God’s Making You Kind And Patient
God has been patient and kind with you. When you were sinful and rejecting God, He patiently loved you and in his kindness he saved you. It was God’s patience and kindness that made it possible for you to be adopted into his family. And now, in Galatians 5, God said that The Holy Spirit is going to produce the fruit of patience and kindness in your life. What’s cool about that is, just as God’s kindness and patience drew you to him, the kindness and patience he’s producing in your life will now draw others to him.
What’s going to fuel a missional lifestyle marked by kindness and patience?
Paul says this in 2 Corinthians 5:18: Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. So first we see that our missional lifestyle is fueled by the fact that we are reconciled to God. To reconcile means to restore friendly relationship. So here’s what that means guys, we once had a friendly relationship with God, but that relationship got destroyed. We’re no longer friends with God, we’re actually enemies. We made God our enemy. It all happened back in Genesis. God created people to be good and full of beauty and people rejected God. Adam, as mankind’s representative, sinned and made us God’s enemies. The rest of the Bible is all about God’s promise to reconcile us back to himself and now here in our text it says that he’s done it. How? Through Jesus. Through Jesus we who were God’s enemies can now be his friends again.
When you’ve experienced that, when it’s happened to you, it’ll absolutely fuel your desire to tell everyone else around you. Because so many people don’t know this. So many think that God’s a good guy, he’s their co-pilot. He’s their life coach. Or like a kind old grandpa. He’d like them, if he just got to know them. They don’t know that they’ve made God their enemy through their sin. And they need to hear that. Or they think that they need to earn God’s friendship. They think if their good works outweigh their bad, or if they pray enough, or if they just live a calm, normal life and never end up in jail, that God will accept them. They don’t know that Jesus is the only way to have friendship with God. You’re life doesn’t have to be clean, you don’t have to be raised in the church, you don’t have to have your act together or be free from sin struggle, you just need to be reconciled to God through Jesus.
And it says that once that happens, you’ve been given the same ministry, to reconcile others to God by telling them about Jesus.
Look at verse 19: That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” We’re ambassadors. An ambassador is a representative from one country to another. And the ambassador is supposed to image their home country to the country they’re living in. But they don’t just go to the new country to live isolated lives, so that people of that new country can look over the fence at them to see what their life is like. No, ambassadors are sent out to engage in intentional relationships with people of the country they’re sent to. They should show the kindness and patience of their home country.
Guys do you know where we see God’s assembled people on earth: The church. The church should be a picture of God’s Kingdom because the church is an assembly of the citizens of that kingdom.
And then every Sunday we’re sent out from the church into the world, into a country that’s not really our own.
And we get to show the kindness and patience that exists in the church to this new country that we live in throughout the week.
So guys for us to show it, it must first exist within the church. We must be a people who are patient and kind with each other, as God is patient and kind with us. It has to be part of our DNA. Maybe you’d like to find a church where you get along with everyone, there’s no one you have beef with, and you can just roll. So you’ve been jumping from church to church once one rubs you the wrong way. But that makes it impossible for you to display patience and kindness within your church.
That’s why guys we NEED diversity in the church. The church isn’t a place for a bunch of like-minded, same-life-staged people to get together. We need radical diversity in the church so we can be patient and kind with each other, and then display it in the world. Is there someone in our church who gets on your nerves and you’re tempted to lose your patience with them? Perfect! This is exactly where you should be. Because you’re gonna get to experience God produce these fruit in your life. You’re gonna look more like Jesus. And everyone else in your life will start to notice.
So we need YOU to help it exist. You being patient and kind with other people in our church is helping our church grow in what it means to look like Jesus.
That’s gonna be messy, but thankfully, Look at verse 21: He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. The one who knew no sin here is definitely Jesus. So he, God, made Jesus to be sin for us. When Jesus was on the cross, God placed on Jesus the collective sins of everyone who would ever put their faith in Jesus. The word we use for that is imputed. Our sin was imputed to Jesus. And then God punished Jesus for our sin; as if he were responsible for our sins. All of God’s wrath, his righteous anger at sin, was focused on Jesus. Like a magnifying glass focusing the sun’s rays. And then, Jesus’ righteousness, his righteous life of never sinning, was given, placed on, imputed to us; those who have faith in Jesus. Jesus took our sin; we get his perfection. On the cross we see what our lives of sin deserve, and in Jesus’ perfect life we see what we get instead. So here’s the point guys, we are totally new because of Jesus. Our biggest problem, our sin, has been dealt with, and we’ve ben given new life. Forgiven lives.
