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Sunday, November 10: Day 202 – Be Patient

International Christian Fellowship in Phnom Penh was a small congregation of less than 25 with visitors from China, Ireland, Australia, Phillipines, USA, and England.

Next week they will have a potluck lunch on the rooftop. They are also planning a Men’s Breakfast and a Woman’s Breakfast.

The minister has an Anglican background and is from Australia.

We sang songs that were accompanied on keyboard by a guest pianist named Billy Joel.

Prior to the sermon the children were invited to the craft corner. They made a box out of paper with a verse about patience written on it. This was communicated at the end of the sermon.

Today’s sermon was given by the youth pastor named Ashley who has been here for five years. They have been studying James which is straightforward and illustrates the life of a disciple. It is a road map that is relevant today in Cambodia. Belief is not the same as following.

James 5:1-12

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.

But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.


Sermon

The tongue communicates the state of our hearts. Commit our impatience to the Lord and prepare for His return. Look forward.

It is difficult to wait for something for a long time. Cambodia needs patience. Hold on even when it looks like everything is falling apart around us.

Patience is a choice that God is good. Patience is important, topical, and the sermon has been outlined like this:

  • Head is the theology.
  • Heart is the impact on life.
  • Hands is living it out.

Head

Patience is needed until the Lord comes. Patience is difficult and you are not alone.

Farmers must have the most amount of patience. We can learn a few things from them. While we are waiting, trust!!

When Job was struggling under the pressure of life events, the Lord extended compassion and mercy.

This is relevant as we try to resolve our struggles ourselves. We think that money will fix it. Job clung to God throughout his ordeal. He was blessed, and all those blessings were gone. He had no idea what would happen next or why. He suffered and cried out to God. He was honest with God. He went to Him with his frustrations.

Heart

What is your heart committed to? Check your behavior toward others and God. Our grumbling can lead to complaining, then bitterness.

Think of things that you are thankful for.

Grumbling eats away at whatever it lands on. Spiritual grumbling is dangerous. It erodes our trust and affects the condition of our hearts.

We try to control the situation ourselves. God is aware of the situation.

Have you ever known someone who swears on an altar or temple or on their mothers grave? Or uses swear words against God?

God asks us to be clear and upfront. Just say yes or no and be honest with others and yourself…and God. Have a behavior that never needs an oath.

Have you ever been invited to an event on Facebook which requires a yes or no but then there is a maybe? Our culture has become commitment averse. We think that we might find something better so we respond, Maybe. DO NOT MAYBE JESUS.

He is not a hobby. Do we commit until something better comes along? Has our culture become toxic in that it lacks patience and commitment. We act as though we are God of our lives.

Statistics show that a website will be abandoned if it takes longer than four seconds to load.

Fortunately, God is not like that. We are called to be countercultural … maybe now more than ever!

Hands

Keep working toward patience. Here are some tangible things to consider:

Take time with God. Examine yourself.

How does the farmer image help you to gain patience?

Who encourages you to be patient? Trust God’s goodness.

Psalms are so loved because they demonstrate a life dedicated to God even when life is messy.

Here are a few dealing with the issue of patience:

Psalm 37:7a
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him

Psalm 27:14
Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.

Exodus 14:14
The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.


Be different than the world.

Align yourself with God.

Be compassionate.

Jesus promises that He is coming back. Be patient.

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