we know that we know that we know.

We know that we know You still love us.

We know that we know that we know that we know.

We know that we know You still love us. You still love us.

We close with the assurance that God loves us, as the Verse of the Day reiterates: “Love never fails” beautifully expressed by Jim Brickman and Amy Sky:

 

Final Victory: Soon and very soon

April 20, 2016

1-corinthians-15 57

The Verse of the Day for April 20, 2016 reminds believers of the accomplished work of Jesus Christ when he arose triumphantly over sin and all of its devastating consequences, even over death itself. As the hymn reminds us, “Up from the grave he arose/with a might triumph over his foes. . .”:

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 (Amplified Bible)

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law. But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The passage which is often recited on Resurrection Sunday also reminds me of remarks that I shared during a memorial service for a church member who passed away a few years ago. I also included verse 54:

54 And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory.

Picture this: Pick up a nitroglycerin tablet which is remarkably small, a fraction of an inch in diameter and height. Pinching the tablet between the thumb and forefinger would cover it completely. Imagine using all the water in the Pacific Ocean to wash down such a small object. Without question, the nitroglycerin tablet would be “swallowed up” and utterly overwhelmed by the vastness of the ocean.

Another illustration came to mind as I thought of the time when I came across a dead mouse, a small rodent about 4 inches long, as walked I outside of the condo where we were living at the time. I scooped up the tiny carcass and placed it inside the small plastic bag that was then stuffed inside the 13-gallon trash bag that would be tossed into a dumpster that would compress hundreds of similar-sized trash bags, all of which would be taken to a massive landfill encompassing several acres. I could see that in the same way the dead mouse would be “swallowed up” when it eventually found its way to the landfill, even so to an even greater degree, “. . . Death is destroyed; victory is complete!” according to the Good News Translation. I rejoiced as I saw how God illustrated in such a striking manner just how inconsequential death, the last enemy, has become because of Jesus Christ’s triumphant defeat of him “who has the power over death, that is the devil.”

The selected passage from I Corinthians 15 was also used as the epigraph or introductory scripture for “Final Victory”, an original blues poem that speaks of “Old Man Crab”, referring to cancer, the dreaded disease that takes its name from the constellation Cancer, portrayed as “the crab.” I was first inspired to compose the poem after my father, Lonnie Johnson, died of complications from cancer in 1996. My mother, Jessie Marie Johnson, survived two bouts with “old man crab” and after another valiant fight, died of cancer in 2002. I revised the poem in 2001 after I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the entire poem has since taken on even greater significance.

Final Victory

I Corinthians 15:53-57 & Romans 8:37-39

Old man crab is mighty sneaky,
always creepin and up to no good,
Old man crab, is mighty sneaky,
always creepin and up to no good,
That low-down dirty rascal,
Messin with folk all round the neighborhood.

One dark day old man crab came callin,
Crawlin in like some uninvited mouse,
One dark day old man crab came callin,
Crawlin in like some uninvited mouse,
That nasty dirty devil,
Sneakin in the back door of my sister’s house.

First you first attacked my mama, old man crab,
You tried to pinch her with your greatest fears,
First you first attacked my mama, old man crab,
You tried to pinch her with your greatest fears,
But she didn’t want no she-crab soup,
You tried to served with pain and bitter tears.

You may have come to our house, old man crab,
But I’m sorry, you can’t stay.
You may have come to our house, old man crab,
But I’m sorry, you can’t stay.
Whatsonever in the world you may do,
Everyday we still gonna watch, fight, and pray.

Nothin’ low down on earth, old man crab,
Or nothin high up in heaven above,
Nothin’ low down on earth, old man crab,
Or nothin high up in heaven above,
Not even death, your creepin pardner,
Can ever separate us from God’s love.

So git out my face, old man crab,
I got your number, don’t you see.
So git out my face, old man crab,
I got your number, don’t you see.
You may win this li’l biddy battle,
But we show-nuff got the final victory.

Some say our Savior’s comin in the mornin;
Some say in the midnight hour or high noon
Some say our Savior’s comin in the mornin;
Some say in the midnight hour or high noon
I got a feelin He’s comin back
To gather us together soon . . . and very soon.

Because of Jesus Christ and his mighty triumph over sin, disease, and death, as believers in his resurrection, we have a decidedly different perspective on death. We rejoice, as we anticipate the manifestation of the ultimate triumph over the last enemy when we shall experience the reality of the “Final Victory.”

The closing phrase of the poem is taken from a song performed by the late Andrae Crouch, along with CeCe Winans and the Gaithers, “Soon and Very Soon.”

In my distress

January 11, 2016

Psalm 118--5-6

In Psalm 118:5-6 (NLT) we find the Verse of the Day for January 11, 2016:

In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?

The Verse of the Day opens with reference to “in my distress” and ends with a question “What can mere people do to me?” This passage brings to mind the closing verses of Romans 8 where we find a reference to “distress” in a series of sobering questions found in my favorite chapter in the Bible:

Romans 8:31-36:

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 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.
35 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? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”

The passage culminates with a powerful response that thunders with the answer to the barrage of questions:

Romans 8:37

37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

The response is definite and emphatic: absolutely not! No way, Jose! No!, [Expletive deleted—No!] Paul goes on to close out this section to remind believers of who we are and whose we are:

Romans 8:38-39

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39 is used as part of the introduction to the blues poem “Final Victory,” written after having been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000. The work expresses the ultimate triumph over the last enemy when we shall experience the reality of the

Final Victory

I Corinthians 15:53-57 & Romans 8:37-39

Old man crab is mighty sneaky,
always creepin and up to no good,
Old man crab, is mighty sneaky,
always creepin and up to no good,
That low-down dirty rascal,
Messin with folk all round the neighborhood.

