All Things Work Together . . .

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

Romans 8:24-39

  • 24 — “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for why does one still hope for what he sees?”
  • 25 — “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
  • 26 — “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
  • 27 — “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
  • 28 — “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
  • 29 — “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
  • 30 — “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified, and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
  • 31 — “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
  • 32 — “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
  • 33 — “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.”
  • 34 — “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”
  • 35 — “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
  • 36 — “As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.'”
  • 37 — “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
  • 38 — “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come,”
  • 39 — “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.”
Source: Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV).

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Notes:

In the eighth chapter, twenty-eighth verse of his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul tells us to keep uppermost in our mind the promise: “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Oftentimes, we tend to become discouraged by all the negatives in our lives, and we might complain there are not enough positives happening. The past year is one of the times this might be more apt to occur. Is this something you struggle with? Are you discouraged by all that has happened to you, your loved ones, your family, and your country during the past year? If so, you are not alone. Many others struggle with the same spiritual ailment. Furthermore, it is not a new trial faced by modern-day Christians. It has been here since the inception of Christ’s life on earth and before.

When we are tempted by Satan or one of his many demonic slaves, we can rest assured that nothing they do can harm our soul–unless we allow it. There is an old saying my Mama often quoted: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” (Anonymous). As many have pointed out, words can and do hurt, often for a lifetime. However, Paul is telling the Romans, “If you are one of those who have been called according to His purpose, Jesus life, death, resurrection, and ascension offers hope for life after death through Him becoming “sin”–all of the world’s sin–and the sacrifice of His life in place of ours. All who hear His calling, obey His commands, and continue in His Light have this “hope,” and those who abide in His Way can be assured of eternal life with Him and God the Father.

When we mess up, if we have heard and obeyed the requirements He sets forth in the New Testament, Christ and the Spirit make intercession for us with God the Father. Christ determines who is abiding Him and who is not. If I abide in His Way unto death, I not only have the hope of that gift, He assures me I will receive that gift, and I will be in heaven after I die. If I know I am abiding in Him, I no longer have to hope for eternal life, I can know I will receive it–I can “see” it.

I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I am a sinner. Because of my sin, I deserve eternal damnation, not eternal life with God and Christ. When I sin, I have the assurance, as God’s child, Christ will make intercession and insure that sin is wiped from my slate IF I repent of that sin and go back to living the way He has instructed. He also has assured me–as Paul states in Romans 8:28–I can know that whatever happens to me in “this life,” it all works together for my good.

Each trial and tribulation we endure–and remain in Him as we endure–works with all other events in my life for my good. If I learn from my mistakes, I can also learn from the mistakes of others. I can ask (pray) for guidance when I do not know what I should do in a specific situation. He will guide me to the answer in some way. I may read the answer in something I come across. I may hear someone talking and “say” the answer even though that person is talking to someone else. I can even “know” His will by the fact that I have no choice as to what I do. Someone or some statute tells me what I “must” do. Even when what I am doing appears to be sin to others, if I learn from it and address it through prayer, He makes intercession for me. If the prophets of old were hindered from attending tabernacle by being cast into a dungeon–or by some other means–it was not held against them when they addressed it through prayer to God.

Again, whatever life throws at us, we can know it will work to our ultimate good if we abide in the way Christ set forth. No one else can do it for me, and no one else can offer me forgiveness for my sin unless that sin involved that person in some way. We can rest in peace with the assurance that everything we experience and endure will work together for our good. This is faith in His promise. He said it–albeit through His apostle–but He said it; so, it is true.

God knew before we were ever birthed on this earth, what our response would be to His calling. He is omnipotent. He was, and is, and always will be. His Son is basically His apology to mankind for not having a plan for “all” to be forgiven and live eternally with Him in heaven.

I, personally, appreciate His sacrifice. What more can one do to let another know he/she loves that person? God’s Son died on the cross for MY SIN– not His sin–MINE! How can I ever justify not abiding in His Way? How can I ever “not” want to spend eternity with God and Jesus Christ?

If you heed Christ’s calling and obey the instructions He set forth, you too can be assured of your home in heaven. So, whatever happens here on earth–know there is a purpose for it in God’s great plan for things. Know, that everything will work together for your good, too–if you heed and abide in His Way!

In the book, Acts of the Apostles, chapter 10, verses one through five tell of Cornelius, an Italian centurion. He and his whole house were good people; they gave alms and prayed for guidance. Their faith and Christ-like actions came to God’s attention. As a result, God maneuvered events in Cornelius’ life so he and his house could know what they must do to be a part of Christ’s church and abide in heaven forever. Thus, Cornelius and his whole house immediately became Christians–in the middle of the night–and they became the first “Gentiles” to be added to Christ’s church.

Prior to this time, God’s plan of salvation had only been available to those of the Jewish nation. If a Gentile wanted to be the recipient of that salvation, he/she had to first become a part of the Jewish nation. Then they could be offered God’s plan. Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and ascension changed this. He freely “gave” so that we might “freely live.”

So, if a person iis truly searching for answers, as we see in the example of Cornelius and his household, God will guide that person to the answers, or He will guide others to that person to provide those answers. Then, the choice lies with that person. He/She has the choice to obey or to reject Christ’s teachings. So, the choice that person makes determines their eternal destiny.

