The song that started this whole thing about a week ago had me singing, "It's your kindness that leads us to repentance, oh Lord." So I went to look up this encouraging verse by checking kindness in my concordance. There it was, Romans 2:4. A verse of encouragement? Not exactly! Here's the whole thing:
"Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?"
The Roman Christians had lost sight of God's kindness and were marked by a hypocritical and judgmental nature. Paul was telling them to stop it!
The last couple of years have found me checking my own theology for legalistic baggage. This commentary on this passage by Chuck Swindoll really struck a chord with me:
"One of the worst forms of pride among Christians is a militant, harsh, abrasive attitude that expresses itself in judging others. The most accepting people on earth should be Christians. And the most winsome, magnetic place in the world should be the church. Both can be true if we will stop judging others and start opening doors of Christ-centered giving."
I am thankful that...
...it was so clear to me when Christ poured out His kindness and made himself irresistible to me.
...someone issued me the challenge to commit to a life of following Him.
...God has given me times of rest and blessing.
...God taught me to be fearless by showing me His faithfulness as He allowed my fears to come true.
...so often He has used the church, His body, to wrap His arms around me in my need.
...just when I am getting comfortable, He challenges me to take another step forward to extend His grace to a world full of people who need Him just like I do.
...he continues to stretch my thinking, to show me the vastness of his strength, his greatness, his character.
...he is constantly in the process of transforming me to be more like him.
(NOTE: Just in case you have been curious enough to click through these posts, and find yourself waiting for someone to challenge you to commit to a life of following Christ, consider yourself challenged. You could never make a more profound, life-giving commitment.)