Thank you so much for the awesome renewal of hope and joy!! Haha, even though we are still facing homelessness and losing basically everything we have now, you have so mercifully replaced it already with a vision of how things MIGHT go, how we MIGHT be more FREE than we could ever imagine, exploring your creation and learning so very much about ourselves and other people and animals and plants and life in general. I’m excited again, Lord, and I thank you so much for that! Lord, I lay myself at your feet, trusting you, knowing full well that the road ahead is lined with danger and all sorts of discomforts. Yet I’ve watched how you deal with me, leading me from hope to hope, adapting my heart to accept one thing, then another, then another, graciously and tenderly preparing me for things to come so that by the time something truly difficult arrives, I am already ready, already prepared by your tender husbandry. I trust that you will continue to do that, and that you will continue to lead us in your way and your will for us. Amen.
Romans 1:16-32 ISV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for the salvation of everyone who believes, of the Jew first and of the Greek as well.
For in the gospel God’s righteousness is being revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The righteous will live by faith.”
For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God himself has made it plain to them.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him. Instead, their thoughts turned to worthless things, and their senseless hearts were darkened.
Though claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images that looked like mortal human beings, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.
For this reason, God delivered them to sexual impurity as they followed the lusts of their hearts and dishonored their bodies with one another.
They exchanged God’s truth for a lie and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason, God delivered them to degrading passions as their females exchanged their natural sexual function for one that is unnatural.
In the same way, their males also abandoned their natural sexual function toward females and burned with lust toward one another. Males committed indecent acts with males, and received within themselves the appropriate penalty for their perversion.
Furthermore, because they did not think it worthwhile to keep knowing God fully, God delivered them to degraded minds to perform acts that should not be done.
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, quarreling, deceit, and viciousness. They are gossips,
slanderers, God-haters, haughty, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to their parents,
foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless.
Although they know God’s just requirement—that those who practice such things deserve to die—they not only do these things but even applaud others who practice them.
Lord, although I myself have absolutely NO desire to see anyone punished, no matter what they have done, I do know that you are righteous and have every right to punish the wicked in whatever manner you see fit, in whatever timeframe you desire. I thank you sincerely for convicting me of wicked thoughts, manners of speech, and behaviors that do not please you. I invite you to continue to point out to me all the ways that I am wicked or in any way displeasing to you. When I step off your path, I trust you to warn me. When I rebel against your will, I invite you to strike me, get my attention — or give me time to realize what I have done, how you are not right there with me. Father, you know my heart. My most earnest desire is to be found faithful to you. And second of course is for those I love to be FREE and to know you personally, and to be known of you. Those simple yet profound things are ENOUGH reward for me. I do not desire to see anyone punished and I do not wish for any other rewards than those. I thank you for YOUR faithfulness, and I thank you again for the seeds of HOPE planted in me this week. I love you, my Shepherd. Lead on! 😀