January 25, 2018

Topic Day|Repentance

His Patience Is a Gift

Romans 2:4–5

20 Comments | Listen | Print | Full Chapter

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

In Context:

1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

His Patience Is a Gift

Bio | Jonathan Roberts

Good day, fellow Journeyers! My name is Jonathan Roberts. Originally from Louisiana, I moved to Texas 12 years ago and have been here since. I really like coffee, Cajun food, BBQ, and being silly. I'm married to Veronica, who has been my beautiful and patient bride for four years. I'm father to three very special little ladies: Zoe, Emma, and Ava. I love my ladies. Our family is a part of the Watermark Plano family where I serve in the Equipped Disciple ministry and in Starting Blocks, Watermark's newborn to preschool ministry. Most importantly, my identity is in Christ, and I'm thankful!

Central Truth

When we try to earn salvation, self-reliance bankrupts us. Jesus patiently pursues while doing heart work and provides the gift that changes everything.

Devotional | Repentance

Man, oh man, this one hit me square in the face as I'm sure it did with Paul's original audience, which was the church in Rome. I can only imagine how the early church felt as they read how their...

Man, oh man, this one hit me square in the face as I'm sure it did with Paul's original audience, which was the church in Rome. I can only imagine how the early church felt as they read how their self-righteousness and moral goodness would only lead to God's wrath. I can definitely relate because self-reliance is a big part of my story, and the guilt and pain can pile up. From my teens until I was 30 years old, I did a lot of praying for no consequences and rebelling without surrendering and accepting. This horrible cycle led to promiscuity, divorce, bad relationships, and lifelessness as I tried to work my way out of my failures. I misunderstood the heart of the matter for so long.

I knew who Jesus was when I was growing up, but He wasn't my Lord. He didn't have my heart. I defined what good was or wasn't, and I pursued inappropriate relationships, performance-based acceptance, and people pleasing. And I struggled with all of the above, so pressure piled up, and the guilt of leaning on my own understanding weighed me down. I thought that I'd eventually be able to get to the top and find peace, so I strived (Proverbs 23:4). In the midst of all this, God patiently pursued me through His Word, prayer, and people.

In the spring of 2011, Jesus changed everything when He became my go-to instead of self-gratification or any other temporary solution (Luke 9:23). When I realized in His timing that my works and self-reliance were slowly burying me, I turned to the only One who could unbury me. Jesus gave me eternal life. When I accepted God's gift of grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9), He changed everything. What peace and comfort relying on Jesus' work on the cross—God's demonstration of His love for us (Romans 5:8)—truly brings. It doesn't mean things are perfect. I still struggle, but His Word, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and His provision through community now lead me back to Him daily, and there's no one who can take His gift away (Romans 8:35-39).

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Discussion Questions

1. Does knowing that God is patient and present draw you nearer to Him or make you want to test His limits?

2. If Jesus isn't your Lord, who/what is? 

3. Is there anything keeping you from repentance? If so, what?



20 Comments available

William Breazeale 10 months ago

From a Louisiana brother to another Louisiana brother, thank you for your encouraging words today!

Michael Macomber 11 months ago

Thanks for devo and story Jonathon. I can relate to your story very well. I am currently in ReGen to learn how to surrender on a daily basis. I am recovering perfectionist, people pleaser, and fear based thinking. I knew of Christ at an early age but did not know what a close and personal relationship even was. Then God brought me my wonderful wife, Stephanie, to show me a different way of life and thinking. Through marriage and fatherhood, my self reliance fell short. Thanks to Christ death, and God’s mercy and grace, I am thankful to still be married and have kids who still love me.

Elizabeth Lariscy 11 months ago

Thank you for your great devotional, Jonathan. Question 3 is great. It made me face something head on and repent, while fully surrendering it to God. Blessings to you!

Sue Bohlin 11 months ago

Great devo, shiny-with-Jesus brother! I’ve been looking online to no avail for help understanding why Paul writes so harshly to the church at Rome. Especially about storing up wrath for themselves, when in 6 chapters he’s going to write, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I’m confused. No insights today or yesterday, just questions.

Brian Childers 11 months ago

Jonathan, I too am originally from LA. Moved to Ft Worth in 1985 and have been here since. Your story sounds all to familiar. Maybe it’s a “LA thang”? I would welcome the oppty to connect with you sometime. Great devo, brother!

Paul Daniels 11 months ago

Amen, brother! A privilege to watch you pursue our Lord and to see Him working in and through you. 2 Peter 3:9!

greg jones 11 months ago

@Michael Scaman-Sometimes I think we forget the context of Revation 3:19-20. It is a church that is being addressed, not a unrepentant moose lodge…next door.

