This Sunday should be a really big day for us. This Sunday we will be having a special service we are calling “Levi’s Banquet”. When Levi met Jesus in Luke 5, he threw a big banquet and invited all of his friends so that they could meet Jesus. That is exactly what we are trying to do. We will have a big lunch after the 11 am service. I know one family who will be coming (they have not yet visited the church). We have several of our faithful attenders who have invited others as well. Please pray with us that God would work in the hearts of those who attend, that they would understand the Gospel and believe on Jesus as Savior.
In life there is opposition, and in the ministry there certainly is opposition. Working against the grain means their will be resistance. Therefore ministry is full of opposition because we are naturally sinners living in a sinful world, and of course Satan is at work seeking to devour whomever he can (1 Peter 5:8). That being true, we need patience. I think the dream and hope of any new ministry is to grow quickly, which is very rare, and when it does happen, it brings on a new kind of opposition. The desire to grow quickly, but starting out very slow is the normal and it takes patience. This can be true in growth as well as maturity. We must have patience.
One of my favorite verses on this subject is 1 Corinthians 16:9, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”. Most people (myself included) would have said, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, but there are many adversaries.”. But Paul used the word “and” instead of “but”. Why? Because he knew there would be opposition and had patience to serve, love, and reach out through the opposition to win people to Jesus, have them baptized, and to disciple them. The truth is we need patience in the ministry.
God has been so good to us here. We have seen people saved, we have already had the honor of discipling a few, and we have 4-5 people that are interested in being baptized. God is at work in this very young ministry (at the date this article was published, the church is not even a year old). We are seeing great strides and we are seeing resistance. In Jesus we can labor patiently knowing that He is at work among us!
Becoming patient is not natural, it seemingly goes against our hopes, dreams, and goals. How? Because patience is saying “wait” instead of “do it now, receive it now, achieve it now!” But patience is not a bad thing, it is actually a very good thing, and perhaps better said, it is a godly thing. Patience is defined as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” Being patient is waiting on the Lord, it is not “losing it” in an angry fit when things aren’t going your way. Patience is the ability to trust the Lord to reach (or not reach) a specific goal or complete a specific task. It is submitting to the Lord, and putting His will before our wants!
The Bible has many verses on this topic.
“He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: But he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” Proverbs 14:29
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
“12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:12-13
For the next few posts, I will be diving into different areas where we as Christians must display patience!
I had a wonderful meeting with a couple who has been attending our church. On Wednesday night I sat around the kitchen table of this couple. We opened the Bible and read about salvation. After about 30 minutes I asked Gaston (the man of the house) if he wanted to receive Jesus as Savior, at that moment he believed on Jesus, we prayed and rejoiced over the salvation he now knows he has. We know the angels were rejoicing in Heaven over the salvation of Gaston! Please pray for Gaston and his family to grow in the grace of our Lord!