The Byzantine Market Square in Durrës 02For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38, 39)

We were in the coastal city of Durres, Albania for an outreach. Our local friends were eager to show us their ancient Roman ruins where the Apostle Paul had walked. Historians record that he appointed a bishop over seventy Christian families in Durres during his missionary travels.

We dodged traffic and passed shoddy buildings from recent decades. In a vacant lot of weeds and litter, a graceful circle of Roman columns stood in contrast to the postmodern dilapidation. It was like a diamond tiara laying in the city dump. This site withstood two thousand years of wars, earthquakes, and twenty-five regime changes.

The secret to the longevity of Roman architecture was concrete. They combined powdered cement and water with an aggregate like stones or gravel, and concrete set into a nearly indestructible construction material. Concrete has the unique property that it becomes stronger over time. Even today, those columns are getting harder than when they were first made.

Precious souls reborn into Christ are like the aggregate hidden inside Roman cement. No matter our shape or history, no matter who we are or what we’ve done, the love of God binds us in impenetrable unity. It would sooner be possible to separate the aggregate from the Durres columns than it would be to remove the love of Christ from around his followers.

This love binds to my soul and encases me with spiritual protection. And it’s growing stronger. My place in heaven is more permanent now than when I was first made a Christian.

Death, angels, time—nothing in any realm can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Prayer: Protector of my life, I am forever bonded to your love.

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