Jon Mitchell

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Daily Devotional, March 16, 2011 The Effects read› Romans 1:18-32 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, He abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done (v.28). This was a tough week. Someone I know was accused of a crime so brutal I can’t describe it. Waves of disbelief, disgust, and sadness have swept over me. I grieve the loss of life for the victim and what he went through prior to his death. I grieve for the families involved. I grieve the potential loss of a once-promising future for my young friend. I grieve the effects of sin. In Romans 1, the apostle Paul issued a solemn warning we should all take to heart. The essence of his message? Sin leads only to more sin and ultimately to spiritual death. When people choose to reject and disobey God, even though His message has been “obvious to them” (vv.19-20), they begin a descent into darkness and confusion (v.22). Their choices and actions become foolish—worshiping their own sinful wants and desires while ignoring “the glorious, ever-living God” (vv.23,25). What happens next is scary, for God “abandons” or turns these people over to experience the bitter fruit of their wicked ways (vv.18,24). He allows them to reap “the penalty they [deserve]” as they engage in acts “that should never be done” (vv.27-28). Paul wrote down many types of sins people will commit as they sink deeper and deeper into darkness (vv.9-30). Although the list isn’t exhaustive, a few stand out: haters of God. When we turn from God, our hearts reveal our hate for Him and His truth; proud—the worship of self can lead to unimaginable consequences (see Adam and Eve); new ways of sinning— jaded in depravity, our sins become worse and worse; heartless . . . no mercy— our choices become cruel and evil. Turn from your sin today before it’s too late. If you don’t, the effects could be devastating for you . . . and others. —Tom Felten

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