Monday 27th July – Alison Bygrave
When looking for a verse in the concordance on my bookshelf for the previous thought, I found another book mark. I have a bad habit of leaving them in books when put them away, and I may even find more yet!
With thought for the day my reasoning has been, start with God’s word not the problems we are suffering. This verse turned to be a challenge! I said to Chris, I’m not sure I can do this one and he said ‘Look at the context.’ Good advice, which I immediately followed, thinking, I should have thought of that for myself!
The chapter begins with Paul essentially saying judge not, that you be not judged, and do not despise the riches of God’s goodness and forbearance and patience. God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance. If you don’t repent, there will be tribulation and death, but if you are patient in well doing, there will be glory and honour and peace.
This text for 2016 is not meant to set an impossible standard for us which we can never meet. It reminds us that our response to God should be to be kind like he is, to be people who do good because he does, to be impartial and non-judgmental. We know that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’, Romans 3:23, and that ‘at the right time Christ died for the ungodly’, Romans 5:6. By ourselves we can never meet even our own standards, let alone God’s. We always see our failings and our guilt. He sees us for who we are in relation to him. This is why we need to live by the truth that ‘God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’.