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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”—Romans 2:8 (ESV)
Often when we read the Scriptures, we seek words of affirmation, encouragement, and direction for our lives. In the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Romans, he writes some words of encouragement for the believer, but he also gives a sobering reminder of the world we live in.
In Romans Chapter 1, he states plainly there are people who know the truth of the gospel but choose to not only reject it and live disobediently, but also encourage others to do the same (Romans 1:32). Perhaps a few headlines from recent news articles pop into your mind when you read that. In today’s verse, Paul tells us that these people will ultimately stand before God on the day of judgment and receive exactly what they wanted: separation from God.
Most Christians are aware of the reality of a day of judgment—heaven or hell, joy or wrath—and I hope that those who read this have a relationship with God through Jesus and have confidence in their eternity. So, what can we take from today’s verse to apply to our lives?
We learn that a life of obedience to God—a life that is truly surrendered—is a life that is not self-focused. It is a life solely focused on the grace of God and His plan for the world. Today’s verse reminds us of the importance of self-examination and self-reflection.
It is easy to get distracted with the busyness of life, lose sight of what God has done for us, and forget what He wants to do through us. Work, kids, grocery lists, bills, TV, Instagram, Facebook . . . with so much going on it is easy to primarily concentrate on what is best for me, myself, and I.
Often, we don’t leave time or mental space for anyone or anything else. But Romans 2:8 prompts us to ponder how much of our lives is spent on self vs. on what God wants to do through us to impact the world. Are we leaving space in our lives so God can use us? A life spent on one’s self only leads to destruction, but a life spent in surrender to Jesus is one that will last into eternity.
DIG: Use this verse to do a quick self-examination. If you were to make a list of everything you do in a week, how much of it would be spent on yourself? How much would be spent on what you know God has called you to do?
DISCOVER: Are there some things in your week that you need to eliminate or minimize to make space for God or others?
DISPLAY: Is there someone in your life that you know is headed for “wrath and fury”? Take a moment to pray for them and pray that God gives you an opportunity to point them closer to Jesus.