Thursday Morning Devotion – 2/1/07 (Recognizing our Sinfulness)

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, 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 man, 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, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward 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 give to each person according to what he has 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; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism. – Romans 2:1-11 (NIV)

That first sentence is a ‘toe-stomper’, isn’t it? Part of the growing in my spiritual life is the recognition of my sinfulness. On that hot July night when I gave myself to God and decided to hold NOTHING back, I BEGAN my journey of repentance. I BEGAN turning away from the path I had been leading. I BEGAN to follow Jesus’ example. AND unfortunately, I also began to recognize MY shortcomings in others. I quickly found out that judging them could make me more comfortable because I wasn’t looking at myself so much! God already knew that would be a problem and so He wrote Scriptures like this.

God does not ‘wink’ at my sins when I do not repent. He doesn’t let my sins ‘slide by’ just because He loves me. In fact, BECAUSE HE LOVES ME, like any good parent, He shows me that there are consequences for my actions. I learn through His discipline. So what about this ‘day of God’s wrath’?

1Then I heard a loud voice from the sanctuary saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven vials of the wrath of God on the earth!”…

17And the seventh one poured out his vial on the air, and a loud voice came out from the sanctuary, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18And there were flashes of lighting, and voices, and thunderclaps, and a great earthquake, such as no person has ever seen on the earth since there were people–it’s so powerful! — Revelation 16:1, 17-18 (TFBV)

We have seen the devastation of earthquakes and tsunamis and yet here, John tells us that the wrath of God will produce an earthquake of unspeakable horror. God does not ‘wink’ at our sins. God shows me His love and His DESIRE that I repent! He doesn’t want me to be severely punished. He ‘woos’ me with loving kindness and tells me to do the same. It is with kindness that my heart is broken for God and I fall to my knees asking forgiveness.

[David said,] For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Psalm 25:11 (NIV)

As God has been gracious and drawn me with loving-kindness to repentance so may I show that SAME path to EVERYONE I meet. Let the repentance BEGIN with me and the loving-kindness STAY with me.

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