It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others. There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others. Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season. I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.
This is day seven in the eleventh week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”. This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others. Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.
Patience With A Purpose
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.“
2 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)
Does knowing a reason for something make you more likely to accept, or do, it? Why? Do you ever get frustrated with people who don’t operate on your time schedule? Do you tend to live by a schedule or are you content to live life flowing from one thing to the next? Does keeping an eternal perspective in mind help you to serve with greater patience? Why? What is the purpose behind God’s patience with us? How can our serving others improve when we adopt that same purpose?
If you want to understand the influence that purpose has on our level of patience, consider the differing attitudes of a family of five waiting in traffic for two minutes and that same family waiting in line for two hours in order to experience their favorite amusement park ride on opening day. Most of us are willing to wait when we value what we expect is coming. On the other hand, when we see no apparent purpose in waiting, our frustration level escalates quickly. God says we should serve with patience for the purpose of seeing more people come to repentance and accept Him. As you pray, ask God to help you understand the purpose of His patience. Pray that you would have the same purpose as you serve others.