Justin Tucker, LHBC Worship Pastor
2 Peter 3:8-10
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
As a parent, patience has been one of the hardest lessons that I’ve ever had to learn and if I’m honest…it’s something that I fail at as often, if not more than I succeed at. Just this morning I was taking the youngest two girls to daycare and on the way there Ellie was pushing on the back of my seat with her feet and it was driving me crazy. I asked her to stop multiple times but she just kept doing it. Finally, I had to raise my voice and threaten her with the punishment of losing her tablet time for the weekend before she would stop. I try so hard to be patient with them and give them chance after chance before I get to a point where things have to go to the next level. It breaks my heart to have to raise my voice and/or punish any of my girls but I know that I would be doing them a greater disservice by not providing clear boundaries and consequences for when they are defiant and disobedient.
We see the patience of God all throughout the Bible. We see God’s patience with mankind from the very first sin in the Garden with Adam and Eve. We see His patience toward Abraham as he pleads with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah if he can find 50 righteous people. Abraham continues to return and try to bargain with God until he’s finally down to b]finding only 10 people. Have your kids ever bargained with you to get a punishment reduced? Mine have. We see God’s patience with the nation of Israel when they were in the wilderness. Even though they grumbled and complained, God still provided for them. He made sure they never went hungry and their clothes never wore out. We see God’s patience with the people of Jericho. They had known about the God that had delivered the Israelites and what had happened to Pharaoh’s army for 40 years and still God gave the city 7 more days to repent and turn to Him the way Rahab and her house had. It’s almost as if God said, “Okay guys, I’m going to give you until the count of 7.” Do you ever have those countdowns at home? We do. We see God’s patience with Nineveh as He sends Jonah to tell the King that they have 40 days to repent or be destroyed. We see His patience throughout the Gospels as Jesus is being rejected by the religious and elite and by the very people He came to save. We see His patience with the disciples as they struggled to understand and believe that Jesus really was who He said He was. And we see God’s patience today as He waits for people to turn to Him, repent, and place their trust in Him.
What we see is in all of these situations is that if people will repent then God will relent. Jesus is still waiting for people to turn to Him. In His mysterious and sovereign way, He is delaying His return to Earth because He desires for all people to be saved. Obviously, not all people will turn to Him in repentance. Many will deny Christ the way that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah and Jericho will and will spend an eternity separated from God. But some will, just like Rahab and the Ninevites and the disciples did. What about you? Have you placed your trust in Jesus? Have you repented and come into agreement with Him that His way is better than yours? Or are you still listening to HIm count and hoping that our time won’t run out?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord, forgive me where I have sinned. I come to you today asking for forgiveness and seeking your Lordship over my life. Thank you for being patient with me. Help me to be patient with others. Thank you for the sacrifice of your Son and allowing Him to take the punishment and wrath that I deserved. Lead me and guide me in your will and your ways through the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
James 5:16- Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.