Sunday, August 26, 2018

Patience and Peace

       Some say 'Don't pray for patience, because God will give you more opportunities to practice and display it'.  While I can understand that kind of logic, I still believe in praying for continuous help with my own forbearance.  On a greater scale, I believe in praying for peace through my struggles with patience.  The opposite of peace is war.  I think we can create a war within our minds as we deal with our impatience in all things.  We tend to get anxious, short-tempered, frustrated, doubtful, and generally unhappy in our impatient circumstance.  In these moments, it's best to pause and talk with God.  He can best calm our thoughts, emotions and fears.
       "When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy."  Psalm 94:18-19
        "Trust Me in the midst of a messy day. Your inner calm--your Peace in My Presence--need not be shaken by what is going on around you. Though you live in this temporal world, your innermost being is rooted and grounded in eternity. When you start to feel stressed, detach yourself from the disturbances around you. Instead of desperately striving to maintain order and control in your little world, relax and remember that circumstances cannot touch My Peace." [Jesus Calling]
        John 16:32-33  "A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
        In Colossians 1:9-14, Paul and Timothy recognized the importance of patience and encouraging endurance through it.  "We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and 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, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."  I need to pray that for myself and others.  Satan tries to derail us from our purposes in life by turning our focus off the eternal and onto the temporary fluff.  When you feel yourself getting impatient and short-sighted, ask God for the strength to endure. 
        Our patience extends into our trials of suffering.   Often we get overwhelmed by what we are going through, but we must be patient and persevere.  James 5:7-8  "Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waitingfor the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near."  God is in control and hears our cries, therefore be patient for his answers and comfort.  
        "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."  John 14:27  Peace is given to us through the Holy Spirit.  Guidance through our troubled times is a comfort like no other on Earth.  Proverbs 19:11  "A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense."  May we all remember God's patience with each of us and let us pass on the same grace and mercy with ourselves and others. 


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Time Sensitive

Revelation 1:1-3  " The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,  who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near."

         I've been sick a lot over the past month or so.  It used to be that a few extra doses of Vitamin C was the remedy for just about everything.  Now there is so much of this, that and the other to take and it's all time sensitive.  I'm supposed to take 'this' antibiotic every 12 hours, 'that' probiotic twice daily but not within 2 hours of the antibiotic, and then all the 'other' regular medicine that are part of my daily regimen.  It's a lot to juggle while trying to rest and get well at the same time.

        "God’s plan for our life also contains time-sensitive elements. He orchestrates events to accomplish His will, bring Himself glory, and benefit us. This is why cooperation with His timing is so crucial." []

        1 John 2:3-6  "We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word,love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did."

       "Sometimes we make the mistake of viewing the Bible as a list of rules. Certainly obeying God (John 14:21) and spending time with Him are important, but not because we need to be rule-keepers. Jesus and the Father had a loving relationship. When we have a relationship with God, we desire to spend time with Him and obey Him so we can become more like Jesus.  When we want to understand how to love, or how to be humble, or how to have faith, or even how to set our priorities, we can look at Jesus and follow His heart." []

        Matthew Henry comments below [1-5] on the importance and privilege of reading Revelation, but it also applies to the reading of the entire Bible.  How can we follow Jesus if we don't know His Word?  Reading Scripture is time-sensitive, because it can guide you away from troubles before you encounter the temptations and worldliness of life.

 1. It is a blessed privilege to enjoy the oracles of God. This was one of the principal advantages the Jews had above the Gentiles. 

2. It is a blessed thing to study the scriptures; those are well employed who search the scriptures.

 3. It is a privilege not only to read the scriptures ourselves, but to hear them read by others, who are qualified to give us the sense of what they read and to lead us into an understanding of them. 

4. It is not sufficient to our blessedness that we read and hear the scriptures, but we must keep the things that are written; we must keep them in our memories, in our minds, in our affections, and in practice, and we shall be blessed in the deed. 

5. The nearer we come to the accomplishment of the scriptures, the greater regard we shall give to them. The time is at hand, and we should be so much the more attentive as we see the day approaching.

      May we all be time-sensitive to God's will for our lives and cooperate with Him.  Each of us must die to self, relinquish our own desires and plans in order to pursue His because the time is near and none of us know when the trumpet will sound.