I pray that all will want to live with God and Christ in heaven throughout eternity. However, His Word tells me this will not be the case. Many will not believe or obey Christ’s teachings. Even so, I continue to pray all will obey Him.

My hope and prayer is that each of you will have a peaceful and blessed day amid all the turmoil in the world about you. Be Blessed and Stay Safe!

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Photo Above: by Jasmin Ne @Unsplash.com.

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My 2-Cents Worth

ALL LIVES MATTER!!!!

By: tkbrown

As a citizen of this great nation, I have sat quietly watching as racism has tugged from this side, then tugged from that side, then another . . . and another! I watched the Watts Riots of California being televised across the nation. I watched the peaceful protests led by Dr. Martin Luther King. I watched as civil unrest divided the nation between those supporting the violence and rioting and those who did not — which is happening again as I write! I watched as segregation was addressed and desegregation was enacted. I watched decades pass when black Americans and white Americans were mostly united against the onslaught of other nations and the wars — both hot and cold — were fought. I watched and listened to both sides. Having parents, one of whom was a Democrat and the other who was a Republican, whose differing viewpoints taught me that we do not have to agree to get along — we can sometimes agree to disagree!

I watched all of the above, then I experienced my writing — a poem — as it was accepted and lauded by classmates and faculty to the extent that it was published in my High School Newsletter my senior year. Then I experienced the disappointment of silence after I presented another of my poems, entitled “They’re People Too.” I had seen firsthand the difference in the way even young black children were treated versus young white children. I hoped my poem could make a difference. It was silently rejected, and I was never asked about my writing again.

I have watched as ‘drive-by shootings’ killed many black Americans due to poverty, violence, gangs, drugs, etc. Drugs were infiltrating the American scene, and where drugs go–violence follows. I watched as immigrants from other countries flooded our great land to escape tyranny and persecution. Then, I watched as that persecution began being quietly turned on white Americans as a means of expressing disgust regarding past treatment.

Ironically, by the time this happened, most white Americans had accepted people of color and of other nationalities. Yes, those remained who fought integration, but most accepted and embraced it. Silently, I hoped and prayed the acceptance would overcome, and I did as much as I could to encourage that acceptance in all areas of my life.

Then, I watched as the racist attitudes infiltrated those toward whom it had been directed. Now, the shootings were enacted or instigated by black Americans against white Americans. I watched in horror, as that reverse racism was directed–even at me who had fought for black Americans all my life. Reverse discrimination against me became the norm as the national turmoil steadily increased.

Now, the riots have begun again. Mostly black people attempting to destroy white America. One even said outright, he looks forward to the day when intermarriage and interracial relationships do away with truly white people and interracial becomes the norm. How much more racist can one be? Yet, in the news, most of what we see and hear discusses only the racism of white against black. Few have the courage to discuss the reverse, the black against white that is destroying our nation–and reporters seem to thrive on making that destruction happen.

When are we going to realize: It is not JUST ‘Black Lives Matter’, ALL LIVES MATTER, but black Americans are being allowed to say only people of color matter. By phrasing it as such, they make it appear that they support the Latinos, the Asians, the Native Americans, etc. who are also people of color. Then we hear again, repeatedly, “BLACK LIVES MATTER!” This excludes all others, but nobody pays attention to tht fact. There is racism in America, but this time, it is the black against the white — and all others — that is creating the unrest in America. I have sat quietly watching as it has chipped away at the fiber of our interdependence, weakening even the strength of this country against foes who are other countries on the planet called Earth. When white Americans who ARE white supremacists began responding in kind, black America cried wolf every time until the situation became what it is today — even though black America had instigated that response.

When are we going to stop destroying America and begin stressing that ALL LIVES MATTER — not just BLACK LIVES? That is reverse racism to the hilt. When will reporters begin to call a spade a spade, and expose it for what it is? No one will say what is really happening, because any white person who speaks out about — and black people too — will be persecuted into oblivion. Well, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH? I am speaking out about it. In the Holy Bible, the book of Philippians is about racism and the fact that it is not supposed to be allowed among those who profess to be Christians. Well, I have to ask Black America — where is your justification for the reverse racism that is destroying America today? You profess to believe Christ is the Son of God, You profess to accept persons of other colors — then why do you persecute white people and persons of other origin — even those who support you? I am sorry, but according to the book of Philippians, your behavior is not Christ-like! Get down off your pedestals! If those statues you are destroying were of Black People, the whole nation would have been razed by now!

It is time that ALL RACISM STOPS, and America begins to heal. It is time that all colors — including white — and black — accept each other. I, and all white people, have the right to Freedom of Speech too, but you and your reporter friends try to deprive us of that right. Well, I am reclaiming my right to Freedom of Speech! BLACK people, it is time to STOP! Dr. Martin Luther King would NOT approve of what you are doing today, and his daughter recently said as much publicly. Peaceful protests are protected by the United States Constitution, but violence which destroys both life and property is NOT protected by the United States Constitution because it tears America down! The Constitution DOES NOT protect YOU when you riot!!!! So, stop it or accept the consequences!!!!

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I believe this song, “A Beautiful Life,” written by William M Golden, posted from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt-v5D2Ozko best expresses my feelings about what needs to happen now. Please follow the link and listen, “Like” my post (if you do like it), and Comment below to tell me what you think. I look forward to hearing from you!

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