One dark day old man crab came callin,
Crawlin in like some uninvited mouse,
One dark day old man crab came callin,
Crawlin in like some uninvited mouse,
That nasty dirty devil,
Sneakin in the back door of my sister’s house.

First you first attacked my mama, old man crab,
You tried to pinch her with your greatest fears,
First you first attacked my mama, old man crab,
You tried to pinch her with your greatest fears,
But she didn’t want no she-crab soup,
You tried to serve with pain and bitter tears.

You may have come to our house, old man crab,
But I’m sorry, you can’t stay.
You may have come to our house, old man crab,
But I’m sorry, you can’t stay.
Whatsonever in the world you may do,
Every day we still gonna watch, fight, and pray.

Nothin’ low down on earth, old man crab,
Or nothin high up in heaven above,
Nothin’ low down on earth, old man crab,
Or nothin high up in heaven above,
Not even death, your creepin partner,
Can ever separate us from God’s love.

So git out my face, old man crab,
I got your number, don’t you see.
So git out my face, old man crab,
I got your number, don’t you see.
You may win this little biddy battle,
But we show-nuff got the final victory.

Some say our Savior’s comin in the mornin;
Some say in the midnight hour or high noon.
Some say our Savior’s comin in the mornin;
Some say in the midnight hour or high noon.
I got a feelin He’s comin back
To gather us together soon . . . and very soon.

The last line of the poem comes from a popular gospel song written by the late Andrae Crouch, renowned songwriter and singer: “Soon and Very Soon.”

God’s unfailing love

September 2, 2015

Psalm-119-64The Verse of the Day for September 2, 2015 speaks of the love of God that never fails:

Psalm 119:64 (NLT):

O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me your decrees.

The Power of God’s love is profoundly expressed as a verb in the following poem:

 

To Love

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies,

they will fail; whether there are tongues,

they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

1 Corinthians 13:8 (New King James)

Above all else, nothing is greater than to love.

Beyond all limits, nothing is better

than love.

When it comes down to the salient points of life,

Nothing is free. Everything has it price

but love.

No one can make you do what you don’t want to do.

Each day you decide if you are going

to love.

Searching for the right words and the right melody:

Ballads, show tunes, doo-wops, and blues–all songs

of love.

Been round the world from pole to pole and back again,

Looking here and there and everywhere for

true love.

Find it, mine it, and then define it, if you will.

If you seek it, you will find it, for God

is love.

Although we may graduate, learning never stops.

It is only by loving that we learn

to love.

“Dear ones, keep on and you will lose your mind for sure.”

To put on the mind of Christ is to put

on love.

Ultra refined, untainted, in its highest form:

Strip away all pride and you have

pure love.

Beyond display, far more than merely show and tell,

With every decree from God’s Word we see

God’s love.

This constant, ever-enduring quality of God’s love is described in Romans 8 which relates the constancy of the love of God which never fails. No matter the circumstances of our lives, whether on the pinnacles of success and dreams come true or in the pits of disappointment and failure, we are assured that God loves us. I often recall a statement from the late Dr. Adrian Rodgers, “God cannot love us any more than He does, and He will not love us any less.” The chapter concludes with this assuring reminder expressed in the Amplified Bible:

Romans 8:37-39

37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,

39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The vastness of God’s love is revealed in the song “The Love of God,” rendered so powerfully, yet poignantly, by “Mercy Me,” an appropriate way to conclude this blog entry.

The love of God always endures

February 12, 2014

1-corinthians-13-4-7In the Verse of the Day for February 12, 2014, we find two more verses from 1 Corinthians 13 further describing “charity” in the King James Version or agape or the love of God:

1 Corinthians 13: 6-7 KJV:

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Here are two variations of these verses from two other Bibles:

New Living Translation:

It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Amplified Bible:

It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

As I thought about these verses from 1 Corinthians 13, a passage from Romans 8 (my favorite chapter in the whole Bible) also came to mind, relating to the constancy of the love of God which never fails. No matter the circumstances of our lives, whether on the pinnacles of success and dreams come true or in the pits of disappointment and failure, we are assured that God loves us and that His love endures. I recall a statement from the late Dr. Adrian Rodgers, “God cannot love us any more than He does, and He will not love us any less.” The chapter concludes with this assuring reminder expressed in the Amplified Bible:

Romans 8:37-39

37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,

39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The vastness of God’s love is revealed in the song “The Love of God,” rendered so powerfully, yet poignantly, by “Mercy Me,” an appropriate way to conclude this blog entry.

In life and death: The love of God prevails

August 15, 2013
This verse reminds us of who we are and whose we are.

This verse reminds us of who we are and whose we are.

The Verse of Day for August 15, 2013 is taken from Romans 14:8:

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

As I thought about this verse from Romans chapter 14, another chapter in the same book also came to mind. If I were forced to choose one chapter of the Bible that has meant the most to me over the years, I would select Romans 8 which relates the constancy of the love of God which never fails. No matter the circumstances of our lives, whether on the pinnacles of success and dreams come true or in the pits of disappointment and failure, we are assured that God loves us. I recall a statement from the late Dr. Adrian Rodgers, “God cannot love us any more than He does, and He will not love us any less.” The chapter concludes with this assuring reminder expressed in the Amplified Bible:

Romans 8:37-39:

Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,

Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The vastness of God’s love is revealed in the song “The Love of God,” rendered so powerfully, yet poignantly, by “Mercy Me,” an appropriate way to conclude this blog entry.

Romans-8-38-39