Extraordinary Patience

Posted by Karah

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When are you the most impatient? Think about the people, situations, and circumstances that most often trigger your impatience. List a few below.

It’s easy for us to place our own characteristics on God. Because we get impatient, we think He will, especially in light of our sin. Even as Christians, we often sin, but we don’t have to worry that God will get impatient with us and walk away. That’s not who He is. Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17 to learn more.

“But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.”

—1 Timothy 1:16

Ponder these thoughts:

• Re-read verses 12-14. Underline the words Paul used to describe himself before he came to Christ. What words would describe you before Jesus came into your life?

• According to this passage, why is Paul an example of God’s great patience?

• Paul obviously still marveled at the power of the gospel and the transformation Jesus had brought into His life. He knew how bad he’d been, so he understood the patience God had shown Him in forgiving Him and never giving up on Him. Have you ever felt that way about the gospel? Why or why not?

Respond

• Meditate on these truths:  Because God is patient, I know He can forgive and transform me, no matter the sin. Because God is patient, I know that He will never be impatient with me.

• Do you live like you believe those truths? What changes will you make today in order to do so? List one idea below.

• For further study, read Psalm 40:1-3 and consider the benefits of God’s patience. Also, read “A New Way to See” in The Jesus Storybook Bible, a story about Paul’s conversion.

Behind the Story

The “extraordinary patience” discussed in verse 16 suggests an attitude of moral restraint even when provoked. In His patience, God holds back overdue judgment and offers forgiveness rather than separation and lostness.

The Point

Paul claimed to be the worst example of sin, but his life gives proof of God’s great patience toward us. Jesus came into the world to save sinners and no sin is too great for forgiveness.


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