The Cover Up | Secret Room 01

The fight was over quickly. Was it a fight? What do you call one guy pummeling another guy face with his fists? It doesn’t matter since fighting is what it said on the signed confession he carried home from school. He had to get a parent signature. Or does he? The idea grew in his mind until it overcame him. The forgery looked like the real thing and the teacher never knew the difference. Well, until a week later when the teacher discovered a scrap sheet of paper he had been practicing on. Rookie mistake, leaving evidence behind like that. If only he hadn’t tried to hide the fight from his parents.

We know hiding things to try to get out of trouble rarely works, but we still try it! It started in the beginning with the first man and the first woman. They ate the forbidden fruit and then tried to hide from God. As if God wouldn’t notice the only two people on the planet were missing. Nice try guys.

We are still doing that though, we instinctively try to hide whatever it is we’re ashamed of. We want to cover up our sin, our hurts, our doubt. We pretend to be braver than we are, we hide our fear. We pretend to have it all together, cause everyone else seems to have it all together, but really we’re falling apart. We don’t want to show our faults and weaknesses so we hide them. We think we’re finding protection, but really we’re finding imprisonment. By hiding our faults, wrongs or hurts we are ensuring that they will stick around, poisoning our lives and locking us in a prison of fear we will be found out.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. What are some of the things you try to hide outside of the eyes of your friends, family or God?
  2. Have you ever tried to cover something up and then been caught? What do you think would have happened if you just came clean?

PRAY: Lord, reveal the things I hide and give me the courage to not run from them, but to face them.

SCRIPTURE READING:

Proverbs 28:13 (TPT) If you cover up your sin you’ll never do well.
But if you confess your sins and forsake them,
you will be kissed by mercy.

1 John 1:5-10 (NLT) This is the message we heard from Jesus[c] and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

1 John 2:1-6 (NLT) My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

 

I’m Not Qualified | ONE 15

Have you ever felt like you weren’t qualified to do anything worthwhile for God? I know I have. I imagine if God required references at the point of salvation, I would be in trouble. However, God doesn’t look for the most qualified. Just look at the people He chose to be His apostles. They were a collection of fishermen, tax collectors and thieves. At one point during the beginning of the church, some of them were giving an account of what Jesus had done to some Jewish religious leaders. As they finished the leaders were astounded, “Who are these men who speak with such boldness and authority? They are ordinary and clearly have no special training.” Jesus didn’t pick the most qualified, yet look at what they were able to accomplish!

Would you like another example of not being qualified for Christian service? The apostle Paul. He was an amazing missionary, planting churches all over the region. He wrote a large portion of the new testament, yet before He began serving Jesus he had a different mission. He was a religious leader with a passion to honor God– by doing all he could to stop the followers of Jesus. He had them arrested, thrown in jail and even killed. Not my first pick to be given an important mission from Jesus. He didn’t even make my top 100. Yet, God looked at him and said, “I can use that one.”

The demoniac certainly wasn’t qualified, yet Jesus chose him too. It isn’t how we start, but what we allow God to do within us that matters. As we surrender and allow Him to lead us there is no telling what we can do.

So where are you at on this journey? Do you often feel like you don’t feel like you matter? Do you feel like you’re insignificant? Have people have treated you as irrelevant? Perhaps you don’t feel good enough, you don’t feel qualified. I want you to know that just like Jesus crossed the lake for that one man who didn’t matter, Jesus crossed into humanity for you and for me, even though we never did anything right. Even though we were sinners, He died for us. He says you have purpose.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. Why do you think God often uses people who are unqualified?
  2. What is God looking for in the people He uses?
  3. What keeps you from walking in God’s purpose for your life? Write down and surrender them today. Set aside every priority that would keep you from giving everything to Jesus.

PRAY: Lord, thank You for saving me and giving me purpose.

SCRIPTURE READING:

Acts 4:7-13 (NLT) They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? 10 Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,[a] the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. 11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,

‘The stone that you builders rejected
    has now become the cornerstone.’[b]

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

Acts 22:3-16 (NLT) Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today. And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison. The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the followers of the Way from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.

“As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’

“‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.

“And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene,[b] the one you are persecuting.’The people with me saw the light but didn’t understand the voice speaking to me.

10 “I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’

“And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’

11 “I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions. 12 A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus. 13 He came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him!

14 “Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. 15 For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. 16 What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’

Romans 5:6-8 (MSG) Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

 

New Purpose | ONE 14

Don’t depend upon other people to find your value. There may be times people will encourage you, but often people will discourage you. You may have people in your life who tell you that you don’t matter, or you’re not good enough to do anything of significance, but remember that Jesus loves to use those who don’t matter. Just like the man in the story from the past two days. Homeless, possessed by demons, cutting himself with stones, no one was about to give him a mission of importance. Except for Jesus, who crossed a stormy sea just to speak to this man, free him from his legion and fill his life with purpose.

