Romans   (Today's New International Version unless otherwise noted)

Romans 2

God’s Righteous Judgment

1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

My own anger boils, but I want her to get over hers.  I am a guilty judge.  I am the greatest of all fools.  I am worthless.  Now what do I do Lord?  Help.         

5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God “will give to each person according to what he has done.”a 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

Father, help me to live for Your glory.  Please, I know my tendency is to be self-serving and self-seeking.  Change me.  Make me a good servant to You and to all.  Help me seek You, and Your love, and Your strength and Your glory.  Please Lord, change my heart so my desires are Yours.    

 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.

Jesus, I know that salvation is through faith, but obviously the trouble and distress, or the peace and honor, of our lives is largely determined by our actions.  Lord, help me to bear Your fruits.  Help me to be good and do Your deeds so that I can have Your peace among the turmoil and strife that this world brings.  Guide me and change me.         

12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

You are a God who sees the heart.  You are a God who knows our true desires and motives.  Your law may appear at first glance to be full of foolish rituals and strange commands.  But that is not the true desire and motive of Your law.  Your law is simple, Love God, and love others.  Lord, I have failed Your law and I know it well.  Change me so I live by Your simple law of love and kindness.         

The Jews and the Law

17Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; 18if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”b

Jesus, are You telling me I am in danger of being a hypocrite?  I know my family is struggling to bad right now, and I think I know what everyone is doing wrong.  Perhaps I am the one doing wrong.  I probably am the biggest part of the problem.  If I am being a hypocrite in any way Lord, open my eyes and show me clearly Lord.         

ion has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have thec written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

Clearly You want truth and sincerity, not showmanship and ritual.  Love You, and love our neighbor.  Our pretence and public image and church membership, none of it matters.  You see through us completely.  Father, open my heart and eyes so I see the real me.  Show me my sins, so I can change and become new again.  I am losing strength Father, help me.   

28A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.

Father, help me to not live for the worthless praise of my family and friends.  Help me only to live for what You think and love.  Help me to HATE the praise of man, for it is the trap of the devil.  I'm losing my family Father because I have been a terrible father myself, yet I see no way to change the situation.         

a 6 Psalm 62:12; Prov. 24:12
b 24 Isaiah 52:5; Ezek. 36:22
c 27 Or who, by means of a