Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Romans 1:18-19, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”
When we read the word “wrath” we tend to cringe. At least I do. We picture someone flipping out…going into a rage, being spiteful, mean, nasty, or even vindictive. We think this way because this is generally how people respond when they “pour out their wrath.”
However, when Paul uses the word “wrath,” it’s important to distinguish it from human anger. John Stott says we should understand the wrath of God as “directed against evil alone…nothing arouses it except evil, and evil always does.”
We can see God’s wrath being revealed in three different ways: First, we are told in Scripture there is a day coming of final Judgement when His wrath will be fully poured out. Second, we partially see God’s wrath in the public administration of justice. Third, we see God’s wrath by His abandoning stubborn sinners to their own self-centeredness, which leads them to moral and spiritual deterioration. Paul wanted us to recognize that this is to be understood as a judicial act.
The essence of sin is godlessness. Sin is when people attempt to get rid of God- to make it without Him- to go against His righteous decrees. In reality, that’s impossible for us to do without facing the consequences of rebellion. Yet, many people still determine to live for themselves. This kind of person becomes callus and cold. They become numb to God, and this numbness causes them to suppress anything that even resembles God’s goodness; they reject the truth.
God’s wrath is directed at this godlessness. Verse 19 tells us that His wrath is directed at people who have “suppressed the truth by their wickedness.” They had decided to live for themselves instead of for God. They deliberately stifled any truth that challenged their selfishness. Think about it…people cannot suppress something that they do not have.
As followers of Jesus, we’ve been redeemed from our sins. We’ve been made right with God by the blood of Jesus. We live between Christ’s first appearance and His returning. This time is what we call “the already not yet.” While we wait, we still have to battle against our sinful nature. There is also an evil one who wants to make us fall. We’ve been set free from sin, but sin is always there.
Take some time today and think about your life right now. Are there areas where sin is beginning to numb you? Are there any areas where sin is causing you to become callus and cold?
Is there anything God is trying to tell you that you are trying to suppress? Don’t go numb. Right here, right now…determine to hear His voice.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.