QTVOTD: Love Beyond the Grasp of Anything…

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. Romans 8:37-39 [AMP]

I end my study of Romans 8 after exactly 2 weeks. Paul sums up this amazing chapter with a conviction of a beautiful piece of theology -> there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. He declares many things spanning the earthly and spiritual realm that have no purchase on separating us from Gods love.

I am humbled by the Lords call on my life, His choosing to save me from deserved death and then to hold me so tightly that nothing can take me from Him. Secondly, he promises to complete His work…His work in me.

Lord God, thank you for Your love for me and saving from the choices I’ve made that deserve the everlasting punishment You saved me from. Help me grow in you; unleash Your Spirit in a consuming fire filling my heart with faith and an unquenchable desire to seek to be as much like Your Son as possible in this life. I love You!

After some time to go back over my notes, I plan to write up a synopsis of what I’ve learned these last two weeks. Tomorrow though – it’s back to Luke.

QTVOTD: Publicly Living Our Faith has a Cost…Suffering

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.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written:
  “For Your sake we are killed all day long;
 We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 
Romans 8:34-36 [NKJV] - Quote in verse 36 is from Psalms 44:22

When I first read this from the New King James, I initially read it as ‘Jesus will be the One Who condemns us…”, but after some study, this is not the case. No, it is because Christ died for our sins and that the Father resurrected Him that there is NOTHING that can condemn us because there is nothing to be condemned for…Jesus has stood in the place of us and taken what we had deserved. Not only that, that same Jesus stands at the right hand of the throne and intercedes on our behalf through His Spirit Who lives IN us! So, then Paul goes on to ask rhetorically, “Who can separate us from the Love of Christ???” So, all these answers to the questions reaffirm the opening statement in 8:1, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’ and make it clear that none could ever dare to stand up before God’s throne to condemn those who have died with God’s Son.

Here is an interesting tidbit I gleaned from the Tyndale Commentary I was reading on this passage. There are some Jewish religious texts that claim that three different levels of ‘famine’ cause drought and tumult because of the failure to pay various prescribed tithes. ‘Pestilence’ comes from the failure to bring death-penalty cases before the court. The ‘sword’ comes from delaying justice. Horrible ‘beasts’ afflict the world because of false swearing and profaning the sacred name Yahweh that it was forbidden to pronounce. ‘Captivity’ (exile) comes from idolatry, incest and bloodshed. —-> The assumption behind these assertions is that various forms of suffering are God’s proportionate punishment for our sins. Paul’s theological perspective on suffering is starkly different. First, he insists that the afflictions believers might face are not punishments for sin. Second, he insists that nothing that might happen to believers can terminate Christ’s love for us or exclude us from participating in Christ’s glory to be manifest at the end of the age. Christians are not to ask if they have done something that has brought such misfortune upon them. What has brought about their suffering is publicly living out their faith in Christ. That faith also gives them the assurance that Christ’s love for them is unwavering and everlasting.


I have to ask myself – “Am I suffering for my Faith in Christ?” The answer is YES. Now more than ever. Not only that but I am ready to suffer more if it means living according to and in obedience to God’s word. I never thought I would see the day where I might lose my job because of what I believe…but friends, that is more probable every day.

QTVOTD: Just Who Are the ELECT?

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.  Romans 8:33 [NKJV]

In a continuation of yesterday’s quiet time, today follows Paul’s exhortation of Who really is in control. Verse 33 is one of those verses that has caused division in denominations and between believers. It is the theology of pre-destination. Here Paul calls out the ELECT; and the way you would naturally read this is to be chosen or elected into God’s Kingdom. There are a couple of things we know about God.

  • He has always been (Omnipotent)
  • He knows everything (Omniscient)
  • He is everywhere (Omnipresent)
  • He created us
  • He knows our heart (intimately)
  • He knows what we are going to do before we do it

So, if we take these things into account then He would know, of those He created, who would accept His Son as their personal Savior. He knows beforehand who will be a part of His Kingdom and who will not. Then there is a wrinkle – Jesus said that no one comes to the Son unless the Father draws him. “No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me, and [then] I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day.” John 6:44 [AMP]

Here is where I stand -> I believe that anyone who wants to accept Jesus, can and will. There is no one that will genuinely seek the Lord, His Truth, and Gospel and be turned away…no one (“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who believes in Me [who adheres to, trusts in, relies on, and has faith in Me] has (now possesses) eternal life.” John 6:47 [AMP]). This is why it is so important for us to witness and testify to as many of the lost as we can. This concept of the Lord drawing and human responding or not is captured in Jesus teaching when He sent His disciples out on their first mission journeys…Here is what He said.

