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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

48º 26’ 22.87” -114º 21’ 10.65” (photo by Nelson Longenecker)
48º 26’ 22.87” -114º 21’ 10.65”
Photo taken by our friend Nelson Longenecker
(Click on photo for larger size)

"The Consequences Of Rejecting The Knowledge Of God"

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Note: Today we continue our study from Romans 1 which we began Monday with the message, "The Wrath Of God". It is challenging material but so needed in seeking to understand the times in which we live, the mess our country (and world) is in, and the blunt reality that things will only worsen without a transforming revival. I also really think we are seeing the beginning stages of the great delusion Paul wrote about in 2 Thessalonians 2.

"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" (Romans 1:21).

I once counseled and prayed for a lady whose former husband was deep in sin. Although divorced she still bore a burden for the state of his soul and still had a hope for reconciliation. She told me how his sinful actions had greatly harmed not only their marriage but also their children. He had gone to see a pastor about his spiritual condition and the pastor observed at that time that he was "sitting on the fence" in regard to following Christ. His wandering heart led to full-hearted rebellion against God and the last I knew he was ensnared in various heinous sins.

Spiritual unbelief and unleashed rebellion always bring about consequences. Sometimes immediate, but other times the consequences lag for a season. We might even think that the fall-out from our actions will be inconsequential. Following his adulterous sin with Bathsheba and then having her husband murdered, David thought he had beat the rap but alas, "The thing that David had done displeased the Lord" (2 Samuel 11:27). God
's Word plainly states, "The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction" (Galatians 6:8).

Today's verse is from a powerful section in Romans 1 dealing with a panoramic view of man's state of disbelief, disobedience and rebellion against God. Disbelief, disobedience and rebellion against God lead to one's failure to glorify and thank God. This in turn results in the dire consequences described in the remainder of the daily verse (as well as the verses that follow). Although this portion portrays the human race as a whole it also describes the individual.

Romans 1:21-32 describes the awful descent of the human race. They went from a loss of knowledge of the true God, even further downward into idolatry (and polytheism) and then into the gross immorality (as God gives them over) and finally to internal conflict in which, as a result of a depraved mind, they become filled with all unrighteousness.

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him." This speaks of the knowledge of God available through general revelation, that men are conscious of God’s existence, power, and divine nature through His Creation (Romans 1:18-20). But they did not glorify or thank God.

"Their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." Man’s search for meaning and purpose only produces vain, meaningless conclusions. The result of rejecting the truth about God is an empty mind and a darkened heart. What a tragedy! Man the worshiper became man the philosopher, yet his vain wisdom only revealed his foolishness. Paul summarized all of Greek history in one dramatic statement: “the times of ignorance” (Acts 17:30).

This is a portion that is very helpful to me in seeking to understand current events. Increasingly the world is mocking people of faith and labeling them as ignorant and uninformed. Sadly some in the professing church want to be loved and esteemed by the world rather than staying true to God, and they sacrifice their beliefs to accommodate the world's way of thinking. I am appalled at the increase in liberal and "emergent" outlook that is infecting so many of our historic Christian colleges and eventually dilutes the pure message from God's Holy Word in our pulpits.

Today we who follow Christ need to examine this passage and determine that our knowledge of God will result in belief, obedience and submission. This in turn will fill our hearts with a desire to glorify and thank God.  In turn our thinking will be clear and our hearts will be enlightened as we walk in His ways.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, Romans 1:21 indicates that those who knew You neither glorified nor gave thanks to You which led to their futile and foolish thinking.  It eventually caused the light of Your Word to be veiled and ineffective in their lives as darkness crept in and covered the radiant light of Your truth.  They sought honor for themselves and lived for self-glory.  Anything good in us is but a reflection of the Spirit of Christ who resides within, so we will glory only in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ though mocked and ridiculed by the world.  We are unashamedly children of God whose depth of wisdom comes not from the understanding of the world but the understanding of Your Word. May its truth always be our source of light in the darkened age in which we live.  In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Monuments"  Video  Legacy Five  "Don't move the landmarks set up for your children so they can find the way home."

"Heroes Of The Faith"  Video  Legacy Five

"Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart"

"Glorify Thy Name"  Video 

"Knowing You"  Video   

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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