THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date – 4-3-11

THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT: “LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE: PATIENCE”

WELCOME

Isn’t it great to know God and to have the privilege of gathering together and praising His name on this wondrous Lord’s Day? Thanks for joining us today as we break together God’s Living Word. And let me express how happy we are to have you this morning for this time of offering to God. How blessed we are in this country to have the freedom to assemble this day and to give this time to our Creator. It is my hope and prayer that we will each do our part to make this time of worship acceptable in God’s sight and according to His Will!

Now as we begin to focus our thoughts on God, will you bow with me before His throne in prayer?

(PRAYER)

As always, it is our privilege on this program to praise God together in song! Today, our first hymn deals with the wondrous promise awaiting the faithful in the end. So let me encourage you to join in with the congregation at this time as we lift our voices up in the first song of the morning. The name of the hymn, “Just Over In The Glory Land!”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

I would like to begin by asking this morning, “who helps you in your life?” When we are children our parents help us and make sure that we have the need care, protection and discipline which we need. As we grow older we continue to need family, but as well we have teachers, friends and even coworkers to help us along. And in all of this let’s not forget one of the great sources of strength which we turn to in this life, God’s Church. How wonderful it is to have Christian family and friends to help us in this life. The fact is we all need a lot of help and encouragement to be able to make it through the trials and difficulties of this life.

With this in mind we must not forget the greatest source of help in the life of a child of God. Of course we all know the answer - God Himself! The Psalmist David said, “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth,” Psalm 121:2. This verse again confirms the fact that our God is the ultimate helper in our lives. However, I think it goes on to clarify why we can count on His help and why it is best. Notice again that David referred to the one “who made heavens and earth!” So why is God so mighty and able to help us in all areas of life? The answer is because He is so great and powerful, so powerful that He was able to make the heavens and earth. Thus the reasoning is, if God can make the very heavens above and earth below, how much more proof do we need that He can certainly help us with the issues in our life.

Thanks be to God for His power and wonder. May we all strive to turn to God and lean on His greatness so that we may be able to make it through our every day lives. So that we may boldly proclaim before the masses, that just as David, “My help comes for the Lord!”

Today we will be continuing our series entitled, “Let Your Light So Shine!” As far as the specific message of the day, we will be considering the characteristic of, “Patience.” So please stay with us and after our next song, I will be leading us in this study from God’s Word. Now let’s join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms.”

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

By Ray Sullins

In 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 and verse 14 we read, “Now we exhort you brethren, warn those who are unruly. Comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak and be patient with all.” In this text, we find Paul challenging the brethren of Thessalonica to understand what it is, at least in some regards, to that which they are required of God to be right, to be proper. And not only in relationship to God, but in relationship, it says here, to one another. And so he says, “I exhort you. I challenge you. I tell you brethren, these things,” but amongst them is mentioned “patience.”

You know when you think about the concept of patience; there aren’t a lot of patience in this world today. When we look around our society and we go to maybe a restaurant and we see people waiting in line, folks really aren’t that patient about waiting, are they? When we think about maybe someone at the bank or someone cutting in front of someone else in line and people begin to get heated and even angry. There’s not a lot of patience in our lives, and we really are in a society and live in a world that it is expected now and almost seems like we want it yesterday although we are just now asking for it. What the Bible actually teaches is that we are to be a people who learn to be patient.

When you think about the concept of being patient it is quite interesting that it is defined as “being able to suffer without complaint.” You know sometimes you might think about, “Well to be patient, does that really have to do with suffering?” Well really it means that I am willing to step outside of my comfort zone or really what I just want or what is best for me or what is comfortable for me and I am able to endure something that really someone else might be able to have it their way or something else might happen or something that is really not on my schedule gets in the way of my things. And so it does deal to some extent, if you think about it, with something that we suffer in or that we give up in order that we might be willing to endure it with patience.

Patience then is something that affects us every day, every day when we are on our way to work and we’re frustrated about all the traffic, how patient are we able to be? Every day when we are at work and we’re rushing during the one hour lunch break that we have to gobble down our food and we say, “Well I’ve got to hurry.” How patient are we? You see again we are so affected by such a high paced society that we have often lost this element of patience learning that we are supposed to be able to accept and endure with things that even bring about my suffering or my delay. Really not what I want or when I wanted it. But it is something that I am going to have to accept. Well we even have maybe commercials or those have chosen types of advertisements that say, “I want I my way and I want it now, and if so and so says it is going to be this way then it is going to be.”