...whatever house you enter, stay there until you go away [from that place].
   And wherever they do not receive and accept and welcome you, when you leave that town shake off [even] the dust from your feet, as a testimony against them.
   And departing, they went about from village to village, preaching the Gospel and restoring the afflicted to health everywhere. Luke 9:3-6 [AMP]

There are people that refuse to acknowledge God or receive His amazing gift of grace. All those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior are God’s Elect.

QTVOTD: What Do We Have to Fear?

What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]
   He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things? Romans 8:31-32 [AMP]

I have always rested on this passage as reinforcement for dwelling on what God has for me in eternity versus what pain and suffering, I am enduring here on earth…but it is so much more than that. Today it is far more about the ‘here and now’ for me than a ‘Hope’ in eternity to come.

As I have also been studying up and listening to what the Lord has to say about Spiritual Warfare, this is where these verses come into play the most. When Paul asks the rhetorical question “If God is for us, who can be against us?”; my answer is “Paul, there is no shortage of enemies who have risen up against me. The world is rising up against me and what I believe. Even my employer threatens my livelihood for what believe. There are cosmic arch-enemies deployed to strike down Christ’s followers.” Those of us who follow Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, however, need not fear them. When Elisha’s ministering servant quivered in terror at the sight of the Syrian army surrounding them, the prophet responded, ‘Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him; for there is one greater with us than with him’ (2 Chr. 32:7).

This is the perspective I need to walk through life with….its a confidence like Elisha had ‘knowing’ that his God would ensure His own will and purposes would come to pass…will and purposes Elisha and his servant where a part of. My focus has to be to stay in God’s will and purposes. How do I do that??? I am doing it right now, dwelling and meditating on His word and communing with Him daily/hourly in my spirit.

A lot of people mis-apply the ‘All things in verse 32. ‘All things’ refers to ‘all that is necessary for our salvation’ and our glorification (8:30). We should not connect ‘all things’ to so-called material blessings. In the context, ‘all things’ refers to what God has done “for us” in the present because of what he has already done “for us all” through the work of Christ in the past.


I need to walk forward in my faith without fear of the world, only in reverent fear of the Lord. The ‘all [other] things’ in my life have already been given in the saving grace of my Lord Jesus Christ. My worldly focused existence stopped when I committed to and surrendered to following Jesus the rest of my life. Now my focus is “How can I learn as much about God as possible and then through faith in Him, do the work of building the Kingdom I will enjoy for all eternity.”

QTVOTD: Commonly Out of Context…

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.
For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware andloved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.
And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]. Romans 8:28-30 [AMP]

Verse 28 of Romans 8 is commonly taken out of context to be interpreted as good things will always come to those who love God. Pastor Graydon Cress covers this really well in his “Context is King“ podcast on this verse.

It’s important to read the context of this passage to understand the meaning of verse 28. Paul just gets done talking to us about enduring suffering and how in our perseverance through suffering, God is using all of our circumstances for HIS glory. This good in doing things for his glory, may not be something we see in our scope of visibility or lifetime. God has known all along what this route to eternity would look like – creation waits, so do believers. Creation will be set free, so will believers. Creation groans, so do believers in suffering. Believers in a situation of suffering and persecution need encouragement. Destined/Foreordained here refers to God knowing something in advance and affirms that He always had a plan to get believers to the finish line, working all things together for good. It means that their glorious destiny ‘is firmly set’ in God’s purposes, and no power on earth or in the heavens can dislodge it.

In verse 30 Paul’s tense of the verb ‘he . . . glorified’ represents a future act as something that is already accomplished since God has already determined that this glorification will happen. That is super comforting! Our future is secure!


Do I live as though this were true? Ummm, not so much. Embracing suffering because it is “to be molded into the image of His Son”…when God talks about this “being molded” He means that we will know the life that Christ knew. God also tells us that our greatest growth comes in the midst of suffering. Being in Christ does not diminish the misery caused by suffering, but it ‘makes it infinitely more bearable’.

QTVOTD: The Spirit Intercedes for Us…

A beautiful day in the PNW and I could not pass up the opportunity to sit outside for my QT. I feel so blessed to have the home we do. God has been sooo gracious to us.

