Romans 2:1 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. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 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? 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.
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.
The 2009 snow retreat is right around the corner and yesterday in our staff meeting we talked about Repentance- the subject of the S/R.
It is ONLY by God's granting grace to us, and that through His kindness, that any are interested in, or come to, repentance. We are all in need of His grace to pour onto our hard hearts and cause them to become soft. Only then we can begin to show signs of repentance. Until He begins that work in us, we will have hearts of stone, we will love our sin and entice others to follow us in our destructive ways.
But why does He chose for some to repent and many others to reject? Why has He chosen some to be vessels of honor and some for destruction? It is His purpose, as He is the Potter and we are clay. But those who are chosen for honor should live like we have been chosen for honor.
When God chooses to take His "vessels chosen for honor" through testing we often complain. Do you know that the firing temperature for pottery is around 600F and for china appr. 2000F. So when God is choosing to take us through what seems to be more than we can bear remember that He is both sufficient for all our needs and He knows exactly what it will take to finish us.
This post is a little random, but we must remember that we can't bring ourselves or anyone else to repentance, we need to be thankful that He has brought us to repentance and thankful for the "firing" that He puts us through so we will be vessels for honor, rather than vessels for destruction and remember also that we who have been chosen for honor were chosen not because of anything is us, but that He chose us because for whatever strange reason He Loves us. We have as much to brag about that process as the pot does.