Well, hey there! Hello hello to you! So glad you are here for this episode of TBNES, the podcast where we work at getting the promises of God into the people of God where they belong. Because if you believe what God has promised, guess what happens? Your thinking changes. And your behavior, as in your actual way of living, changes too. The way you look at people and circumstances and blessings and struggles - all of that changes too.
It’s so important to mind what we think, to pay attention to not just what we say we believe, but what we truly believe, what we live by, what thoughts govern our decisions, our actions, our behaviors and our responses.
And via this podcast, we really do allow the Word of God to renew our minds and impact every aspect of our lives.
I’m Jan L. Burt and you’re listening to TBNES, part of the Spark Network, now playing in the Edifi app. This is episode 97.
Last week, in spite of losing my voice and really just struggling through the week to speak at a summit I was part of and working on the podcast, which involves a lot of talking which is hard to do when your voice goes bye-bye, but I just asked the Lord to make it not the worst and I just did the work and released episode 96. In that episode, we took a look at a few verses in Romans 8 as part of this current series, and we honed in on verse 28. Such a well known Bible verse, and one that brings basically light, like a bright spotlight, into the dark places in our lives. And that’s how things can feel sometimes, ya know? Health diagnosis can feel like a really dark place. Job loss or maybe you’re of the age where your parents are older, maybe they are no longer living. That can really be a dark place, I mean grief as a whole is just heavy darkness and there isn’t really a fast forward button you can push, you can’t jump ahead 15 seconds and then jump ahead a bit further. Nope. We each grieve in our own way, at our own pace, and it isn’t always linear, this whole grief thing, is it? We go this way and then that way, from step one to step five and then back to step two. You have to just go through it. Not get through it, not put your head down, try to file it away somewhere and get so ultra busy with the things in life that can easily become busy busy busy, that’s not healthy grief. Not get through it, not even really work through it, but be much with the Lord as you just go through it.
If I am going to deal with a Red Sea in my life, a Jordan River in my life, I really want to go through it holding the Lord’s hand. I don’t want to go around it, fly over it, and I only want to cross on a boat if the boat has Jesus there at the stern. If He is walking on a dry ground path through the sea, that is where I want to walk. That’s my route if that’s His route. If He is walking on top of the water, then I also want to be atop the waves because that’s where my Jesus is and I want to be with Him, as in much with Him, every single day. And if He is in the boat, even asleep on a cushion, then I want to be in that boat with Him. When He says, “Cross to the other side, Jan” then that’s that. And when He says, “Stay here on this shore for a while,” then that’s that.
And this week, we get to look at three verses from Romans chapter 8, verses 29, 30 and 31.
Can I read those verses to you from the Amplified Bible today?
For those whom He foreknew (and loved and chose beforehand), He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (and ultimately share in His complete sanctification), so that He would be the firstborn (the most beloved and honored) among many believers.
And those who He predestined, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (declared free of the guilt of sin); and those whom He justified, He also glorified (raising them to a heavenly dignity).
What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be (successful) against us?
Wooo! Wow. Did you hear that?
So right on the heels of Romans 8:28, we read these three incredible verses.
As we talk through these verses, bit by bit, grabbing all the promises we find therein, let’s start back in verse 28 for one sec. We know with great confidence that God who is deeply concerned about us causes all (not some, but all) things to work together as part of His plan for good for those of us who love Him and are called according to His plan and purpose.
For those whom He foreknew (hey, just don’t forget that he knows you and He foreknew you - He knew what would break your heart to the point of crying out to Him, and I am talking about a salvation experience here, like your heart gets so broken by the astounding grossness of your own filthy sin that you cry out to Jesus - and God knew just when that particular breaking would happen for you.) Fall on the Rock and be broken or it will fall on you with a crushing weight, kind of with a final death blow. That’s from Matthew 21, verse 44. A broken heart leading to repentance and salvation found in Christ alone is a good, good thing.
You and I, we were foreknown. There is a comfort in that. You didn’t slide into the Kingdom when they weren’t looking, and if people have made you that way, just remember that this verse states clearly God foreknew you. You are in His family, the family of God, because that’s where He wants you. Foreknown. Really, let that comfort you.
That word “foreknew” means loved and chosen beforehand, so ya know what? Ya know what, devil? Ya know what all y’all who treat me like trash, who use me to get what you want but then toss me aside (anybody listening today who has ever, ever felt like this?) Ya know what? I am loved and chosen beforehand. Beforehand! You cannot possibly be an afterthought when God loved and chose you beforehand. These are your promises, my friend! And you have got to know that you know that you know these promises are your truth. Truth matters. God’s promises need to be your truth. Loved and chosen beforehand. Boy, that’s so good!
And not only that, but God predestined you and me to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus. As we walk the path of our lives, as we run the race set before us, we are actually in the continual process of being sanctified. Being made more and more like Jesus. We will ultimately share in complete sanctification, Jesus said He didn’t lose any which the Father gave to Him, and He is gonna get us there right on time and we will be in good shape upon arrival. No damaged goods sliding into heaven. Nope. Sanctification is your promise, and it is even now taking place. He intends for you to look like His Son. And doesn’t God get what He intends to get? Um, yeah. Jesus is going to be so celebrated, so honored, as the firstborn among MANY who are believers. And you are one of that many.
Predestined, chosen and loved beforehand, being sanctified. Oh you’ve got some good things being spoken over your life today, my friend! You need to live like this is true for you. Because - spoiler alert - it is 100% true.
