I once read that a person needs to hear the gospel an average of six times before they decide to follow Jesus. If you are a follower of Jesus, how did you come? Did some friend tell you about Him? Did you discover that you were thinking about God more and more? Most people don't come suddenly, in a single moment. Even though they might remember a specific day in which they surrendered their lives to Jesus, when they really look at it, they will see that God began to be on their mind and working in their lives over a period of time. It was true for me. How about you? Jesus began to wander through my thoughts and I couldn't stop thinking about Him. One of the passages in the New Testament that has continued to encourage me is today's verse, taken from Paul's letter to the Christians in Rome. Let's listen to it:
…do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and restraint and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
Over my lifetime I have heard a lot of preaching and teaching about how bad the devil is. The Bible clearly tells us that he's our enemy; he wants to kill us, accuse us, lie about us and ultimately, destroy us. I am reminded though of something my friend Pastor Cottoms of Rising Zion Baptist Church once said: "Nobody ever came to Christ because of how bad the devil is; they come because of how good Jesus is." In today's passage, Paul reminds us that we are drawn to Jesus, not because of fear, but because of the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience toward us. I'm talking to someone today. You don't yet know Jesus but when you think back over your life, you realize that God has been very good to you. He has not done to you what you deserve but instead has blessed you and taken care of you. He loves you and continues to speak to you about coming to Him. Let me encourage you today, in this moment, to leave your old life behind and come toward the only Person who is always good, always faithful, always drawing you to Him. Jesus wants to forgive your sins, adopt you into His family and give you a seat at the table with Him today.
If you will turn to Him in repentance and faith, He will take you in and change your life forever...and that's the very best Good News!