Daily Reading: 9-15-16
Romans 3:1-8 The Message (MSG)
Do you ever find yourself letting things get “under your skin?” Well, Scripture teaches for our faith to be powerful it must get under our skin. Otherwise, it is only hypocrisy and religious talk; we can easily become smug and self-satisfied. God’s teachings are to be believed and practiced in the deep places of the heart; nothing superficial will sustain our faith.
The Apostle Paul was teaching the Romans about the need for trusting God and practicing His Word. The work of Grace is to deliver us from evil and straighten us out. Then we reveal the truth that God’s Word has gotten under our skin.
1-2 So what difference does it make who’s a Jew and who isn’t, who has been trained in God’s ways and who hasn’t? As it turns out, it makes a lot of difference-but not the difference so many have assumed.
2-6 First, there’s the matter of being put in charge of writing down and caring for God’s revelation, these Holy Scriptures. So, what if, in the course of doing that, some of those Jews abandoned their post? God didn’t abandon them. Do you think their faithlessness cancels out his faithfulness? Not on your life! Depend on it: God keeps his word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. Scripture says the same:
Your words stand fast and true;
Rejection doesn’t faze you.
But if our wrongdoing only underlines and confirms God’s rightdoing, shouldn’t we be commended for helping out? Since our bad words don’t even make a dent in his good words, isn’t it wrong of God to back us to the wall and hold us to our word? These questions come up. The answer to such questions is no, a most emphatic No! How else would things ever get straightened out if God didn’t do the straightening?
7-8 It’s simply perverse to say, “If my lies serve to show off God’s truth all the more gloriously, why blame me? I’m doing God a favor.” Some people are actually trying to put such words in our mouths, claiming that we go around saying, “The more evil we do, the more good God does, so let’s just do it!” That’s pure slander, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for loving me enough to straighten me out. Please continue to work in my heart as I lean on your Word. Let’s authentic faith get under my skin. In Jesus’ name. Amen.