Saturday, January 19, 2008

things are not always as they seem

As I sit in the kitchen gazing out the window, the sun is shining and the snow is glistening. There are shadows cast over the snow from the trees and it appears to be a beautiful day.

It's not. It happens to be -4 degrees. But, the weatherman is quick to point out that it feels like -22 with the slight wind blowing. Things are not always as they seem.

Even though we just got back last night, my sister in law and her daughter came over to visit. It ended up that the 8 year old girls wanted a sleepover, and since we had no plans today, we obliged. They are both running around here this morning with super curly hair. One is natural curls, the other is from the curlers we put in last night. But, really, the curler curls look very natural. I know they aren't. Things are not always as they seem.

I did some of my Romans Bible Study last night on the way home in the car. In three weeks time, I have been unable to peel myself away from Romans chapter 1 and 2. I have notes all over my book from things I have written on the side. This passage of scripture deals with God's wrath against man. I have seen that Paul is talking here not necessarily always only (can you use those words together?) talking about what men "DO". But, it is that man has made (and when I say man, I mean mankind) a prior decision to live for his/herself. Paul describes the antithesis between what people know and what they do. God's wrath is for those who deliberately supress the truth of God for the sake of evil.

One of the questions the author poses to the reader in this study is "How do these passages from both Old and New Testamens answer the popular, modern-day belief that 'human beings are basically good'"?

My answer can't be summed up in the few four lines they give us to write the answer to. Romans reminds us that we are all sinners... unworthy to be in the presence of a holy righteous God. If we think we are "good" or if we think we are "worthy", and if we think others are not because of what we see.... we set ourselves up as judge over our own hearts and others. This in itself is sin, and it negates our own thoughts and brings us back to the basic fact that we are all sinners. Romans is quick to remind us that Jesus will judge. Not us.

So, as I conclude this section of the study, I am struck once again by who I think I am... and who I really am. I see myself in these passages. I go along life thinking I'm doing okay, I'm doing actually... hey, I'm learning, I'm doing great! When, bam, I'm hit with the reality that I too have chosen in so many areas of life to SEE God's righteousness and His goodness... and temporarily set it aside so that I can partake in evil. I am hit head on with the stark difference between His position as righteous and holy as compared to my sinful nature. It seems absurd that we would do that. Know the goodness of God, and consiously choose otherwise. You would think that if we KNOW the goodness of God, we would always CHOOSE the goodness of God. But, then again, things are not always as they seem.

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'the righteous will live by faith'". - Romans 1:16-17


His Girl said...

really fantastic post. chewing on this today. Totally goes with that famous statement by Paul in Romans 7 (the whole chapter, really)

His Girl said...

hahaha! i didn't mean the first 6 verses... that's on remarriage! hahahaha!

Heth said...

Good stuff T. You are on a blogging ROLL! Is this a record for most consecutive daily posts or WHAT?!

Ann said...

the biggest tongue-twister in the Bible...why do I do what I don't want to do and don't do what I want to do to do the don't do theGAHHHHHHH!!!!

Even though I don't have it memorized, I think about that passage all the time. Especially when I mess up with my kids, if I lose my temper or don't handle a situation well with them. Why does it seem that I realize I'm doing it all wrong when it's too late? It sounds like even Paul struggled with this, so I try not to beat myself up over it but try to do the things I want to do but don't do the things that I do want to does that go again? :)