We have the ability to break God’s heart. Learn how not to do this!
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Romans 18:23 (NIV)
God loves us so very much.
If you are a parent, think about the love you have for your children. Sometimes they hurt your feelings and they can definitely break your heart but you never stop loving them. This is how our relationship is with God. We can hurt His feelings and break His heart but His great love for us never changes. It’s that simple. He loves us – NO MATTER WHAT.
The second half of Romans chapter 1 deals with our sin. Starting in verse 18 above, we see our turning away from God. Paul shows us in these five verses (18-23) that humankind is so apt to turn away from God because we cannot see Him. We should not live by sight but by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). When we can’t see God at work in our lives, we turn to false gods. We cannot read these verses and say “tsk, tsk, I feel so sorry for THOSE people.”
We simply cannot think of ourselves more highly than we ought.
We are those people! We can look back in the Old Testament and see that Paul is showing us the Israelites and how they turned away from God time and time again. When Moses was with the Lord on Mount Sinai, because he was gone so long, the Israelites started worshiping false gods that they made with their hands. They did not see God. They became impatient so they turned to the golden calf. Read about this in Exodus 32.
It’s so easy for us to look on in pity wondering how they could be so fooled and misled. But we need to realize that we are the very same as these people when we choose to walk without Jesus Christ as our center. We are these people when:
- We put our kids above God.
- We put our spouses above God.
- We put our positions above God.
- We put our possessions above God.
- We put our own self-worth above God.
And when we do this, we are creating false gods.
We do not bring glory to God at all when we put our trust in people, possessions, or positions. Let’s read Romans 1:22-23 again.
22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
We claim to be wise but we are fools. We think we are so smart but we’re actually so very lost in our ignorance.
I don’t want to leave us hanging in this place of total yuck. We need to know that while we are these people Paul is talking about, there is a way out for each of us. And that way out is Jesus Christ. We each have free will and can choose to follow Jesus or choose to follow our own created gods. It’s that simple. We choose.
And I just want to add that luckily for the Israelites, they had an intercessor in Moses. He pleaded to God for their very lives and God changed His mind. (See Exodus 32:11-14). This is a perfect picture of Jesus Christ and how He does this for us today. He is our Intercessor always pleading with God on our behalf. (See Romans 8:34).
As we progress in our study of Romans, we’ll start seeing that God loves us too much to leave us where we are. Jesus became sin so we don’t have to live in ignorance and total despair.
It is Amazing Grace!
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,