Monday, September 14, 2015

timing is everything

Love is patient.
And patience is a virtue.
For without patience we cannot understand the importance of God's perfect timing.
And timing is everything, isn't it?

In fact, the "when" of God's timing is crucial for mankind's salvation.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance...  Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation. (2 Peter 3:8-9, 15a)

When we say...
When we do...
This discipline is as important as "what" and "how" something is said and/or done.

As such, we must learn to respond and engage biblically and calmly with others.  For if we are to fully know and share God's love to the world, we must pace ourselves in His composure of grace.  We must choose to charitably serve one another with an assured hope that The Holy Spirit is perfectly able to lead those we encounter into repentance.

So, what does patience look like in this moment, this day, this age of uncertainty?  We live in a time that forefronts gay/lesbian rights, transgender acceptance, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Taliban violence.  The list of religious, corporate, and governmental corruption along with criminal activity and unstable conditions can easily unsettle even the strongest of faith into pure panic and fight mode.

So how are we to live patiently, lovingly?

Take time with me to read the entire letter of 2 Peter 3:

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.  Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Consider what Peter has written here.  He has reminded us that, yes, we will be faced with those who will try to frustrate and thwart God's law.  We will encounter those who will scoff at His Word and blatantly question His ultimate authority over all matters.  And in their company, many issues that will be hard to understand and/or accept will be brought into the limelight.  In their ignorance, they will do all they can to promote the validity of their own evil desires and many will choose to disobey God's commands.  But we must keep our spiritual pace, Believers.  We must not stop obeying or trusting God.  We must prayerfully strive to remain wholesome - always recalling the commands of the Lord; always choosing to live holy, godly lives while we look forward toward His righteousness.

What kind of people ought we be?
We ought to live holy and godly lives as we look forward to the day of God and the speed He is coming.

Satan and sin will always try to sway us away from God's peace.
But stand firm and reject the baiting of the enemy.
For God's timing is everything, isn't it?
His patience is our virtue...
Humbly choose to live showcasing His nobility to this world in need of true, eternal love.
Rather than debate or cause conflict with others, stand firm in your faith and love with His assured grace.
He will always fight for us.
He will always save those who love Him.
His Word is absolute.
His law is unchanging.
Our job is not to prove or push at others disrespectfully.  It is not our place to dishonor or hate in unfruitful arguments full of enmity or intolerance.  Only God can judge the sin of men.  Our purpose is to love one another in the patience, kindness, and hope of Jesus Christ.

Love is patient, 
Love is kind. 
It does not envy, 
It does not boast,
It is not proud.  
It does not dishonor others, 
It is not self-seeking, 
It is not easily angered, 
It keeps no record of wrongs.  
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Yes, love is indeed patient.
Love is relaxed in God's timeline and secure in His law.
Love hopes joyfully for His new, promised future.
Love's timing is EVERYTHING!

In summary, consider this psalm of David:

Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret - it leads only to evil.  For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.  But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.  The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.  The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.  But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.  Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. 

The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever.  In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty. But the wicked will perish: Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.  The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; those the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed.  

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.  I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.  They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.

Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.  For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.  Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.  The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.  The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.  The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.  The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death; but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked or let them be condemned when brought to trial.  

Hope in the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.  I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.  Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.  But all sinners will be destroyed;  there will be no future for the wicked.  

The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.  The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him. (Psalm 37)

Friends, I encourage you to wait upon the Lord as you live today loving others in His charity and peace.  God is faithful.  Jesus is coming!!!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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