The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

12/06/2008

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What Is Forbearance?


"Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience" (Rom. 2:4).

Forbearance is probably not a word we use every day, if at all. It is probably not a word that we use to describe a person, let alone God. English words that convey similar meanings are longsuffering, clemency, compassion, and patience. So forbearance is not the only word one might use to describe God, but it is an important one.

Have you ever seen a TV show where the interviewer gave a person's name and the to someone and tried to get a one-word description? It is quite hard.(and maybe funny) It is even harder to describe God, especially if we try to do it with only one word. The Bible invites us to know Him with all His attributes. A previous generation might have described Him as a God of wrath and judgement. Today's would more than likely want Him to be loving and kind. He IS forbearing..We dare not try to confine Him to exclusive categories.

His forbearance lies behind the sending of Jesus to the world to die for our sins. "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing any to perish, but for all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). When Jesus returns, God's forbearance will have "played out."

Ours is a generation that wants to kind of "play with God." To attempt to manipulate Him like we might a tool, toy, or instrument. In today's culture, image is often dominant over substance. People running for political office attempt to create for us an image of themselves. An image that we will find appealing..An image for all people..When there is a "slip-up" in life, whether in church, at work, in school, in politics, or some other phase, in comes the "damage control." Its time to get the "PR" machine going. This unfortunately may take precedence over the really important stuff like truth, repentance, humility, and the asking of forgiveness.

God forebears those who seek Him from pure motive and hearts. He just isn't interested in how trendy, clever, up-to-date, or slangy we are. His forbearance seemed endless when He dealt with Job and Jeremiah, and short when it came to Ananias and Sapphira.

Lets make sure that we, in this generation, are willing to speak the story and not jettison the truth.

Have a great weekend and an uplifting worship to God on Sunday....Make a difference....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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