The beginning of the depravity begins with a people who know God but do not honor Him as God or give thanks. These two things seem so benign when considering the sinfulness of today's society. It seems that these things should be overlooked and only major sins should be addressed. Yet, these two things led us down a road with new aberrations around every bend. How have we failed to honor God of give Him thanks?
We treated Him casually. We thought of Him as a part-time activity. We failed to be seen in His presence when we had the opportunity. We stayed away from church for no reason. We planned our soccer games and swim meets and band trips and football games around times when we should have been in church. We did not give God our best or our first.
We taught our children that God wasn't that important. We taught them that the Bible was a book that sat on a coffee table but did not exist in our hearts. We said that we believed just because we believed and had not sacrificial evidence to prove our belief. Our children watched us with our attitudes toward our neighbors and other family members. They heard us castigate the religious leaders of our churches. They thought that these leaders were hypocrites who should not be allowed into a bar much less a church. They learned to stay away from meaningless things.
We failed to thank God regularly. We did not truly thank Him for Jesus. We said the words but could not see the true benefit. We still doubted whether there was any reason to thank Him. We failed to live in the state of grace. We did not thank Him for His grace always so that we were able to look down on others. We think of ourselves as those who deserve every good thing and when any good thing is removed we blame someone. Holding onto any blame keeps us from any thankfulness.
We have been ungodly in choosing our church leaders. Pastors are chosen on their ability to woo people into the church- not on their desire to serve God fully. They seek higher and higher salaries with each new member who joins. They are hired hands rather than faithful servants who thank God for each grace which God gives them.
Therefore, God has allowed us to become futile in our speculations. We have decided what is right and wrong. We have decided that we know more than the Bible. We have decided that we can make a God into the image we seek. We have turned our hearts away from Him and foolishness has prevailed.
There is an answer, however. The future does not need to be bleak. It is not found in our politics or politicians. It is not found in a great new leader. It is not found in great minds who will reason our way through our problems.
It is found in us, the people who know God to truly honor and thank God. We need to stand up rather than put people down. We need to be found in attendance rather than absent when needed. We needed to be found sacrificing our time and resources for the One we honor. We need to live in a state of grace which gives grace to others no matter what they have done (this is not the same as overlooking their sins). We need to begin each day with the thankfulness of one who is privileged to live on God's earth with the people God has blessed us.
Have you ever thought of what God wants from us? What is it that we could give Him that He does not already have? He has all the resources of the universe. He doesn't need our money, our time or our efforts in service. He only wants one thing. With that one thing our lives are changed. With that one thing we are fulfilled. That one thing brightens our hearts. What does God want?
God wants our hearts.
Romans 1:21 (NIV)
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.