Romans 2

Have you searched your heart today?

 

Romans 2:1-4 – It’s easy to look at others and see their faults, but it’s another thing to look in the mirror and examine ourselves. A judgmental attitude can creep into the everyday Christian’s heart almost unawares. Just start looking at the mistakes and flaws of others and dwell on them. Before you know it, you will be dealing with a judgmental attitude followed by pride. When we are quick to see the flaws in others, and less willing to examine ourselves, spiritual pride sets in. Some people call it the “holier-than-thou” attitude. Somehow, we see ourselves as better than the other person and judge them according to our own thoughts. This is a big DANGER ZONE! Why? Because we’re not the JUDGE. God is! Can you imagine, being in a court room, and someone else, besides the judge, trying to take matters into their own hands and pass sentenced. They would probably end up behind bars! Yet, how often do we do the very same thing. Yikes! The thing is, we ourselves are on trial as well! And God will judge us with the same measure we judge others! So the next time you have a judgmental thought towards someone, take time to examine yourself, and remember all the times God has been patient with you!

Romans 2:11 – Going along with the previous verse, God does not show favoritism. He is a fair judge. But this scripture also got me thinking on a different aspect! If God is no respecter of persons when it comes to judging, then He is no respecter of persons in anything else! There are people in my life whose ministries I admire greatly and I always things to myself, “ Wow, they really have God’s favor! They have something special going on!” And then sadly, sometimes I think,” That could never be me!”. But after reading this scripture I was reminded that God doesn’t have favorites! This concept is so hard to understand sometimes because as humans we do! We have our favorite color, our favorite foods, and yes, even our favorite people! But God doesn’t operate like we do! He said, “Whosoever will…”. That means that if I am willing to let God take me to the level that I see others at or to a level I desire to go, then He will! Isn’t that awesome! This is one scripture you should definitely keep in your arsenal! And when the devil come at you with those lies of  “ you can’t” and “ that could never be”, give it right back! Really, the only thing that will keep us from moving forward in God and going to a deeper level in Him is ourselves. God doesn’t have favorites, He just uses those who want to be used. Often our own reluctance is what hinders our success. It’s like school! If you take a test, your grade is dependent on what you put into it. If you study and know your stuff, you get a better grade, if not, you don’t. But, an “A”  is available to anyone in the class. The same with God. His favor is available for everyone, we just have to be willing to put forth the effort!

Romans 2:13 – I like how the NLT puts it, “For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.” This is another verse talking about action. We must be doers of the Word and not hearers only!

Romans 2:16 – So what’s in your secret life! What does the “real” you look like? It’s crazy to think about people having secret lives, secret identities, but many Christians do! We all have been guilty of it at one point or another; hiding something in our heart, or mind, or doing something that’s not so “holy” when others aren’t around. The funny thing is when we think no one is watching, God has a front row seat and sees all! This is really something to ponder. You always hear people say, “Would you do that if Jesus were in the room?”. And everyone responds, “No way! Of course not!” Yet, while we are “secretly” sinning, He is right there! It’s actually no secret at all! This really makes me want to search my heart and make sure nothing is hiding out in there! And if I were doing something I knew wasn’t right “behind closed doors”, this would definitely make me think twice! Why? Because one day I’ll have to stand before God, and answer for all of it. Why is that such a big deal? Well, why don’t people fess up for something they did wrong even when they were caught red-handed? Many reasons: pride, embarrassment, etc. If we have a hard time confessing to a human judge, we will definitely have a harder time confessing to our Heavenly Judge! You see, you don’t want to wait to say sorry for something you did wrong until you are in the courtroom of Heaven! By then it’s too late! You want to be quick to seek forgiveness and even if it’s hard, fess up! God is just as quick to forgive!  Remember, true character is really defined by what you do when nobody is watching! And if you make a mistake, repent, turn away from the thing you did wrong, and keep moving forward in Him! (It’s amazing what goes through my mind from one scripture 😉 )

Romans 2: 21-24 – These few scriptures are all about practicing what we preach. The NLT says, “No wonder the Scriptures say, ‘The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you’.” These people were not practicing what they preached and as a result hurt their witness and put God in a bad light! Not something I would want to do or something I would want to experience the repercussions of. As Christians, we have to protect our witness and more importantly be a true reflection of Christ to others! A few days ago, I had a classmate tell me a story about her neighbor. She said that she was a “Christian” and always blared her Christian radio and T.V. but that she was, in her words, “ a hypocrite” because she was always cussing, yelling, and screaming. This made my classmate very upset. You see, people are looking for a genuine Christian, but more and more, they are disappointed at what they find. Why is it so important? Because a genuine Christian leads to a genuine Christ! I was very happy that I’ve maintained my witness with her and pray that she consistently sees Christ through me! Her soul is on the line, and it’s not something I’m willing to risk!

Romans 2:29 – The last part of this verse really stuck out to me. The New Living Translation says, “And a person with a changed heart seeks praise[d] from God, not from people.”  If we are truly allowing ourselves to be transformed by God’s Spirit, we will be most concerned about pleasing Him, not others. This is especially hard for me, because I am a people-pleaser. I want to make everyone happy and hate the idea of someone not liking me. Yet, I’ve come to see that this can really hinder you. When you are always so concerned about what people think, it can cripple you from doing what God wants you to do. Sometimes God asks us to do things that aren’t popular, outside the box, or our comfort zone, and if we are more concerned with what others think, we won’t do them. Another aspect of this is doing things for the praise and affirmation of others. We want others to approve what we do and approve us. So again all we do is based on others and the response we get from them instead of God! If we change our focus to be merely on God, I believe we would see amazing things unfold in our lives! Doing things only to please God and get praise from Him alone! This is my objective! Lord help me get there!

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