26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
God’s Love in Christ Jesus
31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, 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 in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Ro 8:26–39.
You have been called according to the purpose of God.
You were made with great love.
You have a great purpose here on earth.
And you are made to be with God for all eternity, living the promise of life in all its fullness in true community, abundant relationship, and perfect freedom.
There is NOTHING that can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,
I receive this truth & this promise in the name of God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen,
This post is by student souler Richard Brown.
Those who know me well, will know that I’ve struggled with my relationship with the church broadly but I’ve stayed because God has pushed me to keep using my musical gifts. I’ve flittered round from church to church where I have been “called” not really stopping to think too deeply and just do my job.
But God’s invitation to us is to stop, rest and lay our burdens down:
Matthew 11:28-30 New International Version (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Mark 6:31-33 New International Version (NIV)
31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognised them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.
In some ways our current situation is an enforced rest period because much of the busyness of our daily life has had to stop.
In this season of Lent our usual worship practices have suffered an unexpected death, but with that comes the excitement of walking into a new life together.
For some theologians like Pete Rollins, the trappings of the church and religion and have needed to be stripped away for a long time.
So, the challenge for me and perhaps for you is:
How do I talk to God when the trappings of the church have been stripped away?
I suggest the starting point to is to know yourself as intimately as God Knows you:
Psalm 139 New International Version (NIV)
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
To Paraphrase Psalm 139:8, God has known me in the depths of my anxieties with the church and in the death of my ability to worship because of these anxieties.
We are invited to Know God… but how can we possibly know the God who became human without knowing our own humanity first?
For those who have a great prayer life, that’s awesome but I’m wanting to encourage anyone who may be wandering and wondering in this time.
I’m hoping to take that invitation to rest, to know God and to know myself. To ultimately find my voice, my God language if you will.
Do you want to join me?
Student Soul is a church for students and young adults in Ōtepoti/Dunedin, New Zealand. We're committed to inviting young people into a life of daring creativity and radical freedom in Jesus.
15 St David St (upstairs)
(03) 474 9470
© Student Soul 2023