Jesus wants to do the same for you. He can heal the part of you that is broken. Jesus can take the part of you that you’re ashamed of and give it value, purpose, and use it to bring Himself glory. Jesus instructed the man to tell everyone what he had experienced. “Tell everyone that you had been controlled by demons and how I set you free.” I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’d sign up for that assignment. I’m not sure I would want everyone to know about my demon-filled passed, however, it is in our honesty, vulnerability, and humility that God begins to use us. Don’t be ashamed of your past, but instead let God redeem it.

The Bible is full of stories about people who “didn’t matter”, yet God selected them to do great things. I think of Gideon. His people were under siege and they were pretty much hiding in the hills, hoping for someone to rescue them. Gideon was hiding right there with them when an angel showed up and said, “God has chosen you to save everyone.”

Gideon disagrees, “I’m from the smallest tribe in the nation, my family is the most insignificant, and I’m the loser of my family. You’re mistaken”. Yet, it was no mistake. God used Gideon to rescue the nation.

I think of Joseph. He was a man of vision and dreams. He believed God had a future for him and told everyone about it. His brothers were jealous and offended so they set out to make sure this would never happen. They sold him as a slave to a foreign nation. While in that nation he ended up spending years in prison. However, it was from prison that God positioned him to lead that nation and rescue the whole region from starvation during a particularly rough famine.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. Why do you think God chooses to use people who don’t seem to have it all together?
  2. What might God have planned for you today?

PRAY: Father, give me faith to believe You have something planned for me today and the courage to obey You.

SCRIPTURE READING:

Judges 6:12-16 (NLT) The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”

13 “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”

14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”

15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”

16 The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

Genesis 45:1-8 (NLT) Joseph could stand it no longer. There were many people in the room, and he said to his attendants, “Out, all of you!” So he was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. Then he broke down and wept. He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh’s palace.

“I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them. “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt.But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors.[a] So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser[b] to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

Genesis 50:19-20 (NLT) But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you?20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

 

When You Don’t Have Answers

What do you do in life when you have lots of questions and no answers? Let’s talk about it. I’m hoping that by sharing what I’m walking through it might encourage you with what your walking through.

I thought I would try my hand at making some YouTube videos. Here’s the first one. I hope you enjoy. If you do like, comments subscribe. Thanks!

The Crazy Graveyard Man (Part Two) | ONE 13

The people would regularly bind the crazy graveyard man with chains. He was dangerous. He was also stronger than he should be. With a demonic surge of strength, he would break the chains that bound him and he was once again free to wander the graveyard. This particular morning something caught his gaze. A boat approaching the dock. He began to shake with fear. The God-man had come for him.

He ran toward the docks and bowed before Jesus, the Messiah, the son of God, who had authority over all things. He knew Jesus had come to send the demons away, but they didn’t want to go. As Jesus spoke the legion of demons had enough strength to talk back, “Why have you come to interfere with us?! Please leave us alone! At the very least please don’t send us far away.”

Jesus gave them permission to go into a herd of nearby pigs, but as for this man they were done tormenting him. They went into the pigs and drove them off the side of the cliff into a watery grave. The people of the region began to gather and were angry at the loss of the pigs, but they were also afraid.

They were afraid because of the crazy graveyard man. As they approached they saw him fully clothed and talking like a sane person. They weren’t overjoyed at his freedom, they were terrified. The combination of fear and anger was enough, they began to beg Jesus to leave the region and to go back where He came from. That was fine. He had done what He came here to do.

The man who was no free begged to be able to go with Jesus. The Lord looked at Him and said, “No, your purpose is not to go with me, but return to your family. Tell them what I have done for you. Tell everyone in the ten towns you came from.” And he did. People were amazed at the name of Jesus and the power He had.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. We all have a story to tell about what God has done for us! What is your story?
  2. God gave this man ten towns to tell his story, where has God given you to tell yours?

PRAY: Father, show me Your purposes for my life.

SCRIPTURE READING:

Mark 5:1-20 (NLT) So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.

When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”

Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”

And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” 10 Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.

11 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby. 12 “Send us into those pigs,” the spirits begged. “Let us enter them.”

13 So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.

14 The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. 15 A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 16 Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. 17 And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.

1 Peter 1:2-4 (NLT) God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

May God give you more and more grace and peace.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.

 

The Crazy Graveyard Man (Part One) | ONE 12

No one sets out to be a crazy homeless person possessed by demons. Who was this man when he was a boy? What was his childhood like? When did it start to go wrong? Did he have any brothers or sisters? Did he choose unwise friends? Perhaps it was drugs. I have to believe there was a time when he enjoyed going to the beach with his parents, enjoying the sun, laughing with his friends. These days he spends his time in graveyards, howling at the moon like the lone wolf he is. Except, he isn’t really alone is he? A Legion of demons to keep him company, he uses sharp stones to try and cut out the pain.

When people look at him, they see a man without hope. A man who belongs to the outer rim of society. The kind of man you tell your children to stay away from. They do of course, but that doesn’t stop them from telling scary stories of the man who roams the streets at night. No one would go out of their way to approach this man. No one would entrust this man with any matter of importance. I wonder if anyone even knew is name.

