Thursday, September 15, 2016

God (Jesus) is Patient

Chuckle: "It's frustrating when you know all the answers and nobody bothers to ask you the questions."
Quote: "Patience is more than a virtue; it is a daily necessity. It is not an elective; it is a required course in the school of life." --William Arthur Ward

When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village. (Luke 9:54-56 NIV)
When you observe people indulging in a sinful lifestyles and refusing to respond to the love of Christ, what is your reaction? When someone rejects you and your Christian message, does anger and frustration produce bitterness in your heart? In our passage, those in a Samaritan village did not welcome Jesus, and James and John wanted to exact vengeance upon them. They were not content to merely shake the dust of the village from their feet (9:5) and move on. No, they wanted to retaliate in a harsh and destructive way, but Jesus responded to their rejection with love and patience.
When others reject or scorn us, we, too, may feel like retaliating in a harsh way. We must remember that judgment is God's business, not ours, and we have no right to expect that He would use His power to help us carry out our personal vendettas. We are sometimes quick to condemn but Jesus abounds in patience and compassion. With patience He teaches the disciples and with patience He deals with those who initially reject Him by giving them another opportunity to find eternal life through faith in Him.
God's patience with us, when it comes to our accepting His gift of salvation through faith in Christ, is pointed out in 2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise (of judgment and destruction), as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." If it were not for God's patience, we would all be doomed. Aren't you thankful that God let you live long enough for you to claim eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ?
To Moses, God proclaimed, "I am the LORD, I am the LORD, the merciful and gracious God. I am slow to anger and rich in unfailing love and faithfulness. I show this unfailing love to many thousands by forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. Even so I do not leave sin unpunished..." (Exodus 34:6-7a NLT). In His own time God will deal with the those who reject Him and remain unrepentant, but now is a time of patience and an opportunity for repentance.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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