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Day 9 | Wolves and serpents

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

ROMANS 1:28–32


This extract from Romans isn't talking about the flaws we continue to work on as Christians in the power of the Holy Spirit. It's a stark description of what happens when someone decides to give up all knowledge of God, allowing their minds to be shaped entirely free of his influence.

Most of us may have lived that way at one time or another, and all of us encounter people like this in our daily lives – parents at the school gate, co-workers, fellow students, neighbors, or even family members. Scratch the surface and without Jesus, under our shiny white smiles and social platitudes, there so often lies 'wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity.'

As we live alongside those who don't follow Jesus, here are two warnings and an encouragement. The encouragement is that the way to God is never barred. At Christmas, we remember Jesus was born into this world. He saves us from the worst parts of ourselves. As his disciples, we have the privilege of showing his love to those around us, and we must never give up hope that they will one day respond to him.

The first warning is that this passage could well describe any one of us, were it not for God's work in our lives: a sobering thought for this December day. The second: let's not be naïve about the danger of evil and the negative influence others can have over us if we aren't wise and wary.


Lord God, in my daily life I see the damage that's done when humans reject you. Forgive me for the ways I continue to fall short of the holiness you call me to and deliver me from the evil that flourishes around me. Please shine the light of your presence through me, help me model your character to those I'm with, and mold the places I'm in to be more like heaven.

Day 9 | Wolves and Serpents

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