Today’s Bible reading is Exodus 25 and Romans 2.
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? (Rom 2:4)
“Meant to lead you.” Curves in the road are “meant to lead you” along a safe route. The college syllabus is “meant to lead you” to academic success. The instruction manual is “meant to lead you” through the safe assembly of your new gas grill. The warning light on your car’s dashboard is “meant to lead you” to address whatever needs attention so that you can avoid a breakdown or something much worse.
With that basic principle in mind, take a moment to meditate on “the riches of God’s kindness and forbearance and patience” that surrounds you today. See the wealth of those riches in the beauty of Creation … the health of your body … the relationships you’ve made … the freedoms you exercise … the luxuries you enjoy … the time you’ve been given.
And as you meditate on “the riches of God’s kindness and forbearance and patience,” ponder this question: where is the Giver of these gifts seeking to lead me? Romans 1 and 2 reveal two possible answers: thankful honor and humble repentance.
- We’ve been created to honor God and give thanks to him (Rom 1:21)
- When we’ve failed to do so, God’s intense desire is that we would repent (Rom 2:4)
And what does our Creator provide moment-by-moment, hour-by-hour, day-by-day to remind us of these realities? Kindness, forbearance, and patience.
“Meant to lead you.” Each one of us is swimming in the ocean of God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience today. The Holy Spirit has made clear that these good gifts are “meant to lead” us–they are signs, and there’s nothing wrong with appreciating, studying, and enjoying signs, as long as we follow the lead of the signs. Otherwise, we miss the point.
By all means, enjoy the amazing fruit of God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience today. But don’t miss the point. Don’t presume on the gifts. Don’t take the Giver for granted. His gifts are meant to lead us to him.