[Biblemat] S:> Longsuffering
Ethan R. Longhenry
disciple_of_iesus at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 11 20:24:57 CST 2007
A. If there is one virtue that has been entirely lost on the
modern age, it is the virtue of longsuffering or patience
1. We now have drive-thru everything
2. Waiting in lines is "inexcusable"
3. We expect everything to be done yesterday!
B. For the Christian, however, patience is a must
1. Ephesians 4:1-2
2. Galatians 5:22: part of the fruit of the Spirit
C. To whom can we look to understand patience?
D. Let us consider the Scriptures
A. Patience is the commonly used word today, but "longsuffering"
1. "Longsuffering" requires us to "suffer long"
2. That's the way it feels many times!
B. Greek makrothumia
1. Literally, "long force", or "long spirit"
2. Reaching "patience" is understandable: one must endure in
one's spirit to maintain or obtain patience!
3. Thus, "longsuffering" or "patience"
C. Patience, therefore, involves containing one's passions,
desires, and intentions-- enduring through time
III. The Patience of God
A. Let us first consider the patience of God
B. God has been patient with all mankind!
C. 2 Peter 3:15
1. The patience of the Lord is to be treated as salvation
2. Why? 2 Peter 3:8-10
3. If God had been less "patient", the world might have
already been destroyed!
4. You may never have been born
5. Worse, you may have been alive but separated from God!
6. There is great value in God's patience!
D. 1 Timothy 1:16
1. Jesus' patience is perfect
2. Paul is the ultimate example of that patience
3. When Paul was going around persecuting His people, Jesus
did not impatiently strike him down (cf. Acts 8:1-2)
4. Instead, in His good time, He revealed Himself to Paul,
and the latter believed (Acts 9:1-10)
E. Thus it is that He has been patient with us!
1. He could have easily ended our lives long before this, let
alone never have received the opportunity to live!
2. Our ability to be alive and to come to Christ is all due
to the Lord's patience for us
3. The fact that salvation is still extended to us indicates
F. Let us give thanks that even though we have often been
impatient, God has been patient with us!
IV. The Patience of the Prophets
A. We also have the example of the prophets as those being
1. Hebrews 6:12
2. James 5:10ff
B. Many prophets proclaimed messages that would not come to
fruition until late in their lives or in another generation
1. Hosea spoke of Israel's downfall for 40 years
2. Jeremiah suffered all kinds of indignity for his preaching,
even though it came true
3. They spoke these things in the midst of people who did not
believe and false prophets who contradicted them!
4. They still showed patience and persevered
C. James speaks of the example of Job (James 5:11)
1. Job suffered great loss of loved ones (Job 1)
2. He himself suffered from illness (Job 2)
3. Despite his internal wranglings and difficulties, he
4. Received blessings from God (Job 42)
5. His example should indicate to us that we can have
patience in any circumstance!
V. Exhibiting Patience
A. We can see, therefore, that we can indeed become patient
B. We ought to be patient since God has been patient with us
1. It is easy to get impatient with others
2. They don't do what they need to do, and aren't where
they need to be
3. Many times people get on our nerves!
4. Yet just as we have received God's patience when we did
not deserve it, we ought to be patient with others,
even if they don't deserve it!
C. Patience is often difficult even in terms of our own lives
1. Many times we want to reach a destination spiritually or
otherwise without expending the necessary effort to get
2. Perhaps we "just can't wait" to get to Heaven!
3. Maybe we wish we already knew more, or had stronger faith
4. Hebrews 6:12 counsels patience-- that is how we may
receive the promise!
D. We must let things happen in God's good time, since His
perspective is greater than ours!
A. Patience is perhaps one of the hardest virtues to manifest in
our impatient society
B. Nevertheless, we have seen how important it is to be patient
if we desire to be saved
C. Let us consider the examples of the prophets, and the patience
of God, and be thankful that He is more patient with us than
we are of Him or others!
D. Let us strive to be people who suffer long!
Ethan R. Longhenry/ disciple_of_iesus at hotmail.com
Evangelist, church of Christ in Norwalk, Ohio
AIM: Deus Vitae / ICQ#: 28317056
MSN Messenger ID: deusvitae at hotmail.com
Yahoo! Messenger ID: discipuliiesus
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