“But My people did not listen to My voice, And Israel did not obey Me. “So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices.” Psalm 81:11-12
Have you wondered what it would be like if God left us to our every whim? I shiver at the thought of it…
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonoured among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:24-32
The book of Romans was written in 57-58 a.d. Had it not been mentioned where this passage was taken from, one could have readily assumed it was referring to today’s society. It’s difficult to fathom that these activities took place in Rome even in those early days, isn’t it?
But wait! If Romans was written in 57-58 a.d., then that would mean these took place merely 34 – 35 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection! Somber thought…
It was only yesterday that we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection and now this? Sadly yes. This is what our reality offers. If only the spiritual eyes of each one were open to the truth that Jesus took on the sins of the world while on the cross and He died as a result of it… and then to realize that He rose again, through the power of the Holy Spirit, so that sin and death would no longer have a hold on us. If only…
God loved man so much that He didn’t force man to love Him in return. Instead, He invited man. He gave man the choice to freely choose to receive that invitation to love… the invitation of salvation. Jesus freely gave, bad sadly, many have freely rejected.
For even though they knew God, they did not honour Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Romans 1:21-23
Father God, thank You for revealing Your presence and splendor in creation. Our failure to believe does NOT diminish the truth that You exist nor that You created the world and man… in Your image and likeness. Have mercy on us and forgive us Lord, for choosing to worship and serve the created rather than You, our Creator. It is only by Your grace that we can believe. Lord, help us with our unbelief.
Father God, thank You for loving us so much that you sent Your Son, Jesus, down here to earth… down to our level to take on our human form so He could walk among man. Mother Mary, thank you for your yes, your fiat to our Father, giving birth to Jesus here on earth. Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing our Father’s love. In spite of knowing the pain, anguish and the indescribable torment that You would endure while You prayed in the garden, You chose to do the Father’s will. Oh Lord Jesus, our hearts and our minds cannot fathom what You endured because You loved. We thank You with all that we have for taking on our sins and for dying on the cross to bring us salvation. Our dearest Holy Spirit, thank You for raising Jesus from the dead. Lord, because of Your resurrection, the shackles that bind us to sin have been broken and we are set free from the ways of the world and eternal death.
And now Lord Jesus, thank You for giving us the grace to freely choose to invite You into our hearts as our Lord and Saviour. We pray for all the others who have chosen to turn their backs on You. We plead for your mercy over each and we ask that You open their eyes so each one may see and then to choose to believe.
Lord, send forth Your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. Psalm 104:30 In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.
Melissa – March 28, 2016
p.s. – Father God, thank You for being a God of second chances…
Israel to Be Renewed for His Name’s Sake
22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not[j]bring a famine on you. 30 I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 I am not doing this for your sake,” declares the Lord God, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!”
33 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places will be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by. 35 They will say, ‘This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations that are left round about you will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken and will do it.”
37 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “This also I will let the house of Israel ask Me to do for them: I will increase their men like a flock. 38 Like the flock[k]for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so will the waste cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”’” Ezekiel 36:22-38