Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Romans 8:31-39 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: Paul tells us that we are more than conquerors, that we are victorious! But it’s not we who are conquers alone; our victory is through Jesus. It is through Him who loved us. We celebrate not our work and victory, but that of Jesus. If this seems like a hard pill for you to swallow—taking credit for someone else’s accomplishment— consider this: sports.
We celebrate one another's accomplishments all the time—feeling that their victory is our own. During the Olympics, countries feel joy and pain along with the winners and losers. When someone from the U.S.A. takes home the gold medal, we are are all taking home the gold medal. The whole nation feels the victory. We feel the wins and the losses just the same. But why? We are not the ones running the race or skiing the slope. We’re not the ones making the touchdown or the three-pointer. But we still feel as if we are part of that victory.
Paul helps us to understand this. We are more than conquerors. We aren’t conquerors because of our conquering, but because of Jesus’ conquering.
I’m not sure if you’re this way or if you know someone like this, but there are people who take sports to a whole new level of seriousness. Maybe you have had a friend or colleague who has cried over the Super Bowl or World Cup. When I was in college, the Seahawks played the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Because Nebraska doesn’t have their own NFL team, many people choose one of the following: Denver Broncos or Kansas City Chiefs.
As you may recall, the Seahawks won, and won well. I felt like I was more than a conqueror. But the majority of people around me that day felt the sting of loss. They not only felt the loss, but also felt humiliated because of all the smack talk they had been giving out in the weeks leading up to the game. Everyone felt like if they could talk up their team or cheer harder it would help them win, but in the end the team that’s going to win is going to win, and the one that’s going to lose is going to lose. Nothing we do is going to change that. No amount of talking up our team. No amount of yelling at the TV screen will change the outcome.
In sports, that might make you feel helpless, but in Jesus that should make you feel secure. Nothing you do is going to change the outcome. You are more than a conqueror through Jesus.
Recalibrate: How do you celebrate your life in Jesus?
Respond: Spend some time in thankfulness to God.
Research: Read this Seattle Times article on the psychology of being a sports fan.
Remember: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, ESV).
Jessyka Albert has been associate pastor at Boulder Adventist Church since 2016. She grew up in Washington State, graduated from Union College, and is engaged to Kiefer Dooley, Rocky Mountain Conference associate youth director. Jessyka is passionate about children’s, youth, and young adult ministry.
Even when our love fails, God’s love will not. The Bible says so and so do Scarlett and Jack in this very cute video. Watch and repeat.
The Bible says, in Romans 8:37, that in all things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us. We are winners because of Jesus' love for us. Paul describes how nothing will ever separate us from God’s love for us, because when He sees the people who are on Team Live Love, He sees people who love His Son Jesus. Watch this and see if you can remember the text.
Jesus’ sacrifice serves as a bridge to God and His righteousness. Now that we have a way to connect with Him, there is hope! We have so much to celebrate! Are you celebrating your life in Jesus? Paul went through so many trials and continued to celebrate in His eternal victory. If we want to follow Christ, if we want to be redeemed, nothing can get in our way! Is something still getting in the way of your proclaiming this victory? Make a list of those things. What needs to change in your life?