What Do I Do Until The Lord Comes?

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Please turn with me in your Bibles to James Chapter 5. James is an imminently practical Book. This Book points out how the saved are to live out their faiths while in this world. We start tonight with:

James 5:7-8 Be patient {makrothyméō} therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient {makrothyméō}; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

Be Patient In Trials. Work Faithfully Looking Toward The Lord.

Word Study: When the Scripture repeats something twice in a short space, it is introducing a new section to study. Here we see Be patientemphasized in just a few verses. This is the Greek μακροθυμέω makrothyméō, {pronounced mak-roth-oo-meh’-o}, which is a compound word comprised of μακρός (to be very long) and θυμός (in the Spirit). Together the word means to be very long in the Spirit {and not lose heart}. The word is used TWICE in verse 7, ONCE in verse 8, and ONCE in verse 10:

James 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience {makrothyméō}.

The Bible is not talking about human patience, which often wears thin. This type of patience is one aspect of the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. We read:

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV) … the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience {makrothyméō}, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

It is easy to become impatient in our faith, to sometimes say “I’ve got to DO something”, and then to mess everything up. This is the nature of humanity. We want things right away, quickly, now. We fill ourselves up with ourselves, then wonder why we fail. Beloved, we are to minimize self, and be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. It is the Spirit that empowers. It is the Spirit that gives us holy patience.

When God called Abraham (then called Abram) to follow Him at age 75, God promised to give Abraham and Sarah a child of their own, and through that child to bless the entire world (Genesis 12:1-3).

In order for Abram (high father) to become Abraham (father of many), he would have to learn to minimize his self and let God fill him with the Holy Spirit.

Abraham had to follow God patiently for twenty-five years until he received that son. “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9). God will always keep His Word, BUT only when it is best for us. And Beloved, God does not ask us our opinion on the matter. He keeps His own Counsel. The wisest King Who ever lived was Solomon. Solomon said of God’s agenda on this earth:

Ecclesiastes 8:16-17 When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes:) 17 Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.

Solomon said, “I tried to understand the work of God – but I couldn’t understand it”. This is so very true. So often we see those we consider “good” die young, while the wicked seem to prosper. Pastor Mark Talbot wrote:

In this fallen world, righteousness is not always rewarded, and wickedness doesn’t always receive the punishment it deserves: {“There is a vanity that takes place on the earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous” (Ecclesiastes 8:14; 7:15)”

There are so many days that I look at our world and cry out to God, “Lord, why won’t You come now?” Those who are saved all feel this same anguish. The Apostle ended the Scripture Canon with:

Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

We desire that Jesus come right now! And yet, this is not what is best. There are souls who need to meet Jesus. There is Kingdom Work that we – as His children – must do. And yet, we, with the Apostle, cry out:

1 Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

Word Study: The word Anathema means “to be cursed or devoted to evil”. The word Maranatha means “Come quickly Lord!”. I have never known a Christian who loved Jesus that did not desire He come right now. On the very day that Jesus ascended into Heaven, promising to return, just before His ascent the disciples asked Him:

Acts 1:6 …. Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

They were asking when Jesus was going to establish His Millennial Reign on this earth. Our Lord replied:

Acts 1:7-8 … It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Only God knows when Jesus is returning. Only God understands when the best time is for evil to be eradicated, and for Christ to sit His Throne in Jerusalem. Jesus told His Disciples, in essence, “Don’t trouble yourselves over this. Know I am returning … but work for God’s Kingdom in the Spirit until I return”. We should follow the pattern that King David portrayed as he waited to be crowned. David, while yet a shepherd, was called into the presence of the Prophet Samuel. After God rejected all of Jesse’s sons as King of Israel, Jesse said:

1 Samuel 16:11 (NIV) “There is still the youngest …. but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

David comes in from the field, and the Lord said:

“Rise and anoint him; he is the one”

Did David ascend the throne? No. David could not ascend to the throne until he learned to wait on God. David had to learn to be filled with the Spirit, and not himself.

David faithfully served the present King Saul, though Saul often tried to kill him. When Saul died, Israel went through a terrible civil war for around seven years. The Bible says that “David inquired of the Lord” (2 Samuel 2:1), and followed whatever direction God the Holy Spirit sent him. For the second time we read:

2 Samuel 2:4 the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

But there’s a problem. Though Saul is dead, he had a son called Ish-bosheth (which means, “Man of Shame”). The House of Judah followed David, but the rest of Israel followed Ish-bosheth. Two of the leaders in Ish-bosheth’s army – Rechab and Baanah his brother – decided to assassinate their King. They came into his home at night and, while he was in bed, killed him, and cut off his head. Carrying it to David, they said:

2 Samuel 4:8 (ESV) “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life. The Lord has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his offspring.”

David would have none of it. He had both men executed, saying:

2 Samuel 4:11 (ESV) “{you} wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood at your hand and destroy you from the earth?”

David was willing to wait on the Lord. God had promised he would be king – but David would not circumvent the Will of God by forcing the fulfillment of God’s Word. This is what God would have us to do.

James 5:8 Be ye also patient {makrothyméō}; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

The Be ye also reminds us to look to the fathers of our faith, to the Prophets and holy people who went before.

Moses parted the Red Sea, then allowed emotion to take hold of his faith, and so he lost the Promised Land.

Joshua remained vigilant in following the Lord, and the Lord used him to conquer that same Promised Land.

Daniel kept his eyes on Jesus, though surrounded by lions.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked through fire with Jesus.

