Well, hey there! Hello to you today - welcome to TBNES. I’m your host, Jan L. Burt, and I am kind of your go-to gal, your resident expert, if you will, about God’s promises.
Did you know that God has some very specific, very reassuring, very exact promises for you? He really does, and I’d love to help you discover what those exact, perfect, and specific promises for your life actually are.
Currently on the podcast we are doing a series on the promises we find in Romans chapter 8, and this is the ninth episode in the series, with just one more to come next week as we wrap up this awesome series.
Have you ever felt unsure about your future? If you’ve ever had that sense of self-condemnation (or maybe been under condemnation from someone else) or been living your life under the gun, feeling somewhat separated from God but wanting to live at peace, and to get out from under that weight of being pushed around spiritually speaking, or rather, feeling like your face is being pushed down into the mud… If you’ve ever dealt with anything even remotely similar to what I just described, then today I’ve got some good things to share with you. (And news flash - if you’ve never been there before, wow, I’m in awe, that is amazing! But you may know someone who has felt this way, and after listening today you can probably pass along some encouragement to somebody who could use it - so I hope you’ll stick around for the show today.)
Here’s what’s coming your way in today’s show ~ a good, hard look at Romans 8, verses 31 thru 35, and a whole lot of tangible ways to live with God’s promises as your daily reality.
How can I say that and be sure it’s gonna be true for you? Well, since my diagnosis of heart failure in 2016, I have been, as in literally, living on God’s promises. When cardiologists who are renowned tell you that you shouldn’t be able to get out of bed, that kind of gets your attention. No woman that I know of wants to be in her mid-40s and live out the rest of her days barely able to get out of bed.
But God, every day, every step of the way, as I believe His Word, really choose to stand on His promises and to believe what He has to say above and beyond any and everything else, well, He has given me a life that is rich, full, exciting, blessed, favored - I really am living a good life, all because I believe God’s promises.
I’m here with the singular mission of getting the promises into the people of God, so they can truly live a believing life.
And I’m so glad you’re here to grab hold of God’s promises along with me today.
You’re listening to The Burt (Not Ernie) Show, part of the Spark Network, now playing on the Edifi app. This is episode 98.
In episode 97, we ended with verse 31 from the eighth chapter of the book of Romans. And I’m gonna do something I don’t usually do, which is to start an episode with a verse from the last episode. We’re going to begin with verse 31 today, because it was the perfect ending for last week and it’s also the perfect beginning for this show.
I’ll read that verse first, as a stand alone, share just a couple of things, and then go back and read all of the verses for this episode.
Romans 8:31, from the Amplified Classic Edition: 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?]
Who can be our foe?
In the AMP, not the Classical Edition, just the Amplified, it reads like this: What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us?
And that’s the version I referenced in episode 97.
Who can be our foe? Who can be successful against us?
When we really take a good look at what God has to say in the Bible, in His word, remember it’s His word, not man’s word, and so when we open our Bibles and take a good, hard look, not a quick scan, but a good read, well after that good look, that good read from the previous verses in Romans 8, then comes the promise of verse 31. After reading whatever portion of the Bible you are in during your daily quiet time, or whatever name you might have for your time with the Lord and in His Word, after that, you can simply believe that the premise of this particular verse, Romans 8:31, is totally true for you. Whatcha gonna say after reading what you just read? I hope that you say, “My God is for me. And I cannot truly have any foes that can stand against the power of My God, against the promises He’s made to me. My God is for me, so nobody, no demon, no devil, nobody at all, can be successful against me.” I really believe that when the Bible says even your enemies will be at peace with you, and that is taken from Proverbs 16:7, that’s exactly what it means. Somebody may want to be your foe, but you can stand on God’s word and pray that they will not be able to be your enemy. Think of the Israelites, when the man named Balaam was trying to curse them when they were getting close to the Promised Land, and he couldn’t. Not for any amount of money, and he had been hired to curse them and he really did want that payout, not from any different vantage point, no matter how hard he tried, and people will try hard when they got a case of greedy-itis and want that payout whatever it might be, he still could not curse them, but could only bless them. (You can find that in Numbers 22). God is not a man that He should lie - so when the Bible says that nobody can really be our foe when God is on our side, that’s pretty interesting. And living in a rough and tumble world, that makes me want to grab this verse, and grab it with the express purpose of holding on to it, believe it over my own life, and see it play out for real.
