Morning Prayer: 04 July – Romans 1:18-32 ~ God abandoned them

Reading through Romans

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening sentence

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.
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A reading from Romans: Romans 1:18-32 (NLT)

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

Spirit of Perversion

So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.
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Peanut Gallery: This is the first 4th of July that I am ashamed to be an American; I cannot in good conscience fly the flag of my country. It’s not just about the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage (although that has been a precipitating event). It’s more about my shock and dismay at being a citizen of a country that has so blatantly abandoned God and it’s Judeo-Christian roots. This has been 50 years in the making… slow and steady. But here we are… America has lost its soul.

I think the watershed event was Roe v Wade (1973.) How can God bless a nation that murders the weakest, most defenseless, among us – the unborn. Mother Teresa Of Calcutta put abortion in perspective:

It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.

The sexual revolution in America has been the driving force behind our decline. And now, it has finally driven our country off a cliff. We can no longer pretend to be a Christian nation; we can no longer claim the moral high ground. We have become another Godless nation… a powerful nation, but nevertheless Godless. Our future looks bleak.

At this time in history, I cannot invoke God’s name to bless America – not because God has abandoned us, but because we have abandoned God… “to do whatever shameful things [our] hearts desire.” And what has been the result? Are we happier? Are we living more fulfilled lives? Are we glorifying God? We are not.

Turn on the TV. Listen to the news. Watch the world at your doorstep. And what do you see? You see Romans 1:28-32 being played out before your eyes.

Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

Where is God? Nowhere to be found on the field of public life… relegated to the sidelines as a paramedic of sorts – rushed onto the field in emergencies to fix the damage we’ve done to ourselves.

Have I lost faith in Christ to save us? Not at all. But America does not want to be saved; in fact, it believes it has been set free from the shackles of an outmoded belief system. We will have to crash as a nation before we turn again, in repentance, to God. Until then, may God have mercy on our souls.
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Salvation’s Song – Stuart Townend

Loved before the dawn of time, Chosen by my Maker, Hidden in my Saviour, I am His and He is mine, Cherished for eternity.

When I’m stained with guilt and sin, He is there to lift me, Heal me and forgive me; Gives me strength to stand again, Stronger than I was before.

So with every breath that I am given / I will sing salvation’s song; And I’ll join the chorus of creation / Giving praise to Christ alone.

All the claims of Satan’s curse / Lifted through His offering, Satisfied through suffering; All the blessings He deserves/ Poured on my unworthy soul.

Singing glory, honour, wisdom, power / To the Lamb upon the throne; Hallelujah, I will lift Him high. Hallelujah I will sing

Stars will fade and mountains fall; Christ will shine forever, Love’s unfading splendour. Earth and heaven will bow in awe, Joining in salvation’s song.

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Canticle

Christ, as a light illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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