So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
   And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.  Romans 8:26-27 [AMP]

I love these 2 verses so much! Essentially what Paul is telling us here is that the Holy Spirit “has our backs”. Even when we don’t know what to pray, when our hearts are in the right place, He intercedes on our behalf to the Throne room of heaven. In the days I feel my weakest or alone, the Spirit comes to my aid. The Spirit has a communication style with the Father that is beyond my understanding.

Verse 27 is even more insightful – Rather than try to explain the insight I am going to paste a really good clip from David E. Garland who wrote the Tyndale commentary on this verse :

The Spirit knows the thoughts (1 Cor. 2:11) and the will of God and intercedes for us in accordance with God’s will. It is not a one-way prayer, however, from the believer through the Spirit to God. A reciprocal interaction transpires. Through the Spirit who dwells in the believer’s innermost being, God can communicate his will to the believer. When we stop our attempts at eloquence in prayer and listen to the Spirit praying in us, a new doorway opens between heaven and earth that allows us to receive what God has to say and to give to us.

David E. Garland – Tyndale Commentary on Romans

Isn’t that awesome! Today, after I was done praying for those requests in my PrayerMate app, I just sat in quiet mind and heart, listening to what God had for me through the Spirit. I found myself praying for additional people and circumstances He brought to my mind. I will have to say that I first prayed and asked the Lord to speak to me as I closed my mind and thinking off from the world around me. It was such a wonderful time of ‘Communion’ with the Lord through the Spirit.


I already start to apply this today just in what I talk about directly above. Moving forward into the next several days and weeks, I want to continue this ‘Quietness of Mind’ in my prayer and quiet times.

QTVOTD: Why would you hope for what you can see?

It’s that time of year. Got the Fire Pit all in shape for the weather to get nice.

...hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:24-25 [NKJV]

I had another wonderful day like yesterday. I got to my prayer time and reading later than I wanted but the day was still filled with contentment, and it was productive. I laughed really hard tonight…so much so that Marianne even made a comment about how long it had been since she saw me laugh that much. It was over something silly but just tickled me. The thing that came to my mind when she asked me how my day was; this is what I said–>

"It was great…I am focusing on what I need rather than what I want."

I have had unreal clarity in regard to what the Lord is helping me see. When you trust God’s word with all of the truth of His character and promises, the HOPE we can have in the ‘unseen’ is profound. That is where I am…so, when I look back over what I have studied in the chapter so far and what I have received after applying its truth, I am filled with a Hope for the reward God has already given. I get a taste of it through what I am able to do in connecting with and receiving in His Spirit, and the promise of the eternity I will spend in Heaven with Jesus as heirs.


I wait, I wait with perseverance. The Spirit is here now, I have Hope in the future, and there is work to be done for the Kingdom. Continue to focus on what I need –> a deep relationship with God, rather than what my flesh wants–> earthly pleasures, comforts, and position.

QTVOTD: A Day Where the Inner Man is in Communion with the Spirit…

Before I get into today’s QT I just wanted to share how awesome my day was. It wasn’t awesome because work was any different or because we had a great Trustees meeting at church. It was awesome for 1 simple reason. My heart was aligned with the Lord all day! Once I left church after the Trustees meeting, I started to pray and prayed for almost 30 minutes. Prayed for all the prayer items on my PrayerMate app and then for my family and finally for myself and my day at work. Confessing specific sin and asking for the Lord’s strength to fight the flesh all day long… especially at work where it can be very difficult to remain positive and empathetic. Because of this time with the Lord in the morning on the way to work, my mind, heart and inner man were connected with the Spirit of the Lord within me. I found myself being super grateful for the full heart and content mind and spirit knowing that I was operating in the will of the Lord and honoring Him. He rewarded me with His peace and contentment that would normally not be there when I am being Self-Sufficient (one of the sins I confessed this morning).

And not only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the first fruits of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come] groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies [from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal] our adoption (our manifestation as God’s sons).
 For in [this] hope we were saved. Romans 8:23-24b [AMP]

This passage today wraps up an explanation of what I experienced today. I know that I should expect to suffer like Christ until He takes me home or until He returns. I also know that I will go through trials and experience loss while here on earth while I serve him….but, days like today I get to ‘have and enjoy the first fruits of the Holy Spirit’. I may still groan inwardly as I await the redemption of my body from sensuality and the grave, and it is in this hope of redemption that I am saved. Through that prayer and communion with the Lord today, I received a strength in the hope that I so much more to look forward to that what I will persevere through down here. The first verse in my reading today confirms this.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18 [NKJV]


Today’s application is a ‘post thought’ because I received the blessing and grace the Lord offered me today because of what I applied today in my time with Him before work. What I can’t do is fall back into a self-sufficiency that neglects to apply the focus in the right place…on what the Lord has for me that day rather than how I can make it the best day.

