TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, April 13, 2018:
Disposition to be patient and fair; forbearance; refraining from taking action.
He is a compassionate and gracious God; slow to anger, abounding in love, and faithfulness.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
This is the most misunderstood word in our culture today because it has neutralized what we believers believe. Our culture has elevated tolerance over truth. In our culture today, tolerance is considered a virtue.
Today there is new terminology for tolerance. Today we call it “political correctness.” One of our great concerns is that evangelical believers are falling into line with that culture. It is demanding and Satan is using the cultural demand for the tolerance of false teaching over truth against those of us who believe in Jesus to cause them to accept sinful behavior as acceptable. A recent poll showed 68% of evangelicals today say that there is no such thing as absolute truth. These people believe that everything is relative and they rationalize sin.
Let us explain the difference this way. 7x8 is always 56. This is absolute truth. But when one says that 72 degrees is a perfect temperature, this is not true for everyone so it is not absolute truth.
The scripture clearly sets rules for us to live by daily. These are God’s rules. When we break a rule then we are sinning and not honoring God. That is what is happening today in our culture. When we were raising our children sometimes they thought we were intolerant when we gave them a rule and they broke the rule and received a punishment. Having to accept the punishment made us intolerant in their minds but the fact, was that a rule was set and a punishment was set if the rule was broken.
They did like to test our rules to see if they were absolute. They did not want to admit they were the ones in the wrong. When the punishment came for braking the rules they reacted like most kids do and complained, “it’s so unfair.”
Some people feel God is an intolerant God because they feel they are good people and cannot believe what is written in Romans 3:23 could be true for them. It is written, “We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 says, “The penalty for our sins is death.”
There are people that feel this punishment is too harsh. In reality God is quite tolerant and longsuffering. He puts up with a lot from us. While God is compassionate and slow to anger, He will not let the wicked go unpunished.
The only way we can be saved from this death and spending an eternity in hell is by repenting of our sins and receiving God’s act of redemption, by accepting Jesus as our Savior. Those that think God’s judgement is unfair call God intolerant. No matter what anyone may think the fact is that God is sovereign and the Bible is truth. There is no other way, according to God’s Word, by which we can be saved. Make today the day of your salvation.
The Israelites often complained about God when they suffered the consequences of their sin. Ezekiel told Israel as recorded in Ezekiel 18:25, “Yet you say that the way of the Lord is not just. Is it not your ways that are not just?” The truth is that God was very tolerant and patient with Israel, putting up with their disobedience and even their rejection of Him as God.
Both David and Nahum (see verses given above) speak of God as being slow to anger. God does not strike us down the moment we sin because He is compassionate and slow to anger. God will give us plenty of time to repent of our sins and turn to Him. But He cannot and will not tolerate our sins forever. Nahum tells us in the verse above that the Lord will not let the wicked, those that do not accept Jesus as their Savior, go unpunished.
Tolerance is developing a disposition to be patient and fair in every situation you face in life. Every day we need to communicate to our Lord through prayer asking Him for the tolerance needed to handle the issues and frustrations we will face from those who do not know You and love You as we do.
Our memory verse for this week is found in James 1:5.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Give me patience today and help me to be tolerant and slow to anger when people around me are against me. Give me wisdom in communicating to others the truth of Your Word. Thank You for being patient and compassionate to us and for forgiving us of our sins.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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