As I read Paul’s letter, I find myself wondering if my country-state-city is so much different from that of the Christians that Paul was writing to. Am I and my neighbors any less tempted or any less confused by the world around me than they were? I don’t think so. And in this world with so many shades of gray confusion, Paul states the problem very clearly. When we praise and worship the God who has shown himself to us in creation, when we walk in relationship and fellowship with this God, our lives are very different from the lives of those who don’t. This isn’t said in hate or judgment or finger-pointing. It’s as simple as choices and consequences.
As I read these verses, I also remember that God is love, and that I am to grow to be more and more like Him.
Here’s my information chart of Romans 1:24-32.
|GOD||CONSEQUENCES OF CHOOSING FALSE GODS|
|God abandoned idol-worshipers||Their refused to acknowledge tru God, so He abandoned them to whatever their hearts desired|
|God is glorious, Creator, worthy of praise, eternal||They emptied themselves of God and all kinds of sex became their focus|
|Downward spiral to all kinds of wickedness|
|They know about righteousness & sin, but act as they desire, encouraging others to join them|
The fact that I am a sinner was part of God’s message to me in these verses:
I am a sinner; we are all sinners, unable to live righteous lives—which is why Jesus came to earth to take our punishment and conquer death for us: this is the gospel message that Paul referred to earlier. But when we turn our backs on God, sin gets a foothold in our hearts and it spreads like a virus—and we don’t have God’s strength to do otherwise. We don’t want to be alone, so we encourage others to join us in doing whatever makes us happy, a life lived for momentary pleasure. That was the situation in Rome as Paul wrote this letter, and it is our situation today. What will I choose today, tomorrow, and for the rest of my life?
This picture spoke volumes to me. If I turn my back on God, I open up my heart to sin, and God abandons me to my choice. Humanly speaking, I could not rid myself of sin in the same way as I couldn’t remove all the sand from this house after opening the doors and windows to let it in.
Where would I even start to clean up this place? I couldn’t do it alone. Would I really want to live here? A resounding, “NO!”
The good news is that I don’t have to live here, and I don’t have to earn my own salvation–an impossible task. Jesus Christ did that for me, and it is through his sacrificial love and the strength of the Holy Spirit that my heart and home can become light-filled, because God lives there.
Send me your picture in the comment section or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.