Godly Good for those who LOVE
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
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BlogFam, when it is time for you to move on, God will work in all things for your good. I know that we all look for signs and signals, hints and clues to confirm for us whether or not it is time to move. We talk to people, we read our bibles, we pray to God, we listen to the preacher, and we pay attention, at times to the most inconsequential details when we want the assurance that it is time for us to shift. We just want to get it right. I believe that, on some level, we all want to make the right decision about this next move. And because most of us do not see into the future in the most vivid details, if at all, we look for signs that confirm for us that the direction we are going is congruent with the path we were created to take.
It is not that we do not necessarily trust the Lord with all of our heart, but we really want to make sure that we are NOT leaning unto our own understanding. This move is such a leap of faith and after taking such a leap, we want to land in the place where we are supposed to land. This is one reason why I appreciate our scripture for today because I know that in my own life, I have taken leaps of faith and I knew that I was supposed to take the leap, when I was supposed to take the leap, how I was supposed to take the leap BUT the place where I would land, was not always clear. There are moments when all I knew was that the Spirit was leading me to take a leap of faith and to TRUST that I would land exactly where God wanted me to be. Friends, God works for the GOOD of those who love Him AND those who love Him have already been called according to His purpose. It is at this point that I want to suggest a different way of understanding this passage of scripture. It has often been quoted using the King James Version of the Bible -
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The way this verse reads and the way we most often apply this verse is to assure us that if we love God, everything that is going on in our lives will at some point turn out for our good, work together for our good, in our favor.
AND I have often stated it exactly this way myself; but today, I want us to re-read this same verse from the New International Version.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Friends, I have a new appreciation for this verse because I now can see in the phrasing of this second version that it is not just that the things are working together but that GOD is working in all things, on behalf of those who love Him. Now I know you might say this is a minor nuance but it is one to be noted because of how often we have applied this verse using the King James Version. Friends, I do believe that all things do work together for our good AND I also believe that God is working good in all things on my behalf. Do you see this slight difference? In other words, today, we must rest assured that because God is working in every situation of our lives, including this next move, IT will be good. We will have a safe landing after we take our leap of faith.
Furthermore, in both verses, we also see that this promise is most relevant to those who LOVE GOD. For it is when you love God that all things will work together and God will work in all things for your good.
The next two verses, verses 29-30, are possibly best understood by reading them first and then re-reading verse 28. Let me explain. Before you get caught up in the theology of predestination, which I will not give a thorough explanation of in this blog post, just know that there is at least ONE thing that I believe that the Creator intended for all of creation to do and that is: to be conformed to the image of his Son. In other words, God foreknew all of us because God created all of us in God’s image and I believe that God predestined all people to live a life of love – loving God, loving ourselves, and loving our neighbor. This is not only the greatest commandment, but this is also our highest purpose. We are predestined to love God. God predetermined and predisposed our hearts to love Him first. To love God is the number one priority of all of our lives AND God has and will call us, justify us, and glorify us. However, the key to God working good in all things on our behalf is that we love God first. So,
(29) For those God foreknew – those that God knew since the moment of conception - God also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son – to love God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength... (30) And those – all of humanity – whom he predestined to love God first, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (28) AND all of the good – creating us, calling us, justifying us, glorifying us – that God works for our good is further manifested by our loving God first. God’s work is complete in our lives and when we love God first, Godly good is manifested in tangible and intangible ways in our lives here on earth.
BlogFam, when it is time for you to move on, God will work in all things for your good. This is not simply about the time, date, or place of your next move. This is not only about the people who will be involved or who will be left behind in this next move. This is not even about the signs and signals or the hints and clues that we all look for in order to confirm our next move. This is ALL about having faith that simply because you love God, God will work in all things for your good. Period. God has created YOU, called YOU, justified YOU, and glorified YOU and YOU are the good thing that our God is working good in YOU, around YOU, for YOU, and in spite of YOU. AND in this next move, God’s goodness to us is working on our behalf in the love that we now show to God first, to ourselves and to our neighbors.
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