28 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.Romans 8:28 KJV
Qualification for “All things working together for good”
I think sometimes we look at verses like this and don’t really consider the meaning behind them to the fullest extent. We might read this something like,
“We know that all things work together for good.”
For every promise in the Bible, there is a God-side and a Man-side.
What we’ve done in the verse above, without realizing it, is we’ve removed the man’s side of this equation and just left the God-side.
- [God Side] “And we know that all things work together for good”
- [Man Side] “to them that love God”
You have to love God in order for God to be able to work all things together for your good.
What does it mean to “Love God”?
So the next question we have to ask ourselves is, “What does it mean to love God?”
#1 Keep His Commandments
If ye love me, keep my commandments.John 14:15 KJV
Jesus puts it very plainly in John 14:15. To “Love God” means to keep His commands. And 1 John adds to this statement saying…
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.1 John 5:3 KJV
The commands of Jesus are to be followed and not grievous to us if we are to love God appropriately.
#2 You put ALL your effort into obedience
What this means is that you aren’t halfway following Jesus and halfway doing your own thing.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:
5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.Deuteronomy 6:4-7 KJV
I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound like a halfway-committed life to me. These people are all-in following the ways and precepts of God in their life.
In fact, it sounds more like they have structured their life around God not God being structured around their life.
See we want to fit God into our soccer practice, “me” time, busy work schedule, etc. and God is saying that if you will put ME (God) at the center of your life and structure everything else around ME then all things will work together for good.
Many times we use this verse as a copout to live however we like and then say, “But God will make it all ok.”
No, he can’t because it was YOUR WILL that got you in the situation and without choosing to go back to Him and doing it His way – he cannot help you out of a mess that you willingly got into.
God wants to help you, but He cannot and won’t violate your will.
Think about it. If someone else could just override your feelings and emotions and just do what he thought was best for you, you probably wouldn’t consider that love. We’d call that controlling and maybe even abusive!
But without realizing it, we are asking God to be those things in our life.
“God I want to do my own thing, but when my own thing lands me in trouble I want you to correct all my issues so I can go back to doing my own thing.”
That’s not love! That’s selfishly using someone for your own gain.
#3 You hate the things of the world
Now listen I didn’t say you hate THE world. You hate the THINGS of the world.
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.1 John 2:15 KJV
The things of the world are greed, lust, fornication, uncleanness, idolatry, etc. We cannot love these things and bring them into our lives willingly and expect to see a life prosperous and full of the life of God.
It’s unfortunate that so many people have been taught that you can live in sin and God can still prosper you – he can’t…
There is hope for all
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?Romans 8:32 KJV
If you’re not careful this will start to sound like an impossible task, and it is in our own strength, but here’s the powerful thing. We have been made able ministers of the gospel in our own lives.
There are people across the world who need to hear that Jesus came to earth becoming their substitute, dying on the cross and rising again from the grave so that they wouldn’t have to live a life devoid of purpose.
That’s where the second part of this verse comes into play….
“to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Everyone who is born of God, they are called according to His purpose. There’s a life that they have worth living.
Because God sent Jesus for us when we accept salvation from sin, we have now been given freely all things. That includes the ability to love God.
It all starts with a choice to say, I am willing to give my life for the one who gave his life for me.
If you’ve never accepted Jesus as your personal savior and Lord, it’s very simple. All you have to do is say,
It really is that simple.