January 18, 2018

Whom Do You Acknowledge?

Romans 1:28–32

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28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice....

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Whom Do You Acknowledge?



Central Truth

As Christians, this passage reminds us to: (1) rejoice that life outside of God is one we no longer are constrained to live; and (2) choose God over ourselves, because “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8b)

Devotional | Romans 1:28–32

Every day, we must choose whom we acknowledge: either God or ourselves. In fact, we as Christians, followers of Christ, are invited daily to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Whether we accept that invitation is, as...

Every day, we must choose whom we acknowledge: either God or ourselves. In fact, we as Christians, followers of Christ, are invited daily to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Whether we accept that invitation is, as it always has been, up to us.

As I look over the examples of what a life without God looks like, I can painfully pick out the ones that describe me when I've chosen my way instead of God's way: covetousness, gossip, boastfulness, foolishness, and heartlessness. Verse 32 makes it very clear that by choosing not to acknowledge God, we are approving the very practice of choosing ourselves instead.

So what now? We fight. We "take every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5b). "[F]or at one time [we] were darkness, but now [we] are light in the Lord," (Ephesians 5:8a), so let us trade the list in Rom 1:29-31 for the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That is what is available when we choose to acknowledge and follow God.

But it isn't easy. A life verse that found me at a time when I had given up and chosen to focus anywhere but on Him is Hebrews 12:11. It encouraged me, as I hope it will you: "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

So let us be disciplined to acknowledge Him. Schedule time with Scripture and stick to it! Instead of thinking about praying, turn your thoughts into talks with the Lord. Get involved with the body, and take a chance at authenticity among others chasing after Christ. Be inconvenienced for the gospel, and let the Holy Spirit move you. Sacrifice your wants for others, and meet the needs of those around you. Tired already? Seek encouragement from your community, and don't forget that God will be your rock if you let Him. 

 

 

 

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Bio | Jeremy Garrett

Howdy! Jeremy here. I'm honored to "spend" some time with you on The Journey through Romans.

Over three years ago, I had sworn off being an active member in God's body until one of His faithful invited me to Watermark, where God began to break down the barriers I'd worked so hard to build. He's been ever gracious to give me opportunities to serve on The Believe Team and as a table leader in Equipped Disciple. 

I hope this devotional serves you, dear readers. May it bless you and lead you to worship today, tomorrow, and onward. 

 

Discussion Questions

1. After reading this passage, what do you think was Paul's motivation? 

2. Did this passage challenge you? If yes, how?

3. When was the last time you took a thought captive? What did it take for you to do so?

4. What discipline of the faith do you expect to be most beneficial for you right now? What steps would be necessary for you to achieve commitment?

5. How has Scripture impacted your ability to acknowledge God, perhaps even when you least desired?

 

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