May 3, 2022
“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?”
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“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? But because of your hard and impenitent (unrepentant) heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” Romans 2:4
On most days, my children are adorable and simply a joy to be around. Other days, not so much.
When I was a teenager, and I expressed frustration, adults would say, “You’re just going through a phase.” I would be so mad at that response! I was like, “You don’t know me!” I hate to say it, but the whole “phase” thing is entirely accurate. Kids have behavioral “seasons,” and observant parents know when we enter and exit our seasons.
A secret to being a good parent (which I do not claim to have mastered) is becoming a student of your children. You study their likes & dislikes, and forecast their “seasons.”
One of the best ways to gauge a relationship is how well people select gifts for each other. Gifting shows how well someone knows you. The value of a gift is not about the expense; rather, how appropriate the gift is because a gift’s appropriateness is based on a person’s knowledge of you.
God watches His children closely. Sometimes He disciplines harshly, and other times He gives us mercy. It’s all based on what His infinite wisdom determines we need for healthy development. Children need to know parents have their best interests in mind. The Lord gives us much more grace than harsh discipline.
A legitimate concern for any parent is that their children will perceive “grace” as a reward for bad behavior. This is precisely what Paul is warning the believers in Rome about. God has ONE thing in mind regarding all people: that they would come unto repentance. His first approach is Grace. To all who would accept it, He freely gives salvation.
But to those who refuse or abuse His grace, He disciplines harshly. Trauma brings desperation. Desperation demands urgent solutions, and Jesus is the ultimate and only solution for humanity’s sin debt to God. The overriding intent for God-directed desperation is that we recognize and worship Him.
Although God knows precisely who will accept or reject Him, He loves us and never stops trying to reach us through both mercy and pain. Nothing is beyond His ability to gain our attention. Skip the unnecessary desperation and surrender your life to Jesus.