Daily Devotional Thoughts
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  This Week’s Study: Romans 2:1-6 Monday - When you judge another you condemn yourself. Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things (Romans 2:1). “Therefore” refers back to the previous verses in Romans 1 were we find a long list of sins.  In Romans 1 Paul tells us these sins are the result of not glorifying God as Creator.  Now lest we get to feeling superior or super-righteous about others’ sins Paul continues now with our text for today “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” Have you ever noticed someone who is always pointing out the faults or sins of another so often has those faults herself but doesn't notice it? “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” I am reminded of Jesus words: “Judge  not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye”  (Matthew 7:1-5). Good advice for all of us! Tuesday - Leaving judgment in God’s hands. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? (Romans 2:2-3). Sobering words.  Just knowing the difference between right and wrong doesn’t make us better than another!  When we judge someone for practising the same sinful things we do, we must not think we are immune from God’s judgment!  No, when it is all said and done we will each be judged based on the decisions we make in this life: “‘For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works’” (Matthew 16:27). I am convicted, as I prepare these devotionals, of my own propensity to judge others, to feel spiritually superior to others.  As I study God’s word and allow God’s Spirit to whisper into my mind today, I remember my sins.  I am thankful for God’s forgiveness.  I am thankful I can live a free man because Jesus took the death I deserve and gave me life in exchange.  Yet, I am convicted.  I have no business judging another, for I alike have sinned.  I choose today to leave judgment in God’s hands.  God is big enough and all-knowing.  I trust all judgment to God. Wednesday  - God’s goodness leads you to repentanc  e. Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4). Here, in the middle of some very strong verses detailing sin and judgment and hypocrisy, we find the gospel!  Don’t you know “that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?”  We can argue about the little fine points of theology and salvation all we want but the core essence of salvation is simply this: God’s goodness leads us to salvation. Sometimes we think we are searching for God, and that is not entirely wrong, we are and need to be searching for God.  In the larger picture, however, the real story is the story of God searching for us.  God drawing us to Him.  God providing forgiveness and reconciliation.  God eagerly welcoming us home! [E]ven so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:14-17). And so as you continue your journey, searching for God, surrendering to God, accepting His love, mercy, and peace, rest quietly in the assurance that He is eagerly leading you safely home.  Just allow Him to continue His work in your life.  Remember that God’s goodness, and nothing else, “leads you to repentance.”  Don’t “despise the riches of His goodness!” Thursday  - Treasuring up for your reward - Part 1. But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “WILL RENDER TO EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS” (Romans 2:5-6). Each day, each moment of each day, we make decisions which determine our future.  The great day of judgment is indeed coming and on that day our works, our deeds, will show just where our true allegiance is.  We cannot earn our way into heaven by our good works, but our works will absolutely show the destiny we have chosen. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11- 15). Solemn thoughts aren’t they!  God is warning His precious children of the great judgment day to come.  Notice how important is having our names written in the Book of Life.  “Anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”  In Revelation 21:27 we read: “But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27). So how do we get our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?  The short version:  Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life when we surrender our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?  If so, rejoice in your freedom, and live as a child of God ought!  If not, today I hold out to you the most important decision you will ever make.  Why not put your life in God’s hands just now? Friday/Weekend - Treasuring up for your reward - Part 2. But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “WILL RENDER TO EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS” (Romans 2:5-6). I’ve never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer full of the corpse’s assets have you?  I once preached a sermon about this.  The main point of my sermon was that “you can’t take it with you.” A man came up to me afterwards, he identified himself as an undertaker and said, “Oh yes you can take it with you!  You just have to know how to pack.!”  The man was correct.  You can take it with you if you send it up ahead.  Each day we are either laying up treasure in heaven or we are laying up treasure on this earth. Here are Jesus’ words on this subject: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21). Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me'  (Matthew 25:34- 40). So go ahead!  Send help those God puts in your path today!  Store you treasure up in heaven, and when that day of judgment comes, you will receive your reward! 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