Tag Archives: Patience

Embrace the Timing of God

Lately I need to be even more patient than usual. That’s difficult for me. It took long enough for me to get the patience I have—and now I have to be even more patient?!? Things take longer than I ever could imagine. Things aren’t as simple as I first considered. The struggle is real. You know what I mean? I’m sure you are patiently waiting for this devotion to end (let’s hope not because I didn’t even share what God has shown me). Perhaps you are recollecting your drive home or the long line at the supermarket. A half hour ago, I waited 4 minutes for a red light. FOUR MINUTES!!

Despite my love of not waiting, I have learned to embrace God’s timing. Oftentimes, this means that I must make good use of that patience He has taught me over the years. Usually it means I will be stretched to the max, growing in patience or falling while pulling out my hair asking God what is taking so long. The truth is, I embrace God’s timing because I have realized He has the best plan. He has showed me how extra time brings everything in line the way He orchestrated. Waiting on His timing allows for people to step up that He positioned to rise. Waiting on His timing gives me the opportunity to see Him move in mighty ways. Embracing the timing of God is a walk in faith and it produces great fruit. Plus, I have proven time and time again that my timing is HORRIBLE!!

Today, you might not know what God is doing. You may even say He is silent or absent. I can promise you that He is not absent. He promises not to leave or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:8). God is always moving too, so if you think He’s silent, it’s quite possible that you aren’t listening. I have many times found myself guilty of not taking a pause in life to listen to our heavenly Father. Take the time today. Pray. Read His Word. Simply sit still. Embrace His timing. Carve out some time to rest and listen. Wait for the Lord. Wait for the Lord.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14 [NIV]

 

Just the Time

Waiting is hard. We are not patient people. I know I am the kind of person that wants to get things done right away. When I see something that needs done, I do it. When I see a problem, I dive in to try to fix it. I don’t like to dilly dally around.

The Lord is showing me that waiting is crucial in life. God created the earth with rhythm and balance. We cannot do everything. We shouldn’t try everything. We need to instead rest in Him and trust that at just the time, He will move and things will come to be just as He has planned and promised. Never in the Bible do you see Jesus rushing around like a chicken with His head cut off. Yet, when we closely examine our own lives, we often note we are too much action and not enough wait. We are too much noise, not enough silent moments with Him.

With Abraham and Sarah, they were promised a child but they didn’t wait. Sound like anyone you know? Then God revealed more of His plan to them, letting the two know that the promised line would come through their soon-to-be child Isaac who would soon make an appearance. Sarah laughed, but “this happened at just the time God had said it would.” Patience allows us to experience the peace God always meant for us to enjoy. Patience stretches our faith. Patience allows us to see God move in awesome ways. Today, remind yourself that God’s Word tells us there is a time for everything. Trust His timing.

“She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age. This happened at just the time God had said it would.” – Genesis 21:2 [NLT]

Flip Flop Fiasco

It was only supposed to be a quick walk around the block. I got the dogs ready to walk, fitting them with their harnesses and latching them to the double leash. Since it was only going to be a short walk, I solved the no-socks-downstairs problem by simply slipping on my flip flops (thongs). I walked down the street a bit and realized we had a problem. Dogs were approaching. Max surely would get anxious, so I turned and went another direction to avoid the situation.

As I continued on the walk, I was about ready to turn and head back home. Once again, there was a dog up ahead. What was going on this evening? Was everyone walking their dogs? It became apparent that I would be taking the dogs for a much longer walk to avoid the other animals. There I was with my flip flops, certainly not good walking shoes, walking over a mile with the dogs. Talk about being prepared.

When we venture off for our day, we are supposed to be prepared. There is a battle out there. Before we step outside the house, we need to be sure we are armored up. Did you pray? Did you read His Word? This is the preparation that helps to start off the day the right way. When we leave the house in a hurry, missing out on our morning time with God, we likely will continue to walk around in flip flops for miles, when we should have been ready. Just like my feet were not feeling right afterward, so we will feel drained, burdened, and tempted out in the world. Just like I turned again and again trying to find the path to take, in the same way the unprepared turn and turn again going around in circles, never realizing that God has made a way to travel. You have a choice today my friends—how are you going to start your day?

“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” – Psalm 5:3 [NIV]

Wait and Seek

In the world, we are taught that we should seek and find—we are to go out there and get what we want because we deserve it. It is considered a way of life. No waiting necessary. Technology has made this even easier as people can reach others more quickly. These technological advancements helped to breed a lack of patience.

Consider how often you were able to have some alone time this week—actual alone time, where you were not on your phone. Time when you can actually hear God speak. Consider how many times you lost your patience this week. I know a short ride from point A to point B may have shown us a side of ourselves we would like so much to hide.

In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah writes that it is good for us to “wait quietly.” Not only should we be a waiting people (patience needed), but it speaks of a “soul who seeks Him.” What are you seeking? Are you seeking God? Are you looking for something else? In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah speaks of the hope in the Lord. He recognized that He alone is our great hope, and he spoke of the importance of seeking Him and waiting for Him. Today, may you stop trying to push things forward, but rather, may you hope in the Lord. Rest in Him. Trust in His plan and His timing.

