Summary: To reflect God's patience toward others, we must first cease taking advantage of His patience toward us.
- Flesh and fruit (Spirit) are opposed to each other (v. 16-18)
- Things of the flesh (v. 19-21); death; will not inherit Kingdom
- Fruit of the Spirit (v. 22); life; reflected when we bathe in the Son
RECAP (past weeks)
[ILL. Disney world, tries your patience, different kind of patience]
- [KJV display] Patience/Longsuffering: patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties; slowness in avenging wrongs
[ILL. Difficult people???, take advantage of our patience]
In order to reflect the Son in longsuffering, we must first get a glimpse of what longsuffering looks like (what to reflect). If the moon never lined up with the sun it could not reflect the light. To reflect longsuffering we must line up with Son.
I. Demonstrated by God
1. Noah (1 Pe. 3:18-20) (Gen. 6-7)
- Peter to Jews; familiar with Noah
- 1656 yrs from Adam to Noah (Dr. Henry Morris) -- 10,000,000,000 population? (8 saved)
- sins of the people: disobedience, rebellion, hard-hearted, unbelieving
- 120 yrs. Noah preached as the ark was being built
God is patient/longsuffering!
2. Israel (Ex 34:6) -- “slow to anger”
- Neh. 9:11-19 (v. 17)
- delivered from slavery, parted sea, defeated enemies, led through wilderness (cloud/fire), provided (food/water/clothes), worshipped other gods
- Turned against God, yet God did not “abandon them”
God is patient/longsuffering!
II. Reflected by Us
- from Noah: God is patient, His patience will outlast our time for action, better to follow the few than the crowd
-from Israel: God’s hand on our life, yet we have turned back on Him (refuse to follow); God is longsuffering, will not abandon you; “What had God done for you?”
“To reflect God’s patience to others we must cease taking advantage of God’s patience toward us.”
Every Wednesday night you are here, you feel God calling you (pulling your heart to Him), yet you have refused to give your life to Christ. You’re taking advantage of his patience. Yet He has not abandoned you, He’s faithful to keep calling you to Him. Maybe you refuse because, like in Noah’s day, you choose to stick with the large crowd (afraid of their opinions, or missing out, “maybe later”). However, as we see from Noahs story, the large crowd ultimately missed out. They ran out of time; now is the time for the decision, you might not make it to later.
Maybe your more like the Israelites, God’s hand has been on your life, you can look back and see the things that God has brought you through, what God has done to bring you here tonight. Like Israel you’ve turned your back on Him, you “worship” other things (boy/girlfriends, sports, summer vaca, beach, cars, stuff). In spite of God’s hand on your life, you refuse to surrender to Him. Yet, God is patient/longsuffering, He has not abandoned you. Tonight is the night to give your life to Him.
“…Cease taking advantage of God’s patience…”
Reflect the Son when we demonstrate patience to those around us.
- Longsuffering/patience: patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties
Some people will always be hard to deal with, people will always take advantage of us, people will fail us, people will test our patience, we will suffer long. But when we remember the longsuffering of Christ, how He has been patient with us, when we took advantage of Him, turned our back on Him, we lived lives in the “flesh”, doing things that were displeasing to Him, through that He never abandoned us. We must never abandon those that Christ loves!