jassmineGod is Patient

II Peter 3:9

Central Theme: God is patient with everyone.

Introduction– I had purchased a new jasmine vine that that I brought to show. My other vine was killed in a hurricane.  It took me a long time to replace it because I was really sad that the other one  died.  It had grown so large that it was a shelter for my back yard. Do you think a man of God should be more concerned about a dead plant than he is a city like Vero Beach  or Melbourne, Florida?  (Insert your city.)

I. Have a member read II Peter 3:9

  1. Tell the story of Jonah.
  2. Show a dead plant.
  3. Jonah wanted God to kill all the people in the city on Ninavah. But he was so angry he wanted to die rather than live because his vine had died.   (Jonah 4)

II. God is patient with everyone.

  1. He does not want anyone to have an unhappy life or die without Him.
  2.           A. There was a time that I got angry with some people who were gossiping about me.  There were actually times I wanted them to die.
  3.           B. God helped me to love them because He loves them.
  4. This is how God will help me to be patient with people, especially people who are being hateful to me.

A. God helps me remember that God loves that person as much as he loves me.
B.  God  helps me find out good things about that person.
C. God  helps me think good thoughts about the person when he or she is not with me.  I find that we usually like people when we are with them.  But we will think bad thoughts when there are not with us.

a. Many times when they are not with us, we think about what the people did or said.  Then we get angry.

Conclusion–God is patient and he can help me to be patient with other people.

God is Patient

The Lord is not slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness. But God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but he wants all people to change their hearts and lives (II Peter 3:9).

Central Theme:  God is patient with everyone.

Introduction–  Bring a jasmine vine or show a picture.  There was a beautiful one that was killed in the storm.  I was sad.  Do you think a man of God should be more concerned about a dead plant or a city like Vero Beach (Melbourne), Florida?

I.     Have a member read II Peter 3:9

A. Tell the story of Jonah.

B.  Show a dead plant.

C. Jonah wanted God to kill all the people in the city but he was so angry he said he could die because a plant was killed.

II.     God is patient with everyone.

A. He does not want anyone to have an unhappy life or die without Him.

1. There was a time I was so angry with some people who were gossiping about me that at times I felt it would be good if I died.

2.  God helped me to love them because he loves them.

B.  This was how God helped me to be patient with people I don’t want to be patient with.

1.  God can help us remember that God loves that person as much as he loves me.

2.  God can help me find good things about that person.

3.  God can help me love that person when they are not with me.

A. Many times after a person leaves us, we think about what the other person did or said and then we get angry.

Conclusion–God is patient and he can help me to be patient also.

For 120 years, Israel and Judah were united as one nation bearing the name of Israel.  In 930 BC, the nation of Israel became two nations, Israel and Judah.   In 723 BC, the nation of Israel fell to the Assyrians.  Before Israel fell into the hands of the Assyrians and became their slaves, there were 2 hundred years of warning from the Lord.  The conduct of the kings of Israel went from pretty bad, to bad, to much worse.  Elisha, Isaiah, Amos, Hosea and other prophets spoke to the people to let them know that God was displeased with their conduct.

God wanted Israel to know that they could repent and he would immediately forgive them and bless them.  In fact, they were being blessed during those 200 years by a merciful God.  Occasionally, some of the people would turn back to the Lord but overall the nation went the way of sin and selfishness.  It seemed that they were bent on either destruction or determined to see if God would actually punish them.

As I read this portion of the Old Testament, I am always reminded of one of my mother’s favorite phrases before she would punish us, “You are begging for a spanking.”  It seemed that Israel wanted to see how far they could go into sin before God would smack them.  Eventually, he did punish them but it was with great sorrow on the part of God.  It is clear from the scriptures that God never wanted to have to punish his people.

I was struck by the 200 years of warnings and tolerance that God showed to Israel.  Even more important, God said, “Repent and I will forgive.”  While he gave warnings again and again telling the people to change and turn back to Him.  He was slow, slow, slow to punish.

However, God told them repeatedly that forgiveness was available instantly.  All they had to do was go to their knees, go to prayer and go back to him and he would immediately forgive them. 

Amazingly, the narrative that God has for all the people of every nation is the same.  Repent, I forgive.  However, the road to destruction may meander around with lots of turns and curves that all lead to a dead-end but may even be paved with material prosperity and blessings.  God is slow to punish but instantly forgives when we truly repent. 

As I shared this remarkable message of repentance and restoration to the members of Special Gathering this week, their eyes were glued to me as they soaked in this simple message of true hope and love.  The message of God’s love is clear, plain, yet life changing.  IQ doesn’t matter.  Repentant hearts does matter.

Having a slow and go God allows us all to have access to the love of Christ.  Forgiveness and repentance are available immediately for all.