Have I told you about my favorite scripture? Romans is my favorite book, and Romans 8 is my favorite chapter—I almost have it memorized! Romans 8:28 remains my favorite verse after twenty-some years.
Paul tells us, “And He works all things together for good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.”
This verse has given me courage to step out on more than on occasion. It enables me to forgive myself when I messed up, and it chiseled down my responsibilities as a Christian into a manageable task. Let me explain.
I missed out on a lot of fun and opportunities after I committed my life to Christ because I didn’t want to do anything outside God’s will. I put myself in a legalistic box for a few short years, not because I thought that’s where Jesus wanted me but because I let fear drive my decisions. Afraid I might do something Jesus didn’t put His stamp of approval on, I didn’t step into any of my dreams. Instead, I said yes to every favor someone asked, thinking being kind to others was the way to serve. I soon fell into burnout.
Burnout is a sure sign you’re living outside of God’s will. After I began to realize, God wanted to work all things together for good, I began to understand the Almighty could send someone else if I said no to a favor. If I stepped into a dream, and it was outside His will, He could put it together with other things I’d done and mold it into something beautiful. Since doing God’s will was my heart’s desire, He knew my motives. The Creator would make beauty even when I headed in the wrong direction.
That staying in God’s will mentality used to persuade me to beat myself up when I messed up. If everything didn’t go perfectly, I assumed I was out of God’s will, and then proceeded to mentally flog myself until I thought I’d been appropriately punished. But if God works everything together for good, then once again, the Sovereign King can take my mistakes and weave them into His plan. I don’t understand how He does it; but I can testify I’ve seen it happen.
As I investigated Paul’s promise, I could see only two conditions. This freedom belongs first to everyone called according to His purpose. Since I’m convinced everyone born is called according to His purpose, it left only one thing for me to do. In order for me to receive the fullness of this amazing gift, I simply have to love Jesus. Christianity and my need for legalism was reduced to one simple act: Love Jesus.
When my every action stems from love and appreciation for my Savior, I’m more likely to get it right. I’m free from worry of making the wrong decision or messing up the project. None of that matters. As long as the decision and the project begin in love for Christ, my Heavenly Father will pick up my broken pieces and costly mistakes and weave them into a tapestry more useful and beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
Today I shared with you my favorite verse because I have an idea for a new devotional, but I need your assistance. I’d like to create a book of devotions based on YOUR favorite verses. Do you have friends who’d like to participate? I think you can share this page on Facebook and Twitter!
I need just one thing. Fill out this form: https://forms.gle/DZpuDjWmUsQD9idw8 . Google will save it for me. Everyone whose verse I use will get a free PDF copy of the devotional, and depending on how well sales go, I plan to do a drawing to give away some paperback copies too! So, fill out the form today before you forget! And as always, thanks for reading!