“The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” – Lamentations 3:25-27 [ESV]

Watching and Waiting

One of the hardest things for us to do in this age of technology is to watch and wait. When a website takes longer than usual to load, we mutter not-so-nice words under our breath. When the street light seems to take forever to change or the person in front of us does not notice it changed and move at a rate we expect, we get frantic. When we push a button a few times for the elevator, we continue to push it again if the elevator does not rush to our floor. We live a life of rush, of busyness, of frantic racing from place to place or task to task. But God’s Word tells us that we were never meant to be zooming around everywhere like a chicken with its head cut off.

In Proverbs 8:34, it says that we will be blessed if we listen, watch, and wait. This seems simple. Listen. Watch. Wait. But to do these three things is not so easy. To listen, means we need to be intentional. You may have heard the phrase, “Put on your listening ears.” For a child of God to have listening ears, it means we have ourselves ready to listen. The noise of the world isn’t drowning out God’s voice. We have made time to hear. We have found a place that will promote the stillness we need to hear the still small voice.

Not only are we to listen, but we are to watch. We watch God move with our eyes. We watch what He has for us. But we don’t act. It says we watch and wait. This is not the typical sequence of action for us. We are accustomed to watching someone show us how to do it, and then start following the How-To video to accomplish the same project or cook the same meal. God wants us to listen and watch for Him, and only move when He wants us to move. To be in His will, to walk so closely to Him, following His instruction, requires us to listen, to watch, and to wait. This is what abiding in Him is all about—and living this way results in living a life that is blessed.

“Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.” – Proverbs 8:34 [ESV]

Ephesians Study: Unity of the Body

[Ephesians 4:1-16]

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (v. 2-3 ESV)

 

  1. 2 With ALL

humility, lowliness of mind, modesty

gentleness, mildness, gentle strength (power with reserve & strength)

patience, forbearance, longsuffering, steadfastness, staying power

bearing with one another in love, enduring with, suffer, admit, persist

 

  1. 3 Eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace

ONE BODY – all part of one body

ONE SPIRIT – united by one Spirit – the Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit

ONE LORD – one Lord of all

ONE FAITH – one faith in Jesus Christ

ONE BAPTISM – one baptism in Christ

ONE GOD & FATHER OF ALL – one God, one Father of all

 

“To a true child of God, the invisible bond that unites all believers to Christ is far more tender, and lasting, and precious; and, as we come to recognize and realize that we are all dwelling in one sphere of life in Him, we learn to look on every believer as our brother, in a sense that is infinitely higher than all human relationships. This is the one and only way to bring disciples permanently together. All other plans for promoting the unity of the Church have failed.”

– A.T. Pierson

 Bible Study Questions:

  1. Verse 7 mentions “grace given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” What does this mean?
  2. Verse 11 mentions a list of different titles.
  3. What type of people were mentioned?
  4.   What does Paul say these different people are responsible for?
  5.  Verse 14 mentions what can happen to us.
  6. What can happen to us if we stay infants? What does this mean?
  7.  How does this happen? (v. 14)
  8.  How can we prevent this? (see verses 15-16)
  9.   What happens when we each are united working together? (see verses 15-16)

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Ephesians. The 12 weeks include:

1- Sons and Daughters

2- Immeasurable Greatness

3- God’s Workmanship

4- Our Cornerstone

5- Least of the Saints

6- Love of Christ

7- Abundantly More

8- Unity of the Body

9- Anger Management

10- Exposed by the Light

11- Submission

12- Prepared for Battle

Colossians Study: Taking Responsibility

[Colossians 3:5-14]

[V. 5] THEREFORE consider dead…

  • Because you are alive with Christ – seek things above (v. 1-4)
  • Because we died with Christ
    • Put off earthly life / past sin
    • Put on Christ (clothe yourselves)
    • Result – more like Christ

[V. 5] Consider dead to…

  • Immorality – “porneia” – where word pornography comes
    • Includes fornication, adultery, incest
  • Impurity – unclean – someone who refused to clean up act
    • Someone who never repents
  • Passion – “pathos” – inordinate affection or lust to point of suffering for it
  • Evil Desire – longing for that which is forbidden
  • Greed – always wanting more, associated with acts of fraud and extortion

[V. 8-9] But now also put aside…

  • Anger – “orge” – where word orgy comes
    • Passion out of control
  • Wrath – “heavy breathing” – rage / fierceness
  • Malice – attitude of ill will toward a person
  • Slander – “blasphemy” – speech that tears down
    • Opposite of let your speech be grace seasoned with salt
  • Abusive speech – filthy language
  • Lies – working with / cooperating with the father of lies

[V. 12-14] Put on…

  • Compassion – mercy
  • Kindness – form of general moral excellence – person who does right thing – to extend goodwill
  • Gentleness – Christians are most powerful people on earth but power should be clothed in gentleness – obedient, submissiveness to God
  • Humility – modesty
  • Patience – “macro” means you’re going to need a lot – patience that doesn’t give up on other people – handling injustice / difficulty well
  • Bearing with and forgiving each other
  • Love – perfect bond of unity – it’s the binding strap that holds the church together.

