Previously I talked about grace and how it can be likened to the rain which falls upon all of us. Sorry to say, there has been a scarcity of rain lately but that does not hinder the graces of God. Take as an example, the favour and grace of God upon Egypt during the time Joseph was alive; God spoke to Pharaoh through a dream and foretold seven years of plenty notwithstanding the seven years of famine that would come after. It took the grace of God to present Joseph as the man who would have the wisdom to save some of the food in the years of plenty for use later during the famine. (Gen 41:33-36) By faith, Pharaoh appointed Joseph as governor (Gen 41:39-40) and kept the land in plenty.
So, can you handle the truth?
Truth must be eaten as a whole. No one should take sides of the truth and claim it as the whole truth. Gird your loins here, this article is about to get messy.
Rom 2:4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
We know God as a God of forbearance, and love and mercy. Many, if not all of us, sorely depend on these qualities of God to get through our regrets and guilt and bad consciences. We have exercised great faith in accepting these qualities of God and thank God that He is such a God lest we be found without hope.
It is a relief that God is merciful but it is a fearful thing that God is just.
I need not look elsewhere in judging myself. I know that I have the capacity to do great evil. Lecrae posits "I notice when people notice me, my exterior is the only way they know it's me..." Do not be deceived, "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?..." (1 Cor 2:11). You will never know that I battle with doubt, greed and lust, unless I tell you. I have had and still have issues.
None of us is good. I wish we would all stop trying to pretend that we are "innately" good. Rom 3:10 (Amp) says "As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one." We all need God's rain.
It becomes a snare in today's world when we make distinctions in goodness. The Bible is very clear on many social issues today but I wonder why we are still contentious about them. In today's Uganda, it is better to eat government money with others than eat it alone. It is an excuse for entry level corruption when there is top level corruption(- Corruption is a sort of deceipt and gluttony and greed and selfishness). However, with much searing of our consciences we now make excuses and declare one's sin is greater and therefore God can handle it. In God's eyes, when you commit one sin, you break the whole law! You are as good as an adulterer, murderer, (I use this because we think these to be greater sins- not to be misunderstood, they have greater consequences but still are a breaking of God's law).
Homosexuality is a touchy concept in the world today because here we say, if something is consensual, then it does not concern others. I rather talk about something else for fear of criticism but here are more of my cents. If we accept God is love and forgiving and merciful, why is it hard to accept He is just as well? He has made it clear to us, homosexuality is wrong as is lying and cheating and stealing, downloading songs without paying for them, etc (1 Cor 6:9-10) and that whoever sows in these will reap from them. (Gal 6:7-8)
I am judging myself here, I have committed all those sins, however, I have not found comfort in continuing in them, so I take out my pail and collect the rain. This is the call of God, that we repent. We cannot give excuses to God about sin, He has all the solutions and has made them known to us. Repentance is not confessing one's sins, there is a difference. Repentance can be one's entire lifetime but it involves a contrite heart and a willingness to change plus a dependence on God to effect that change. Confession on the other hand can easily pass for lip service.
When we darken our hearts and sear our consciences it becomes harder to separate truth from lies but like the Bible says, we reap what we sow. This piece goes out to all of us. We all struggle with sin. I am no better than a homosexual in God's book when I keep on stealing, lying, cheating etc. To me, a proud gay person is like having someone proud of being a murderer. Why? There is no concession that what we are doing is wrong and that we need to change. However, make no mistake there is no distinction, -
1 Tim 1:9-10 (NIV,2011) We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.
Fear not, the struggle will never be won by your own attempts.
20For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [[a]not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].21But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,22Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction,23Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory [b]which God bestows and receives.24[All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,25Whom God put forward [[c]before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.26It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time ([d]in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus.
I reiterate: the rain is falling, take out your pail!
Baseline:Rom 2:4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.