One day Jesus said to invited his disciples to cross the lake. Jesus had a God-given appointment with the man who didn’t matter. He had to get to the other side of the lake where he was. No matter the storm that threatened to destroy the boat, filling his disciples with fear. He had to get there. I wonder if Jesus told his disciples about the man he was going to see. I suspect not. I try to imagine the disciples’ reactions as they are getting off the boat and they see this strange man slinking toward them, scars covering his skin, eyes crazy, and fixed on Jesus, the eyes of the messiah fixed on him.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. Think about any strange people in your life, at your school. What do you think they have been through?
  2. Just like Jesus crossed the storm to get to this crazy man, He crosse the chasm of heaven to earth so He could die for you. Take a moment and be grateful for God’s love for you.

PRAY: Lord, give me compassion for those who seem different and so often don’t seem to matter.

SCRIPTURE READING:

Mark 4:35-41 (NLT) As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”

39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”

Mark 5:1-5 (NLT) So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes.[a]When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil[b] spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.

Psalm 139:1-18 (TPT)
Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.
You read my heart like an open book
and you know all the words I’m about to speak
before I even start a sentence!
You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
and in kindness you follow behind me
to spare me from the harm of my past.[a]
With your hand of love upon my life,
you impart a blessing to me.
This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!
Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.[b]
Where could I go from your Spirit?
Where could I run and hide from your face?
If I go up to heaven, you’re there!
If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!
If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there!
If I fly into the radiant sunset, you’re there waiting![c]
10 Wherever I go, your hand will guide me;
your strength will empower me.
11 It’s impossible to disappear from you
or to ask the darkness to hide me,
for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.
12 There is no such thing as darkness with you.
The night, to you, is as bright as the day;
there’s no difference between the two.
13 You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside
and my intricate outside,
and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.[d]
14 I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking.
It simply amazes me to think about it!
How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
15 You even formed every bone in my body
when you created me in the secret place,[e]
carefully, skillfully shaping me[f] from nothing to something.
16 You saw who you created me to be before I became me![g]
Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
the number of days you planned for me
were already recorded in your book.[h]
17–18 Every single moment you are thinking of me!
How precious and wonderful to consider
that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!
O God, your desires toward me are more
than the grains of sand on every shore!
When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.

 

Do I Matter? | ONE 11

Have you ever felt like you don’t matter? Maybe someone said something that made you feel worthless. Perhaps you don’t see how you could ever do anything great, you’re too dumb, untalented, or unpopular. No one wants to listen to you. I think we’ve all had seasons where we felt forgotten and lonely. Maybe even wondered, “why do I exist?”

I remember a time in my life when I really wanted to be friends with a specific group of people. They really were the good Christian friends I’d always wanted. They were kind, friendly, outgoing and genuinely cared about people. Yet, I couldn’t seem to break into the group. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in.

At one point, one of my really good friends was starting to become really close to that group. I thought, “This is it! My friendship with him is going to help me get in the group for real.” And then one day my friend let me know that he would be spending less time with me so he could spend more time with them. I’m sure those weren’t his exact words, but the message was clear. I wasn’t invited.

I felt a bit lost. It felt so important for me to be included, yet to them I didn’t seem to matter. If you feel that way, I want you to know you’re not alone. As we begin the final five days of our ONE series I want you to know that God created you for a reason and He went through incredible lengths to show proof that you matter and have a purpose! There may be people in your life who make you feel like you don’t matter, but Jesus loves to use the ones who don’t matter.

THINK ABOUT THIS:

  1. What are some specific words, or situations, that made you feel like you didn’t matter?
  2. Think about the fact that God CHOSE to create YOU. Remind yourself, that God enjoys spending time with you.

PRAY: Lord, when I feel like I don’t matter, help me to remember that my value comes from YOU.

SCRIPTURE READING:

2 Peter 2:9-10 (MSG) But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

Psalm 138:1-8 (TPT)
I thank you, Lord, and with all the passion of my heart
I worship you in the presence of angels![a]
Heaven’s mighty ones will hear my voice
as I sing my loving praise to you.
I bow down before your divine presence
and bring you my deepest worship
as I experience your tender love and your living truth.
For the promises of your word and the fame of your name
have been magnified above all else!
At the very moment I called out to you, you answered me!
You strengthened me deep within my soul
and breathed fresh courage into me.
One day all the kings of the earth
will rise to give you thanks when they hear the living words
that I have heard you speak.
They too will sing of your wonderful ways,
for your ineffable glory is great!
For though you are lofty and exalted,
you stoop to embrace the lowly.
Yet you keep your distance from those filled with pride.
By your mighty power I can walk through any devastation
and you will keep me alive, reviving me.
Your power set me free from the hatred of my enemies.
You keep every promise you’ve ever made to me!
Since your love for me is constant and endless,
I ask you, Lord, to finish every good thing that you’ve begun in me!

Romans 8:26-39 (NLT) And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[a] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[b] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn[c] among many brothers and sisters.30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

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.”[d]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[e] 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.