“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God,
God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”
I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Here we go again. Can’t this guy ever talk about nice things?” I do, but I also talk about things that aren’t so pleasant as well. You know what they say, “The good news isn’t good news until you know the bad news.” It’s seems to me that I’m only beginning to scratch the surface on both.
Maybe you’re different than me, but I see a world of hurt out there. Everybody has their opinion on what is wrong and how to fix it, yet I don’t see the world becoming a better place to live. While it is easy to point fingers, there is plenty of sidewalk to sweep in front of my own store.
Romans 1:32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
The fact that I have been forgiven doesn’t change things. Yes, I am born-again, and my sins have been forgiven through the blood of Jesus. That’s a fact. Apart from that, however, my sin is still unrighteous. Even though I am a new creation, I still sin. Not as much, but I still sin. Deliberately.
Debased. That’s a good word to describe it. It’s similar to corrupted, stained, and tainted. Hmmm. That seems to me like it describes our world. It describes each of us in it. It describes me.
The only thing that makes me different than the rest of the world is that God has had mercy on me. He is changing me. I know all this to be true because it lines up with what I see in scripture. Don’t get me wrong, I thought I was a good guy before; but he has definitely changed me.
Here’s the good news. Jesus saved me from myself. Because of my own actions, I deserved to die. I knew God’s command, yet I willingly shook my fist at him and openly rebelled. Incredibly, while still in that state and frame of mind, God had mercy on me. Now that I can see, I am baffled why he didn’t stomp me into the ground long ago and send me into the lake of fire. Instead, he has prepared for me an eternal home to share fully in all his glory. With Jesus.
When I really think about it, I have to shake my head in disbelief. Why would he do that? To “make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy.” That’s why. The better question is, “Why me?” I don’t know. Maybe he’ll reveal that to me when I get to heaven. Then again, maybe he won’t. I’m thinking that he won’t. Why? Because his mercy is dependent on nothing about me or anything I do. It is a gift from him to give at his sole discretion. I don’t see why I shouldn’t be OK with that.
Having said all this, we humans are responsible for our behavior. We have full knowledge of God’s decree and full knowledge of the consequences of not following it. We are without excuse. Even so, God’s offer of mercy is extended to all. Incredibly, none of us take him up on that. None. Apart from God’s initiative, none take him up on his offer.
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
God sent out the prophets to share all this with the world. Jesus hit the streets with the same message. He then sent the Apostles. Then he sent us.
Knowing what I know now, how should I look at the world? With disgust, hatred, and dismay? Or perhaps with compassion, kindness, and love? I don’t know about you, but in the bible, I see all of the above.
Father, grant me patience and wisdom. I want to be like Jesus. Amen.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers