"Take heart in the Word: Nothing can separate you from God’s love" by: Betsy Monico

   My summer thus far has revolved around kids, dogs, and my kitchen. The dogs are hot and usually hide underneath a vehicle in the carport. 
   The kids are back and forth and thankfully – behaving nicely. We all slept under the same roof last night. 
   That was rare! My husband, during the school year, assumes the role of chef. I humbly attempt to take back over when summer comes. 
   I am a decent cook. I even enjoy it…when I have time. 
   I spent this afternoon at the lake. I soaked up some sun and listened to my kid’s random conversations. 
   The greatest way to gauge how your kids are doing is to hang out in close proximity, remain silent, and just listen. 
   My son walked up to join the girls and warned me to not to let “Salty” near me. She evidently rolled in a dead armadillo. 
   Right about the time I made a mental note to avoid her, I spotted our other dogs with something in her mouth. 
   She was wagging her tail and bringing the object closer to us. 
   Belle, the oldest of the pack and typically the wisest, picked up the armadillo Salty enjoyed and proudly lagged it around like a big bone. 
   Right before I harshly warned her not to bring it my way, she dropped it. Before I could call her name, she dropped to the ground, joyfully turned on her back - plopping right on the armadillo and rolling back and forth over it. 
   I thought to myself…how stupid are dogs? Are they complete idiots to roll in dead objects and even transport them closer to home before they indulge themselves? 
   Immediately the Lord drew an arrow in my mind from what the dogs had done to what I sometimes do with my own life and my own sin.
To be brutally honest, some sin we just fall into without much warning. We pass it along our daily path and plummet into it. We run into someone or something that trips us up and causes us to fall. This was the case of Salty. 
   The armadillo was there, she wanted it; therefore, she covered herself in it. 
   This type of sin could also be iniquities, things we lean towards naturally. 
   This category of sin might be generational in nature, caused by a tendency. I struggle in this area. 
   There are other sins though that remind me of Belle and her “pet” armadillo. She was much more intentional. 
   She proudly picked up the dead object, brought it closer to home, and then happily pampered herself with it. Sometimes with sin, we do this too. 
   We seek after what we selfishly want and plot to obtain it. 
   Luckily, there is hope for both situations. We can repent. We can ask for forgiveness and turn from our sins. 
   For those of us who doubt that we have the power to do so, Romans 8: 37-39 offers some hope. 
   “No, in all of these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 
   For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
   Dear friends, know this week that the Word is true. 
   The Word is for you. The words Paul wrote in Romans are for you. 
   Take them to heart, have hope, and know that nothing can separate you from the love of Jesus. 
   Sin must be dealt with. Sin can be dealt with. Jesus died for our sins.

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