Doing the Word
Lord Jesus, I bow in worship before You today just as the Magi did so very long ago.
Read Romans 2:17-29
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Righteous are You, O Lord, and Your laws are right. The statutes You have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy” (Psa. 119:137,138). God’s ways are well worth following.
Paul is speaking specifically to Jews here. He is clearly anxious to break down any sense of superiority they might have because the Law was given to them and not to the Gentiles. He also wants to challenge any hypocrisy that might go along with teaching or preaching to others (17-24). The Jewish leaders are to sit under the same requirements themselves. If they break the Law which they are holding in front of others, they cannot be regarded as authentically Jewish (25). By contrast, those who keep the Law, even though they are Gentiles, can more justifiably be regarded as faithful Jews (26,27).
It is not, of course, only Jewish believers who need to take note of this. So much of the witness of the church has failed because we have not practiced what we preach. We have preached against materialism, yet it has crept into the way we use money or assign value. We have preached about fellowship, yet we allow gossip and backbiting to spoil our relationships. We have preached about reconciliation, yet we fail to admit when we are at fault and ask forgiveness. If we take Paul seriously here, our churches will become magnets drawing people everywhere into new life and hope in Christ.
Paul’s key point is that true faith and obedience to God is a matter of the heart. Who we are in the privacy of our own lives is determined by what we believe in the core of our being. That is where we form our values and make our decisions. If in our heart we do not put our trust in Christ, or seek the power of the Holy Spirit, our faith will remain uncertain and our commitment unsure. May God grant us grace today to rededicate our hearts to him.
Are there areas of your life that are hypocritical or insincere? Prayerfully examine yourself, confess, if necessary, and make corrections.
Lord, reveal anything in my heart that is not open to You, and help my life reflect Your love.
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