|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “You have been set free”
Our Bible verse for today: “For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools … therefore God delivered them over in the desires of their hearts …” Romans 1:21-24 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God let’s us suffer the consequences”
In Romans 1:24, when the Apostle Paul wrote that God delivers sinful people over to the desires of their hearts, what he meant was that God will allow us to suffer the consequences of our sins. In the Bible God has made His standards clear, plain, and simple. They are standards that apply to all people in all places at all times. But God doesn’t force obedience. He has given mankind free will and He allows us to make our own choices. But He also then allows us to suffer the consequences of the choices. We are free to choose, but we are not free to avoid the consequences of those choices.
When Paul wrote that God delivers people over, it means for one thing that God withdraws His hand of blessing and protection, and then people live as best they can without His blessings. But on top of that, God will also bring discipline and punishment into individual lives, and into the national life of entire nations, in order to help them to come to the realization that His ways are best. Between the two, the disciplinary and punitive actions of God, along with the natural consequences that come with bad choices, life lived outside the will of God will be unpleasant at best.
With respect to our national life in the USA, there are two observations from leaders of previous generations which are insightful and helpful. The first comes from one of the founders of our nation, Daniel Webster, and it was written in 1787: “If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will be. If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign …”
The second statement was written more than 200 years later by Newt Gingrich when he was serving as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1994: “It is impossible to maintain civilization with 12 year old’s having babies, 15 year old’s killing each other, 17 year old’s dying of AIDS, or 18 year old’s getting diplomas they can’t read.” The situation in our country has only gotten worse since Gingrich wrote those words twenty-seven years ago. It has gotten much worse.
So, now that we have a fairly accurate understanding of where our society is today with respect to God and His principles, let’s move on to the role we as Christians must be playing in an attempt to help correct this. We will do that tomorrow. As Christians we have been set free by Jesus, and one of the reasons we have been is so that we can help others to be free too. So we will begin by considering what it is we have been set free from.
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