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Romans 1:18-32

Eyes speak so easily, Lord.  Let the eyes You’ve created for me master the words, “Jesus loves you.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Father, no clearer picture of this world today could be described as that which You had Paul pen long ago about his times.  Here, in the way Eugene Peterson paraphrases it in The Message, some stark realities are driven home:

“What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat Him like God, refusing to worship Him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives.  They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life.  They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in His hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

“So God said, in effect, ‘If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.’  It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out.  And all this because they traded the true God for a false god, and worshipped the god they made instead of the God who made them…

“Worse  followed.  Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either–women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men.  Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men–all lust, no love.  And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it–emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

“Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose.  And then all hell broke loose … they made life hell on earth … They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives.  They ditch their parents when they get in the way.  Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded.  And it’s not as if they don’t know better.  They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face.  And they don’t care–worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!”

Father, we are a land of sinners and I am one of them.  Hear my cry as I seek Your face.  Forgive my sin.  Heal any wicked way in me.  Bring Your holiness to my heart and mind.  Keep me faithful in obeying You.

Draw the hearts of Your people in this nation to their knees in humble recognition of Your sovereignty.  Call each one to pray, to seek Your face, to turn from any wicked way.  And Lord, You’ve promised that then, You will hear and forgive and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Make me just like Jesus, so that the world can see an example of Your love for it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

{This devo-prayer was originally written on the morning of 4/27/99.  That evening, as I typed it into an email to send to the recipients then, on the TV was a prerecorded showing of the memorial service for the students at Columbine H. S., Littleton, CO. Al Gore was quoting scripture.  Amy Grant sang “Somewhere Down the Road.”  Franklin Graham unfolded God’s plan of salvation.  The governor led a prayer for each victim by name and Michael W. Smith closed with “Friends Are Friends Forever.”  On my mind that evening, were the events that had happened where I was living at the time: at the local high school bombs were carried to school and shown off, teens arrested, knife fights, one teen beating another.  For following day, several parents were not sending their teens to school due to death threats from a particular group of students.

Then or now, is it any wonder that the timing of these things of the past, the recent events in the nation, and the place in His Word that we’re reading and praying through today coincide?  Not at all…may the words of today’s devo-prayer bring God the glory, however far it reaches…}

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