August 2 – Nothing

castle

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Read: 2 Chronicles 11:1-13:22, Romans 8:26-39, Psalm 18:37-50, Proverbs 19:27-29

Relate: Here in the city of Gaziantep there is a deep rich history that extends back nearly six thousand years. Just a few blocks from where I have been staying there is a hill. On this hill there has been a fortification that has extended back to 3,600 BC. Some say it predates the Hittites, others claim it was them who first built it. Either way, that hill has housed a fortress for the Hittites, and later the Assyrians, the Medes, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Seleucid Empire before the Romans took control of it. It was in the early years of the Eastern Roman Empire under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian that the fortress would come to look much the same as you can see above.

It was not any of this lengthy history for which the castle at Gaziantep is most famous for. It isn’t its mention by the crusaders or any event during the four hundred fifty years it was manned by the Ottoman Empire. No. It was after World War One when the Turks broke the Treaty of Sevres before the ink was even dry on the paper that this castle made its greatest mark on history. The French moved up north from Syria into Anatolia as part of an Allied attempt to enforce that treaty but a small garrison of Turks, outnumbered and outgunned, sent them packing.

React: Are there fortresses like this castle that seem to have a long and historic grip on my heart? What are the fortresses in my life that seem to be separating me from fully experiencing the love of God? Is there an emotional scar, a memory of something that we have done or that has been done to us that stands like a castle in our mind we believe can never crumble? Lets be reminded today that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, we could ever do that could ever make God love us less.

But sometimes for us to fully experience and embrace that love we need to lay siege to the castles in our heart that are standing against us. The French had both the manpower and the resources to eventually take the castle in Gaziantep. What they did not have was the willpower. They had just fought a long and bloody war that reshaped what the word war even meant and did so by devastating their homeland killing millions of young men and permanently scarring the minds and memories of an entire generation of Frenchmen. They were no longer willing to do what it took to win out against a small garrison in what they viewed as the back end of nowhere. Am I willing? Are you? What steps do we need to take to tear down the castles in our lives that we may come to more deeply understand the immeasurable depths of the love GOd has for us?

Respond: 

Dear God,
Thank You so much for Your love. So many times I feel that I have done or said something that would turn You away from me. There are also things in my past that make me feel as though I am unlovable. God, You are greater than any scars. Your blood is strong enough to wash any sins. Help me to realize that nothing can ever stand between me and Your love, it can only blur my perception of it. God come and occupy the castles of my heart. They all belong to You. 

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24 thoughts on “August 2 – Nothing

  1. I understand completely of the difficulty one can have storming their own castle walls and not falling into the moat of depression lurking right below. Awesomeness!

    With all the loving-kindness I possess,

    ~M~

  2. The truth about my castles is people still live in them if the would just move out! I could tear it down. I’ve lost my sister to a brutal murder and my husband at the age of twenty nine to a cancer that left him at the end unrecoverable. My father died in a fishing accident right after he retired only sixty eight. I guess I keep a little castle for them and survivors remorse visits them often. But nothing can waver my love for God and all his power, it is he’s love that has saved me from falling and his love that has taken my pain from me and locked it away. Thank you Jesus and thank you for the opportunity to love him back today.

    • While no grief is the same, I can understand the loss of those too young. My father died at 42. He was playing basketball and bumped heads with another player and that was the end. My sister died of hypoglycemic shock on Mother’s Day a few years back leaving her baby daughter alone in the house. By the time anyone came to check on them my baby niece was dead as well. My cousin who was also my roommate for over a year died at 24 from a heart attack.
      We cannot control the blows that life will dish out to us. All we can control is how we will respond to them. Will we allow them to draw us closer to God or will ?we build up castles of bitterness and anger in our hearts?

  3. Reblogged this on Handicap and commented:
    God’s love is stronger than blood itself, I know blood gives life but God breathes life into us out of love. Without his breath we wouldn’t be here without the parents God chose for us. We wouldn’t be here either and I believe that God can choose our parents before we are born, even if we are adopted, he still has a hand in that too. Every function in our life has a purpose, we may not know what it is at the time. We may never know what it is, or what it could lead up to but is always going to be good if we just trust God our creator and our saviour Jesus Christ.

  4. The example is a good. WWI was an awful thing, but the allies won. Yet they focused on their losses and sought revenge. So there was WWII.

    If we focus on our sorrows instead of our joys, we grow bitter and give up too easily.

      • I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of what I do at my blog, but the foundation of every political system is a religious belief. Unfortunately, acknowledging that is very troubling to some folks. So I expect I run off lots of people. Therefore I understand why you keep the topics separate. If people are put off by your politics, you can’t reach some folks who need Jesus.

  5. So finally someone thanked god for whtevr he is doing for us(or asssumed to b doing) ……..Good to see people remembering HIM for thanking rather than begging for something . By the way nice post

  6. Hi BJ, performance based acceptance is based on a lifetime of reinforcements in almost everything we do but not so with God’s love. Our Father needs only one thing, for us to accept His Son for who He is and what He did. I try to remind myself that as a loving parent forgives a child that they love, so also does our heavenly Father. Sometimes it works, other times, not so much. While we are here, we will never know the resolve that Jesus had, to follow His Father’s will and go to the cross so that our acceptance was assured. How can we possibly thank Jesus adequately for that? And how can we thank our Father for willing it? Nothing is a pretty inclusive word and as children of God we need to keep that thought foremost in our minds and hearts. And then BJ, there is you. the grace that God has given you to pierce our hearts with God’s truth is so needed and welcomed. Never doubt how He uses you to bring glory to Himself and how He watches lovingly over everything that you do. You are an expression of God’s love and we are so thankful He has shared you with us. Blessings!

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