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Archive for the ‘patience’ Category

Morning Devotion: For the best

Waiting is usually no fun.

But life is better when we learn how to wait with the right attitude.

When we don’t have the right perspective on waiting, we sometimes make bad decisions.

Or at least we wait with griping.

And then we have to wait even longer to have the outcomes we really want.

Let’s keep this verse in mind and we’ll be better off in all sorts of ways.

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him.” (Psalm 62:1)

I always need to remember and practice this display of trust in the Lord.

I encourage you to do the same.

We’ll have better lives and fewer headaches as we do.

As always, I love you
Martin

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My computer just ate my original Morning Devotion effort for the day and I don’t have another 45 minutes to spend trying to re-create it just now. That’s why I want to share a Morning Devotion that I wrote nearly 10 years ago, one that appropriately describes the important of persistence when things aren’t going the way we’d like.


We all need the reminder from time to time of the truths contained in 2 Peter 1:5-8.

God is the One who provides the increase.

When the time is right, if we are patient, He will.

I heard of a missionary and his family who served in a place for nine years and saw one baptism. They didn’t give up, though, and more than 100 people were baptized the next year.

I’m reminded of the orange tree.

An orange tree really doesn’t start bearing productively for at least seven to eight years.

What if the tree were cut down at year 5 because it had just a few fruit in season?

All that might have been borne was instead burned because of impatience.

This is what missionaries must remember.

This is what missionary-supporting churches and individuals must remember.

Never forget that God uses changed lives as His tools for changing people.

He never relies on changed methodologies.

Change can be good, yes, but only as it allows changed lives to become more evident.

Want your church to grow? Let the characteristics of 2 Peter 1:5-8 grow within you.

Then people will be drawn to the power of God shining from your life rather than the power of well-intentioned, though imperfect human effort.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget the perseverance part.

As always, I love you
Martin

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God is incredibly gracious.

As in gracious far beyond what you and I could imagine.

If anyone ever tells you that they doubt His grace, please sit down with them and discuss Genesis 16-17.

Genesis 16 describes an incredibly foolish and faithless decision by Abram (Abraham before God changed his name) and his wife Sarai (Sarah before God changed her name).

This chapter’s depiction is one that one belongs on one of those family-yelling-at-each-other TV talk shows.

You can read that chapter by clicking here.

It’s pathetic and painful to read.

The chapter reminds us that whenever we become impatient with God’s plan and start thinking we are smarter than Him, we are heading down a dangerous, dark dead-end road.

But then there is chapter 17:1-8 that describes God’s grace in using people who disappointed Him so terribly in the past.

You can read the passage by clicking here.

There is much that you’ll be able to discuss with your friend. It is my prayer that you both will gain a greater appreciation for God’s purpose-minded grace as you do.

We are created with so much potential for service to God’s Kingdom.

Let’s remain vigilant to always make decisions that honor Him, even when blessings aren’t coming our way as quickly as we’d like.

Let’s always remember that God knows what is best and as long as we trust Him and listen to Him, He’ll reveal His blessings in just the right time.

We just might avoid having to wait 13 years for news of the blessing we tried to gain on our own.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Sometimes, the Gospel is served when our egos are suppressed.

It’s never pleasant when a non-Christian says or does something offensive to us.

And it’s an emotional stretch sometimes when we choose to forgo the purchase of a much-wanted item so that we might donate the money to a truly needy person or to a missions ministry of some sort.

And what about those moments when Satan is making it SO easy for us to dive head first into satisfying our “stumbling block” vice? Do we consider first the implications for our personal testimony? For our confidence of being resistant to Satan’s temptations?

Here’s the deal — our direction at every intersection of choices in life should be guided by a concern for the Gospel.

Memorizing and abiding by Colossians 3:17 helps in this regard — whatever we do in word or in actions should be directed at glorifying God.

The Apostle Paul was passionate in his purpose of building the Kingdom of God. All that he endured for the sake of the Cross and its message is an amazing display of determination.

Here is what he wrote to the church in Corinth regarding the importance of a life that puts first Christ and the spreading of the Gospel.

We would rather put up with anything than be an obstacle to the Good News about Christ.” I Corinthians 9:12

Sometimes, people are grumpy and abrasive and hurtful toward us. It’s important that we only respond with grace and Christlike remarks. For any response fighting fire with fire will likely become an obstacle to the Gospel.

Sometimes we face the choice of cutting back on church offerings because of car trouble or a costly household repair. Are we willing to get by with patched-up yet functional vehicles and residences in order to keep tithing so more people can hear of God’s grace and connect with His Son?

Let’s become more willing to put up with anything if it’s going to protect our opportunity to share Jesus with others.

As always, I love you
Martin

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When we grow impatient with God’s timing and decide to act without His leading or blessing, it always — eventually — turns out badly.

This is true when we’re impatient in the desire for a spouse.

This is true when we’re impatient in the desire for a much nicer car or house.

This is true when we’re impatient in the desire for a new career or job opportunity.

