God's truth for today's world

Today I am going to talk about “Practicing Patience.” Patience is an essential character trait that you need to develop in order to have healthy relationships. You can’t talk about patience without talking about anger, because the word patience means “slow to get angry.” The Greek word for patience is “macrothumos” where macro means “long or slow” and thumos means “anger or wrath.” So patience means you have a long fuse, you don’t blow up easily, you manage your anger.

NIV Proverbs 14:29 A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. It’s wise to learn how to develop patience, but it’s foolish to be quick-tempered. An angry person seems powerful but he doesn’t accomplish anything constructive. In fact anger weakens and destroys relationships. On the other hand a person who is patient overlooks wrongs in others. NLT Proverbs 19:11 People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs. People with good sense work at being patient. They learn to restrain their anger. They don’t blow up over every wrong another person does, they have a long fuse.

Who is the most patient person around? Well it is God Himself. God has incredible patience to put up with people like me and you. If God was not patient with us, we would be long gone. We have insulted Him, done wrong countless times, yet He loves us and has patience with us. NLT Numbers 14:18 The LORD is slow to anger and rich in unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion. God wants us to be like Him slow to anger, patient, full of love and forgiveness. In every relationship there are times when we have to choose, will I get angry or be patient? How can we learn to practice patience?

To hear more about this topic, listen to my April 22, 2007 message entitled Practicing Patience

Today we begin a new message series which I’ve entitled “God’s Power For Your Relationships.” We’re going to look at how God’s power can help you with your relationships. Quite frankly, relationships are what life is all about. Relationships with family, with relatives, with neighbors, with co-workers, with people at church. Relationships can make life wonderful or miserable. We need God’s power to help our relationships be everything that God intended.

Today, my first message in this series is called “Learning To Love” Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Might have been in middle school or high school, perhaps you noticed someone in class. But it was more than just noticing someone, you had feelings when you looked at them and when you talked to them. You thought, this must be what love is all about, this mysterious feeling that I’ve fallen into.

The fact is that love is not just a feeling. When the Bible talks about love it most often uses a Greek word agape. Agape means to make a choice to appreciate and act in the best interests of someone else. It is used both for loving God and for loving people. Love is much more than a feeling, love is much more than words, love is a choice. Love is a choice to do the right thing for someone else even if the feelings are not there. This God-kind of love applies to everyone of your relationships.

How can we learn about love? The best way is to learn from the person who invented love God Himself. Jesus did a lot of teaching about love. Jesus did a lot of demonstrating what love was all about. Jesus showed us what love is through His life and through His death. We need to learn from Jesus what love is all about. NLT 1 John 4:19 We love each other as a result of His loving us first. Jesus loved us first so we can truly love one another. Not just when we feel like it, but with the kind of love God has for us, agape love. That is the kind of love that will build the strong relationships that God wants us to have in our lives

Today we’re going to look at some of Jesus’ teaching about love. One day an expert in the Jewish law asked Jesus what he had to do to receive eternal life. Jesus asked him what the Bible said? NLT Luke 10:27-28 The man answered, “`You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” These verses are called the Great Commandment. They have two parts, loving God and loving people. The man asked Jesus who his neighbor was, the neighbor that he was supposed to love as himself and Jesus answered with a story.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my April 15, 2007 message entitled Learning To Love