Tag Archives: patience

Ezekiel 41-42; 2 Peter 1

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-11

Since becoming a follower of Christ, I have often thought about what that means, what it ‘should’ look like. Christianity began with me completely believing in and putting my confidence in God my Father, in His Son who came to earth as a man, laid His life down to restore my relationship with Him, and rose again to life on the third day, and in Holy Spirit my helper. It began with faith; faith to trust even though I don’t always have tangible evidence, faith to step out and take a leap into the unknown.

Peter shares that while the foundation of the Christian walk is simple faith, it isn’t the only facet. He shares that, because I partake of the divine nature of God, I am able to develop my simple faith with additional character qualities that will keep me from being unfruitful in my life and help to prevent me from falling:

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. 2 Peter 1:5-7 MSG

Virtue – as I practice moral excellence, as I make good choices in the day-to-day of life, my life begins to better reflect Christ in me. Determination, integrity, and discretion help me walk a straight path; and even when I stumble, I have a plum line to help me get up and walk again.

Knowledge – as I continue to delve deeper in my relationship with God, His divine nature is reveled to me in greater and greater ways. Each day, as I spend more time with Him, my understanding of Him, my intimacy with Him is increased. Though I will ever be in awe of His goodness, my experiences of who God is gives me a new sense of familiarity. He is my Daddy and no longer a formidable, unapproachable being.

Self-Control – as I train myself in restraint, I become more level-headed and my willpower for self-discipline becomes stronger. I am better able to regulate my actions, my emotions, my fleshly desires and appetites. When I have control over myself, the truth about who I really am in Christ is able to shine above my weaknesses as a human being.

Steadfastness – as I exercise patience, my ability to continue fruitfully throughout my journey, through the ups and downs, despite the fatigue and stress, without complaint or loss of temper, increases. I am better able to bear the trials of life without being derailed from my purposes and goals. I am able to stay hopeful in the waiting.

Godliness – as I endeavor to be more like Jesus, I naturally begin to submit to His will, obeying the wishes of God as I understand them. As I hold tightly to God, as I become more reliant on Him, He enhances my wisdom, my gratitude, and teaches me how to be honoring to Him and to others.

Brotherly Affection – as I get into the habit of being kind to the people around me, I put into practice God’s call for me to love my enemies and to love my neighbors as myself. My compassion and generosity grow, and I am better able to empathize with others in the midst of their personal trials.

Love – as brotherly affection becomes more and more routine, my love increases. Agape love is enkindled by Holy Spirit; it is a love which embraces the truth and demonstrated the nature of God through me. It is a pure, unconditional love that flows with His grace and mercy.

Each one of these qualities adds to my faith, makes it well-rounded, and strengthens me as a believer. As I practice and build on each element, my character continues to grow as I rely on Christ within me.

Yesappa, Thank You for being my Daddy whom I can put my full confidence in. I know that you will never leave me nor forsake me, and that you are the source for all of the growth in my life. Help me always look to You as I walk my path; help me continue to fortify the qualities that demonstrate Your work in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Jeremiah 17-19; I Timothy 6

Jeremiah 18:5, 6 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!”

I have never tried to sculpt pottery, but I acquired an interesting set of handmade and individually painted pieces made by a Bulgarian master potter. They have rough, terra cotta bases with smooth, shiny harvest-gold backgrounds and earthy, green and brown images baked into them by the artist’s whim. Each piece is unique in its purpose – a large fat-bellied pitcher for water, a long-neck wine carafe capped with a lady’s delicate face; a half dozen mugs with thumbprint handles to sip from Bohemian crowns of funny-faced urchins; large, scooped out bowls designed with separated rings of non-repeating swirls, lines, and scalloped edges; and heavy plates emblazoned with proud peacocks.

How long it took the potter to produce each of these pieces, I wonder sometimes. And how many pieces were started, flattened, and reshaped on the potter’s wheel before placed in the fire for hardening? How many others were found cracked and thrown in the scrap heap upon inspection?

Like pottery, says the Lord, we are pliable in His hands. He is able to shape us through our family of origin, significant events, daily trials and temptations, revelation through His word, and divine intervention. As His wheel turns and His hands smooth and etch His unique design in each of us, we can yield eagerly to His touch or become rigid and in danger of breaking. Jeremiah 19:11 “Even so I will break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, which cannot be made whole again…”

How can we become His masterpiece, vessels of honor, and how will we avoid being dashed into pieces, for which there is no superglue or fixing us in the end?  I Timothy 6:11 “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” As we trust Him and hope in Him, the Lord’s creative Spirit spins into our lives righteousness and godliness, and as we sway to His touch, He presses down a sturdy base of faith, whirls rings of patience, and gently hollows out the inside, deep and wide for filling with His love.

