10 Scriptures On Patience

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1. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. (Romans 5:3-4 MSG)

2. Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. (Ecclesiastes 7:8 NLT)

3. Patient persuasion can break down the strongest resistance and can even convince rulers. (Proverbs 25:15 GNB)

4. Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, (Romans 15:5 AMP)

5. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised. (Hebrews 10:36 AMP)

6. Hot tempers cause arguments, but patience brings peace. (Proverbs 15:18 GNB)

7. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT)

8. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. (Titus 2:2 NLT)

9. May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light. (Colossians 1:11-12 GNB)

10. Because you kept my Word in passionate patience, I’ll keep you safe in the time of testing that will be here soon, and all over the earth, every man, woman, and child put to the test. (Revelation 3:10 MSG)

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Eternal Life Through Eternal Love

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NLT)

The most famous of all scriptures is John 3:16. If there was one verse that summed up the whole Bible, that would have to be it. The whole story of the Bible is a one sided love story. One side gives and gives in order to show how much they love the other. That love is mostly not reciprocated. When it’s not, the gifts of love become greater and greater until the Father gives the best gift He can possibly give. He gives up the one thing that is everything to Him in order to show how much He loves us. He gave His son to us.

We are the ones being wooed by the Father. We are the ones who have rejected His gifts of love towards us. We know that He has out best interest at heart, but for some reason we run from it. We turn to temporary things looking to fill the need for an eternal love. Only the One who is eternal can give us that kind of love. Only the One who uses the earth as His footstool can fill the whole in our lives. That’s why He gave us His son.

The second half of that verse says that whoever believes in, trusts in, clings to and relies on His son, will not perish or be lost. We have to receive that gift that He sent us. We have to be the ones who no longer reject the love He is trying to show us. In turn, we need to embrace that gift. Jesus said that God loves each person so much that He doesn’t want any of us to be lost or perish. His goal is that we would all accept His gift.

When we do, we will have eternal life. That what God gives. Life. He breathed man’s first breath into his nostrils to give him life and has been trying to do the same thing spiritually since. Until we accept God son Jesus, we are like Adam was before God breathed in him. We need that breath in order to receive eternal life. The life we live is but a vapor in comparison to eternity. What we do in the short time determines how we spend eternity. Do we accept His gift which brings life or do we reject it and suffer the alternative?

Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. (NLT)” That how each one of receives the gift that God gave us. That how we accept a love that is unconditional. This love story doesn’t have to end in tragedy. It doesn’t have to end with only one side giving unreturned love. We can love Him because He first loved us.

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You Matter

A couple of years ago, I was at the Re:Write Conference and got to met several writers like myself. One of the keynote speakers was Mark Batterson. I had read a few of his books and was excited to meet him in person. At dinner, before his keynote address, I met a guy who went to his church. He is one of several thousand who attend one of the satellite churches in the Washington, D.C. area. After dinner, he and I were talking and as Mark walked by, he stopped and said, “Hey, Nathan! How’s the conference going?” After the brief conversation, Nathan turned to me and exclaimed, “Mark Batterson knows my name!”

It was one of those moments where I was excited for him, but also a little envious. I thought, “Man, it would be cool if Mark knew my name.” It got me to thinking about how God knows my name. In Isaiah 43:1, God says, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name.” There isn’t a person alive or who has ever lived who wasn’t known by God. Not only does He know our name, He knows the very number of hairs on our head (see Matthew 10:30)!

In a world of over 7 billion people, it’s easy to think you don’t matter. It easy to think your life is anonymous and unrecognized. When we feel that way, it feels like our efforts and sometimes life are worthless. We think, “What’s the point? No one cares. No one notices. No one knows me. I’m all alone.” That’s kind of how I felt at that conference. I was there by myself and several of the other writers knew each other. I felt like no one would notice if I just disappeared. I was hoping someone would know my name like Mark knew Nathan’s.

We don’t have to feel that way. Even if no one else knows us, the creator of the universe does. Even if no one else cares, you can breathe easy knowing that the King of Kings cares about you. Psalm 139:16 says, “Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” God cares enough about you and your life that He has planned out your life. He has already recorded it from beginning to end. He not only knows your name and the hairs on your head, He knows your daily life.

When you start to feel like your life doesn’t matter, remember that it matters to the one who matters most. When your thoughts stray and tell you that no one cares, remember that God is thinking about you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God made you to specifically do what only you can do. When He formed you in your mother’s womb, He knew what your life would be like. He knew the feelings you were going to have. He knew that what you do matters because you matter to Him. He knows your name and everything about you and loves you still. Live today like someone who is known by God.

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Two Sets Of Eyes

One of my favorite stories in the Bible comes from II Kings 6. The Syrians were attacking Israel, but every time they planned an attack, Israel was two steps ahead of them. The King of Syria thought he had a traitor among his staff, but someone told him about Elisha. In verse 12, one of them told him, “The prophet Elisha tells the King of Israel what you say even in the privacy of your own room.” The king decided he wanted to capture Elisha and so he sent a large army to capture him and to bring him back by force.

They must have traveled all night because it was early the next morning when Elisha’s servant woke up and went outside. He ran back inside and exclaimed to Elisha, “We’re doomed! What will we do?” He saw that the entire city where they were staying was surrounded. He couldn’t see any way out of this situation. He forgot what God had done through Elisha in the past and focused on the present situation and he panicked. He saw no way out, but he knew who to go to.

