The Gifts In Longsuffering

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Can you recall something you had to deal with for a long time? Maybe you thought it would take less time or it wouldn’t go the way it went. What about the times when we think we get through something only to find ourselves going through it for an extended period.

Think about receiving gifts during your longsuffering? Can you? How can there be gifts in suffering for a long time? Well you see it’s all in our perspective and the way we choose to live our lives. Below are some points to consider on the gifts in longsuffering.

 

1) Love Developed In Us: Most if not all, don’t like going through something difficult, unpleasant and opposing for a long time. We would take the relief as soon as it could come and hope it comes as fast as it could. Love is a gift that needs to be developed in us and displayed through us in longsuffering. When we can suffer and endure something that God has allowed for us to bear for a long time in the right attitude and perception, we can walk out and live out the love that God wants us to operate in.

 

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2) Fruit Growing In Us: As believers we are called to bear fruit and walk in the Spirit of God and to be led by the Holy Spirit. God dwells in every Christ follower and bearing fruit is the evidence that we are growing in the Lord. Longsuffering is a fruit of the Spirit. Some may question, how can suffering for a long time bring out something good in us? When we are yielded to the Lord, longsuffering will help bring forth patience and self- control in our behavior, actions, interactions and other areas in our lifestyles.

 

 

3) Living In Forgiveness: Just as Christ is longsuffering towards us in our mess and sin,  as  Christ followers we must learn to be longsuffering towards others. Forgiveness is really freedom for our minds, hearts and souls.

 

4) Humbling Ourselves: When we humble ourselves in suffering for a long time, God can raise us up at the right time. We must let go of our will to have a smoother path in life and to attempt to avoid adversity. For every believer, the suffering we face in this world will be wiped away one day.

 

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Take It Up!

 

 

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In my thoughts lately I have been thinking about the scripture in Mathew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”As I’m thinking on this scripture, I’m thinking on the importance of us as believers to deny, take up and follow. Below are some points to consider about this verse.

 

Deny Himself: Just imagine having something that was of great value, desire and want to you. When we have those things we want to hold onto it and never let go. What is Mathew 16: 24 talking about when it says whoever comes after Christ must deny himself? As human beings we can sometimes get caught up in self when we are walking in our flesh. It’s no wonder why when many things on the television, internet and in this world tries to feed our selfish appetites. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing wrong with having wonderful things and doing things we enjoy, but there comes a time when we must deny ourselves. That’s not always easy to do! Denying self to be obedient to the will and call of God is something every child of God has to work on daily. So really it’s not about us, but about what Jesus is leading, guiding, directing, telling and showing us to do. This sometimes requires us to put our feelings and wants to the side and take up God’s desires and will.

 

Take up his cross: When we think of the cross we often think of Jesus’ suffering, pain and sacrifice for us all. But what does it mean to take up our cross for Christ? I believe it means laying down our own lives to surrender completely to the Lord. Simply yielding to the will of God and dying to self. Again society constantly puts out “get your life” and you can do whatever feels right to do. Does that mean we must give up our very own lives for the One who gave up His for us? Absolutely! Each day requires a giving up to the Lord. Giving up selfish pleasures, selfish pursuits and selfish desires. That’s where we take up our cross.

 

Follow Me: Following Jesus requires us to hear His voice and do His will. In John 10: 27 Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” When we belong to Jesus we must listen out for His voice and then do what He says. He speaks to us in His Word, in our prayer and devotion times, situations and sometimes through other people.

 

What are your thoughts on Mathew 16: 24? What does denying yourself, taking up your cross and following Jesus mean to you?

 

 

Called Out For His Glory

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Ever struggled with the reality of being the ‘different’ one? Have you ever wished that the unpleasant and awkward feelings and experiences of being different around others(even other believers) would disappear?

In my transparency I find myself in a place of constantly being called out by God. Now I’m getting used to it, yet it’s very uncomfortable. All humans have longings to be deeply connected and have a sense of belonging and closeness.

Yet you can notice the ones who often stand out, stand apart and carry around the stigmas that come with it. We don’t need pity or sympathy it’s actually something we have to learn to embrace, accept and thank God for. Dwelling on all we have to face and endure is a camp ground for Satan to get a hold of and use for his advantage.

I can relate very much to other outsiders, misfits, underdogs, introverts and outcasts. In fact sometimes those are the types I tend to easily connect with and occasionally click with. More often now, I hear and see others express their observations of these kind of things and the loneliness they experience. When I see or hear a person express it I often want to tell them they are not alone, I understand and pour encouragement on them and support. We are in a world that puts a lot of attention on friendships and relationships and that’s where we have to remember that whatever God allows for us to experience and not to experience is the best thing that can happen. God has the best for us and we must not settle for less. Sometimes the best is not always pretty and acceptable to us or others. God’s ways are higher!

When we are called out by God for His glory these are the situations we need to allow God to mold us and work through us. No we are not better than anyone and we are not less than anyone either. Those in the crowd and other forms of intimate groups  at some point will have to learn how to be separate and possibly in the past have been through the same thing. No need to envy it. Appearances are not always the details of everything. When we feel like we are being pulled away, I believe that’s where we should be drawn more to the Lord. Yes, those feelings of loneliness and isolation will sometimes linger, but God gets the glory for the results that come with yielding in to being called out.

Here are some highlighted points to consider about being called out.

1) You’re being called out to be called in. We need community and fellowship, but sometimes we need to be away from the noise and distractions that come with being mixed in the crowd. How can God work through us if we put people before God and relationships become idols or crutches?

2) God wants to be our everything. The One that is the priority. Friendships with a certain amount of distance don’t  compete with God who  deserves the position and place of being our everything.

3) You stand out as a flame to be on fire for Jesus. There are some things that will cause us to lose our fire if we try to go off the path that God has chosen for us to travel. That fire is not for us, but for the glory of God.