ROMANS 10:12 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (July 11-18)
The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:
“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him” (Romans 10:12).
SERIES INTRO: In this Memory Verse for the Devotional Friday, we're continuing our series looking at the blessings of truth that man credits himself with discovering through his own reasoning in the modern age - but which actually originate from God's Word. It is a poorly illustrated point that the Holy Spirit through the Church has changed the world for the better - as Jesus said He would (John 16:7-8). All the peoples of the world have truly been blessed by the testimony and labors of the Church - it is a remarkable different place since Jesus came into the world. Why then do so many scholars and pundits try to lay only blame and bad reports at the feet of the Church, giving themselves the credit for the good that Christ has brought through His Bride? Increasingly, books, articles, and reports are painting the Church as a terrible blight on the world - a relic of ignorance, superstition, and cruelty - when the opposite is actually true.
THIS WEEK: In the western world, we have developed a mentality of impartiality, objectivity, and fairness that underpins our worldview and our legal system. We preach to the world that it is not right to judge or value people on their physical appearance, their skin color, their wealth or poverty, their background, etc, but rather to respect all peoples and treat them equally, judging them on the merits of their deeds. In the United States, citizenship, courts, and media were originally designed to be blind to the all things but justice, fairness, objectivity, and the truth, regardless of someone's societal "value," their wealth, race, nationality, office, position, importance, etc. And these ideas have been exported to the world. But this is not the way the world has worked throughout most of human history, when nations were built on the very premise that some people deserve more than others and some deserved to rule - where the rights of the poor and the vulnerable were trampled so that they could be exploited to benefit the "great," the "special," and the "worthy." Man's partiality and injustice are natural to his fallen state, where he gets to decide what is "good" and what is "bad" according to his own taste. If this is so, where did this radical concept come from? This western concept of impartiality and fairness came from the Word of God and Holy Spirit's conviction. Man didn't come up with these ideas - it is found in God's Word and in the Gospels, which influenced the western world (who took it seriously) to change their natural worldviews. In the Scriptures, God reveals that He treats people impartially, He judges impartially, He does not distinguish between people on the basis of external appearances, and He does not distinguish between people of different races or classes. But more than that, like Him, God also requires that man judge impartiality, showing impartiality towards foreigners, strangers, the poor, and children. Regardless of the dangers or incentives, God requires that man not accept bribes from those craving special treatment, nor follow a crowd's pronouncement of someone's value, worthiness, or guilt - but rather, as much as is possible, maintain an impartial and objective view in our treatment of others - pursuing fairness and justice. So, whether in our personal behavior to foreigners and the poor, or in the design of our justice system, our sense that impartiality, fairness, and justice are a good thing comes from the Word of God and the Holy Spirit's labor through Christ's Church in the world.
May we give credit to God before men for the good work His Holy Spirit has done in convicting the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgement. Even so, Amen.
Other verses to consider:
“You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly” (Leviticus 19:15).
“Opening his mouth, Peter said: ‘I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him’” (Acts 10:34-35).
“There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:9-11).
“For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:17-19).
“Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow’s plea come before them” (Isaiah 1:23).
“The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, the wicked does not understand such concern” (Proverbs 29:7).
“To show partiality to the wicked is not good, nor to thrust aside the righteous in judgment” (Proverbs 18:5).
“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth” (1 Peter 1: 17).
“Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation” (Romans 2:1-8).
“My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,’ have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called? If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:1-9).
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me’” (Matthew 25:31-40).
“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” (James 3:16-17 KJV).
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9-10).