Romans – “Therefore…”
The world at large does not think like the people of God, people who choose joy in following the leading of His Holy Spirit. We are “wack jobs” for passionately following the God of creation according to the world. Even in the church, worldview has wreaked havoc. Society has affected the church at large more than the church as affected society. But God is still God no matter what others choose to think. God is a gentleman when it comes to sin. It’s our choice to sin or to obey and trust Him for the outcome of glorious growth in us. He will give us the outcome of our choices. What do you choose?
This isn’t a new dilemma, Paul wrote to the Romans about the difference between worldview and God’s reality with the outcomes of both. Since we are only taking a section at a time, it is good to read ahead and review what was written before the section to stay focused on the intent of the writing of God’s Truth written from a place of love for God’s people.
Romans 1, The Message
Ignoring God Leads to a Downward Spiral
18-23 But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
24-25 So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
26-27 Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.
28-32 Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!
What to do…
–SEE the basic realty of God for it is plain and simple.
–God created all. He is in all. He is over all. There is nothing that He has not created.
–God is power and strength.
–God is a divine being who is real. He is NOT a man made piece of clay or metal.
–Worship GOD alone and no one or nothing else.
–Do not mock God or trivialize what He has done, is doing and will do.
–Find direction in life from God.
–Don’t trade God for any shiny object that distracts us from God.
–Know God. Be still before Him. Listen to Him.
–Love God with all our hearts, minds and souls. Love others like HE love us.
–Don’t award sin.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are God and we are not. We worship you alone this morning in the quiet of this room. We are Your people. Thank you for Your salvation. Now it is time to listen to You, follow You and trust in Your direction with focus for our lives. Help us to be helpful to others searching for Your Light in this dark, confused world.
In Jesus Name, Amen