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In Psa. 14:1, David said, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" Obviously, it is a foolish thing to disbelieve in God. To adopt the philosophy that God does not exist is to ignore the plain testimony that the universe itself bears to its Maker. But David's statement probably envisions a kind of foolishness that goes beyond the bold denial of the atheist. The fool in this psalm is anyone who lives as if God does not have to be taken into account, whether he denies there is a God or he simply ignores God in the practical affairs of daily life. It is a most serious thing to live as if God were not going to require an accounting for our lives. In all that we do, we ought to glorify God and give Him thanks. We ought to gladly assume our proper relationship to the God who made us, paying true reverence to Him not only in our words but also in our deeds.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul identified the root problem from which sin grows: "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. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened" (Rom. 1:20,21). Sin comes from (a) not honoring God as God, and (b) not being thankful to Him as our Creator.
So our real problem in regard to God is not that we do not know He exists, but that we refuse to acknowledge Him as we should. Like those in ancient times who "did not see fit to acknowledge God" (Rom. 1:28), we often push out of our minds that which we know is true about God. But ignoring the truth does not make it go away. Facts are still facts, and the question of whether we are going to honor God is a question that has to be dealt with.
Let's work on the concept of "reverence" this week. God is our Maker. We owe Him honor and thankfulness for the dignity He has bestowed upon us. That honor and thankfulness are to be lived out in the practical deeds of everyday life. There is no greater foolishness than to ignore God -- and no greater wisdom than to properly worship Him. We are glorious creatures made in the very image of God. Let's not only recognize that fact but be exceedingly thankful for it.
Monday: Psalm 8:3-8
Key Idea: Our glory is in our dignity as creatures of God.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the thing that the psalmist found surprising? What does it mean that God has crowned man with "glory and honor"? How should we recognize and appreciate that glory?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:5.
Tuesday: Psalm 14:1
Key Idea: It is foolish to leave God out of our reckoning.
Questions for Family Growth: Who is the "fool" in this psalm: the person who absolutely does not believe there is a God or the one who simply ignores God? What are some practical ways that we may leave God out of our thinking?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:6.
Wednesday: James 4:13-17
Key Idea: It is boastfully arrogant to leave God out of our reckoning.
Questions for Family Growth: Why is it boastful to make our plans for life without regard to God? What is the example that James gives of this kind of boastfulness? What is the proper attitude that we should have?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:7.
Thursday: Romans 14:10-12
Key Idea: On the judgment day, there will be no one who does not acknowledge God's honor.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean that "each of us will give account of himself to God"? Why will there be no atheists at the judgment? On that day, will there be any place to hide from the truth about God?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:8.
Friday: Romans 1:18-23
Key Idea: We always ought to honor God as our Creator and live thankfully.
Questions for Family Growth: What is the problem Paul discusses in v.21? As Christians, how should we "glorify" God day to day? How should we show that we are "thankful"? What does true "reverence" require of us?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:9.