Well that’s not about patience. That’s not about the principles of God that we are talking about. The principle of God we are talking about is something that says, “We are going to be patient because God exhorts us to, but if you’ll notice also there in 1 Thessalonians 5 and verse 14, he says, “To be patient (guess what) with all.” Boy that’s a big one. That means be patient with our family, brothers and sisters, with our parents. Be patient with our co-workers. Maybe if you go to school still, it is that person who is a fellow student. Maybe it’s a teacher that you have. Maybe it’s a boss that you have difficulty being patient with. Well you see the fact is we are to be patient not with just God and not with just those that we like. We are to be patient with all. So let me ask you how that is going. How well is it working out that you really be patient and that you show others a willingness to be patient?

You know among the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians chapter 5? There are many beautiful godly characteristics that we are to imitate, but amongst those after mentioning joy, and so many other glorious attributes of a faithful follower of God, guess what he mentions. Patience! Are we those who bear forth the Fruit of the Spirit by being patient? That’s what those characteristics are really identifying to us, bearing fruit, showing forth fruit, something seen, that my patience is obvious to all, that I am one who really is seen as being willing even in trials and difficulties and sufferings, even when it’s not the way I wanted it or in the time I wanted it, to be able to accept and endure such things in my life.

Is that how people see you? Is that what they’re willing to accept about you? And brethren and friends, the exciting part is when people begin to see that, the question they want to know is: How? Why? What makes is possible that you can be so patient because I am just frustrated, I am anxious, I am mad, I am angry! And they have all of these feelings because they are not willing to accept what is before them at any given time. Patience! Being willing to endure those things without complaints that come my way realizing that my God, the God of all, the most powerful of all is able to work all things to good in my life whether it is on my timetable or not.

Well then next we would want to ask: Why do you think we are to be a patient people? Well I think Peter sums it up well in the text that we are no doubt familiar with where he talks about the necessity of the world to repent or to turn away from sin. But you might notice with me there in the text in 2 Peter chapter 3 and verse 9 the Bible says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promises as some count slackness but is longsuffering toward us not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Did you see that word in the middle there, “longsuffering,” the ability to suffer without complaint? That’s the same concept, the same idea that is being presented with another English word here, that I am able to suffer long even when it’s not my way or the way I like it or the way I thought it should be or the way I planned it. You know sometimes you make plans and despite all your best efforts whether it is on a vacation or whether it is on a weekend or maybe it’s just a Saturday that you had some things you wanted to do, inevitably something happens. It rains or the weather doesn’t cooperate or maybe someone calls you and has a certain need or there’s a sickness or there’s a death. On and on and on it seems like there are things that get in the way.

How patiently do we accept these things? Do we show forth to others our willingness to accept them? How patiently are we like God to suffer long that He might give everyone the chance time and time and time again to respond and obey His Will.

I want you to imagine for a moment being God in Heaven, perfect, complete, all powerful and to see all of these billions of people on this planet to continually for the most part reject Him, do not obey, do not listen and do not do the things that He commands through His Word, the Bible. And often we see not only that problem, but many who do claim to that choose to do it their own way. They don’t have patience to say, “How does God want it?” and to see what He wants and do it. They just say, “What feels good to you? What feels good to me? Let’s do what we want to do to show God we love Him.” Well that’s not the patience that we are talking about here again. The patience we are talking about is God who sees sin after sin after sin after sin, transgression after transgression, wickedness after wickedness, and yet someone says as they fall to their knees, “I now believe.” Someone now repents of their sin and guess what God does. He opens His arms. He receives them. God is longsuffering toward us. He doesn’t want anyone to perish. He wants everyone to repent and He is willing to give us time to do it even when I am not worthy of such. Boy that is patience! That is patience! And when God shows me that He is patient, what does that teach me from His Word?

Well does it not tell us throughout scripture in Ephesians chapter 5 that “we are to be imitators of God as his dear children?”

Was it not Paul in 1 Corinthians 11 verse 1, “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.”

You know we are to imitate the characteristics, the good qualities, the fruit of God. In fact as we saw earlier that is how we bear forth God in evidence to the world. That is how they see Him in us when we are doing those things that are fruitful according to what He did or He commanded.

