For today’s installment of “When does God give up on us?” we turn to Romans 1:28-32: 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They 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, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although 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. This DEFINITELY sounds like a group of folks that God had given up on, doesn’t it? The reality is ALL of us start out with a depraved mind. Depraved is not a word many of us want to use of ourselves, but we are born with depraved hearts and minds. That legacy comes from our original “grandparents,” Adam and Eve. Their sin, brought a legacy of sin and depravity on humanity. While Paul makes it clear that the people he’s talking about had the knowledge of God and God’s righteous decree, which in the context of his writing would mean the Jews, and in our day would mean anyone of Jewish or Christian background who has familiarity with the Bible, ALL people stand condemned before God. Thank God that He does NOT give up on us even when we start out in a depraved condition and even when many of us cling tot hat state for decades! Thank God that He sent Jesus to fulfill the commands of His righteous decree, so that He could die on the cross to pay the penalty for our depravity, and make us new! Once again we find that God’s grace surpasses our sin, and if we call up on the Lord He will delivers us from them, even though we have “given ourselves over” to them. Thank God for the amazing gift of salvation in and through Jesus!