Patience

Today’s reading is Luke 13.

Regard the patience of the Lord as life. Certainly, as we learned yesterday, there are some who face calamity even now. We must recognize that our lack of calamity has nothing to do with what we deserve. Rather, it is about God’s patience. He doesn’t want us to perish. He doesn’t want us to be cut down and tossed into the fire. He wants us to survive, to thrive, to bear fruit. Additionally, did you notice the Lord’s patience is not passive? He doesn’t simply observe the fig tree for another year. He works to help it produce. He fertilizes, He pushes, He prods, He provides. Praise the Lord! He wants us to live, and He is doing everything we need Him to do to give us that life. He is patient with us, let us pursue Him.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 13.

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Friends of the Groom

Today’s reading is Revelation 11.

Every hero has friends. Remember Fezzik and Inigo in “The Princess Bride”? In modern weddings, we carry on this idea with the best man and the groomsmen. These are the men who were supposed to support the groom and fight off any who would challenge the groom for his bride. Our Hero, the groom of the church is no different. He has two friends, the descriptions of whom remind us of Moses and Elijah. Then we see the same story cycle repeated over and over in Revelation. At first, these friends are unstoppable. If any would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes the enemy. However, the seemingly unstoppable get stopped; the beast makes war on them and kills them. The people celebrate the death of the Hero’s friends. It looks like the Hero is going to lose. However, then the unimaginable happens. Just when the enemy believes it has won, the Hero’s friends are resurrected (just like the Hero) and are called to the Father’s throne. Judgment rains down on the enemies. God is glorified. Praise the Lord, Jesus always wins!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 12.

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Waiting for Help

Today’s reading is 2 Corinthians 9.

So, I admit I’m not very well-versed on the timeline of events regarding the famine in Judea and the need for help among the Jerusalem saints. However, I know Paul was writing to the Corinthians about taking up collections in his first letter. Then he visited them. Now he has written another letter and is still talking about it. He even says he has been telling folks the Corinthians have been ready to give “since last year.” I have to think about this from the standpoint of the saints in Jerusalem. They have been in need for some time. We are talking months, maybe even more than a year. I live in such a fast paced world, I am blown away. A hurricane, an earthquake, a fire, a mudslide hits an area and within two weeks the area has aid. The Jerusalem saints had been waiting for months and months and months. I think about this when I am facing a hardship. I ask God to do something about it and expect a positive response in less than 24 hours. Here were these Jerusalem saints waiting for…well…I don’t know quite how long, but it was longer than 24 hours, likely longer than 24 weeks. I need to remember this as a model for my own patience. God is listening. God is planning to come to my aid (and I’m sure it will be at just the best moment). He will not act on my time table. But He will act. I need to be patient and wait for His help.

Tomorrow’s reading is 2 Corinthians 10.

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Bear with the Weak

Today’s reading is Romans 15.

Bear with the weak? Really? Are you sure? Shouldn’t the weak get strong, like me? Why would I bear with the weak? Shouldn’t I challenge the weak? Shouldn’t I instruct the weak? Shouldn’t I give ultimatums to the weak? Shouldn’t I let them know God wants strong Christians, not weak Christians? There may be some need for all these other approaches to the weak. But I believe what Paul is saying is, “I sure am glad Jesus bears with me in my weakness instead of pleasing himself. Perhaps I should do the same for others.” Thank God for Jesus’s patience, forbearance, long-suffering, and kindness in the midst of my weakness and in the midst of yours.

Tomorrow’s reading is Romans 16.

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Beloved

Today’s reading is Romans 9.

We were not His people, but through His patience and grace, we are now His people. We were not beloved, but through His endurance and mercy, we are now His beloved. Wow! Think of what God has gone through over the eons to bring us to be His beloved. Think of the sacrifice He endured. Think of the love He has shown. We were not His people, but now we are children of the living God. Praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus. That is good news.

Tomorrow’s reading is Romans 10.

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Conquerors

Today’s reading is Revelation 3.

Yesterday, we met the embattled bride. Enemies without and intrigue within. The question is: Will the Hero win? Will the hero vanquish the enemy kingdom? Will He defeat the attacking monsters? Will He withstand the immoral woman who would turn His head from the bride? But what about the Bride? His her job just to sit idly by waiting on the Hero to conquer? No. In these two chapters to the seven churches, seven times she is told to conquer. Seven times she is told what she will receive if she steps up to the battle, hangs on, and is victorious. She does not sit idly by. She stands up and fights. Together, the Hero and the Bride will be conquerors and what victory we will have. Keep reading and be amazed at the Conquerors. Hang on! Jesus always wins!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 4.

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Love Your Brothers and Sisters

Today’s reading is 1 John 5.

“I just can’t stand brother ______________!” “I despise sister _______________!”

Hey, I get it; brothers and sisters can be a pain sometimes. Sometimes they are weird. Sometimes they are mean. Sometimes they are having a bad day. An off moment occurs, and we decide we don’t like them and don’t want to be around them. However, John gives us a pretty clear litmus test. If we don’t love those who are born of God, we don’t love God. Perhaps the best thing to remember is sometimes we are a pain. Sometimes we are weird. Sometimes we are mean. Sometimes we have bad days. Don’t we want our brothers and sisters to love us anyway? Maybe we need to talk to the brother or sister about the behavior that upset us so much or maybe we just need to get over it and not take it personally. In any event, we must not deceive ourselves. If we love God, we’ll love His children.

Tomorrow’s reading is 2 John 1.

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