Christianity 201

November 7, 2015

Kindness Leads You to Repentance

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:29 pm
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Romans 2:1 NIV You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

Today’s devotional is from the website ThisIsToday.com which is based on the Today devotional booklets, a daily resource widely circulated in the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) that “helps God’s people refresh, refocus and renew their faith through Bible reading, reflection, and prayer.”

Kindness and Repentance

by Henry Kranenburg

Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? — Romans 2:4

Paul says that when I judge someone else’s actions, I am also judging myself. Judging claims to know something about truth, and if I know enough truth to judge someone else, I obviously know that truth for myself too.

That makes sense to me. It would be silly to think that I could point out the greed in someone else and then claim innocence about the greed in my own life. When I was a child, my parents taught me and my sisters to pray with our eyes closed. It took experience to understand that if I told my mom that one of my sisters had her eyes open during prayer, it was obvious that I’d had my eyes open too.

The odd thing is that, like children, we still point out others’ faults and think we can get away with it. So God closes the loophole on our tendency to ignore our own guilt while we place blame on others. God makes us look at ourselves. What God wants here is not a detailed theology of sin and guilt but an understanding that his “kindness is intended to lead [us] to repentance.”

God’s goal is not about catching us pointing fingers at others. It’s about honesty that leads to full life in Jesus. God’s motivation is to save us from destroying ourselves through our sin. God is asking, “Do you see that?”

Prayer

Father God, thank you for your kindness, forbearance, and patience. Thank you for taking me seriously in all that I am and for pointing me to Jesus. In his name, Amen.

 

 

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