“It’s [Romans 8:1] the emergency exit from if only and the main entrance to what if.”- Mark Batterson
Mark Batterson continues his discussion of Romans 8:1 in Chapter 4 (“Double Take”) of If. Mark strongly believes that the first verse of Romans 8 should be our first thought every morning. There’s no better way to start the day. Pastor Batterson adds that, in order to understand the other truths in Romans 8 (The Great Eight), we need to walk under that inscription on our way in and on our way out.
Back in the day, Mark observes, the Jewish people leveraged their door frames with the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) as a daily reminder of God’s sovereignty. A specially trained scribe used indelible ink to inscribe the most important prayer in Judaism on parchment. The parchment then was rolled up and place inside a special case called the mezuzah. It was hung over every door as a constant, sacred reminder.
Pastor Batterson asserts that we all need to surround ourselves with sacred reminders. One mezuzah Mark has in his office is a liquor bottle found in the walls of a former crack house. Today that crack house is Ebenezer’s coffeehouse, a ministry of National Community Church. The bottle serves as a reminder that nothing is beyond God’s redemptive reach.
Sacred reminders are necessary in our battle with Satan. Satan knows our weaknesses and tries to exploit them. To over come Satan, we need to flip the script- Scripture. Although Satan is very predictable, we can’t be ignorant of his devices. Mark explains:
” Condemnation is his [Satan’s] native tongue. He tires to remind us of everything we’ve done wrong over and over again like a broken record. Why? So that all of our emotional energy is spent on past guilt. That way we have no emotional energy left over to dream God-sized dreams or pursue God-ordained passions.”
The emergency exit from if only and the main entrance to what if is Romans 8:1.
Today’s question: What sacred reminders help you counter Satan’s condemnation with God’s faithfulness? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Condemnation versus conviction”