Then we will be like yet another image of beauty and strength produced by the Lord’s care. Jeremiah 17:7, 8 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

Fashion me each day with Your skillful hand, Oh, Lord!

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1 Kings 1, 2; Luke 22:54-71

Adonijah made assumptions and acted on them–throwing himself a party and declaring himself a king. He was seeking his own interest, the throne (and later, a bride). He seems impatient, his father David is not even dead yet. This activity, without his father’s knowledge or consent, seems disrespectful.

David, however, names Solomon as his successor.

Before his death, David speaks to Solomon. The New Living Translation titles this segment “David’s Final Instructions to Solomon” in 1 Kings 2. This is an intimate moment between father and son, one king to another, last words spoken.

As the time of King David’s death approached, he gave this charge to his son Solomon:

“I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man. Observe the requirements of the Lord your God, and follow all his ways. Keep the decrees, commands, regulations, and laws written in the Law of Moses so that you will be successful in all you do and wherever you go. If you do this, then the Lord will keep the promise he made to me. He told me, ‘If your descendants live as they should and follow me faithfully with all their heart and soul, one of them will always sit on the throne of Israel.’ 1 Kings 2:1-4, NLT.

Sam wrote about being ready, last days. And I recently heard a talk about telling (someone) what they mean to you before the funeral, before it’s too late. David has a message for his son. His words are empowering and pointing to purpose.

When my mom was dying from cancer, she grieved over lost health, lost opportunity, and her message to me was to never take health for granted. My dad just turned 78, and his actions and examples also send powerful messages of what’s important to him.

I think of what I want to convey to an older generation. To my mom, it was whispered in her ear that last day when she had lost her voice–that intimate moment, last words to her. To my dad, I want to speak life. But David’s example is an important reminder too: the opportunity to effect a next generation. What do my words and actions convey to those in my influence?

Lord, your word tells us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Establish the work of our hands for us.

Courtney (66b00ks365)

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I Samuel 24, I Corinthians 5, Ezekiel 3, Psalm 39

There are times in my life when it’s pouring down rain and I pick up the phone to call someone and complain.  I talk about my problems and how nothing’s working out and share with them how it makes me yell and shout.  In the back of my mind I think that this is the solution, when all I’m really doing is spreading verbal pollution.  In Psalms 39 David had many reasons to be blue, but only spoke his cries to God whom he knew could see him through.   He kept his tongue from sin and from spreading it around and in turn allowed the Lord to turn his frown upside down!  People often come to me and ask me for advice and more often than not I throw my two cents out and don’t think twice.  It’s interesting to me that in Ezekiel  3:26 the Lord causes Ezekiel’s  tongue to on the roof of his mouth stick.  It goes on to say in verse 27 that the Sovereign Lord will loosen it when He delivers His message from heaven.    Once the words were revealed it was evidently clear that what  came from Ezekiel’s mouth was the Authoritative Truth people needed to hear!  I have a wonderful friend who is a pastor’s wife, who has always taken time to pray and seek God’s word before giving me advice on my strife.  At first I did not like this and wanted immediate response , but the more she showed patience in replying I saw many ‘IN HIS WILL’  answers from God.

A couple weeks ago I got a text from an old friend, she was sharing with me about some sin she had just gotten in.  She didn’t act remorseful, rather tried to get me on her side and where years ago I would have gone along, this time I made the choice to not compromise.  I Samuel 24 shows David’s refusal to go with the crowd, rather to stand up with courage, do what’s right and not take the easy way out.  Peer pressure is all around us every single day and we will fall to the ground if we do not consciously place ourselves there to pray.  It saddens me that this friend is straying from the Lord, and as hard it may be I Corinthians 5 talks about the need to “cut the cord”.  It doesn’t mean I put her on my enemies list, but I lift her up to Jesus and pray for restoration and godly fellowship.

I can lead a horse to water  and even teach it how to drink, but if it chooses to thirst to death, judgmental is not the way I need to think.  Verse 13 of I Corinthians 5 says, “God will judge those on the outside.”

Just the other day I saw a note from a friend  “Please, can you help me, there’s a snake here on my end”.  I rushed to her house to remove it from her shed, and once I got it down  we chose to keep it alive instead of causing it to become dead! It was long, black and slimy and smelled disgusting too, but we chose to take it into the woods, release it and pray that no more visits there it would do. We both discussed how it reminded us of Satan and how he tries to hide, but also the way he tries to slither and throw us off stride.  It made me more aware of how quickly he can make his way in and if I don’t remove him when he’s there there will be a stench that grows within.

