God’s Kindness, Our Repentance

Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance an patience, not knowing the God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Romans 2:3-4

Starting from verse 18 of the first chapter of Romans to the end of the chapter Paul describes a bunch of vile and unrighteous type of people and actions. The list is quite expansive and he concludes saying that it’s God’s righteous decree that such people who practice such things deserve to die. Harsh words, and in the past the Church has stopped right there and started declaring judgment on such people. But now there is a mighty rising shift in thinking and observance of the following chapter where Paul says the person(s) who judge(s) such people are just as guilty and worthy of judgment.

Our greatest example of the Kingdom lifestyle is Jesus the God-Man. Nobody before or after Him walked sinless (and thus the only person whom Romans 2:1-4 does not apply) but yet he only showed kindness to those in need of redemption. The woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, Zaccheus, etc. The only group of people Jesus spoke harshly (only after there many rejections of kindness) were the Pharisees. Ironically, they were seen as the holiest of their culture however being guilty of judging others unjustly because they weren’t perfect themselves.

There are many people in the modern day Church who were apart of the Pharisee mindset but have, thanks to the guiding of Holy Spirit, redirected their focus to Jesus and recognized that kindness still leads to repentance. The Church is meant to be a medic to a sick world. Where we once would press on the wounds of the sick with our judgments and condemnation we are now learning to dress the wounds and bring healing through Jesus. No matter how bad the sin (wound) our judgments won’t help to bring healing, rather love, compassion, and kindness will do it.

God’s judgment and wrath is real. No doubt about that, but God wills that no man perish, but all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Declaration: Father, help me show your love, compassion, and kindness for it is your kindness that redeems people and brings them to repentance.

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The Gospel of The Kingdom Pt.2 (Romans 1:16)

Scriptures: Romans 1:15-17, 15:19, Matthew 24:14

Continuing on with Apostle Paul’s greeting and introduction to the believers in Rome he states,

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is God’s power working unto salvation to everyone who believes…(v.16)

The gospel is the greatest story ever told. It is the true account of the Creator (of creation itself) coming down to dwell with His creation, being killed by His creation so that the enemy of His creation could be defeated once and for all, resulting in the creation being reconciled back to the Creator. What motivated this monumental act? Love.

So this story of love, this gospel, has within it the power to actually save a person(s) from the enemy of mankind, sin. Yes, the devil is mankind’s enemy too but the devil cannot separate you from God, only sin can, and the devil uses sin to take people into eternal torment. When Jesus died, He literally became the embodiment of sin and because God is the most powerful being in existence, sin and all it’s effects were defeated (think of the end of The Matrix when Neo literally leaps into Agent Smith and then busts out him thus defeating Agent Smith).

It sounds crazy that to be saved from an eternity apart from God in everlasting torment all one has to do is believe in this message, but that’s the beauty if it. It’s like it’s too good to be true. The reality is that it’s SO GOOD THAT’S IT’S TRUE! The stumbling block for anyone wanting to believe this truth is belief itself. If all I have to do is believe it seems too easy and thus foolish and something to be ashamed of believing because I’m not working hard enough to earn it.

But something happens when you believe the simplicity of the gospel, it changes you. You may not be able to pinpoint exactly when it happens but as you “lean into” this simple truth day-by-day, the power of the message infiltrates your life. Instead of judgement, ridicule, and hate you feel acceptance, encouragement, and love for who you are based on you being a human being. All of sudden you realize that the pain and mistakes of your past (and even your present) cannot bear under weight of this burning truth: God loves me for who I am, not what I’ve done.

The Gospel wants and has the power to save everyone and everything. The Gospel wants to save everything so it can put an end to the oppression of the enemy on mankind. The Gospel can end human trafficking. The Gospel can end apartheid. The Gospel can end overt and covert racism. The Gospel can end rape, murder, and abuse. The Gospel is Jesus Christ and everybody wants a king like Jesus and that’s nothing to be ashamed of for it is the power of God to save!

Declaration: I am not ashamed of the Gospel!

Sharing The Gospel (Romans 1:10-15)

Other scriptures referenced: John 1:14, 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:13

Paul’s eagerness to preach and share the gospel was almost unparalleled in the early church and even now it’s quite encouraging to read of his adventures in sharing Jesus with the known world, but times are different so how can we share the gospel with the fervency of the Apostle Paul? Let’s demystify the notion of sharing the gospel.

Though Paul, at times, did stand in front of many people preaching and trying to persuade people to the gospel (cold-calling) he was his most effective when he demonstrated the power of God through the gifts of the Spirit and when he built a relationship. Paul sought to connect with people so his connection would open the door for the message of the One who came to save the world. Right relationships are built on love and love was the motivating factor in God sending Jesus to save us.

The Gospel is Jesus and Jesus is love, grace, and truth, possessing the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form, and Christians (humble believers in Jesus) have Jesus living inside them through the Holy Spirit. Thus the gospel is sharing love to others, believers and non-believers alike. Showing love builds relationships, which opens the door for honest and heartfelt communication. What can be more heartfelt and honest than sharing the message of Jesus Christ through our words and deeds? Paul was a slave to this kind of gospel.

Sharing the gospel is not a numbers game, trying to manipulate people to pray a prayer and add another notch to our spiritual belt. Jesus and Paul, and many other apostles gave out love for love’s sake with pure motives. When people sense that we genuinely care for them for no other reason than they are a person worthy of love, the Gospel is being preached. A message of faith, hope, and love can be accepted when the person sharing the message exemplifies faith, hope, and above all love. Now I can understand how a message like the gospel cannot be contained! Like Paul we are eager to share this Gospel!

Declaration: The Gospel is faith, hope, and love to everyone who experiences it, and my life exemplifies the Gospel. Therefore, I will share it with everyone I know.

Our Greatest Weapon is Love

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. – 1 Corinthians 13:7 (AMP)

Our greatest weapon in spiritual warfare is love. Love defeated death and the grave. Love made it possible to have a real relationship with God. Love holds the keys to life and is the sole reason why we have the opportunity to be saved from an eternal life in torment.

Declaration: I declare, in my life, a love explosion, greater than I’ve ever seen or experienced; and because of this love explosion, those who I come in contact with will know that I am a child of God, and God wants to add to His family!