Bible Study Questions:

  • The passage mentions that because of the sins listed, the wrath is coming. How does that relate to us? Do we face this wrath? Do these sins have any consequences for us?
  • What are some actions we need to take or things we need to do to take responsibility for our actions?
  • What is the hardest to take responsibility or blame for in your own life? Why is it so hard?
  • Verse 13 mentions bearing with one another and forgiving one another. What does it mean to bear with one another?
  • Verse 14 says that love binds everything together. Explain what that means to you and what that means for the church as a body.
  • Consider the list of sins listed in this passage. What can we put on in place of this sin? How can we go about taking action?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

More Than a Story: Fruitfulness

[The Unproductive Fig Tree: Luke 13:6-9, Withered Fig Tree: Matthew 21:18-22]

Colossians 1:9-10“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” [NIV]

*BEARING FRUIT IN EVERY GOOD WORK*

  • Filled with the knowledge of His will
  • Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord
  • Bearing fruit in every good work

INTERNAL FRUIT + EXTERNAL FRUIT

            Internal Fruit – Deeper walk with God which produces: Fruits of the Spirit

            External Fruit – Abiding in Christ impacts relationships and increases effectiveness of your ministry

Galatians 5:22-23a – “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” [NLT]

John 15:5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” [NASB]

John 15:8, 11“My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples… I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” [HCSB]

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:14-21 [NIV]

Bible Study Questions:

1) Looking at the Parable of the Unproductive Fig Tree, who is:

            The Vineyard Owner –

The Vineyard Keeper –

2) The Keeper of the Vineyard pleas with the Owner to give another chance. What does this say to us?

3) In Matthew 21:18-22, we read of the Withered Fig Tree. The fig tree bears a false resemblance of one that would have fruit. How can we appear to be fruitful but not yet not bear any fruit?

4) What does the Withered Fig Tree represent to us? What can we take from this message?

5) Read Colossians 1:9-10. The passages mentions being filled with the knowledge of His will, to walk in the manner worthy of the Lord, and about bearing fruit in every good work. How can we:

            Be filled with the knowledge of His will?

            Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord?

            Bear fruit in every good work?

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused

Being A Stairmaster Outline

Being A Stairmaster

Psalms 120-134

The Pattern of the Psalms: Situation of Distress / Lord’s Power / Security from God

Takes over ten minutes to read these Songs of Ascents

Be Free to Climb

Able to come / Able to be fully present / If serve one service, attend the other

Be Glad to Climb

“A Song of Ascents, of David. I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD.’” Psalm 122:1 [NASB]

Look Up

Fix your eyes on God: Pray and Praise Him before service

“A Song of Ascents. To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us.” Psalm 123:1-2 [ESV]

“Lift up holy hands in prayer, and praise the LORD.” Psalm 134:2 [NLT]

Retrace Your Steps

Remind yourself of what God did today, this week / remind yourself of His Word

Psalm 126:1 – Lord restored fortune in past; Psalm 132 – remembering Word to David

Climb with Humility

Is your heart right? Approach with humility. Remember you need God’s grace/love/mercy

“What if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us? They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger.” Psalm 124:2-3 [NLT]

“A song of ascents. Of David. My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.” – Psalm 131:1 [NIV]

Step by Step

Don’t be about the hustle and bustle / Patience / Peace / Calmed & Quieted Soul

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5 [NIV]

“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:2 [ESV]

Download Being A Stairmaster Outline

Waiting on God

Waiting on God

One of the hardest things to do is to wait for God. I will be the first to admit that I can get impatient. I like to get things done. When there is a project, a problem, an assignment, a task to be done, a schedule, etc., I am on top of things and I want things done at a set time and if things are slowed down, if someone or something makes me wait, I get frustrated. When it comes to waiting on God, there are moments when I am ready to jump in with both feet, but it’s not go time. God didn’t tell me to move. But still, I want to move. I want to get started. I want to get going. It looks like it’s time.

Waiting on God requires more than patience—it requires faith. Faith in His timing. Noah was on the ark for a very long time; scholars say he and his family were on that ark for a year. Wow. Imagine being on a boat of sorts for an entire year with your family and animals galore. I can hardly make it in my car on a road trip with my kids and the dog without wanting to jump out of the car (while it is moving).

The dove came back holding an olive leaf. The water had subsided. Verse 11 says that “Noah knew that the waters had subsided.” So he waits another week and then sends out a dove again. Then they take the top of the ark off, but they still do not leave. They do not leave until God says, “Go out from the ark” (v. 16a ESV). Talk about waiting on God. Today, may you find ways in your life to wait on Him. Stop trying to rush decisions and actions. Pull yourself back and pray about things. Consider your steps.

“Then God said to Noah, ‘God out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.’” – Genesis 8:15-16 [ESV]