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February 18, 2021 3:00 am
Patience is a quality that doesn't come naturally and often were too impatient to have to develop it, but thankfully it is an attribute of God's part of who he is today on Truth for Life Alastair big explores examples of God's patience in Scripture.
I don't want to begin with a quiz five. If I were to ask you what is the fourth 10 in the Westminster Scottish catechism of the Westminster shorter catechism. I wonder how many of you could answer I be surprised if more than three could tell me what the fourth question is in the Westminster shorter catechism so I'm going to tell you what it is. In the next time somebody starts by that you could put up your hand and say yes we know exactly what the fourth question is here is the fourth question what is God and the answer that the catechism gives is as follows. God is a spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his being his wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth is a staggering thought that there was a time when in at least the churches of Scotland all children in our churches were taught that catechism and all the adults in the congregation were expected to know that catechism, not just to know what the questions where but you actually know what the answer is so that if somebody encounter them in the grocery store or at business or in the sports arena and said you know, I've been thinking a lot about God. Could you tell me what is God they would at least have a start Monday and the answer would be there in the catechism is he one of the reasons that the average teenager can answer any of the questions is because he never taught any of the stuff and since we at this point in our lives are just server overgrown teenagers. Those of us who made it through. We probably have carried this into adult hood and some of us have carried it into being grandfathers and when our grandchildren ask us questions we stumble. Being able to answer them ourselves and part of the reason is simply this, that we are currently in the end of a significant period of time in history where we as men and women have entertained great thoughts about ourselves and small thoughts about God so tremendous interest in who we are and what we are what we achieve and and what we do. If you like the sort of awesomeness of ourselves has prevailed in the thinking of our culture and at the same time, the notion of the very awesomeness of God himself has diminished and has declined almost to the point of extinction. In some places there is still a tremendous amount of talk about God, not least of all, here in California. California is on the edge of so much in the and I and I like it. For that reason. In other reasons as well, but if you just listen to people. Let's say if you're exercising with them above riding bikes or doing something like that and it gets onto the conversation concerning God.
There are, I suggest to you, to contemporary views of God which predominate one is the idea that God is impersonal that God is impersonal. In other words, God is simply an energizing aspect of life and energy. Okay he is a cosmic principle but is not a sovereign person and if you listen to people talk you will find any not articulated in that way you will find that views of God often tend to that.
The whole notion of the impersonality of God or on the other end of the spectrum that God is entirely personal, entirely personal. He is just what I expect him to be. This is somebody who calls himself a Christian counselor told her. Told the lady who was contemplating divorcing her husband that what she needed to do was to wait until she just heard her own little voice telling her what she was supposed to do. Can you imagine if you did, even 50% of the things that your little voices telling you whatever.
If I did 20% of what my little voices were telling me today. There's no way I would even be in this room, but that's exactly how it goes, so that God then spells whatever he wanted to spell Gordon means whatever you wanted to mean God is whatever I think he is, or whatever. I feel that is now restarting this way to said if you like the cultural context.
You may say simplistic. It's generally state that I be prepared to admit that, but I want to set it then so that we can show that the Bible tells us against that kind of notion that God is in this time mentioned utterly beyond is outside of us that before there was time before there was anything there was God.
Okay, that's really an answer to catechism question so that our children would know what was there before there was God there was nothing before there was God so they can then say before they go to sleep at night before there was time before there was anything there was God as opposed to the notion of pantheism that God is the air and we earlier and we are part of the earth and the earth has energy. And we have energy and we are tuned into the energy before you know where you are.
The moons of balloon right false mental images of God come by way of our imagination and by way of speculation. A true understanding of God comes by way of revelation, revelation, not imagination. What I conceive of them to be, not speculation that he is merely a cosmic impersonal principal we come to this by way of revelation. In other words, God has pulled back the curtain. God has chosen to speak, as that's the immensity of if I were to come before you tonight a fellow introduced me to Mr. Elliott and I just stood up here and looked at you and for all the time that I do not. Just standing, looking you would be making all kinds of deductions I the reason completely struck down Laurier. He lost his mind or whatever it might be you would have no way of knowing what was going on inside my mind. You could conjecture you can imagine.
