If you would, go on another journey with me…
Lately, this verse has been on my mind…
Romans 2:4: “Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”
Specifically the part about God’s kindness leading us to repentance.
Last Sunday, the pastor at the church I’ve been attending was preaching on Ephesians 2, but these specific verses stood out to me…
Ephesians 2:4-7: “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us,5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! 6 Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, 7 so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
Again…take note of God’s kindness.
According to Ephesians 2, Jesus is the display of His kindness.
As I think about the Gospels, I’m reminded of all of the times Jesus exemplified God’s kindness…
- The people He asked to be his disciples….ordinary men who had some of the very same insecurities and failings that you and I have (and they probably smelled bad because many of them were fishermen)….and yet Jesus chose them to spread the Good News to all of the world
- The woman caught in adultery…He picked her up out of the dirt and gave her hope and a new life when everyone else wanted to end her life
- The meal He shared with Zaccheaus…a tax collector whom everyone despised…and as a result of that encounter, Zaccheaus displayed kindness to many people by returning their money
- The lepers whom he healed…men and women that were banished from society because of their dreadful condition…their lives were transformed because of Jesus
But the ultimate display of God’s kindness is the death and resurrection of Jesus. God’s kindness caused Him to give His Son to broken and messed up people. That’s the very reason Jesus came to Earth and lived among us. He showed us what kindness really is and granted us access to the Father. If you’ve been a Christian for awhile like me, you tend to forget the gravity of that.
I can remember distinct moments in my life when I was reminded of His grace and mercy. Literally stops me in my tracks. I am no different than any of those people that Jesus encountered. And you know what? Jesus calls us to be ministers of His kindness. He calls us to extend grace and mercy. 2 Corinthians 5 tells us that we are in the ministry of reconciliation. Why? Go back to Romans 2:4. Because His kindness leads us to repentance.
When struggling people walk into your church on Sunday, remember the Lord’s kindness. The easiest thing is to shy away from them and cast judgement. Allow yourself to be a vessel of God’s grace and mercy. Jesus loved people who did not look anything like Him. He loved people who were caught in the deepest pits of sin. He called them out of darkness and into His marvelous light.
Who needs the Lord’s kindness today? Who needs the redeeming hope of Jesus Christ? What better way to live your life than to extend the gift of God’s kindness to others? Remember, it’s the same kindness that was once extended to you.