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Jesus Loves Me, This I Know


by Kathy Howard


In August 2021, flash flood waters overwhelmed Waverly, Tennessee, killing more than 20 people. Almost two feet of rain had fallen in 24 hours—nine inches in three hours alone. The area’s network of rivers and creeks could not contain the deluge. A tidal wave of water barreled through the community like a freight train.[1] One mother and her five children clung to a clothesline as the deep water roared through their home. But the torrent ripped her two-year-old son from her arms and carried him away.[2] The power of the water was stronger than the mother’s arms.


In the eighth chapter of Romans, Paul beautifully assured the believers in Rome—and believers today—that nothing can rip us away from God and His unconditional, unfailing love. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present 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 in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39 ESV).


Yes, wickedness, hardships and threats fill this life. Sometimes we fall into deep pits with no visible means of escape. We face enemies that gain ground and push us back. In those moments, we may feel as though God has forgotten us, that we stand outside His love.


But, praise God, it doesn’t matter how dire our circumstances appear. The strength of our enemies and the size of our problems are irrelevant in light of God’s power and the nature of His love. This wasn’t just intellectual knowledge for Paul. He spoke from experience. Paul had suffered imprisonment, beatings, a stoning, shipwrecks, persecution, hunger and a myriad of dangers (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Yet through it all God held him in His loving hands.


The Greek word translated as “love” in Romans 8 is agape. Agape is an act of the will, not an emotional feeling. God chooses to express His love to us. Agape is not based on the merit of the recipient.[3] God’s love flows from His unchanging holy character. We cannot earn God’s love, but He gives it freely.


God’s love is unconditional because it depends on Himself and nothing else. Therefore, we can have complete assurance in God’s love for us. Nothing can dampen, derail or defeat it. Nothing can separate us from God’s love—not even ourselves.


We see God’s love best demonstrated to us in our salvation. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV). Paul’s description of Christ’s selfless act is one of the most well-known statements in the book of Romans. Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves.


Sin held us in a stranglehold. Our situation was self-inflicted and terminal. God’s justice demanded a payment for our sin we could never pay. So, God responded to our hopeless situation by sending His Son. God paid our sin debt through the death of Jesus. While we were sinful, rebellious, enemies of God, Jesus died for us. The Perfect for the unrighteous. The Holy One for the ungodly. The Worthy for the unworthy to reconcile us to God.


“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This ultimate act of agape love secures and guarantees our eternal salvation. God has declared us righteous through the saving work of Christ. Therefore, no one can accuse or condemn us. There is no court of appeals. God is the final and ultimate judge.


There will be times in our lives when we don’t sense God’s presence or feel His love. In those moments, let’s reflect on this incredible truth: Nothing can separate us from God and His love. Christ has already won the battle, and victory is ours. Not the circumstances of life. And not our own unfaithfulness.


We live several miles outside a small town. “Small” as in just one stop light and one gas station. Between the 20-mile trips to the nearest city, I can buy a few essentials at our local Dollar General. We love it out here, but our location eliminates easy access to certain things. It means no pizza delivery, natural gas or broadband. Our internet comes via radio waves!


But unlike the deliverability of a thin crust pepperoni, there are no limits to the reach of God’s grace and love. No one can out sin God’s lavish grace. No painful life circumstance can push us too far from God’s reach. Instead, the gracious love of God, who gave His Son for us, overwhelms it all like a tsunami. No matter how deep the transgression or wide our pain, God’s grace washes over it in glorious abundance.


Lord God, thank You for Your great love expressed to me through Your Son. Amen.


Kathy Howard is a treasure hunter, digging into Scripture to mine God’s eternal truths. She has taught the Bible for more than 30 years and is the award-winning author of 12 books, including the “meaty” new devotional Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Romans. Connect with Kathy at www.KathyHoward.org, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2021/08/23/tennessee-historic-flooding-explainer/, accessed May 30, 2022, 10:45am

[2] https://www.newschannel5.com/news/road-to-recovery-begins-in-waverly-as-loved-ones-still-missing-after-deadly-flood, accessed May 30, 2022, 11:00am

[3] W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996), pg 382.

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