THE PATIENCE OF GOD

Scripture Reading:  Romans 2:1-11

“Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”  (Romans 2:4)

In the first three chapters of the Epistle to the Romans, Paul clearly lays out the reality of the grievous nature of sin and the terrible consequences that flow from it.  When we read these chapters, we see how human beings have suppressed the truth of God and how they have rebelled against Him.  The real question is — why does God continue to put up with the blasphemy, rebellion and disobedience of human beings?  The answer is that He is a kind, forbearing and patient God.

The reality is that one day God’s patience will end and He will execute His final judgment upon this present world — “But by the same word the heavens and earth, that now exist are stored up for fire, begin kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly” (II Peter 3:7).  We do not know when this will happen, but until then God remains patient — “The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (II Peter 3:9).

With this in mind, read agains Paul’s words to the Romans — “Or do you presume on the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”  We must never presume on the kindness, forbearance and patience of God!  God is being kind as He patiently holds off the great day of judgment.  We must not take His kindness for granted.

God’s kindness is meant to lead people to repentance.  Those of us who are believers must remember how kind God has been to us and we must regularly repent of our many sins against Him.  But we must also remember that God’s kindness, forbearance and patience are meant to be reasons that we reach out to others with the gospel.  One day it will be too late for people to repent.  But God is being patient because He does not wish that any should perish.  Jesus Christ clearly gave us the responsibility to make disciples of all nations.  We are His witnesses and His ambassadors.  We must be deliberate in our efforts to share the good news of the gospel with our loved ones, neighbors and friends.

“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6,7).

Lord God, thank You for your kindness, forbearance and patience toward me.  I know that I fail You often.  Your kindness is what leads me to repentance.  Please do not let me presume on Your kindness.  Let me be faithful in my calling to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others.  Please be patient and enable Your church on earth to fulfill her task of making disciples of all the nations.

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