God is a patient God. God has always been a patient God. I think back to the days of Israel and I think of the hundreds of years that He put up with the Israelite nation and how time and time again even after bringing them out of Egypt, and even after all the wonders of Egypt they murmured in the wilderness, and they complained about the food and the quail and the manna and they complained about the need for more water and they complained about not having the fruit that they had back in Egypt and on and on and on it goes. We see this continuing even after they are given the Promised Land, even during the period of the judges, and even the kings, transgression after transgression. What did God do? Did He throw up His arms? Did He leave them? Did He forgive them? Patience! He kept sending servant after servant, prophet after prophet, leader after leader that they might what? Be told again what He wanted that they might repent. That’s a patient God, a God that puts up with a lot, a longsuffering God, a God who is willing to endure, a God who is willing to persevere, a God who is willing to see it through to the end. And so what must we be? We have learned, patient with all!

There’s also another element of patience that is required as we might turn over to the book of James chapter 5. James adds here the element of something that you and I must be patient for of a spiritual nature. So not only is God patient. Not only must we be patient as God is patient. Not only must we be patient and show that patience to others. But here in chapter 5 I want you to read with me in verse 7 again the book of James, he said, “Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until he receives the earth and latter rains.” Then he says, “You also then be patient. Establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” Now this is written obviously probably back in the 60, 70 A.D. and now we’re at 2,000. Time is at hand. It shows you of course that time to God is much different than time is to us. But here we see this obvious fact that we are to be ready at all times with what? Patience! For the coming of the Lord! We might say, “Well, God, why don’t you hurry up and come? I am tired of all the trials of life. I am tired of this. I am tired of being sick.” And yet, patience! Are we able to be patient not only towards God, not only towards others, not only according to His Will, but are we able to be patient towards God specifically in relationship to the great reward of Heaven? It says, “Even the farmer waits for the produce.” You know I have always thought it would be a difficult thing to be a farmer and have to wait and wonder if enough rain and sun and if the soil had enough nutrients, and if everything was going to come together just perfect to have that fruitful crop that I was hoping and praying for.

Well that’s what we’re supposed to be like with God. We’re supposed to prayerfully and patiently and in a very enduring way wait for God without complaint knowing that in His time He will do what is best, but also knowing that as we patiently wait He blesses us, and He is going to help us every step of the way.

We might then finally in the last few minutes look at a few ideas as far as what we are supposed to do as those who are Christians as we realize our responsibility with patience. I might mention for instance in Romans chapter 5 and verse 3; it says there that, “We are to be patient even in tribulation.” In fact the verse actually indicates that because of tribulation and trial, we learn patience. Because let me ask you a question: When you are impatient or things happen in life, how much control do you have over them? Sometimes we don’t have any control. When it starts raining, as we said earlier, outside, how much control do you have over that and you get mad about it? Well, patience! Patience! He says, “Deal with tribulation and do it by learning patience.”

There will be a better time. There will be a better day as God wills, eagerly waiting there for the promise of God and patiently being willing to think of those things and do those things that He has asked of us.

We also find there that Paul spoke to the Thessalonians about how they were a patient people. In fact, there in chapter 1 and verse 4 of 2 Thessalonians he actually talks to them as being a patient people. He boasted about their patience. Why? It’s a good, godly thing. It’s a wondrous thing.

And we can even back up to the Old Testament and we can find there in the text over and over again example after example men, great men of God, like Job who had all things and then he lost it all in an instant. Even though he lost all things, what did Job need more than anything? Patience! The ability to suffer and not complain and to endure and be right and faithful in the end.

It wasn’t just him. What about Abraham? Abraham was to told to go to a place he didn’t know, and “I am just going to show you, but take your family and go and I’m going to tell you sometime.” Well patiently he waited for God’s advice as where he would actually live and he obeyed God and did what He commanded.

Moses was patient, patient time and time again with a people as God was who transgressed the Will of God.

Joseph was patient. He was a man who put up with a lot of trials in his life although knowing God was with him; he was willing to be blessed.

Do you see all that we can learn from God as the patient God? Do you see all that we can learn from the good, godly, righteous people of the scriptures who were patient and how they were blessed because of it? And you see how that you and I, when we learn to be patient as God has commanded with all, that we will be blessed now as well as forever more.

Let me then challenge us today to know our God, to be patient and understanding with His Word and to obey it as quickly as we can knowing that those who are faithful will not only as we have said be blessed today, but be blessed forever more. There is a mansion awaiting you in Heaven. Will you go and be there someday because you have proved your love to God?

(SONG # 3 - “Let The Lower Lights Be Burning!”)

CLOSING COMMENTS

May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and thus a blessing to us all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!

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What type of patience do you have in a world of impatient people? Won’t you consider today God’s patience’s with you and imitate His example toward those around you in this world. Will you be patient as God commands?

(Program closing)