So now we’ve had another look at this verse all by itself, and now let’s add in some more verses.
And as I read them, be sure to listen and hear what God is promising to you in this passage. Because His promises are for you and for me, they are for us, right now today. So right now today, we don’t want to miss out on them!
Romans 8:31-35, Amplified Classic - 1 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?]
32 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?
33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]
34 Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?
35 Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?
(AMP - 31 What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us? 32 He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against God’s elect (His chosen ones)? It is God who justifies us [declaring us blameless and putting us in a right relationship with Himself]. 34 Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us. 35 Who shall ever separate us from the love of [d]Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? )
In the intro I mentioned feeling uncertain regarding the future, and I also mentioned condemnation. Self-condemnation or having another person condemn you in some manner. Guilt and shame can be pretty condemning. Peer pressure can feel like condemnation. Expectations to be all the things in every arena of life can feel condemning, can’t they?
This hunk of the Bible has something for us that is intended to help us, not just give us a case of “the feels” for the next half an hour or so. Jesus’ ministry was never about “the feels” - and I’m sure there were people who were only there cuz the crowd was there, and they had warm fuzzies as part of being in that crowd. That does still happen, some people will talk bad about you but when they are with you, they are kind of warm and nice and really seem to like you. Then, right back to not liking you and saying stuff about you to others that is not nice at all. The Holy Spirit in you can actually give them “the feels’, some warm fuzzies. And so they may be really enjoying being in your presence, but it’s the Spirit of the Living God who dwells within you that is creating the environment that allows them to feel different when they’re with you. Anybody ever have a sense of confusion about why that is sometimes the case? It’s not all that uncommon. So, that’s just an example of how there could have been people praising Jesus on His way into Jerusalem, and then yelling for His crucifixion a matter of hours later. The Feels are kind of that way.
But Jesus, He never wants us to only have temporary and fleeting and ever changing feelings and being led by those changing temperaments of the crowd around us, right? So we can, as disciples of Christ, read this passage, and have it bring about life change that goes far beyond quick touchy feely experiences.
God really wants us to get this point: don’t live fearing all kinds of things all of the time. Don’t constantly worry about the future, about what may happen, what if my needs don’t get met, what if what if what if? Verse 32 boldly tells us that God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for you, for me, and then it just flat asks us to really answer this question - so, really, you and I need to answer. When God asks us something, who are we to not honestly answer Him? That does not turn out well, according to the book of Job, so I want to answer the question. After reminding us that He gave all, God gave us His Son Jesus, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?
Will He not? What’s your answer to that?
What does it say about our level of trust in God and all of His promises to us versus our level of trust in the devil and all His lies when we don’t really believe our God will freely and graciously give us all that we ever, ever need? That sounds harsh, maybe…but isn’t that really what the dealio is? We are trusting the devil more than we trust God if we live continually doubting that verse 32 is going to really be true for us. Don’t trust the liar and don’t trust the lies. Make the decision that Romans 8:32 is the truth, and then make the additional decision that it is true for you, permanently true for you.
Who will bring any charge against God’s elect (His chosen ones)? It is God who justifies us [declaring us blameless and putting us in a right relationship with Himself].
That’s verse 33. You may feel that condemnation at times, we all do, it’s not avoidable, ya know? But it doesn’t have the last say. It’s gonna come, but it doesn’t have the right, the authority, to stick around. It will stay as long as you leave out the welcome mat. But at any moment, you can bar shut the door on condemnation. Well now, Jan, I don’t know… I mean… well, alright, I can already guess what you might be thinking. But just let this verse be the final word on that condemnation. And let it be the final word on self-condemnation, too, since for many of us that’s the more intrusive culprit in our thoughts, in our lives.
You do not have authority over God. Right? Me either. He declared you blameless. He put you into a right relationship with Himself. He justifies you. You are His chosen one because He did the choosing of you. Now, who will bring any charge against His chosen one? Hmmm. Bar shut the door of condemnation. Grab that welcome mat and yank it right out from under the feet of condemnation and self-condemnation. And just say, Romans 8:33 as you slam that door shut. God’s Word becomes the final authority and the governing truth of our lives when we apply it in this manner. Change your thinking, change your life.
