Monthly Archives: February 2014

Unedited Thoughts: Growing in Patience

What is patience? Patience is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. It is to bear an annoyance without complaint, and to suppress restlessness when forced to wait. A patient person is quiet, even-tempered, and diligent with a steady perseverance.

“For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:3

A patient person is one that is strong and cunning, so we must not be fooled by their still and subdued demeanor. It is in fact, a biblical representation of holy strength.

Many of us (regardless of our cultural or religious background) know that the virtue of patience is one that is not only hard to acquire, but incredibly valuable. And I am learning this. As funny as it may sound to many of you (who perhaps have already arrived to this conclusion based on the stories I  share about my walk in Christ), I have finally reached the point to where I now realize that I am a pretty impatient person. I want things NOW, while He wants them later.

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:25

Of course, I’d much rather say that I am patient (because it sounds better). But, the truth is, I’m not. And I’m not just speaking in regards to the Atlanta traffic jams that I bustle through around 5pm, or the desire to get as much done in the shortest time possible (which I coin with the term efficiency). But, I’m rather speaking on the ways to which I eagerly await (often in frustration) for the timing of God to work in my life. And in all honesty, it’s hurting our relationship and stunting my spiritual growth.

“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

This week, I’ll be sharing some stories that may cause you to shake your head in disbelief or perhaps even cry. But, more so I want to challenge you to take a deeper look into the depths of your own hearts (through the revelation of the Holy Spirit). Patience (which is defined as love and one of the fruits of the Spirit)  is one virtue that I am wholeheartedly committed to grow in through the grace of Jesus Christ. May our hearts be encouraged this week and may He alone be glorified.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.” 1 Corinthians 13:4

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

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This is an unedited post.

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Have you ever given God your word? Making a vow to follow Him to the end regardless of the circumstances?

Welcome to the club.

And welcome to Peter’s life. Peter, who had served as a fisher of men alongside Jesus Christ, completely renounces Jesus after His arrest. Not surprisingly, Peter falls into a deep hole of despair and returns to mediocrity in his former profession of catching the fish of the sea.

Because Peter rejected Jesus, I’m sure he felt God was now rejecting him, a feeling to which I can personally relate. Peter’s thinking (as well as mine) is quite rational in our human minds. But, when we’re dealing with God and Jesus Christ the Son, this line of thinking no longer holds relevance.

Jesus is a Pursuer by nature. In fact, He took His last breath on the cross (and dying for the world’s sins) while he was still being rejected.

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Ephesians 1:4

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do’.” Luke 23:24

Peter became misdirected, just as we do whenever we push Jesus out of our lives.

We can walk and talk with Him, follow Him daily, and enjoy sweet intimacy with the coolest person ever known to man. But when we turn from him, we feel like our world is crashing in on us.

Regardless of whether we make one bad decision or we live a life of habitual sin, when we disobey Him we plunge ourselves into a pool of unworthiness.

I’m thankful that God doesn’t expect us to be God. Instead, He realistically expects us to be human and hopes that we will seek His son as the example in living our lives. Jesus knows we will make mistakes, and He allows us the freedom to make them.

Yet, He always returns.

There is one small statement in the following passage that really caught my attention today. It’s found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-6:

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.”

Jesus fulfilled His Father’s will – He died for the sins of the world at Calvary, rose from the dead after the third day, and then intentionally invested in those He deeply loved.

Including Peter. The same man who betrayed him out of his broken flesh.

In fact, Jesus went out searching for him.

Just like He is searching for me today. And perhaps He is searching for you.

Knowing that Jesus welcomes us in His arms even if we turn away from Him brings me incredible peace and comfort.

Check out this next verse found in John 21:7-8 “Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, toward the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.”

Peter knows Jesus has just arrived, and jumps into the water to greet Him (even when they were so close to the shore).

What’s happening here?

Peter is ecstatic. He’s overjoyed and humbled. He feels accepted and pursued, and he wastes no time to make things right with Jesus.

I believe this is a great reminder for many of us today (including myself).

Jesus is really, really patient with us. And He truly wants nothing more than to be in a real relationship with our hearts. Will you and I allow Him to do so?

“God’s kindness leads us to repentance” Romans 2:4 NIV

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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Returning to His Arms

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When Christianity Hurts

On Tuesday, we talked about God doing the unexpected in the book of Acts. Today, I want to share a different lesson that emerges after Stephen’s death. In the days following Stephen’s martyrdom, we encounter Saul, a highly-educated, pious, and wicked ruler (who later becomes the Apostle Paul and authors over two thirds of the New Testament). Here, he’s busily working to persecute the early Christians:

“And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. ” Acts 8:1-3

For those of us in the U.S, imagining persecution as part of life is very difficult. Yet for anyone living in countries where the Gospel is rejected, there are real dangers associated with calling Jesus your Lord.

Try to visualize this right now…..Read the remainder of this post on our new HDD website at: His Daily Dose

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