Love to Serve


Love to serve

Posted on: 28th Jan 2019

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

When my wife and I got married seventeen years ago, Grandad spoke at the ceremony. As a retired Baptist minister, he had officiated at countless numbers of weddings but it was special that he spoke at ours. One of the readings we had was ‘that old chestnut’ from 1 Corinthians 13. I would love to remember everything he said at our wedding, but unfortunately, the part that I remember most vividly was that he had left the tag on his new tie and would be able to return it after the event (which I know he did not do).

1 Corinthians 13 is a poetic piece of scripture that describes what love is. It is often used as an inspiration to newlyweds as to how they can build a strong marriage:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Last week we looked at ‘Love to Challenge’. Maybe there is no greater challenge than being able to replace the word ‘love’ in that passage, with your name. What would my relationships be like if I was patient and kind? What would it look like if you were not easily angered, were not self-seeking or kept no record of wrongs? What would your community be like if those around you always protected, trusted, hoped for the best and persevered to achieve their best?

It was a privilege to know Grandad, Tasker Rhydwyn Lewis, who went to be with his Lord just a few weeks before his 94th birthday. Part of the tribute paid by his friends and family who celebrated his life commented that he had lived this challenge to all he met. From the family grieving over a loss to the joy of newlyweds. Grandad was love. To love is to serve. As a relay runner runs their leg of the race, there comes a time to pass on the baton.

My prayer this week is that service becomes a part of your race that you come to love.

Patience


Patience

Posted on: 5th February 2018

Isn’t it ironic that the majority of time we ask for patience is when we want it immediately? Even Christian’s pray for patience… and they want God to give it them now!

Think through the past few weeks. Who or what has tested your patience? A teacher who did not understand you? A friend who annoyed you? A brother or sister in an obnoxious mood? A parent’s expectations that seemed unreasonable? A disappointing grade? A broken-down car? Other drivers on the road? Sickness?

Now consider, which of those situations did you have any control over? Probably not many and whilst it’s good to try to control those things you can control, just to simplify your life, the things that test our patience are often out of our control. We just have to live with them and through them, learn patience.

So, now what?

Paul tells us to be “strengthened with all power according to God’s glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:11).

Yes, God can give us the power of patience; He can also teach us patience when we ask for it.

Are you patient? Do you need to learn patience? In which areas of your life could you do with a bit more patience?

Hearing the Call – Patience


“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”   (Isaiah 40 v 31)

Wait. (Verb) To remain in readiness for a purpose.

Patience. (Verb) the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

There are certain periods with the Christian calendar that are all about waiting; Lent & Advent to name two. However, throughout the bible there are many powerful verses that suggest that Christians are to consistently be waiting. Waiting on God.

  • God has the perfect timing for things to happen – Isaiah 60 v 22 & Ecclesiastes 3 v 1
  • Waiting on God brings fruition – Psalm 37 v 7
  • Waiting on God brings deliverance and answer to prayer – Psalm 33 v 20 & Psalm 38 v 15
  • Waiting on God gives you strength – Isaiah 40 v 31

As the dictionary’s definition above suggests, to wait is to remain in readiness for a purpose. That is what Christian’s do, wait on God their greater cause, as their guide, their prompt and their light in their life.

Charles Spurgeon says it best like this:

“Stand still” – keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”

If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people.

What are you waiting on this week? If God was to call, would you be ready? Are you waiting with nerve or patiently knowing God has the perfect time for all things in and under heaven?