God is Kind, But He’s Not Soft

“And when this letter arrived in Rome, hardly anyone read it, certainly no one of influence. …And yet in no time, as such things go, this letter left all those other writings in the dust. …The quick rise of this letter to a peak of influence is extraordinary, written as it was by an obscure Roman citizen without connections. …He takes logic and argument, poetry and imagination, Scripture and prayer, creation and history and experience, and weaves them into this letter that has become the premier document of Christian theology.” The Message Introduction to Romans

The letter to the Romans changed Rome. We are all like the Romans – in desperate need of God and completely oblivious to that fact. We all start at the same place.

Romans 3:9, “…Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners.” The Message

God doesn’t leave us like He found us. He doesn’t abandon us. He walks with us in this new life.

Romans 2:4, “…God is kind, but He’s not soft. In kindness He takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” The Message

We think we have to straighten everything out on our own. We don’t – He does.

Romans 3:6, “…How else would things ever get straightened out if God didn’t do the straightening?” The Message

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Romans 3:28, “What we’ve learned is this: God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. …” The Message

We are righteous because God says we are. We inherit this gift; we don’t earn it. God speaks, we believe, miracles happen.

Romans 4:17-18, “…Abraham was first named a “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing. (18) When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said He would do. …” The Message

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“God has a personal plan for your life called ‘His Will.’ But you can’t just play defense, you have to play offense. You can’t just do nothing wrong, you have to do something right. You can’t just follow the rules, you’ve been called to follow Jesus….”  “All In” by Mark Batterson

It’s time to play offense! We are all changing and change is hard.

6 Easy Steps to Make You More Resilient 

  1. Make a plan – Plans create a roadmap…through the stress…of change.
  2. Ask yourself a lot of questions – ‘Questions can virtually rewire our emotions, thoughts, and behavior.’ Psychologist Marilee Adams
  3. Take small but steady steps forward – Continuous improvement…steady movement forward…to make changes, monitor the results, and then adjust.
  4. Get rid of doubters – Share your plans and dreams…with people who are wiser and more experienced.
  5. Develop new, better habits – Replace an old habit with a new one.
  6. Grit up – It isn’t your problems that define you – it’s how you react and recover from them.

“…the unknown forces us to adapt to new circumstances. ….where we can develop new talents and strengths.”

“6 Easy Steps to Make You More Resilient,” by FBI Agent LaRae Quy

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