God is: Patient
God is never in a hurry. Message from May 10th 2020.
Greeting (Sunday May 10th)
Welcome to Christ Community Church’s live stream Sunday morning Sermon
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On Tuesdays we put out a “Bible Study Worksheet” that will help flex our brains for the upcoming Sermon----
On Thursdays we have a short Devotion titled “15minutes of Grace” that we post on our YouTube channel, and also share it here on Facebook-----
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This morning we are in the middle of a Sermon Series titled “What is God like”---
Happy Mothers Day to all you Mothers out there
Today is the 8th Sunday that we have been forced to meet like this.
8 long weeks we have been bombarded by fear, danger and worry
8 weeks we have been standing on uncertainty, but God hasnt.
A few weeks ago we started a new Sermon Series about the character and nature of God, and each week weve been looking at a different attribute.
Last week we learned about how God is eternal, and that He sees all of time at the same time, while being eternally present in every moment.
Which means He foresaw this 8 weeks before we were in it.
He knew the trials and challenges we would face, He knew the state of our hearts going into it------and He knew how the trials we face would effect our heart during it.
These 8 weeks have been incredibly hard for some people
For some, they cant seem to see past this situation and believe that their lives will be the same….
For other people, this has been challenging, but not hard, theyve relished in their solitude and are confused as to why other people are having a hard time.
For some people, these 8 weeks started bad, but got easier…...and for others it was the other way around.
This quarantine is changing us---- individually, locally, & nationally.
Changing our thoughts----
Changing our actions------
Changing the way we live----
The way we shop-----
Its changing and challenging the way we deal with adversity------
These 8 weeks have changed the way we interact with our friends, family, and loved ones, both physically and emotionally-----
And they have changed the way that we Worship our God
We all have been effected------- changed and grown ----- been scared and confused and worried and unsure of the future
None of that applies to the God whom we worship.
It is like that, because God is patient.
If you have your Bibles with you this morning, turn to:
2nd Peter 3:3-9 - “3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
( → → Open in Prayer ← ← )
So...God is patient.
We can see from our text this morning, that God is patient, and there are many other verses that say this, so we know it to be true.
So the question is...why?
Why is God patient?
( expound )
We know He is eternal----that He didnt have a beginning-----and has always existed……
So is His patience just a “byproduct” of His eternality?
Is He patient because He is eternal?
(Stay with me here)
You see, all of the attributes of God that we are going to be talking about during this series------- ARENT caused by any of the other ones -------- and arent SEPARATE from the others or SEPARATE from God either
They are WHO He is ------ not WHAT He is
They are inseparable from Him
God isnt made up of different parts, like all of His attributes added together will equal Him
A brick wall is one thing, but it is made up of different parts that when put together are one thing ------ it is not like that with God
This is what theologians call “Divine Simplicity”
God is not made up of “parts”
He isnt made up of equal portion of His attributes
Like 10% holy // 10% eternal // 10% patience // etc etc etc
His attributes are inseparable and indivisible from Him, because they are Him
God doesnt possess or have holiness ------- He IS holy
God doesnt possess or have eternality ------ He IS eternal
God doesnt possess or have all power ----- He IS all power
God doesnt possess or have patience ------ He IS patient
So when we ask a question like:
“Why is God patient”?
The most straightforward answer is….. because He is God.
So this morning, we are going to look at the patience of God, and why it matters when He shows it to us----
-----but were also going to look at what patience is, for us.
So, first, lets look at us:
When we are confronted with patience, we all admit that it’s something beneficial, right?
We say things like:
I could be more patient with my spouse or the clerk at the store or the customer service person on the phone or with my children.
I really need to work on my patience
Dear God give me patience
I'm starting to lose my patience
We have things that happen in our life-----that force us to be patient. And for a lot of us, we don’t like it.
Especially in America.
We want what we want, right now.
We live in a culture of instant gratification where boredom and patience have become a sin
We want what we want, right now
We want our food faster, we want our paychecks faster, we want our entertainment faster
We want justice served immediately
We want to see the results of exercise right then and there
We want the fullness of love that our relationships can bring forth, to be immediately present in every situation
We want our schools and businesses to open back up, right now
We want our Churches opened back up, right now
We want a cure for this virus, right now.