This is true when we’re impatient in the desire for a church home that helps us to feel accepted and involved.

Is waiting fun?

Usually not.

What is less fun is what happens when we don’t.

Rebound relationships almost always struggle or fail.

Overextending ourselves financially in order to meet others’ expectations — or to feel better about ourselves — is never healthy.

Wanting a new career or new job or new church just so we can feel better about ourselves is a recipe for residual, resentful stress imposed upon ourselves.

The words of Isaiah 40:31 really are true:

“But those who wait on the Lord

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.” (NKJV)

And it could be added to that verse, “They shall sail and not fear sinking.”

What? Where did that idea come from?

Even the apostles, the men who were with Jesus 24/7, they struggled to remember the importance of waiting.

And when they failed, it was ugly.

Thank God for Jesus’ grace, though.

After Jesus fed the multitudes with five loaves and two fish, He decided to go by Himself onto a mountain to pray. His apostles went down to the Sea of Galilee’s shoreline to wait for Him before they sailed to the other side to continue ministry. You can follow the events by reading these words from John 6:16-21…

That evening Jesus’ disciples went down to the shore to wait for him. But as darkness fell and Jesus still hadn’t come back, they got into the boat and headed across the lake toward Capernaum. Soon a gale swept down upon them, and the sea grew very rough. They had rowed three or four miles when suddenly they saw Jesus walking on the water toward the boat. They were terrified, but he called out to them, “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!”

It’s hard to believe that the apostles gave up waiting on Jesus and unilaterally decided to leave Him behind.

What were they thinking? What did they expect Jesus to think when He came back down to the shoreline and saw that the apostles had left Him without asking for permission or even to leave a Post-it note as to where they had headed?

It’s amazing when you think about it. But impatience and personal agenda and overconfidence prompts us to do some foolish things.

Such as thinking that we don’t need to wait on the Lord.

Jesus had every right to strongly chastize the apostles for abandoning Him. But Jesus is gracious once again and thought only of what was best for them at the moment and for their long-term understanding of who He was.

We’ve all found ourselves in relationship storms or financal storms or career storms because we foolishly didn’t wait on the Lord and because we thought we knew better and that faith was wasting our time.

Thank God that the mess we found ourselves in as a result was not worsened by a Lord who yelled at us, called us stupid and selfish and refused to help us get to where we wanted to be.

Let’s become better at waiting. Let’s remember that when God acts, it’s because the time is right in His perfect view, not our imperfect view.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Waiting is sometimes not what we want to do.

Do we really like being in a long line at the store? Or the bank? Or the gas station? Or at the doctor’s office?

Do we like waiting for months or years to meet the one we’ve prayed will be our life soulmate? Or at least a compatible spouse?

No.

But that’s just where we find ourselves at times.

Waiting.

At least we’re not alone in the disappointment.

We all have to wait at times.

Because others are important, too.

God designed us to wait.

If we don’t want to wait, we don’t want a right relationship with God.

For with God, waiting is normal.

In fact, it’s a prerequisite.

You see, the universe doesn’t revolve around us.

It revolves around God.

And so, we wait on God to do what He thinks best in this world — and in our lives — and we trust that what results will be for our good.

He’s the psalmist’s view on this topic:

“The Lord will work out His plans for my life — for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.” (Psalm 138:8)

Three other well-known passages come to mind just now….

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:31)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Never forget that God is still in the kitchen even when our bowls for blessing appear empty and our plates for provision have nothing on them.

Dinner time is coming and when it’s served, it’s going to just what we needed and, to some extent, just what we wanted.

Most importantly, though, it will be according to His recipe, not ours.

We’ve all tasted our own cooking and have found that our fast-food mentality isn’t nearly as good for us as is God’s slow cooker.

As always, I love you
Martin

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When it comes to sharing our faith, I believe that we’re far more likely to show our relationship with God than we are to speak of our relationship with God.

Of course, both are important when it comes to being the ambassadors for Christ that we’re called to be (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Through the course of the day, however, unsaved people around us will see examples of our faith much more than they’ll hear invitations to share in our faith.

That’s why it is so important that our walk match our talk.

It’s not good for others to hear us speak of living for Jesus and then see us acting like we’re living for the Devil.

How can such a meltdown occur?

Proverbs 19:11, included in today’s reading from the One-Year Bible, offers a clue.

“Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” (Proverbs 19:11)

When we’re offended or suffer loss at work, school or church in some way, somebody else usually sees it.

They’ll also see how we respond.

Will they see the nature of Jesus in our response?

Or the pattern of the world?

If Jesus had been a quick-on-the-draw, eye-for-an-eye person, He wouldn’t have had the influence that impressed all who knew Him.

In fact, He was a “turn the other cheek” guy who overlooked wrongs and clearly controlled His temper.

Let’s be sensible when others make senseless choices that offend or harm us in some way.

Let’s be more like Jesus.

That way, others watching us will be more likely to consider doing the same.

As always, I love you
Martin

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