According to HIS Purpose

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I normally choose to use the NKJV of the Bible for our weekly devotions, but this week I am choosing to use the NIV. The reasons behind this are stated later in this devotion.

NIV:

28 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.

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History Behind This Verse

Romans 8:28 was written by Paul to the church of Rome.  Paul was an apostle who spent the second half of his life traveling and spreading the good news of Jesus. He also wrote several letters to many of the early churches during this time.  The letters he wrote are called epistles.  There are 13 of Paul's epistles found in the New Testament. Paul's letters were written for multiple reasons.  Some were written for encouragement.  At this time Christians were often tortured and killed for their faith.  Paul understood the fear and difficulties that came to many believers during these early years.  And some of these epistles were written for redirection. Now days  many religious denominations have "boards" of people or "governing manuscripts" available to direct and guide their churches.  In the early days these "boards" did not exist. The early churches did not have manuals to follow or church heads to guide them in their daily decision making, so God called certain apostles to act as church governors. Paul was one of these appointed apostles.

When this verse was written, the church of Rome was just being established.  Members of this early church were being tortured and killed for their faith, Paul wanted to reassure these believers of God's LOVE for them! Verse 28 is part of this reassurance. This verse is still very much relevant to us today.  It is easy to question and doubt God's love when trouble befalls us, but we must remain strong in our faith.  Just as God only caused GOOD in the lives of these Christians of Rome, He ONLY causes GOOD in our "current day"  lives as well.  

We know that in all things that God works are for the good of those who love him.

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Why I chose the NIV translation for this week's devotion

Great thoughts to ponder on this verse by :

http://lhim.org/blog/2011/10/09/a-complex-verse-romans-828/

Let's look at this verse using two different translations:

Romans 8:28New King James Version (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

NIV:

28 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.

According to Brian Keeting:

Translation 1: God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.

Translation 2: In all things, God works for the good of those who love him.

“Translation 1″ appears to state the following about Romans 8:28:

“If a person loves God, and is called by God, then every single thing that happens to that person is for his own good.”

In other words, no matter what events happen to that person, all of those events are actually good things for him. This is because God, Himself, is explicitly controlling every single event that happens to that person.

“Translation 2″, on the other hand, has this to say about Romans 8:28:

“If a person loves God, and is called by God, then everything that God does to that person is for his own good.”

In other words, all of the events that God causes to happen to that person are for his own good. However, this does not mean that every single event that happens to that person is necessarily good – because many of those events are not caused by God at all.

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My Thoughts:

We live in a fallen world.  Bad things happen on a daily basis, but God does not cause these things to happen. God is not a dictator.  He rules out of love not out of ego-seeking power. God LOVES us. When God does step in to help, He only causes GOOD!!!!

Our Heavenly Father has given each person free will to make their own choices.  Sometimes our own poor choices cause bad things to happen to us and sometimes other people's poor choices cause us to suffer, but these events are caused by us (humans), not by God.  Our God is not going to cause evil to come upon anyone.  He will sometimes allow it, but He will not cause it!

Our LOVING Lord will often step in to help us if we ask, but we are not His puppets.  Our Heavenly Father is ready and willing to surround and fill us with His extreme LOVE, but He is not power hungry. He is not sitting on His Heavenly throne and controlling every event here on earth.

I know that sometimes even when we ask, it seems that God chooses to not step in at all. Sometimes a tragedy may lie ahead in our future and when we ask our Heavenly Father to use His power and wisdom to stop the tragedy, He does not. This is extremely difficult for our limited minds to understand, but one day we will understand all.  For now we must simply keep turning to HIM!

On a happy note:

 Even when terrible things take place, God CAN make something GOOD come out of those tragedies!

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Key Words

According

to

HIS 

Purpose

According: agreeing

to: used for expressing motion or direction toward a point, person, place,or thing

His:  God

Purpose:  an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal

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Connection to Us

In order to clearly understand this verse we need to have a clear understanding as to what "God's Purpose" clearly means.   God’s purpose for us as His son's and daughters is that we be conformed to the image of Jesus.  This is often very difficult for us to do, because it means that we’re going to have to literally "die to self". God desires for us to become "Christ-like".  To do this each one of us will have to stop thinking and asking for things according to "my way.” We will need to begin accepting God’s way as the rule in our lives.

For most of us, this is easier said than done.  As humans, we all have a tendency to be self centered. Putting our needs and wants in front of others comes much too easily for us.  The moment that we decide to answer God's call and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are expected to turn from our old lives.  At that point we truly are making Jesus our LORD.