Elisha walked outside, looked at the army calmly and said, “Don’t be afraid. We have more on our side than they have on theirs.” I’m sure his servant rubbed his eyes, looked at the army and started counting by the hundreds. Then he looked at he and Elisha and went, “One. Two. Hmmm.” Elisha patiently prayed, “Lord, open his eyes and let him see.” When the servant looked up after the prayer, he saw the hillside covered with horses and chariots of fire completely surrounding the Syrian army.

What eyes do you see your problems through? God gave the victory to them that day and He wants to give it to you today. It comes down to what eyes you’re looking at your circumstances through. The one set sees yourself surrounded by your problems with no way out. The other set sees that God is bigger than your problems and wants to give you victory. One set says, “I’m doomed.” The other says, “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” One set forgets what God has done for you. The other knows God has not failed you.

Whatever problems are surrounding you today are no match for God. You may have so many things going wrong that you can’t count them, but you plus God equals a majority. You are not outnumber. You are not alone. You are not doomed. You are a child of the God of Angel Armies and the King of Kings. He will come to your rescue and stand by your side in the toughest of times. May God open your eyes today to see that there are more that are with you than there are against you. Trust in Him today and choose to look at your situation through His eyes.

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Focus On Today

Do you ever find yourself letting your mind wander through all the possible outcomes of a situation? Before you know it, you can lose a couple of hours or even a day. I’ve been known to lose sleep just thinking about all the “what if’s”. When I was at a dead end in life and was forced to file bankruptcy, I couldn’t find an outcome that was positive. I was worried sick over how hard the next seven years were going to be. I couldn’t stop thinking of all the implications of it, not to mention the embarrassment. I got caught up in an endless cycle of thoughts that were detrimental to my well being.

God knows all too well how our minds work. I think that’s why Jesus dealt with those of us who are constantly living in the future of “what if’s” instead of in the present what is. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus said, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (MSG)” He was very plain in that verse and His words hit home with someone like me.

When I give my attention to the “what if’s”, I take away from what God is doing in this very moment. I lose sight of the reality that He is creating in my life today. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I have no clue how my current situation will end, but God does. He knows all too well what tomorrow will bring and what I need to do today in order to prepare for it. When I worry about the possibilities, I miss out on what He’s showing me today in order to help me tomorrow. That’s why He wants me to give my entire attention to what He’s doing right now, not what He’s going to do.

In the second part of that verse, Jesus assures us that God will help us with what comes next. He’s not going to let you walk into a trap and then abandon you. He’s not going to hang you out to dry when times get tough. People may do that, but God never will. Jesus said that He will help you with whatever hard things come up and will be there for you when the time comes. Deuteronomy 3:18 says, “The Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you.” I can testify that He is true to His word. He did not abandon me when I needed Him most and He won’t abandon you when you need Him most.

He is merely a prayer away. When the hard times come, simply say, “God, I can’t do this without you. In my own strength, this is impossible, but with you, all things are possible.” Don’t worry about all the worst possible outcome of what could happen. Find God in the middle of today’s mess instead. Look for Him in the midst of what you’re walking through today. He will be your fortress of refuge, your rock and your shield. Give your mind a rest from the worry. God knows the outcome and whatever it is, He will give you the grace and strength you need to make it through.

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10 Scriptures On Faith

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1. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1 NLT)

2. So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself). (Romans 10:17 AMP)

3. For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end. As the scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through faith shall live.” (Romans 1:17 GNB)

4. But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. (Hebrews 11:6 AMP)

5. (for we walk by faith, not by sight); (2 Corinthians 5:7 ASV)

6. So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead). (James 2:17 AMP)

7. Your faith, then, does not rest on human wisdom but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:5 GNB)

8. Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. ” (Matthew 17:20 NLT)

9. For we conclude that a person is put right with God only through faith, and not by doing what the Law commands. (Romans 3:28 GNB)

10. At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. (Ephesians 6:16 GNB)

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Making A Difference

When I get to speak to new employees, one of the things I like to tell them is that their location or workgroup should be different because they are there. I want them to understand that wherever they go, things should change because they are there. I then explain that they have the ability to affect things positively around them or negatively. Ultimately it’s their choice on what kind of impact they’re going to make.

You and I should live our Christian lives with the same philosophy. Our church should be different because we are their. They should be more vibrant and welcoming because we set the time for others to follow. Our work place should be different because of the spiritual influence we carry with us. Our coworkers shouldn’t know we are Christians because we are always preaching at them, but because of our actions. They should see Jesus in us.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippian church, he spoke to them about the effect their conduct had on others and their perception of Christianity. In chapter 1 verse 27 he said, “Live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ (MSG).” He knew that how we live in our day to day lives can either add to people’s perception of Christ or detract from it. He wanted our attitude, our actions to be a credit to the Message. He wanted our lives to lead others to Christ.

Think about the world you live in. Who are the people you come into contact with daily? Do they hear one thing coming out of your mouth and see something totally different in how you live? We’ve all heard the phrase, “Actions speak louder than words.” It’s time we applied that to spiritual things. It’s time our behaviors reflected the mind and attitude of Christ. Paul put it this way in Philippians 2:12-13, “Live in responsive obedience… Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation… That energy is God’s energy (MSG).”

If we think we’re living in responsive obedience, try harder. Be energetic in your life. Let God’s energy flow through you today. Don’t be a person who is always negative and sees the worst in every situation. Be the person who sees the best in situations and creates a positive atmosphere. People want to be around that person. People notice when someone is that way. When they ask what makes you different, you have an open door to share a faith that your actions have backed up. Go out today and make a difference wherever life leads you.

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