Summary: What are we to do while we wait for the return of our Lord?
• PC VIDEO CLIP
• SLIDE #1
• I do not know about you but I have a hard time being patient!
• I’m the type of person who will ask God for patience but only on one condition - I WANT IT NOW.
• I would be a poor doctor because I have no patience. I’ve heard it said, "If patience is a virtue. Then we are becoming a virtue-less people." Instant milk to go into instant potatoes.
• Drive through mentality of "You deserve a break today, so have it your way."
• Standing in front of the microwave and yelling, "HURRY UP!" Waiting in the line at Wal-Mart that always asks for a price check on a half dozen items.
• Sitting in church waiting for the Preacher to quit talking so you can get on with your life. These and many more as we well know, cause us to be impatient. If patience is a virtue then our society, life and church are becoming more and more virtue-less.
• The Book of James was written within 30 years of the resurrection of Jesus. The church was expecting Jesus to return at anytime and was probably surprised that it had not yet happened.
• Think about it for a moment. These people had a tough life and were eager for Jesus to come back and deliver them from this life. Today, we do not eagerly await His return because for the most part life is easy compared to what the people of James time had to deal with.
• Part of the context is that of suffering unjustly. It seemed like the rich (verses 5:1-6) were getting away with everything while the poor were getting cheated. Patience was starting to run thin, where was Jesus? The church was starting to fight with each other.
• It has been close to 2000 years since the resurrection and still no Jesus. James is encouraging us to wait patiently.
• TS: Today we are going to look at 3 keys that will help us to be able to patiently wait for the Lord to return.
• SLIDE #2
• James 5:7 (ESV) 7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
• SLIDE #3
I. God is running the checkout lane.
• Have you ever had to wait for someone? They said that they would be over to pick you up at 6:00, and now it is 6:02 and they are not there? I used to run around with a guy who could not be on time if his life depended on it.
• What about the wife and kids, you tell them that you have to leave at 6:00 and now at 6:15 they are still getting ready.
• When we feel that someone is late, we tend to lose patience. I do.
• We need to always realize that we are on God’s timetable, and He will not be late.
• James uses 2 words in our text that are close to the same.
• The words are PATIENCE and STEADFAST.
• The word patience is a word that means, “to hold in check rather than giving way to wrath or wavering.
• But it also deals more with putting up with people whereas STEADFAST deals more with situations.
• SLIDE #4
• 2 Peter 3:9 (ESV) 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.
• God is holding in check the wrath that we are due because He is being patient with us. God wants ALL to repent and come to the knowledge of the truth, He desires to see everyone be saved, this is one of the reasons Jesus has yet to return.
• The church may have been beginning to think that Jesus was not coming back, that He was late, that made the people impatient. The early church lived in such a way that they literally expected Jesus at anytime, so should we. That attitude changes your whole outlook on life.
• We are to be patient UNTIL the coming of the Lord.
• What does it meant to be patient? James uses the example of the farmer. Farming in Palestine was a lot different than it is here.
• There were two rainy seasons in Palestine, fall (October, November) and spring (March or April). Grain was planted in the fall and matured with the late rains of the spring. The fall rain allowed the seed to germinate and the spring rain allowed the seed to grow.