by Kathy Howard
I know more about bees than I need to. Our friend Stan, who our grandkids call “Stan the bee man,” is a veterinarian and a beekeeper. Whenever Stan harvests a new batch of honey, he brings taste samples to our small group Bible study. Stan also often shares fascinating bee facts with us. For instance, the worker bees – females that forage and gather pollen and nectar – perform an intricate series of moves called a “waggle dance” to communicate the location of a newly-found food source to other workers.
The bees’ built-in “GPS” is just one example of the order, intricacies, and beauty of creation that necessitates a powerful, intelligent Creator. Although we cannot see God, we can see concrete evidence of His existence. We smell the grass. We feel the sand between our toes and the wind on our face. We hear the relentless pounding of the surf and the sweet notes of the song bird. The evidence for God is overwhelming. Biblical scholars refer to this proof for God’s existence as “general revelation.” God wants mankind to know Him, so He has made Himself known.
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:20 ESV
And yet many in our world ignore the proof and inexcusably reject the truth that God exists. According to a 2021 study by Pew Research Center, about 9% of Americans describe themselves as atheist or agnostic. Although that number may seem small, it has more than doubled since 2010. And many more reject God by practice if not by declaration.
How does God respond to this rejection? He doesn’t force anyone to choose Him. In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote that God “gives them up” to their choices (Romans 1:24). He removes all divine restraint from their lives, allowing them to fall deeper into sin.
When we bowl with our grandkids, the younger ones use the bumpers. On the ball’s journey down the lane, it ricochets from one side to the other, but it never drops into the gutter. The rest of us bowl without the extra protection of the bumper’s restraint. Likewise, God removes the protection of His guiding influence from those who rebelliously reject Him. As a result, they end up in the spiritual gutter.
This heartbreaking passage describes mankind’s depth of depravity apart from God. The injury incurred from the first fall into sin in the Garden of Eden has festered into an oozing wound. Apart from the gospel there is no cure. Spiritual and eternal death is the sure end.
We face a life and death situation and there’s just one cure. Unrighteous humanity desperately needs God’s righteousness and God graciously provides it through Christ. When we consider the depth of our need, the sheer scope of our sin, God’s offer of salvation seems miraculously inconceivable – that our holy God sent His Son to die for the likes of us. And yet He did.
This post was adapted from Kathy’s upcoming devotional book “Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Romans.”
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Kathy Howard is a treasure hunter. She hunts for the creamiest chocolate, richest coffee, and cherished stories of faith. She also digs deep into Scripture, mining God’s eternal truths. Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education and has taught the Bible for more than 30 years in a wide variety of venues. Kathy is the author of 12 books, including “Heirloom: Living and Leaving a Legacy of Faith” and the “meaty” devotional series “Deep Rooted.” Kathy and her husband live in north Texas. They have three married children, six grandchildren, and one accidental dog. Find free discipleship resources at www.KathyHoward.org.
Have you lost the wonder of your salvation? Maybe you’ve forgotten the abundant riches of God’s grace. The Gospel isn’t just a statement of faith. It is more than hope for eternity. The Gospel of Jesus is the power of God for your life today. Recapture the awe of your life in Christ with this 40-day pilgrimage through the book of Romans. Like the rest of the Deep Rooted devotional series, the Romans volume uses the 4-R Bible study framework to help you learn how to interact with and respond to Scripture, not simply read it. These meaty, daily devotions will increase your hunger for God’s Word, encourage spiritual growth and stability, and lay the groundwork for a life-long, spiritually-healthy habit.
Join the conversation: How has God made himself known to you through his creation?