For many of us it is easy to accept Jesus as our Savior because most agree that they need to be saved from both our sin and this corrupt world.  It is much harder to accept Jesus as our LORD. Many individuals attempt to only answer the first half of the call.  This will not work.  The invitation is an "all or nothing" one. When we answer the call we are saying that we indeed will allow Jesus to be BOTH our LORD and our SAVIOR!

I challenge you over the next few days to pray, read, and reflect upon what it truly means to be like Christ.  Since THIS is our purpose, it is our job to always be working towards this goal.

Here is a short list of some key qualities of Jesus:

I found these here:  http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-character-traits-of-jesus-to-emulate/

1)  Compassionate

Jesus never looked away from people; He always looked upon them and had compassion (Matthew 9:36). Whenever people were around him, Jesus understood what their real needs were and sought to address them. For some, physical healing was necessary, for others the root issue was spiritual. In all cases though, Jesus took the time to actually notice that people were hurting—and His compassion drove Him to help them.

2)  Servant

Without a doubt, Jesus was the ultimate servant. Although He was praised as a great teacher and even had a decent following, He made sure to teach them to be servants by actually doing it himself. In Mark 10:45, Jesus even tells everyone: “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” Despite having the authority to get anything He wanted, have people praise and pamper him, He did the exact opposite by lowering himself and serving others.

3)  Loving

Obviously, Jesus had a love for others. If He didn’t, He wouldn’t be compassionate nor a servant. Jesus claimed that there is no greater love than to die for one of your friends—and He did just that. If anyone doubts His love, all they have to do is look upon the cross and see the agony that He bore for their sakes. He experienced that horrible death so that all can be saved. That, very clearly, is true love at its finest.

4)  Forgiving

One of the most startling things said in Scripture is found in Luke 23:34, when Jesus is on the cross and proclaims: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Even while bleeding and experiencing pain, Jesus had His heart set on forgiveness—even forgiving those who put Him there in the first place! This is definitely contrary to the everyday mantra of looking out for number one and obtaining personal justice. Jesus was by no means concerned for His own life; all He wanted was to provide a way for forgiveness.

5)  Committed

Jesus had no lack of commitment whatsoever. Wherever He was, or whoever He was with, He was fully in the moment and fully committed to His goals. Despite praying fervently in the garden of Gethsemane to avoid having to bear the cross and all that physical torture, He knew it was the only way to pay for everyone’s sins, so He stayed completely committed to His goal. There were certainly many obstacles during His ministry, but He stayed on track and finished strong.

6)  Prayerful

No matter how busy His ministry got, He found time to be alone and pray. Whether it is in the garden of Gethsemane, across a river, or on a mountaintop, Jesus disappeared for a while in order to pray to the Lord. People always tried to find Him, and He never turned them away, but He also made sure to make time spent with His heavenly Father a priority.

7)  Gentleness

There were certainly times where Jesus used stern words, but He knew when gentleness was appropriate. Children seemed to love coming to him, and He made sure the disciples knew not to hinder them when they did so. When speaking with His disciples, mother, or other ladies, He could be very kindhearted and gentle. But, when He was giving someone a rebuke or making a point in an argument, He knew when turning up the heat was necessary and only did so strategically.

8)  Patience

Throughout the gospels, Jesus clearly gets portrayed as a very patient man. After all, He was surrounded by disciples who constantly doubted him, Pharisees and Sadducees who continually attacked Him, and large crowds who wouldn’t leave Him alone. Despite all of that, He kept His composure and responded appropriately to every individual.

9)  Self-Control

Before His ministry was launched, Jesus spent time being tempted by the Devil in the wilderness. Although He was offered food, power, and many other things, Jesus controlled His desires and submitted them all to the will of the Father. Yes, He had desires for food and such, but He had a greater desire to obey the Lord and accomplish what He set out to do.

 10)  Humble

Jesus had every opportunity and right to demand praise and accolades for His miracles and teachings, but He never did! Even when the crowds sought to make Him king, He rushed away from their grasp. He did not want to become a sideshow performance that people could enjoy. Rather, He wanted to seek and save the lost and offer forgiveness for sinful people. Yes, He could have traveled around in order to show off His powers in other towns, but He chose not to.

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-character-traits-of-jesus-to-emulate/#ixzz3nJ19E8P0

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-character-traits-of-jesus-to-emulate/