Make no mistake: In the end you get what's coming to you -
Real Life for those who work on God's side,
but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire!
If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you're from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended.
But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up.
Being a Jew won't give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.
If you sin without knowing what you're doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you're doing, that's a different story entirely.
Merely hearing God's law is a waste of your time if you don't do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God.
When outsiders who have never heard of God's law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience.
They show that God's law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God's yes and no, right and wrong.
Their response to God's yes and no will become public knowledge on the day God makes his final decision about every man and woman. The Message from God that I proclaim through Jesus Christ takes into account all these differences.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)