World Gone Mad
Holy God, open my heart and mind to the impact and reality of sin as I read Your Word today.
Read Romans 1:18-32
 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,  since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.  Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.  Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.  Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,  slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;  they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat happens to those who revel in their sin (24,26,28)?
The newspapers again reported Saturday night’s bad social behavior in the city. I cringed but was not shocked. Such behavior has become “normal.” Have we excused too much wrongdoing, rationalizing complacently until it becomes “acceptable” practice? God always takes sin seriously (18). If God was not angry about things that damage humanity he would not be a good and loving God. He cares enormously. His anger at sin has brought about his salvation rescue plan. God is love, but God’s wrath is the other part of his righteous character. Paul explains that by denying God, the thinking of people has become defiled, leaving them unable to even recognize wrongdoing (22,32). Intolerant of evil but respectful of their freedom of choice, God gives them over (24,26,28) to godlessness, a state in which evil is left to run its course. Godless thinking has led to godless behavior. We need to hate sin, also. Which of the sins in the list do you need to tackle? We all need God’s righteousness to rescue us.
If you struggle with a particular sin, ask God for help and make yourself accountable to someone who will support you.
Merciful Lord, sharpen my awareness of any sin in my life and help me not to ever tolerate it.