You could speculate. But the only way you're going to know is when I speak so the Bible tells us that God has spoken. He spoke the very creation into being in the past. He spoke in various ways by the prophets in these last days he has spoken to us by his son. So our conception of God is as a result of his revelation was now Spurgeon addressed his congregation in London in 1855 when he was a young pastor, age 20, age 20. This is what he said to them, he often thinks of God will have a larger mind than the man who simply plugs around this narrow glow. Nothing will. So enlarge the intellect, nothing. So magnify the soul of man as a devout earnest continued investigation of the great subject of the deity you have to go very far. Just go on your patio tonight on your back porch or whatever else it is if the skies in Southern California have cleared look up into the heavens and say the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork. Dion today outsources speech and tonight on Tonight Show with knowledge there is no speech or language where his voice is not aired. His voice has gone out to the ends of their so the weather people are in Vladivostok or whether they're in Waterloo or whatever the are as they stand and gaze up into the heavens. It is only the Lewis said in his heart there is no God, because sin has impregnated as at the level of our minds as well. We don't live in some kind of intellectual vacuum whereby we can decide whether we want to believe or whether we don't want to believe by our very nature. We don't believe we are opposed to this God. And so we are happy when people come along with substitute guards with little feet. God's and their plenty of them around. We have them and I am sure you have them here and that's why this is a good idea to think about the attributes of God blessing received by way of introduction is simply this, that when we think about the attributes of God. Whether it is the jealousy of God or the faithfulness of God or the justice of God or the wrath of God or the love of God or the patience of God as you think about all of these things. You have to keep in mind that although we can think about them separately.
We can think about them separately.
They can actually be separated. You can separate the justice from the love of God or the faithfulness of God from the jealousy of God you can. We can divvy up the totality of who and what he is. This is how toes are polluted. All of God's acts are consistent with all of his attributes, no attribute contradicts any other, but all harmonize and blend into each other in the infinite abyss of the Godhead in the infinite abyss of the garden of the disc is just so beyond us so fast everything we teach our children.
This only is, you know where I don't.
I haven't had any racing in this for a while.
This shows how old I am, but we used our children. I remember using God's big, strong, and so my ED drama that one.
There is nothing that he cannot do there to shake our heads like that to make the point. The rivers are his. The mountains are his the stars of his handiwork to our God is so big so strong and so mighty there's nothing that he cannot do while is an entirely different perspective from looking for the cosmic principle and save yourself for trying to employ the energy of divinity, in order that you might advance in your career you want to God that you Bobby for a God that you keep in your pocket you want to God of the prophets where they took down trees and half of the barn and the fire here at the middle little God and somebody says this is ridiculous. How do you know which parts the God abutting upon the garden. The fire need get this is because we have done the wrong thing how you want to know. It's so stupid it's absolutely ridiculous. That's why that's why the Bible says that man in his wisdom knew not God first Corinthians 1. God is GS is no God. We say get on with it because usually the first speaker you're not here for the whole night and you're supposed to be speaking about the patience of God. All right, I could just one word in front of me on the screen. Patience what you have legal meal is even worse. So patient. All right, I'm not really spent a long time on this, but I want to look at it from three perspectives. The patience of God viewed. If you like.
Historically, the patience of God viewed doctrinally in the patience of God viewed personally and I'm giving you if you like a thumbnail sketch. This is not the finished outline. These are not the engineering drawings from which availability of building this is the. The alley work of the architect as he takes his pencil and destroys around for little while on the desk hopefully is very accurate but it send you off to do your own work. All right, so were thinking about the patience of God. Historically, Genesis chapter 6 and in verse 11 we read now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt for all flesh had corrupted their way on the air. And God said to Noah, I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them, behold, I will destroy them with the air and then immediately make yourself an ark of gopher wood and then he gives the direction for the building of Noah's Ark we read from second Peter, you need to turn to this read from second Peter purposefully but when Peter in his first letter references what God did in Noah's day, he puts it like this in the 18th verse of the first Peter three were not actually in the in the 18th verse in the 20th verse about any to read from 18 Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison because they formerly did not obey here you go.
When God's patience waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared hundred and 20 years hundred and 20 years. I'd say is pretty patient with you, God looks on the state of affairs. He knows that judgment must be executed provides news of the way to salvation by preserving Noah as a herald of righteousness as Peter refers to in two Peter 25. He was a preacher of righteousness so the patience of God is such that he raises up Noah in order to speak to the people and that he has and build on our which is the very essence of salvation a preacher to tell them and an ark to save them numbers chapter 14 and you say probably were going have to go through the whole Old Testament here were on the numbers and it is like a winner going to do that but there was a fellow ice. He was preaching through the E thought he would impress people and preach through the entire Old Testament and one talk and I had been going for goodness knows how long and he said at one point he said and that and now we have come to Ezekiel what shall we do with him and somebody shouted out while he can have my seat because I'm going home right censored, so don't we don't really will make a quantum leap forward here in just a moment, but in numbers chapter 14 and verse 11. Remember the congregation. They all started to cry and moan and groan and I'm just I just bunch of useless characters. Every last one of them right. And if you read the beginning of Numbers 14. He said all we love that in Egypt. Egypt was great. We had nice places in Egypt nice restaurants in Egypt. Now we are brought out in this dump you know who wants to be here is the Lord bring in his into this land is probably gonna die here are wife's regarding eaten by animals would be better off back in Egypt.