And those who He predestined, He also called. Okay, so I am called. And you are, as well. Called. When we know that we have been called by God, we walk with our head a little higher, with some pep in our step. We are called! And we can never be un-called when it was God who did the calling. So we walk with some assurance that we are going to get to our destination, not just our final destination, not just the end game, but also getting to every other destination God has in store for us in this life, here in the land of the living. And He does have destinations. There are stopping places, for sure, and also there are places where He will have us pick up the pace and get to moving forward.
And since you know that He called you (and you should know that because He says so right here in the eighth chapter of the book of Romans!) then you need to know that He also justified you. To be conformed to the image of Jesus, God’s Son, you can’t be all filthy with sin. Rolling around in it, that’s not fitting for your calling. God justified you, He declared you free of the guilt of your sin, and so be wary of sin infiltrating your life. Now we all sin, of course we do, but don’t roll around in it. Don’t play patty cake with it. Avoid it, mature and grow beyond childish ways, keep praying to be delivered more and more, on a continual basis, from the grasp of sin.
Basically I’m saying don’t willingly go on back to the stuff God delivered you from. He has a better way for you. You’ve been called. That’s an honor, it’s a privilege, and it is also a responsibility. So ya know, act like it.
And those he justified, He also glorified. You can live today with a level of dignity that corresponds to who you are in the Kingdom of your God. Dignity. It matters. A lot, actually. Think about what it means to be dignified, to live a dignified life. Sometimes that means we don’t dignify a certain situation with a response, with an emotional response. Sometimes it means we are the quietest person in the room and sometimes not the quietest. A heavenly minded dignity should permeate the lives of all who have been predestined and chosen and called and are being sanctified and are justified because it’s a mark of God’s hand on our lives.
Now, here is verse 31, our final verse for today.
What then shall we say to all these things?
This level of promise warrants some kind of a response, doesn’t it?
What then shall we say to all these things?
If God is for us, who can be (successful) against us?
You got an answer for that there question? Cuz I sure don’t. I cannot think of one person on this planet who can be successful against me in light of all we just read. It cannot happen. Not should not, not I hope not, no. Cannot. Nobody, not even the devil himself, can be successful against you.
Did you know that? Did you really, really know that?
You need to know that.
In that big meeting tomorrow, when your teenager is in some kind of rebellion and you are frazzled by it, when inflation is high and wages don’t seem high enough.
Who can be against you?
Who can actually be a success in their fight and attacks and scheming against you?
Nobody. Nobody at all, no not ever, nada.
Isaiah says no weapon formed against me shall prosper. It doesn't say it will not be formed against me, that would be an untruth and there is no untruth in the Word of God. It is gonna form, because the devil hates those who love Jesus. Bottom line, he always lies and always hates and so he isn’t going to wake up one day and be like, “Hey, I’ma stop lying and no more hate in my little black heart.” No. He does what he does. Think of the line from the original Jurassic Park movie, when Dr. Alan Grant says, “The other kind just do what they do.” and he was talking about the meat eaters, well, they eat meat. Not very comforting for the little girl he was talking to, but it was the truth boiled down to an explanation that was necessary. No sense dwelling on why meat eaters eat meat, because there isn’t a solution to that. Just surviving that reality. Well you and I get to do a whole lot more than just survive this reality.
Those weapons, no matter how many or how varied or how well thought out or how intense or how sneakily they come at us, none of them will prosper.
And no one on this planet can be a success in their attempts that are against you. Because your God is for you, He has called you, He is sanctifying you and making you more and more like His dearly loved Son, He foreknew you and loved you and He chose you, He called you, He justified you, He is giving you a level of dignity that is so far beyond this world, it’s eternal dignity fit for His eternal Kingdom.
That’s who is for you. That’s who is for you.
And that wraps up this podcast episode about God’s promises for you.
Now hey, hang on for a second - if you are encouraged or blessed or both by this content, would you leave a review or share this episode with somebody and if you are interested in reading my devotional The Power of God’s Will - 40 Days of God’s Promises you can find that on Amazon. And be on the lookout for my course on Psalm 91. Praying this psalm over your life, your loved ones lives, it is a forever game changer and every believer needs to do a deep dive study on this psalm. You’ll pray better and more effectively, you’ll have more of a mind at peace, those people you are praying for will see God’s hand moving in their lives, and you will do nothing but benefit by taking this course. That may sound like quite an outcome I’m promising, but it’s a promise founded solidly on the Word of God so I make that promise with boldness. And I want you to step up, take the course, and see things move and improve in your world.
I’m off to Nashville for the Spark Network Podcast Conference and I am expecting to learn so much, and to implement what I learn as soon as I get back next week.
But don’t worry, episode 98 will drop right on time, just like the usual.
Hope you’ll be back for that as we look at a few more verses from Romans 8.
Thanks for listening - praying for you, appreciate you, excited to see God opening new doors for you on the regular.
You’ve been listening to TBNES, part of the Spark Network, now playing in the Edifi app.
Jan L. Burt is an author, speaker, podcaster, homeschooling veteran, mother to five, and has been happily married to Tony for thirty years. She served in youth ministry alongside her husband for twelve years & has led several Bible studies for women as well as hosting two online prayer retreats.
Jan is the author of the new book “A 60-Day Prayer Journal for Parents” & “The Power of God’s Will – 40 Days of God’s Promises Devotional” (available on Amazon) & “The Once-A-Year Homeschool Planner” (a multi-grade, multi-subject planning system) – which can be found at JanLBurt.com. She has also been a regular contributor to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Find Jan Instagram: @JanLBurt or at her website JanLBurt.com or at her YouTube channel, “God’s Promises for You with Jan L. Burt”.