Jun 24, 2017 00:00
As the Spirit produces patience in us, He is making us more Christ like. Second Thessalonians 3:5 speaks of the “patience of Christ” (ASV). God is patient with sinners. Romans 2:4 says that God’s patience leads to our repentance. Romans 9:22 points out that only God’s patience prevents Him from destroying “the objects of his wrath.” Paul glorifies the Lord for His “unlimited patience” that saved him, “the worst of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:16). Peter highlights the patience of God in 1 Peter 3:20, pointing out that God had immense patience with the evil people of Noah’s day, delaying judgment as long as possible (Genesis 6).
Today, “our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved” (2 Peter 3:15, NLT). The opposite of patience is agitation, discouragement, and a desire for revenge. God does not want His children to live in agitation but in peace (John 14:27). He wants to dispel discouragement and replace it with hope and praise (Psalm 42:5). We are not to avenge ourselves; rather, we are to love others (Romans 12:19; Leviticus 19:18). God is patient, and His Spirit produces the fruit of patience in us. When we are patient, we leave room for God to work in our hearts and in our relationships. We lay down our schedule and trust in God’s. We thank the Lord for what and whom He’s brought into our lives. We let God be God.
Kindness is the characteristic that led God to provide salvation for us (Titus 3:4-5; Romans 2:4; 11:22). Kindness leads God to give us green pastures, quiet waters, and the restoration of our souls when we’re weary (Psalm 23:2-3). It is God’s tender care that makes Him want to gather us under His wings, to protect us and keep us close to Him (Psalm 17:8; 36:7; 61:4; Matthew 23:37). God expressed kindness when He provided for Elijah and the widow of Zarephath during a drought - and He showed more kindness later when He raised the widow’s only son from the dead (1 Kings 17:8-24). When Sarah exiled Hagar and Ishmael, God gave the outcasts kindness in the form of water and hope (Genesis 21:9-21). On multiple occasions, kindness induced Jesus to stop what He was doing and help others in need (Mark 6:34; Mark 7:29; Mark 10:46-52). And kindness leads the Good Shepherd to rescue us when we stray (Luke 15:3-7). In kindness He “gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11).
Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It’s a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person. Someone with goodness will selflessly act on behalf of others. Confronting someone about a sin demonstrates goodness. So do giving to the poor, providing for one’s children, visiting the sick, volunteering to clean up after a storm, and praying for an enemy. Expressions of goodness are as varied as the Spirit is creative. Goodness is not a quality we can manufacture on our own. James 1:17 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.” This certainly includes a life characterized by goodness.