Friday, November 18, 2016

"How Unlike God am I"

2nd Peter 3.8-9 “The Message” 

Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day

God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. 

He’s giving everyone space and time to change.”

Time is of no consequence to the Lord. He existed forever and is without beginning or end. God “was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4.8b). When you’ve been around that long, patience is a given. God is not slow. Rather, God is longsuffering and patient. Time means nothing to it’s Creator for whom “a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

How unlike God am I. I’m much faster! Quick to pass judgment, instant in decisions, always in a hurry, and constant with worry. I fear time is slipping away and I have none to waste. I relate when John Mayer sings, “Stop this train; I want to get off and go home again... So scared of getting older. I'm only good at being young.” 

God does not share these concerns with me. I size up situations in a flash and quickly compartmentalize people I meet. I’m a ‘pigeon hole’ specialist!

God is not like that. I’m more likely to come to a conclusion than contemplate a condition. But God is in no hurry to bring any matter to conclusion. He could unleash His power upon the earth and usher in Christ’s return right now. Apparently He does not wish to do so. According to the Bible, God is actually “restraining himself” and “holding back the End.” He loves His creation and wants to allow as much “space and time” as possible for His precious, rebellious children to repent.

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,”
declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”
Ezekiel 18.32 NASU

If God gives “everyone space and time to change,” then so should I. If I intend to be godly, as He commands, I must incorporate some of His attributes in my interaction with fellow humans. Apparently, like patience, self-restraint is a virtue. “Space and time” may be the kindest gift I offer. When I come to ‘the end of my rope’ I prove again how unlike God I am. I can still throw a tantrum, lose my cool, ‘burn a bridge,’ or inwardly scream: “That’s it! I’ve had it. Enough is enough!

Next time I feel stressed, I hope to try something different... something less Davely and more Godly like “holding back the End” of my rope and “giving everyone space and time to change”.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave, awesome meeting on Friday. Enjoyed your sharing and the dialogue with the guys. A few thoughts that came to me at the meeting on Friday:

1)Jesus told us that in his Father's house there are many rooms. He also told us that many would come from the North, South, East and West and take their seat at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I don't know what the population of the earth was 2000 years ago, but it must have been dramatically lower than the 1/2 billion that were supposedly on the earth in the year 1650 AD. (facts courtesy of my Rand-McNally Atlas) By 1850, the earths population topped 1 billion and one hundred years later, in 1950, we reached 2.5 billion. It was at 4.8 billion 20 years ago when I was in college and recently we have topped 6 billion. From this information I can draw two conclusions: 1) Only a guy would find this information rlevant to a chapter in the bible, and 2) God desperately desires his banquet room to be full. Jesus says as much in several of his parables.

2nd point: "You must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires."

2 Peter, ch 3, vs 3

Man have the scoffers been out lately. In the last few months, no fewer than 4 books have come out condemning religion in general and Christianity in particular. In these books, the conclusion is always the same. Anyone who takes the bible seriously is considered to follow a stone age religion. In an interview on Fox News a couple of nights ago, the leader of Atheists for America was glowing with delight over the news that America is less churched than a generation ago. She conveniently forgot to address the fact that our society has sunk even further into the toilet in the last 30 years. The sad truth is that many have refused Christ and many more will do so in the future.

The good news is, you and I know that God is sovereign and his promises have no expiration date. The fact that 2000 years have come and gone since the resurrection only proves the bible to be accurate: that God desires all to come to repentance and that he will settle for nothing less than a completely full banquet room.

Dave, have a great week and will see you on Friday. Topic will be 1 John, chapter # 5.

-----Cedar Mill Madness

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Those are such good words, Jim. Thanks for sharing them. Its great to know we have a God who is long-suffering and patient and even willing to delay the return of His Son so that others may have time to come to Him by faith. Makes me want to get out there and be a better evangelist.

God Bless You, Jim.

Dave

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Have a happy Thanksgiving...!!

Thank you for your posts...

-Dan

Dave Scriven said...

Thanks Dan.