A bad exchange

Date: Wednesday, January 8

ScriptureRomans 1:18-32

Verse: they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. (Romans 1:23)

Following Christmas many of us stood in lines to exchange gifts we had received – to get those gloves in a different size, that scarf in a different color, or to return that other, what-were-they-thinking gift for something completely different. The idea behind the exchange is to get equal value. We wouldn’t exchange a new car for a bicycle, nor would the dealer accept us exchanging a bicycle for a new car. Yet according to the Apostle Paul, there is one very bad exchange of which we are all guilty. 

We could choose to read today’s passage as though it is intended for someone else, but the idea of having exchanged the glory of God for something of far lesser value is something of which we have all been guilty (see vs 28-31). A quote attributed to C. S. Lewis puts it well, “Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy” (posted here). It is difficult to imagine we could do such a thing, but when we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit there are times when we have put our faith on the back burner while we went searching for something else to satisfy us. 

While Paul speaks in this passage about God giving us over to our sinfulness, we know this is not the end of the story. God is always willing to hear us when we come to him, and longing for us to make him our top priority. We need to hold onto the infinite value of the glory of God, rather than exchanging it for far lesser, momentary pleasure.

Prayer: Forgive me, O God, for the times I have sought things other than you to bring me happiness. Amen. 

Action: If you haven’t done so yet, finish your exchanges today. 

Respond: Did you have to make exchanges this year? Share a particularly good or frustrating experience. Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. 
If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.


About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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