Love Is PatientSeries: Fruit Of The Spirit
LOVE IS PATIENT...
Sermon By Terry Siverd / June 18, 2023 / Cortland Church of Christ - - www.cortlandcoc.org
Happy Father's Day to all of our dads.
Last Sunday was a special day for me. I received five, “high-five” hand-written cards from some of our beloved kiddos:
Nicolas … Lucas … Kannon … Kruze … and Selah. I'm not sure what prompted these - - perhaps the sermon on love.
I have a feeling that the grandmas (Pam Wildman & Margi Paukovich) had a “hand” in this outpouring.
Although I was not feeling down, it was uplifting to say the least and I will always cherish these notes.
I want to speak today about the importance of PATIENCE.
When Paul wrote that great love chapter (1Cor.13:1f), he hastened to define true love (vss.4-8) - -
love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly;
it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
but rejoices with truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...
Did you notice - - right out of the gate, Paul declares, love is PATIENT!?
My wife shared a quote with me this past week: Listening is the first duty of love.
How true that is. And to follow up on that quote we should note that good listening requires great patience.
Larry Hagner has been involved in a ministry called, Good Dad Project/Good Men Project.
He testifies that after having specialized in this ministry with fathers for many years,
I can tell you that PATIENCE is the number one struggle for dads.
I think this morning's sermon is especially suitable for you dads, but it really does apply to all of us.
Patience is central to our faith.
It would be a serious mistake to place patience on a secondary-level when it is really is primary and preeminent.
The apostle Peter emphasizes this in the epilogue of his second epistle as he recollects the words of Jesus (2Pet.3:1-2).
After warning the early saints about the “coming of the Lord” (2Pet.3:4-13), he concludes saying (2Pet.3:14-15):
Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace,
spotless and blameless, and REGARD THE PATIENCE OF OUR LORD TO BE SALVATION.
The NIV renders this first part of 2Pet.3:15, bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation.
Throughout Israel's storied history we read of the patience of God.
Ex.34:6 / the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth...
These words echo throughout the OT Scriptures. e.g., Ps.86:15 & 103:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2 and Nah.1:3.
Israel's special place in God's plan of redemption remained only because their God was patient: slow to anger.
Jehovah God becomes quite candid in His words delivered to Moses (Num.14:27), asking:
How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me?
Our initial thoughts about the subject of PATIENCE demand that we stop and thank God for His patience with us.
But patience is not just a quality that belongs to God.
Patience is a virtue that needs to belong to all of us as Christians.
Although referenced many times in this series, let's hear again Paul's exhortation (Gal.5:22-23) - - the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
In his letter to the church at Colosse, Paul reprises this same admonition (Col.3:12) - -
As those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness, and PATIENCE; bearing with one another and forgiving each other...
In writing to the young preacher Timothy Paul once again extols the place of patience. In 2Tim.2:24, he tells Timothy:
The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to all, able to teach, PATIENT WHEN WRONGED,
with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition... He closes his correspondence commending Timothy,
saying, You followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, PATIENCE, love, perseverance...(2Tim.3:10).
In 2Tim..4:2, he further punctuates this point, writing: Preach the word; be ready in season
and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, WITH GREAT PATIENCE and instruction.
We must make patience a priority in our dealings with our family, fellow Christians and friends.
Both mom and dads need to work hard at nurturing our children with an abundance of patience.
In Eph.4:5, Paul cautions fathers not to “provoke your children to wrath”.
When analysis is made of children who tend toward excessive anger, those making assessments
often note that these children often stem from a household where the father was short on patience.
Our churches often suffer from a lack of patience among brothers and sisters in Christ. Divisions can frequently
be traced back to the absence of patience in dealing with each other. If we could only learn to heed Prov.19:11 - -
A man's discretion makes him slow to anger. And it is to his glory to overlook a transgression.
This applies not only to inter-personal exchanges, but also to doctrinal differences.
I sat out college for a year after I graduated from Edgewood high school in Ashtabula.
I knew I needed money for college and that I also needed to study the Scriptures in more detail.
I read and re-read the Olivet Discourse (Mt.24) and dove deep into the many eschatological time statements in the NT.
I knew that when I enrolled as a Bible major at Harding that my preteristic views would be challenged and chastised.
I determined to ask questions. I had no agenda other than seeking truth. But I refused to sit quietly.
I made up my mind to ask questions, but I also made it my intent to never be disrespectful to my professors.
Rom.13:12/day at hand ... Js.5:9/Judge standing at the door ... 1Pet.4:7/end is at hand ... 1Jn.2:18/last hour ... etc.
After posing a question in class, I would then follow up with a more detailed one-on-one study with my professor.
In my senior year when my preacher buddies were given speaking assignments to area churches, I never got a one.
The head of the Bible college told me pointedly, If you don't change your views, I'll see to it that you never get a pulpit.
Fifteen years after I graduated, I attended the Harding Bible Lectures in 1992 (Vision of Victory: The Book Of Revelation).
One of my Bible professors saw me in the assembly and publicly apologized for a lack of patience during my questions.
Ten or so years later still, the head of the Bible department pulled me aside at the Pepperdine lectures saying the same.
Without dwelling on this, I've occasionally wondered how different things would have been, had I been shown patience.
I thank God that YOUR CONTINUAL PATIENCE has more-than-adequately sustained me.
I want to expound on the importance of patience with our non-church friends with a future lesson in this series on ZEAL.
How patient are we at trying to teach gospel truths to others?
How many may be lost because we Christians don't have the patience to teach them kindly and gently?
Please don't tell me that patience is just a small thing.
PATIENCE is a really BIG attribute to possess and it is a highly IMPORTANT virtue that shapes our Christian walk.