Pursue the One Who Matters
As Christians, we find ourselves referencing the loving and merciful God we serve rather than the God of wrath and anger. For obvious reasons, we choose the first over the last. If we want to have a personal relationship with Him, we must pursue the one true God who loves and forgives us.
Evangelist J.I. Packer states, “One of the most striking things about the Bible is the vigor with which both testaments emphasize the reality and terror of God’s wrath.”
In Romans 1, the Apostle Paul goes to great lengths to communicate that God’s righteousness is available to all who believe. It was his mission to help others understand the need to commit their lives to Jesus, to have His presence in their lives, to spread the gospel far and wide, and to share the blueprint to salvation. Paul spent an inordinate amount of time helping people understand their predicament. When people sin and reject Jesus, God’s response is with wrath and anger.
In Mark 2:17, “Jesus said to the Pharisees, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
Make the Right Choice
It is difficult for the human mind to understand God’s wrath. Our own children don’t like it when we as parents become mad or angry with them. They want to know why we feel the way we do. It’s because they didn’t do what we wanted them to do or asked them to do. Young or old, we make mistakes and subsequently our choices are a product of faulty thinking, which leads to unrighteous living.
What is the old adage? Twisted minds lead to twisted behavior. Our worldly culture encourages us to freely do whatever seems good at the time. That is outside of the scope of what God wants from us.
As a people, can we see where God’s wrath is deserved? Psalm 14:1 states, “Only a fool says there is no God.”
Paul’s reference to the people in Rome living unrighteous lives fits our current environment so powerfully. The immoral acts, foolish thoughts, and refusal to believe in God’s truth are as problematic today as when Paul traveled from place to place, leading others to Christ.
How is it that we can see Jesus’ creations and miracles throughout history and yet refuse to acknowledge that He is the Great I Am?
The Bible tells us in Romans 1:21, “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.”
Be Thankful in All Things
Can you imagine not thanking God or glorifying Him for all He’s done in our lives?
Like the Apostle Paul, we should be thankful in all things–the good, the bad, and the unexpected. He modeled how to praise Jesus with a thankful heart and he wanted us to understand that it is a thankless attitude that can lead souls further down the dark path of sinfulness.
While it’s easy to acknowledge and communicate God’s love and mercy, we simply cannot gloss over His wrath for those who reject Him and live godless lives. Bottom line, Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel. He was covered in God’s grace and wanted every soul who believes, both Jew and Gentile, to have salvation and know Christ.
Here’s what we can glean from these verses:
- Man tends to suppress the truth–to gloss over, look past, and hold it down, so obedience is not an issue.
- People often worship men rather than God. It is much easier for people to get what they want from those who reject Christ than to follow those who accept Christ.
- Although people may believe there is a God, they often refuse to commit themselves to Him.
- Paul tells us to be a thankful people. If we are not, we become complainers, grumblers, and self-absorbed–in essence, we live no differently than those who suppress the truth.
- The Bible is filled with God’s truths and its Word is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.
- Paul demonstrated over and over that the gospel is available to all who believe. We are to be servants of the one true God.
- Is there any priority in your life greater than Christ?
- What do you do as a Christian to guard your heart and mind?
- How do you express your gratitude to the Lord?
- What steps will you take to prepare your heart when people reject the good news?
Dear Lord, thank You for loving me regardless of my sinful nature. By trusting You completely my relationship with You is made right. You have graciously given me the gifts of love, forgiveness, and eternal life, and I’m thankful I am a Daughter of the King. Amen.