The Time Bridge of Patience (Lent 35, 2016)

Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Thought 35The Apostle Paul was a prisoner for the Lord. He understood how a time bridge of patience rested between God’s anger and His final action of judgment. Paul’s imprisonment was a tool of communicating the Gospel so that all would hear the good news and all Christians would live a life worthy of the calling to salvation. Time. God uses it patiently to save us.

Consider how the flood involved time as God expressed His regret at creating man when Noah was over 500 years old (Genesis 6-7). Noah had marriageable age sons—so he was somewhere in his mid-500s. It took years to build the ark and Noah entered it when he was 600 years old. Even then, God gave Noah a 7 day warning and it wasn’t until the door was sealed that the earth was flooded for 40 days and 40 nights. Time. God uses it patiently to accomplish His will.

Consider how the deliverance from Egypt took 400 years of suffering. Genesis 15:13 Then the LORD said to [Abram], “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.” Consider also how after coming out of Egypt through a miraculous parting of the Red Sea, the Israelites still rebelled. They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of disobedience. Time. God uses it patiently to bring us to our senses, to discipline us, and in some cases wait for the natural death of the rebels among us. God uses time patiently to purify us.

Are you willing to let patience do its work while bearing with one another…patiently?

Give it up for Lent: a warped view of time.

Questions for Ephesians 4:1-3 and Genesis 6-7:

  1. What does a worthy life look like?
  2. What is the unity of the Spirit and how is it related to the bond of peace?
  3. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights, but in Genesis chapter 6 and 7, how long did the waters remain on the earth?
  4. How difficult do you think it was for Noah to remain patiently in the ark after it stopped raining?

SGR35ReKindle is the 2016 Lenten devotional series from Seminary Gal.

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Acknowledging that former years’ devotional series remain popular, Be Still and Know that I AM God can be obtained through the archives beginning in March 2014 and With Christ in the Upper Room  is archived beginning February 18, 2015.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 21, 2016

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