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SIH’s Think On These Things: I Thess. 5:14-15 (5)

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SIH TOTT ICONNow we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].  See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].   (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15)

 

For the next 6 devotions, we will be looking at this word of encouragement from Paul to the members of the church at Thessalonica. Our devotions will center on the six exhortations given to us by Paul…

 

1. warn them that are unruly,
2. comfort the feebleminded,
3. support the weak,
4. be patient toward all [men].
5. See that none render evil for evil unto any [man];
6. ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].

 

 

EXPOSITION:

 

In this morning’s devotional we will be looking at the fourth of Paul’s exhortations to us…

 
be patient toward all [men]

Patience is, perhaps for many of us, the most difficult of all these exhortations by Paul. But in the context of our study, to be patient is listed as one of the greatest ways that we can show Christ to others around us. Perhaps this is why to be patience is so hard on our flesh!
 
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye. (Colossians 3:12-13)
 
So what does the Bible mean by “patience” or “longsuffering”? Both of these words, in the above texts, are translated from the same Greek word (makrothumeo) that carries four basic ideas with it:
1. to carry a weight
2. for a long period of time
3. without feeling abused or mistreated
4. without allowing anger (or a desire for “payback”) to burn within us
In other words, it to be patient means “to humbly, willingly, suffer under a heavy burden for a long period of time in the absence of anger or desire for retribution.”

Another word that is commonly translated “patience” in the Bible (hupomoneo) is used to describe a donkey that patiently stands while his owner continually adds a heavier burden to its back. It stands there, not kicking the burden off, not braying or running off. It simply stands and accepts the burden placed upon it.

These words represent for us the Scriptural concept of patience.

As difficult as it may be, how many of us truly exhibit patience in our lives? Patience is demanded in both the small and large things in life. From the short-lived suffering of standing in a long, slow line at the store, to the long-term burden of medical issues, personality conflicts, or mistreatment and abuse by others; how do we react when these burdens that are placed upon us?

 

APPLICATION:

Over the years, I have become convinced that EVERYTIME the circumstances in our life demand patience, it is the Lord opening an opportunity for us to show Christ to those around us.

People are constantly watching us and seeing how we accept the difficult times of our lives… What will they say about us?

Will they see our sinful flesh controlling our lives causing selfishness to rear its ugly head? Or, will they see the humility and love of Christ in us?

Will they see that we are no different from the lost fallen world and see no reason to trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior?   Or, will they see our lives and be motivated to turn to Christ and be delivered from the bondage of Satan and their flesh?
And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. Terry says:

    The more the world becomes unbalanced the less patience. Satan is working and laughing as he ruins what God has built, but God will overcome and for those of us who remain close to God will be rewarded in heaven. We must spread the word and still practice loving one another as God has loved us

    • Rob Barkman says:

      How very true. It is wonderful to know that the Lord is in control of all things even when it seems as if Satan is gaining a victory, in actuality, the Lord has everything under control! Lord bless you Terry.

  2. I hadn’t ever thought about your statement, the first paragraph under the application. I think you may be right. Thanks, Rob!!

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Hi Levi,

      I guess the basic principle is… anytime the Lord opens opportunities to bear spiritual fruit, it is an opportunity to show Christ to those around us. As I’m sure you know… people are always watching Christians to see if their lives are consistent with their words. So whenever the Lord gives us an opportunity to bear fruit, someone is probably watching whether we know it or not! Lord bless you my friend.

  3. Rob, I’ve often thought that the older I get, the more patience I get, but I’ve come to realise that while I am MUCH more patient than I used to be in some areas, I have less patience in others. This is an area in which we will always need Holy Spirit’s help.

    >> “People are constantly watching us and seeing how we accept the difficult times of our lives”
    So true! Which is why we need to be on guard.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      I have to agree… each Christians have certain weak points in their Christian life, but it seems as if patience is an area that most, if not all, struggle with from time to time. Lord bless.

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    Good lesson; I’ve really been blessed by the word study you have shared here. I agree with your assessment that with the passing of time I see more things in life has to do with our lesson with patience and trusting God in His timing of things

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Thanks Bro. SJ. The subject of patience and the Biblical teachings surrounding patience have always been of interest to me. Back when I was in school, I did a paper on the Biblical concept and practice of patience and every since then I have always been interested to learn more from the Word. There is much taught in the Word about patience, much more than we might realize. Lord bless you!

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