miércoles, 15 de junio de 2011

Love is Patient / Long-Suffering

by Jen González on Sunday, June 5th 2011 @ Resound Missions Base

I want to begin by borrowing the words of Paul… in 1 Timothy 1:15-17 he says:
“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen One who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.”

LOVE IS PATIENT/LONG-SUFFERING : My life and my marriage is a living testimony of this love. My husband and I are a walking miracle for the glory of God!

What are the main qualities about God’s character that stands out to you when you hear my story?
His unconditional and long-suffering love.

The bible says in Rom 5:8 "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." So we didn’t have to meet any requirements to be recipients of his mercies, He simply loved us first; He loved us and continues to love us unconditionally. God is always the initiator, He draws us by His Spirit to Him (John 6:44) He allows us to experience godly sorrow which produces repentance which leads to salvation (2Cor.7:10) and He is long-suffering towards us. (Ex.34:6) So we can’t take credit for what God initiates and what God does in us and through us. It’s extremely important that you do not look at my husband or myself as the ones that made this happen and that you would not allow yourselves to think for one second that there is anything good or of value in us that brought us this far, it was God and God alone through His presence in us. The bible says that all our good works are as filthy rags (Isa.64:6) so it is our prayer that through our story and through this teaching today, you would see God in action, that there really is nothing impossible for God and that above all He is the only one worthy of praise, honor, glory and adoration.

The following verse was very instrumental for us in our process of restoration. The day the Lord opened my eyes to this verse, there was a shift in my heart, God aligned our hearts to His original plan, purpose and design for our marriage and for our lives.

Our focus today will be on 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, specifically v.4 & v.7

“4 Love is patient and kind. (Another version says Love is Long-Suffering or Love suffers long.) Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

Do you think that it’s a coincidence that “LOVE IS PATIENT” or “LOVE SUFFERS LONG” is the first definition of love that is mentioned in this verse? No, of course not. Long Suffering Love is, in a sense, the horse that pulls the carriage which carries the remaining acts of love mentioned in 1 Cor.13: 4-7. Long suffering Love is what I call FOREVER LOVE which requires that we first count the cost (Luk.14:27-30) and decide that we are in it for the long haul; until DEATH do us part (reffering to marriage) or until death unites us with our Saviour (reffering to our Christian walk). Love is an action, it’s a choice, it’s not a feeling and it’s not something you fall in and out of; it’s a conscious decision we either make or choose not to make.

Counting the cost: Luke 14:27-30 "27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow Me,you cannot be My disciple. 28 For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, 'There's the person who started that building and couldn't afford to finish it!"

OR they could say, " There is that Christian that says He serves a Mighty God but they couldn’t stay married and forgive one another, or they couldn’t overcome that sin…or they couldn’t finish the race. There God must not be so mighty after all.”

This is why the institution of marriage today is a mockery. We have failed to put in to practice the word of God regarding long-suffering love; we have mis-represented the God we serve. ¿Is He not the God of the impossibles? ¿Is there anything too hard or too dead that God can’t fix or bring back to life? If you’re not sure you believe this, then ask God to show you. Ask Him to prove you wrong. Not in a challenging disrespectful way, but in an honest and transparent way, with a heart that is totally surrendered to Him. Simply confess your unbelief and ask Him to help you believe. I did, and for the glory of God, look where I am today! HALLELUYA! GLORY TO GOD!!!

Going back to FOREVER LOVE: I believe that when my husband said his vows to me, he had a better understanding of what forever really meant. He had the best example…even as non-believers, his grandparents were married until death separated them in 2006 when his grandfather passed away. But not before he accepted Jesus as His Lord and Saviour! They were married over 60 years. I, on the other hand, didn’t have such an example in my family. I knew I wanted the opposite of what I had seen in my family, I wanted the forever kind of love but I didn’t understand what it meant and much less what it would cost me and what it would require of me.