QTVOTD: Oh Shoot! He’s Up!!

For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!
   The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.
   And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory. Romans 8:15-17 [AMP]

One of the things that jumped out at me today (with the topic of Spiritual Warfare on my mind with Romans 8) is this whole aspect that there is so much language around “Spirits” in Romans 8…at least the first 17 verses for sure.

  • Spirit of Life
  • Spirit of Adoption
  • Spirit of God
  • Spirit of Jesus
  • Spirit Himself
  • Holy Spirit

In all of the passages describing these ‘Spirits’, it is all in the context of relationship with ‘our Spirit’. It is the aspect of God that we have direct communion with and is the intercessor between us and the throne room. When we first become saved and the gift of God’s Spirit is given to us, it is like a new friend we must get to know. This friend however is like having the most perfect version of a Dad you can think of with you where ever you go. What is a even more important aspect of this Dad is that He adopted us; and although we knew Him well enough to know that we needed His grace and mercy to save us from our sins, He has so much more wisdom and knowledge (TRUTH) that we must get to know and understand in order to effectively fight these fleshly bodies we live in everyday.

So, not only do we have the Spirit of the Creator of the universe as our adopted Dad Who wants nothing more than for us to know Him has much as possible…but, He also has set aside an inheritance for us as His newly adopted kids. This perfect Dad, Who loves us more than anything we can think of, Whose Spirit lives within us (giving us access to the same power that has already conquered the evil one), and Who has laid up for us an inheritance fit for a king.

Now we get to verse 17b — “only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.” This suffering is nothing to shake a stick it at. This is everything Jesus endured as a man here on earth (grief, sadness, betrayal, sorrow, pain, broken relationships, etc) with the added persecution He said we would all receive if we followed Him.


My biggest learning from today (and the previous days) is that my number one goal should be to connect so closely with the Spirit of God Who lives within me, that several things become normal.

  • Being able to discern what He wants me to do moment by moment
  • To stop speaking to God in prayer like He is “up there somewhere”…no, He is right here within me
  • I should live everyday knowing that I might find suffering right around the corner
  • I should also live everyday knowing that my suffering now results in ‘Sharing Jesus’ glory’ in eternity
  • Wake up every morning with a heart so close to God that the devil and his demons say, “oh shoot, he’s up!!”

QTVOTD: Putting Sin to Death by the Sword Daily…

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:12-14 [NKJV]

These last 2 days have been wonderful. Yesterday was one of the first days in a long time where I felt like I honored the Sabbath appropriately. First, I went to the Men’s Summit at Canyon Hills and attended the “A Higher Calling” breakout which was led by Andy where we were given some biblical ways to lead, serve, and bring up our families. Then I had about 2 hours to do my quiet time and pray. I was able to rest and take the time to realize that I am not God and that dwelling on Him and being available to the Spirit through sitting back and focusing God’s will and purposes for me.

Then today I headed to church a little earlier than normal to get Sophie to a bible study she wanted to attend and I was able to meet up and chat with an old friend from Building Faithful Men. I then headed upstairs with several other elders to pray over a couple about a serious health condition the husband was facing (following the instruction in James 5:14-15). Marianne and girls arrived and we attended main church service and finally spend from 1:30pm to 3:30pm in Mexico Missions Trip training with all 45 of the Middle School students we are taking to Mexico in June to build a house for family in need. It has been a great two days.

In the passage today I am up to verse 14 of Romans 8. The primary premise of these 3 verses today that first, we indebted to the Spirit of God to live righteously. Not that there is anything to earn, as we have already been purchased by the Blood of the Lamb, but it is ‘owing’ to the respect we show in that His sacrifice was not in vain. We are a new creature and we should not only strive to act like it, but also bear witness to the power we have through the Spirit of God to overcome the flesh.


The most important phrase for me today is -> “by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body”. This is not a one-and-done ‘putting to death’. This is a daily exercise in coordination with the Spirit within me to thrust the sword of Truth into any temptation or sin crouching to strike. I have to be on guard every moment of every day.