06/15/17 - Romans 2

June 15, 2017

Don't show contempt for the riches of God's kindness, forbearance and patience, it is intended to lead you to repentance.  Romans 2:4

Blessing is given to motivate us to worship, not become more selfish.

There’s an old saying:  Never look a gift horse in the mouth.  I know that you can tell a lot about a horse’s health by looking in his mouth, but don’t imagine that would be the first thing I would look at if I were given a horse.  However, the same principle applies to anything ever gifted to us, and I have many times started mentally critiquing the gift before considering the kindness of the giver.

God’s Kindness is the most abused gift ever given.  People not only have received his patience, mercy and kindness daily, but then turn around and demand it from God tomorrow.  So many people pray for God to bless them without ever giving God the time of day in worship or devotion.  If it weren’t for His incredible love and patience, we would be starved for blessing because of our ingratitude.

To be even more blunt, many people use up the blessings of God for selfish interests, then complain when the debts are mounting, or their schedule becomes unmanageable.  God provides people a job and they start complaining about work.  God gives us a spouse and we look to dump them for the next attraction.  God provides us freedom to worship, and we choose instead to spend our time on the sports field or sleeping in.  God gave us blessing – we turn it into a curse.

According to Paul, the purpose of blessing is not to make us happy, it is given to direct us to holiness.  God’s patience and mercy are a calling for us to repent and turn to Him, not walk away with our hands full.  Don’t waste the blessing, use it for what God intended. Allow every daily gift He gives remind you to make God your first priority.

How different would money be handled if we saw it as a kindness instead of an expected payment.  What would we do differently with our time if we saw each day as a gift from God to live for Him, instead of being expected for our own activities.  If families and marriages were seen as a special blessing, how would it change the way we live in our families?

Here’s a simple exercise to try.  Take one day (or one week), and record in a notebook every blessing you are given by God – big things and small things.  Then consider what those blessings are supposed to do in your relationship with Jesus.  Allow every blessing to both BE a praise to God, and BE Used for praise to God.

Don’t waste your blessings on yourself.  Use them for the great purpose God intended.

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