Any pastor knows this again or stoppages you just change the phases exchanging names is a way like this on March rear two services are nearly deftly services be a disaster as we should've gone back to two services right we get rid of that guitar player we should've had the organ will get back to the organs of so Moses and Aaron, Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation. The people of Israel and basically saying what am I supposed to do with this group and the Lord said to Moses, verse 11. How long will this people despise me how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them a thing about this there in Egypt are in bondage there making those breaks.
It's horrible. Can we get out of here please can we get out of here. We want to get out of here plagues Moses off they go parting of the Red Sea wall, look at this is a fantastic weather that can you believe this, what a day this is one of the chariots bullying bullying done here we go, God did all that. Now listen to them. I think about it for just a moment, one of the personal bill yet, but I'm going to live your little personal, but right now though. You see your face in the picture all the time you told God all that was great when that and then look at it now we doing now. Those were the glory days back there. We like to bike there. We didn't hated then as well stop telling lies. While I don't like it. Now we know that your miserable sinner that your problem.
It doesn't matter where you are.
This is geographies not the issue could be as miserable in California as you are in Cleveland. That's because of who you are and then he says, pardon the iniquity of the people.
According to the greatness of your steadfast love, just as you have forgiven this people from Egypt until now.
All he says God in heaven you've been so patient with these people so patient and think about it in Moses life, and you been patient with me to 4040 40 patients and the Lord said verse 20 I have pardoned, according to your word. I have pardoned, according to your word.
Jonah chapter 4, I told you will be a quantum leap getting to the end. Now, Jonah, Micah, some of your glowing like werewolves.
Jonah and this way should get one of those Bibles with her with his little stickers on them or whatever it is or get yourself an iPhone. He just Jonah and you're in so you remember the story of Jonah. We don't need to get into it. He was in a will of a problem right from the get-go and you know Jonah gets the assignment, go here.
He does not own fancy that I go over there that he, God saves him in the whale and any goes on his assignment and that is really ticked because now these people are actually responding to the good news that he's telling the music he's telling that salvation is from the Lord. Salvation belongs to the Lord. That's what he's telling them now and then we read verse one of chapter 4 in displeased Jonah exceedingly and he was angry and he prayed to the Lord and said, Lord, business what I said when I was yet in my country. That's why I was running away to Tarsus because I know that you are a gracious God and merciful and slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster. In other words, I knew that you would be patient.
What can a prophet of God is taped often people get saved the think about it for just a minute. I believe that some people in your office in the factory and the Harley gang you my build ticked off of ego saved as well. And the reason they would because of the patient's God jumping forward to the talk tomorrow and maybe do both of them now and they are to short tomorrow, but if you were where he says in in in in Lamentations 3 is because of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, consumed, God was in the God that he is.
We can even be around here to take us out and go do something. The answers God has done something and he's about to do something, but if he does this something is about to do tonight will really left and the reason he doesn't is because of who he is because he is a patient God. He is a long-suffering God. He made you been listening to Alister bag message titled God's patience. This is Truth for Life. And if you're a regular listener, you know that we supplement these daily studies by selecting books designed to help you learn more about the Bible.
We think you could greatly benefit from a featured book this month. Book called with all your heart, you could have a broken heart or a change of heart or loss of heart. But what is the Bible mean when it uses this word the book with all your heart, explores the biblical definition of the heart, and we've chosen this book because it brings an in-depth look into what the Scripture has to say about the very essence of who we are.
The author bases his definition on the Puritan framework of the threefold scheme of the heart, the mind, the desires and the will sold the heart governs the things we know the things we love and the things we choose to do. You'll learn a lot. As you read with all your heart request your copy when you donate today. You can visit us online at truthforlife.org/donate or click the image in our app or call 888-588-7884 before close. I want to extend in a unique invitation. If you have never seen the unspoiled beauty of God's creation, all of its natural splendor, suggest a trip to Alaska this summer. Alister will be teaching the Bible on board a cruise ship that the parts out of Seattle Washington on August 28, the Holland America luxury liner will make its way through the northern Pacific offering spectacular views of Alaska's coastline, including the Tongass forest and historic frontier towns. You'll enjoy God's world while studying his word with Alister singing songs of praise with Grammy award winner Laura story. Don't miss this memorable adventure go online to receive your ticket deeper faith cruise.com or by calling 855-565-5519 Bob Lapine join us again tomorrow as Alister concludes his message of God's patience Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life.
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