Tuesday, 3 September 2013

"The Kindness of God"

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Romans 11:22
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
"Consider therefore the Kindness of God". 

What has come before these verses is Paul's explanation of the Jews rejection of Christ and therefore the removal from their place as God's people, and the acceptance of the Gentiles and all who repent and believe in Jesus into God's family through Him. Well, Paul tells us to consider God's kindness. In what ways has God been kind to us?

Well the first, biggest, most obvious way (and the one that is most suitable to the context) is that he has saved us through Jesus. We sin, we disobey God. We hate him, we hate his creation. We hurt, we lie, we steal, we are selfish and self-glorifying (proud). We live constantly in disobedience to God's commands. His commands, which are a direct reflection of his character. We, like Adam and Eve who first sinned, are by nature sinners and therefore enemies of God's perfection. 

Yet, in his grace, God sent Jesus into the world as a man. He sent his only son who was eternally with him in perfect fellowship for all eternity. Jesus, who is God, willingly came to earth and became a man. he lived among sinful people, he suffered and he died. He was murdered by those he came to save. Why? To glorify God by showing his kindness, mercy, patience and love to us. We deserved God's justice, his judgement and his wrath for all eternity. Instead Jesus came to the earth and took that wrath on the cross. We cannot comprehend that, I cannot understand it. But it is beyond words to describe God's kindness and mercy to us in doing that for us.

Yet Jesus didn't only die for sin. He rose again, proving that he had truly dealt with all our sin and proving that he is God. He rose again, and everyone who puts their faith in him will be forgiven. When we turn to Christ our sin is put on him and we are forgiven.

What's more is that we, christians are accepted into God's family. We are adopted as his children. We are "co-heirs with Christ" (Read Romans 8). We are his people and we will be with him for all eternity in heaven, enjoying his presence and glorifying him forever. God is certainly kind to us, and we need to praise him for that. We need to glorify him for his character - for his kindness, mercy and grace, and for his justice, holiness and righteousness. 

What other ways does God show his kindness for us? Life every morning, light from the sun every day, grass, trees, birds, mountains, rivers, lakes, water, family, friendships, warmness, coolness, even sickness and hardship can show forth God's kindness. There are countless examples - come up with your own as well and praise God for them.

We rejected him, even though he created us. We rejected him who directs the stars and the water molecules. We rejected him who holds all of creation together, who gives light to the sun and power to the waves. We rejected him. Yet he came and died in our place on the cross. "Hand that flung stars into space, To cruel nails surrendered" for our sakes.

Will you continue to reject his kindness?

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