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Time is one of the most complicated concepts we have.
Seconds, minutes, hours, decades and centuries are the same for everyone on earth.
Your minute is the same as my minute, every minute has sixty seconds attached to it.
It’s quite interesting how we look at God in some regard.
Are we at a place of restlessness because we feel like he’s not moving fast enough?
The interesting part about God’s timing is we typically realize how perfect His timing is when He show’s up.
Truth be told, it’s not always about God’s timing as much as it is about operating from a place of faith and obedience.
Someone once said “Patience is letting your motor idle when you feel like stripping the gears”.
At it pertains to time we serve a God that is patient and long-suffering with us throughout all of our mess and self-inflicted wounds.
The question on the table is why?
Honestly God is patient with us because He wants everyone to be saved.
That desire is a blessing enough that even in captivity He expects obedience, faith and purpose.
You circumstance should not stop your response to God.
Think about how long God dealt with the disobedience of Israel.
Think about how long God has dealt with the disobedience of America.
In the midst of disobedience God always raises up a voice to be the voice for the broken-hearted, the disenfranchised and the abused.
The circumstance or state of our surroundings is not dictator of purpose.
Paul’s purpose to preach the gospel was still in purpose in tabernacle, in the prison, and in the courtroom.
Jesus’s purpose to save mankind was the same when He was performing miracles just as it was when the nails were driven into His hands and feet.
Even in the midst of captivity God calls on Ezekiel, in the midst of a rebellious nation God raises up a voice to lead the people back to repentance.
Ezekiel 4:4-6 ““Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it.
According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity.
For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days.
I have laid on you a day for each year.”
Long-suffering is designed to lead people to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Understand that patience as it pertains us as humans and long-suffering is different that God.
God already exist in eternity.
Our time is precious because all we know and understand and have experienced is the temporary nature of time.
When it is used of men it’s different, patience is a part of our journey.
We are waiting patiently for the Lord’s return, walking by faith not knowing when our name will be called but all men must transition from life unto death.
Nonetheless we are longsuffering with one another for the sake of unity, fellowship and reconciliation.
Patience is the Greek word hypomone (Strong's #5278) which is a compound word made up of two other words: hypo (a preposition meaning 'under') and moneo (a verb meaning to 'remain' or 'abide').
Thus, the idea is to 'remain under' or 'abide under' difficult circumstances - as when it is not possible to escape or avoid them.
Longsuffering is the Greek word makrothumia (Strong's #3115) which is related to another compound word made up of makros ('long' or 'far') and thumos ('wrath' or 'fierceness').
Although thumos can mean wrath or fierceness, its usage in this compound form carries the idea of 'temper.'
Thus, makrothumia denotes remaining in a state of emotional quietness in the face of unfavorable circumstances.
As one can see, these words are very close in meaning and it is impossible to make a hard and fast distinction between where one or the other might be used to denote the idea of endurance and patience.
Within the context of Colossians 1:11, the word translated by patience emphasizes endurance in the midst of difficult circumstances whereas the word translated by longsuffering emphasizes the attitude or frame of mind we are to have during the difficult time.
God Has Been Patient For A Long Time
Ezekiel was called by God not only to illustrate to the people what their rebelliousness looked like, he was also called to demonstrate and teach the people in the midst of their rebellion.
God still expects praise, obedience and purpose in the midst of trial and captivity.
Time is not a determiner of God’s promises, His promises are still His promises regardless of how long or how short our wait is.
2 Peter 3:1-4 “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?
For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.””
His long-suffering is not a pass to keep sinning, consequences still apply.
Nonetheless even in my consequence God can still provide.
He not only wants all of the glory He deserves all of the Glory.
Often times God will allow us to sit in some mess just to realize that it was God and only God that God us out it.
Philippians 2:10-11 “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Understand that this is going to happen whether we want it to or not, but God is being patient with us so that we can come to realization while we still have time.
Just like the days of the prophets people will come with all sorts of information to attempt to destroy your faith, but God’s power reigns supreme.
2 Peter 3:3-5 “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?
For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,”
Scoffers and those who mock the power and existence of God should be a motivational factor to go even harder in the paint for Jesus.
Their existence is evidence that we are truly in a time of judgement and salvation.
This mocking has been prevalent for a long time.
As Noah built the Ark, Pharisees and Scribes, even today with the rise of religious identity cults, or phrases such as if God existed why does all of these bad things happen, at some point as human beings we have to take accountability for our actions and the manner in which free-will and poor stewardship has affected us.
Maybe You Need A Reminder
Being the father of three boys I tend to hear an excuse every now and then.
Typically it goes something like this.
“Hey I thought I told you to take out the trash?.
Oh yeah I forgot”.
The intentional forgetfulness is a testament to the time they thought they had or the deliberate attempt to get away with putting responsibilities.
2 Peter 3 verse 5 states “For this they willfully forget”, what is the writer suggesting in this part of the pericope?
It’s not that God is inconsistent it’s that their desire to be right has caused them to turn a blind eye to truth.
It’s God and His word that created the heavens and the earth, it’s God who fasted the mountains to the base of the valley.
It’s God that hung the moon and the stars in the sky.
The complexity of God is His infinite power that the same tool He’s used to destroy is the same tool He can use to fortify.
This is what power is, that God in his infinite being can be patient with us and long suffering with us from a place of eternity not because we deserve it but because of what He desires.
God is grace, God is mercy!
He’s not just waking us up so we can go to work and make a couple more dollars, He’s truly giving us multiple chances to walk in purpose, to repent to evangelize!
He desires that all of us be saved!
Salvation is For Everyone
Captivity for the people of Israel was not solely a consequence it was a reminder of who was in control.
God wants us to know the extent of His power that even in captivity and bondage God is still God.
Understanding that we must know that our actions have consequences, how God deals with our sin is a testament to who He is that even in consequence God can show up.
Sometimes the consequence is God showing mercy!
He’s patient with us He’s longsuffering with us because He does not want anyone to perish!
Remember the words of our prophets Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him.”
2 Peter 3:8-9 “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
The writer referencing Psalm 90:4 “For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night.”
This has to do with the eternity of God and the transience of human life.
God is not slow but He can be patient.
Nonetheless His patience should not be a license to be slothful in obedience.
The unpredictability of live should promote us to be watchful and faithful everyday that we have breath in our lungs.
There is no better day that today to get right with God, there is no better day than today to walk in purpose.
There is no better day than today that to operate in our faith.
What are you waiting on?
What can you let go of?
What can you walk away from to show that you are here to make the most of your time as it pertains to living for God!
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