Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Anyway, this is before I liked Chinese food. You know, back when I was clearly a moron. Mom would nicely ask if I would go there with her for lunch, and I'm nice, so I would, and I would eat some fruit, and eventually, I started trying the other foods there. The first thing I tried was the hot and sour cucumbers. I would eat nothing but oranges and cucumbers on every visit.
Friday, July 9, 2010
What does patience look like?
Do you know someone who has the ‘patience of a Saint’? How do you feel about them?
What is patience?
--the prolonged restraint of anger. Some people are short-tempered. A patient person is long-tempered. Also “long suffering.”
“And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”
God is our model of patience.
Children look like their parents. We look like our heavenly Father. Patience is one of the characteristics of our God. He has given it to us, through the Holy Spirit. If we are followers of Christ, we already possess patience. It is the fruit of the Spirit.
God's highest purpose for us as Christians is to make us like Jesus (see Romans 8:29, 2 Thess 2:13, Rom 12:2, Hebrews 10:14, 1 Thess 4:3 for more on this).
As we fulfill this purpose, by getting to know Jesus and obeying him, we begin to exhibit the fruit of the spirit whether we realize it or not.
2 Cor 3:18
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Why do I want patience?
--tolerance of others, which leads to unity
--teaching, to be able to preach the word
Raise your hand if you are going through a trial, or if you ever have gone through a trial. It is hard to praise God while going through a hardship. Trials produce patience.
Look at Exodus 15. The Egyptians had been hot on the heels of the Hebrews as they approached the Red Sea. Moses stood at the banks and called upon God. Ex 14:21 says, “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land.” The Hebrews had been complaining for a LONG time, and had even told Moses that they were better off being slaves back in Egypt. But when Moses parted the sea, they decided Moses was a pretty cool guy. They got to the other side, Egypt's army drowned in the sea, and they began to sing in Exodus 15.
The song is a good song. The words are truth. But what is wrong with the song? What have the Hebrews done wrong? They praised God on the wrong side of the sea.
God wants us to praise him even in the midst of trials. He wants us to praise him at all times.
“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
See also James 1:2-4
Patience is not only enduring trials because we have to. It is a strong determination of will, to victoriously overcome the negative things we confront, according to God's will.
Do you feel like you are failing at patience while excelling at impatience? Do you mutter under your breath? Do you yell at drivers who don't move fast enough? Do you tell your kids to “hurry up!” We are so good at impatience.
When I am impatient, it says:
“I am more important than you.”
“My interests matter more than your's.”
“My time is more important.”
“My concerns matter more.”
“I do not understand the immensity of the debt that Christ has paid for me. I don't understand the need for God's forgiveness.”
What do you think about that list?
If I have patience in there somewhere, how can I show it?
“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
In NKJV, NASV and others, says “put on a heart of … patience.”
This requires us to be proactive. Paul is instructing us to do something. Patience is deliberate and results in godly behaviors.
How do I put on a heart of patience when I feel like I don't have any patience at all?
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience...”
We need strength. We are to go to God's word, know it, understand it, and apply it. God's word changes us. We can pray for strength, as Paul models here.
Patience is faith in action. It says, “I believe God is in control of my life.”
Patience is hope in action. It says, “I expect that God has great things in mind for the future.” “Today's hurt will not remain forever.”
When we don't feel like being patient, we can consider the great patience of God. Has God been patient with you?
Matthew 28:19 The Great Commission
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Jesus has commanded each of his believers to do this. We can't all be preachers, Christian singers, or have a Christian talk show. But people can see Christ in us. What will people see when they look at us? Tolerance? Love? Compassion? Forgiveness?
No one should be more compassionate and patient than a Christ-filled person!