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.
It is interesting that thankfulness is an important part of out spiritual lives. When we are not Romans 1 says a bad thing happens.
Our thinking becomes futile. This means powerless, pointless, worthless.
Futile thinking is being focused on false things not the things that true.
Futile thinking keeps us giving credit to the enemy of our souls.
Futile thinking focuses on what is not right rather than having a thankful heart for what is right.
Consequently, our hearts become foolish and become darkened.
The end result is that God Gives us over to the lusts of their hearts to impurity (1:24), to degrading passions (1:26), a depraved mind (1:28).
Thankfulness is a good thing!
I know I am boring. People tell me all of the time. Not with their words of course, but with their body language. The worst part is that they do not try to hide it. We may be walking together, or standing in a group and the bored person is looking around for something or someone better to occupy their time. I feel that I am standing alone, a fixture, taking up space. Wondering if I were to try a conversation, would it fall cold and dead on the floor? If I were to suddenly disappear, would they notice? But, I am sure they would notice because my presence is a fall back for them. If they needed to say something, I would be listening. They would not want to be standing alone. That would be weird.
It happens every day. They are looking for a better thing on their cell phone. When my presence is less important than chasing dots on the screen or seeing another cute doggie picture, I understand my place in the attention hierarchy.
Romans 8:38-39; “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Colossians 3:12-13 describe some of the Christian attributes including, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing and forgiving each other in love.
What a wonderful life Christians have, knowing and living in God’s perfect, unobstructed compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing and forgiving each other! Since nothing can separate us from these things, Christians should be the happiest, most joyous people in the world. Why aren’t they?
It is because we as Christians do not focus on God, but on our circumstances. We choose to react to how others treat us rather than God’s blessings for us. Why would we focus on the broken people that surround us instead of the perfect love and peace that comes from above? No good reason. When we focus on people and their brokenness, we perpetuate that brokenness through our negative reaction to them.
Today let us focus on the blessings God has promised, not the world’s miserable distractions!
Romans 8:29 states that God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. God has a lofty goal for us. Do we walk like, talk like, act like Jesus? It would be glorious to walk in that power of God. We need to be conformed to that image.
How is clay formed into an image? The clay has to be pressed into all the of the details of the mold. If the clay is stiff, there is a lot more work to get the clay to form into the pattern. If the clay is soft, the process is much easier.
The question for us is, how stiff are we? It seems to me, the more stiff we are, the harder the Master has to push on us to get us to conform to the image of Jesus. We need to be workable in the Kingdom. The harder we are to be shaped, the more painful the shaping.
So, whenever we are being pushed, we need to allow ourselves to be sensitive to the Spirit’s nudging. Unfortunately, sensitivity is not easy to come by. We can be self-willed, and stubborn, demanding our rights.
I do not like the pain in the pushing. Today I commit to being soft in the Master’s hand!
Who do you know that is a great person? We can name people in the past like Abraham Lincoln, the Apostle Paul, Sir Isaac Newton. Who do we know personally to be a great person? I have a pastor friend that I consider a great person. I admire this man and his wife greatly. Their kindness, sensitivity, spiritual insight, zeal, are all inspirational to me. I want to be like them. I think about my decisions in light of what they may think or say. Almost daily great people like them steer my life.
What does this do to me? It makes me better. Knowing these kinds of people motivate me work harder, pray more, and follow my Savior more closely. They have an amazing amount of influence on my life. I can’t tell them the depth of my admiration. But they seem to know.
My final question is, How can we be great people? Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”