There is no difference for we are all sinners!

September 28, 2020


Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

Most, if not all who read this can quote this passage, and rightly so. It is a foundational passage that clearly states that everyone needs a savior. It stands on its own with this meaning clearly conveyed and understood, but, have you ever looked at the complete sentence that this passage is taken from?

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
(Romans 3:22b-24 (NIV))

Does the complete sentence add anything to or detract anything from your understanding of this passage? In all honesty, it still means that we are all sinners in need of a savior, but it goes much deeper in explaining this need and how to overcome this need. When this was written, Gentiles were looked down upon by many Jewish people. They were looked upon as unclean. If you remember the amount of criticism that Paul received simply because he ate with Gentiles, then you will understand the time period. When this sentence starts by saying that there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, it literally broke the traditional way of thinking. It clearly states that the Jew is not better than the Gentile and the Gentile is not better than the Jew. Both are sinners in need of a Savior and that salvation and grace can only be found through Jesus.

This was a radical concept when this was written!

Have we taken this radical idea and whitewashed it? Have we, as the Body of Christ, as Gentiles, forgotten that we were looked down upon as unworthy to receive grace and salvation by the very people that God’s gift of grace and salvation was promised through? Have we become arrogant in our salvation while looking at others as unworthy? Perhaps we need to not just quote the excerpt, but the whole sentence. Perhaps we need to focus on the whole truth and not just what we today call sound bites.

There is no difference for we are all sinners!

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you accept Godly correction?

January 29, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
(Proverbs 9:8 (NIV))

It is not human nature to accept criticism. A foolish person follows his or her own desires and “wisdom.” Somebody who is doing their own will does not want to be told that they are wrong and need to change. However, a wise person realizes that they do not know everything and they need to submit their will to God. When someone submits their will and accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they will grow in the things that are of God. They will desire to do all things that are Godly, and will accept Godly criticism with the knowledge that it will help them to grow closer to God.

Let’s stop and think about whose universe we live in and whose we are. If we refuse to listen to God, and follow our own sinful desires, where would we end up? Godly correction is essential in our lives if we wish to stay focused on what God is calling us to.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Some people will always hate what you do!

November 10, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

“To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
” `We played the flute for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, `He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”
(Matthew 11:16-19 (NIV))

Do you understand what we are being told in this passage?

I had to read it many times before I truly grasped what Jesus was saying.

Jesus gave examples of things that we all have experienced. Happy music. Sad music. Fasting. Eating and drinking. All of these are appropriate responses at some point in your life. These responses are not what Jesus was pointing out and criticizing.

Jesus was pointing out the criticism by those who were looking on. It was the criticism of those who were observing that made Jesus mad. If you stop to think about this, you can easily compare the Body of Christ to those who did not react as they were expected to. Sadly, nonbelievers will look at members of the Body of Christ and always find fault in what they do. It is the responses of those who do not believe that saddens Jesus.

Have you ever met someone who always criticized your faith no matter how you responded?

There is no pleasing these type of people. There is no way to make them see the truth. They will condemn and criticize simply because they find fault with anyone believing that God exists and that Jesus is His only begotten Son. These people are blinded to what is right in front of them. These are the type of people who would find fault with your response when you say that the sky is blue. They will hate you simply because you love Jesus!

I know that Jesus was referring to the generation that He saw when He walked the earth. I am a strong believer that God’s Word also has long term references. Consider this generation. Do we see the attacks? Do we feel the hatred simply because we profess a faith that Jesus is the Lord of lords and the King of kings?

When Jesus looks at you, does He see a member of the Body of Christ, or does He see a member of the wicked generation?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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