For years, our culture and society have conditioned us to not be patient----
Everything screams at us: “You you you, more more more, now now now”
Self centered, self indulgent impatience has been forced upon us; ------and it has become our normal.
So when we meet situations where we have to be patient we can react in 2 different ways:
We get mad ---- or we can understand that patience accomplishes something.
#1 - the first response to having to be patient, is that we get mad
I dont know how many times I have told you to listen to me, and now you havent, and I cant be patient with you any longer!
I am mad
I cant wait for my package to arrive in the mail, ive been patient for weeks, I am mad.
This line is too long! My patience has run out, i am mad!
This traffice isnt moving fast enough, I am mad!
I am being forced to deal with a situation that has been brought to me, that I dont like, and ive dealt with it as long and as strongly as possible, but it has reached a level to which I can no longer remain calm
I am within my rights----
I am entitled to get upset----
I have done nothing wrong, and in fact the situation that is being forced on me is unfair, bad, immoral, they are in the wrong, I am right and you expect me to be patient!?
This quarantine is going on too long!
The government is over-stepping their bounds and enforcing their will on us----
They need to be put in check----
This has gone on too long, I have lost my patience------ I. Am. Mad.
You see, we get mad and respond out of anger, fear and frustration when we have to be patient, because it forces us to admit that we are not in control.
I am going to say that again, but reword it slightly:
If we get mad at having to be patient, it’s because we are being confronted with the fact, that we are not in charge.
Patience causes us to set aside our own rights and our own entitlement, and let who or whatever it is that is causing us to be patient….to exert their or it’s influence over our life.
And humans… by our very nature, want to be in charge of everything in our life.
From microwaves, to relationships, to morality ------ we have a problem with anything causing us to be patient.
We say things like:
“Why should I have to be patient, cant they see the reality of the situation?”
“They should just listen to me, because I know whats what”
“Who do you think you are, that what you think and feel, and how you are doing things……. should be imposed on MY life?!”
Being patient can make us angry.
When we are confronted with a situation that causes us to be patient, we can get angry, or we can acknowledge the fact that patience bears fruit.
Patience accomplishes something.
It teaches us:
Sympathy // Empathy
To teaches us to lift people up instead of put them down
It teaches us to consider the lives of other people and the things they have gone through
It helps us remember that God is in control of every aspect of reality.
If we allow it, patience reminds us of who is really in charge
If patience flows through our prayers, our hearts can rest on the fact that God already knows our wants and needs.
If patience is as much a part of our private time in Scripture, as the pages between our fingers, then our souls can rest within His arms.
Not letting anger be the outcome of our impatience, but instead letting it push us closer and closer to God, will help us see the reality that Charles Spurgeon spoke of when He said:
“every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes—
that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens—
that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses.
The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence—
the fall of sere leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche.”
When we allow patience to flow through our life, like blood that flows through our body, it reminds us that God is sovereign.
And when that happens-----we are made more and more into the image of Jesus----
We begin to reflect His character and nature, instead of our own fallen nature--
It teaches us to take a breath, to slow down, to consider how Jesus would react to a person or a situation instead of acting out of our own human nature.
Patience teaches us to be more Christ-like.
All through Scripture we see Jesus being patient with people
In John 18 when Peter cut off a man’s ear, Jesus didnt freak out and lose His temper---He was patient.
In Mark 10 When John and James argued about who would sit at Jesus’ right hand, He was patient with them---
When unbelievers questioned Him, He patiently answered and taught them.
There was never a time, and there will never be a time, when God loses His patience.
And we are called to be Christ-like in everything that we do. Which means not losing our patience--- which we all do.
We lose our patience with:
with our spouses,
with our bosses,
with our coworkers.
We lose patience with ourselves when we give into a sin we know we shouldnt---
We can even become impatient….with God.
We can say things like:
“Where are you God?”
“Why havent you acted in my life?”
“Where are the promises ive read in Scripture that apply to ME?”
“I’ve heard the pastor say that all I need to do was “name & claim” the blessings I want in my life and then you'll provide them to me….so, where are you?”