Have you ever heard someone’s story who was spared from death? They feel like they’re living on borrowed time. Our lives, this isn’t our time. God saved us, and now we’re living on his time. And he’s told us what he wants us to do with our totally new lives: tell others how to have new life.
If you’re totally new, it changes every pursuit, every passion, every joy. How are you leveraging those to show the beauty of Jesus?
Your hobbies are meant to show others the beauty of Jesus.
Your free time is meant to show others the beauty of Jesus.
Your job is meant to show others the beauty of Jesus.
Your marriage is meant to show others the beauty of Jesus.
Your parenting is meant to show others the beauty of Jesus.
You have this brand new life, the purpose of which is to display Jesus in all things.
URGENT & DEPENDENT
Now look at chapter 6 verse 1: Working together with him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive the grace of God in vain.” For he says: At an acceptable time I listened to you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. See, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation! Now is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation! Now! Do you hear the urgency in Paul’s words here? He didn’t tell them that it was fine for them to walk away from reading this letter not believing in Jesus. He wanted them to believe in Jesus now! Right now! That’s the fourth fuel to our missional lifestyle: urgency. We’re urgent in making sure the people in our life know who Jesus is.
The problem is, we tend to have a lack of urgency when it comes to sharing Jesus with our friends. We tend to treat sharing Jesus with our friends like a road construction project. We do a lot of standing around without a lot of work, right? We do a lot of hanging out in people’s lives, a lot of time around our friends, but not a lot of time actually talking to them about Jesus.
We need the urgency of Paul who says NOW is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation. We need to actually communicate to people that they need to make a decision and put their faith in Jesus.
Anybody in your life like this?
Pray for this kind of boldness. But, notice what else Paul says in verse 1, working together with him. Working together, with God. That’s the next fuel for missional living: we’re dependent. It’s God who does the work through us. He’s done the work of reconciliation, he just wants us to tell others the good news.
I love what we see in Acts 18: The Lord said to Paul in a night vision,“Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent. For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to hurt you, because I have many people in this city.” He stayed there a year and a half, teaching the word of God among them. God says I have many people in this city who are mine. God’s already done the work of reconciling them, he invites us to be the ones to tell them. We planted this church because we believe that God has many people in Ewa who are His. Many people in Kapolei who are his. Many people in West Oahu who are his. He’s done the work to reconcile them, make them his friends, and he wants us to tell them.
You know what communicates both urgency and dependence? Prayer. Prayer is a confession that we are dependent on God, and an indication of our urgency to see God move. Are you praying for your friends, neighbors, coworkers, family members?
Now look at verse 3: We are not giving anyone an occasion for offense, so that the ministry will not be blamed. Instead, as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything: by great endurance, by afflictions, by hardships, by difficulties, by beatings, by imprisonments, by riots, by labors, by sleepless nights, by times of hunger, by purity, by knowledge, by patience, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God; through weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, through glory and dishonor, through slander and good report; regarded as deceivers, yet true; as unknown, yet recognized; as dying, yet see — we live; as being disciplined, yet not killed; as grieving, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet enriching many; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
Did you hear all of those things that Paul endured as he preached the gospel all over the world? Beatings, imprisonments, sleepless nights. Man one sleepless night makes me a total wreck! Times of hunger? Ask Heejung what I’m like if I haven’t eaten in a while. But Paul endured all of this patiently. Paul responded to this blizzard of troubles with endurance. And that showed that the gospel is true and that Jesus is worth it. Because in the end he says that even if he has nothing, he actually possesses everything. That in an unbelievable secure statement. And that’s the next thing we see that fuels a life of patience and kindness. WE’RE SECURE. We know who we are because of Jesus. We know that we’re adopted into his family. We know that he has an inheritance that he’s going to give us. We know that he looks at us as sons and daughters. When we’re secure in those things, it actually frees us up to live patient, kind lives. It frees us up to be generous with our time and money. It frees us up to endure difficult situations knowing that our best life is not now but what’s to come.
Are you secure in who you are in Christ? It’s what’s gonna fuel your ability to be patient and kind when someone wrongs you. It’s what’s gonna fuel your ability to be patient and kind when no one notices how hard you work. It’s what’s gonna full your ability to be patient and kind when someone rejects you when they find out what you believe.
Some people may look at it and think it’s delusional, but really the person who can be patient and kind in the face of injustice is someone who is so secure that they don’t demand justice, they’re ready to give mercy. Because that’s what they’ve received from God.
Live on mission for the King: experience his kindness and patience. Taste it. Know it. Learn how to show that same kindness and patience within the church. And then overflow with it wherever God takes you, with whoever you’re around so that the beauty of Jesus will be seen in how we live.
Let’s pray that God would do it.