Romans Devotional

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Day 5 - Choosing to Give Him Glory

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Reading: Romans 1:24-32

Reflective Thoughts

Choosing to give Him glory

Man's highest purpose, explains the Westminster Catechism, is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Our hearts were made to worship God.

But what happens when we reject that for which we were made? What happens when we declare a personal "declaration of independence" from God?

The heart that was created to be filled is a vacuum-and there is no neutral position with a vacuum. It is filled with either one thing or another. When we cease to worship God by honoring Him and being thankful to Him, our hearts begin to worship what they were not created to worship. We become like an automobile, meant to run on unleaded fuel and filled instead with diesel. Our thinking and moral judgment misfire and we begin a steep decline into sin.

Paul explains that God "gave them over in the lusts of their heart..." In Genesis 3, God's prohibition to Adam and Eve against eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge was a statement. In giving them a choice to trust Him or not trust Him, God demonstrated that He values man's free will enough to risk betrayal. He is willing not to force the issue. He is willing to give them over-and He did. Except for the grace of God revealed in Christ, who is our new beginning and new mercy, none of us could come back. What choices can you make to demonstrate that Christ today, you choose God?



Day 4 - What Idolatry Looks Like

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Reading: Romans 1:22-23

Reflective Thoughts

What idolatry looks like

UCLA basketball coach John Wooden warned his players about the danger and foolishness of conceit. Both Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Walton heard his warnings: "Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."

In our reading today, Paul describes what happened when man was not careful to be humble. Self-professed wisdom is really foolishness because God is the only source of wisdom, not self. It leads to foolish behavior because even the most conceited heart needs something greater than itself to fill it. So the self-professed "wise" person looks to satisfy his needs in things apart from God (Jeremiah 2:13). Isaiah 44:9-20 provides a graphic depiction: a man fashions an idol from the same wood with which he heats his home and cooks his food-and then he bows down and worships the idol that he made with his own hands and calls it his god.

This, we may think, is an ancient issue-not a problem for the 21st century believer. There is no temptation to melt our Silpada jewelry in the saucepan and form a golden calf to worship. However we may have our own form of modern idols. Could we, like Wooden's players, be tempted to worship our own success? What do our calendars tell us about how we choose to spend the bulk of our time? What do our checkbook ledgers say about where we spend our money? What do we worship?