Roger Bothwell

Roger Bothwell
Roger Bothwell's Devotionals

Ultimate Love

There is a poignant passage at the beginning of Romans 9.  Paul was thinking of his friends, his family and all his people.  The prospect of them being lost and not sharing in the joy of salvation and the freedom from the burden of the law spurred him to write, “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race. . .” 
The more we become like Jesus the more our capacity for love grows.  Love is not stagnant.  It is a living vibrant part of us that cares for and reaches out to those about us.  It is possible, as it was with Paul, that when we consider the prospect of not having our children and grandchildren with us in heaven, our love for them would mirror Paul’s feelings in Romans 9.   The more we love the more we would be willing to give up heaven for the surety that our loved ones would have it.
The good news is not only is this impossible but also not necessary.  First of all, it is an indication of how much we value Jesus and our loved ones.  The very fact that we feel this way indicates our growth into His likeness. Jesus could not bear not having such persons with Him.  The more we love the more we become like Him and the more we become like Him the more we love.  It is a marvelously upward spiral.  Secondly, Jesus loves our loved ones even more than we and He is already doing everything possible to woo them into joining us.
Blessed is the person who has such love and has people they love that much.

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

It’s a dark day for my vegetarian friends and colleagues.  You have not been as meatless as you perhaps thought.  I clearly remember the day I was riding my motorcycle and had some kind of bug go straight through my mouth into my esophagus and down it went.  I had no chance to spit it out.  Alas.  Well, according to the February issue of National Geographic the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permits 60 aphids in 100 grams of broccoli and 550 insect fragments per average box of pasta.  So much for spaghetti with a salad.   Until 2012 Starbucks colored their strawberry smoothies with a compound of pulverized insects.  They got to call it “natural.”
The truth is we are created to be amazingly tolerant of all manner of food.  Eating certain things is often more difficult to get something past our brain than our lips. 
I am so thankful for Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”   Healthful living and a nutritious diet is very important.  Our bodies according to I Corinthians 6 are temples of the Holy Spirit and we should treat them accordingly. But we should never fall into the heresy of believing our diet contributes toward our salvation.  It does not even to the extent of one iota.  Our salvation is a gift of God made possible by Jesus’ death on Calvary. 
So please, enjoy a good plate of spaghetti and be filled with righteousness, peace and joy.  Eternal life starts now.  Enjoy being a citizen of God’s kingdom.  I actually like broccoli.  Wow, I can’t believe I just said that!

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