Monday, July 22, 2013

THE SPINNING TOP



Life seems to be going by at an incredibly fast pace these days...Ask anyone over 60 years of age, and you will no doubt get the same answer. When I was a "wee bairn" I used to play with a spinning top and loved it, but when I reminisce I remember that it was wide at the bottom and narrow at the top. You would push down on a wooden knob to make it go faster and faster. So here's the thing...No matter how hard I pushed down or how often, it eventually slowed down and fell on its side. 

As all mankind ages each of their respective spinning tops slow and stop at an average of 75 years, give or take. So here is the irony...When you are young, you want to go faster and faster, while nothing gets done fast enough for you. Over time, your pace slows allowing the most cynical of us to really see life for the first time. Youth can't go fast enough from point A to point B. Middle-Agers step back from the torrid pace of youth, but finally old age kicks in allowing you to suck the marrow out of everything you see, feel or touch, while you wonder how you could have missed all of this in your youth. Some call this process, "earning your stripes," some call it, "maturation," and I like to call the aging process the path to wisdom. "Too soon old and too late smart," is how one dear friend put it, and we often hear the phrase, "If I only knew then, what I know now." 

The balance of Romans 2 is centered around what we are on the outside versus the inside. Consider these options:
  • Internal vs. external
  • Inside vs. Outside
  • Interior vs. Exterior
  • Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

God says clearly through the Apostle Paul that it does not matter what you do in this world, except what you do for Him, and it must genuinely come from within. The Almighty contrasts Jews and the Mosaic Law with Gentiles and no law. Here is our "Lord's Logic," (my term), sent through Paul, the Apostle:
  • The Jewish nation has a rich history, including the writing of the their code of conduct, commonly referred to as Mosaic Law.
  • The Gentiles, who are most of us reading this, were thought to be barbarians at the best, criminals at the worst. We worshipped the sun, the moon and the stars, plus a host of other idols over centuries.
  • Externally the Jews knew the Law and, they knew of the one true God. They knew what to eat, how to live and those things that God favored, as well as those that were forbidden. In a manner of speaking, they had it all set up for them, including how to receive forgiveness of sin.
  • Externally the Gentiles made life up over the years, based on who was in power. They made their own rules and regulations, because even they needed some order amidst the chaos.
Reading the Law, hearing the Law, and recognizing that God exists is not enough for the Jews or the Gentiles. God says that even though the Gentiles did not have His formal law, they made law of their own, "by their nature." In other words, they already knew to some degree the difference between right and wrong.


Then Paul goes to great lengths to let those in Rome know that it only matters, "if the requirements of either legalistic system was written on their hearts," seared forever on the inside, specifically your heart and soul. Even if you are a light to the blind, an instructor to the foolish, and a teacher of little children, you must walk the walk everyday in your life, using what you have been taught by God as your personal compass.

And finally, if you are circumcised and/or baptized, you have no claim on eternal life. These are extrinsic examples of the intrinsic
change in your life to follow our Lord. Being circumcised is very important according to Mosaic Law, just as being baptized is in the New Testament; however, there is no external justification for salvation. It is only the internal, permanent change in your heart that makes either Jew or Gentile acceptable to El Shaddai, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. 

The Digital Disciple




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Hearing from you is certainly not a requirement. Consideration of what is researched and written is all I ask of anyone who stumbles upon my writings. I believe that my God will take it from there. With His help I try to separate fact from fiction, sense from nonsense, and ultimately clarity from chaos.

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