as the line above mentions, i heard one of the best sermons i've heard in a while tonight.
the more i'm stretched in my faith and understanding about the amazing power of God, i slowly gain a deeper appreciation for the book of Romans.
granted, the first like 3 chapters are hard to swallow and it's hard to make it through, Romans is filled with true, to-the-core Gospel. Paul does an amazing job at pointing that out.
Jack Hoey spoke tonight at theWell and focused in on Romans 1:18-20 (yeah, we've been going at this Romans series for a month now. we're still in Chapter 1. Rock. On! :P)
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
we all hear the struggle of non-Christians and, perhaps, even struggle ourselves with the "hard questions" of "How can God be a god of wrath?" and "Isn't God love?" and "What about the people who have never heard?"
whenever the podcast is posted on theWell's site, you should definitely check it out!
basically, in a nutshell, we must accept God's wrath as a good thing. without His wrath, we cannot see His justice. and without His justice, we cannot see His love.
we must also remember that His wrath is not the same as our wrath. when we become "wrathful", we tend to make it personal. we want justice against someone for their wrongdoing.
God's wrath isn't personal.
He hates sin.
but Jesus removes that wrath from those of us who accept His grace, repent of our sin, and believe in Him.
i love the song "Beautiful the Blood" by Fee.
it's a graphic picture to think about, but the truth is, the Cross demonstrates God's true love for us!
Romans 5:8 says this:
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
while we were still sinners!!
there is nothing we can do to be "good".
there is nothing we can do to deserve this kind of love.
but Christ loves us so much that He bore the wrath of God on the cross for us.
...and that is beautiful.
and as a believer, I hope that I am able to share this beautiful story of redemption and the Gospel with those who don't know. who haven't heard.
i am often reminded (and i refer to it frequently in posts and conversation) of the book Radical because it absolutely changed my life.
it's probably one of my favorite books ever because David Platt drills down into the heart of the Gospel and the reason we should be sharing our faiths in radical ways rather than accepting the "American dream gospel" that we often strive for.
i'm planning on going to Washington state with a team from my home church in October.
i'm excited to see how God will use me on that trip!
so prayers are definitely needed and appreciated now, not only for God's work to be done, but for the funds to be raised for me to do God's work there ;)