Living A Life Of Patience And Purpose

In James 5.7-11, James references the purpose of the Lord in the case of Job. We see from Job 42.10 and 12 that the purpose was to bless and to restore. The purpose was to take what was broken, and to restore it, and is that not a condensed version of the book of James?

Jesus wants to take what is broken and restore it, to restore this broken world to Eden; God, creation, and man living harmoniously and peacefully and lovingly together. James encourages us to have patience whilst we wait for this (James 5.7-9).

The question for you and for me then is are we willing to wait for this?

Are we willing to look at the examples of the prophets? 

To see God’s plans and purposes worked out through them and have patience?

Charles Simeon, the British preacher of yesteryear we mentioned earlier said this, 

So the Christian must wait upon his God: many things he will meet with to try his faith and patience: but he must commit them all the Lord, not doubting but that God will him “strength according to his day”, and cause “all events to work together for his good.

Again then, as this week and every week, it would be so easy to hyper-moralise James and say look, you are a bad person because you are not patient, be more patient. But that’s not helpful for anyone, is it, and it totally leaves Jesus out of the picture. Sure, we’ve referenced Him, we know He is in this text, but, with hyper-moralising it is He the hero of this text? No, He’s not, is He.

So How does He personify and exemplify the patience and purpose we have talked about today?

David Mathis wrote this,

How many times have we rebelled? How often have we misrepresented him? How frequently have we presumed upon his forgiveness? How much have we been impatient with him — only to find out how gently and kindly he handled us in return?

Think about it this way; if Jesus was not patient with you, if He did not personify and exemplify the life of patience and living for God’s purpose to bless and restore, we would all have perished. 

Let us go into today full of awe for the patience, the purpose, and the person of Jesus.

Moses – His Recall

After being given the ability to do powerful signs in Exodus 4.1-17, Moses is now recalled to God’s people in Egypt.

Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead.”

Exodus 4.19

Moses is then told to do before Pharaoh all the miracles that I have put in your power (v.21). A way has been prepared for Moses, and he is recalled to use the abilities that God has given him. Having spent time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Moses now is recalled to put his God-given abilities to work. 

Reading this we cannot escape the similarities with the preparation and recall of Jesus. He also spent time in the wilderness (Luke 4.1), was also presented with an opportunity to respond (Exodus 3.4-6, Luke 4.1-13), and afterwards was recalled to begin the work for which He had been prepared (Luke 4.14-15).

I believe that God still uses this process today, and will for you when your life is totally and wholeheartedly submitted to Him. Paul experienced this (Acts 26.12-32, Galatians 1.11-17), and I believe that God will use this process with you; the call, the preparation, and then the recall.

Maybe you don’t need to go hang around in Arabia for three years as Paul did (Galatians 1.17-18), or be tested in the wilderness for forty days as Jesus was (Luke 4.2), but there will be a call for you, there will be a time of preparation for you, and then there will be a recall for you, where you are given the task.

If you are journaling along with this series, try this today – when was my call, have I been prepared, have I been recalled yet?

2 Timothy 1.8-14 – Who Is Jesus?

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

There are many, many passages in the Bible that talk of who Jesus is (John 1, 10.30, Isaiah 9.6, Titus 2.13, John 20.28…). Upon reading this passage in 2 Timothy, although there is lots going on, what shone through was this description of Jesus, did you notice it?

…[God]saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel…

We see that God saved us based on nothing we did (not because of our works), but based purely on His own purpose and grace. This rings true with the words of Ephesians 2.8-9 wherein we read 

“…by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

The description of Jesus, then, is found next and we read that He manifests this purpose and grace of God.

…[God]saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel…

So, we want to know what God is doing and what He is like, we look at Jesus.

We want to know what the grace of God is like, we look at Jesus.

Very simply, Jesus reveals the purpose and grace of God.

Who is Jesus? He is the revelation of God, He is the Word of God in human flesh, He is the revelation of God’s purpose and grace. Look to Him today.