Lord, make me patient…right now!
MAY 5, 2021
Lord, make me patient…right now! Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bibles, open it to the fifth chapter of Galatians. We’re looking at the fruit of the Spirit, we have looked at love. We’ve looked at joy and laughter. This is all a part of walking with Christ. And then we looked at peace, not the contentment of a cow, but the knowledge, the quiet knowledge that God’s got your back. And that you belong to him. And eventually it will be okay. If you were listening yesterday, we talked about Galatians 2:20.
I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live yet not I, but Christ lives in me.
That’s not a commandment. It’s a statement of fact. You got to know what you can ask for, and once you thank God for, this isn’t something you ask for, it is. So, when things are not going well, say Lord, Steve said that you said that I’m crucified with Christ. Would you make it real in my life? And he will. When Beethoven died, one of Rossini’s pupils composed a funeral March in honor of Beethoven. And took it to the master. And then, you know what he said, this was his judgment, your March young man is not without merit. However, the circumstances would have been more favorable if you had died and Beethoven had composed the March. Well, you have died. And that’s a fact, and that’s a good fact too. Alright, continuing, I’d like to spend a little bit more time on that, but I’ve got to move it. And the next one is patience. Look what Paul says.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, and it is patience.
The Greek word that’s used here for patience, could be translated as persistence. In the Apocrypha, those are the intertestamental books, that are not Canonical. In first Maccabees, which is the story of the Maccabean struggles around 167 BC. If you’re ever asked that on a contest and you win money, send 10% to Key Life. This Greek word is used there to describe the persistence of the Romans, which caused them to conquer the world. Now, the interesting thing about this word is that it’s used over and over again in the Bible to describe God’s dealing with us. When it’s used of God, in the Old Testament, there is a tension between wrath and mercy and the patience is that which God exercises in order to bring forth a desired result. And so, when Paul says that patience is a fruit of the Spirit, he’s talking about a quality which is not passive, it’s not resignation to the inevitable, it’s the patient waiting. And sometimes even acting quietly for a desired result. Let me illustrate what this word means. Suppose a thief breaks into my house. And I catch him opening my safe and I take a shotgun and sneak up behind him. And suppose further that I say to him while pointing my gun at him, friend turn very, very slowly and listen to what I have to say. I have a shotgun in my hand. You say, Steve, I can’t believe you’re doing, well it’s a good illustration. And I say to the thief, I have a shotgun in my hand, and I’m pointing that shot gun in the place where you’re standing. In five seconds, I’m going to pull the trigger. If you’re standing in the same place, when I do, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble. That patience, in that five seconds, of not shooting the gun, is what Paul is talking about, when he talks about the fruit of the Spirit. It doesn’t mean inactivity or passivism, it means, or being passive, it means patience and persistence. And I’m an example of it. And you said, well that sounds kind of arrogant. Well, it is, but I’m still here. I mean, I can’t tell you the times I wanted to run. I have a friend who cried when he told me, cause he was going through such a hard time, in his ministry. He said, Steve, do you ever want to leave? And I said, are you crazy, every other day? I mean, I don’t want it. I didn’t ask for this, and I tell Jesus, I wouldn’t do this for anybody, but you, but I’ve never left. I’ve been doing this more years than most of you have been alive, and I’m still here. And so when Paul talks about patience, that’s what he’s talking about. Don’t give up, stay with it, trust that God is going to do something. Know that he’s in charge of everything and trust him, and keep on trucking. That’s the kind of patience that is the fruit of the Spirit, and of which I am an example. And you are too, you’re still here too. You’re listening to this broadcast. You are manifesting patience, because there are a lot of times, when you didn’t want to be in his presence. And we will talk maybe some more about this tomorrow, but right now, just be patient, be still. And don’t say to God, give it to me, right now. The old guy on radio said you would, and I want it right now. That’s not it. Be still. Wait. And think about this. Amen. Well, it’s Wednesday, and sometimes on Wednesdays, if I have time, I answer one or two questions. And we love to get your questions, by the way. Pete, will be in on Friday, and we’ll spend the whole broadcast answering some of the questions that you have asked. You can always ask her a question. You can dial 1-800-KEY-LIFE, 24 seven, and record your question. And sometimes we put you on the air. Or you can write to
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Or you can email us at Steve@keylife.org and those are places, and you knew I was going to say this, where if the Spirit should move, and you should decide to help us financially, you can go to those places and do it. And I’ll rise up and call you, blessed. By the way, you can give on your phone. You can text Key Life at 28950 and follow the instructions. Now, if you can’t, we understand that, but if you can, be as generous as you can, and I promise we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. Alright, let’s turn to one or two questions. This is an email. In Malachi 3, it says that if you don’t tithe, God will curse you. But in another place it says that God loves a cheerful giver. How can you be a cheerful giver? If you’re tithing to avoid a curse? How come you only hear the book of Malachi, when the giving falls short? Doesn’t first fruits deal with the quality of the sacrifice giving to God? That’s a good question. It is. We don’t quote Malachi very much, except on the stewardship Sunday. And then we bring it up, to try to get the giving in the church up. Next time that happens, tell your pastor, preach on something else. I’ve had people tell me that, and I repent. Okay, the question is, how can you be a cheerful giver if you’re giving to avoid a curse? Because Malachi’s in the Old Testament and Corinthians is in the New Testament. Something new happened, and that would be Jesus. Now, does that mean that all of the admonishments of the Old Testament have been canceled? No, it doesn’t. But it means that you’re not under those anymore. You don’t have to do it. And a tithe is a good policy, I think. I have a friend who said, I thank God for the tithe. And I said, why is that? I’ve never heard anybody say that, or at least not often. And he said, if it weren’t for the tithe, my wife would give the house away. And at least I’ve got a 10% level, I can keep 90%, because God said I could keep 90%. And I knew his wife and there was something to that. I mean, when anybody moved into the neighborhood, she baked cookies for them. When anybody was in need, she gave them what they needed. When anybody was hungry, she brought them food. And if they had needed a house, she would have given the house away. And so, don’t hammer it with hammer and nails in your heart, but it’s a good policy to think in terms of 10%. My mentor, the late Fred Smith said to wealthy people. If you’re only giving 10%, you are robbing God. And then back to what else you said. First fruits deal with a quality of this sacrifice given to God. And that would be from a cheerful heart. So, go ahead and tithe, and something inside of me is saying, don’t say this, but I’m going to say it anyway. But God just told me you were to give 15%, and the 5% is supposed to go to Key Life. I know, I repent and I’m sorry, but what I said about the tithe is Biblical, it’s a good measurement and God will love you, if you never give a dime. I told her pastor friend of mine one time, we weren’t tithing when we were young. And now we give far more than a tithe, but I said, look, I’m gonna, I’m going to do it incrementally, I’m going to start at 1%, and then the next year I’ll get 3%, and the next year 5%. And he said, if you said you were going to cut back adultery, incrementally, how would that work for you? And, I went, Good point. And I started giving 10%. Hey, I got to go. But first Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.