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Daily Reading: Romans 2

Scripture Focus: 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? (Romans 2.4)

Devotional Thought: We live in an entitled culture. In my work (pastoral ministry), I have the opportunity to observe people in many settings. Sometimes I even see them when they don’t know I’m around. I like to ‘catch’ them when they’re up to good! But, sometimes, to my discomfort and their embarrassment, I ‘catch’ people when they are up to no good! One of the common ways that happens is to see how they treat those who serve them.

There are some folks who are very appreciative of the service and attention they receive from wait staff, store clerks, public servants, and even family members. Others… not so much. They seem to think that they are owed something. They take for granted the services and favors they receive. They presume upon friends and family - upon the government and the church - to do for them what they ‘deserve.’

Sadly, I see people who treat God that way, too. They act like spoiled children who are used to getting whatever they want. After all, they reason, God is gracious and merciful, so why shouldn’t I expect it? In the words of Paul, they “presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience.”

Yes, God is kind and longsuffering and patient. But his purpose in that is to lead us to repentance, to give us time to respond in faith to his love, to invite us to leave behind our self-centeredness and enter into a relationship of love and reverence focused on him.

Let us not presume upon the riches of his grace. Rather, let us thank God every day for blessings received and adopt the attitude Jesus described in Luke 17.10: “We are unworthy servants. We have only done our duty.”

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to remember that if I got what I deserved it would be death. But thanks be to God for the riches of your kindness, forbearance and patience! Help me to serve you with humility and to love others as you have loved me. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright. 9 O LORD, save the king! May he answer us when we call. (Psalms 20:6-9)

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