I hope you are both encouraged and challenged as you read the daily scriptures for Lent. One of my favorite parts of observing Lent is the component of Charity or “Acts of Kindness.” Focusing on this aspect of Lent helps me to be more aware of opportunities to serve others in the busyness of daily of life. One way that God has been prompting me to show kindness to others is to practice patience. I came across a great excerpt from Max Lucado that I wanted to share with you…
Taken from A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God’s Love
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2002) Max Lucado:
Patience is the red carpet upon which God’s grace approaches us.
The Greek word used here for patience is a descriptive one. It figuratively means “taking a long time to boil.” Think about a pot of boiling water. What factors determine the speed at which it boils? The size of the stove? No. The pot? The utensil may have an influence, but the primary factor is the intensity of the flame. Water boils quickly when the flame is high. It boils slowly when the flame is low. Patience “keeps the burner down.”
Helpful clarification, don’t you think? Patience isn’t naive. It doesn’t ignore misbehavior. It just keeps the flame low. It waits. It listens. It’s slow to boil. This is how God treats us. And, according to Jesus, this is how we should treat others.
Impatience still imprisons the soul. For that reason, our God is quick to help us avoid it. He does more than demand patience from us; he offers it to us. Patience is a fruit of his Spirit. It hangs from the tree of Galatians 5:22: “The Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience.” Have you asked God to give you some fruit? Well I did once, but … But what? Did you grow impatient? Ask him again and again and again. He won’t grow impatient with your pleading, and you will receive patience in your praying.
And while you’re praying, ask for understanding. “Patient people have great understanding” (Prov. 14:29). Why? Because patience always hitches a ride with understanding. The wise man says, “A man of understanding holds his tongue” (Prov. 11:12 NIV). He also says, “A man of understanding is even-tempered” (Prov. 17:27 NIV). Don’t miss the connection between understanding and patience. Before you blow up, listen up. Before you strike out, tune in.
“God is being patient with you” (2 Pet. 3:9). And if God is being patient with you, can’t you pass on some patience to others?
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
18 They said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priest will not be lost, nor will counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. So come, let’s attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says.” 19 Listen to me, O Lord; hear what my accusers are saying! 20 Should good be repaid with evil? Yet they have dug a pit for me. Remember that I stood before you and spoke in their behalf to turn your wrath away from them.
Psalm 31:5-6, 14-16
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth. 6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; I trust in the Lord.
14 But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. 16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
Matthew 20:17-28 – Jesus Again Predicts His Death
17 Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”
20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21 “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” 22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. 23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
teach us to lead lives that please you,
encourage us with your support
and equip us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant.
Forgive us when we focus on which of us is the greatest.
To take this journey with
you,is to take a journey
that draws us to be more like you:
a servant for others.
“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Let us give thanks to God, our Father:
through the power of the Spirit He purifies our heart and strengthens us in love.
Let us humbly ask Him:
Lord, fill us with your Holy Spirit.
Help us to receive good things from you with a deep sense of gratitude;
Teach us to be loving not only in great and exceptional moments,
-but above all in the ordinary events of daily life.
May we abstain from what we do not really need,
-and help our brothers and sisters in distress.
God of Love,Amen.
through this Lenten journey,
purify my desires to serve you.
Free me from any temptations to judge others,
or to place
Please help me surrender even my impatience with others.
Fill me with your love and your grace so that
I might be less and less absorbed with myself.
and more and more full of the desire
to follow you.