16 I want to preach it because I’m not ashamed of the good news. It is God’s power to save everyone who believes. It is meant first for the Jews. It is meant also for the Gentiles. 17 The good news shows God’s power to make people right with himself. God’s power to be made right with him is given to the person who has faith. It happens by faith from beginning to end. It is written, “The one who is right with God will live by faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4) 18 God shows his anger from heaven. It is against all the godless and evil things people do. They are so evil that they say no to the truth. 19 The truth about God is plain to them. God has made it plain. 20 Ever since the world was created it has been possible to see the qualities of God that are not seen. I’m talking about his eternal power and about the fact that he is God. Those things can be seen in what he has made. So people have no excuse for what they do. 21 They knew God. But they didn’t honor him as God. They didn’t thank him. Their thinking became worthless. Their foolish hearts became dark. 22 They claimed to be wise. But they made fools of themselves. 23 They would rather have statues of gods than the glorious God who lives forever. Their statues of gods are made to look like people, birds, animals and reptiles. 24 So God let them go. He allowed them to do what their sinful hearts wanted to. He let them commit sexual sins. They made one another’s bodies impure by what they did. 25 They chose a lie instead of the truth about God. They worshiped and served created things. They didn’t worship the Creator. But he is praised forever. Amen. 26 So God let them continue to have their shameful desires. Their women committed sexual acts that were not natural. 27 In the same way, the men turned away from their natural love for women. They burned with sexual desire for each other. Men did shameful things with other men. They suffered in their bodies for all the wrong things they did. 28 They didn’t think it was important to know God. So God let them continue to have evil thoughts. They did things they shouldn’t do. 29 They are full of every kind of sin, evil and ungodliness. They want more than they need. They commit murder. They want what belongs to other people. They fight and cheat. They hate others. They say mean things about other people. 30 They tell lies about them. They hate God. They are rude and proud. They brag. They think of new ways to do evil. They don’t obey their parents. 31 They do not understand. They can’t be trusted. They are not loving and kind. 32 They know that God’s commands are right. They know that those who do evil things should die. But they continue to do those very things. They also approve of others who do them.
The sentence which sticks out most to me from this passage is, “They traded the truth about God for a lie.” This truth essentially was not to acknowledge God for who he is and includes not worshipping God or giving him thanks. The consequences of this choice, made intentionally or unwittingly, are dire:
- Their minds became dark and confused; and
- God abandoned them
Neither of these options are attractive or helpful! On the flipside, if we give God due respect, acknowledge him for who he is, worship him and give him thanks it stands to reason the opposite will occur. We will have the mind of Christ; full of light, wisdom and peace. God will also be near, close by and won’t leave us to our own wayward devices. This Scripture reminds of us of the importance of building worship, thanks and simply acknowledging God for who he is in our daily lives. Making it a habit and a part of who we are no matter what we face or the season we find ourselves in.
Dear Lord, help us to never take lightly who you are. Help us to be grateful for all you have done and may your praise always be on our lips. Amen.
Written by Ps. Ainslie Woods