Patience

“BE PATIENT, THEN, BROTHERS, UNTIL THE LORD’S COMING” (James 5:7)

Our brother tells us to be patient but we’ve got things to do, places to go, people to meet. How can we be patient? We want immediate gratification today. Television shows have a half-hour to present a situation and resolve it for our entertainment. Movies attempt to paint a complicated picture or reenact events in history and their significance in 90 minutes or less. Advertisers have seconds on a commercial to present their product and show us how much we need it. Retail stores better have enough cashiers on duty because we don’t want to wait on line–ever!

It is amazing when you take a few seconds to think about how impatient we really are. For some of us it is hard to focus long enough to even read this short introduction to this week’s lesson. Some of us are so upset when we must wait on a line for a few minutes that we feel the need to show everyone around us how displeased we are. And try waiting two seconds too long after a light has changed to green and you will see amazing hostility! The problem is that we don’t want to wait for anything. This is a potentially deadly weakness when it comes to our spiritual lives because the Lord is coming. Are you patient enough to wait?

Why is patience so vital? Well, it is the first characteristic of love (1 Corinthians 13:4) and God is love! Our very salvation is a result of God’s patience, “…He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) He wants all men to come to a knowledge of the truth and so be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), and because of this, He displays His unlimited patience on people like our brother Paul (1Timothy 1:16) and on us as well! “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.”(2 Peter 3:15). As always, our Lord goes above and beyond and does His part. Now what about us? Why do we need patience?

Examine the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis 25-27. Esau gave his birthright away to his brother Jacob for a bowl of stew. He was desperately hungry after being out in the open country for an unspecified amount of time and Jacob had what he wanted right away–food. It was a test of patience for Esau, which he failed miserably. Instead of waiting just a little longer for something he wanted at that instance, he gave away something very precious. He chose immediate gratification over a long term blessing which he would have to wait for. His birthright would have meant that he would be the future head of the household and that he would receive a double portion of the estate his father left behind. His father Isaac had inherited everything that his father Abraham had received from the Lord and if Esau could have been patient this rich blessing would be his. Remember that God gave the entire promised land to Abraham and his descendants just as today he promises us the greatest inheritance–Heaven!! The question is: will we be patient enough to wait or will we like Esau trade all of our future glory for a bowl of stew?


MEMORY VERSE:   Proverbs 19:11 ___________________________________________________________________

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MONDAY: Read Proverbs 12:16 and 14:16What are the characteristics of the fool in these verses and what are the characteristics mentioned about the wise or prudent person? Write your answers below and examine your own behavior. How do you resemble the fool? Pray to God and confess your sins to him. Ask the Lord for wisdom to become a more patient child of His!

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TUESDAY: Read Proverbs 15:18 and 16:32 and review the memory verse as well. Where does patience come from? What are some of the results of being patient?

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WEDNESDAY: Read Proverbs 22:24-25 and chapter 29. Rewrite verses 24 and 25 below in your own words. Also read chapter 29 and highlight or underline the verses you find that deal with patience and anger.

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THURSDAY: Read Hebrews 11. Write verses 39 and 40 on the lines below. Consider the role that patiently waiting on the Lord played in the examples cited in these verses.

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FRIDAY: Read Psalm 37. Write verse 34 on the lines below. Take note of all the benefits of being patient and waiting on the Lord in this Psalm. Underline the benefits and promises you find and take courage in them. Pray and thank God for his very great and precious promises that he has given us in Christ Jesus!

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J Family Devotional Ideas:

  1. Read the story of Naaman from a children’s Bible and discuss it as a family. Explain how at first Naaman responded with anger and did not listen to God but later he listened to good advice and he obeyed and was healed.
  2. Read about the promise God made to Abraham and Sarah and how He fulfilled it. Talk about how Abraham and Sarah had to wait for that promise. Think about some good examples of good things from God that you and your family have had to wait for.

During these stressful times, we want to offer our prayers and encouragement to any who are interested. Our leaders are available to help, please let us know by emailing info@nulllicoc.org.