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Devotion

Patience is one of nine qualities in the fruits of the Spirit. We are taught that patience is a virtue and many other phrases about patience. Remember the phrase, good things come to those who wait. Who can be against patience? If we push into the idea of patience well find some deeper questions. Why was Jesus impatient at times? When was Jesus impatient? Why was God the Creator angry at timesthe opposite of patience? These and many other questions are explored in the devotion this week. Enjoy!! Comments about the devotion can be E-mailed to Pastor Paul at pastor@colpres.org.

Thursday, June 28 Read Proverbs 25:15


The opposite of patience is being confrontational. One Hebrew phrase that is translated as patience means someone who is not angry. The phrase literally means length of nosea person who is patient does not go nose to nose with someone else. We all probably have had experiences where we have gone nose to nose with another person. When were some times that youve had this experience? How do you look at that experience today? Did you become upset about something minor or was your anger triggered by a significant injustice? Jesus went nose to nose at times with people, but he only did it when a significant injustice took placeto learn more read Mondays devotion. Most of the time Jesus was very patient. Jesus didnt speak about patience, but instead demonstrated patience through his life. Do you find yourself becoming angry easily? Have you had others remark on the volatility of your temper? Do you know of someone who acts this way. As you pray, pray that this person and/or you can stop going nose to nose.

Friday, June 29 Read Ecclesiastes 7:7-12


Ecclesiastes is like Proverbs in that it is a book of wisdom. All sorts of pithy statements are in Ecclesiastes. The ninth verse of the seventh chapter is one of these pithy statements: Do not be quick to anger, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. When we lash out at someone we usually do so because a button of ours has been pushed. Our own anger can be caused by the actions of another, but if we didnt respond to that action then our own anger would not happen. Ultimately we are responsible for our own emotionsincluding our anger.

What buttons do you have that can be pushed and result in anger? Can you think of some times when your own buttons were pushed? Ultimately we want to live out this versewe want this anger to be dislodged from our bosom or heart. This process starts with prayer. Just acknowledging to God our own buttons and then asking God to dislodge that can be a powerful experience. Try that today in your prayer time. See what happens!!

Saturday, June 30 Read Exodus 34:6-9


This passage is significant in the Old Testament because it lists the qualities or attributes of God the Creatorthe one who Jesus called abba, Father. God identified the divine self as merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Exodus 34:6. One misunderstanding about God is that the God of the Old Testament was angry. God had moments in the Old Testament when God was very angry. Those momentsthough they are fewwere the result of people in Israel and Judah worshipping other gods. The important point is God was slow to anger. God didnt immediately go nose to nose with humanity. God was able to control divine anger. Praise is a prayer where we acknowledge important qualities of God. A simple praise prayer is I praise you, God for ______. The blank is a specific quality of God. Today as you pray, praise God that God is slow to anger. Say the following prayer over and over: God, I praise you for being slow to anger. Your own heart will be filled when you repeat this prayer.

Sunday, July 1 Read James 1:2-8


This opening in James describes what happens to us when we respond to trials with patience. In this passage patience is like endurance. We endure something that we dont want or wouldnt choosebut we do it with grace. As we do this we grow in maturity. What a beautiful process!! Patience leads to maturity and wholeness. Its much easier to read about this then to live it out. Our emotions can get in the way. We might have experience this process in our own life. If so, take some time to reflect on that time. We also probably know of family or friends who have lived with this type of endurance/patience. Take some time to reflect on these qualities.

Above all give thanks!! Give thanks for your own examples of endurance/patience and give thanks for the people you know who have been examples.

Monday, July 2 Read John 2:13-22


Jesus was not always patient! When he felt that a significant injustice was taking place he became angry. In this story he took a whip of cords and used it to get rid of the people who were selling animals in the Temple courtyard and he overturned tables that had money on them. Jesus shared the reasons for being upset in verse 16, Stop making my Fathers house a marketplace! In his sermon on Wednesday Pastor Paul shared some examples of people whose anger helped change the world. Martin Luther King Jr. was angry about racism and discrimination. Cesar Chavez was angry about how farm workers were treated in California. Nelson Mandela was angry with how blacks were treated in South Africa. God calls us to be angry about significant acts of injustice. Christians are not always asked to endure the sufferings of others or themselves. The world is a better place because of biblical and modern day prophets who were angry. The key is to know when and how to use our angry. This takes wisdomwhich takes prayer. God can help us understand when and how to use our anger about significant injustice and when to endure something minor. Today as you pray, pray for this wisdom. Your prayers are important as they could change the world!

Tuesday, July 3 Read Romans 2:1-4


Gods character is complete with kindness, forbearance and patience. These qualities are more significant than the anger of God. We are called to live out these qualities in our own lives. Unfortunately we live in a world that encourages us to judge others and make evaluations of others. We know deep down that judging and evaluating are wrongbut its not easy to stop. God is our ultimate judge. The next time we feel ourselves judging or evaluating, let that thought or idea go to God. Lift it up as a prayer and let God decide what to do with it. The release by itself is healthy for us!!