Yesterday I left you with the question, “How Patient and Kind Have You Been?”
It’s important for us to turn inward and inspect our hearts, as Paul enjoined in 2 Corinthians 13.5:
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
But when we find we are in the faith and that we love our brethren, what, exactly, does that prove? Does it mean we are earning God’s grace? Hardly! Does it mean we are “good enough” for God, or holy enough or righteous enough to be saved? Not on your life!
If we are in the faith and if we love our brother, that is proof that God is working in us and that we are His!
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5.23-24)
We clearly see that God sanctifies and preserves us unto our final salvation.
No matter how strongly we love or what heights of kindness we reach, we will never out-love or out-give our great God! It’s upon His love and in His kindness we rest our hope. The finished and powerful work of Jesus on the cross cleanses us from all our sins and empowers us to love others.
Concerning the salvation of God’s children, Peter writes:
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3.9)
Paul wrote “Love suffers long” in 1 Corinthians 13, and Peter uses the same word here: God “is longsuffering toward us.” God will not allow any of His children to perish–don’t worry about that. All will come to repentance. As Jesus said,
This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. (John 6.39)
God’s kindness is also offered as an encouragement to sinners to come to repentance, coupled with a warning in Romans 2.3-4:
And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering [patience], not knowing that the goodness [kindness] of God leads you to repentance?
If you hear God’s call, run to Him–don’t despise His patience and kindness. He is waiting for those who will come to Him. Today you have the opportunity to come to Him. Take it!