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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #39 “Critical Imperatives for the Christ-Follower” (A Study of Romans 12) Part 11

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 12 each day this week.I count 24 injunctions or commands or imperatives for the believer here in Romans 12. I’m aware that the expression “critical imperative” is redundant, but I think it’s useful for what we see here in this great chapter. Let’s continue our multipart study by looking at verse 12.

We’ve seen that the believer is to offer his body as a living sacrifice, not to conform to the pattern of this world, to be transformed by the renewing of his mind, to think of himself with sober judgment, to use his gifts to build up the body of Christ, to hate as God hates, to be devoted to the body in love, to honor one another beyond yourselves, to keep one’s spiritual fervor, and to be joyful in hope! Whew!

The eleventh critical imperative is —11. Believers are to BE PATIENT IN AFFLICTION (v. 12)!

Ok. Truth time. I don’t care for affliction. Whether it is criticism (deserved or undeserved), athlete’s foot, heart surgery, or a devastating loss in tennis — I don’t really like affliction. None of us do. But we are guaranteed suffering in this world. [For a discussion of our poor theology of suffering, take a look at our post found here.]

Here our critical imperative is to be patient in affliction. Why “patient”? Because I (and, I presume, you) want suffering and affliction O-V-E-R! We want to move on to a state of non-affliction! Right now. And it may be that Paul has in mind affliction over which we have no control. We can’t stop it or avoid it or somehow ignore it. So, we have the option of being patient IN it. And that’s a great reason to drop to our knees and . . . pray (which will be our next critical imperative).

Today’s Challenge: How would you fill in the following blank? “Right now, in my life, I am going through the following affliction: _____________________. And I can’t stop it or avoid it or ignore it. BUT, I can, by God’s grace, be PATIENT in it.

 

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2021 in Romans 12

 

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More Satire from the Babylon Bee: Patience!

LOS ANGELES, CA—Local man Herbert Patterson died of natural causes after waiting in his car for over sixty years for his wife to finish socializing at Second Avenue Baptist Church following a November 1956 service, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Patterson reportedly got into the couple’s 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air about 30 minutes after the close of the service, right after being assured by his wife Betty that she would “only be a moment,” and then they could go get a hamburger at McDonald’s on the way home.

But when minutes turned to years, and years to decades, the man began to grow concerned.

“Well, that’s Betty for you,” Patterson said with a good-natured chuckle in a 2008 interview, as he continued to sit in the front seat of their car waiting for his wife. “Oh, by the way—don’t tell me who won the Cold War. I want to be surprised when I turn on the radio tonight to check the news.”

“Honey, it’s time to go! Come on!” he called out, attempting to honk the horn but finding it had long since ceased functioning.

Sadly, Patterson would never find out who won the Cold War, as he passed away peacefully in the driver’s seat of the couple’s now-classic car, as his wife continued to signal that she was just going to be one more minute talking with her friends in front of the church.

“He went as he would have wanted to—waiting for grandma to be done milling about after church,” one of Patterson’s grandchildren said at the funeral, which Mrs. Patterson did not attend, as she was still reportedly socializing for “just one more minute” after the church service that ended over sixty years ago.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2020 in patience

 

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Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 36)

“Let your conscience be your guide!”  That works in much of life, but it isn’t a biblical adage.  I find sometimes that my conscience bothers me about things that don’t matter and doesn’t bother me about things that do!  My conscience (and yours) is fallen, is not perfect, and needs to be shaped by the Word of God.

The Lord appeals to Jonah’s conscience in verse 4 after Jonah has had his temper tantrum.  The Lord asks, “Is it right for you to be angry?”  “Is it right?”  Hmmmm.   Jonah had set himself up as the final arbiter of right and wrong — and the God of the universe gently challenges him.

I just would have zapped Jonah and moved on to another missionary.  How about you?

But this God is indeed gracious and compassionate and slow to anger!  And He demonstrates those characteristics over and over again with Jonah.  Instead of rebuking Jonah for his suicidal ideations, the Lord raises the question of right and wrong.  The wrongs of Nineveh had gotten God’s attention and He had sent His emissary to pronounce judgment on the people.  But they had repented — and God had relented.  God chose to do what was right in HIS eyes. He withheld judgment.  And Jonah saw this as very wrong and was willing to die for his opinion.

A prayer for today:  “Lord, a big part of my fallenness is that I think I know better than You.  Thank You for not zapping me when I deserve to be zapped.  I praise You for Your patience, kindness, and mercy.  Help me to show the same to others today.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2017 in Jonah

 

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