Romans 3:1-8 The Message (MSG)
During our recent vacation, we rented an RV. On the day we were to receive the RV, it became abundantly clear the company had said one thing days before and was actually practicing something quite different that day. In other words, we were lied to on multiple occasions by multiple people. The world lives this way. Here’s an example of a common worldly mindset: tell people what they want to hear even if you have to lie to convince them and if you get caught flip the conversation to make them feel ignorant because unfortunately they misunderstood. I don’t care if the whole world does it, lying portrays an absolute lack of integrity—it is serving the father of lies!
Lying has no place in the life of God’s children. We are connected to Truth—Jesus Christ—so we become hypocrites when we mislead or lie to people about things. Will God forgive us when we lie? Of course, if we repent. But, repentance is more than saying over and over again, “God, I’m sorry.” Repentance is turning away from sin and turning toward the Truth. How strongly do you feel about living out the Truth and making it a practice in your life? Practice every day what you say you believe, so you do not violate your conscience or tarnish the reputation of the Lord.
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 sharing mercy with me and helping me share mercy with others. Keep me focused on the Truth; keep my lips from speaking anything false. I want to represent you the way you really are Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.