Daily Reading: 6-16-16
Romans 2:17-29 New Living Translation (NLT)
Scripture teaches and history reveals that human beings can be deceived into thinking they have a special relationship with God, know His heart, and at the same time terribly misrepresent Him to the world through their actions. We need the Holy Spirit shining the light of Truth on God’s Word to know Father God’s heart; we need the Word (Jesus) and the Spirit operating in our lives in order for us to be one with His heart. God’s Word must be written on our hearts and lovingly lived out each day in the power of the Spirit for us to really represent God.
In our passage this morning, the Apostle Paul is speaking to a group of Jews in Rome who think they are in a position to judge others. Clearly, anyone can set a standard for others, judge them, only to find himself or herself violating that standard with his or her own life. It is only through the mercy and goodness of the Lord that any of us (human beings) are saved from a life of sin and death and reborn into a life of righteousness and eternal living.
Romans 2:17-29 The Jews and the Law
17 You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him. 18 You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. 19 You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. 20 You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth.
21 Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? 22 You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples 23 You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. 24 No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.”
25 The Jewish ceremony of circumcision has value only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile. 26 And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people? 27 In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it.
28 For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. 29 No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.
Prayer: Father, I understand if I want to accurately reflect Your heart, I must welcome and allow the work of Grace in my life. I thank You, Jesus, for saving my soul and making a way for me to enjoy fellowship with the Father. Holy Spirit, I invite You to circumcise and cut away from my life anything that is not in keeping with Your will. I desire Your affirmation over my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.