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 1:28-32, “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
As we’ve seen throughout the week, idolatry may have been the root sin and the sexual perversion that followed a key consequence, but those were just the tip of the iceberg. There are many different ways in which humanity’s rejection of God’s truth has been manifested. Here, Paul listed twenty-one different sins which characterize humanity’s alienation from God.
We may read about the sin of idolatry and sexual perversion and think “I’m not that bad.” However, Paul would respond with “Not so fast!” He’s right. None of us reading the list of sins he laid out can come away without a sense of conviction.
Verse 31 sums up our human perversity. Even though humanity rebelled against God, there was within all people an innate knowledge of what was right and wrong and that the things that were wrong deserved death. As much as they knew this was true, it didn’t deter them from indulging in these forms of ungodliness. Far from it! This was why Paul said the opposite was true; they only promoted rebellion more and felt a sense of companionship with those who participated.
As I read this passage, two thoughts come to mind: The first is my own brokenness and the second is the need for the lost to hear the truth about the gospel of Jesus.
When I consider the fact that Christ has cleansed me from sin and made me whole, I’m filled with gratitude and I’m humbled. Knowing that my past, present, and future sins have been washed away by the blood of Christ gives me peace. I’ve been set free from the list of vices Paul gives; they no longer have mastery over me. The sheer joy in being liberated by Christ makes me want to shout in praise to God! What a gift we’ve been given. I am in debt to Christ.
Yet there is also a sense of sadness for those who choose to rebel against Christ. I know that nothing keeps people away from Christ more than their own inability to see their need for Him. If they continue to live in their own sense of self-righteousness, they will never come to know Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives. Only when they get to a point where they can admit their own guilt before God, will they see their need for salvation.
We all have folks in our lives that fit into this category. Would you pray right now that God would give you the opportunity to share the truth of God and the gospel of Jesus with them? Pray that their heart would be open. Also pray that God would give you opportunity to share the truth of His love with someone today.
*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.