We can say things like:
Where were you when my family member was dying??
Where were you when my family member was being hurt??
Where were you when ...I was being hurt??
Where are you God?
Dont you see the suffering down here?
Dont you see all the war and death and hunger and disease?
Why arent you acting?
Drug dealers flood our streets with poison
People rape and kill whenever they want
Abortion clinics murder millions of children
Divorce, lust, selfishness and sexual immorality have infiltrated the sanctity of marriage
Humans are bought and sold across the darkness of the internet
War rages across nations
Disease locks down our planet
My parent died, my child died, where are you God?
When are you coming back?
We need you
When will you gather us together under the safety of wings?
We are the ones down here living through all this pain, and we can see things more clearly than you----so you need to move and act when and how we say you should! You need to do what we say, when we say, and how we say it!
We can repeat the words of:
Job 21:7-9 - “Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? 8 They see their children established around them, their offspring before their eyes. 9 Their homes are safe and free from fear; the rod of God is not on them.”
Why does evil flourish, God?
Why do the wicked go free?
Why arent you acting against all this evil???
Send another flood and wipe out those who force their sin on others----
Rain fire down and vanquish your enemies------
Bring justice to the murderer and rapist------
Bring justice to the pedophiles, war mongers and dictators-----
I have lost my patience with you God!!!
What are you waiting for?!
Lets read those same verses again:
2nd Peter 3:3-9
“3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
God’s patience allows all who will come to believe in Him, the time to do so.
Here’s a good analogy that can help explain this:
( Holding the door open analogy )
He tells the abuser---
He tells the victim---
God is patiently holding the door open, for all who will one day enter into a personal relationship with Him.
Why does this matter?
Why study and learn about the patience of God?
This matters, because all of us were once on the outside, looking in.
All of us were once someone who acted in ways that stoked the wrath of God.
And only God know who will go through the door of repentance, belief, and forgiveness
God is acting out His patience toward this world------- because there are still some people who have yet to go through that door----- that havent crossed the threshold of forgiveness and become a member of the Church.
There are still people, stuck in their sin, who will one day repent and believe, and only God knows who that is, so He is holding the door open for them.
He is patiently holding that door open for that wayward child----
That bitter and hurt relative----
That resentful neighbor----
The lust fueled sex addict----
He is being patient for the adulterer, the homosexual, the theif, the murderer, the person who holds their sin close to their heart----
He is patiently holding that door open for the people who will fulfill the words of:
John 6:37-40 - “37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
And who those people are, who have yet to enter the gate, are known only by God,
His patience is holding the door open----
And our patience with everyone, regardless of their sin ---- will show them this love.
Our nonjudgmental love, guiding them in what Scriptures teaches------
Our welcoming and open arms, regardless of their sin, will show them that there is still time to go through that door-----
No matter who they are, or what their sin may be, it can all be made new.
1st Timothy 1:13-16 - “13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.
Only our God can take the worst, lowest, most evil wretched person----and turn them into disciples.
Only our God can forgive the unforgivable
save the sinner----
redeem the violent-----
Only our God contains the divine patience to stay His wrath until all who will one day repent and believe, and are resting firmly in the arms of His Son.
So be patient------
Look to the God of all patience when your life is unraveling around you, knowing that He is still at work----
Look to the God of all patience when it seems like evil and darkness are winning this war----
Look to the God of all patience when it seems like nothing good can come from what is happening in the world right now.
And He will answer you.
In closing, I would like to read Psalm 27. It’s a little bit long but it shows us the importance of us being patient, and the importance of God’s patience.
Listen carefully to the words
Read it yourself later today while lying in your bed
Read it tomorrow morning over your coffee
Read the words of God and let Him draw you closer and closer into His eternal patient embrace
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
2 When evil people come to devour me,
when my enemies and foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
3 Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.
4 The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
6 Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music.
7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
Be merciful and answer me!
8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
9 Do not turn your back on me.
Do not reject your servant in anger.
You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close.
11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me.
12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
with every breath they threaten me with violence.
13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Take this time in your life, no matter what is going on, as an opportunity to rest in His divine patience.
( → → closing prayer ← ← )