After having read all these passages and taking them to heart, I’ve learned more about how God wants me to play my part.   I’m thankful for God’s word, and the reminders I am given,  and my prayer from here on out is that I truly seek Him for my soul livin.

Live2love4Him4Ever

~Erica

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 1 Samuel, Ezekiel, Psalms

Deuteronomy 3; Psalm 85; Isaiah 31; Revelation 1

Do not be afraid. God fights for you. This was in Deuteronomy 3, along with testimony of God’s protection and provision. Lately I’ve come up against situations where I remind myself to trust God. In a place of hindsight from ugly battles, I can see how he has fought for me and protected me. I can trust him going forward too.

He speaks peace to his faithful people, but let them not return to their foolish ways. Psalm 85:8 NLT.

Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Psalm 85:12 NLT.

Depending on strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord. Isaiah 31:1. I’ve looked to my own strength too often, instead of God’s. I’m learning more and more to rely on him, and to take my thoughts to him in prayer.

I know the glorious day will come when each of you will throw away the gold idols and silver images your sinful hands have made. Isaiah 31:7. Thank you, God, for showing me what I placed before you–so I could walk away from it and worship you.

Freed us from sin by his blood. He has made us a kingdom of priests for God his Father. Revelation 1:5b, 6. Made us a kingdom, here, of priests. For God. That certainly reframes the morning.

John, a brother and partner in suffering, in God’s kingdom, in the patient endurance that Jesus calls us. Revelation 1:9.

Lord, thank you for these words today, to sit with you over coffee. Thank you for speaking into my life with words of trust, protection, freedom. Thank you for showing me a bigger picture (of suffering and battles and your strength). Love you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Revelation

Numbers 30; Psalms 74; Isaiah 22; 2 Peter 3

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: To the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. The Lord is not slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness.

But God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but he wants all people to change their hearts and lives.

Try to be at peace with God. Remember that we are saved because our Lord is patient. 2 Peter 3:8-9, 14b-15a (NCV)

God is patient with you…Remember that we are saved because our Lord is patient.”

I am saved because He is patient.

God is patient with me.

I am struck by ‘patience’.

Patience – forbearance – longanimity – Good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence.

For so many years of my life, I heard from religion, Old Testament understandings of a wrathful God. I heard fire and brimstone teachings, crafted to cause shame at my ineptitude. I heard John 3:16, not through the devotion of unconditional love, but through a filter of heaped coals on my sinful head.

In this wrong-mindedness, I thought God could never be truly pleased, truly happy with me. I envisioned Him to be frustrated, irritated, and impatient with my own failures and the abhorrent behavior of the world. I saw an image of shaking head, wagging finger, and tapping foot.

And then I encountered real love, arms stretched wide, and I walked through the door to grace.

I came face to face with Truth and the experience of those tiny glimpses of an immense God changed my perspective.

Today, I see the reality of His patience.

His patience is good-natured – having an easygoing and cheerful disposition.

His patience is full of tolerance – a disposition that allows freedom of choice and behavior.

His patience is bigger than any shortcomings or imperfections. It offers the chance to be found, the chance for transformation.

His patience presents the opportunity for peace.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Ex. 18; Luke 21; Job 36; 2 Cor. 6

Job’s friend wants to paint a rosy picture for God followers–if you aren’t prosperous and your life isn’t pleasant, you must be doing it wrong. But today’s readings all point out that following God is no cake walk. Moses had a long, hard journey leading people out of slavery. Job, who was titled as God fearing and blameless, experienced heartache and loss magnified. Paul lists his hardships one after the other. And Jesus tells this,

“But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. 14 So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! 16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers.” Luke 21:12-17 NLT, emphasis mine.

Job’s friend credits himself as knowledgeable. His observations reach for truth, but fall short. And this is something everyone is capable of. Well-meaning friends, however smart and sincere, can mix the truth into false concoctions. Who hasn’t thought their own advice sounded good and true?

I turn to the Bible.

I sit around the table with Moses’ father-in-law, Paul and Jesus. I write down what they say.

  • Lead by example: teach God’s decrees, give His instructions, show (them) how to conduct (their) lives.
  • We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us,and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 NLT, emphasis mine.
  • 28 So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” … 34 “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, 35 like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. 36 Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:28, 34-36 NLT, emphasis mine.

Thank you, God, for words I can trust. I pray for grace and strength “to live in such a way”, “in everything (I) do”, to serve you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Job, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament