Thursday, October 4
GOD’S RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT
Therefore, every one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things.
2 We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth. 3 Do you really think — anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same — that you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you despise the riches of his kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 Because of your hardened and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. 6 He will repay each one according to his works: 7 eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but wrath and anger to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth while obeying unrighteousness. 9 There will be affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no favoritism with God.
12 All who sin without the law will also perish without the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified. 14 So, when Gentiles, who do not by nature have the law, do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts either accuse or even excuse them 16 on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.
An important thing to understand from these scriptures is that not one of us is in a position to judge another. The kind of person who does this is like the Pharisee that Jesus describes in Luke chapter 18.
“The Pharisee was standing and praying like this about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like other people — greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.”
The Pharisee was focused on his accomplishments, earning his righteousness with good behavior, and comparing himself to others.
Another thing to recognize is that God’s wrath is real and the only way to avoid suffering the consequences of our sin is to repent. This is good news. This means that it isn’t up to our accomplishments or good behavior, but is instead up to our surrender. The only thing that can save us from the wrath of God is repentance and turning to
Christ. The bad news is that God must punish sin. Distress and affliction is what we all deserve. Then Jesus enters the pictures and takes that punishment upon himself. The bad news is really bad, but that makes the good news even more exciting.
Do you often believe that God changes his mind about how he feels about you based on your behavior? Maybe today you need to repent of self-righteousness and stop striving to earn your salvation. Or maybe today you need to repent of the sin you continue to chase. Either way the response is the same, praise and thank God that He has taken the punishment for your sin upon himself. No more affliction, no more distress! Live in the joy that the bad news is no longer news, but is history.
Father open my eyes to see that I am not above or better than anyone else around me. Help me understand that I need just as much grace and forgiveness as those who I see as worse than me. Help me repent and continue to turn from sin. Help me rejoice in your gospel.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.