The next verse goes hand-in-glove with verse 33, and I’m going to read it and I’d like you to just let it sink in as it pertains to any type of condemning you might be dealing with. Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? The question is, really, there is just One who would have the authority, the right, to condemn us once we’ve been declared blameless by God (and this is a salvation issue - the way is Jesus, there is no other way) - but who else but Jesus has the ability to even bring condemnation before the Father for those who are in Christ? And Jesus isn’t going to do that. He sits at the Father’s right hand and He actually intercedes for you, for me. So He isn’t interceding for us and in the same breath calling for our condemnation. He didn’t die and rise again so that we could live in worry and fret and fearfulness that we could go from life to death, which is what His condemnation would be, no no no. We have gone from death to life, and Jesus is not in the business of life to death. He is always, only in the death to life business. So the only One who could authoritatively condemn you will not do so. This is the truth. Herein lies your promise, and indeed it is yours so long as you actually just believe it.
Now we are arriving at the last verse for today, verse 35 - Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?
That’s a list now, isn’t it?
Who or what can separate you from the love Jesus has for you? From the Father’s love for you? From the Holy Spirit, who lives within you, from His love?
Affliction? Also, no.
Calamity? No, sir.
Is the devil, the chronic and pathological liar that he is, going to come at you via all those avenues and try to make you feel (and remember, if you feel feel feel it, you can start to believe believe believe it totally, even when it’s just a big fat lie). He wants to hit you with affliction and then immediately start hitting you with his classic lie that you are not really, truly, fully loved by God. Lies!!!
These things are in this fallen world, and you will experience them. And they have no power over your God or over His unending, overflowing love for you. The pathological liar who is destined for hell does not get to speak his lies into this area of your life any longer.
Persecution? Don’t change God’s love for me!
Hunger? My God still loves me with an unending love.
Destitution? Peril? The sword? Love, love, love.
Unsure about the future? Stand on this today - you are loved with an unending love.
The love God has for you is engraved on the palms of the hands of His dearly loved Son, Jesus. The love God has for you is the mark of the Holy Spirit upon you that identifies you as His own to all the forces and powers of evil and darkness in the spiritual realm. You’ve been claimed as one who belongs to the God Most High. And you will never be unclaimed.
Now I know I stopped at kind of a midpoint with verse 35, but that was intentional.
Next week we take one final look at Romans 8, to see the remaining promises in this chapter. And as only Paul could do, this ends on the highest of all high notes.
It’s like we’ve been preparing a runway and the plane is circling, ready to land. We’re gonna land the plane in episode 99, and we are going to let some things disembark from our planes cuz we ain’t taking them with us for the rest of our life’s journey. Some other things, they are gonna board our planes because they are like treasure and we are loading up on treasure for the journey. And while you’re on that runway with me next week via TBNES podcast, I’ll be sharing some things that are like your refueling. That’s my job, my friend, to prep the runway and you just land the plane, I’ll help some things disembark and then have some other things get on board while I refuel your big ole jet airliner. And then I’ll clear you for takeoff and see you off for another jaunt. Then next time, you swing back by and land again for another refuel. That’s literally what this is all about.
Getting the promises of God into the people of God, one refuel at a time.
In the meantime, I’d like to invite you to grab a copy of my book, The Power of God’s Will - 40 Days of God’s Promises Devotional via Amazon (link in show notes or just look it up real quick and throw it in your cart for your next Amazon order). Subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts, and next week I’m going to feature a show sponsor, which is a podcast whose host I was blessed to meet this week in Nashville at the Spark Podcast Conference, there with the Digital Ministry Conference and the NRB was taking place - good stuff, so be sure to subscribe and not miss that special sponsor that I really want to share with you about. I’ve got a few things coming up that will be a blessing, so it’s gonna be good.
Thanks so much for joining me, this is Jan L. Burt signing off - you’ve been listening to The Burt (Not Ernie) Show, part of the Spark Network, now playing on the Edifi app.
Lord bless - see ya next time.
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”.