Today’s Readings: Romans 2 & Proverbs 25:1-17
Although I like to watch the news to stay up to date with what’s happening not just locally but also across our nation and the world, it seems there is an ever increasing number of stories about the physical violence and hatred people display toward each other, criticism and questioning of the integrity of leadership, tragic car accidents, corruption, discrimination, poverty and injustice, …. and the list goes on.
So where are the good news stories? Why don’t I hear more about them?
Yes, they are certainly there, and every now and then a heartfelt story about humanity is shared but as the old saying goes, ‘the everyday doesn’t sell papers; they are not newsworthy.’
It’s so easy to sit in the comfort of my lounge room and pass judgement on what I hear and see; to criticise or draw conclusions about what’s fair or what’s not fair. To lament on how ‘sinful others are’ …
As we start to delve into Paul’s letter to the Romans, Paul provides a clear reminder of the fallen world we all live in and the ongoing issues that exist with the way people behave toward one another and try to justify our actions.
But unlike what I see on the TV each night or read in the paper – whether justice or injustice – or whether I try to justify or dismiss my own behaviour, the bible is very clear there is both accountability AND hope.
Paul reminds us that there will be a day of judgement of all people when ‘God will give to each person according to what he has done’ vs 6 ‘For God does not show favouritism.’ vs 11
Judgement is the same for everyone whether Jew or Gentile; whatever your national identity; whatever your ‘religious affiliation; whatever the colour of your skin … and whether you believe salvation alone is found only in Christ, the risen son of the living God or not.
‘For we will all stand before God’s judgement seat. It is written: ‘As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ Romans 14:11 (a reference back to Isaiah 45:23
So …. rather than allow the grief and heartache of what unfolds around me each day in a fallen world, my prayer is that I might remain joyful and hopeful, yes aware of my own transgressions, but at the same time, holding onto the firm truth of God’s promises.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18