JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His patience.
According to Second Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
The patience and compassion of God toward the ungodly are good reasons to explain why Jesus has not yet returned. Some day, He will return, and when that happens, the heavens will disappear with a roar and the elements will be destroyed by fire. The earth and everything in it will be laid bare. But in the meantime, God waits for people to stop running away from God and turn toward Him. He gives people time to repent and to be saved from the destruction that is coming.
God’s patience is a window of opportunity to seize this day to receive the grace that God freely offers us.
God’s patience reflects His graciousness and compassion and is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A Segment explores the question, “How do I get ready each day to honor God with my life?”
We would not think of going to work without putting on clothing that meets the dress code at work. Nor would we think about going out the door without combing our hair, brushing our teeth, and in some cases, putting on makeup or shaving the face. These are some routines in the morning that make our appearance presentable in public.
The Bible talks about a dress code for Christians that can help us get spiritually ready for each new day to bring honor to God.
Colossians 3:12 says, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
By spending quality time with God in His Word and in prayer, we will be reminded that we are made holy by His grace and dearly loved. Then, we will be prepared to clothe ourselves with the qualities of Christ in the Year of Exploration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Relationship-Building Principle comes from Galatians 6:1 and 2.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Expressing love to sinners can get messy. The ultimate example of this is Jesus Christ, who went to the cross for our sins. As we walk in the light of God’s love, we will recognize two important realities. The first reality is that there are people all around us who need Jesus. And the second reality is that even though we might have a relationship with Jesus, we are still capable of giving in to temptation. So, we are wise to guard our own heart, so that the Spirit living in us influences the person caught in sin, rather than sin in the other person having an influence on us.
In reaching out to people who have been caught in a sin, we have the opportunity to restore them to fellowship with God. The Bible says that we are to do this gently. This means, showing mercy and patience so that they can perceive God’s love expressed through us. It means sharing the good news that Jesus can change us from the inside out as we look to Him as Savior and Lord.
Carrying the burdens of another is a vital relationship-building principle to take to heart in the Year of Connection.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Relationship-Building Principle comes from First Thessalonians 5:14.
“We urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
These instructions remind us to meet people at their point of need. To do this, we need sensitivity and wisdom in the way we relate with people. Some people are in a stage of life where they need a thoughtful challenge to motivate them to put their faith into action. Others have put their faith into action, and have endured hardship for their faithfulness to God. Knowing someone’s story gives us insight into how we can come alongside that person to be a helpful friend.
There is one quality that everyone needs-patience. That is because we are all in process. We are wise to give people time and opportunity to grow into the person that God is calling them to be.
Wisdom and Sensitivity are vital relationship-building principles to take to heart in the Year of Connection.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Relationship-Building Principle comes from First Corinthians 13:4.
“Love is patient, love is kind.”
With love, we recognize that people are in process. They have room for growing in maturity and character development, just as we have room for growth in these areas. With patience, we give our friends and neighbors time and opportunity to grow. We work with them so that they might develop into the kind of person that God calls them to be. Jesus is our ultimate example of patience. Mark 16 says that as the disciples went out and preached the Gospel, the Lord worked with them. He was working with men who had room for growth.
With love, we also exercise kindness. This means that we have a friendly disposition in our relationships. We show consideration for the needs of others, and seek to be a blessing in their lives. There is great influence in kindness. Romans 2:4 talks about God’s kindness leading us toward repentance. Lives can change in dramatic ways when kindness is expressed in our relationships.
Patience and kindness are qualities that benefit our marriages, family relationships, and friendships.
Exercising patience and kindness is a relationship-building principle to take to heart in the Year of Connection.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the attractive qualities of love.
Valentine’s Day is often associated with candy, flowers, and romantic dinners. These celebrations of Valentines Day have value in expressing heartfelt love in the marriage relationship. However, for love to thrive for the long haul, we need more than gifts and romance.
The Bible reveals how marriages can thrive for life, churches can thrive in unity, and families and friendships can thrive with joy.
This is the nature of love, according to First Corinthians 13:4 to 7- Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
The attractive qualities of love are reasons to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – According to First Corinthians 13:4, “Love is patient.” By looking to the Lord, we see the ultimate example of patience and what it produces in the person who is responsive to His love. Second Peter 3:9 tells us why Jesus has not yet returned to take His followers to be with Him. “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” He is giving people time to respond favorably to His grace and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
He works with His people who are in process. Like the potter working with clay, His hand is at work in our lives producing a masterpiece that reflects His glory. It takes time for us to become mature in the faith and develop the character qualities that God desires for us.
We can express our gratitude to God for His patience by passing along the gift of patience with others in process, especially our loved ones. The closer we are to someone, the easier it is to see character flaws and weaknesses. That is when patience is necessary and effective.
Colossians 3:12 says, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Patience is a quality of love and is a lesson of faith worth remembering.