Jeremiah kept preaching, though none would listen.

Noah preached salvation, though only his family was saved.

John the Baptist loved God so much that he lost his head.

Let us fill our lives with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Let us not get impatient. Let us take hold of our hearts, our feelings. We are not to “follow your heart”, for our hearts are often foolish. Instead we are to follow our God, and the example our forefathers (and mothers) gave to us. We are to look to His Word, and trust in Him. While we wait on the Lord, we may question and ask our Father why. But we are also to be faithful in following Him. The Psalmist wrote:

Psalm 90:13-17 (ESV) Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! 14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. 16 Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. 17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!

As Poet William Cowper (1731-1800) wrote:

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm”.

While Working For God, Remember You Are NOT

We read,

James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

A Church is a collection of broken people, all saved by Grace, all seeking to honor and serve the Lord. We are to work together, understanding that those around us – ourselves included – are apt to make mistakes and errors in judgment. We are told to Grudge not, that is,

Don’t Take Mistakes – Yours or Others – Personally!

Neal Foard, a YouTube motivational speaker I love to listen to, told a story where he chose to do the wrong thing and lived to regret it. I’m not going to tell the whole story, but Neal said that his mistake haunted him for years. Several years after the incident he came across the young man he mistreated, and confessed his error, seeking forgiveness. The man never held a grudge against Neal, but told him simply:

Forget the mistake. Learn the lesson.”

I love that! We are all broken. We are therefore to approach errors in life as learning opportunities. When you forgive what someone erroneously did to you whether they ask you to or not, you are being like Jesus. And the more like Jesus you are, they less like YOU you are. And that’s a good thing!

Jesus warned us that – if we would not forgive trespasses – then God will not forgive OUR trespasses. He warned …

Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV) For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

We are not called of God to judge others. We are not the boss of others. God is. We share scripture, and judge our own spiritual walks. If you make the Pharisee mistake of going around judging others, all you will end up doing is shortchanging yourself. The Scripture says if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31). The problem with judging others is that it often blinds us to our own problems. Jesus put it this way:

Matthew 7:3-5 (CSB) Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ and look, there’s a beam of wood in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.

We are to examine our own lives very carefully first – then the lives of others. When we read behold, the judge standeth before the door, I am reminded of something very similar that God told Cain before he killed his brother Abel. God told Cain to repent, and do the right thing. God told Cain:

Genesis 4:6-7 (CSB) … “Why are you furious? And why do you look despondent? 7 If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Cain did not repent, but allowed sinfulness and a judgmental attitude rule him until he killed his brother Abel. Let’s not go down the same horrid path!

Be Patient In Prayer And Worship.
Look To God And Your Fellow Believers.

James 5:10-11 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

When we go through suffering (and in this life we will suffer), we are to be “long Spirited”, following the examples of those Saints who went before us. Here the Bible speaks of the oldest Scriptures in the Bible, the Book of Job. Though Job suffered terribly, losing his entire family (minus a shrewish wife who made him miserable), Job trusted in the Lord. The Bible says:

Job 1:20-22 Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped, 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Job had a loving and a fearful relationship with God His Savior. Job knew the difference between “Giving up and Letting go”. Under the greatest of suffering the Bible says that Job:

Job 1:20 Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped

Job humbled himself before God. He fell down upon the ground, and worshiped. Job knew Who his Master was. Job worshiped not himself, but the Lord. Job worshiped and honored God. Elijah prayed:

James 5:17-18 {Elijah} was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

We know very little about one of the greatest Prophets who ever lived, a man known simply as Elijah the Tishbite. The King over Israel at that time was a wicked man named Ahab the son of Omri. Ahab turned away from the God of Israel, and marrying a priestess of Baal called Jezebel, “went and served Baal, and worshiped him. The Bible says:

1 King 16:33 … Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.

It was in the midst of this terrible wickedness that God raises up Elijah. We live in a wicked day in America. Though Roe vs Wade has been overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States {sending the matter of abortion back to the states, which is where it should have been in the first place}, evil has become entrenched in our national consciousness. A recent article in Breakpoint called “What Abortion Built” notes that:

Legalized abortion normalized promiscuity, promoted fatherlessness, and secured a view of children so bereft of humanity that we won’t even call them children anymore. … In her book Rethinking Sex, Washington Post columnist Christine Emba wrote …

As contraception has become more mainstream and the risks of sex more diffuse… saying no can feel like less of an option for women: after all, what’s your excuse?” In other words, once abortion was legally on the table, it gave us leave to deconstruct sex to nothing more than a play for individual pleasure. That fundamental lie changed our worldview and thus our behavior.”

Elijah lived in a horribly wicked world, and so do we. This world has always been horribly wicked. Yet God can use Elijah, just as He can use us, to change this world. Elijah stood up against the “popular” opinion, and, following God’s direction, prayed a drought on a wicked king and his kingdom. God answered Elijah’s prayers. Now, was Elijah some type of “Super Believer”? No. We are told that {Elijah} was a man subject to like passions as we are. Elijah was as broken as we are broken. But Elijah relied on Almighty God, and called on Him to bring drought into the land. My commentary states:

God used Elijah to accomplish His own will and agenda. Elijah was His instrument. Prayer does not move a reluctant God, but channels His will and purposes through His children.

As God used Elijah to effect a change in that nation, God can use us who are His children to effect a change. Let us be the LIGHT that God wants us to be. Let us SHINE for Jesus until He calls us home. Make a decision each morning that you will make a difference by filling yourselves with the Holy Spirit, for the glory of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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