Light or darkness?

 

 The apostle Paul is bringing the hammer down on those of us  who try to live and claim the promises of God, and who take seriously the Great Commission to carry the Good News to all people.  Paul is talking to the Jews of his day, but when I read this he could have been talking directly to me.   I know what God wants.  I believe I can be a light in the darkness.   Gods word, if I stay in it, keeps me grounded in truth.   Then we get to the meat here.   “Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? 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? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it.”  BAM!!  Those of us who claim Christ as Lord and savior must always be aware in this day and age that the rest of the world watches us.  I must always be aware.  People know who we are.  If I’m claiming to have Christ in my heart, am I portraying that in how I live??  Today??  At work??  At home??  If I’m not, if I’m just living and acting as everyone around me lives and acts, then I’m not being a light in the darkness.  I’m actually just bringing more darkness.  It’s so easy to fall into Satan’s trap of trying to fit in, to be “one of the guys.”    So much easier than staying true to God and his word in the midst of a world that rejects Christ.  We must remember to always stay 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.”  Amen!!


You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him. You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness. 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. Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal? 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? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.” 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. And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people? 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. 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. 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.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭2:17-29‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/rom.2.17-29.nlt

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