Be Grateful! If   it   is   true,   as   Paul   says   here,   that   the   basic   facts   about   God   are   so   “evident”   and   “clearly   seen”   in   the   world   He created,   so   that   denying   Him   is   “without   excuse,”   then   why   is   it   that   there   are   so   many   unbelieving,   but   otherwise   intelligent people, in the world? The   answer   to   this   question   may   lie   no   deeper   than   the   fact   that   the   human   mind   adjusts   to   what   it   knows.      This   is   just another way of saying that we take our world, and what it implies about God, for granted.  In essence, we become ungrateful. Suppose   that   someone   were   to   give   you   a   nice,   new   car   as   a   gift.      Would   you   remain   as   happy   and   excited   about   that   new car   a   day,   a   week,   a   month,   or   a   year   afterward   as   you   did   the   first   day   you   got   it?      How   about   after   several   years   of   ownership and   the   service   and   maintenance   bills   start   to   come   in?      Do   you   even   continue   to   feel   toward   the   giver   the   same   level   of gratitude,   love,   and   respect   as   you   did   the   day   he   gave   you   the   car?      What   if   he   later   did   what   seemed   contrary   to   the   kindness which you thought prompted him to give you that gift? This   illustrates   the   nature   of   the   human   mind:      it   eventually,   perhaps   quickly,   accommodates   itself   to   day-to-day experience;   excitement   wears   off   and   it   returns   to   a   “normal”   mood.      This   is   why   millionaires   are   not   exponentially   happier   than those   who   live   on   far   less   income.      The   same   thing   happens   in   our   concept   of   God   and   our   world   ---   after   a   while,   we   not   only take   it   for   granted,   but   when   it   does   not   always   work   as   well   as   we   would   like   it   to,   we   might   even   start   to   doubt   the   One   who created it for us. Taking   God’s   world   for   granted   sets   the   stage   for   unbelief.      Once   we   accept   the   world   as   if   it   is   nothing   to   be   excited about,   we   might   even   prefer   not   to   believe   in   God,   especially   if   we   do   not   like   the   way   He   treats   us   or   what   He   makes   us   do   or not   do.      The   step   from   ingratitude   to   unbelief   is   an   easy   one.      The   next   verse   of   Romans   chapter   one   says,   “For   even   though   they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks ….” Furthermore,   the   very   next   part   of   that   verse   says,   “…   But   they   became   futile   in   their   speculations,   and   their   foolish   heart was   darkened.”      Of   course,   once   God   becomes   negligible   and   unnecessary,   or   even   despised,   another   explanation   for   the   world must   be   sought,   and,   by   this   time,   the   mind   which   has   become   inured   to   the   evidence   of   God’s   existence   and   nature   in   it   is capable   of   finding   any   explanation,   whether   evolution   or   space   aliens,   preferable   to   God.      Nothing   is   too   foolish   when   the   facts no longer matter. Yes,   unbelief   begins   with   ingratitude.      So,   if   you   do   not   want   to   descend   into   a   futile   and   foolish   life   of   unbelief,   take   a moment to thank God for the world we live in, especially for the gift of the undeniable evidences it gives of Him.

Romans 1:18-20

(NASB)

18

For the wrath of God is revealed

from heaven against all ungodliness and 

unrighteousness of men who   suppress

the truth in unrighteousness,

19

because

that which is known about God is evident within

them; for God made it evident to them.

20

For since the

creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eter-

nal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen,

being understood through what has been made, so

that they are without excuse.

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Romans 1:18-20

(NASB)

18

For the wrath of God is revealed from

heaven against all ungodliness and      

unrighteousness of men who suppress

the truth in unrighteousness,

19

because that

which is known about God is evident within them;

for God made it evident to them.

20

For since the cre-

ation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal

power and divine nature, have been clearly seen,

being understood through what has been made,

so that they are without excuse.

 HYMN HYMN SCRIPTURE SCRIPTURE
Be Grateful! If   it   is   true,   as   Paul   says   here,   that   the   basic   facts   about   God   are   so   “evident” and   “clearly   seen”   in   the   world   He   created,   so   that   denying   Him   is   “without   excuse,”   then   why is it that there are so many unbelieving, but otherwise intelligent people, in the world? The   answer   to   this   question   may   lie   no   deeper   than   the   fact   that   the   human   mind   adjusts to   what   it   knows.      This   is   just   another   way   of   saying   that   we   take   our   world,   and   what   it   implies about God, for granted.  In essence, we become ungrateful. Suppose   that   someone   were   to   give   you   a   nice,   new   car   as   a   gift.      Would   you   remain   as happy   and   excited   about   that   new   car   a   day,   a   week,   a   month,   or   a   year   afterward   as   you   did   the first   day   you   got   it?      How   about   after   several   years   of   ownership   and   the   service   and   maintenance bills   start   to   come   in?      Do   you   even   continue   to   feel   toward   the   giver   the   same   level   of   gratitude, love,   and   respect   as   you   did   the   day   he   gave   you   the   car?      What   if   he   later   did   what   seemed contrary to the kindness which you thought prompted him to give you that gift? This    illustrates    the    nature    of    the    human    mind:        It    eventually,    perhaps    quickly, accommodates   itself   to   day-to-day   experience;   excitement   wears   off   and   it   returns   to   a   “normal” mood.      This   is   why   millionaires   are   not   exponentially   happier   than   those   who   live   on   far   less income.      The   same   thing   happens   in   our   concept   of   God   and   our   world   ---   after   a   while,   we   not only   take   it   for   granted,   but   when   it   does   not   always   work   as   well   as   we   would   like   it   to,   we   might even start to doubt the One who created it for us. Taking   God’s   world   for   granted   sets   the   stage   for   unbelief.      Once   we   accept   the   world   as   if it   is   nothing   to   be   excited   about,   we   might   even   prefer   not   to   believe   in   God,   especially   if   we   do   not like   the   way   He   treats   us   or   what   He   makes   us   do   or   not   do.      The   step   from   ingratitude   to   unbelief is   an   easy   one.      The   next   verse   of   Romans   chapter   one   says,   “For   even   though   they   knew   God,   they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks ….” Furthermore,   the   very   next   part   of   that   verse   says,   “…   But   they   became   futile   in   their speculations,   and   their   foolish   heart   was   darkened.”      Of   course,   once   God   becomes   negligible   and unnecessary,   or   even   despised,   another   explanation   for   the   world   must   be   sought,   and,   by   this   time, the   mind   which   has   become   inured   to   the   evidence   of   God’s   existence   and   nature   in   it   is   capable   of finding   any   explanation,   whether   evolution   or   space   aliens,   preferable   to   God.      Nothing   is   too foolish when the facts no longer matter. Yes,   unbelief   begins   with   ingratitude.      So,   if   you   do   not   want   to   descend   into   a   futile   and foolish   life   of   unbelief,   take   a   moment   to   thank   God   for   the   world   we   live   in,   especially   for   the gift of the undeniable evidences it gives of Him.