The Greek word for long Suffering is mä-kro-thü-me'-ō which comes from the root word mä-kro-thü'-mōs which means patiently. Long-Suffering/Patient in its original form means to not lose heart, to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles, to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others, to be mild and slow in avenging, to be slow to anger, slow to punish.

Note from Mathew Henry & Wesley Commentary: long suffering – Means it can endure evil, injury, and provocation, without being filled with resentment, indignation, or revenge. It suffers all the weakness, ignorance, errors, and infirmities of the children of God; all the malice and wickedness of the children of the world: and all this, not only for a time, but to the end. It makes the mind firm, gives it power over the angry passions, and furnishes it with a persevering patience that would rather wait and wish for the reformation of a brother than fly out in resentment of his conduct. It will put up with many slights and neglects from the person it loves, and wait long to see the kindly effects of such patience on him. And in every step toward overcoming evil with good, it is kind, soft, mild, and benign.

Most of us are quick to be harsh and pass judgment on others. But we need to understand that in our humanity WE ARE ALL WEAK, that WE WILL ALL FAIL AT SOME POINT, it’s a guarantee, WE WILL HURT OTHERS, knowingly or unknowingly. So with this knowledge, we must arm ourselves with LOVE and be prepared to ask for forgiveness and/or forgive.

Eph.4:2-3 says: “2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient (another version uses the word long suffering)with each other, (bearing) or making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace."

Love covers a multitude of sins (Prv.10:12) and mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). We need to leave room for mistakes and stop demanding perfection from imperfect people. We must be patient and merciful when those around us fail us and even patient with ourselves when we fail. We must believe as Paul did in Php.1:6 where he states “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” God is the ALPHA and the OMEGA, beginning and the end; He always finished what He starts. WE ARE ALL A WORK IN PROGRESS. HE’S NOT FINISHED WITH US YET. So lets be patient with one another.

Jesus said in John 13:34-35 “34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples."

So what is the best way to represent our Lord and bring glory and honor to His name? BY LOVING ONE ANOTHER.

We CAN change public opinion about marriage and about family and about today’s church if we would begin to look at ourselves in the mirror of the word of God and align ourselves to His will and DO what His word tells us to do. Nike’s slogan is JUST DO IT! I imagine if God had a slogan, it would be “JUST LOVE!”

Ok, 1Co 13:7 (this verse specifically became a firm anchor for our souls and brought conviction and determination and produced endurance in us. This was the point in my life when I understood what FOREVER LOVE was all about.)

1Co 13:7 NLT – “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” - another version says “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” And the beginning of v.8 says LOVE NEVER FAILS!

Another key verse for us was:

1Jn 2:17 NKJV “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

Maybe you’re thinking; “HOW CAN I POSSIBLY FORGIVE HIM/HER? I JUST CAN’T DO IT, I CAN’T FORGIVE, I CAN’T BE PATIENT, I CAN’T BE LONG-SUFFERING!!!” And my answer to you is that you are absolutely CORRECT! YOU can’t but GOD CAN! We cannot be patient or long-suffering in and of ourselves, this is something that God does through His Spirit in us.

Gal 5:22-23 “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!”

*Illustration – Have you ever seen an orange tree try really hard to produce an orange? NO, it comes naturally because that is how God created it, it will naturally produce oranges. In the same way we cannot try really hard to be patient or long-suffering in our own strength. As we abide in His presence, as we obey His commands, He empowers us through His Spirit and He produces in us the fruit of the Spirit. He produces in us the fruit of patience.

John 15:4-5 “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me. "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Now is the time to do as it says in Hosea 10:12 “Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that He may come and shower righteousness upon you.”

Conclusion: If we could all grasp the depth and power of this love, if today we would allow for the seed of God’s word to be firmly planted in our hearts, if we would purpose in our hearts to follow hard after God and obey His commandments and put in to practice what we’ve learned today; God will revolutionize our lives, our marriages and our relationships within the body of Christ and we will impact those around us for His glory. Long-Suffering Love is not out of our reach, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, what is impossible for man is possible with God.

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