Ponderables

The religions that man creates are actually attempts to escape having to face the true God. We invent religion – not because we are seeking God but because we are running away from Him. — James Montgomery Boice
The Apostle Paul wrote what is perhaps the most perceptive critique of human nature ever written and it is recorded in the Letter to the Romans, chapter 1 verses 18-32:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed [q]forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 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, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 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.

Hymn Devotions Day 15 – A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

DAY 15  – A MIGHTY FORTRESS

               This song has brought comfort to me many times. Whenever I go through trials, whenever I have been faced with persecution because of my faith in Christ, I lean on God to be both my unassailable place of refuge and my defender. Whenever, like the apostle Paul, I am so hard pressed that I despair even of life, my hope rests in the never failing strength and mercy of my God.

It is so easy to look at the evil in the world and despair. Often, it seems as if goodness is failing and the darkness is winning. It is then that God’s Word provides the ultimate comfort by revealing the final result – God wins. Good triumphs. Evil is banished. Our ancient enemy is forever defeated by the might of our Savior and God.

As a mere human, I am no match for the Prince of Darkness. As a son of the Living God, a prince of the Kingdom of Light, co-heir with Jesus Christ and temple of the Holy Spirit, I have nothing to fear. My life is hidden in Christ and all I have to do is call on His name. He is my refuge and my strength, an ever present help in times of danger.

 

            Lord, help me to remember that You are my place of safety, my refuge, my fortress. Help me not to become overwhelmed at the amount of evil in the world but to overcome it by shining Your light. Let me rest in the assurance that You will return, set up Your kingdom, and banish sin and evil forever. Lord, let me also run to You and You alone for safety.

A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD – Martin Luther

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing

Our helper He amid the flood, of mortal ills prevailing

For still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe

His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate

On earth is not His equal

 

Did we in our own strength abide, our striving would be losing

Were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing

Doth ask who that may be? Christ Jesus it is He

Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same

And He must win the battle

 

And though this world with devil’s filled, should threaten to undo us

We will not fear for God hath willed, His truth to triumph through us

The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him

His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure

One little word shall fell him

 

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them abideth

The Spirit and the gifts are ours, through Him who with us sideth

Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also

The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still

His kingdom is forever