At One Community Church, we like to share words of reflection by our partners written in the form of a weekly devotional. This week’s devotional was written by Darryl Thrasher.
The Word:
“And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” Romans 1:28-32 (NASB)

The Story:
Paul tells the Roman church in the verses prior to these that he is not ashamed of the Gospel, the good news, because it is the road to salvation for everyone.  But until we come to grips with the bad news, we will not fully be unashamed of the good news.  In these verses, Paul outlines the bad news for those of us who decide to replace God in our lives.  God will allow us to have our own way of thinking.  Paul details for us the nature of the bad news.  This will be experienced by each of us as individuals first, then as families, then as communities, and then as a nation.   In my life, putting God first in my thinking is a challenge I face every moment of every day.  I am continually bombarded with input from this world that takes my focus off of God.  As I look back at those times when I denied God His place in my heart, I found myself practicing unrighteousness. Many of my scars and wounds have been self-inflicted because I chose to deny God and his sovereignty.  Unfortunately, it impacted my family, my community and ultimately my nation as well.

The Reflection:
Have we made the decision to honor the Lord first in all that do? In what areas of our lives have we lost focus on God’s will for us? What is causing us not to acknowledge the Lord first in our lives?

The Application:
As we move forward in our relationships with God, may we as individuals always keep in mind the values that result of a heart that is focused on self versus a heart that is focused on God.  Let each of us to put God first in our lives, families, our communities and our nation.  Let us surround ourselves with and follow those that share those same values.

The Prayer:
Dear God, I pray that You keep each one of us mindful of the awesome love You have for us and the tremendous sacrifice that Your son, Jesus, made for us. Please God, replace our hearts with new hearts focused on You, so that we may do Your will on earth and bring glory and honor to you. We ask that our families,  communities and  nation be restored to You.  Amen.