Ronnie Oldfield 11 months ago

Self righteousness and moral goodness yielding God’s wrath is eye opening. I am convicted of my lack of self righteousness and moral goodness. I know I fall way short and my only hope is the sacrifice Jesus made for me in spite of what I have been and still am. I desperately seek to be transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within me. I pray He is patient as I continue struggling to live as He desires. My Christ’s mercy continue to flow over me.

Ronnie Oldfield 11 months ago

Great breakdown of scripture Jonathan.

Burlon Leffall III 11 months ago

“…I turned to the only One that could unbury me.” Yes, brother. #WontHEDoIt!? Thank you for sharing your story of grace, Jonathan-praying for you and yours this a.m. Q1| When I take my eyes off Jesus things go haywire–especially repentance. It turns into a life-sucking game of ‘just enough’. ‘Just enough’ to escape the conviction cloud, ‘just enough’ to keep myself out of reach of admonishment, & ‘just enough’ to be more repentant than [person], at least. I’ll never max out. Repentance will never stop bc God will never stop loving me. There will always be the ungiven % when God searches my heart. Much easier to just trust Him.

Alma Barber 11 months ago

It was good for me that I was afflicted(Psalm 119:71). Otherwise, I might have never realized my need for a savior. I might have never realized my utter wretchedness… and therefore my need to repent. Thank you Lord, that in your sovereignty, all our wretchedness, failures, wickedness and mistakes, are part of the “all things” you work together for our good(Romans 8:28). That as your children, you waste nothing in our lives. Thank you Holy Spirit for loving us enough to pursue us, never giving up on us, and lovingly convict us daily. It is indeed your goodness, that leads (me)to repentance. “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” Ps.51:4

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

God has wrath but not rage, rage is out of control. Man might commit “crimes of passion” being out of control but God is always in control even in wrath or discipline.

Lisa Olsen 11 months ago

@hope harris…that is an incredible quote, Hope. Thank you for sharing! So so true, and sadly this is what is basically taught in many churches throughout our country.

Lisa Olsen 11 months ago

The struggle with self-reliance and not understanding the sweet grace of God is very much apart of my story as well, Jonathan. I am just now reaching out to ask for God’s help, finally understanding that I cannot surrender the idols I long to surrender on my own, let alone save myself. I am so thankful that God is patient and constantly wooing His children to Himself. And as you said, being in the Word, in prayer and in community is How He pursues us and grants us with the life change we desperately need.

greg jones 11 months ago

These are two verses I needed to hear today considering what Jesus had to say in Matthew 25. “44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Or, when did you stand at the door and knock?

Lee Owens 11 months ago

What an encouragement! To wake up and spend time in the word and with such great revelatory truth is a gift. Your testimony is a powerful message I hope will pierce the hardened hearts of those seeking an unattainable fulfillment outside of a relationship with Jesus. Thank you my good friend for your inspired words.

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

God is patient but He is not passive. Rev 3:19 “Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” Perhaps Rev 3:19 is not as popular as it’s next door neighbor Rev 3:20?

Hope Harris 11 months ago

I came across this lengthy quote from Spurgeon, which I will break into two parts "Convince men of the goodness of God. Show them the universal fatherhood, and assure them of unlimited mercy. Win them by God’s love, but never mention His wrath against sin or the need of an atonement or the place of punishment. Comfort and encourage, but never accuse and threaten. That is the way of man.”

Hope Harris 11 months ago

PT 2: “The Holy Spirit comes on purpose to convince men of sin, to make them feel that they are so guilty that they are lost and ruined and undone. The Holy Ghost comes to remind them not only of God’s loveliness, but of their own unloveliness. He does not come to make sinners comfortable in their sins, but to cause them to grieve over their sins. He does not help them to forget their sin or think little of it, but he comes to convince them of the horrible enormity of their iniquity."

Hugh Stephenson 11 months ago

Wow. Wrath as God’s righteous judgement. Long suffering. Righteous. Its what I deserve. I’m so unrepentant that I don’t realize that this is wrath that I am storing up for myself.

Wrath as the opposite of kindness, forbearance and patience. When God has finally had enough. We’ve all seen it. Parents, coaches, teachers, bosses - When we finally pushed them past the breaking point.

For God, its not out of control rage. Its firm and decisive. In Prodigal we learn about sinful anger and righteous anger. Only God has righteous anger. This is the wrath that I deserve that Jesus bore.

Do I really have any sense of how good God is - therefore how sinful I am?

Have I really repented in my heart?

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