This letter is written to Jews, Greeks and non-Greeks, wise and the foolish. This letter comes as a result to the wickedness and godlessness of God’s people. This Word speaks to the wrath of God. The wrath of God is when God pulls out all the stops; when God withdraws His protection and allows humankind to “have their way.” He gives them over to a reprobate, degenerate, no-good, trouble-making, evil-doing, “don’t care –about- nothing- but- themselves” mind the Scripture says. He allows humankind to set itself up to implode cave in on itself. He takes out all of the stops.
We read that the truth of God has been exchanged for a lie. Why do people believe lies and especially when they know it’s a lie? People will even live a lie permitting themselves to exist in an altered reality. The recipients of Paul’s letter have begun to worship the creature over the Creator and it is the Creator God who is the only one worthy of our worship.
This letter is written to people who know better; they know they are doing wrong, but they continue to give into their ways. They are people, who have the audacity to judge others; who dare to elevate themselves and sit as little demi-gods. (The nominees for president of the United States and their platforms) This is where we meet Paul this morning. He urges them to come to their senses by reminding them that though you judge others, God will judge everyone. Though you judge by your limited human standards, God has a standard that is based on truth, not on emotions or feelings or opinions. No one is spared under the judgement of God. It has to do with the GOODNESS OF GOD.
Breast cancer diagnosis. Why me? Common saying is “why not me?” Ran down my spiritual resume. What have I done to warrant this diagnosis? I have done good towards you , why me? He says “If not you, then who?” – IT IS NOT ONLY OKAY TO QUESTION GOD, BUT IT IS GOOD TO QUESTION GOD. When we are ready to hear from God we will see ourselves from His standpoint. It is our self-righteousness that prompt us to ask but that is okay because now you have an audience with God. Now you can hear His side of the story and get a true understanding of who you are to Him.
We have no idea how much God loves us and how many opportunities He gives us to get it right. In this place of questioning, I was allowed to see what was keeping me from having relationship with God by His standards. Remember my resume of good deeds; self-righteousness, not a righteousness of God. Unfortunately, you could not have told me that. If the question had not been asked and I had started a pity party, I would have missed this time to know God more.
This morning I sent out a text of encouraging words based on the sermon to my family and some friends. My daughter had her phone on silence but decided she would check her messages. She saw a message from me that said “Message declined to download.” She started to text me back but decided to call about it. I shared the fact that the message had come as a result of the sermon. God wanted to draw us nearer to Him but that doesn’t happen very often because we won’t check out our messages and see why they failed to download. We won’t go to God and ask what’s standing in the way of my receiving your abundance of blessing. What’s keeping me from getting a prayer through? What’s keeping me in this state of bitterness and pain toward others? We try to protect ourselves because we feel we owe that to ourselves. We want the pity party. Inside there is something that makes us think this is okay and the blessings that would have been ours this day fail to download from heaven.
When we are real with God and are willing to hear His side of the story, we become conscious of the fact that God has been waiting for this a long time. He has been giving us opportunity after opportunity to come to Him. This is His goodness. This is the good He wants us to have. His goodness is based on the fact that He is God all by Himself.
He is a just God. He will treat us fair. All humankind will get what we deserve in His court.
He is a merciful God. His mercy will protect us from getting what we do deserve.
He is a God of grace. In His infinite wisdom and love, He will give us what we don’t deserve.
What a God! As you prepare your hearts to receive communion, think on these things that He has spoken this day. God loves you in a way that no human being can love you unless they are filled with God’s spirit.