Summary: "For Dummies" books are a raging success! Why? Full of practical wisdom and simple "How To's" Wouldn't a "Christianity for Dummies," a book full of practical wisdom & simple How Tos on how to live out our faith, be great? James & this series is JUST THAT
Christianity For Dummies: The Power of Patience
A. A woman saw a father shopping with a fussy two-year old in his grocery cart. "Be patient, Billy," he whispers. "You can handle this, Billy. It's okay, Billy." The woman said to him, "I don't mean to interrupt your shopping, but I just had to tell you how wonderfully loving and patient you are with little Billy." The man simply said, "Ma'am my son's name is Patrick. I'M BILLY!!!"
B. How many of you can identify with Billy? I know my wife does. They say patience is a virtue but it's just not one that she happens to have. Me neither on many a day! Does that describe you as well? When you look up impatient in the dictionary there's a GREAT big ole picture of yourself? How about during hard times, times of suffering? Even worse?! I think if we're honest, we ALL struggle with patience, particularly during times of suffering! Thus this AM's sermon is one from which we ALL can learn a thing or two or three!
C. Last week, James wrote to us how a group of rich unbelievers were using their wealth for selfish purposes and in the process were persecuting the poor. In fact, they were dragging them into court, withholding daily wages from them, all the while living in luxury and self-indulgence and seemingly getting away with it. In the midst of this tremendous suffering, what words of encouragement did James offer to his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, to us today? BE PATIENT!
D. This AM as we continue to dive into the Book of James and our study "Christianity for Dummies" James is going to comfort the afflicted with a great, timeless message on the Power of Patience in suffering. As we dissect that message, we will find an Exhortation to Patience, a Motivation for Patience, Illustrations of Patience and Instructions on Patience.
II. Scripture Reading & Prayer
A. Read James 5:7-11.
B. Pray - Father, we can't thank you enough for putting up with our lack of patience. We pray you would forgive us for past failures and prepare us for future challenges by teaching us through your Word the Power of Patience.
III. Exhortation to Patience (Read and explain James 5:7a, 8a)
A. Therefore What is it therefore? This links 5:7-11 to 5:1-6. James tells his readers in light of the coming Judgment and the horrifying, miserable end of the rich, BE PATIENT! Since God will punish them and right all wrongs, wait patiently for the coming of the Lord. These folks will get their come uppance...don't take matters into your hands...
B. Be patient...brothers You also be patient This is an imperative. James uses the word four times in just four verses (twice in 7, once each in 8 & 10). The word in Greek is "makrothumeo," properly "long-tempered" and meaning refusing to retaliate with anger. It's one of the nine characteristics that embody the fruit of the Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:22-23).
C. Illustration: Why all the fuss? Why must James urge us to be patient? Because brothers and sisters WE AIN'T PATIENT! A survey of 1003 adults done in 2006 by the Associated Press and Ipsos discovered the following:
- While waiting in line at an office or store, most people take an average of seventeen minutes to lose their patience.
- On hold on the phone most people lose their patience in 9 minutes.
- Women lost their patience after waiting in line for about 18 minutes. Men lose it after 15 minutes.
- People with lower incomes and less education and living in the suburbs are more patient than those with a college education, a high income and who live in the city.
Discuss patient stories - new year and paperwork, 5 minutes late in room.
D. Application: This is NOT what Christ has exemplified towards us nor what he expects from us! Read 1 Timothy 1:16. How patient Christ has been with us and is with us DAILY!!! He is our Supreme Example and we are to model our lives after Him. In fact... Read Colossians 3; 9, 12. We are a NEW creation and as such Scripture calls us to clothe ourselves with patience!!!
Exhortation to Patience
IV. Motivation for Patience (Read and explain James 5:7a, 8b)
A. Having strongly encouraged us to be patient, James tells us what should motivate us to be patient.
B. Until the coming of the Lord For the coming of the Lord is at hand Our motivation for patience is the coming of the Lord...the Parousia
- "Parousia" is a technical term, literally meaning "the being beside," "the personal presence"; it was used to describe the visit of a king to a city or province of his kingdom, "a royal visit." It was used in the early church for the expected return of Jesus in glory to judge the wicked and deliver the saints.