We learned yesterday that Jesus came for us. No matter how sick or sinful we are, Jesus wants us at His table.
However, Jesus inviting us to His table doesn’t mean He tolerates all that we choose to do. He came for us, all of us, but He does not turn a blind eye to sin.
In our tolerance-driven society, yesterday's devotional is something we can all feel comfortable with believing. The idea of Jesus sitting at the table with all kinds of people is the picture of how the church, the body of Christ, should look. Today’s devotional isn’t quite so warm and fuzzy, but don’t let that scare you away. Stick with this, push through it, ask questions, and let God’s Word speak to you.
Read Romans 1:18-25 and note what God’s thoughts are about the sinners who gather around His table.
It’s hard to see this side of God; we don’t want to deal with the fact that God has wrath. One of the number one questions I get about God, and often ask myself about Him, is: If God is loving then why X? How could a loving God allow X to happen? The truth is, I don’t know. I’m not sure we will ever know all the answers to all the questions, or if we’d even understand the answers if we were given them. Just as a child can’t fathom the ways and reasoning of his parents, so we, too, will struggle in our finite, human minds to understand the ways of the infinite, sovereign God.
Still the question remains: how can a loving God want sinners at His table but also have wrath against them as stated in Romans 1? It’s helpful to remember that God’s wrath against sin has a good purpose. He hates sin because it “suppresses the truth.” God wants us to live in the truth, but sin suppresses it, and God hates anything that would suppress our love for Him. God wants us to see Him clearly, so His wrath is against the very thing that blinds us.
God says He has made Himself plain and clear for everyone, no matter where you live, to see His invisible nature. He goes as far to say that we are without excuse. When we look around at the beauty and design in the world, we should be able to tell that there’s a God, but again, sin blinds us from that.
What we learn here is that in verse 21 our “thinking became futile” and our “foolish hearts were darkened.” Then it goes on to say that “Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” Don’t you see this happening in our culture? We are all about self-help and self-awareness, wanting to be wise. We think we can see, but we can’t. We think our wisdom, our way of looking at things, isn’t so sinful.
Re-read Romans 1:25.
Can you think of any lie you’ve traded for truth? Maybe something you desperately want to be true, but it’s not? Pause on that thought for a moment and ask the Creator if there are any truths you are trading for lies.
Today might have felt heavy, but I’m not sorry for that. The truth is that following Jesus isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. It doesn’t always feel like “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). But the story doesn’t end here. Jesus does invite us all to the table, and He isn’t afraid to say the hard or truthful things.
But He does so much more than that too—keep reading to find out the whole gospel story this Easter! There is good news coming in the next devotionals.